Craft Brew Alliance, the brewer of Kona beer has been sued by two California consumers who say they were tricked into thinking all of Kona’s beer is made in Hawaii. CBA beers, including Kona are brewed in Portland, Oregon, Woodinville, Washington, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The company is part owned by Anheuser Busch. There is limited draft production at the Kona brewery in Hawaii. The Portland, Oregon based CBA also owns and brews Redhook, Widmer, Omission and others.
The plaintiffs said the alleged deception includes the use on labels of hula dancers, surfers, the Kilauea volcano, Waikiki beach, and other images and phrases associated with Hawaii, as well as beer names such as Big Wave Golden Ale, Castaway IPA, Fire Rock Pale Ale and Longboard Island Lager.
The complaint stated that “Consumers purchase items, and are willing to pay more for items, because they are from Hawaii.”