"Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale."
February 2, 2015 7:30 PM   Subscribe

Budweiser's Superbowl commercial Brewed The Hard Way proclaimed itself "PROUD TO BE A MACRO BEER". Carla Jean Lauter, writing at The Beer Babe: Why the pro-macro beer Budweiser ad is so dangerous.
Instead of changing the conversation with horses and puppies, it’s stared directly into the camera and declared itself. These are their terms. This is Budweisers’ manifesto – and despite the details that make it hypocritical, it’s a very powerful ad, and craft brewers are going to be feeling the repercussions for a while.

Budweiser VP Brian Perkins interviewed in AdAge:
"This is not an attack on craft beer, this is not an attack on competition," Mr. Perkins said. "The only other beer that we reference in the spot is a fabricated, ludicrous flavor combination of pumpkin peach ale."

Still, Mr. Perkins added that "occasionally we do have a little bit of fun with some of the overwrought pretentiousness that exists in some small corners of the beer landscape that is around beer snobbery. That is the antithesis of what Budweiser is all about."
Budweiser's parent, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has been acquiring craft breweries in recent years: Goose Island (Chicago), Blue Point (Long Island, N.Y.), 10 Barrel (Bend, Oregon) and two weeks ago Seattle brewery Elysian... who had recently brewed a pumpkin peach ale.

Elysian co-founder Dick Cantwell, who opposed the ABI deal, in the Chicago Tribune:
"I find it kind of incredible that ABI would be so tone-deaf as to pretty directly (even if unwittingly) call out one of the breweries they have recently acquired, even as that brewery is dealing with the anger of the beer community in reaction to the sale," Cantwell said Monday morning by email. "It doesn't make our job any easier, and it certainly doesn't make me feel any better about a deal I didn't even want to happen. It's made a difficult situation even more painful."
In the same article, Anheuser-Busch head of craft beer Andy Goeler on ABI's acquisition strategy:
"I don't want to speculate, but I will tell you we're always open to talk. We don't have a blowout strategy for how many craft breweries we are going to buy and in what areas. It's very organic. It's about relationships and beer. But we're open to talk to anybody. We get calls. And we're very interested."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (284 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Didn't like Budweiser before; like it even less now. And I'd be up for trying a pumpkin peach ale at least once. I don't think I'm the target market.
posted by zachlipton at 7:33 PM on February 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can definitely imagine Don Draper pitching that commercial.
posted by Mrs. Buck Turgidson at 7:37 PM on February 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


That ad is a home run. I oppose it with every fiber of my beer snob being, but bravo. Shots fired.
posted by naju at 7:39 PM on February 2, 2015 [19 favorites]


I thought it was funny. They are selling beer; so are the craft beer brewers. Try not to over think it.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:39 PM on February 2, 2015 [29 favorites]


Even if it's not targeted at you or me or the average metafilter poster it does do a good job about saying this is what budweiser is about and we aren't going to be ashamed of that and this is what we aren't about (handlebar mustaches) and you might want to look elsewhere for that.

I can see where it would work well with their target demographic even if it tends to play too much on othering craft brew fans. Sometimes it's about advertising what you are and it can be very effective portraying the alternative in a less than flattering light.
posted by vuron at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah. Now this tweet by Green Flash Brewing that was in my timeline earlier makes a lot more sense.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I thought it was a refreshingly honest commercial - Budweiser is beer that you drink if you don't care what your beer tastes like.

I mean, I understand that it was supposed to be disparaging towards people who actually like to drink beer for reasons other than "getting drunk," but at least it's honest about who its market is.
posted by muddgirl at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2015 [47 favorites]


Crisp smooth finish, sounds like newly printed money, and a crisp smooth finish for micro breweries they acquire with their macro money.
posted by Oyéah at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but isn't friendly competition still supposed to be friendly? That was just...crude? Lame? Brutalist?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:42 PM on February 2, 2015


That craft beer guy looks exactly like my mental image of a craft beer guy so gj AB I guess.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:42 PM on February 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Well fuck, now I have to stop going to Elysium.

Oh, and all of the eye-rolls and jack off motions in the word for that stupid ad. It may even beat the dead kids and appropriated historical speeches for crappiness.
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't access the Chicago Tribune article but found this article on Elysian's acquisition by ABI.

I thought the ad was funny in a "we don't really care about flavor or pleasure" kind of way. And also the fact that they said something like "not beer to be fussed over!" before saying "AGED IN OAK BARRELS!"
posted by ghostbikes at 7:43 PM on February 2, 2015 [19 favorites]


Really interesting reads, thanks, especially the Beer Babe article!
Proud to say I am a frou-frou geek and not a man.
posted by ferret branca at 7:44 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I like it when I say I'm a fussy beer nerd, but I don't like it when YOU say I'm a fussy beer nerd."
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:45 PM on February 2, 2015 [53 favorites]


It doesn't really seem that different in tone than most macho beer ads. "Manly men drink our manly beer while doing manly things."

I watched the Superbowl drinking Pius Monk Dunkel and Pipe Organ Pale Ale from The Church Brew Works.
posted by octothorpe at 7:45 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, my main takeaway from the ad when I saw it was imagining that the beers had actually been aging in beechwood since 1876. Not very appetizing.
posted by ferret branca at 7:47 PM on February 2, 2015


I was going to have something to contribute, but one bottle of Lagunitas' Brown Shugga and I've totally forgotten what that is. I do know that I haven't bought any Budweiser-branded product in my entire life, though.
posted by Slothrup at 7:47 PM on February 2, 2015


Ok, Budweiser, you convinced me to buy American beers.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:47 PM on February 2, 2015


Next:

Pfizer: PROUD TO BE BIG PHARMA
McDonald's: PROUD TO BE FAST-FOOD NATION

Meh. Might only work for beer.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:49 PM on February 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


"Fuck yeah!" - middle America

I swear those craft beer scenes were filmed right down the street.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:49 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The American Sniper of beers.
posted by Artw at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2015 [45 favorites]


That commercial was the beer equivalent of anti-intellectualism.
posted by gatorae at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2015 [23 favorites]


I think it's a pretty good, effective ad, and it shows that Budweiser is hurting from this new interest in beers with taste and body. I hate Budweiser/mass-produced corn swill as much as the next mefite, but I'm also grateful that my local brewer doesn't get too carried away with all the twee beer wankery.
posted by Flashman at 7:53 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, let's face it, the dog and horse ones are a simpletons idea of high art and emotional engagement.

I liked the giant PacMan one though - I guess if I'm going to drink piss I'm going to drink diet piss.
posted by Artw at 7:54 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wasn't blown away by the ad, tho' it was cute to see them work so hard to amp up their stereotype for beer snobs. A bit too much like a pickup truck ad, but I guess that's in the demographic.

Disclaimer - If offered one, I'll pound back a Bud on a hot summer afternoon, but that evening, if the pub has a decent peach ale on tap, I'm going to have one.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:54 PM on February 2, 2015


In Jacksonville, there is or was the largest bud factory what ever. Clydesdales in 100*. Ok, then down the road is Bacardi plant el distiliilo.
All by the railroad track.
Train booze.
Conductor skinny.
Guh tyhmz
posted by clavdivs at 7:58 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hate Budweiser/mass-produced corn swill as much as the next mefite,

That's Miller you're thinking of, Bud is rice swill.
posted by octothorpe at 7:59 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


You have to be kidding me.

The local craft brewer got the laws changed so they can sell on site, built an insanely giant beer/music/food emporium on what used to be wasted industrial space in Minneapolis. People are lining up in the winter.

Budweiser is so much more successful in Europe anyway, I'm always a bit baffled why they push so hard to be the Ford trucks or McDonalds of American beer. Sure, there's a shitton of money in being McDonalds, but I'm not eating it.
posted by Sphinx at 8:01 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had a Yeungling for the first time when I was in New York in 2011. It was fucking delicious.

I've been a craft brew guy since I was in high school. Yes. I got people of age to buy me craft beer. Shut up.

But anyway. Do you know how much damage that commercial probably did to your beer cred up here in Canada?

There's the old joke "What do American beer and sex in a canoe have in common? They're both fucking close to water! Har har har."

But I'm only talking about Canadians who drink macro brews up here. There are certain Canadians who swill ABI- or Molson-Coors-brewed piss, and will "har har har" over "American beer," not realizing who's making their "Molson Canadian" or "Labatt's Blue."

So it's a very weird kind of beer snobbery, because people who really like good beer know that borders are meaningless. A good beer is a good beer wherever you find it.

Those "American beer sux amirite" Canadian have never found themselves in the DMZ of the arms race between US craft brewers for intensely-hopped, high-alcohol IPAs. It's a very delicious DMZ. I will gladly pull peacekeeping duties there.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:01 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


It seems more defensive than aggressive. No one is on the border between "a Budweiser or some ridiculous double IPA" in the choice category.

There was a wedding I was tangentially involved in and a surplus of Coors Light came into being. A great surplus. It was summer, and you know what? A Coors Light is not the worst thing that could happen to you. It's a beer you can drink and still operate a lawnmower.
posted by angerbot at 8:02 PM on February 2, 2015 [17 favorites]


What's with this week? what's with politicizing vaccines, classical music, beer? Is it "Make Our Anti-Intellectual Reverse Snobbery Explicit Week" for the GOP or what?
posted by daisystomper at 8:02 PM on February 2, 2015 [17 favorites]


Our immense network of precision factories can indeed outperform your pathetic boutique products and your limited capital and business acumen.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 8:03 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's the week where everything changes. In a long series of weeks of the same nature. Everything changes all the time.
posted by angerbot at 8:04 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


It seemed unnecessarily harsh, to me. It came off as a throwback to the anti intellectual shit going on under Bush, where Gore was seen as a bully for being too smart. Painting people who like to consider things as silly is pretty fucked in my mind, and pointless us-vs-them shit is a good reason for things being as toxic as they are.

All of that aside, it seems horribly tone deaf. They've left themselves open to so many easy shots, like the Green Flash Tweet, and like this: Pumpkin Peach Ale home brew kit.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:05 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


PROUD TO BE A MACRO BEER basically screams PROUD TO BE A WHITE MAN. Shudder.
posted by liquorice at 8:06 PM on February 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


What's with this week? what's with politicizing vaccines, classical music, beer? Is it "Make Our Anti-Intellectual Reverse Snobbery Explicit Week" for the GOP or what?

Aw.

They started it!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:06 PM on February 2, 2015


Don Draper doesn't write that ad. That ad is sweaty and desperate.

You don't see a Hershey chocolate ad that knocks Toblerone as Eurotrash. You don't see Mercedes calling BMW owners pussies. American Airlines doesn't tell you that Southwest is piloted by nerds.

If you've got a great product, you just need to let people know it exists. You don't need to be its fucking cheerleader.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:09 PM on February 2, 2015 [40 favorites]


Speaking as an employee of craft beer: the employees by and large aren't getting rich (and are alcoholics). We drink plenty of macros.

Good ad, I think. I kind of hate when I'm out drinking with brewers and they overdo the tasting. I get it.

There is already talk of Peach Pumpkin Ale Day in the brewery forums. I hope it doesn't happen. Can't stand the pumpkin beers. (Though I certainly enjoyed a few pints of raspberry wheat after work all fall until it ran out....)
posted by booooooze at 8:11 PM on February 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


You don't see a Hershey chocolate ad that knocks Toblerone as Eurotrash. You don't see Mercedes calling BMW owners pussies. American Airlines doesn't tell you that Southwest is piloted by nerds.

Hold the phone. I need a creative brief for those first two on my desk by 9 a.m. tomorrow.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:13 PM on February 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Why were you operating a lawn mower at a wedding?
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:14 PM on February 2, 2015 [43 favorites]


"We're not precious and fussy, like those craft beers, ha, look at these nerds, right? And anyway, if you do want precious and fussy, check out our historic beechwood aging process!"

C'mon marketers, choose a message.
posted by gilrain at 8:15 PM on February 2, 2015 [18 favorites]


I remember having a mixed reaction to this ad. I can enjoy laughing at handlebar-mustachioed douches and overblown snobbery as much as anyone, I also really like a lot of craft beer and visit my spot weekly. And afterwards I stop at a deli for a bunch of cans of sheap stuff, including the occasional Bud.

So, like, whatever. or something.
posted by jonmc at 8:18 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Those "American beer sux amirite" Canadian have never found themselves in the DMZ of the arms race between US craft brewers for intensely-hopped, high-alcohol IPAs.

Yeah we have. It crossed the border and for a while it seemed that over half the craft beers on the shelf were something over-hopped. I burned out on that taste for a while. Nice now and again, though.

Shout-out for Steam-Whistle (pilsener, I believe) and Creemore Lager - two beers that prove that taste and refreshment aren't mutually exclusive.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:19 PM on February 2, 2015


Why were you operating a lawn mower at a wedding?

You've never done the "mow the bouquet" game after the ceremony? How do you know who's supposed to get married next?
posted by Ghidorah at 8:20 PM on February 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


I don't care how many names Budweiser calls craft brews and their enthusiasts. I don't like thin, pale beer, and Bud can't make me.

Stick with puppies and horses, Bud. You're good at that.
posted by MissySedai at 8:21 PM on February 2, 2015


it's like a beer commercial made by Samsung
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:22 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why were you operating a lawn mower at a wedding?

