This summer, beer drinkers may be saying “this America is for you.”
Budweiser Beer is changing its name to “America” from May 23 through Election Day in November to, in its words, “inspire drinkers to celebrate America and Budweiser’s shared values of freedom and authenticity.”
And, of course, it also hopes to sell more beer through the promotion.
The name “America” and patriotic images and excerpts from patriotic works such as the “Star Spangled Banner” and the “Pledge of Allegiance” will appear on the brewer’s 12-ounce bottles and cans.
But will “America” sell better than Bud?
J.J. Bromwell, manager of Link Beverages in Coopersburg, said he doubts there will be a big rush of beer fans looking to buy and collect the cans.
He said the beer collectibles market isn’t what it was decades ago, and the younger generation, which tends to be a large consumer of beer, trends more toward buying smaller, more localized craft brews.
“People nowadays are more moved by the small local brewer than by a publicity stunt from Budweiser,” he said.
But he said while people might not be buying the beer for the label, it certainly is an impressive publicity stunt by Budweiser brewer, InBev, which he noted is Belgian and not an American company.
Bromwell said that his Budweiser representative told him that he had heard about the promotion through the news before he heard it from the company.
So, word of the promotion is spreading fast.
That’s a shot in the arm for the 100-year-old brand, which has seen declining sales in recent years as more Americans turn to microbrews over the big labels.
“Sales are still strong, but they’re not what they were,” Bromwell said.
He said connecting Budweiser, or “America,” to patriotism might be a good way to target the population that still drinks the larger, more mainstream brands of beer.
But will some consumers balk that a beer brand owned by a foreign company since 2008 is promoting American values – a Belgian “America” beer?
A spokesman for Anheuser-Busch was quick to note in an interview with CNN Money that Budweiser, the beer, “is thoroughly American, even though its parent company is from Belgium.”
He said that all of Budweiser beer sold in America is brewed in America and the company maintains 12 breweries in the U.S.
So, if that’s enough America for the American consumer of “America” beer, then “cheers.”