Monday, February 25, 2019

Week 8 - Is it worth paying extra for beer brewed in Hawaii?

Broomfield v Craft Brew Alliance Inc.
Northern District of California

In 2017, a federal judge in California called Hawaii “a state as well as a state of mind” and refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Craft Brew Alliance Inc [CBA], the maker of Kona craft beer, of misleading consumers into believing the beer was manufactured in Hawaii, and causing them to overpay. 

She said this was despite a disclaimer on Kona packaging saying the beer was brewed in New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington state, as well as Hawaii.  “The Hawaiian address, the map of Hawaii identifying Kona’s brewery on the Big Island, and the statement ‘visit our brewery and pubs whenever you are in Hawaii’ ... are specific and measurable representations of fact that could deceive a reasonable consumer,” the judge wrote.

In September 2018, the lawsuit was certified as a class actionQuestions presented by the lawsuit are (1) whether CBA materially misrepresented that its beers were brewed in Hawaii, (2) whether consumers reasonably relied on those representations, (3) whether CBA intentionally misled consumers, and (4) what price premium, if any, consumers paid based on the understanding that the beers were brewed in Hawaii.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, maybe the label was a little misleading, but what would make people care about where the beer was brewed if it tasted the same? Mind boggles.