A year later, beer drinkers still remember Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl spot from 2015. The spot, called “Brewed the Hard Way“, was a direct shot a the surging craft beer market.
Two things still stick out from that advert. The first is the most glaringly obvious. Almost that very same week, A-B InBev had struck a deal acquiring craft brewery Elysian Brewing based in Seattle, Washington. The 60 second spot featured a stereotypical looking hipster sipping a beer, with the words flashing on the screen – “Let them sip their peach pumpkin ales”. Funny thing, A-B’s newest member of the family had a peach pumpkin ale in their arsenal. Anheuser-Busch technically owned a peach pumpkin ale at the time.
2016 brings a continuation of last year’s ad, at least in tone. The world’s largest brewery is running another “Proud to be Macro” spot, complete with Clydesdales, statements of pride to be big, and the hashtag #NotBackingDown.
You’ll find this year’s spot to be a little more tame than the 2015 run, while still digging a little (namely the fruit cup mention). The A-B marketing team said in the weeks after the 2015 ad, and ahead of the one airing this year, that these spots are not meant to support or build up the rest of the A-B InBev portfolio. Just Budweiser.
In the past year, A-B InBev has purchased craft breweries Golden Road Brewing, Breckinridge Brewery, Camden Town Brewery (UK), and Four Peaks Brewing. Not to mention SAB Miller, the world’s second largest brewery, for more than $100 billion (USD).
Anheuser-Busch has purchased their third brewery in 7 days- Colorado-based Breckenridge Brewery. To be a part of their “high-end” line.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. (As usual)
“Breckenridge Brewery has a long history of innovation and they continue to brew new and exciting beers, from their specialty brews like the Mountain Series that celebrates the brewery’s origin as a ski town brewpub, to their planned nitro can series,” said Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, The High End. “They are innovative and have built an amazing business that’s enabled them to get their great beers to fans across the country. We look forward to even more growth together.”
The partnership includes Breckinridge Brewery’s new production brewery and Farm House restaurant in Littleton, plus the brewpub in downtown Breckenridge.
The current management group, Breckenridge-Wynkoop will still run the Ale House at Amato’s in Denver; Breckenridge Ale House in Grand Junction; Breckenridge Colorado Craft in Denver; The Cherry Cricket in Denver; Mainline in Fort Collins; Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs; and Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver.
Breckenridge Brewery is currently available in 35 states, with an annual production of 70,000 barrels.
Article in progress. Updating, check back.
We’ve been waiting to find out who was the next purchase for Anheuser-Busch. The answer comes today – Golden Road Brewing.
Today, Anheuser-Busch InBev has purchased Golden Road Brewing, based in Los Angeles, California.
As Andy Goeler, CEO of Craft and Anheuser Busch InBev states in the video above, this all started with the Goose Island partnership (purchase) 5 years ago. Building off of that success, A-B InBev purchased Elysian, Blue Point, and 10 Barrel Brewing.
Brewery founder Meg Gil explains how impressed she is with A-B’s work with the “craft brands” prompted the deal, despite the 100% growth since they opened four years ago. She wanted to be with a “winning team”.
Goeler states the beer, the Golden Road culture, and the brewery’s pioneering of the craft scene in L.A. made the purchase a no brainer.
From here, Golden Road will go to Anaheim and Grand Central markets in California, with some hints of national distribution coming soon. A new Golden Road pub will be built in Los Angeles, and a second pub and production location coming to Anaheim in 4th quarter 2016.
Currently, Golden Road produces 45,000 barrels of beer (1.4 million gallons) annual. Details of the deal have not been disclosed. Brewery founder Meg Gil tweet moments ago, the deal with AB InBev has officially closed today, November 18th in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Anheuser-Busch has joined the “apple train” with the addition of Bud Light Apple. A-B InBev’s biggest competition MillerCoors has found great success with the addition of Redd’s Apple Ale. So much so, that the brand extension has added Strawberry, Sweet Tea, and Cranberry editions.
You’ll recall this isn’t the first time that Anheuser-Busch has released a spin on their most popular brand Bud Light. Specifically, the Bud Light “Rita” Series, with Lemon-Ade-Rita, Mang-O-Rita, Lime-A-Rita just to name a few.
The Rita Series was such a popular addition for A-B that it prompted Dos Equis to release Dos-A-Rita.
Anheuser-Busch has launched this new beer, in the state of Georgia only as a limited release. Interestingly, since the first mention of this beer appeared on Beer Street Journal, the brewery agreed to acquisition terms with SABMiller. If that deal goes through, the mega-brewery would own both Redd’s Apple Ale, and Bud Light Apple.
Let’s not forget the Anheuser-Busch marketing team’s strike against peach pumpkin ales, and this summer’s shot at watermelon wheat beers. I guess the Anheuser-Busch market research has proven that people cheer when you bring apples to the party. Just ask MillerCoors.
Update: Just as soon as this post went live, pictures showed up of Best Damn Root Beer out in the wild. Anheuser-Busch/Best Damn Brewing will be rolling out Best Damn Root Beer. Nationally by December.
Back in July, Anheuser-Busch purchased the BestDamn.com, and shortly after, Best Damn Apple Ale became the landing page.
Now there’s this – Best Damn Root Beer . Pabst’s Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer is making millions, and it looks like that has caught Anheuser’s attention.
Best Damn Root Beer is a new label registered to Best Damn Beer Co., via Anheuser-Busch, Saint Louis, Missouri. The root beer’s tagline – Ale aged on vanilla beans, 5.5% ABV.
Best Damn Root Beer is available in 12 ounce cans, and draft, thanks to these pictures from a Beer Street Journal reader.
The California Attorney General and the United States Department of Justice are reviewing Anheuser Busch distributor purchases.
Over the past few months, the world’s largest brewery has purchased five distributors in three states. A move, that many craft breweries have said, make it harder for them to sell their products.
The craft breweries and the Department of Justice could have a case, if it can be proven that smaller breweries have lost access to a local market, and the ability to compete, due to the A-B InBev distributor acquisitions.
Additionally, A-B InBev attempting to purchase SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewery, more than $100 billon dollars.
Bud Light 49ers 1981 Champions