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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: majorvices on January 11, 2013, 09:28:18 AM

Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 11, 2013, 09:28:18 AM
Reading about this "Bud Black Crown" that they are releasing - http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-10/with-black-crown-budweiser-aims-to-refresh-the-brand and I'm thinking "wow, they are really going to launch a flavorful lager type beer".

Then I am reading the most recent issue of "Beer Advocate" and see that the beer they are going to release as "Black Crown" is the beer that scored worse out of the "Project 12" pack (Batch No. 91406) It got a 69 and comments like "near cloying sweetness" and "misplaced carmel note".

I honestly haven't had the beer yet but I'm not expecting much with that score.

We all always say that we don't like Bud products but we respect the prowess of their brewing skills - so why can they not seem to make a truly great beer? I know most of it is marketing but I wonder how much of it is also just lack of understanding on how the beer scene is changing? Newspapers are failing (or have failed) across the country for the same types of reasons.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on January 11, 2013, 09:30:40 AM
They do make a flavorful beer. I believe it's called Bourbon County Stout... or something like that.  ;)

On a serious note, I agree with you and them just not understanding how the beer scene is changing. On the other hand, we see it changing and have very strong feelings towards that, maybe too strong that it clouds our judgement a little. Craft beer is still a tiny blip on the radar for them. Until we hit 20-30% market share, I don't think you'll see a huge change.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: firedog23 on January 11, 2013, 09:39:12 AM
As long as 90% of the market (customers) keep drinking it, they really don't need to understand (I believe they do understand it) the craft scene, they only need to market their scene to their regular customers which is why things like shocktop and the project 12 are around.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Slowbrew on January 11, 2013, 09:53:48 AM
I agree with everyone that have pointed out that with ~90+% market share the big boys don't need to react just yet. 

Part of the problem is the craft beer buying market is growing slowly while the number of new craft breweries is rising quickly.  Right now it seems to me that craft brewers are mostly cannibalizing each other and not having a huge effect on BMC yet.  When more of the buying public starts looking for flavor/body and stops buying cheap/quantity I think we will see the major brewers make some very good beers.  And at their volumes I think that will make things a bit more complicated for small brewers to compete.  If they can buy a better beer for not much more than Bud or a really good beer for almost twice the cost, cost will still win.

Just my opinions.  I have no reference data to back it up.

Paul
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 11, 2013, 10:15:21 AM
I found all the Project 12 beers to be nasty.  They all tasted like Budweiser with subtle different nastiness depending on the bottle.  I have most of the 12 pack in the basement awaiting some poor fool who will drink it.

I know they can brew good beer as their Brewmasters Private Reserve was excellent.  They just don't do so regularly.

It seems that the InBev ownership believes that all they need to do is marketing.  The recent articles I've read state that InBev is cutting back on hops and the quality of ingredient to make the "same" beer cheaper.  This probably also leads to their reduction in market share (recall what happened with changes to the Stroh's formula and other beers in the past).

My guess is that we'll see InBev extract as much profit as possible and then sell off damaged brands a few years from now.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 11, 2013, 10:16:52 AM
I agree with everyone that have pointed out that with ~90+% market share the big boys don't need to react just yet. 



Yep. That's just what Newspaper's thought about the internet. Then they found out it was it too late.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 11, 2013, 10:18:19 AM
I found all the Project 12 beers to be nasty.  They all tasted like Budweiser with subtle different nastiness depending on the bottle.  I have most of the 12 pack in the basement awaiting some poor fool who will drink it.

I know they can brew good beer as their Brewmasters Private Reserve was excellent.  They just don't do so regularly.



Granted, I have not had the project 12 so I should try it. But I did try the Brewmaster's Reserve Doppelbock a few years ago and it was one of the best doppelbocks I had ever tasted. So we know they can do it.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 11, 2013, 10:25:27 AM
Granted, I have not had the project 12 so I should try it.

Do it, if you feel you must.  But it was not worth it.  If you travel to Chicago, I can give you an eight pack.

But I did try the Brewmaster's Reserve Doppelbock a few years ago and it was one of the best doppelbocks I had ever tasted. So we know they can do it.

