AB InBev gives Craft Beer drinkers yet another reason to hate them with their over the top, feeling threatened, Super Bowl commercial (or attack ad) against craft beer. Now they say that Budweiser, a flagship beer that is slowly sinking, is “brewed the hard way”. This was the statement that probably got to me the most. Seriously? The hard way? Being fully automated and not getting your hands too dirty unless the robots breakdown is not the hard way in my books. Have you ever been to a small micro or nano brewery? Have you ever seen how much work there is in brewing a beer or even more so, cleaning and sanitizing? Have you even known an owner of a micro or nano brewery that worked 16 to 18 hr days to get their beer out the door with very little to no pay? That my friends is beer brewed the hard way!
So let’s get into more of the comedy, shall we? They make visual references to hipsters, wearing cardigans with flights of beer and a few shots of people smelling their beer. Trying to get people to make fun of people that actually care about what they drink and what goes into their beer. Why? Well, it seems if you don’t use much in the way of malt or hops and use lots of adjuncts like rice, corn syrup and hop essence in your beer, it might actually not smell good or taste good for that matter, so they really don’t want people who still drink Bud to actually smell it. You may actually want people to serve your beer as cold as possible so they won’t actually taste it either. By the way AB InBev, the hipsters you are mocking in your commercial are probably the people you want to continue to drink Elysian, Goose Island and 10 Barrel. So why go after them?
A little more comedy? Sure! They make reference to a peach pumpkin ale. Something that AB-Inbev thinks is a ridiculous and fictitious beer, right? Wrong! Most craft beer lovers know by now that Ab-Inbev acquired Elysian Brewing Company, a craft beer brewery with deep roots in Seattle. Well, as it turns out their new acquisition actually made a peach pumpkin ale. (See it is funny!) The beer that Elysian made is called “Gourdgia on my Mind” Pecan Peach Pumpkin Amber Ale.
Over on adage.com there is an article (if you haven’t seen the commercial, it’s there too) where they actually talked with a Budweiser VP, Brian Perkins. In that adage.com article Perkins actually said, “This is not an attack on craft beer, this is not an attack on competition. The only other beer that we reference in the spot is a fabricated, ludicrous flavor combination of pumpkin peach ale.” Hmmm…I think you actually attacked your own crafty Elysian beer, didn’t you? I’m sure Mr. Perkins probably regrets saying something like that. In fact A-B InBev’s Elysian Brewing actually makes a cucumber pumpkin beer too, The Great Gherkin Cucumber Pumpkin Ale, I bet that will just blow his mind!
I’m no hipster and I would like to think that I am not a beer snob either. I just don’t like bullies who think that spending millions on a Super Bowl ad will sway people to drink more fizzy yellow, water downed beer. If you drink beer, you deserve to drink better beer made with better ingredients, don’t you? I know I do!
To me, it looks like Budweiser is scared and really felt the need to try and put down those who are taking away their market share. They will continue to lose shelf space and taps to beer that is truly brewed the hard way and they will continue to buy their way into the craft beer market by buying up craft breweries and turning them in to crafty breweries. So please go out and support breweries that are independent and truly hard working. Buy some local beer, help support your local economy. When you buy local from a small brewery most of your money stays in your community not to an offshore corporation.