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. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

    2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

    3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

    4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

    5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

    ADVERTISEMENT