Agreed.  I'm still mad at myself that I didn't buy more of that stuff when Sam's Club had it for $5 for a liter (or whatever that huge bottle was).  But, of course, I doubted it would be any good because it was Budweiser.  This is why I bought the Project 12, as I didn't want to be kicking myself again for missing a good beer out of beer snobbery.  I was wrong on both occassions.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 11, 2013, 10:30:37 AM
I agree with everyone that have pointed out that with ~90+% market share the big boys don't need to react just yet. 
Yep. That's just what Newspaper's thought about the internet. Then they found out it was it too late.

Corp. mindset. They have more like 80-85% of the market when you include regionals not in the B.A. figures and imports. Many of the popular imports are owned by ABInbev and Miller-Coors, so you have to consider that.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on January 11, 2013, 10:38:43 AM
I agree with everyone that have pointed out that with ~90+% market share the big boys don't need to react just yet. 



Yep. That's just what Newspaper's thought about the internet. Then they found out it was it too late.

I think this is an unfair comparison. There's one huge advantage that BMC has that the newspapers didn't. Distribution. BMC has a huge advantage over craft beer in the amount of distribution that they "own".

Another one is barrier of entry. Any joe blo can start a blog and reach millions of people with less than $100. It takes 10's of thousands if not 100's of thousands of dollars to just start a craft brewery let alone one the size of Sierra Nevada or Boston Beer that could compete with BMC.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 11, 2013, 11:03:36 AM
Another one is barrier of entry. Any joe blo can start a blog and reach millions of people with less than $100. It takes 10's of thousands if not 100's of thousands of dollars to just start a craft brewery let alone one the size of Sierra Nevada or Boston Beer that could compete with BMC.
You make a fair point about the barrier for entry, but any brewer that sells their beer is competing with BMC, whether they make 1,000,000 bbls per year or 1 bbl.  Any company that makes alcohol for consumption is competing with them.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: bluesman on January 11, 2013, 11:05:11 AM
I agree with everyone that have pointed out that with ~90+% market share the big boys don't need to react just yet. 
Yep. That's just what Newspaper's thought about the internet. Then they found out it was it too late.

Corp. mindset. They have more like 80-85% of the market when you include regionals not in the B.A. figures and imports. Many of the popular imports are owned by ABInbev and Miller-Coors, so you have to consider that.

I'll try Black Crown, but I'm not expecting much.

For clarity's sake.
This is taken from an article written by CNN Money.

"By comparison, the big breweries are, in fact, very big: In 2011, Anheuser-Busch shipped 98.8 million barrels, a market share of 47.7%. Meanwhile, MillerCoors (a joint venture between Molson Coors (TAP) and SABMiller PLC) had a share of 28.4%. Meanwhile, in 2011 the average craft brewery shipped 5,911 barrels while the median barrel count was just 550 barrels."

So between ABInBev and SABMiller, they produce 76.1% of the market share. Which is still the overwhelming majority share.

This is an interesting read.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/11/15/big-beer-craft-brewers/
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on January 11, 2013, 11:14:58 AM
Another one is barrier of entry. Any joe blo can start a blog and reach millions of people with less than $100. It takes 10's of thousands if not 100's of thousands of dollars to just start a craft brewery let alone one the size of Sierra Nevada or Boston Beer that could compete with BMC.
You make a fair point about the barrier for entry, but any brewer that sells their beer is competing with BMC, whether they make 1,000,000 bbls per year or 1 bbl.  Any company that makes alcohol for consumption is competing with them.

That is also true but I'm saying it takes much more money and manpower to overtake the giants in the beer industry than it did for the internet to revolutionize the way we receive our news. If nothing else, it would just take longer giving the big boys more time. Maybe they have awesome ideas that they haven't used yet hoping one of these lesser ones will do the trick.


Just out of curiosity, what do we expect from these guys anyway. They continue to release fringe craft beers and marketing driven beers but what would be a good move for them? Should we expect Bud IPA with Simcoe hops? I don't think so. They have their market and have done their research. They seem to feel comfortable that producing beers like Black Crown is still within their segment. I mean if they just flat out started making IPA's and Russian Imperial Stouts and Belgian style beers would any of us actually buy enough to sustain them? I would bet that they have the ability to do this beyond what craft beer can do but they're not because most people would still buy Founders and Stone because of who they are or aren't.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: deepsouth on January 11, 2013, 11:22:43 AM
despite having a horrible craft beer selection, i still see no reason to purposely drink their products.

i've always thought that their 'brewing skills' referred more to them being able to consistantly brew beer that tastes the same every time you drink it.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 11, 2013, 11:30:03 AM
I think the point is, they are losing market share to craft breweries and they put out psuedo-craft beer to compete with it but what they end up doing is just diluting their brand with more of the same.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: deepsouth on January 11, 2013, 11:40:09 AM
I think the point is, they are losing market share to craft breweries and they put out psuedo-craft beer to compete with it but what they end up doing is just diluting their brand with more of the same.

i agree.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Slowbrew on January 11, 2013, 11:41:05 AM
Major's comparison to newspapers and the internet isn't too far off.  Most of the comments point to the same set of symptoms that happened in the newspaper industry.

