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Friday, December 1, 2023

Calling beer Champagne leaves French producers frothing

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BRUSSELS — The guardians of Champagne will let nobody take the identify of the bubbly beverage in useless, not even a U.S. beer behemoth.

For years, Miller Excessive Life used the “Champagne of beers” slogan. This week, that appropriation turned inconceivable to swallow.

On the request of the commerce physique defending the pursuits of homes and growers of the northeastern French glowing wine, Belgian customs crushed greater than 2,000 cans of Miller Excessive Life marketed as such.

The Comité Champagne requested for the destruction of a cargo of two,352 cans on the grounds that the century-old motto utilized by the American brewery infringes the protected designation of origin “Champagne.”

The consignment was intercepted within the Belgian port of Antwerp in early February, a spokesperson on the Belgian Customs Administration mentioned on Friday, and was destined for Germany. Belgian customs declined to say who had ordered the beers.

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The customer in Germany “was knowledgeable and didn’t contest the choice,” the commerce group mentioned in a press release.

Frederick Miller, a German immigrant to the US, based the Miller Brewing Firm within the 1850s. Miller Excessive Life, its oldest model, was launched as its flagship in 1903.

In keeping with the Milwaukee-based model’s web site, the corporate began to make use of the “Champagne of beers” nickname three years later. At one level, the beer was additionally accessible in champagne-style bottles.

Regardless of how widespread the slogan is in america, it’s incompatible with European Union guidelines making clear that items infringing a protected designation of origin will be handled as counterfeit.

The 27-nation bloc has a system of protected geographical designations created to ensure the true origin and high quality of artisanal food, wine and spirits, and shield them from imitation. That market is value almost 75 billion euros ($87 billion) yearly — half of it in wines, in keeping with a 2020 examine by the EU’s government arm.

Charles Goemaere, the managing director of the Comité Champagne, mentioned the destruction of the beers “confirms the significance that the European Union attaches to designations of origin and rewards the dedication of the Champagne producers to guard their designation.”

Belgian customs mentioned the destruction of the cans was paid for by the Comité Champagne. In keeping with their joint assertion, it was carried out “with the utmost respect for environmental issues by guaranteeing that your entire batch, each contents and container, was recycled in an environmentally accountable method.”


Mark D. Carlson contributed from Brussels.

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