Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Budweiser American Ale, Coming Soon

Some of the first beer-related news I noticed upon my return to the U.S. a couple of weeks ago was the television advertising for Budweiser American Ale, which should be showing up on store shelves this week.
Anheuser-Busch's move is part of its strategy to innovate off of core brands Budweiser and Bud Light, which is also a lager. The value of those brands is one of the reasons Belgian brewer InBev cited when it said this summer it would buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.

The push to spin new products off staple brands comes at a time when large, domestic brewers, including No. 2 player MillerCoors LLC, are going after drinkers who are increasingly snubbing big-name brands. These drinkers are looking for more variety and niche products, often from craft brewers.

MillerCoors had hoped to release a trio of craft styles of top-seller Miller Lite nationally this fall, with an ale among them. But the company has since backed out of that, saying it needs to rethink the effort.

“All the big brewers are looking for ways to break into the craft business and ales are obviously a big part of the craft success, so why not?” said Eric Shepard, executive editor of trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights.
So far, reviews are fairly positive, the new brew garnering a B+/worthy rating at BeerAdvocate. I'll post my own review as soon as I get my hands on a bottle.

While many craft beer connoisseurs worry that the macros' entry into the craft segment might squeeze out smaller and higher quality producers, I tend to think the marketing and wide distribution of the macros' products will whet consumer appetites and bring more drinkers into the craft beer fold - and more choice and competition can only be a good thing for consumers.

1 comment:

DocW said...

My opinion: American Ale doesn't live up to the hype. Tastes like a 50/50 mix of a good ale and regular Bud. Taste doesn't last. A little bitter. Not smooth. Might be good consumed in mass quantities (pitcher form) with pizza, but that's about it. Not something to compliment good food or stand on its own. Will not be trying it again after this first 6-pack is gone.