1) Sales of papers started to slow a bit as a new media got started
2) Newspaper companies tried to ignore the completely independent internet journalist
3) Papers tried to make internet journalists look like hacks and nut jobs
4) Papers start laying off their news staffs (cheaper ingredients)
5) Sales continued to decline and companies started merging.  This continued until most media is controller by a small number of companies.
6) Many even tried giving their papers away (with a tank of gas or some other purchase)
7) "Free" news continues to hurt the old media companies. Now the new media has better quality than the old media.

The problem with a direct comparison is that the little beer guy isn't "free".  Their product actually costs more which will make the steps above take much longer to happen.  Not that craft brewers won't continue to chip away at market share but this will be a long war, not a quick battle.

Paul
Paul
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 11, 2013, 12:15:25 PM
The most enduring competitive advantage a business can have is good supply-chain management. BMC knows a ton about supply-chain management. From the dirt to your glass, they control every aspect very well. This is why they'll be around (and dominant) for the foreseeable future.

The supply-chain for a newspaper is nothing like an agricultural product. Their format (real papers) was no longer relevant, so their business fell apart. Unless beer becomes digital, I don't see how it's a similar situation.

FWIW, the Project 12 gold lager #63118 was actually pretty good. The other two, not so much.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: weithman5 on January 11, 2013, 12:15:28 PM
I think budweiser does make some good beer.  i actually like plain old budweiser on a hot day.  i have had their michelob amber bock which was good.  (except for some reason the version in oklahoma seemed to be a thinner version from what i had i florida)
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 11, 2013, 12:23:07 PM
I think budweiser does make some good beer.  i actually like plain old budweiser on a hot day.  i have had their michelob amber bock which was good.  (except for some reason the version in oklahoma seemed to be a thinner version from what i had i florida)

I'll drink Bud at the golf course. But I don't buy it to drink at home.

I think, if you think Bud doesn't "get it," then you don't really "get" what Bud is doing.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: redbeerman on January 11, 2013, 12:59:12 PM

The problem with a direct comparison is that the little beer guy isn't "free".  Their product actually costs more which will make the steps above take much longer to happen.  Not that craft brewers won't continue to chip away at market share but this will be a long war, not a quick battle.

Paul


As you say Paul, "Their product actually costs more".  It also costs more to make per unit volume, thus the profit margins are smaller.  This probably doesn't fit the big boys business model.  If the big guys could live with smaller margins, they could produce a product that competes favorably with the "craft" industry more efficiently due to economies of scale.  A lot of times in industry a company will buy a smaller company and discontinue products of the smaller company because the margins on these products don't fit the profit strategy of the bigger company.  I have seen this many times.  So if the big guys business model demands high profit margins, "craft" style beers just don't fit.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 11, 2013, 01:04:42 PM
So if the big guys business model demands high profit margins, "craft" style beers just don't fit.

What are the defining characteristics of the mega beer business plan? Intensive distribution (sell it everywhere), low margin, lots of mass media ads, high volume. Their business models demands small margins, not big margins.

If Bud Light was a high-margin product, they'd be bigger than Apple.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: a10t2 on January 11, 2013, 01:05:28 PM
As you say Paul, "Their product actually costs more".  It also costs more to make per unit volume, thus the profit margins are smaller.

From the numbers I've seen, I think it's actually the opposite. Granted, the big boys can negotiate for lower costs, and they use a little less in raw materials, but they're also selling product at half to two-thirds what small brewers are.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: DrewG on January 11, 2013, 01:11:33 PM
This is a great read if you want some insight into how AB was run before and after InBevs bid. Some fascinating stuff. What a train wreck that family ended up being in the end.

