America: The Beer

The King of Beers is taking patriotic marketing efforts to new heights.



There's nothing new about consumer brands using Americana to sell products, especially summertime staples like beer. But in this decidedly unusual election year, the King of Beers is taking its patriotic marketing efforts to new heights: Through November, Budweiser is replacing its own name with the word AMERICA. Bits of the Pledge of Allegiance, lyrics from "America the Beautiful," and the words "Since 1776" will also adorn the cans and bottles.

This means that for six months, Americans will be able to crack open a nice cold America to enjoy while watching American baseball teams partake in America's pastime, American athletes compete in the first ever South American Olympics, and American politicians argue about which of them is best prepared to serve America's interests at home (in America) and abroad.

But one item in the above scene won't technically be American at all. Though a member of the Budweiser creative team justified the can and bottle redesign by telling Fast Company that "we thought nothing was more iconic than Budweiser and nothing was more iconic than America," the beer brand's parent company, Anheuser-Busch, was purchased by the Belgian-Brazilian brewing conglomerate InBev in 2008.

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  1. So what if it’s not an American company? It’s not beer either. And it’s not a tin can. And America itself is no longer America as we used to know it.

    1. Chances are it never was.

      1. Yes, perhaps I should have inserted “imagine we” in there 🙂

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  2. Just another marketing trend, already adopted by Coca Cola. That’s the thing about brown fizzy sugar water. If the packaging is decorative enough and the targeted mass media is effective, then people will buy and consume your brown fizzy sugar water. It might work for amber fizzy piss water as well.

  3. So what? A new way to sell sex-in-a-canoe (fucking just above water) beer?

  4. I saw someone crack about this ploy, “can Budvar (aka Czechvar) have the name of its beer back, now?” See: Budweiser TM dispute.

    The rice in A-B’s swill is an abomination, and the Beechwood adds no flavor – it is a technical trick to maximize yeast contact with the rest of what goes in the tank.

    1. I’m usually onboard with protecting copyrights and names: the cheese that comes from the midwest may be made to approximate Parmesan, but even to my poorly educated mouth, it is not close. Same for Stilton and Chamgpagne (thankgawd…. I hate the real stuff). If I buy (or avoid) the “real” thing, I want to know it.

      However, in this case, long use has diluted the case, and no one in the US expects his Budweiser to taste like it was just flown in from central Europe. I expect the reverse is true in the Czech Repulbic.

  5. What? No “America Light”?

  6. For all the complaining I read (and hear) about the quality of Budweiser, I have to remember something I read back in the very early 1980’s. My (then prospective) Father-in-Law had a confutable book on beer, and being a true bookworm I ended up reading the thing. It was published in the ’70’s, but even then there were beer-snobs who took great pride in running down domestic beers and praising anything European. The Author of the book took the time to observe that we never saw the British, Irish, or French equivalent to Bud, which tended to be unimaginably worse. German beers were protected (to a degree) by strict laws on the subject, but the bottom -f the line were still no better than Bud. We saw the beers worth shipping overseas.

    I must admit that even when I drank beer (I have gout) I wasn’t a big Budweiser fan. I do think, though, that they missed a good hook to their recent line of “We aren’t microbrewer sissybeer” adds. They should have copyrighted the phrase “Beer flavored Beer”.

    1. Good point. I had a gf who only liked foreign movies (we saw Das Boot because she thought it concerned a boot), and it’s the same thing as listening to oldie radio stations — the dreck doesn’t get imported or remembered. If you were to listen to actual 1950s or 1960s radio broadcasts, you’d switch channels within minutes.

      1. Unless your listening to an oldies radio show on a non-commerical or satellite station you probably are hearing the dreck. I can’t speak for 1950s-1960s so much but the playlist on a mid-late ’70s AOR station only overlaps about 30-40% with todays “Classic Rock” format playing material from the exact same era.

        1. Don’t be so silly, your case doesn’t stack up against basic arithmetic. Look at any top 100 list from an era you are familiar with and tell me how many you actually remember, and then realize that there were thousands and thousands more songs that hit the playlists which aren’t in that top 100 list. Think of all the albums released, thousands of them, with usually just one hit song on each, maybe one per side. And that’s just for one year!

          Dreck dreck dreck, it’s dreck all the way down.

          1. Schofield’s Law of Popular Culture;

            We remember the popular culture of eras past so fondly because, mercifully, we don’t actually remember all that much of it.

    2. even then there were beer-snobs who took great pride in running down domestic beers and praising anything European

      They call themselves “cosmopolitan” for doing so.

    3. Bud is not awful if you live in one of their brewery towns.

    4. Rather than calling out Bud as particularly awful, I just lump it and all similar beers into the “light lager” category. These beers exist in pretty much every country that beer is popular, they are all chasing the same basic flavor profile, and I can’t really tell the difference between any of them. And neither can anyone else, actually, as I like to demonstrate to anyone who claims they have a “favorite” light lager with a quick blind taste test.

  7. I’m on “America” # 5 of the evening. It has Woody Guthrie lyrics on the can.

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