The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has accepted a $300,000 offer in compromise from Anheuser-Busch InBev following allegations that the world’s largest beer maker violated Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act consignment sales provisions.
According to TTB documents, A-B allegedly violated title 27, chapter 8, section 205d of the United States Code, which restricts alcohol manufacturers and distributors from selling products with “the privilege of return.”
In a release, the TTB said violations stemmed from A-B’s Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale “end of season buy-back co-op programs,” which resulted in approximately 541,000 cases being sold to wholesalers, on wheels, between March 3 and October 6 of last year.
In a statement sent to Brewbound, Felipe Szpigel, the president of A-B’s High End, which oversees the Shock Top brand, said the company believed its buy-back program was in “full compliance” with the FAA Act.
“After many discussions with the TTB, we’ve decided to move forward in the spirit of partnership and settle the matter,” he wrote. “Of note, the global settlement we’ve reached with the TTB resolves any and all alleged violations of our wholesalers with respect to this program, which allows our partners to stay focused on selling all of our brands, including Shock Top.”