Budweiser Derangement Syndrome is a real problem for the 139-year-old brewer. Despite being a perfectly serviceable mid-priced beer (perfect for hot summer days, sporting events, and when one is too full to stomach an otherwise excellent Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA), it’s pilloried across the Internet by bien pensant blogger types. (Here’s a representative and foul-mouthed example.)
Bud’s declining reputation has taken a toll; the lager, which long enjoyed the highest sales of all beers in the United States, has fallen to third place. And indeed, Bud hasn't only lost whatever cool cachet it once had–it's also a victim of current economic conditions. It’s neither cheap enough to appeal to America’s downwardly mobile, nor pricey enough for the Silicon Valley/Wall Street/lobbyist set. (A similar problem afflicts other mid-priced products and retailers–think Sears, JC Penney, and the Olive Garden.)
I’ve long suspected that many who view Budweiser as nothing more than a punch line have never actually tried the stuff. Now, via New York Magazine, comes evidence to back up my suspicion.
“[T]he Budweiser marketing team is back on the offensive, trolling micro-brew drinkers by going deep into enemy territory: Brooklyn during 2015 Beer Week,” reports the magazine, “The company set up a fake bar so it could hand out samples of a special, unnamed beer the bartender says has a ‘crisp, fast finish,’ comes from ‘a 139-year-old recipe,’ and is ‘aged in beechwood.’ (Spoiler: It's Bud.)”
Suffice to say, the Brooklynites actually liked the stuff! And most tellingly, they were shocked when the bartender revealed that they were actually happily drinking Budweiser.
This seems a smarter tack than Budweiser’s recent, idiotic decision to embrace the notion that it’s not a very good beer. Actually pointing out that Budweiser can taste pretty good seems like a step in the right direction on the marketing front.
And if this latest gambit doesn’t work, there’s always another way for Budweiser to appeal to beer snobs: highlight the fact that it’s now a Belgian beer.
President Obama gave a pre-Super Bowl interview in the White House kitchen to NBC's Savannah Guthrie, where the two talked about (and drank) beer:
Obama "agreed to spend a few moments with us live," said Guthrie, explaining that the rest of the interview will be taped and aired for tomorrow's Today Show. "We're in the White House kitchen, where, among other things, you brew beer."
The hot dog is in decline in America, writes Paul Lukas at Bloomberg, and one thinks, "What isn't?" What institution, anyway. If everything were not in decline, then what would there be for journalists to write about (see Andrew Ferguson on George Packer and Haynes Johnson) and what would politicians have to campaign about?
It's become an all too familiar tale: A naïve, amoral Westerner travels to Stalinist North Korea and returns with breathless tales of what a wacky, weird, and wild time he had there! (Somehow, the country’s extensive gulag never makes it onto the visitor’s itinerary.)
Senator Ted Cruz, joining in support of Rand Paul's filibuster, said today was the first day he had the chance to speak on the Senate floor. "It don't get no better than this," Cruz said, quoting a beer commercial:
A surprising anecdote from a White House pool report this morning:
Campaign official also offers up that potus was talking about white house beer, which apparently the white house brews, she said, and one cafe patron requested a bottle, so potus sent out to Ground Force One and gave him one.
And, in a subsequent pool report from press secretary Jay Carney's gaggle, we get this: