Anheuser-Busch Ends Alcoholic Energy Drink Sales

SACRAMENTO - California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined ten states in announcing that Anheuser-Busch will discontinue its popular alcoholic energy drinks, including Tilt and Bud Extra, and will not produce any caffeinated alcohol beverages in the future.

“Anheuser-Busch, the largest brewing company in the United States, has taken an important action to protect young people from attractive alcohol advertising and marketing,” Attorney General Brown said. “Other major alcohol manufacturers should follow Anheuser-Busch’s lead and eliminate dangerous combinations of caffeine and alcohol from the marketplace.”

Alcoholic energy drinks are prepackaged beverages that combine alcohol and caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng and other ingredients associated with non-alcoholic energy drinks. Brown asserts that Anheuser-Busch marketed Bud Extra and Tilt in violation of state consumer protection statues by:

• Making misleading health-related statements about allegedly energizing effects of Bud Extra including increased strength and increased ability to stay up all night after drinking the products
• Failing to disclose its effects on consumers, and ignoring potential consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages that are combined with caffeine or other stimulants
• Directing advertisements of Tilt and Bud Extra to consumers under the age of 21

In November 2007, researchers at Wake Forest University of Medicine found that the combination of caffeine and alcohol sends mixed signals to the nervous system, causing the effect of a “wide awake drunk.” Students who consumed these energy drink cocktails were twice as likely to be involved in alcohol-related accidents and injuries than when drinking alcohol alone. The combination of alcohol and caffeine can be dangerous because individuals may not feel impaired even when blood alcohol levels are very high. See, USDOJ.