Walking down the beer aisle in a major grocery store, I tend to just zone out while ambulating past the 200 feet of cooler housing all the Budweiser and Coors offshoots. Problem is…the entire aisle is only 250 feet. Seriously. After running into a brick wall trying to make a product that not only doesn’t taste like piss, but can actually compete with all the microbrews who truly care about the product they produce, the big boys have changed their plan of attack, and instead just make a SHITLOAD of the same garbage, put it in different labels, and then muscle the stores carrying their product into forking over more shelf space for their cloned swill. What does that do, might you ask? It forces the working, small-scale breweries off the shelf, in most cases, and in turn (and this is what they are going for), decreases attention to potential consumers, in an attempt to stifle sales.
This has been in practice for some time, but my frustrations were recently re-ignited (is that a word? I don’t care, it gets the point across…) by this little nugget of news:
Apparently ‘platinum’ is actually Latin for skunk excrement, so the title makes sense. I mean, at least it’s not just a clever name.
Bud Light Platinum is another “attempt” at cornering a piece of the ever-growing craft beer market. What did they do to make this new venture into artisan brewing? They bumped up the ABV to 6% (watch out, folks), and they changed up the malt profile to make it a hint darker, so now you are drinking a glass of urine from a zebra that was both drunk and dehydrated. You can put as much make-up as you can on a two-dollar whore, but she’s still a whore, folks. If an actual, legitimate attempt at a quality product was made, I would be willing to bet there would be a better reception. However, that will never happen, because what AB and M-C are more concerned with is marketing and repackaging, not the actual creative process itself. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the abortions that have rolled out of the Anheuser-Busch back alley in the past.
You know what, you get a pass on this one. It has been around since 1876, and truly does deserve some credit in the beer scene in a general, totalitarian way, since it survived Prohibition. That’s as far as my good will goes, however. It still tastes like burnt evil in liquid form, with a nice highlight of remorse.
Nothing like a nice glass of bile with fewer calories. I mean, I guess it’s a lot easier to swallow useless when it won’t count for as many points on your daily diet. Released in 1982, I truly wish to out-live this abomination, but I have little faith in the American consumer en masse. Remember, fewer calories per beer is great, but when you drink 30 of them in one sitting, that tends to completely outweigh what the three or four craft brews would have cost you. Your waistline will thank you if you switch now.
Released in Europe. You know why? I’ll tell you…there is another Budweiser out there, and it hails from the Czech Republic. You can bet your ass there is a legal battle over the naming rights, as AB rarely lets anyone go without litigation, no matter how ridiculous the charge. Sad thing is, the Czech Budweiser actually makes a decent brew…
Budweiser Select and Select 55
Bud Select ranks in at 99 calories, and Select 55…well, you get the idea. At this point, I am too lazy to cut and paste the rant about calories from the Bud Light bullet-point above, but it applies here, as well.
Alright, this one screams marketing. What we are going to do is take Budweiser, raise the ABV to 5.5%, and make it the cheapest product in the Budweiser line. That not enough for you? Well, how about a psychotic penguin that hums Frank Sinatra as a mascot?
Budweiser Brewmaster’s Private Reserve
Where the hell was I when this one hit the shelves? Jesus, I had some dark days, but come on, I don’t have a bit of recall on this one. Apparently it’s a holiday thing, so merry freaking christmas to me, because I have never laid eyes on it, and I can’t think of a better gift.
Born 1989, died 2010. Why ask why…
For a company who loves to sue the shit out of others for all kinds of copyright and naming things, this was a ballsy move infringing into the “silver” name category. It was a UK release, seeing as how there is no real beer over there for people to enjoy (read: sarcasm).
Beer with caffeine and guarana, this one was doomed from the start. Not only did they plagiarise the idea from a small, upstart brewery (watch ‘Beer Wars’), they jumped into a market that would soon be doomed to abolishment thanks to 4LOKO and other bad ideas in that tract.
Budweiser and Bud Light Chelada
“What’s my shitty beer need?”
-“How about Clamato juice?”
Budweiser American Ale
They actually went a slight bit askew from the company line on his one…”American Ale is the first beer under the Budweiser name that is brewed with a top-fermenting yeast. The beer’s darker color is a departure from the other Budweiser brands.” (Stolen from Wikipedia, found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anheuser-Busch_brands#Bud_Light). This was a direct stab at the craft beer scene, trying to carve out those who may have left the cult of Bud in search of taste and fulfillment. Consider this a warning…just because the cult Kool-Aid is a darker color, it’s still cult Kool-Aid, and it will still have the same results!
Oh yeah, that’s perfect…not only does it taste like sweat from a hippo’s scrotum, but it WON’T get me drunk. Phenomenal…now I have ZERO chance of forgetting that I’m actually drinking this embalming fluid.
Bud Light Lime
This little gem of wisdom was born in 2008. I can picture it now…after seeing Corona commercials for the past 20 years, Pat McGroin, head of marketing, decides “maybe we put some lime in it.” See above comment about two dollar whores…
Bud Light Golden Wheat
As craft beer grows in the US, and pays homage to styles of beer from all over the world, the amount of wheat beers being produced stateside increases. Many mass-produced beer drinkers find that Hefs, witbiers, and other wheat styles are a very easy transition into the world of craft. Citing the growth of ShockTop (which they own!) and Blue Moon (M-C), it’s obviously time to take up more space on the shelf by putting out the exact same thing as ShockTop and Blue Moon, but in a nifty label that will attract both Bud loyalists, because of the Bud Light, and (they hope) craft beer drinkers, because it says wheat. If ignorance is bliss, the think-tank gurus at AB must be walking around in total orgasm all the time.
Another UK product, and again, its main target market attack is the calories. It only has 84 (then why not name it 84?), so now we attack those watching the scales across the pond. Whatever.
Now, these are just the Budweiser brands. I’m not even going to get into Michelob, Shock Top, Busch, Rolling Rock, Natural, Land Shark, Tequiza, and all the malt liquors they make. Nor am I venturing into the murky, sewage riddled waters of Miller-Coors. Just the Bud brands, and now, Bud Light Platinum. Another bastard child of bad ideas and zero taste. You’ve been warned…don’t be mushrooms, and don’t let your friends be mushrooms, either (the whole in the dark, fed shit thing)! Drink educated, my friends!