- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Belgian customs destroy 2,000 cans of 'champagne beer'
More than 2,000 cans of American beer destined for Germany have been destroyed by Belgian customs over a marketing claim that it is "the champagne of beers".
The Benelux Champagne Office took umbrage with the description used by Miller High Life.
“It is a misuse of the term ‘champagne’ that contravenes European legislation on the protected designation of origin ‘champagne’,” said its director, Grégoire Van den Ostende.
A total of 2,352 cans with the slogan on its label were destroyed after being intercepted in the port of Antwerp.
The ‘champagne’ designation implies an origin from a delimited geographical area and a strict adherence to a traditional know-how, the Champagne Committee explains on its website.
Miller High Life can be marketed in the United States, which does not recognise the legislation on the appellation of origin of champagne.
The beers were destroyed at a work site in Ypres in West Flanders “with the greatest respect for environmental concerns by ensuring that the entire batch, contents and container, is recycled in an ecologically responsible manner,” the Champagne Office said.
The intended recipient of the goods in Germany was informed and did not contest the decision.