An Ohio man has filed a lawsuit against Walmart over what he alleges is the “fraudulent, unlawful, deceptive and unfair” marketing of craft beers.
The suit centers around Walmart’s private label “craft” brands made in conjunction with Trouble Brewing. The plaintiff maintains that the beers, sold under the names of Cat’s Away IPA, After Party Pale Ale, Round Midnight Belgian White and Red Flag Amber, can’t be called “craft” as they are actually mass-produced. Furthermore, the suit alleges that Trouble Brewing doesn’t exist and that the beers are produced by Genesee Brewing in Rochester, NY.
“Defendant’s craft beer has never been a ‘craft beer,’ nor has it been produced by a craft brewery,” the lawsuit alleges. “Rather, it’s a wholesale fiction created by the defendant that was designed to deceive consumers into purchasing the craft beer at a higher, inflated price.”
The complaint also alleges that the beers are stocked next to other craft beers for sale in stores rather than next to other mass produced beers such as Budweiser, Miller or Coors. “Again, by placing the craft beer on its shelves with other ‘craft beers’, defendant is further perpetuating the myth that it’s a craft beer,” the complaint reads.
Ragan Dickens, director of national media relations for Walmart’s corporate communications office issued the following statement regarding the lawsuit: “We have not yet been served, but we take these claims seriously and will respond appropriately with the court.”