02 September 2008

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.

6 comments:

The Unabashed Blogger said...

Sam Adam's Oktoberfest 6-packs are $5.87 at Wal-Mart. Just thought you might like to know... mmmm... I like Oktober...

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Still too expensive for one who has ratcheted the price down on homebrew such as myself...got a 5 gallon carboy of oktoberfest chilling at 35 degrees in my draft fridge right now. Lager it for a couple months, it should be very nice. The sample I pulled was a perfectly clear orange-amber, with a very mild nutty, malty flavor.

Percussivity said...

Your ginger beer was interesting (it could grow on me)... the cherry wheat was quite good. I am eagerly anticipating the Fellowship of the Ale get together.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Yeah those were two of the weird ones, admittedly. The ginger one was an experiment, I've done dark ones before (ginger porter) but the pale ginger beer sounded refreshing in a spicy, hot sort of way. I may have to cook up some Indian food to go with it. Pork vindaloo perhaps.

I bottled the smoked imperial stout, which does indeed taste like the drippings of a grill left out in the rain. In a nice way. Ideal for the abandoned mines of moria.

grk said...

the cheery wheat (trademark) was fantastic. I am a sucker for cherry beer, ever since Samuel Adams put the wheat out there. This had a pleasant tartness throughout that never turned astringent.

If Bud could ever make a beer that didn't produce a headache within ten minutes of drinking, I might consider buying it. Then again, I could just drink a chilled bottle of urine.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Glad you both liked it! Got a 2-liter growler of it I'll bring over for the LotR showing. The tartness is definitely there, both from the acid cherry juice and the German wheat yeast strain.