And evidently I forgot to add a link. In any event "Bitter Brew" by William Knoedelseder
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: redbeerman on January 11, 2013, 01:20:33 PM
As you say Paul, "Their product actually costs more".  It also costs more to make per unit volume, thus the profit margins are smaller.

From the numbers I've seen, I think it's actually the opposite. Granted, the big boys can negotiate for lower costs, and they use a little less in raw materials, but they're also selling product at half to two-thirds what small brewers are.

Yes, but the product probably costs 20% of what the craft product costs to make.  A 4.5% ABV beer where the production efficiency is in the high 90% range.  Believe me, at half the price, their margins are still higher than the craft brewers.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 11, 2013, 01:29:29 PM
I think the point is, they are losing market share to craft breweries and they put out psuedo-craft beer to compete with it but what they end up doing is just diluting their brand with more of the same.

I don't agree that they are using these to try to compete with craft beer. I think they are mostly producing these beers for the fringe of their huge following of BMC drinkers who's thirsts are getting curious - but who still want something similar to BMC. 
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: a10t2 on January 11, 2013, 01:58:24 PM
Yes, but the product probably costs 20% of what the craft product costs to make.

If we're just talking about ingredient costs, and about Budweiser versus, say, Ruination, sure. Budweiser versus Boston Lager, no way.

And ingredients are just a tiny fraction of what it costs to produce beer. Utilities, packaging, taxes, insurance, labor, transportation, marketing, R&D... Economies of scale can bring you small gains in some areas, but not a factor of five across the board.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: weithman5 on January 11, 2013, 02:00:40 PM

I don't agree that they are using these to try to compete with craft beer. I think they are mostly producing these beers for the fringe of their huge following of BMC drinkers who's thirsts are getting curious - but who still want something similar to BMC.

or maybe it is just to keep their brewmasters interested
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 11, 2013, 02:05:46 PM
Holy crap, it almost sounds like Sean knows how the beer industry works! I wonder why ;)
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: bluesman on January 11, 2013, 02:33:17 PM
Yes, but the product probably costs 20% of what the craft product costs to make.

If we're just talking about ingredient costs, and about Budweiser versus, say, Ruination, sure. Budweiser versus Boston Lager, no way.

And ingredients are just a tiny fraction of what it costs to produce beer. Utilities, packaging, taxes, insurance, labor, transportation, marketing, R&D... Economies of scale can bring you small gains in some areas, but not a factor of five across the board.

Some interesting tidbits. 

Craft Beer makes a significant amount more profit than the BMC's "on premise".

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriekauffman/2012/08/30/this-brews-for-you-craft-beer-economics-for-your-labor-day-pleasure/

http://sellingcraftbeer.com/

Now the brewery's margins can be another story depending on the efficiency of the brewhouse,  ergonomics, utility cost, taxes, etc..etc...


Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 11, 2013, 03:00:19 PM


I think, if you think Bud doesn't "get it," then you don't really "get" what Bud is doing.

Depends ... let's talk about it in 5 years and see how well Bud Black Crown does.... BTW, anyone remember Bud American Pale Ale?
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: cycleak on January 11, 2013, 03:01:47 PM
I run a bar here in Hawaii and I carry about 15 beers on tap and about 80 different types of bottled beer.  My biggest sellers are the Bud products.  I carry a great assortment of craft beers and they have a generous amout of sales but most of my sales are from Budwieser and Miller products.  As long as there's a demand for it Budweiser will continue to make, what in my opinion, are the worst tasting beers I've ever had.  But I'm a craft beer guy, that's expected.  However, I have to carry what my customers like. Aloha!
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 11, 2013, 04:56:16 PM
Depends ... let's talk about it in 5 years and see how well Bud Black Crown does.... BTW, anyone remember Bud American Pale Ale?

Products come and go. Let's see in 5 years if AB-inBev is still one of the top three beer companies in the US.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: gsandel on January 11, 2013, 05:48:50 PM
Quote
I think, if you think Bud doesn't "get it," then you don't really "get" what Bud is doing.

Most of this country, and the world now, I guess, is buying the American Light Lager.

I just came back from family vacation at Disney.  I visited the Miller Ale House, (actually, I just read the beer menu posted on the outside, and decided it wasn't worth my time), The Miller (as in Miller-Coors or whatever the conglomerate is called these days) Ale House had one or two ales available, one being Guinness, one "craft" beer in Sam Adams Boston Lager, and 64 varieties of American Lager (including imports)....

