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Beer

Drink Beck's beer? You may be entitled to a refund from Anheuser-Busch

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Beck's beer drinkers in the U.S. may be entitled to a refund. (iStock)

If you’ve purchased Beck’s beer in the U.S. since 2011, you may be entitled to a $50 refund—if you still have your original receipt.

Just months after settling a lawsuit over false advertising claims made about its ads for Kirin beer, Anheuser-Busch agreed on Tuesday to settle a class action suit over allegations that it fooled customers into thinking Beck's beer was from Germany when it's actually made in St. Louis, Missouri.

In Oct. 2013, Francisco Rene Marty, Seth Goldman, and Fernando Marquet  sued the beer giant in federal court in Florida, claiming that Beck’s packaging made customers pay more for the product because they thought it was imported. Beck’s beer produced before 2013 had packaging with phrases like “Originated in Germany” and “German Quality.” 

After the suit was filed, Anheuser-Busch InBev changed Beck’s beer labels to say "Brewed in the U.S.A." or "Product of U.S.A.” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Though a final approval hearing is set for Oct. 20, a federal judge granted preliminary approval for a class action settlement that includes a refund for people who purchased Beck’s beer as far back as May 1, 2011. Anheuser-Busch stands by its marketing tactics but has agreed to refund customers.

"We believe our labeling, packaging and marketing of Beck’s have always been truthful, transparent and in compliance with all legal requirements," Jorn Socquet, vice president of marketing at Anheuser-Busch InBev, said in a press release. "A-B brews Beck’s to the highest-quality standards, and is proud to employ some of the finest American brewmasters to produce Beck’s for the U.S. market."

Purchasers of Beck’s are entitled to a refund of 50 cents per six-pack, up to a maximum of $50 per household. Customers without receipts may receive reimbursement up to $12.

Court documents specify that claims can be submitted through a website that will soon be created.

The three original plaintiffs will be receiving up $5,000 each, and Anheuser-Busch will be picking up the $3.5 million tab for attorney fees.

"We're pleased that the plaintiffs were able to resolve this dispute and we look forward to the final approval hearing and getting these benefits to the class of Beck's beer consumers," Tucker Ronzetti, an attorney with Miami law firm Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, representing the plaintiffs told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In January, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton represented customers in a similar lawsuit alleging that Anheuser-Busch InBev led customers to believe that its Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light beers were imported from Japan when they were actually brewed in the U.S. The class action lawsuit ended in a similar refund for consumers.