If you have to ask...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:25 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


othering craft brew fans

Seriously?
posted by uosuaq at 8:28 PM on February 2, 2015 [23 favorites]


As a fan of craft beers, I'm looking at this differently: I can't imagine Budweiser making this commercial ten years ago. Or even five years ago. There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal last November about how Budweiser is feeling the heat from craft breweries. It is behind a paywall, so I won't link it, but you can see the graph in this summary in Slate: in 2013, Budweiser shipped 16.0M barrels and all craft breweries combined shipped 16.1M barrels. Think about it: Bud spent $4M to make fun of craft beer in that commercial, and that was just to get the commercial aired, who knows how much they spent on making it. It totally makes sense to me that they are simultaneously buying craft brewers *and* mocking craft brews in their ad - just look at that downward slope on the graph I linked.
posted by kovacs at 8:28 PM on February 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm drinking a Lagunitas Brown Shugga right now. Earlier I had a Genessee Cream ale 24ozer. I feel like a man without a country in this debate. Poor me. Or better yet, pour me.
posted by jonmc at 8:29 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why were you operating a lawn mower at a wedding?

Shotgun weddings are illegal here but you just chase the fella up the aisle kinda slow like
posted by angerbot at 8:29 PM on February 2, 2015 [58 favorites]


Yeah, the commercial was made of flopsweat. It basically announced there were interesting new beers people shouldn't try, as they might be different than "suds" (no, really, they used the term "suds" for their own product). It's a shocking desperation move, and elicited more pity and scorn for Budweiser than the bearded men taking notes about cool looking beer in interesting glasses.

I noted in one of the Superbowl threads, the next Sam Adams commercial should be Jim Koch sipping a Dogfish Head 90 from a glass while giggling at that Bud commercial.

What's even worse for Bud and its ilk is that pleasant regional mass-market brews are roaring back to life and expanding wildly. Yeungling has grown beyond PA and is everywhere here in Southern New England, as cheap as Bud. Local darling Narragansett is significantly cheaper and has cool retro cans and premium seasonal brews if you're feeling flush and fancy. Why would you buy Bud or Coors when the local brew tastes better, costs less, and feels special?
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:29 PM on February 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


I work in the craft beer world, so this commercial was all anyone was talking about today. The only problem was, I had apparently stepped out to the restroom during this particular Bud ad and was totally confused why everyone was so mad about the puppy and the horses.

Also my Superbowl Beer of Choice was Dechutes Abyss, because: West Coast. I wear my loyalties on my bottle.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:30 PM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I burned out on that taste for a while. Nice now and again, though.

I agree. I love me some hops, but it came here in shock-and-awe fashion and I'm still staggering through the wreckage.

I was getting at the sterotype of all American beer being pale, bland and weak and my metaphor got a little ahead of me.

Shout-out for Steam-Whistle (pilsener, I believe) and Creemore Lager - two beers that prove that taste and refreshment aren't mutually exclusive.

I have, on the coffee table, a glass of Creemore. Interesting thing, though - Creemore's owned by Molson Coors. But they haven't touched the operation (yet), so it's as it was before it was taken over. Delicious and refreshing, but with wider distribution than it used to have. Hopefully its corporate masters maintain that fine balance.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:31 PM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell nailed it. If you are really "the king of beers," then it is beneath you to even acknowledge any other beers exist. Had the ad stuck to the story about what's good and different about Bud, it would have been a home run. But mixing that story with the petty jabs against craft beer culture came off as, well, desperate and sad. Basically, Budweiser ran a super bowl ad to announce to the world that they are no longer relevant, and they know it.

Don Draper would have never have written that ad in a million years.
posted by spilon at 8:31 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Budweiser is outstanding, one of the best beers I've ever had. Due to a weird trademark dispute with a North American swill factory it's marketed as Czechvar on this side of the Atlantic.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:32 PM on February 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


There's also this web-only ad which hits on the same anti-craft message.

It's amusing (but unsurprising) to see A-B/InBev mashing every button at once to try to win the game. They're selling their own faux craft brands (Shock Top etc.), buying up legitimate ones (Blue Point, Goose Island), distributing for others (Widmer, Redhook, Kona) and now taking an anti-craft position in their ads for the flagship beer.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:32 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


A Coors Light is not the worst thing that could happen to you. It's a beer you can drink and still operate a lawnmower

Or, as I like to refer to it, "Coors Light! The beer to have when you can't have beer!"
posted by KingEdRa at 8:33 PM on February 2, 2015


I was really impressed with the turnaround on this countervideo done by Hop Stories. Hit the tone/visual style pretty well.
posted by CrystalDave at 8:34 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


othering craft brew fans

Seriously?
posted by uosuaq at 8:28 PM on February 2


Yes. I actually thought the ad was coding their "beer snobs" as gay men. Or at least, less-masculine.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:34 PM on February 2, 2015 [15 favorites]


My favorite beer story is this time in 1991 or 1992 when I and some other recently-legal UVa students went to Court Square Tavern, which even back in the dark ages of beer had what seemed like every beer in the universe. And being one of the few places like that -- did I mention this was back in the dark ages of beer? -- they attracted a pretty diverse crowd.

Anyhow, we're sitting there enjoying our beers and there are some pretty big vaguely bikerish-macho beardy dudes at the next table gettin' their drunk on. One of them taps somebody's shoulder and leans in to us in a way I will admit I found a weensy bit menacing because I am a great wuss and have not often hung out with vaguely bikerish-macho beardy dudes, and he says to one of us drinking something brownish:

"You got more flavor in that glass than in a whole fuckin' case of Bud."

And then he goes back to his beer and I recognize that, vaguely bikerish beardy dudes or scraggly college fuckups or even lawyers, we're all like totally brothers in beer, man.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:36 PM on February 2, 2015 [27 favorites]


I couldn't fit in into the post, but a number of tweets in my timeline today noted: the only women in the Budweiser ad are the ones serving the beer.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:37 PM on February 2, 2015 [18 favorites]


I am a fussy beer nerd. You can call me one too. I can't grow a mustache like that, though.

I have respect for the big brew companies though- brewing is a complicated biological system. The massive amount of control that Bud, Miller, Coors manage to exert over this system, such that each can tastes exactly like all others, impresses me.

Or maybe I am just mourning for my former roommate's sublime but slightly accidental Turkish coffee stout. I won't ever have that beer again.

Actually that's part of my fascination with microbrews- since I can't find Moonlight's Death and Taxes outside of CA, and Harpoon is easier near Boston, while Two-hearted reminds me of Michigan-- craft brews give me a sense of place. And each new place I go gives me a new set of things to try (still neec to try more of Mikkeler's offerings here).
posted by nat at 8:38 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


We had a deal, Kyle: I couldn't fit in into the post, but a number of tweets in my timeline today noted: the only women in the Budweiser ad are the ones serving the beer.

"What does it mean to pour like a girl?"
posted by tonycpsu at 8:40 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was my read as well CPB.

REAL MEN are happy with their Budweiser whether it's in a bottle, can or poured into a red solo cup.

You don't see the handle-bar fakers (with some of the effeminate and even possibly gay overtones) drinking their Pumpkin Peach Craft brew out of a red solo cup do you?

Nope and that's why craft brew snobs aren't real men.

Seems like an effective form or othering (or at least identity politics). It's honestly a very very effective ad if you live in the area where this is going to resonate with drinkers.
posted by vuron at 8:40 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes. I actually thought the ad was coding their "beer snobs" as gay men. Or at least, less-masculine.

And if I cared what people who willingly drink Bud think, I might be offended.

I define my masculinity and it is always secondary to practicality and function. Fuck all the haters.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:41 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


buying into this false dichotomy only reinforces the ad's BS. Fancy beer, cheap swill, they all have their time and place, just like anything else. I guess. I've had a weird month , bear with me. I'll go to bed soon.

(I actually enjoyed the game (even though the fucking Pats won) more than the ads this year, which is definitely a good thing, I think)
posted by jonmc at 8:41 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


"We're all like brothers in beer."

Siblings.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:44 PM on February 2, 2015 [17 favorites]


Everything else aside, I had to laugh at "There's only one Budweiser", given the legal trouble Anheuser-Busch has gotten into with the original Czech Budweiser over in Europe. (Which tastes great, by the way!)
posted by archagon at 8:45 PM on February 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


And count me among the people who never saw the point of Bud. Sure, sometimes you want an inoffensive lager because it's hot out. But there's inoffensive lager that also doesn't taste like much that's way cheaper than Bud, so why not buy some Milwaukee's Best or Schlitz or Olympia or whatever? And, sure, sometimes you just want to get fucked up, but what are you doing with Bud when you could be enjoying a 40 of malt liquor?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:45 PM on February 2, 2015


As stupid as I found the ad to be (as well as that web-only ad, which apparently threatens craft beer drinkers with being trampled by a horse in a grocery store) the main ad wasn't that far a cry from the ad that McDonald's kept running during the playoffs - Unapologetic Big Mac. Basically the same theme - only Real AmericansTM need apply, no vegetarians or fancy food lovers for this sandwich. It's a Thing right now, sadly. Then again, contrast that to their "pay with lovin'" promotion/commercial for how well the first campaign went.
posted by sysinfo at 8:46 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


budweiser it's cool that you're proud to be a shitty beer but in the world of shitty beers you're like a notch above busch, when your fabled macrobrew consistency means consistent tongue-coating corn death aftertaste it's not a plus man
posted by jason_steakums at 8:49 PM on February 2, 2015


It's certainly possible to believe that there can be a negative side to fussing over things while also not becoming a bully and it's certainly possible to appreciate "crisp" and "smooth" while also appreciating complexity and intelligence. That's not to say that the piece is wrong to call out these things — they're certainly part of the ad's message. It's just not the only thing that's going on or even the most interesting to focus on, if it's interesting to focus on a Budweiser ad at all.
posted by dmh at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


No, it's cool archagon - that's not Budweiser, it's "Czechvar". Totally different thing, probably brewed the easy way with beech wood and it's only been around since 1895.
posted by sysinfo at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2015


It's amusing (but unsurprising) to see A-B/InBev mashing every button at once to try to win the game. They're selling their own faux craft brands (Shock Top etc.), buying up legitimate ones (Blue Point, Goose Island), distributing for others (Widmer, Redhook, Kona) and now taking an anti-craft position in their ads for the flagship beer.


It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.

*pours one out*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:51 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fancy beer, cheap swill, they all have their time and place...

The cheapest swill of all around here, going by alcohol for the pennies, is Steel Reserve 211. I've been told that it is highly respected within the industry as being a real technical accomplishment.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:53 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Siblings.

I hear you, but the Court Square in 1991 was actually a sausagefest.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:55 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


PROUD TO BE A MACRO BEER basically screams PROUD TO BE A WHITE MAN. Shudder.

In my experience beer snobbery is right up there with hipsterism, ironic retro, and use of "artisanal" as an adjective in a list of "stuff white people like".
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:57 PM on February 2, 2015 [30 favorites]


Is this ad really aimed at the craft beer set? Most likely this ad is really speaking to Budweiser's "base". They're saying "Don't worry, the consistent, vaguely flavorless, same old same old faithful mass-produced always-available McDonald's of beers you've been drinking since high school ain't going anywhere." With a subtext that creates a Macro Beer Drinker as a shared identity Budweiser drinkers can be proud of.

It also plays a little with identity politics, pitting salt of the earth Bud up against pansy-ass craft beers. This is the "Democrats Want To Force You To Eat Kale" of beer commercials.
posted by Sara C. at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


The ad associates its product with a particular self-image and simultaneously dismisses the self-image of consumers of competing brands. So far so typical. Putting down consumers of opposed products as feminine, or as failed men, and uplifting users of the advertised product as successful masculine men is also utterly par for the course for many products marketed toward men. If it's not explicit, it's usually implicit.

It seems like craft beer fans are reacting with such horror and offense only because macro beers have for some reason not thought to make an, imo completely predictable, ad like this before? I don't see how this ad is either an embarrassing failure on the one hand or shockingly "dangerous" to the viability of the craft beer market on the other hand by any means. It's hardly asserting anything new: the tropes that it's playing with about hipsters and their fussy over-designed beers vs no-nonsense working class all-american beer drinkers are already free and circulating in the cultural discourse about beer, and already implicit in many ads, with both sides trying to present their product's image as the most authentic and desireable. Or maybe this is just another example of overstating the importance of Superbowl ads.
posted by wrabbit at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


PROUD TO BE A MACRO BEER basically screams PROUD TO BE A WHITE MAN. Shudder.

I will literally pay $1000 to any craft beer fan on this thread who can quantitatively prove that craft beer drinkers are less white than macro beer drinkers.

Edit: typo.
posted by 99_ at 9:05 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wonder if there's some segment of Budweiser drinkers (younger ones, probably) who are haunted by the images in this ad. "There are beers that... smell that good? It's dark like Guinness, I like Guinness. That guy looks like he's in heaven. Also his facial hair is masculine in a classic way, wow it's like he's some kind of old-timey pugilist... is that a Mumford? I like Mumford..." This hypothetical person is oddly silent for the rest of the game, staring morosely at his* half-finished bottle, wondering if there are entire worlds out there he's not aware of.

*or her
posted by naju at 9:06 PM on February 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


The torrent in this thread of dismissive epithets hurled at the palate of Bud drinkers kind of validates the tone of the ad.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:09 PM on February 2, 2015 [21 favorites]


I will literally pay $1000 to any craft beer fan on this thread who can quantitatively prove that craft beer drinkers are less white than macro beer drinkers.

I have no idea, although that isn't what I meant. To me, the saying is so tone deaf, same as if a white man was to loudly proclaim "proud to be a white man", it makes me shudder. There's something so off about it, but I can't really articulate why. I think it's about a majority feeling the need to "take back" or "own" a term, as if Bud has somehow been victimised for being a macro beer (although with their sales tanking, maybe they have been).
posted by liquorice at 9:09 PM on February 2, 2015


Literally nothing feels whiter to me than reading a MeFi thread on 'corn swill.'

