Anhauser-Busch has been known for years as making the most consistent beer in the world; Budweiser, The King of Beers. Their consistency was world wide. No matter where in the world you went your Bud would always taste the same (rumors of Guinness’ inconsistency used to be rampant as I recall, creating a special mystique all it’s own for that brand.) Now a lawsuit claims they are watering down their product, a practice the plaintiffs claim began after Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev in 2008. “Following the merger, Anheuser-Busch vigorously accelerated the deceptive practices, sacrificing the quality products once produced by AB InBev in order to reduce costs.” I find it curious that the former employees that want to defend Budweiser’s good name took over three years to come forward with this information. I am also curious about the phrase “vigorously accelerated the deceptive practice” since this would seem to imply that the practice existed before, though in a non vigorous decelerated state.
I am not here to defend or attack Budweiser. Looking at the merits of the case, it seems some what spurious to me and I really do hope that AB InBev answers the matter in court in a timely and decisive manner so we can stop hearing about it. NPR and a local St Louis radio station have reportedly had cans tested and found the product to be at 5%abv as it claims. No, not my concern. I am here to address their advertisement.
It shows a can of Budweiser water, which they donate to the American Red Cross (71 million globally) with the Headline “They must have tested one of these.”
It goes on to say, “But in every other circumstance, the Anheuser-Busch logo is our ironclad guarantee that the beer in your hand is the best beer we know how to brew.”
“We take no shortcuts and make no exceptions. Ever.”
I think AB misses the mark with this add, in that they are defending the product against accusations that it tastes like water, which is what some people have joking about since long before these accusations. Now we can all make jokes about how the can of water tastes exactly like how we remember Bud tasting.
In my opinion, they should be showing pictures of Bud from throughout the world and throughout time with atag line to the effect of “These may all look different but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” That would be genius. They show their product as being global and timeless. Leave the audience to argue what’s on the inside while making no other claim.
When they start their argument with “but in every other circumstance” it admits that there is an exception to the rule and where there is one exception do we really believe that there can’t be more?
“…the beer in your hand is the best beer we know how to brew.” Again they open themselves up to such easy ridicule. They’re not even saying it’s good when they say that, just the best they know how to brew. I can make that claim about a bottle of my home brew and it would be 100% true, even though I have never brewed beer.
“We take no shortcuts and make no exceptions. Ever.” Well high gravity brewing could be considered a shortcut. I haven’t conclusive details as to weather they use this practice but there seems to be an overwhelming opinion that all large brewers do use this practice and that it is an accepted industry standard. Accepted standard or not, it is a shortcut of sorts. And we did have an exception made, having put the ironclad logo on a water can.
No, I’m afraid that the King of Beers has shown that his beer country is no longer the true Monarchy it once was; making apologies for placing their logo on cans of water and saying that they are just doing the best they can. The democratization of Beer industry has taken the swagger out of the once mighty King, or maybe it was his marriage to that wealthy foreigner. Either way maybe they should have just let the Clydesdale’s and the Dalmatian’s give us a true dog and pony show.