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Posts Tagged ‘Anheuser-Busch InBev’

In Which We Sample Budweiser’s New ‘Craft’ Beer Offerings

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 2.31.01 PMShocking Confession: We like beer. A lot.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s review some other facts: Bud Light is the best-selling beer in the world by a fairly wide margin, and when you ask someone to name the prototypical American brew they will, more often than not, say Budweiser.

At the same time, lots of small-label “craft” beers have begun earning greater market share in recent years, so Anheuser-Busch InBev decided to offer customers a little variety with a “brewmaster innovation platform” called Project 12 whose biggest product so far has been Budweiser Black Crown.

Bud’s latest step in the Project 12 campaign is a little different: it’s an experiment designed to “[expand] the brand’s offerings” by dipping a toe in that craft barrel while armed with descendants of the original Bud yeast cultures.

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We had a chance to both sample the beers and speak to Budweiser VP Brian Perkins about the campaign. His comments and our completely objective critical review of the new suds after the jump:

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You Don’t Say: Budweiser Sued for Watering Down Its Beers!

Today we were shocked to learn that some people think Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest “brewery”, makes products that closely resemble alcohol-flavored water! But that’s not all: According to three $5M lawsuits filed by customers in three different states, the company skirts the law by adding water to Budweiser, Michelob and other famously awful beers, then “overcharg[ing]” customers and “unjustly enrich[ing]” itself by printing inaccurate alcohol content percentages on its packaging.

Oh, and before you ask, frat boys: these allegations apply to Natty Ice as well.

Of course AB InBev reps deny it all with highfalutin language about adhering “to the highest standards in brewing our beers”. But the brand should get ready for a bruising: the info supposedly comes from former employees at its 13 American breweries. Attorney Josh Boxer says that “We believe this is a corporate policy that comes from AB InBev and trickles down.” Touche, sir!

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DOJ Wants to Keep Your Beer Affordable (And Budweiser Clydesdales Make Us Cry)

Beer drinkers of America: the Department of Justice has your back.

The DOJ filed a civil antitrust lawsuit this week to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev‘s $20.1 billion deal to buy the remaining shares of Grupo Modelo, brewers of Corona, saying that merging the largest and third largest beer makers would “substantially lessen competition”. In other words, if this deal went through there would be nothing to keep the cost of your Friday night suds from skyrocketing.

Under the proposed merger, ABI and Modelo would together control about 46 percent of beer sales in the US. Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of DOJ’s antitrust division, said “If ABI fully owned and controlled Modelo, ABI would be able to increase beer prices to American consumers. This lawsuit seeks to prevent ABI from eliminating Modelo as an important competitive force in the beer industry.”

In order to prove ABI’s dubious intentions, the DOJ’s complaint quotes internal company documents that highlight ABI’s plans to maintain its upward price leadership.

But Anheuser-Busch, like so many boozed-up brawlers before it, won’t be going down without a fight. The company said that it plans to “vigorously contest the DOJ’s action in federal court”. Oddly, whoever wrote the release forgot to add “despite the fact that everyone in the world knows that both Budweiser and Corona taste like overpriced, alcohol-flavored water.”

We’ll keep you posted as this story progresses. In the meantime, though, we’ve uncovered Anheuser-Busch’s nefarious plans to interrupt your Super Bowl with this tear-jerker of a commercial (as if trying to raise the price of your beer weren’t bad enough). We may or may not have begun our Friday morning watching this clip, singing along, and blubbering into our housecoats. Dammit, Clydesdales – you get us every time.

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Budweiser to Launch New ‘Millennial’ Beers During Super Bowl

Beck's SapphireAs the Super Bowl approaches, so too does the PR analysis of brands that have chosen to invest many millions into advertising during this unique American spectacle.

All-American beer brand Budweiser (which is owned by Belgians now, BTW) considers the Super Bowl home field. Football and alcohol have long held an uneasy relationship that translates well on television screens but less so in the parking lot after NFL games.

So it’s not surprising–particularly in an environment where microbrews, casks ales and other niche beers are driving consumer climate change–that Anheuser-Busch InBev is once again using the Super Bowl as a platform to promote its new, more sophisticated brands of beer (namely Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire).

The goal, of course, is to reach younger drinkers—yes, Millennials—who don’t have a loyalty to regular Budweiser or an emotional connection the brand’s famed Clydesdales. The target audience, as this article describes them (and oh we love this), is the type of people drawn to “nighttime drinking occasions”. Sorry NASCAR fans, lunchtime strip club goers, and that one drunk uncle we all have. These beers are not for you.

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