It's about ethics in beer brewing, actually.
posted by 99_ at 9:12 PM on February 2, 2015 [19 favorites]


If some people are more motivated to buy beer by an ad versus by actual taste, then there is really no point in worrying about it.
posted by Nevin at 9:12 PM on February 2, 2015


There's an element of punching up vs. punching down going on also, I think.

It's seen as OK for craft beer to mock macro beer for being mass-produced swill because craft is still a very minority (but growing fast enough to worry about and to buy into) share of the market. Less OK for macro to mock craft for being pretentious and fussy (and boy yes, "fussed over" does sound a little coded); it comes across bullying the little guys.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:16 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


It sounds like a friendly rivalry, but it's really a war of attrition. Consolidation killed 80% of the new breweries that had sprung up after Prohibition by the 1980s. They're using the same old playbook and trying to own it all. I for one do not welcome our new Brazilian-Belgian multinational overlords.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:29 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


InBev buying up craft brewers is what is dangerous, not this dumb ad. Sad to hear about Elysian, as I've always liked some of their beers. Now they are off the list. As long as Ninkasi, Georgetown and that place in spokane are still craft, I'll be OK. Ain't never gonna drink Budweiser.

And, as a side note, since I'm taking a short course of blood thinners, could we hold off on all posts about delicious craft beers, tasty wines, and cocktail recipies for about three months? Thank you.
posted by Windopaene at 9:31 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is pretty much a textbook example of the limits of advertising. They could have run the cleverest, most insightful spot ever made and it wouldn't change the fact that they sell a shitty product that increasingly fewer people want to buy. Their marketing department knows this better than anyone, and will likely initiate a series of elaborate yet empty gestures that will only serve to hasten the brand's inevitable decline.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 9:31 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


the only women in the Budweiser ad are the ones serving the beer.

Potato, potahto. How many women do you see in that photo Tweet from Green Flash?

How craft beer fails its female fan base

A Coors Light is not the worst thing that could happen to you. It's a beer you can drink and still operate a lawnmower.

Try Even Keel by Ballast Point. Great beer. Only problem is that it doesn't have enough alcohol.

On the flip side, the Molotov Cocktail. Also great, but sort of ridiculous.

(Where I live, the sports bar has Pliny the Elder on tap, so I am spoiled beyond belief.)

...

The Beer Babe article, whoa, plate meet beans. It's Budweiser. It's the Super Bowl. It's American advertising. You're surprised that it offends anyone with a sense of aesthetics? Those are mostly folks who (usually) realize what advertising does is LIE, LIE, LIE.

If some people are more motivated to buy beer by an ad versus by actual taste, then there is really no point in worrying about it.

Amen, brother or sister. Just don't look. The commercials are time to GRAB a beer, not watch an ad about one.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:34 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Their marketing department knows this better than anyone

Yeah, and I'm pretty sure that nobody involved in the making of this ad actually drinks Budweiser.
posted by Flashman at 9:34 PM on February 2, 2015


I can't remember what year it was the last time I drank a beer made by a company that felt it needed to advertise.
posted by emelenjr at 9:36 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


What dorks.

When that ad came on, we barely heard a word of it because everyone in the room was laughing too hard at "macrobrew." The word "beechwood" cut through the clutter so we transitioned to speculating if beechwood was to blame for what shit Budweiser is. Then we finished our snobby IPAs and had another round.

McDonald's has adopted a similar insecure and defensive stance in their latest round of Big Mac ads. Have you seen these? The super zoom in, the conspicuously masculine voiceover waxing poetic about the simple honest values of cheap beef served with zero imagination? I agree that these ads can't be aimed at the people not already using these products. I can't imagine someone who takes care in what they consume (fusses over stuff, whatev) seeing one of these ads, catching the insecurity and ordering a Budweiser to prove their devotion to democracy or whatever the hell. "Come drink boring beer and eat bland burgers with us, you fancyboy NPR fruitcakes" is a terrible pitch.

It's gotta be for the folks already engaged but under the false impression that anyone cares what their consumption habits are, that they're being judged by elitist citified snobs when snobs aren't even thinking of them. Or maybe Budweiser's nervous about folks getting curious about trying something more interesting than the same lame shit they've been drinking for decades and figures they gotta pour water and sand all over that curiosity before it spreads any further.

I will never understand reactionary thinking if I live to be 100. It's so scared of nothing, of absolutely nothing at all. I used to work at a BBQ that had a sign up saying "REAL PEOPLE EAT MEAT" and would routinely encounter weird hostility to the concept of vegetarianism among the staff and clientele. Why would they care? What's it to them that other folks have different dietary choices? Do they really think forced kale consumption camps are in their future? No one's coming for anyone's beer or burgers because no one gives a shit. Settle down.

Lastly, in the puppy ad, I was super bummed when the Budweiser horses charged up the hill and broke up the meeting with the wolf. The wolf was telling him about all the awesome mischief he and the pack were up to and this dope Imperial Ale they made off with last time they knocked over a ranger station. Come with, little fella - don't tell me you never had fresh mutton! We'll remind you who you are! Then the Clydesdales showed up and spoiled the moment. Tragic.

tl;dr: I do not find Budweiser's advertising to be very persuasive.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:37 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'd hope that to a new generation of beer drinkers, "there's only one Budweiser" means there's only that one Budweiser that you ever drank, because your first one was also your last.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:38 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


No one's coming for anyone's beer or burgers because no one gives a shit.

I obviously love beer, but I'd like to make beef and dairy illegal (i.e. treat cows like horses). I do very much give a shit about the very terrible cow-slaughter industry. So, yeah, I am coming for your hamburger. WATCH OUT.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:40 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Haha, I stand corrected.

*wolfs down hamburger before Big Guvmint arrives*
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:42 PM on February 2, 2015


Well, crap, I just read about Elysian. I guess my first visit there a couple weeks ago will be my last.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:42 PM on February 2, 2015


Fancy beer, cheap swill, they all have their time and place, just like anything else.

I couldn't agree more. For instance, while a little pricey, Bud and Coors are great for playing Fizzball!
posted by happyroach at 9:44 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The implication in the linked article (which has its analogy backwards, but oh well) and elsewhere that craft beers are comparable to PoC/LGBT people, and that by reclaiming "macro" as a positive signifier Budweiser is attacking craft beers... just like "white pride" and "straight pride" reactionaries attack PoC/LGBT pride movements, is such an overwrought false-equivalence.
posted by wrabbit at 9:46 PM on February 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


And for the record, I'm fine with cheap, thin, corn swill beer as a concept. I drink plenty of it and if it didn't exist, what would Red Fang make sick music videos about?
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:47 PM on February 2, 2015


The local craft brewer got the laws changed so they can sell on site, built an insanely giant beer/music/food emporium on what used to be wasted industrial space in Minneapolis. People are lining up in the winter.


Oh man, I was just thinking that the Surly taproom is within crawling distance of my house. Dangerously close.

But the ad smells to me like Budweiser is hoping to devalue craft breweries so it can acquire them cheaply and either use the good names of beers they didn't make to gain a good reputation or to run them into the ground. Possibly tweak some laws here and there.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:51 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Hey if you watch the NBC stream of the Superbowl, rather than the television broadcast, you miss all the ads. it's WONDERfUL. I missed this ad, the Nissan "boyhood" ad, and the nationwide sucker punch. Highly recommended.
posted by hellojed at 9:57 PM on February 2, 2015



I will literally pay $1000 to any craft beer fan on this thread who can quantitatively prove that craft beer drinkers are less white than macro beer drinkers.



There is also and entire problematic history of the way alcoholic beverages are marketed to POC that is way beyond my ability to articulate right now because, as it happens, I am drinking a Belgian ale that is way super definitely not Budweiser.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:59 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey if you watch the NBC stream of the Superbowl, rather than the television broadcast, you miss all the ads.

You still have to watch a bunch of football, though.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:00 PM on February 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


I understand that while overall US beer volume has been declining for Inbev are they really hurting that bad? Everything I've read simply indicates that the decline in overall volume is reflective of the changing taste of the younger demographic towards less calories in their beer but that Inbev is actually increasing profitability in the US by shifting people from the value brands (Bud and Bud Light) to Premium Light beers and such.

So even though their overall volume of beer sold is declining in NA it's made up for making more money on what they do sell. Certainly based upon share price Inbev doesn't seem to be hurting and I'm not sure that they can't basically have their cake and eat it too by reinforcing their street cred among the value beer drinker with ads like this while also investing heavily in larger micro breweries and capturing a greater percentage of the "craft" brew market which offers a high degree of profitability on volume sold.

The tricky thing will be if they can basically play identity politics with the value consumer while also being able to hide behind microbrewery "fronts" or whether ads like this will basically discourage craft brew fans to migrate to independent microbreweries. I figure the strategy is that to a certain percentage of craft brew drinkers the expanded availability of their favorite craft brew (that happens to be owned by Inbev) will outweigh the natural beer snob attitude. Yes true beer snobs wouldn't be caught dead drinking a craft brew that is owned by Inbev but I think to a certain percentage of the craft brew market the ultimate ownership of the brewery is largely immaterial particularly if access to Inbev's brewmasters (who are some of the best in the world regardless of whether you like their end product) will actually improve the quality of some craft beers.
posted by vuron at 10:00 PM on February 2, 2015


Budweiser knows that people who like craft beers generally lift their noses at macro beers. They know that craft beer drinkers are probably never gonna stick to one beer and choose Bud as that one beer. But Budweiser isn't trying to woo those lost causes. They're trying to forge the next generation of loyal customers. I agree with Cool Papa Bell's take that the ad is very subtly claiming that beer snobs are feminized / less masculine. They've spent gobs of money on superbowl ad space and have chosen this commercial for that space. It implies, to me, that they have indeed identified a significant proportion of people out there who are responsive to this kind of "if you give a shit about how your beer tastes then you are like a woman and that is bad" schtick.
posted by nicodine at 10:03 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes true beer snobs wouldn't be caught dead drinking a craft brew that is owned by Inbev

At least until the new release of Bourbon County Stout comes out each year, when they conveniently forget who Goose Island is owned by.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:07 PM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I agree that these ads can't be aimed at the people not already using these products.

Clearly this isn't targeted at the people they're attacking, the folks who've spent the last decade enjoying and nerding out about craft beer. And it's probably not going to convince their existing customer base to drink more (though it may be trying to polarize things a bit so they don't lose customers as quickly) But really I think this ad was probably made for younger folks, maybe even kids who don't drink yet. They're likely to be less secure/confident in their individuality or their gender. And Budweiser really wants them to, when they start drinking, to start drinking their beer.
posted by aubilenon at 10:07 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


very subtly

Nah.
posted by Artw at 10:09 PM on February 2, 2015



I dunno, I thought it was a refreshingly honest commercial - Budweiser is beer that you drink if you don't care what your beer tastes like.


so like we used to say about Bryan Adams back in the day. Music for people who don't really like music.
posted by philip-random at 10:14 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


We just opened our microbrewery in January. I thought the ad was distasteful, but I'm not concerned about the effect it will have on craft beer.

Husband says, "How about we do a rice lager next?" (We are a saké and beer brewery, so we know rice.)
posted by moira at 10:17 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]




This whole debate is weird. What I thought was the debate, or the joke, or the punch line--what I expected-- turned out to not be important at all. I'm realizing that the salient points are not the ones on the front end of the thread. At least to me.

The Budweiser ad attacks really low-hanging fruit: it's white men circling the wagons because they feel threatened. By what? Same ol' same ol': men of brains, or taste, or culture; men of ethnicities the world over who might be more virile/handsome/intelligent/make more interesting beer. But Budweiser is your friend! Through thick and thin, Bud is there to make allegiances where there are none (except that you like bland beer) and that despite the popularity of the Peach Chunk Funky Funk, you don't need to worry yourself because YOUR BAND OF BROTHERS IS SUFFERING WITH YOU. For you. We're going to keep making the shit you drink as long as you drink it--with other men who like shit beer.

It is, as someone else mentioned, Bush-era anti-intellectual lines being drawn again. But I don't feel threatened because Bud cast aspersions on craft beer. I'm okay.

But I'm in the position--AGAIN--of being a rare woman who speaks loudly and often about her love of good beer. My mother taught me at her knee, and now I'm an avowed beer snob, so much snobbier than she could ever hope or dream. We recently remodeled our kitchen; my husband (no slouch in beer snobbery) bought me a kegerator because of my deep abiding love for beer. Not wine, not Moscow mules, not juleps. BEER.

So as usual, the conversation about Bud's stupid, shallow, Napoleonic-complex-ridden ad has nothing to do with me. It never does.

The ads either celebrate the existence of male assholes who are threatened by other male assholes who like better beer; or dudes who say, "WAZZZZZZAAAAAAAAP!" or belch BUD.WEI.ZUR in a swamp. Or it worships at the feet of those shitty frat guys you hated, who go to bars with women bartenders whose tops might fly off because of the torsion effect, creating a slingshot made of silicone implants and Bud logos.

[DEAR AD AGENCY: I THOUGHT OF IT FIRST. I EXPECT A CUT NEXT YEAR]
posted by readymade at 10:44 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Regardless, the punchline is never mine.

I'm a woman, and I love good beer. There, I said it.
posted by readymade at 10:49 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's the Justin Beerber, for kids and anyone else who just wants as much cold, fizzy beerstuff in them as possible without overthinking or indeed, thinking.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 10:50 PM on February 2, 2015


I say we all relax with a Bud Light Lime Mang-O-Rita, the malt beverage that combines fruity sweetness with more fruity sweetness, all in a giant can at 8% ABV.