The place was packed....and no one seemed to be holding their nose and being forced to drink it.  The truth of the matter is, I just don't get it.

I didn't make it downtown, but I couldn't find a decent local craft beer in the liquor stores, either.  I have nothing good to say about Disney's brewpub, either.

They (Bud, MC, Disney) are just doing what big business does, make more money.  If they make a profit on something, they sell it and market it.....they care not if it is what I like....as long as someone does.  They may be alarmed at the trend of craft beer vs. their own products, but they sure aren't worried about its market share.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 11, 2013, 06:14:13 PM
Depends ... let's talk about it in 5 years and see how well Bud Black Crown does.... BTW, anyone remember Bud American Pale Ale?

Products come and go. Let's see in 5 years if AB-inBev is still one of the top three beer companies in the US.

And lets see how much market share they continue to lose. I'm sure they will be a huge maket force in 5 years. In 10 even. 15? 20???
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: jamminbrew on January 11, 2013, 06:32:28 PM
Augustus Busch, founder of Budweiser, refused to drink his own beer. He called it "That slop", or in his accented english, "Dot Shlop"...  He considered it base, and only good for the lower class. He started an aggressive marketing campaign, and succeeded. As most people simply follow what advertisement tells them is good, they believe. When it comes to successfully selling beer to the masses, Bud gets it. When it comes to pleasing the minority of beer drinkers who buck the system and demand something with real flavor, they don't. I refuse to buy any Bud, Miller, or Coors product simply because they mass produce, and mass market, for the sole purpose of mass consumption.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 11, 2013, 08:21:24 PM
A huge section of "craft beer culture" has its head up its ass. Sure, you and everyone you know loves craft beer and can't fathom drinking anything else, but you and your friends (and me and my friends) are not everyone in the world. And, newsflash, your opinion isn't the "right" one, that's just like, your opinion, man.

Craft beer is doing a terrible job bringing in different kinds of people. The majority of craft beer drinkers are white men with lots of discretionary income. A few breweries are trying to bring in (white) women (also with lots of discretionary income). But I don't see any efforts to bring in anyone else. I'm pretty sure there are more black guys in the NHL than in craft beer.

So, with craft beer being mostly white men, many of whom are in the 50+ age range, I don't see how craft beer can keep growing over the next 20 years.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 11, 2013, 09:04:21 PM
The BMC brewers do the same thing pretty much every other successful company in this country has done for the past 100 years or so: market a product that can be produced cheaply, consistently and uniformly, in mass quantities and sold to the public as the best out there. Look at any consumer product and find where the top selling companies produce the best products. You might find a few but they are the exception to the rule. That is especially true with food products. If you're not sure that's the case, look in your fridge and pantry (and trash) and see how many large-brand products you carry. Ok, you might buy a lot of store brand (usually made by one of the larger named product producers) or small brand stuff but your friends, family and neighbors probably are not the same way.

Industrial lager is a product to be marketed like all these other products. They produce a product that you never have to worry about opening and getting a bad batch or an imperfect batch. They can sell that uniform, clean product all over the world based on the idea you are going to be cooler, sexier, have a better time, etc. if you consume it. People have been drinking that beer for generations. There are familial attachments to brands. Memories. Histories, even. People like myself drank it through college. If those products fall off it will be because new generations are exposed to a superior product and choose to defy the advertising around them. Will everybody do it? Probably not. As long as Calvin pisses on the logo of various car brands, people will keep buying up what advertising tells them to.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: jeffy on January 12, 2013, 06:16:14 AM
My employee drinks Bud Light, not because of the ads, but because he likes Bud Light.  I share craft and homebrewed beer with him quite often, but he prefers the flavor of Bud Light, only drinking half a glass of whatever I offer before going back to his brand.  His friend and neighbor drinks Miller Lite, again because he likes Miller Lite.  My employee hates the flavor of Miller Lite so much that he will bring his own beer when visiting his neighbor and I'm sure the reverse is true.  Neither of these guys has been duped by advertising into drinking their particular favorite.  They just like the beer.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 12, 2013, 06:43:59 AM
So like, I'm an idiot I guess (or at least it is assumed so ;) ). I think I understand the overall strategy of big companies who sell mass produced products and their marketing strategies. What I am trying to figure out is this: If overall beer consumption in the US is lagging but craft beer consumption is growing, why does Bud (or Miller or Coors) not just come out with a beer that pleases craft beer drinkers?

