Beer News (Jan 22–Feb 2)

BWJlogoEarly in yesterday’s Superbowl, Budweiser aired a spot that showed a puppy getting lost and finding his way home. Absolutely f%#$ing adorable. Now let’s move on. 

Late in the game came another Bud ad, one which has prompted a lot of comments from craft beer lovers. (See this article and this article for two of the better responses.) The ad starts with Bud proudly proclaiming themselves a macro beer.  (There’s no voice over, everything in the ad is presented in text, so blind people won’t get all crazy and start buying Budweiser.) Their proclamation is an interesting tactic, and one that has worked for others in the past — embrace who you are and adopt the language of the critics as your own. So, how should we view this proud macro beer? 

According to the ad, Budweiser is not to be fussed over. This point is driven home by showing a mustachioed hipster sniffing a dark beer in a “fancy” beer glass. This was either funny or not, depending on whether you’re a self-righteous hipster. (I’ve posted all sorts of craft beer articles making fun of hipsters, so I won’t don the mantle of faux indignation here.)

Seconds later, we’re told that Budweiser is beechwood aged since 1876. So let me get this straight, smelling their beer is too persnickety, but we’re supposed to be impressed by the minutiae of their aging process and the company’s history? Is their new demo non-hipster history professors and deciduous tree enthusiasts?

Then, the camera returns to a shot of some hipsters to claim that Budweiser is for drinking, not dissecting. Take that fancy pants people who actually care what their beer tastes like! Who is their beer brewed for, if not beer dissectors, you might ask? The ad goes on to explain that Bud is brewed for beer drinkers who like their beer “brewed the hard way.” Brewed the hard way? What does that even mean? And if — by your own admission — your beer isn’t worth serious consideration, why not brew it the easy way?

So, the ad crams a lot of “huh?” into a 60-second spot. But, the advertising geniuses behind it saved the best for last. As a parting shot to hipsters, the text reads, “Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale,” because, I mean, what kind of loser would drink such a concoction — and at a pace slow enough to be considered sipping? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but maybe the customers of Elysian brewing — a craft brewery that was just bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev. They brew a beer called Gourdia On My Mind — a pumpkin pecan peach ale. And many of the people who drink it probably do take some time to savor the beverage. (It’s also worth noting that, in the past, Bud has released pumpkin beers under both their Shock Top and Michelob labels.)

As you can imagine, this didn’t make the brewers at Elysian happy. (And, I can’t imagine that their own ad implying that their beer is really only suitable for gulping — or at least not drinking slowly — out of shaker pints is making any of the brewers at A-B happy, either.)

It’s not every day that a beer advertisement makes fun of one of its own other brands, implies that the brewery’s flagship beer is swill, and introduces a new, meaningless buzz phrase (“brewed the hard way”) into the beer advertising lexicon. That’s a lot of misfires in a single commercial. If a puppy had made this much of a mess, someone would have bopped it on its nose with a rolled up newspaper.

 

Elysian Sale

The Elysian sale itself was big news, and article after article after article after article was written on the topic. The basic reaction in the craft beer community was . . . exactly what you’d expect it to be.

 

Miscellaneous

As craft breweries continue to proliferate, hop growers are adjusting to changes in demand for hops. Oskar Blues is releasing a beer that smells like marajuanaThe calls are growing to ditch the term “craft,” as it applies to beer.  And now the Brewers Association has defined a new term, “quality beer.” Sour beers are making mainstream news. And a bar in Dallas calls out rare beer hunters.

 

Related Article

Previous Beer News

Comments

  1. Northern Brewer just posted a Pumpkin Peach Ale extract kit in response. 🙂

  2. Niemand Besonders says:

    No doubt Bud is hard to brew. Problem is that it’s even harder to drink.

  3. when I saw that ad I immediately thought “we must be impacting Ole Bud’s bottom line”. I have gotten to the point that the first question I ask a server, in a restaurant, is: “what craft beer do you serve?” I then order tea when they start listing Bud, Miller etc.

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