The hard seltzer industry is on fire, and about to get crowded at the top. Bud Light Seltzer launches Monday.
Hard seltzer was the clear winner in the beverage industry last year. The beverage segment, now worth in excess of $1 billion, saw historic and unparalleled growth from coast to coast. While mega-brewery Anheuser Busch already has two seltzers in the market now – Natty Light Hard Seltzer and Bon & Viv, a Bud Light branded hard seltzer headed to market absolutely predictable.
We expected an official release and marketing blitz leading up to summer 2020, but Bud has opted to debut Bud Light Seltzer ahead of the Super Bowl. ABI has already spent millions on 4 minutes of commercials during the game, dedicated to both Bud Light and the new seltzer line as well as Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold.
Four flavors will be available on Monday – Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Strawberry, and Mango. Each can is 100 calories and 5% alcohol by volume, but unlike Truly Hard Seltzer, Bud Light’s release has 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving. All four flavors will be available in 12-ounce cans, in a 12 can variety pack, as well as 25-ounce cans. (Think convenience store purchases.)
The category leaders at the start of 2020 are White Claw, largely own by Mark Anthony Brands, and Truly Hard Seltzer (Boston Beer Company). Pabst Blue Ribbon announced its own seltzer last year at 6% ABV, as well as Four Loko which is a whopping 12% ABV.
The hard seltzer segment grew 210% over the past year, according to Nielsen data. America’s craft brewers are releasing hard seltzers at a brisk pace too, including Avery Brewing, Schlafly Brewing, NoDa Brewing, Sockeye Brewing, and Atlanta’s Scofflaw Brewing.
All four flavors of Bud Light Seltzer should be on shelves nationally by mid-January. Now we wait to see what the Seltzer Knight looks like #FizzyFizzy.
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s newest purchase has occured in the United Kingdom. The mega company has acquired BeerBods, a beer subscription service.
Founded in 2012, the subscription service sends out 12 beers every 12 weeks, as well as holds live beer tastings.
It is important to note ZX Ventures, the investment arm of AB InBev is tied to the purchase, acquired Beer Hawk, another online beer service. Beer Hawk has now purchased BeerBods in full. The Zx Ventures purchase rabbit hole also includes Norther Brewer (homebrew supplies), RateBeer.com, PicoBrew (appliance based homebrewing), and the beer website October.
Beer Hawk was founded by Mark and Chris, also in 2012. With headquarters in Wetherby, they themselves were acquired by ZX Ventures, the innovation arm of AB InBev, in 2016. Their mission is to inspire everyone to discover their next favourite beer. Mark, Chris and the Beer Hawk team share our passion for craft beer. They also share our vision for the kind of business we want to build. We reckon it’s the perfect fit. – via BeerBods Blog
Additionally, the ZX owns or has investments 4 Pines Brewing, Birra Del Borgo, Tripel Karmeliet, Cucapa Brewing Co., and new Patagonia Cerveza.
According to BeerBods Twitter feed, the company still has free reign on what goes into the subscription boxes.
I’ll be sticking around and I’m delighted to say that the rest of the team will be too. We’ll still be the ones picking the beers. We’ll still be the ones telling the stories behind them. – Matt, BeerBods Founder
ZX Ventures also recently acquired instagram influencer “The Fat Jewish’s” wine brand Babe Wine, famous for White Girl Rosé.
Image via BeerBods
The Super Bowl will be hosted in Atlanta this year at the city’s new $1 billion+ stadium and home of the Atlanta Falcons – Mercedes Benz Stadium
The area next door, previously known as Phillps Arena and past home to the Atlanta Thrashers and current Atlanta Hawks, has also just been renovated and renamed to State Farm Arena. In January, State Farm will host a three-day Bud Light music festival alongside the Super Bowl.
The initial lineup has been announced, which includes Bruno Mars, Ludacris, and Cardi B. Friday’s lineup includes Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Aerosmith. Bud Light is teasing a fourth major artist to be announced soon.
The fest runs from Thursday, January 31st to Saturday, February 2nd.
Weeks ago, Budweiser placed locked fridges of Bud Light in parts of Cleveland, Ohio. They were to remain locked until the Browns finally won a football game.