And, FWIW, I am in the industry, Nate, and I am constantly surprised at how many people are turning to craft beer. Stereotypes aside, I know many people who 5 or 6 years ago had never tried anything more exciting than an Amber Bock and they are now buying craft beer. Sure, they may still have their Bud Light in the fridge, but they are also discovering (and more importantly BUYING ) local and regional craft beer and choosing it over BMC.

I actually thought the Bud American Ale was a fairly decent beer but that it was NOT marketed well at all. Perhaps if they had thrown their guns at selling that beer they could have taken away some market share from Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 12, 2013, 07:18:25 AM
Yes, craft beer is growing. Going from 6% to 7% is a huge increase, in relative terms. It's still a very small piece of the pie.

I want craft beer to be successful, but there's a huge demographic and economic problem to growing craft beer beyond a niche market. I'm not even sure if craft beer needs to be much bigger.

I know more black, Asian, and Latino people who golf, ski, and bicycle than who drink craft beer. Craft brewing is super, super white. The only Latino involved in the American beer industry I've heard of is Carlos Brito, the Brazilian AB-Inbev CEO.

As long as craft beer costs more than Bud light or Keystone, most people simply won't be able to afford to buy craft beer in any large quantity. Craft beer is a luxury item, like any high-margin, low volume specialty good. Rich people buy luxury goods. Poor people generally don't. (I use those terms loosely)
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 12, 2013, 07:26:02 AM
Hey, glad someone else is up this early. Bet you aren't emptying out last night's mash tun right now though. ;)
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: weithman5 on January 12, 2013, 08:22:58 AM
I run a bar here in Hawaii . Aloha!

In 1989 my favorite haunt was Anna Banana's.  it was for sale just as my buddy and I were leaving the Navy.  we thought about it, but then I had a wife and son on the mainland that would not have been pleased.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: weithman5 on January 12, 2013, 08:59:41 AM
Yes, craft beer is growing. Going from 6% to 7% is a huge increase, in relative terms. It's still a very small piece of the pie.

I want craft beer to be successful, but there's a huge demographic and economic problem to growing craft beer beyond a niche market. I'm not even sure if craft beer needs to be much bigger.


As long as craft beer costs more than Bud light or Keystone, most people simply won't be able to afford to buy craft beer in any large quantity. Craft beer is a luxury item, like any high-margin, low volume specialty good. Rich people buy luxury goods. Poor people generally don't. (I use those terms loosely)

it is not just an issue of cost.  at least half the time my wife and i are out i will have a budweiser or last night a Bass Ale. (different then bud but not necessarily craft) it is not because of cost but because i am only going to drink one beer with dinner and many of the offerings otherwise frankly suck.  I know that I will like those. I am not afraid to try something but when i look at the beer list and it is 14 IPAs all of which i have had and have sucked. i will go to a standby.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 12, 2013, 09:15:34 AM
Yes, craft beer is growing. Going from 6% to 7% is a huge increase, in relative terms. It's still a very small piece of the pie.

I want craft beer to be successful, but there's a huge demographic and economic problem to growing craft beer beyond a niche market. I'm not even sure if craft beer needs to be much bigger.


As long as craft beer costs more than Bud light or Keystone, most people simply won't be able to afford to buy craft beer in any large quantity. Craft beer is a luxury item, like any high-margin, low volume specialty good. Rich people buy luxury goods. Poor people generally don't. (I use those terms loosely)

it is not just an issue of cost.  at least half the time my wife and i are out i will have a budweiser or last night a Bass Ale. (different then bud but not necessarily craft) it is not because of cost but because i am only going to drink one beer with dinner and many of the offerings otherwise frankly suck.  I know that I will like those. I am not afraid to try something but when i look at the beer list and it is 14 IPAs all of which i have had and have sucked. i will go to a standby.

That's usually when I am thankful for sam adams.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: weithman5 on January 12, 2013, 09:59:00 AM
i would include that in my list of stand by. 8)
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: nateo on January 12, 2013, 10:09:33 AM
it is not just an issue of cost.  at least half the time my wife and i are out i will have a budweiser or last night a Bass Ale. (different then bud but not necessarily craft) it is not because of cost but because i am only going to drink one beer with dinner and many of the offerings otherwise frankly suck.  I know that I will like those. I am not afraid to try something but when i look at the beer list and it is 14 IPAs all of which i have had and have sucked. i will go to a standby.

