You love the blog, so subscribe to the Beervana Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud today!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bud's American-style Ale

John has the review I know you've all been waiting for, the latest concoction from Bootveizer's marketing department: American Ale.
And the verdict is: Not bad, not bad at all...the beer skews toward the malty side, but actual hops HAVE been used and it reminds me of a very drinkable ESB. My machinist/home-brewer pal Les Barker, was reminded more of a brown ale and noted that the beer has a nice dry finish.
My first thought: compared to what? Looks like John compares it favorably to Bud, the lowest bar in the beer world. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The irony and pathos of calling it "American Ale" should be lost on no one, however. No doubt it will be derided by the craft beer community as "Brussels-made American Ale," or "American-style Ale," or somesuch. I hope that I have broken the ice. Feel free to contribute your own variation in comments.


  1. I think this is going to be good for the craft beer market. Why? Because it is going to be a gateway product. Current craft brewers aren't going to lose business from it, Bud is going to maybe steal market share from other macro brewers or cannibalize their own product sales. Those who like it will be more likely to give the "heavy" local products a try. I think this could end up backfiring on Bud in the long run as customers trade up and leave Bud behind.

  2. Sounds like 'Drop Top' with a different label.... :-O

    Bud is an internationally sold beer and growing into new markets all the time. I guess my first thought would be...

    If Bud's American Ale is sub-par in quality, other countries may interpret this American Ale as being the best of American brewing. It's bad enough most of the world thinks that Bud is typical quality and style of American beer.

    My second thought... Who cares what other countries think of BUD and they're American Ale? Anheuser Busch has produced numerous types of ALes over the past 20 years. Most are a flash in the pan and never stay on the market very long. We'll see what happens with the new Michelob series of ales!

    It's funny... AB puts out a Michelob series of ales and a Bud American Ale. I wonder if it's the same beers?

    I think the Amber Bock has been around for awhile... It's pretty pathetic, but works as a gateway beer too.

    In regard to gateway beers..... I think we have plenty of gateway beers on the market. That niche is filled and overflowing.... ;-}

    It could be a lot worse! Bud's new beer could have a label that says:

    Budweiser's Northwest Ale, Brewed and Bottled by Widmer Brewing

    Woo Hoo! A new Northwest flagship brew!! ;-}

    Still waiting to see the fallout of Inbev's buy out.....

  3. "If Bud's American Ale is sub-par in quality, other countries may interpret this American Ale as being the best of American brewing. It's bad enough most of the world thinks that Bud is typical quality and style of American beer."

    Most Americans believe Bud to be the typical quality and style of American beer!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. "Most Americans believe Bud to be the typical quality and style of American beer!"

    Yep! I guess you're right! That fact, plus the results of the last presidential election kind of explains the state of the nation...


  6. Not having tried it yet, I can't confirm the taste, but if it's a decent beer, there will be trouble.

    1)If they price it like Bud, average people will start buying a cheaper, mass-produced respectable ale rather than the more expensive crafts. Especially when gas is so high. Cause let's face it, craft can't compete with AB on pricing.

    2)If they price it like craft, their base cost is still lower than craft so they can give their distributors better margins which means more focus on bud ale and less on craft.

    So if it's comparable to Boston Lager, Fat Tire, Sierra Nevada, etc things will be interesting. Then again, it will force craft to further differentiate itself which would be good.

  7. Elidne

    I don't think there is much to worry about, there isn't a big mix of people that cross over and drink micro brews for the flavor but would switch for a dollar less a six pack to a in-between product. If people are strapped for cash from gas they are probably buying bud anyway.

    It won't taste as good, just trust me, I've tried their last attempts, it might not be as bad, but it will probably be more trouble to Weinhards in their in-between market then other micro breweries.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about distribution, this won't be knocking other products off the shelf. Real beer stores won't carry it and Safeway and Fred Meyer will just add it to their selection. Widmer is distributed by Bud anyway right? People that buy micros will pass it by, people that buy Bud won't like it, and people that buy Weinhards get another choice, but in the end probably won't keep drinking it.

  8. Also, i wouldn't worry about our international reputation being affected. This probably won't leave the country.

  9. I agree with DA Beers--I don't think this is a threat to craft beer. They want this beer to sell a million barrels, not 10,000. To appeal to that kind of audience, they're going to have to smooth the edges. People who like BridgePort IPA and Deschutes Obsidian Stout and Dead Guy aren't going to switch over. Flat Tire may have to worry, though.

  10. just to start off, I do work for a Bud distributor...

    Also, you guys seem to be getting caught up on who beers are distributed by... i don't understand that. Most of your favorite craft brews are distributed by a Miller/Coors house. Who cares if Widmer is distributed by a Budweiser wholesaler? Our job is to sell the beers in oursd portfolio and if we had better crafts (and I wish we did!)then we would sell the shit out of them...

    Having tried the beer though, I can say that it's definitely not gonna blow your mind but I think it will surprise you. I'm pretty critial of all our products and this one is not bad. I've gotten some positive feedback from accounts like Whole Foods.

    Like Jeff said, this product is aimed at the Sierra Nevada's, Fat Tire's and Sam Adams. It will be priced the same as Michelob and Blue Moon, and in fact it will retail for $19.25 for six pack bottles. It has a $30 mil marketing campaign behind it so I imagine you will see it at damn near every store but not near the real micros.