“The Bud Light Browns ‘Victory Fridge’ is a fun way to celebrate and reward a fanbase that has never wavered in enthusiasm or dedication for their team no matter what happens.” – Andy Goeler, Vice-President of Marketing, Bud Light
It’s been 635 days. Finally, the Browns did it. Over the jets in Thursday night football. The fridges are unlocked, and we are told this is where to find them:
- Barley House, 1261 W. 6th St., Cleveland
- Broadway Brewhouse, 3828, 127 S Broadway St., New Philadelphia
- Offshore Bar and Grille, 130 Forest Dr, Willoughby
- Bud’s Corner, 5750 Columbus Rd NE, Louisville
- Grindstone Tap House, 826 Front St, Berea
- Barley House, 222 S Main S.t #1B, Akron
- Merry Arts Pub & Grille, 15607 1/2 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
- Game On Lakewood, 17103 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
- Portage Lakes Basement, 3420 Manchester Rd., Akron
- Panini’s Westlake, 23800 Detroit Rd, Westlake
- Grayton Road Tavern, 4760 Grayton Rd., Cleveland
- The Galaxy Restaurant, 201 Park Center Dr., Wadsworth
- Slim & Jumbo’s, 8101 Main St, Garrettsville
- Loby’s Grille, 4736 Hills and Dales Rd NW, Canton
Even if it is with light beer, Cleveland can finally celebrate. Dilly Dilly.
Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager is the latest national release by Anheuser Busch InBev.
According to Anheuser Busch, brewery founder Adolphus Busch created 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager prior to the American Prohibition in 1920. The beer never traveled far from Bud’s original home of Saint Louis before alcohol was banned.
With the anniversary of Repeal coming up on December 5th plus the holidays looming, Anheuser Busch is launching Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager. The amber lager is lightly hopped, and caramel malt-forward. Repeal Reserve will also be packaged in vintage “stubby” 12-ounce bottles.
“We are excited to mark the upcoming holiday season and the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with this new brew based on a forgotten recipe. While Budweiser Repeal Reserve is a great tasting Amber Lager, it also tells the story of an important part of our history and gives reason for celebration.” – Ricardo Marques, VP of Budweiser
The official launch of Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager is slated for October 25th in New York City. Th brewery has partnered with LYFT to bring a fleet of 1930’s cars for safe rides to the launch party.
1933 Repeal Reserve is available in 12-ounce bottles and draft for a limited time.
Style: Amber Lager
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Anheuser Busch made some major cuts in their “High End” today, eliminating nearly 400 jobs.
Sometime around 10 pm last evening, representatives for The High End, including High End district managers started getting calendar invites for phone conferences with Budweiser Human Resources. This morning, the ax started to drop.
In a conference call with Alex Medicis, the Vice President of Sales for AB InBev North America, (concluding just after 3:45 pm this afternoon) most of the employees working with The High End have been let go.
According to Medicis, Anheuser-Busch is rethinking the business model surrounding the High End, centering more on efficiency. Cuts were made coast to coast.
Per Mike Seabaugh, High End Sales Rep, AB’s explanation centered around brewery acquisitions. “Basically, they’ve bought quite a few breweries and with those purchases came a bunch of employees. They don’t have room for us anymore”, he said.
The High End won’t comment on the exact number of employees, speaking on background “that less than 2% of the 18,000 employees have in North America were impacted.” According to that math, that’s around 360 employees.
It was also mentioned that after meeting with various wholesalers around the country, the general consensus is that the employees and managers for The High End were superfluous.
Beer Street Journal is told that employees that work directly for breweries purchased for Anheuser-Busch’s High End portfolio – Goose Island, 10 Barrel, Elysian, Blue Point, Wicked Weed, Four Peaks, Devil’s Backbone, Breckenridge, and Karbach, will retain their positions at the respective breweries.
Editors Note: A representative with The High End contacted Beer Street Journal about the above piece. More information has not been provided. (4:45pm)
This is a developing story. This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
When in doubt, take a shot a craft beer. That seems to be Anheuser Busch’s mentality in the latest advertising spots for Bud Light.
In the upcoming TV spots, if you are overwhelmed by craft beer’s extensive and “unusual” concoctions, Bud Light will be waiting, with its four ingredients – water, rice, barley and hops. No need to look for fruit, spices or even lobster here.
The new TV promos titled “Bottle” and “Complex” will air on August 10th during the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears preseason game. The push promotes Bud Light as “America’s Light Lager.”
This latest marketing approach comes as big brand light beers like Bud Light are in decline. According to Beer Marketer’s Insights, Bud Light was down 8.4% for 12 weeks thru July 16 in IRI multi-outlet and convenience in a Q2 conference call. Despite the downturn, the company states the beer is considered an “underdog” in beer circles, yet A-B states 20,000 Bud Lights are sold every minute, every day of the year.
This may not be the Peach Pumpkin Ale brouhaha of the Super Bowl in 2015, but it’s still interesting to see a company that spends over a billion dollars acquiring craft breweries take a shot at the beers they create.
These spots, and other creative content focus on the quality and simplicity Bud Light delivers with its four essential ingredients. The new creative takes consumers to the heart of the brewing process, showing how Bud Light takes the time to make sure every beer goes down smooth and crisp, so it can be shared and enjoyed among friends.
Despite declining volume this summer, Bud Light is still the number #1 beer sold in America, followed by Coors Light.