I read this article about the INBEV takeover of Anheuser-Busch on the plane recently.
And it kind of got my blood going.
I worked exclusively on Budweiser and Bud Light for years. And I liked working on it a lot. Creating beer advertising should be fun. And it was a lot of fun when i worked on it. We had a lot of creative freedom.
I also liked it because I just liked the Bud brand. It’s a well-brewed light lager that is perfect for the hot American summer. And it cuts across ethnic and national tastes. It’s no accident it’s become the biggest selling beer in the world. The US kind of is the world in a sense.
If you are a beer drinker and you don’t like Budweiser, there is something wrong with you. That was always my philosophy.
This sometimes led to pointless arguments in pubs and parties when Americans met an Irish guy who thought Budweiser was awesome. They just didn’t want to hear it.
Anyway, the article goes on about how the new management is way into cost cutting. To the point that it’s allegedly affecting the ingredients used to brew the beers.
This is the point where my blood pressure went up.
This is just about the worst thing that could happen to Anheuser-Busch (ie Bud and Bud Light) at this point.
When I worked on Budweiser every single thing I heard about the brewing of Bud was akin to a Roman Catholic sacrament. The barley and the hops and the rice and the water (and the beechwood chips) were fretted over to a degree that was maniacal. Hang the cost, we want the best!
Budweiser hired the best brewmasters too. They were completely obsessed with quality. It’s no accident they had good ads too.
If word gets round that the beer that the beer snob culture loves to piss on is being made with EVEN MORE INFERIOR INGREDIENTS THAN YOU ALREADY THOUGHT! That’s fatal in the USA.
Schlitz did this in the 1960s and went from number one selling beer to being anathema. They used cheaper ingredients and the taste noticeably changed and then word got out. It was over for Schlitz. And guess who replaced them at number one? Budweiser. Look it up on google.
Now it may well be that this reporter went into this with a hatchet job in mind from the outset and this is all just rumor. I sincerely hope that’s the case.