Can Beck's Be Labeled 'German' If It's Brewed In St. Louis? No, Judge Agrees : The Salt When is a German beer not actually German? When it's brewed in St. Louis by Anheuser-Busch. A settlement was approved Tuesday in a class-action lawsuit over Beck's packaging.
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Can Beck's Be Labeled 'German' If It's Brewed In St. Louis? No, Judge Agrees

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Can Beck's Be Labeled 'German' If It's Brewed In St. Louis? No, Judge Agrees

Can Beck's Be Labeled 'German' If It's Brewed In St. Louis? No, Judge Agrees

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

For years, if you drank a Beck's beer, this might've been going through your head.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking German).

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

But probably what you should have thought about was this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HERE COMES THE KING")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Here comes the king. Here comes the number one. Budweiser beer, the king, is second to none.

SHAPIRO: Anheuser-Busch, the company behind both Budweiser and Beck's, has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs claim the mega-brewer misled customers by trumping up Beck's German roots and insinuating that it was an import.

CORNISH: Now, for more than a hundred years, Beck's has been brewed in Germany. But in 2002, the company was bought up by big international brewers and eventually became part of Anheuser-Busch InBev based in Belgium.

SHAPIRO: And since 2012, Beck's has also been made in St. Louis, which is definitely not a German city.

CORNISH: No, not so much.

SHAPIRO: Which means the Beck's that you buy here in the U.S. is definitely not an import. But the lawsuit claims that did not stop Anheuser-Busch from charging import prices.

CORNISH: Today, a judge gave final approval to the settlement terms. Anheuser-Busch referred us to a statement from June that says, in part, AB brews Beck's to the highest quality standards and is proud to employ the finest American brewmasters who produce Beck's for the U.S. market.

SHAPIRO: And if you bought Beck's in the last few years and kept the receipts, you could even get a partial refund. - 50 cents back for every six pack up to $50 total.

CORNISH: And in case you're wondering, 50 bucks can buy you a couple of cases of Beck's.

SHAPIRO: Or, like, 17 cubic tons of Pabst Blue Ribbon, more or less.

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