Bud Light Lime Mang-O-Rita: it's cheap as hell, and it gets you hammered. Plus you kinda want to drink it through a straw, which is fucking festive, really.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:58 PM on February 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


the DMZ of the arms race between US craft brewers for intensely-hopped, high-alcohol IPAs. It's a very delicious DMZ

Does not compute. Reminds me again of this piece in Slate. (Give me porters, lambics, stouts any time of day as opposed to Hoppy McHopperson's Tripled-Hopped IHopA Hopslam Hopness that every single brewery feels that they need to make.)
posted by dhens at 11:01 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I wonder how much of this is trying to reclaim macro beers from PBR, which owns a certain young demographic and just got bought out by a Russian firm.

This ad feels like a temper tantrum with a budget. Not sure who it's going to convert--it may reassure a certain audience, but they would also be threatened by the array of locally-brewed beers that one can find even at the local Walgreen's here in Portland.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:07 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Them making fun of their own product is probably just a way to avoid singling out a competitor who would subsequently get a bump in sales.
posted by Small Dollar at 11:17 PM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not sure who it's going to convert--it may reassure a certain audience, but they would also be threatened by the array of locally-brewed beers that one can find even at the local Walgreen's here in Portland.

It's the same basic thing with the Dove "natural beauty" and Axe "become a bro and get the glitzy chicks" ads from the same parent company. The majority of the readers here are not the demographic they're trying to reach with it but I bet the rural side of my family thought it was great. AB are going to continue to sell a lot of Bud products to that market and continue buying the profitable microbrews that will sell to them and launch lookalikes when they can't buy existing lines that are interesting to them.

They're not really going to risk losing the higher end market with ads like this. Some people will fuss and fume but the few people who feel strongly enough about big industry muscling in on microbrews to actually vote with the dollars in the long term have already stopped buying Goose Island and the like. The ad may not have been the greatest but I doubt it will be a disaster.
posted by Candleman at 11:40 PM on February 2, 2015


Does not compute. Reminds me again of this piece in Slate.

Every single time somebody gives me a craft beer insisting that if I would only try this one I'd finally see the light it turns out to be super hoppy and nasty. So that piece in Slate was great. What are a couple of the best not-super-hoppy beers I can actually find without waiting in line for four hours on the second tuesday of the third month except on leap year when it's the third tuesday of the second month yadda yadda yadda.

Because I've tried enough super hoppy concoctions to last a lifetime.
posted by Justinian at 11:46 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, this ad really hit too close to home for some people on here, didn't it?

PROUD TO BE A MACRO BEER basically screams PROUD TO BE A WHITE MAN. Shudder.

This is what I am going to send to people when they ask me what that blue website I visit is all about.
posted by sideshow at 11:56 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


When it comes to ad campaigns, one of Budweiser's problems is that they need to somehow follow an already perfect run of beer commercials.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:56 PM on February 2, 2015


There's a great article out there (actually, multiple ones) about how AB InBev has basically nearly run out of things to buy and ensure "growth" and in doing so, is faced with no choice but to keep buying anything even slightly related to beverages to keep said "growth".

So, they're now in the position where they own so much crap that the crap is forced to advertise against itself, and while people MIGHT go "Well goddamnit, owner of Crap A insulted Crap B and so I will never buy Crap A or Crap B", the fact is that eventually it's Crap all the way down. The possible puchasing of PepsiCo would do that.
posted by jscott at 12:11 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm a beer nerd. I thought this ad was great.

Sometimes I want to ponder a porter, gaze into a geuze, or wax about wit, and preferably stuff I've brewed myself.

And sometimes I just want something cold and refreshing and clean that will get me a bit buzzed that will go with this taco, and that's when I reach for American mega-lager. Sometimes I put lime in the neck.

It doesn't hurt that my friends like it. Friends who don't sniff everything I put in a glass and sip and swish and make pronouncements about northern German ester profiles and fucking diacetyl rests and occasionally make sniggering remarks about the guy who naively asked if you homebrewing gurus could maybe help him make a batch of Corona for his birthday barbecue.

Know what the difference between somebody who drinks frambozenbier and somebody who drinks Bud? The Bud drinker doesn't give a fuck what you drink. She's not judging you the way you judge her.

Until now, I guess. Stings like a bitch, doesn't it?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:39 AM on February 3, 2015 [17 favorites]


Enjoyed the ad and thought it was effective. Maybe too effective. I feel like cultural polarization is almost too powerful a weapon, like bringing a pistol to a fist fight. It might work, but is it worth deepening the divide in the culture wars?

I love craft beer and the American craft beer scene--it's probably the thing I miss most about the US since moving to Europe. But there's a time and place for Bud too. Personally, I love drinking Bud with sushi--just the right amount of crisp and sweet.

The funny thing is that the craft brewers I know have a lot of respect for the macro brewers. It's not easy making a quadrillion gallons of beer with incredible consistency, especially when the beer has so little flavor (by design) that any imperfection comes glaring through. In fact, I met up with a brewer friend a few years back, who was in town for a brewer convention of sorts. They were done with their daily business and knocking back some beers at a local pub. In their group I saw Pabst, Grain Belt, and, yes, even Bud. Not a single pale ale in sight.
posted by Didymium at 12:56 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


what's with politicizing vaccines, classical music, beer?

I missed the classical music thing. Did Chris Christie beat up a kid on the way to violin lessons or something?
posted by thelonius at 12:57 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


McDonald's has adopted a similar insecure and defensive stance in their latest round of Big Mac ads.

Which is interesting, given how McDonald's has seen falling sales and earnings lately, being beaten up in the market by Burger King from below and the fast casual trend from above, and generally being ignored by younger people. First they ignore you, etc.
posted by effbot at 2:01 AM on February 3, 2015


a similar insecure and defensive stance

What's insecure about saying 'we like our beer, thanks, and we get it might not be for you, but it's sure as fucking hell for us?'

As opposed to, say, accusing people who drink a certain type of beer of being drunken, stupid, sexist, homophobic, tasteless, uncultured, asshole frat boys because, you know, they just don't appreciate a good IPA like I do, and why can't they just drink Creemore?

I feel like cultural polarization is almost too powerful a weapon, like bringing a pistol to a fist fight.

Beer snobs fired first. 'Yeah, you got yours, but we've still got ours, and we're cool with that' doesn't seem like a particularly violent counterstrike.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:15 AM on February 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Know what the difference between somebody who drinks frambozenbier and somebody who drinks Bud? The Bud drinker doesn't give a fuck what you drink.

unless you're drinking miller - or coors

yes, regular beer drinkers can be quite partisan
posted by pyramid termite at 2:31 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Out here in the sticks of western North Dakota, where Bud has ruled for eons and Bud Light still flies out of the liquor stores on pallets, we've got brew pubs in Minot and Bismarck, the little brewery over in Wibaux Montana is creeping across the border, and I can even get a Bells Two-Hearted Ale on tap in godforsaken Williston. Believe me, this shit has Budweiser shaken to the core.

For the record, my brew for the Super "I can't believe they didn't run it in" Bowl was a 750 of Flat Earth's Cygnus X-1 Porter. It was divine.
posted by Ber at 3:06 AM on February 3, 2015


They could have made a funny Dos Equis parody ad with "the least interesting man in the world" drinking Bud.
posted by spitbull at 3:48 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


It basically announced there were interesting new beers people shouldn't try, as they might be different than "suds" (no, really, they used the term "suds" for their own product).

Seriously. What was the thought process behind that one? Leaving aside the dish-soap connections, "suds" conjures up images of glasses brimming with foam. Even if you like Bud, you're going to be pissed to be served a glass of beer that's 40% foamy head, especially considering how most of the volume of a beer glass is at the top.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:09 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Weird that a big moustache can be the marker of sissy-dom for the craft beer dude, but then a marker of virility on the guy from "Parks & Rec" who sang/spoke/chanted the NASCAR promo a little while later.
posted by wenestvedt at 4:11 AM on February 3, 2015


Wait.

There was a football game over the weekend?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:13 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


disparaging towards people who actually like to drink beer for reasons other than "getting drunk,

This sort of attitude is annoying and pretentious. I like craft beer, and that's usually what I do drink, but Bud isn't bad at all. It's just a different type of beer, and a good one at that.
posted by jpe at 4:34 AM on February 3, 2015


So I just watched the ad. Well... that was gross.

I could never stand Bud. Ever. My macrobeer of choice for ages was PBR, but I've kind of fallen away from that as it's gone up in price (at least here in LA). I've recently gotten into the Deschutes Brewery-- I loooove Black Butte Porter. Green Flash is great too. (I used to drink so much Blue Moon, but I can't anymore because they're owned by MillerCoors, and the politics of the Coors family is horrible.)

So, now we're on the subject of beer, any Californian/Oregonian independently owned craft beers you guys might recommend?
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 4:41 AM on February 3, 2015


I soooo want pumpkin peach ale now.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 4:42 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


*sniff**sniff*

Whats that I smell? The salty sweet flop-sweat of anxiety?
posted by edgeways at 4:48 AM on February 3, 2015


Budweiser is so much more successful in Europe anyway

What ?
posted by Pendragon at 5:11 AM on February 3, 2015




I am so thirsty right now.
posted by Wolof at 5:18 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


"In Greek, 'Budstalgia' literally means 'the pain from a weak-ass beer.'"
posted by Enemy of Joy at 5:34 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Justinian, that Slate piece literally answers your question right here:

Let’s be clear: Not all craft beer is hoppy. There are many craft breweries that seek to create balanced, drinkable beers that aren’t very bitter at all, like Patrick Rue’s the Bruery in Placentia, Calif., and the Commons Brewery in Portland, Ore. Among the non-hoppy yet complex and delicious American craft beers available are Widmer’s hefeweizen, New Glarus’ cherry and raspberry beers, and Full Sail Brewing’s Session Lager (a beer specifically developed to serve as a refreshing counterpoint to overhopped beers).

I will personally thumbs-up the Widmer, New Glarus (if you ever happen to be in Wisconsin), and Full Sail (I've had only the Session Black, but it was so good I'm sure the light one is also delicious).
posted by clavicle at 5:41 AM on February 3, 2015


the apex of beer ads happened decades ago: Schaeffer - the one to have when you're having more than one
posted by thelonius at 5:44 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


(I thought I didn't like beer, full stop, because I found even PBR gross and bitter, until somebody told me to try an oatmeal stout. It happened to be a local one, but a Guinness would have done just as well.)
posted by clavicle at 5:47 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


An early draft of the Super Bowl commercial featured several Joe Sixpacks exchanging high fives before shimmying under a Clydesdale to catch the delicious golden Budweiser directly from the source.

THIS BUD'S FOR YOU!
posted by dr_dank at 5:49 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is basically the Scroogled of beer ads.

That being said, there are worse slogans than "BUDWISER: THE BEER YOU DON'T HAVE TO GIVE A SHIT ABOUT".
posted by Itaxpica at 5:58 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


What's even worse for Bud and its ilk is that pleasant regional mass-market brews are roaring back to life and expanding wildly. Yeungling has grown beyond PA and is everywhere here in Southern New England, as cheap as Bud. Local darling Narragansett is significantly cheaper and has cool retro cans and premium seasonal brews if you're feeling flush and fancy. Why would you buy Bud or Coors when the local brew tastes better, costs less, and feels special?

I haven't drunk a Bud in ages, but not because I demand particularly good beer (I'm a fairly omnivorous beer consumer), but because I can get a moderately better Yuengling or a cheaper Natty Boh (a Pabst company brewed by Miller at this point) pretty much anywhere I go. Craft beers can be tasty, but sometimes (a lot of the time) I just want to get fairly drunk and not spend much money, but I don't have to drink Bud to do that anymore. A lot of those beers also feel like they're expanding; we get Narragansett down in DC now, even some of the seasonal stuff like the coffee milk and Dells in some stores. I'd be curious how threatened Bud is by the genuine snobby craft beer vs how much it's threatened by small macrobrewers producing slightly better or slightly more interesting beers. It feels like part of the point of the ad is to paint both alternatives as the same when they're not.

That said, nothing makes me want a Bud like hearing Metafilter talk about it. It's not THAT bad.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:00 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


What are a couple of the best not-super-hoppy beers I can actually find without waiting in line for four hours on the second tuesday of the third month except on leap year when it's the third tuesday of the second month yadda yadda yadda.

Well, if you ever happen to find yourself here in Indiana, I'll gladly treat you to a bottle or two of Fountain Square Brewing's Working Man's Pilsner. It's just a damned good, drinkable beer. I like to think it's a lot like the beer my great-grandfather must have enjoyed, back before the rise of big, national brewers and the use of cheap adjuncts.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:01 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


What are a couple of the best not-super-hoppy beers I can actually find without waiting in line for four hours on the second tuesday of the third month except on leap year when it's the third tuesday of the second month yadda yadda yadda.

The list of the New England locals I can recommend that fills the bill -

- Magic Hat No. 9 (Tho they're not an indie brewery any more)
Berkshire Brewery Steel Rail Pale Ale (About the only Pale Ale you'll encounter that won't be over-hopped)
- Newport Storm "Storm of the Season" (Whatever's available, changes monthly. You'll want to drink this only if you don't have anywhere to be in a few hours - tastes very mild and complex as it's usually lightly hopped, but typically packs a wallop, 7%ABV or higher.)
- Harpoon UFO
- Grey Sail Flagship
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:02 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm part of the problem or whatever, but, me, I like a nice hop bomb.
posted by box at 6:04 AM on February 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


it shows that Budweiser is hurting from this new interest in beers with taste and body.

44% of drinkers under 28 have never even tasted any Bud product. Their sales are down 50% since a decade ago. I think that this is a fair characterization.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:05 AM on February 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


New Glaurus, which clavicle mentioned above, made a beer that actually made me cry a little last year. I believe it was called happy accident, and it was a blend of fruits, (cranberry and cherry, mostly) due to some supply issue leading to not having enough cherries for a normal batch.

