Kirin Drinkers Could Get a Refund

Anheuser-Busch settles a lawsuit accusing it of deceiving customers into thinking the beer is still imported from Japan
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If  you’ve been downing Kirin and believing that you’re consuming a refreshing beverage brewed in Japan, you might end up with some extra beer money in your pocket.

Law360.com reports that Anheuser-Busch has settled a lawsuit filed by two Florida customers accusing the company of deceiving beer buyers into thinking that Kirin is still imported from Japan. In fact, Anheuser-Busch has been brewing the beer in the United States since 1996, and Los Angeles is one of the locations where Kirin is created.

Anheuser-Busch is offering a refund to those who purchased Kirin from Oct. 25, 2009 through Dec. 17, 2014, and a judge has granted the deal preliminary approval, but don’t expect enough money to start a real bender. The refund is 50 cents per six-pack of 12-ounce bottles, $1 per 12-pack of 12-ounce bottles, or 10 cents for each individual bottle or can, if you have proof of purchase, and there’s a cap of $50 per household. If you don’t have receipts, the cap is $12.

Of course, if the quality of Kirin has been maintained by Anheuser-Busch, some might wonder what the harm is. Anheuser-Busch is a lot more than Bud these days. Its portfolio also includes Goose Island, whose quality craft beers have reached a much larger audience thanks to Anheuser-Busch. Ultimately, this suit isn’t about Anheuser-Busch making bad beer. It’s about words and images that might have misled people into thinking the Kirin they were drinking came from Japan. Chances are some Kirin fans are going to use their refund to buy more Kirin.

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