Aug 26, 2017

Carling lager is 'weaker than advertised', firm says in court

Carling advertises the lager as 4% alcohol by volume but it has been brewed at 3.7% since 2012, its US owners Molston Coors have said. ABV was reduced in order to cut tax on Carling products, the firm said during a hearing brought by HMIC. Molston Coors said beer was allowed to have a natural variation of 0.5%, and said customers had not been misled. According to documents from the tax tribunal, HMIC argued Carling had underpaid tax by more than £50m between 1 September 2012 and 31 January 2015. Giving evidence to the tribunal, Philip Rutherford, vice president of tax for Molson Coors Europe, argued Carling it should pay tax on "The actual ABV of the beer" rather than the one stated on the label. "The natural process of brewing means all batches of Carling vary fractionally in alcohol content - the variation range for Carling is less than a quarter of 1%.".

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