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A-B settles over Kirin deceptive package suit

If you have been to a Japanese steak house in the past few years, you may have decided to go native an order a Japanese beer. But, if you ordered a Kirin, you may not have realized that you were really drinking a beer brewed in the United States by Anheuser-Busch. If you did not know this, you are not the only one. And, A-B has agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement in response to a class-action suit due to the confusion caused by labeling on the product.

Kirin-IchibanIn October 2014, Miami residents Lady J. Suarez and Gustavo E. Oliva filed a class action suit alleging that, “The defendant has collected millions of dollars from the sale of Kirin beer that it would not have otherwise earned.”

According to officials at Anheuser-Busch, the label on Kirin cans and bottles states, “Brewed under Kirin’s strict supervision by Anheuser-Busch,” but the lawsuit claimed the disclaimer does not sufficiently identify that the product is not imported since it is not visible on the outside packaging of six-packs and 12-packs.

“Plaintiffs paid money for a product that is not what it claims to be or what they bargained for,” the lawsuit said.

Kirin, along with other previously imported beers like Beck’s, is no longer brewed abroad for distribution in the United States. Instead, the beers are brewed by Anheuser-Busch at one of their domestic breweries. In the case of Kirin, A-B began brewing the beer in 1996 at their Los Angeles, Ca. and Williamsburg, Va. breweries.

Under the terms of the preliminary settlement, A-B will have to reimburse customers who bought the Kirin anytime between Oct. 25, 2009, and Dec. 17, 2014, due to alleged deceptive packaging.

Customers will be reimbursed $0.50 for cans or bottles purchased in a six-pack and $1.00 for cans or bottles purchased in a 12-pack. If receipts are produced, they can get up to $50. Those without proof of purchase can still get up to $12 if they register a claim. Claims can be registered by mail or online, starting next week, though the website has not yet been announced.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2015 in Beer News

 

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Epcot’s Japanese pavillion introduces Americans to frozen beer

The Japanese have a lot of quirky ideas when it comes to food. After all they are the folks who brought us raw fish rolled up in rice and seaweed, fermented soybeans that take on a slime called natto, and dried fish mixed with almonds known as natori. Good eating all. But, now the fine folks in the Pacific have brought to us here in the states one of their heretofore lesser known culinary concoctions: frozen beer.

Ingenious inventors at the Japanese beer behemoth Kirin have come up with a way to freeze beer foam and dispense it on top of a glass of beer. The foam is frozen to 23 degrees and is dispensed like soft serve ice cream. When the frozen foam is placed on top of unfrozen beer it acts like an insulator and keeps the beer below it colder longer – up to 30 minutes longer.

But, if you want to get a pint of this new and interesting way to serve beer, you will have to journey to Walt Disney World’s Epcot. The Japanese pavilion of the World Showcase there is the only place in North America where the alcoholic treat is available. In Japan the treat is available in over 650 locations and has become wildly popular. Honolulu, Hawaii also has a few of the machines used to make the frozen foam.

In a press release, Bob Miller, dining operations for Mitsukoshi USA says, “The guests were apprehensive, but very curious. But once they try it, they often come back for another and bring their friends – it definitely makes the beer colder and keeps it colder longer, which is a good think in the Florida sunshine.”

In Epcot, the frozen beer sells for $8 and is available at Kabuki Cafe and Tokyo Dining.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Beer, Beer News, Beer Styles

 

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