Craft Brew Alliance Inc, maker of Kona beer, agreed to offer partial refunds to settle a lawsuit for misleading customers on the origin of its beer. The Portland-based brewing group, partially owned by AB InBev, offered to reimburse a maximum per household of $20 with receipts and $10 without receipts. To cover the costs, the group has taken a $4.7 million pretax charge.
In March 2017, Kona Brewing Co. founded in 1994 in Kona, Hawaii, was sued for misleading customers about the origin of its beers. Two beer drinkers from California said they were falsely led to believe the product was produced in Hawaii because of labels feature like surfers , hula dancers, and other beachy themes, and names like Longboard Island Lager and Wailua Wheat.
In fact only about 12,000 barrels (about 14.000 hectoliters) of draft beer and beer that was sold on Hawaii island and in the brewery’s own pubs was produced at the original brewing site in Kona. The remainder came from breweries in Oregon, Washington state, New Hampshire, and Tennessee, which are like Kona Brewing part of the Craft Brew Alliance. (inside.beer, 4.3.2017)
Papers for a settlement were reportedly filed in a San Francisco federal court last week and await a judge’s approval.