Thursday, 5 February 2015

Brewed the Hard Way, Marketed the Vicious Way

“This is beer for people who like to drink beer brewed the hard way”.

Well thank you, Anheuser-Busch.

The Budweiser Super Bowl ad is sixty seconds of bitter celluloid, in which the brewing giant licks shots at people who drink, well, any beer other than Bud, it seems. But especially craft beer hipsters. People who “dissect” beer, and who “sip... peach pumpkin ale”. People who don’t drink beer brewed “the hard way”, whatever that means.

I wonder what kind of hardships one of the world’s largest brewing concerns faces on a daily basis. AB-InBev, the brewing behemoth of which Anheuser-Busch is a component, has a twenty five percent share of the world’s beer market. I seriously doubt any of the top kicks of the AB-InBev corporate pyramid ever worry about bailiffs showing up at the door, or have to make the hard decision to change from branded to generic cola on their weekly shops. But, whatever, brewed the hard way. Moving on.

Budweiser is the face of American beer, in the eyes of the rest of the world anyway, and is one of the major brews responsible for tarnishing- no, I’m sorry, ruining- the reputation of American beer in the United Kingdom. Unsatisfied with its role in making me have to evangelise about American beer being mainly fantastic on a regular basis, the folks at Budweiser are now throwing shade on the products of other brewers, and craft beer especially.

And this is an odd thing for them to do. I mean, Budweiser is one of those beers that, like Guinness, has a slavishly devoted fanbase. Why be so shitty to other drinkers?

The advert gets even shittier when you consider the fact that Anheuser-Busch InBev has recently bought up Elysian Brewing, who actually make a pecan peach pumpkin ale. They have also purchased Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery and Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel brewery.

The advertising suits in the pay of Budweiser are essentially telling people not to drink their own parent company’s products. They are mocking their colleagues. If I worked at one of their recently-acquired breweries I would be going out of my fucking mind right now.

It isn’t the fact that they took pops at people who drink craft beer. I’m not upset by the fact they portrayed craft beer drinkers as picky nerds with novelty facial hair and plaid shirts. Whatever. The fact that Budweiser’s owners snapped up non-Budweiser breweries and then quite quickly produced an advertising campaign telling people to not drink their produce is pretty sinister.

Look at these fucking nerds. Goddamn.
There will always be a market for Budweiser. It’s an uncomplicated beer that gets you pissed. Where I live Budweiser is a drink for teenagers, and no matter how old we get teenagers stay the same age. Budweiser will be around forever.

And before any of you get apoplectic at this hipster fop with his thick rimmed glasses abusing Budweiser in favour of complicated, fancy-dancy beers, just no. I have a documented love for ASDA’s generic Biere de Luxe. Right now there are five bottles of Colt .45 in my fridge. I’ve written about “bum wine” for two different sites.

I don’t have a seizure if I walk into a bar that serves only macro-brewed beers. I don’t like the taste of Budweiser but it tastes nicer than the rank flavour of their Super Bowl ad, in which they flex their muscles and tell people to abhor the produce of their co-workers, in favour of the One True Bud. This Dick Move even manages to fly in the face of what other macrobrewers are doing.

Guinness (part of the alcoholic drinks giant Diageo) now ships two “experimental” porters based on old recipes from the Guinness vaults. Beck’s, tragically enough also owned by InBev, is rolling out three new beers for the German market, seeming to wish to cash in on the burgeoning German craft beer scene.

Christ, even Carling has spread its wings a little, producing a cider of unknown (to this reporter) provenance.

Anheuser-Busch did attempt some diversification in recent years with its Black Crown beer, but even the existence of this beer is disregarded by the slick, minute long hatchet-job on anything that isn't the King of Beers.

For a venerable brewery, Budweiser shows an immense lack of class. In running down craft beer it hacks at its own nose to spite its face, and pours scorn on its stablemates.

Budweiser has made a petty little fool of itself.

Go home, dad. You’re drunk.

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