IBJNews

Foul odor spurs Oliver Winery hard-cider lawsuit

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An agreement Oliver Wine Co. Inc. made with a container manufacturer to purchase cans for the winery’s hard apple cider has gone sour.

Bloomington-based Oliver filed suit against the Broomfield, Colo.-based Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp., once headquartered in Muncie, in Monroe Circuit Court in December. The case was transferred to federal court in Indianapolis last week.

Oliver claims the metal cans Ball supplied for the cider produced a chemical reaction when coming into contact with the beverage, causing a foul odor and spurring customer complaints.

The winery issued a voluntary recall of the cider and since has suffered “significant damages,” according to its complaint.

Oliver does not specify the amount of damages it is seeking. The price Oliver paid to buy a total of 1.3 million cans from Ball has been redacted from a purchase order included in the complaint.

The winery is claiming breach of warranties and contract, negligence and product liability.

Citing company policy, a Ball spokesman declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Oliver has been producing wine since 1972, but only introduced its cider in 2011 under the Beanblossom Hard Cider name.

The cider initially entered the market in 16.9-ounce aluminum bottles, which are manufactured by a vendor other than Ball. The cider sold so well that Oliver expanded the line to include 8-ounce cans, the winery said, to be priced at about $2 each.

In February 2012, Oliver purchased the cans from Ball after the company analyzed cider samples and concluded that they were compatible with the cans and linings selected by Ball, according to the complaint.

But the smell that emanated from the cans when they were opened led Oliver to recall the cider soon after. The winery blames the odor on a chemical reaction caused by the copper pitting in the cans, which produced hydrogen sulfide in the cider.

A lawyer for Oliver said the winery has no comment on the lawsuit. Oliver’s cider is still available in the larger aluminum bottles, which sell for about $4 each.

Ball is the largest supplier of aluminum cans in the United States. The company moved its corporate headquarters from Muncie to Colorado in 1998.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • copper
    There is a min and max range 0 to .25% of Cu in the composition of aluminum alloy used to produce cans. Therefore their assumption of copper pitting is justifiable.
  • Copper pitting?
    How would copper be in an aluminum can to begin with? Second copper removes hydrogen sulfide by reacting with it. cCopper is commonly used in some form or the other to eliminate or prevent hydrogen sulfide in wine. I would think more likely the petroleum based plastic lining of the cans may have had some residual sulfur in it. Hydrogen sulfide is a byproduct of petroleum based polymer production due to the presence of sulfur in petroleum. It can also be the result of nutrient starved yeast in a fermentation as yeast will produce hydrogen sulfide when stressed.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

    2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

    3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

    4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

    5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.

    ADVERTISEMENT