Back before the rise of craft beer made it possible to divide an average beer list into actually informative categories like pilsner, stout or IPA, most of those lists used two categories: domestic (cheap) and imported (expensive). With some exceptions a beer's place of origin doesn’t tell you much about its quality. But the logic seemed to be that imported beers deserved a higher price point because they traveled farther to get to your liver.
But as giant international beer conglomerates consolidated dozens of brands over the last decade or so, lines between domestic and import got fuzzy and many of these “imported” beers were no longer even brewed in the country they supposedly came from.
But thanks to the classic notion that “imported” equals more valuable, the new beer conglomerates had a very real interest in convincing customers that certain brews crossed oceans to get to them through labels and advertising. Consumer advocates, on the other hand, believed some of these advertising tactics bordered on being unlawful. Now, for the second time this year, Anheuser-Busch has agreed to settle with those consumer advocates for allegedly misleading consumers into thinking that Beck’s brewed its beer in Germany when it’s actually produced right here in the USA and has been since 2012.