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Budweiser American Ale coming, but we’re going

Budweiser American AleWe’ll be in Brussels (still thinking about this) on Sept. 15, the day Budweiser American Ale officially debuts on draft. We’ll be in Stuttgart at Germany’s second largest beer festival on Sept. 29, the day the first bottles of American Ale go on sale.

Will the American beer world have been transformed by the time we return in December?

I think not, but you might disagree based on the amount of words already generated in beer blogs and at the beer rating/discussion sites (one example). Anheuser-Busch has done a great job of creating interest in American Ale ahead of its release. Of course it helps to have millions of advertising dollars to spend during the Olympics.

And for POS (point of sale advertising), like the tap handle pictured, that evokes a the same classic American tavern/saloon feel many smaller breweries and the places that serve their beer have taken advantage of for more than 20 years.

Not that A-B has done everything right. For instance, this from a company press release:

“Budweiser American Ale defines a new style of ale – The American Ale – with the full-bodied taste profile of the amber ale style, yet remarkably smooth and balanced,” said Eric Beck, brewmaster for Budweiser American Ale.

There’s an arrogance in that quote that begs for a separate post with a snippy headline.

That aside, A-B is providing support that the Michelob Specialty beers didn’t receive a decade ago, and seeing of the powerful Budweiser name offers the same sort of halo effect (no, I didn’t mean with you) it did for Bud Light way back when.

So what does Budweiser American Ale it taste like? I don’t know, but you can check here (Lew Bryson), here (three stars), here (a “huge splash”) and here (“not bad”).

No surprise. Pacific Ridge (5.6% abv, 35 IBU) and American Hop Ale (5.6% abv, 50 IBU) were both solid beers. The thing is . . . neither found an audience, at least big enough to satisfy the corporate decision makers.

Will BudAle?

I don’t expect that will be decided by March. We’ll be passing through St. Louis then, so I hope to visit a tavern with a big Budweiser eagle in the window to see what the locals are thinking . . . and drinking.

 

6 Responses to Budweiser American Ale coming, but we’re going

  1. Mario (Brewed For Thought) August 27, 2008 at 7:17 am #

    Speaking of Michelob, they have two more brews hitting the market a week before the American Ale. The pale Ale was featured in commercials during the Olympics, and I believe I made out the word “Dry Hopped” on the label. I have to admit, I’m rather intrigued.

  2. Stan Hieronymus August 27, 2008 at 7:30 am #

    Mario – The Mich Pale has been around for a while. It won the gold medal at the 2005 GABF as “Classic-Style English Pale Ale.” For a while it was available only in the mixed packages they put out for the holidays, but finally got its own six-packs.

    The Michelob Dunkel Weiss is new. I expect it will be much like the one brewed for a while in Fort Collins that was sold only on draft and only in Colorado. That was a solid beer.

  3. SteveH August 27, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Oh man — the Canstatter Volkfest is more fun than the Munich Fest any more — now I’m really jealous Stan!!

    Have fun — let us know if they still have the Armed Services Day. It was great fun to sit in the tent with military representatives of the U.S., French, and German armies all having a great time together!!

  4. Erik Huntoon September 10, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    I just found your site today and really enjoy what I have read so far. But when I saw you mention that you will be at the Stuttgart Volksfest I had to comment. I got to this magnificent festival last year, having never heard of it until 2 weeks before my dad and I were getting set to embark to Europe for a week long beer tour of Germany and Belgium. All I can say is Volksfest is a ludicrous good time and I am officially jealous that I can’t be there again this year. Have a great time!

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