My wife was chiding me for my recent lack of blog-output. Unfortunately today's post will be doubly boring for her...not just about beer, but about the beer industry in particular.
Anheuser Busch is brewing a new offering called "Budweiser American Ale". It is being marketed like many of their spinoff attempts to crack into the craft brew arena (all of which have failed miserably), but with a few extra twists. First of all, it is the first to carry the Budweiser label. Secondly, they are wisely marketing this as the "American Ale", brewed with ingredients grown only in America, a wise counterpoint to the popular perception that their acquisition by Belguim's Inbev has stripped them of their All-American nature. Early samplings posted on the internet seem to indicate it is a decent amber ale, perhaps a bit mild for some tastes but by no means bad.
Where AB could really hit this out of the park, is in changing their objectives with this beer. Instead of targeting the craft beer industry, which never fails to spank them soundly and send them running back to St Louis with their tails between their legs, they should target a new market, somewhere between craft beer aficionados and Bud Light drinkers. By pricing this "American Ale" somewhere around the same as Budweiser's lager, and packaging it in the cheaper and generally-better-for-beer method of cans, they would have a unique product that really could compete with the craft beer market. An inexpensive session ale bridging the gap between light lager down-the-gullet beers, and expensively packaged high-overhead craft beer. Craft beer types would still potentially buy it because it is a cheap, but tasty alternative to the 6-7 dollar sixpacks of craft beer, and Bud Light drinkers would try it too, because it tastes generally mild and is packaged in a familiar way with a familiar brand.
ABInbev can contact me with an email for address information on where to ship my check for this freelance consulting.