Craft Beer Culture: Continue Like Nothing Happened

American Homebrewers Association members enjoy the bi-monthly Zymurgy magazine.  In the Jan/Feb 2015 issue, on page 54, there is a recipe called the Citra Nupti-Ale.  This was put together for a wedding reception as a gift to the bride and groom.  Anyway, I purchased the ingredients and made it last night.

While I made it, I pondered over the Budweiser commercial that they played during the Super Bowl that took some jabs at craft beer.  The knee jerk reaction I felt was the desire to punch somebody in the face really hard.  If you haven’t watched it yet, here it is.  I encourage you to dislike it (as of 2/5/2015, 2:13pm it has 976 likes and 7079 dislikes).  

I’m usually one to really enjoy a good Budweiser commercial.  They are very good.  However, the usual response I hear from my craft beer loving friends after watching a delightful advertisement from Bud is “That was really good… but I still won’t drink Budweiser.”

Then, there was this.  When you really think about it, this is a pretty brilliant move by Budweiser.  They lost us a long time ago.  They know it.  But they have also figured out that what is really damaging them is how alluring the craft beer culture is.  Indeed, we’re fun loving people who genuinely love beer (and not just light American lagers), and encourage others to try something different than their usual American Lager.

There have been several occasions when I’m among craft beer lovers, but there is that outlying person  or persons who just wants to drink their light American lager.  Many don’t give a shit what we think, but there are a few of these people who physically show and feel some kind of guilt that they’re not taking a risk and trying some new things. This demographic of people teetering between their regular Bud or Bud Light and experimenting are exactly the people to which Budweiser needs to cater.

This commercial was meant to make those that like their lagers feel comfortable and cool in their decision, so that they can keep on making that decision without feeling guilty.  In order to pull it off successfully, they had to throw some punches and make an effort of painting us, the craft beer lovers, as some sissy elitists.

The craft beer culture has never been about hating Budweiser.  Now that Budweiser has punched us in the gut, they may succeed in changing that.  We should all stop and consider if that may have been their intent.

One thought on “Craft Beer Culture: Continue Like Nothing Happened

  1. Righto. The worst thing that can happen to your brand is not to be hated, it's to be ignored. If people are talking about you, even if it's just to say how much they hate you, you're now in people's conversations and therefore on their minds. Any press is good press.

    By picking a fight, they're boosting their flagging relevancy, and the best thing the craft beer world can do is to take the high road and ignore them. Many Bud drinkers will continue to make their way over to more adventurous waters, and many won't. And that's okay!


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