Anheuser-Busch (AB-Inbev) ran a commercial during the Superbowl mocking craft beers, craft brewers, and craft beer drinkers. It’s clear that AB is running scared from the craft brewers who have taken a big bite out of AB’s market share. Ironically, as they attack the craft brewers they’re gobbling up small breweries left and right, with more to come if we can believe the rumors. AB is only concerned about the bottom line when they take take ownership of other brands, not about building the Anheuser-Busch or Budweiser names, as they haven’t gone out of their way to tout the purchased breweries as part of the AB-Inbev family. If they want to regain some street cred for the AB brand, this won’t work, but I think there is a way to do it. Just for fun, here’s an imaginary open letter from AB to the beer world:
Dear Fellow Beer Lovers,
At Anheuser-Busch we work hard to make great beer, day in and day out. Our team takes pride in making the worlds best premium lager, and we’re proud of what we do and the beer we brew. Sometimes that pride can cause us to lose sight of the fact that there are other great beers out there and other brewers working as hard as we do, and we owe you an apology.
Many of you have seen our latest ad in which we made some rather shortsighted comments about the beer community. We are ready to eat a slice of humble pie (pumpkin peach humble pie) and try to make things right. We respect the hard work and creativity going into all the great beers being brewed across the country and around the world, and we love to try new beers and get creative with our brewing as much as you do. Beer should be enjoyed however you like to enjoy it, whether you are tailgating before the game or sharing a pint with some friends at the pub. It was a mistake to belittle our fellow brewers and beer lovers who appreciate the art of brewing, especially our friends at Elysian Brewing. We will be pulling this ad from the air. Please accept our humble apologies.
While we will never stop brewing our premium American Lagers, it’s time for AB to expand our lineup. We’re good brewers and we want to share that with you by offering beers for all tastes. Going forward, AB will begin brewing other styles. We don’t know what that will be yet: maybe a classic Kolsch, a spicy Belgian, or maybe even a pumpkin peach ale. It’s time we got creative and embraced the expanding tastes of our fellow beer lovers. To show our commitment to this, we are announcing our first new beer style in over 100 years. Paying tribute to our founder, Adolphus Busch, and our love of classic lagers, this fall we will be offering Anheuser-Busch Oktoberfest. We hope that you’ll like it.
The craft beer culture has always been a friendly and collaborative scene because it’s rooted in something we all share: a love of high quality beer. There’s enough room at the table for all of us, and we hope that you’ll welcome Anheuser-Busch to the community.