There was no bitterness to it. It tasted like fall in the Midwest to such and extent that even the aroma made my eyes tear up. Thats basically the strongest positive reaction I've ever had to food or drink. Sadly, only for sale in Wisconsin, I was just lucky enough to be invited to a tasting party by a Japanese beer nut who'd gone on a brewery tour of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and brought back a ton of bottles.

So, yeah, New Glaurus. It's *that* good.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:12 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Bud could've had a nice future as an ironic hipster beer if they had played their cards right, but not after this. Maybe they could rethink their strategy and, like Coors, constantly talk about how they are reinventing the aluminum can.

The ad associates its product with a particular self-image and simultaneously dismisses the self-image of consumers of competing brands. So far so typical. Putting down consumers of opposed products as feminine, or as failed men, and uplifting users of the advertised product as successful masculine men is also utterly par for the course for many products marketed toward men. If it's not explicit, it's usually implicit.

There's a truck ad doing the same thing right now. What kind of beard would this driver have? etc I don't remember all the details, but that shit is obnoxious.
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:22 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


"We're not precious and fussy, like those craft beers, ha, look at these nerds, right? And anyway, if you do want precious and fussy, check out our historic beechwood aging process!"
C'mon marketers, choose a message.


I just assumed they where bragging about also cutting down trees.
posted by srboisvert at 6:24 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lotta funny comments here... "Budweiser is no longer relevant." Yep, like Coke: it's a has-been. "Budweiser missed the mark." According to a site where ultra-liberal bicyclists are probably more common than Bud drinkers.
Itaxpica: it shows that Budweiser is hurting from this new interest in beers with taste and body.

44% of drinkers under 28 have never even tasted any Bud product. Their sales are down 50% since a decade ago. I think that this is a fair characterization.
THIS is a meaningful statement. Bud isn't hurting because Matthowie, you, and I didn't drink it before, during, nor after that commercial. Bud is hurting because Americans are willing to consider other flavors might be beer, too - and discovering they prefer many of those flavors to "American-Style Pale Ale". [Full disclosure: Matthowie may have a fridge full of Bud Light, for all I know.] [Not anti-Buddist.] [Well, maybe a little.]
posted by IAmBroom at 6:40 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bud could've had a nice future as an ironic hipster beer if they had played their cards right,...

I still don't understand purposefully drinking insubstantial corn-piss like PBR, just for some sort of "ironic" effect. Which, frankly, is only "ironic" in the mind of the PBR drinker.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:43 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Less OK for macro to mock craft for being pretentious and fussy (and boy yes, "fussed over" does sound a little coded); it comes across bullying the little guys.

The "little guys" being the people with enough disposable income to buy much more expensive, harder to find microbrews? Who are not punching down when they mock "corn swill" drinkers?

The brewers might be David and Goliath, the consumers are not. And I'll drink a Bud before I drink some quintuple-hops super bitter IPA monstrosity. I think there's more than enough room in the drinking market for all kinds of beers, and if "corn swill" is fair game, "fussy beer snobs" is too.

And lest you think I'm doing some reverse-pretentiousness; I'm usually going for micro-brews myself. (I really don't like hoppy beers though, so I am partially left behind. But there are plenty of awesome belgians and stouts for me.)
posted by spaltavian at 6:44 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was just thinking about this ad again this morning. It's such a strange marketing position to stake a claim to. It's like "We're the Black-Eyed Peas of beer".
posted by Horselover Fat at 6:49 AM on February 3, 2015


Am I just avoiding the hoppy beers without being conscious of it or are hoppy beers really not the thing they used to be? I felt like last year was all sour beers, all the time. Which I was fine with, to be clear.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:53 AM on February 3, 2015


Hoppy beers are all about freshness. It's only a month or two after packaging before the fresh hop flavors start to fade, which is why I don't buy IPAs in a store without a printed bottling/canning date. Around here, look for DC Brau's On the Winds of Armageddon (nobody can keep it around long enough for it to start to stale). Personally, I brew my own and drink and give it away quickly.
posted by exogenous at 7:06 AM on February 3, 2015


Thorzdad, in my experience hipsters started drinking PBR because it's cheap and, like many people, they couldn't afford really good beer in quantity. However, they knew that it was "bad" beer, and, being very self-conscious, they needed everyone to know they weren't drinking it because they thought it was good, like some kind of working-class rube. Thus, they loudly drank it with "irony".

So, drinking PBR "ironically" is really more like "drinking cheap beer but not because we're unaware that it's bad or are actually taken in by the reprehensible advertising or anything, we just can't actually afford the good stuff". And that spread to such a degree that it's actually self-sustaining as a hipster brand now.
posted by gilrain at 7:11 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


obiwanwasabi: Beer snobs fired first.

Are you fucking kidding me? "Beer snobs" (craft beer enthusiasts, phrased more neutrally) have certainly said some mean things about Big Fizz, but only after a decades-long project by the Big Three (now the "Big Two" I guess?) to monopolize shelf space, distribution channels, and lawmakers.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:11 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Carla Jean Lauter, writing at The Beer Babe

"That's like an ice cream man named Cone!"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:13 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I felt like last year was all sour beers, all the time.

Yeah, hoppy beers have been out of fashion for a couple years at least. Sours, saisons, and I think stouts/porters are what I usually see as trendy beers now, and they have been for a while. And low ABVs. The fact that I can get a really flavorful < 5% beer within walking distance is lovely.

Mind you, IPAs have craploads of inertia -- in part due to the same "my beer of choice is masculinity" thing the ad is doing.
posted by postcommunism at 7:17 AM on February 3, 2015


I still don't understand purposefully drinking insubstantial corn-piss like PBR, just for some sort of "ironic" effect. Which, frankly, is only "ironic" in the mind of the PBR drinker.

I've known some boomer-age folks who spent a tour of duty or two in Germany back in the 60s/70s and fell in love with the beer, and when they got back the closest they could get to German beer without spending lots on imports was... Pabst. Or at least, so they tell me.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:18 AM on February 3, 2015


You don't see Mercedes calling BMW owners pussies.

This was absolutely the undertone of the Chevy commercial that was all "DONT YOU WANT 2 FUCK THE TRUCK"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:19 AM on February 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


That's pretty much the undertone of every truck commercial ever.
posted by octothorpe at 7:22 AM on February 3, 2015


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I don't think Budweiser is that bad of a beer. Certainly not my favorite but it's drinkable if you're at a summer party where the hosts know nothing about beer. Personally, I prefer it over Yuengling and Heineken, which are other staples at those kind of parties.

I think that a lot of looking down on the brand is a bit of classism and reflexive distrust of large corporations veiled behind beer snobbery. Bud Light, on the other hand, is just awful and deserves all the hate it gets. :-)
posted by Schrodinger's Gat at 7:23 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


And Bud Platinum is a headache in a bottle.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:29 AM on February 3, 2015


This was absolutely the undertone of the Chevy commercial that was all "DONT YOU WANT 2 FUCK THE TRUCK"
posted by Greg Nog at 10:19 AM on February 3


Was that focus group Chevy ad a Super Bowl ad. I missed it during that game, but caught it during Carolina-Virginia last night. It's weird how totally non-veiled that ad is. It's just 100% "buy a truck so that ladies will know you've got mystical beard growing prowess."* It's obviously been a truck ad subtext for ages, but they've given up the pretense of acting like you need a truck for your Manly Job Hauling Lumber and Rescuing Sheep. It's crazy.

*N.B.: I can't grow a meaningful beard so this rankles me in a special way.

Personally, I prefer it over Yuengling and Heineken, which are other staples at those kind of parties.

Can't we all just agree to hate Heineken? It's terrible, pretentious, AND expensive. At least Budweiser and your favorite craft beer are at most two out of three.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:30 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Was that focus group Chevy ad a Super Bowl ad.

Yeah, it was this one. LOOK ACTUAL LADIES WANT TO GET YOU INSIDE THEM WHEN YOU GET THE TRUCK.

Literally contains the all-caps quote "YOU KNOW YOU WANT A TRUCK"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:36 AM on February 3, 2015


Can't we all just agree to hate Heineken? It's terrible, pretentious, AND expensive.

H?FTS!PBR!etc

Altho seriously, no one is drinking still PBR because it's 'ironic'. That mythical phase lasted about fifteen minutes. Once bars started stocking it on the regular, it became beer of choice because it was cheap, available, and the near-total lack of advertising rendered it not nearly as culturally obnoxious as Bud/Coors/et al. (I don't like PBR or Bud, but this constant pillorying of a strawman hipster boogeyman is some silly shit MeFi, you can be better than that)
posted by FatherDagon at 7:47 AM on February 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


So, does authentic beer have beans in it or not?
posted by TedW at 7:56 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I saw Constant Pillorying of a Strawman open for Grizzly Bear last year.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:56 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you get the 24oz can, Heineken is a decent beer (not good, but decent). Green glass on the bottles and questionable QC on the 12oz cans means it tastes like skunk sweat and acid reflux.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:56 AM on February 3, 2015


PBR became a hipster staple because it comes in pint-can size at the same price (or less) than 12 oz Budweisers. "Hipsters" tend to not have a lot of cash to spend on nights out, and PBR is the Costco of beers.
posted by frogstar42 at 8:09 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I laughed at the ad, particularly handlebar mustache guy, because while I do love microbrews, I am sick of the "microbrew experience" when you just want to go out for a drink. In my town, the local hipster bar is staffed by unfriendly snobs (one with a handlebar mustache just like that) and pretty much all the microbrew beer is $10-$13 a glass and has pairings and tasting notes to go with the menu that's like 50% bone marrow or duck confit at all times and you can't ask for any substitutions or alterations to your meal.

And sometimes you just want a burger (too plebian for the hipster bar) and a beer that costs less than a martini. So then we end up at the local biker dive where the beer is cheap, the cook happily makes substitutions and it's worth drinking the occasional Bud or Corona for 100% less hassle and a third of the price.

In conclusion: beer! There's more than one way to enjoy it!
posted by TwoStride at 8:12 AM on February 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


You don't see a Hershey chocolate ad that knocks Toblerone as Eurotrash. You don't see Mercedes calling BMW owners pussies. American Airlines doesn't tell you that Southwest is piloted by nerds.

In advertising, the technical term for bashing one's opponent (subtly or overtly) is known as 'chasing the competition.' Some agencies advise against comparative ads for a few reasons, but mostly because they can easily backfire with consumers: if you reference your opponent that potentially gives them credibility, builds awareness and increases familiarity. Or in this case, screw other divisions of your own company.

And yet, campaigns that chase the competition are often very memorable. Pepsi and Coke's ongoing "Cola Wars" are the iconic example. Apple vs. Microsoft, or "PC"s. Samsung vs. Apple. The fast food ad wars are still ongoing as well, and include comparative ads between Wendys, Burger King, Taco Bell, McDonalds and others.

More successful comparative ad campaigns tend to use humor. In all cases, it's best not to mention competitors by name in an ad. Subtlety is more effective. Successful ads usually also focus on superior differences in their product or brand that matter to their target demographic. The Cola War ads generally use philosophy, humor, taste and satisfaction. The burger ads used quantity, taste, quality and pricing. Both Samsung's and Apple's ads focused on ease of use, quality and functionality. All things consumers care about.

Al Ries and Jack Trout's book Marketing Warfare is nearly 20 years old, but is still an decent read on the topic, if a bit simplistic to those of us who work in the industry.
posted by zarq at 8:16 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Macro beers aren't swill. Granted, they're mostly flavorless and I often can't tell one from another, but they're usually drinkable and refreshing on a sunny afternoon.
The only beers I've ever had that were truly undrinkable were craft micro-brew one-off attempts like 'Rhubarb Saison' or stupidly over-hopped American IPAs.

This is just beer, folks. It's akin to food...you can enjoy a fancy wood-fired artisanal dish at a fancy bistro, but sometimes you just want a hot dog from a street cart, you know? You don't have to always align with one side and hate the other...you can drink both.

Sometimes I think people define themselves more by what they hate than by what they like.
posted by rocket88 at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


PBR is the Costco of beers.

I'm pretty sure you mean the Kirkland of beers.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:21 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


PBR is the Costco of beers.

I'm pretty sure you mean the Kirkland of beers.


After visiting Costco last weekend. Kirkland has its own line of beer.

And I wouldn't be surprised if it is better in term of taste and price than PBR.

Alright, I will stop overanalyzing metaphors.
posted by Badgermann at 8:38 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's just my own life experience talking, but there's a 2nd subtext here besides "craft beer drinkers are [insert gay epithet]," which is certainly strong. It goes back to this item -- if the top 10% of alcohol consumers drank like the 2nd 10%, liquor companies would go out of business. The ad is an appeal to the tribe of alcoholics. Sneering "we don't sip our beers" implies "REAL hardcore drinkers slam them as quickly as possible and ignore the taste. Budweiser!" Need to keep that 10% choosing your product over the alternatives, after all.
posted by frogstar42 at 8:41 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


PBR became a hipster staple because it comes in pint-can size at the same price (or less) than 12 oz Budweisers. "Hipsters" tend to not have a lot of cash to spend on nights out, and PBR is the Costco of beers.

This might be a reason, but not the reason hipsters drink it in London, and sadly also in Nova Scotia, paying premium import prices for the privilege.
posted by Flashman at 8:42 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


PBR became a hipster staple because it comes in pint-can size at the same price (or less) than 12 oz Budweisers.

I always want to poke the bubble that PBR became popular among hipsters for any reason other than simple hipster ironic posing. At the moment it took off, it had no significant qualitative or quantitative advantage over any other American beer.

The makers of PBR should get down on their hands and knees daily and thank David Lynch for creating the idea that PBR was the weird choice.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Story time!

Several years ago, when I lived in the Seattle area, I was invited to my next door neighbor's house. He was a cop, but not overtly macho. Nice guy.

His buddy, though. His cop buddy was Macho Guy.

I had brought over a bottle of Lagavulin 16. I poured them each a shot and Macho Guy fucking SLAMMED it like it was cheap tequila and said "That's how I drink scotch" like it was his personal identity.

That's the guy they're marketing to.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can't imagine Budweiser spending Super Bowl ad money to appeal to convince hardcore alcoholics not to switch to craft beer. Someone drinking 74 drinks a day (top 10% of drinkers) would be spending an outrageous amount of money to drink that in craft beer, hundreds of dollars per week. I just ran the numbers of DC Brau, which I buy fairly often, and it would be $900/week, buying six packs. I don't think that's a real threat to Budweiser's market share among hardcore alcoholics.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:52 AM on February 3, 2015


Here's an oldie but a goodie.

(tl;dr: back around the turn of the millennium, Pabst Blue Ribbon had a really-pretty-good-if-you're-into-that-kind-of-thing stealth marketing campaign.)
posted by box at 8:54 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


After visiting Costco last weekend. Kirkland has its own line of beer.

And I wouldn't be surprised if it is better in term of taste and price than PBR.


Badgermann, on the west coast, Costco's bottled beers are re-branded Gordon Biersch beers. Same with Trader Joe's bottled beers. I wonder who is doing their cans for them. (GB only bottles, they don't can anything.)
posted by komlord at 8:55 AM on February 3, 2015


In advertising, the technical term for bashing one's opponent (subtly or overtly) is known as 'chasing the competition.'

Jaguar chasing the competition (with some pushback from Mercedes).
posted by TedW at 9:05 AM on February 3, 2015


Literally contains the all-caps quote "YOU KNOW YOU WANT A TRUCK"

The worst part of that, at least for me, was that the women never addressed the fact that it was clearly the same man beside both cars. It just sort of seemed like Chevy took the time to publicly taunt people with severe, untreated brain damage.

The Budweiser ad seems smart, for what it is. Budweiser is, in a way, appealing to a sense of tradition: Budweiser is for plain-speakin' men who just want a beer, dammit, and who don't want to have to think about what's good or bad or in or in or out of season.

That said, and this is obviously nonscientific, but judging by my Facebook feed, most of the responses to the commercial were not only negative, but those negative comments came from conservative "manly men" who snorted at the idea that craft beer is anything but an enjoyable aspect of existence.

But hey, who knows. Budweiser wins when people talk about it, and Budweiser wins when some people still unconsciously perceive it as the default beer for a party.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:05 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


This isn't a micro-brew vs. macro-brew conflict, at the highest level.

What it really is is this: a conflict between ale and lager.

When Adolphus Busch acquired his brewery from his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser, in 1865, he set his sights on brewing "pale lager," a refreshing, crisp, smooth beer that was easier on the palate and throat than the dark, thicker ales that had been brewed in the US since before the Revolutionary War. Thanks to innovations in vertical integration, in which Busch bought up glassworks, ice houses, and refrigeration cars, he was able to send his lagers hither and yon in the US, steeping the country in lagers. Before you could count to ten, German and Irish immigrants were quaffing lagers in quantities that would have been impossible during the days of dark, syrupy ale. End result: pissing off temperance movement figures like Carry A. Nation, who ran around the drinking districts and threw tomahawks at the mirrors and glasses in bars.

When World War I and anti-German sentiment came around, the attitude was "Fuck Busch," leading, along with other causes, to Prohibition. Prohibition laws stuck it to the man, and Anheuser Busch and other breweries were forced out of their core business.

After 13 years of dicking around with making ice cream and "near beer" during Prohibition, Anheuser Busch got back on its feet again in the fifties, again regaining market share. But lo, during the Jimmy Carter administration, a bill was passed to repeal taxes for home and small-scale breweries, and the craft beer movement received its first shot in the arm.

And what did microbrewers make when they started up their breweries? Light, refreshing, easy to drink lagers? Hell to the no. Since they placed a premium on taste, they went back to making the rich, hoppy, syrupy ales that were brewed in America before the civil war.

So, right now, we have a fracas between two types of beers: lighter, crisper, refreshing pale lagers best enjoyed cold, and traditional ales that taste ideal close to room temperature. People get their shorts tied in a knot in debates over which is best, but it's really about drinking styles: Lagers are great for hot days and drinking in large quantities; ales are better for sipping, because the higher gravities will get you just as ripped as if you drank a twelve-pack of Bud. And yes, it is possible to brew a great lager, as many microbreweries are showing us. It all comes down to getting serious about the ingredients and small-scale production quotas of your product.

The irony comes into play when Anheuser Busch uses common tropes to try to convince people that it's more working class, down-to-earth and Murican than the foo-foo craft ales, because in actuality, ale brewing was active in North America for two hundred years prior to the appearance of Adolphus Busch and lagers on the scene. Perhaps the scent of fear and dread in the Superbowl commercial can be traced all the way back to the eve of Prohibition, when Adolphus Busch and other immigrant-brewers were scorned by Americans for instigating WWI, and seen, along with their sudsy product, as a malevolent foreign presence on US soil.
posted by Gordion Knott at 9:08 AM on February 3, 2015 [18 favorites]


so like we used to say about Bryan Adams back in the day.

That "day" being the summer of '69, right?

And if I cared what people who willingly drink Bud think, I might be offended.

Yeah, I mean, big fucking deal. Bud Guy who likes Bud, I am happy for you! Knock yourself out! If I am at your house and you offer me a Bud I will drink it and thank you for it. Elsewhere I will drink whatever Belgians, saisons, stouts, rauchbier, etc. I can find. Beer longa, vita brevis. I ain't got time for this Kirk v. Picard shit, there's beer to drink.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:15 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Spilon: Had the ad stuck to the story about what's good and different about Bud, it would have been a home run.

That's...every other Budweiser Super Bowl ad.

Sara C.: Is this ad really aimed at the craft beer set? Most likely this ad is really speaking to Budweiser's "base".

I think the genius of the ad was to point it at the intersection of these groups at just the right time. Super Bowl parties are the only time that a lot of non-football people watch football. For the spectacle. "For the commercials." Countless parties were composed of Budweiser drinkers and their friends, friends who brought what Bud says are foofy beers. Many of these parties likely involved conversations about the beer at the party through the entire first half of the game and prior. Then this commercial comes on, and now the regular-gal/guy Bud people feel peer pressure from the teevee to give their hoppy "you gotta try this" fair-weather football cohorts the side-eye. "Why are you complicating my life?" The non-football people then drink Bud for the rest of the game ("not bad...beechwood, huh?") and all is right with the world once again.
posted by rhizome at 9:17 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


At the moment it took off, it had no significant qualitative or quantitative advantage over any other American beer.

For a while myself and freinds got really into Rolling Rock, simply because it sounds like "Rollins rocks!".

We really liked Henry Rollins.
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rhizome gets it. Bouncing off of that, IMHO Budweiser doesn't need people to give up craft beer in order to "win". Indeed, InBev merrily buys up craft breweries, because they do in fact want to sell that beer. No, what Budweiser wants to do is to get people to see Budweiser as a Default Real Man Beer, untouched by fads or complication. They want people to see Budweiser as what you buy when you just want a drink, whereas craft beer is what you get when you're being fancy or if you (god forbid) actually want to talk about beer.

In other words, Bud is zeroing in on the kind of person who's bringing beer to a party, but who can't decide between a six-pack of something from Flying Dog, or a six-pack of Budweiser tallboys. Obviously, Budweiser wants you to buy the tallboys. Says Budweiser, you're not bein' fancy - this isn't a fancy party, this isn't a party about beer, you just want to get your drink on.

Budweiser is also quietly going after brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon. If you're going for cheap beer, don't get hipster swill. That's what kids get. Just get the Default Real Man Beer.

All in all, I think it's a pretty smart campaign. I will also be assiduously avoiding Budweiser even more than usual.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:26 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bud Guy who likes Bud, I am happy for you!

I think you mean Bud Man
posted by TedW at 9:30 AM on February 3, 2015


74 drinks a day (top 10% of drinkers)

Maybe there's someone out there consuming 74 drinks a day, but is that a typo? There are about 17 standard drinks in a 750 ml bottle of liquor. Alcoholics who drink twice that in a day are not unheard of (although I really don't want to imagine what that is like) , but more than 4 times that? 10 percent of drinkers?

Most of the bad beer-only alcoholics I have heard of drink about a case of beer a day. Maybe you meant 24 drinks a day?
posted by thelonius at 9:34 AM on February 3, 2015


Or 74 drinks a week?
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:37 AM on February 3, 2015


Top 10% of drinkers are literally, physically Andre the Giant
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:38 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wade Boggs, dickholes!
posted by tonycpsu at 9:42 AM on February 3, 2015


(And yeah, I'm guessing the real number for Boggs is in the 20s or 30s tops, but you have to adjust for urban legend inflation.)
posted by tonycpsu at 9:43 AM on February 3, 2015


Sorry I'm an idiot in two ways. 1) That's obviously a typo, it's 74/week 2)I also carried that typo over into my math, so it's way off. It's not nearly that expensive to be a top 10% drinker on craft beer, but I still don't think that's the purpose of the Bud ad.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:44 AM on February 3, 2015


With this beers-trucks parallelism... if Sam Elliot ever did a beer commercial, would that be the Singularity?

On a more serious note, I now know two people who drank themselves to death (fried their livers). So please enjoy... in moderation.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:46 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


When Budweiser claims that they make "crisp" beer, that's actually what PBR is. There's nothing wrong with the American Lager style, per se, lots of people enjoy it including beer snobs. Bud just makes a subpar version of it in every way. PBR is more or less the beer that Bud drinkers think that they're drinking.
posted by naju at 9:51 AM on February 3, 2015


I wasn't very sympathetic to this commercial (I like fruity gimmick beer!) but then I imagined how delighted I would be if Franzia trolled wine snobs like this. I think I understand.
posted by almostmanda at 9:54 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


And yet, campaigns that chase the competition are often very memorable. Pepsi and Coke's ongoing "Cola Wars" are the iconic example. Apple vs. Microsoft, or "PC"s. Samsung vs. Apple.

It's interesting how those ad campaigns usually go in one direction. Pepsi puts itself up against Coke, but Coke doesn't need to respond (and doesn't want to, because that would validate the comparison). Apple puts itself up against Microsoft, but MSFT doesn't respond with its own ads (well, not until the Surface, anyway). Samsung goes after Apple in its ads, but Apple doesn't respond, and doesn't need to. Etc.

Budweiser's attack on craft beers suggests it is operating from a similar position of weakness, as far as people's general, broader opinion of its product goes.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:23 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


THIS BUD'S FOR
FIZZBALL
posted by flabdablet at 10:25 AM on February 3, 2015


if Franzia trolled wine snobs

"Are you at the Auburn-Alabama game? Fuck yeah, you are. And when you're tailgating in Tuscaloosa, you don't have time for punk-ass CORKS. Franzia! Slap the bag, motherfucker!"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:26 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Slap the bag? Pfffft.
posted by flabdablet at 10:30 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


PBR is the Costco of beers.

My father worked for Pabst for over 25 years, during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, as regional sales manager based in the Peoria Heights brewery, which closed in 1982. Dad said the reason Pabst chose the Heights was the local artesian well water. When Pabst opened a plant in Georgia in the early 70s (I was in high school, but we could always drink beer at home), he showed me the difference between a glass of Georgia Pabst and a glass of "our" Pabst: the local product was a rich golden color, and the head was thick and creamy. The Georgia beer was pale yellow, with loose and scanty suds. They tasted nothing alike.

I bring this up only to demonstrate that the Pabst you know today is not the Pabst of yore. It was actually once a very good beer. Hey, it won a blue ribbon!

Also, now that there are so many microbreweries here in Denver I occasionally get a whiff of the distinct sour scent of beer brewing that permeated my childhood. It's nice.
posted by caryatid at 10:40 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine Budweiser spending Super Bowl ad money to appeal to convince hardcore alcoholics not to switch to craft beer.

That isn't the message. They aren't worried about people who drink bud switching to craft beers, they want to encourage people who already drink nothing but Budweiser to drink more of it...our of spite for craft beer drinkers I guess.

The Pepsi vs. Coke comparison is interesting. Pepsi has basically ceded the cola market to Coke. Between Mt. Dew and Frito Lay (the Frito Lay brand accounted for 40% of their operating profit in 2013 vs. 30% for Pepsi America), the basically don't care all that much about the cola market.

That is why the Coke commercials that you see are all basically, "Isn't Coke great? Aren't you thirsty, how about you drink another Coke?" If Budweiser's commercial had been a Coke ad, they would have been saying, "Aren't Pepsi drinkers giant stupid dorks? You should drink some more Budweiser just to prove that you're not one of them!" They would maybe follow it up with a wedgie if you didn't drink it fast enough.

And it's super weird with beer because there is a HUGE spectrum of beers in between Budweiser (which I think tastes like water with beer in it) and micro brew craft beers. Even in my, "drinking means always drinking to get drunk" days I never drank Budweiser. Leinenkugel is MUCH better and doesn't really cost much more so I drank that instead. This ad seems like it will turn off people who occasionally drink Budweiser but also drink other beers and there is such a wide range of beers that they could be alienating a LOT of their semi-regular customers.
posted by VTX at 10:42 AM on February 3, 2015


if Franzia trolled wine snobs

"Are you going to drink French wine or are you going to chug Carlo Rossi straight from the jug like a real man?"

(Ha ha. A look at the Carlo Rossi website reveals that they actually describe it as "honest wine for real people.")
posted by octobersurprise at 10:43 AM on February 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yuengling is the "I don't want to have a conversation about beer, I want to have a few beers" beer in my neck of the woods (redneck mountain section of Pennsylvania, near the Maryland line). It's not wrong to want an uncomplicated beer that is reasonably-priced and drinkable for those times when you just want a damn beer... just as someone further upthread pointed out, you can do a lot better than Bud and still hit that mark.
posted by which_chick at 10:54 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


My only experience with Franzia involved Thanksgiving in January, screwdrivers, Guinness, my first blackout, a lot of projectile vomiting and an unfortunate case of frozen pipes.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:54 AM on February 3, 2015


I had brought over a bottle of Lagavulin 16. I poured them each a shot and Macho Guy fucking SLAMMED it like it was cheap tequila and said "That's how I drink scotch" like it was his personal identity.

Please please please tell me you didn't give that idiot another shot.
posted by Ber at 11:03 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


I picked the Lauter article as the lead because I thought it was a pretty smart analysis of the ad, and because it tried to identify the challenges that it sets to craft ads: for example, "Using meaningful terms to describe your beer to consumers." The ad claims "crisp" and "smooth" and implicitly dismisses other more specific descriptors as "fussy" and "dissecting."

Also, her observation that the "THIS IS THE ONLY BEER BEECHWOOD AGED SINCE 1876" captions are split such that the "THIS IS THE ONLY BEER" caption lingers for a beat: well spotted. It's a very carefully-crafted advert.

I'd add also an observation of my own: the ad is deliberately constructed so that it works even on mute and even at a long distance. The vaguely-heroic soundtrack is largely incidental; there's no voiceover. Everything it says, it says either in images or in HUGE CAPTIONS. Very clever.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:10 AM on February 3, 2015


Lastly, in the puppy ad, I was super bummed when the Budweiser horses charged up the hill and broke up the meeting with the wolf

I was super bummed when they didn't use the third line of the Proclaimers' song ("when I get drunk, well I know I wanna be, I wanna be the one who gets drunk next to you") because then you could have the puppy and the guy and the horses all drinking Buds and then the horses could admit that they really *do* prefer micro-brews and the guy could scream JUST GET OUT THEN, I HAVE NO HORSES and the dog could be CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG and then he could be killed by a TV tipping over onto him and then it could also be the Nationwide commercial.
posted by Lucinda at 11:21 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Once bars started stocking it on the regular, it became beer of choice because it was cheap, available, and the near-total lack of advertising rendered it not nearly as culturally obnoxious as Bud/Coors/et al.

IME at this point PBR has become just as culturally obnoxious as Bud/Coors/etc (just for totally different reasons), and I've been seeing a huge uptick in people drinking Narragansett for exactly this reason.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:27 AM on February 3, 2015


I'd add also an observation of my own: the ad is deliberately constructed so that it works even on mute and even at a long distance. The vaguely-heroic soundtrack is largely incidental; there's no voiceover. Everything it says, it says either in images or in HUGE CAPTIONS. Very clever.

It's a cultural marker - even political. And it resonates because for those who aren't big beer drinkers, it makes sense.

You come inside sweating on a hot summer's day, you're not looking for a double IPA. I mean, maybe some people are, but they know who they are and they're not drinking Budweiser ever anyway, and Budweiser knows this and isn't interested in persuading them.

Let them rip on Budweiser. Because Bud is more interested in the people who like a beer that's cold, refreshing and not too hoppy/bitter - and who feel sheepish about that, and have been made to feel sheepish about it. And who kind of resent it.
posted by kgasmart at 11:30 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


PBR on tap tastes way, way shittier than Budweiser. It has to be said.

I'm by no means a beer snob, and about once a week I find myself in this one particular not-at-all-snobby bar where I want a cheap beer that is low in alcohol and good for "session" drinking. Their version of that is PBR, and I have fallen for that shit SO MANY TIMES. Ew. Nonononononono. Seriously I would prefer they just had Budweiser on their tap. I can't do the 8% HopPocalypse thing. I can't do the $10 Belgian thing. Just give me some decent beer that costs under $6/pint and won't cause me to do embarrassing things in a quasi-professional environment.
posted by Sara C. at 11:33 AM on February 3, 2015


That said, and this is obviously nonscientific, but judging by my Facebook feed, most of the responses to the commercial were not only negative, but those negative comments came from conservative "manly men" who snorted at the idea that craft beer is anything but an enjoyable aspect of existence.

One of my favorite things about homebrewing is that I can go to a meetup or a swap, or visit a forum, and it's 50% full-blown dyed-in-the-wool hipsters (myself included), and 50% survivalist mountain man types, and everyone finds common ground just hanging out and talking about beer and brewing. It's a great hobby.

Yuengling is the "I don't want to have a conversation about beer, I want to have a few beers" beer in my neck of the woods (redneck mountain section of Pennsylvania, near the Maryland line).

I miss my Pennsylvania days, when I could walk in to a bar, ask for 'a lager', and get a pint of Yuengling. Usually for about two bucks.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:35 AM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


BEECHWOOD AGED SINCE 1876

I'm surprised it's still drinkable after that long in the vat.
posted by flabdablet at 11:49 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yuengling is the "I don't want to have a conversation about beer, I want to have a few beers" beer in my neck of the woods

Good lord, I wanna try Yuengling, but you can't get it in Washington state. I keep seeing it pop up in photos from friend's parties back East. Maybe it's not worth what little hype it gets BUT I NEED TO KNOW.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:49 AM on February 3, 2015


Good lord, I wanna try Yuengling, but you can't get it in Washington state. I keep seeing it pop up in photos from friend's parties back East. Maybe it's not worth what little hype it gets BUT I NEED TO KNOW.

Yuengling is decent stuff - used to be 'the best 7-11 has to offer' in northern VA until 7-11 started broadening their selection a bit more some years back.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:55 AM on February 3, 2015


NON-HOPPY NW BEERS
Ft. George 1811 Lager
Double Mountain Kolsch
Anything from Upright
Lawnmower Lager is my favorite summer Bud-like lager--good for drinking lots with low impact.
But Longboard Lager, despite its Hawaiian pedigree, is a close second (and brewed in Portland, so it gets in on a technicality).
Pretty much anything from Breakside is great.

Lagunitas is NOT northwest, but my favorite brew of all time, and their Pils is awesome. If you want a little bite but to not be Hopped Over the Head, Daytime is perfect.

As to the Bud versus Craft discussion, I think it's funny. Craft beer drinkers aren't going to be shamed into drinking Bud because Bud stuck their tongue out at them. Bud people aren't going to be irritated into drinking craft beer by people who view it as a holy grail. Truthfully, as with all polarities, the edges are too annoying to deal with, and everyone else is fine, whether they drink total swill or drink Belgian suds out of stemware. My husband orders a Kolsch at dinner, and I have been known to drink Old German over the same meal.

And Asahi (or Sapporo, essentially the exact same beer--the Bud of Japan) is THE BEST for hot summer days.
posted by readymade at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just give me some decent beer that costs under $6/pint and won't cause me to do embarrassing things in a quasi-professional environment.

Here you go.
posted by flabdablet at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shots fired sure, but I much prefer this craft beer volley fired a few years ago seeming aimed at Coors (although the other macros probably took some collateral damage) by Breckenridge Brewery. A lot of the tropes both for micro and macro beer ads are lampooned. Truth in Beervertising
posted by doctoryes at 12:01 PM on February 3, 2015


Bud is more interested in the people who like a beer that's cold, refreshing and not too hoppy/bitter - and who feel sheepish about that, and have been made to feel sheepish about it. And who kind of resent it.

Mmmm, the crisp, smooth, beechwood-barrel-aged taste of ressentiment.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:02 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's not worth what little hype it gets BUT I NEED TO KNOW.

It isn't.

I mean, it's not bad for an adjunct brew (corn, in Yuengling's case) but the hype is pretty much driven by regional pride, and that's cool. Now, if your only choices on tap were Bud, Miller, or Yuengling, definitely drink the Yuengling, for sure. But, if the tap also included something like Boston Lager...I'd go with Sam.

FWIW, Dick Yuengling, the owner, is an anti-union billionaire, who threatened his employees with their jobs if they voted for a union, and is pushing for Pennsylvania to become a right-to-work state.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:09 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yuengling is decent stuff

I thought it was awful but I was on the way to abandoning beer as too inefficient a delivery system for alcohol, by the time I tried it, so maybe it's pretty great if you have fewer than 10 of them.
posted by thelonius at 12:13 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


So are there any cheap beers available in the US actually made by companies from this country that aren't run by total jerks?
posted by Zalzidrax at 12:18 PM on February 3, 2015


Flabdablet, this isn't really a Weienstephan kind of bar. Unfortunately. Also I don't even like Hefeweizens, anyway, and will usually only get that if I have no choice or there's some "authenticity" related reason (best pairing with a given food, out at a Czech place, etc).

I think I just really miss Yuengling. Ubiquitous, simple, good, and cheap.
posted by Sara C. at 12:21 PM on February 3, 2015


Yeah, man. Lager. I do not want to have an intellectual experience. I do not want depth and nuance. I do not want criminal astringency. I do not want to drink syrup. Take your fruitsyfluff heffe whatever and leder your hosen on back to the vat with it. I like a lager.

I live in Trynabeportland and the beer comes in little snifters on a damn BOARD exactly like in that ad and costs $12 for the equivalent of a pint and it's ghastly black and sweet or so hoppy it corduroys your tongue. It all chaps my ass. Furthermore I am tired of somebody trying to sell me an orange artisan razor and by-mail creme subscription every time I look at any website. I'm tired of beer and tired of beards and tired of boards and if a crew of clydesdales came and stomped it all flat, I'd pour a whole black label* down my throat right out the can. I would not even swallow.

*Black label circa 1986, when it was 25 cents a can. I don't trust whatever it is now and can't get it, anyway. All there is is Miller, stout, and IPA and it's all at least $9.79 for a sixpack and it can all go to hell. I'm drinking chianti this year.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:22 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I'm tired of a bunch of marketing suits trying to sell their weak-ass beer as 'manly.'
posted by Zalzidrax at 12:32 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


You want an IPA for mowing the lawn? Founders has you covered. Seriously, I burned through a few sixes of this last summer - just bitter enough to cut the thirst but low enough in alcohol and hops that you could drink a couple without feeling bloated or buzzed.

My go-to session beer is still Bell's Amber. Enough flavor for the palate yet easy to drink two or three.
posted by Ber at 12:40 PM on February 3, 2015


FWIW, Dick Yuengling, the owner, is an anti-union billionaire, who threatened his employees with their jobs if they voted for a union, and is pushing for Pennsylvania to become a right-to-work state.

This has been a problem with Coors, too. Doesn't stop me from drinking Colorado Native or a Banquet now and then, but it does make me feel sort of guilty about it. Say what we will about Budweiser, at least they're union-made.
posted by asperity at 12:40 PM on February 3, 2015


I'm tired of beer and tired of beards and tired of boards... I'm drinking chianti this year.

You're tired of the pretension, so you're switching to wine...?
posted by naju at 12:41 PM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


I live in Trynabeportland and the beer comes in little snifters on a damn BOARD exactly like in that ad and costs $12 for the equivalent of a pint and it's ghastly black and sweet or so hoppy it corduroys your tongue. It all chaps my ass.

Well, I'm afraid there's nothing you can do about it. We're in control now. Did you think a lone individual could hold out against our stranglehold? Please... don't be a fool. You are but one man, and WE are the controllers of your purse strings. You have no choice but to open your wallet, order another flight -- on a "board", as you so quaintly put it -- and drink it in one of the many establishments WE own.

Oh, the common folk talk of a hero that can wrench the power out of our talons... but how could such a man DARE to stand against us? Such talk is little more than the foolish prattling of idle children.

You see, this was all part of our master plan: to control the way beer is bought and sold. No longer will men such as yourself consume beer for a prize as trifling as "pleasure", but because we compel you to do so. And now that our fortress's ONE weak point - by the intake valve in the basement - is nearly walled off, no one will EVER be able to shake our control AGAIN.

Well? Now that you have learned your place in our glorious new society, do you have any last words?
posted by Greg Nog at 12:42 PM on February 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


Given the amount of wesen that have settled in and around Portland, I am curious if they have their own brewing traditions. Or maybe they're just into wine. I see that Monroe and Rosalee drink a lot of wine. The Grimm seems to be pretty fond of the microbrews. I'd best slip out to the trailer with a six pack and do some research.
posted by Ber at 12:48 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm drinking chianti this year.

Is it a nice chianti?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:11 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


A f... A few. W... words.

i-i-it's a... [kaff] It's called a... "flight?"

[screamofpainthatrisessteadily'tilitgoessupersonic]

Guhh... gasp...

Thank you: I can go, now. I can step off the windy brink I'm standing on, clinging to nothing but air and my Old Milwaukee tallboy and I can leave this world that's been portlandoed out from under me.

Lookit, though. Before I go. Why does it have to come in snifters? I can't sniff this shizz, it's a bridge too far.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:15 PM on February 3, 2015


octobersurprise, I have no idea if the chianti is nice or no. It seems nice enough. What happened, a "Lucky's" moved into our town (hope it doesn't happen to you) and they sold "the number one Italian table wine" for $3.33/bottle as one of their awful vampire loss leaders, so I bought three bottles and then I felt so crippled with guilt for betraying the local little store that sells the $4.99 wine (and the $9.79 six packs), I went in the lil local with the express mission of buying three bottles of Italian wine to try to make up for the error. So two of them were chiantis and then I figured I'd make mine chianti this year. Last year it was cabernet sauvignon because I'm trying to teach myself wine. It's a doomed project because I have a cloth tongue. With wine I can tell if it has alcohol in it or is just red water (the stuff from Lucky's was red water). With beer I can tell if it tastes like a milkshake (I think heffeweizen taste like fruit smoothies) or a hot glass of syrup or a dandelion macerated in a dissolved styptic pencil or as heavenly clean and decent and pure and right as the land of sky blue waters.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:30 PM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why does it have to come in snifters?

So that we may sniff it, and fuss over it, and dissect it. Didn't you see the advert?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:41 PM on February 3, 2015


Well, nice or not, fava beans pair nicely with a chianti. More nicely if it's a nice chianti.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:44 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or a big Barolo. Depends what canon you prefer.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:49 PM on February 3, 2015


Evidently the original was a big amarone. Well, whatever it was, based on the pairings one thing's obvious and that is that the census-taker was of Italian descent. And this is exactly what I'm complaining about. Can't we have one thing in this world that we don't have to expend effort and expense on in order to savor it exactly correctly? Some guy shows up at your door all trying to quantify you, you don't start nancying around with beans nobody ever heard of and some high-end foreign plonk, you chickenfry that bastard. You make five-alarm chili. You make sausage. ALL OF WHICH GO GREAT WITH LAGER.
posted by Don Pepino at 2:07 PM on February 3, 2015


Sam Adams and Yeungling and Narragansett make great lagers! I drink 'em from the cans, as I like it better than bottles.

Budweiser... ehhhhh... I mean, I've tried it. It's why I thought I didn't like beer until I was in my late 20s.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:15 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


ALL OF WHICH GO GREAT WITH LAGER.

You, sir, just got yourself the Budweiser account!
posted by octobersurprise at 2:26 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I think people define themselves more by what they hate than by what they like.

"What do you despise? By this you are truly known." — Frank Herbert, Dune
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:35 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Super Bowl parties are the only time that a lot of non-football people watch football. For the spectacle. "For the commercials."

Well, yes, I'll give you that.

Then this commercial comes on, and now the regular-gal/guy Bud people feel peer pressure from the teevee to give their hoppy "you gotta try this" fair-weather football cohorts the side-eye.

However, I won't agree with the implication that the craft beer fans are all, or even mostly, "non-football people." I don't know what it's like where you are, but where I am, quite a lot of craft beer fans also like football and follow it throughout the season.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:44 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Justinian, if you find yourself in the Midwest during baseball season, look for Oberon by Bell's, out of Kalamazoo. Summer Wheat Ale, tastes like a perfect summer day feels.
posted by MissySedai at 2:53 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Given Budweiser's ingredients, I think it's perfectly reasonable to be snobby about it. It's as divorced from its origins as Kraft is from cheese, or Wonderbread from baguette: an industrial food product pretending to have a more noble heritage. Practically every European country I've been to has their own cheap beers, but almost all of them taste better than Bud. It's perfectly OK to be un-snobby about beer — to just want something nice and easy that you can pop out of the fridge at the end of the day — but why can't we have ubiquitous 5% ABV ales (like in the UK) or pilsners (like in the Czech Republic) instead of this tasteless, name-muddling corn nonsense?
posted by archagon at 4:02 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sapporo is the same as Asahi?! Them's fighting words. Asahi (which I drank before I discovered beer with flavor) is overly carbonated flavorless meh. Out of the big three (no, there is no big four, Suntory, take your Premium Malts and go away, it's disgusting), Sapporo, for me, has the most depth of flavor. It's vaguely rich, slightly creamy. Kirin is, for me, slightly worse than Asahi.

Notable exception: Kirin makes a perfectly drinkable stout. Tasty, even. Also, in the fall, their Autumn limited special beer is fantastic, is released in mid-August and is usually sold out before September.

That's not even getting into the wonderful world of Japanese craft beer, which is pretty damn amazing.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:02 PM on February 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


MissySedai: "Justinian, if you find yourself in the Midwest during baseball season, look for Oberon by Bell's, out of Kalamazoo. Summer Wheat Ale, tastes like a perfect summer day feels."

A cold draft of Oberon on a hot summer day is pretty much heaven.
posted by octothorpe at 4:04 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just miss the days when beer was made by the old women of the village chewing on roots and letting their spittle ferment in a clay pot. World went and got itself in a big ol' hurry.
posted by um at 4:07 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's just preaching to the choir. I worked in advertising, and nothing is more boring and pointless than listening to someone explain an ad to you, and why it's brilliant, and why it works so well, and why it will convince so many people to change their minds about something (even if you and I are invulnerable to the ad, of course, being above all that). I'll drink a case of Bud if this convinces one person to abandon craft beer for that swill.
posted by QuietDesperation at 4:20 PM on February 3, 2015


Lookit, though. Before I go. Why does it have to come in snifters? I can't sniff this shizz, it's a bridge too far.

It's the same reason wine has to come in wine glasses.
posted by aubilenon at 4:38 PM on February 3, 2015




Ghidorah, you probably aren't drinking exactly the same Sapporo as we are in the US. They have a brewery in Wisconsin.

(And, interestingly, Kirin was recently the plaintiff in a class action suit because the beer they sell in the US is made there too, so kind of a fake import.)
posted by clavicle at 5:45 PM on February 3, 2015


clavicle, I read about that, and yeah, Sapporo in the US says as much on the (ludicrous, never existed in Japan) can. There are also a good number of 'import' beers brewed in Japan in similar tieups. Of the top of my head, Guinness, I believe, is brewed here by Sapporo.

Given the silly cost of beer here, the advent of 'bottled/canned on' labeling has been a boon. There's been a number of times where I found a beer from the States I'd heard good things about, only to find it had been bottled six months to a year ago.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:52 PM on February 3, 2015


"Many consumers shared the sentiment that this ad made them want to have a Budweiser -- even those who rarely drink beer ..."
Ha. "Budweiser. The beer to drink when you rarely drink beer."

As far as "craft beer people" taking offense to any of this, my local craft beer place (which would look pretty snobby to Bud's ideal drinker) humorously put the commercial at the top of their facebook page.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:53 PM on February 3, 2015


the apex of beer ads happened decades ago: Schaeffer - the one to have when you're having more than one
posted by thelonius at 5:44 AM on February 3 [2 favorites +] [!]


No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Australian beer Victoria Bitter (VB) perfected the beer ad in the 60s when they discovered that a Hard Earned Thirst Deserves a Big Cold Beer.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:00 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


No no no, the apex of beer ads was Chas & Dave's ad for Courage bitter.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:05 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tho they'd have probably said "Gertcha!" to a peach pumpkin ale, too, to be fair.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:11 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nope, it was the "Right from the heart of the heartland" ads from, IIRC, PBR that are now lost to the internet though they live on in my own personal earworms.
posted by stet at 6:15 PM on February 3, 2015


Budweiser=pre-piss
Bass Ale=pre-bliss
posted by Oyéah at 10:10 PM on February 3, 2015


What it really is is this: a conflict between ale and lager.

Good call. And say what you like about Budweiser, lagering is tricky, because it requires low temperatures and longer fermentation times. Most small breweries can't get away with that, which is why they start with ales and often stick with them: a warmer, faster fermentation frees up the primary vessel for the next batch, and the beer's usually quicker to market. (They'll make "kölsch-style ales" instead, which often aren't much like Kölsch.) Sam Adams is the only significant competitor there with indie cred, and a lot of beerspotters consider it a sellout. If you want to drink cold, cold lager, your choice is defined by large corporations with owners who may or may not be wingnut shitbags.

why can't we have ubiquitous 5% ABV ales (like in the UK)

Um, I take your point, but bitter's 3.5% ABV, best's around 4%, only ESB approaches 5%.

I'll drink a case of Bud if this convinces one person to abandon craft beer for that swill.

Would you drink a case if it convinces a Bud drinker that looking elsewhere on the shelf is sinful? It's not trying to convert the heretics; it's preaching revival to "craft-curious" types and those of indifferent faith.
posted by holgate at 10:37 PM on February 3, 2015


Sorry, should have said "low ABV". Haven't checked in a while -- just know that most UK beers are below 5.
posted by archagon at 10:43 PM on February 3, 2015


Can't we just go back to the more meaningful debate of whether it tasting great is something to cheer louder than if it were really less filling?
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:49 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Budweiser not only wrecked lager, they wrecked lager ads. Behold the unmistakable superiority that was my beloved Black Label. Behold the genius, the excellence, and the clear joie de vivre, all laid waste by the vile hyena Bud and its endless venal quest for market share. BEHOLD!
posted by Don Pepino at 7:20 AM on February 4, 2015


Winner of the award for trippiest beer commercials must go to the talking beer steins of Utica Club, tho. Utica Club even had its own record.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:01 AM on February 4, 2015


That Utica Club ad is FUCKING DELIGHTFUL. I'm confused by the claim that it isn't carbonated, though. That can't be right can it? I know I've had it, but it's been a while, Genny Cream is my upstate New York beer of choice.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:10 AM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the bright side, at least we're past the era of Bud ads (admittedly mostly for Bud Light) that pretended like getting access to their products was an unbelievably rare treat worth risking life and limb for. I guess they've finally changed their opinion of the mindset of beer drinkers from Horny Fourteen Year Old Boys to Suburban Dads Who Aren't Quite Sure About the Young People of Today.
posted by Copronymus at 8:33 AM on February 4, 2015


Actually the Bud Light ad was really fun. I guess it was a Super Bowl ad, I saw in on YouTube, but missed it during the game. The "Up for Whatever" ad campaign is kind of dumb, but that was a really good implementation of it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:38 AM on February 4, 2015


I'm confused by the claim that it isn't carbonated, though. That can't be right can it?

I would assume they mean that it's not forced carbonation (i.e. the CO2 is produced by the yeast in the bottle, not added during manufacturing).
posted by effbot at 8:45 AM on February 4, 2015


when they discovered that a Hard Earned Thirst Deserves a Big Cold Beer

That's "Needs", ya dropkick. "Deserves" has two syllables. What kind of endlessly regurgitated slogan has two-syllable words? The losing kind, that's what kind.

See also: Great Big New Tax (win!) vs Labor's Debt and Deficit Disaster (leadership challenged!)

This Bud's for you
posted by flabdablet at 3:50 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Actually the Bud Light ad was really fun.

I was really hoping those ghosts were going to start waling away at that dude when he was cornered. If you're gonna have a real life Pacman board, you gotta make the stakes higher.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:51 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]




I'm willing to bet it wasn't because the strawberry stuff was so awful it made you cry and why is there never ever ever anything but either a. Turbo Dog or b. Restoration Pale Ale on the shelf when Amber is the best thing you can put in your mouth?
posted by Don Pepino at 12:41 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like beer but I have my limits.
This weekend I drank three of my favorite beers all purchased at my local convenience store.
Lonestar, Infamous Cream Ale and Deep Ellum IPA.
With those three beers I cover the "corn swill" pale lager, the well crafted mild ale and the aggressively hopped IPA (but more finely tuned than most of that tedious genre).

Then on Tuesday I flew into Denver for business. My hotel room had a fridge.
My brother lives there, so on a few of the nights I get to explore the craft beer scene with him. There is also a hotel bar, but I have some serious reservations about 10 dollar pints of anything.
I didn't have a rental car so I walked to the nearest convenience store. The DTC is a wasteland.
My choices were Budweiser, Heineken and Corona.
I stayed sober that night.

Budweiser gives me a headache. Every time. (Still never figured that one out, but it happens with Budweiser. It happens with Bud light. It even happens with the clamato version.)
Heineken and Corona are more often skunked than not, green and clear glass.
But the selection itself was odd.
I had forgotten that in CO you have to go to a liquor store to buy anything more than 3.2 beer.
But there were no worthwhile options. For me. Who the fuck runs a state that way? But, okay, that's the law. Why were those my only three choices? Miller? Coors? Schlitz? Goddamn!

As with a lot of advertising, I feel like this ad wasn't aimed at me. And it didn't even seem like it was the butt of the joke in the ad. I could care less what anyone else drinks. But you know who seems to care, people who are wedded to a single brand.
And in this day, those seem to be the light beer drinkers. Living in Texas and being married into a family here, I have heard more banter and ribbing about whether someone has chosen to be a Budlight, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra (though that trend seems to have passed) or Miller Light drinker. When someone drinks a Lone Star, a Highlife or ANY craftbeer, almost nothing is said because they have no idea what to make of you. Miller Highlife makes you an outlier, how does that happen.

So when I watched this commercial, I didn't see the attack on craft beer as an attempt to convince craft beer drinkers to drink Bud products. I didn't think it was an attempt to keep Bud drinkers from trying craft beers. It looked to me like an attempt by Budweiser to create an image that might appeal to the type of person who chooses a brand to which to be loyal. The way they chose to do that was by comparing themselves to a product and image/lifestyle that they knew probably wouldn't appeal to their target market. They could define themselves without actually chasing the competition. As a commercial I thought it was tedious, but then, I am one of those people who stopped watching commercials the moment I got a DVR. I'll push pause and read a book for ten minutes rather than watch a commercial. And that's why I ain't in advertising, my understanding of human motivation is probably way off.

(But I did try the Dunkel and the Alt made by Prost Brewing in Denver. Crisp, clean beers that were easy to drink with good flavor. They made a nice accompaniment to a session of antelope butchering along with some great Colorado whiskeys.)
posted by Seamus at 4:44 PM on February 6, 2015


It is separating the rice swill from the hops metaphorically speaking.
posted by reedcourtneyj at 6:38 PM on February 6, 2015


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