I completely agree. IMO there's way too much bad, or at least mediocre, uninspired, samey, craft beer in the world. But, IPAs are the fastest growing (up 42%), and largest volume (18.1%) style of craft beer. Sales of Ranger and Torpedo have increased 48% and 52%, respectively. So I don't blame everyone for jumping on that bandwagon.
(http://www.beerinsights.com/index.php?option=com_php&Itemid=17&aid=172620)

Still, spirits, wine and booze soda are growing, beer consumption is declining, especially among young people and women. Craft beer is up, but in 2011, marketshare was 5.7% by volume, and 9.1% in dollars. That means craft beer means selling a small amount of beer for a high price. That's not a trend that can continue growing indefinitely into the future.

Also, for some reason, PBR grew by like 20% last year, so it's not just craft beer that's growing.

And yes, if you couldn't tell, the tackle store is slow this time of year, so I have a lot of free time at work these days.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: weithman5 on January 12, 2013, 10:34:26 AM
my busy season with the damn flu.

i still will find a way to make that drive and fish there. :D
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: redbeerman on January 12, 2013, 02:02:26 PM
Craft beer is like gourmet food.  It has a market and it is small compared to BMC and fast food.  Craft beer and gourmet food may not be for the "masses".  And yes we all prabably do have our heads up our butts. 8)
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on January 14, 2013, 07:45:27 AM
Also, for some reason, PBR grew by like 20% last year, so it's not just craft beer that's growing.

Hipsters....
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: alcaponejunior on January 14, 2013, 02:31:41 PM
I think the point is, they are losing market share to craft breweries and they put out psuedo-craft beer to compete with it but what they end up doing is just diluting their brand with more of the same.

Seems like an accurate summary.

I think their management remains focused on what has worked in the past - marketing, and they're stuck on that.  They might change when they lose more market share, which is inevitable and inexorable, but will undoubtedly be slow.  For the moment though, their corporate executives keep their cushy jobs, huge bonuses, and noon tee-times by making sure the shareholders get dividends, and I don't think they really give a flying rat's ass about what goes out in bottles, as long as it maintains their status quo.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: narvin on January 14, 2013, 05:10:27 PM
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 14, 2013, 06:51:51 PM
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: jeffy on January 14, 2013, 06:52:34 PM
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

Very well said.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: narvin on January 14, 2013, 07:07:47 PM
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I genuinely think it's a calculated marketing move that has nothing to do with competing with craft brewers.  It doesn't matter if Budweiser makes real craft beer as long as they keep the brand name fresh and seem to embrace the latest trends.  Making something too strong or different risks alienating their customers. Or worse, changing their tastes to truly appreciate diverse and flavorful beer.

Instead, by marketing bud with flavor extracts and food coloring they can keep the taste close enough to maintain "brand identity" while seeming hip to the current trends.  In fact, they don't even have to sell a single bottle: as long as the idea is out there that Budweiser is the "King of Beers", it gives their whole portfolio cachet that attracts light lager drinkers even if they have no intention of drinking anything else.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 14, 2013, 10:36:37 PM
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I'd say it's a lot less to compete with craft beer in its own market as it is to keep shelf/tap space and capture the uninitiated. By having an "IPA" like the Shock Top IPA they can go to bars and convince them to give up taps from craft IPAs to sell their own versions. The reps go into a bar and see an IPA and offer a cut rate deal to replace it with the Henry Weinhard IPA. How many sports bars/dive bars/Chili's really know the difference or care what the difference is? Similarly, they can put those products on the shelves along with the craft beers and crowd out some of the craft space. Plus, when you put those two together and people go looking for a "craft beer" they will remember seeing the Shock Top IPA at the bar and pick it up at the store.

The pseudo-craft stuff isn't so far removed that people dabbling in craft beer trying them will be scared away from craft but neither are the likely to run towards it. It's middle of the road stuff that really competes against other gateway craft beers. That's the bigger market in craft beer. The top craft brands all sell a beer that easily works as a gateway beer to craft (SNPA, SA Boston Lager, Fat Tire). It's tremendously larger than the market for 14% barleywine aged in 15 types of barrels with dog balls. There are lots of people who will drink the gateway beers (and I don't mean to suggest anything is wrong with drinking those beers) but don't move further into craft. So it's a larger market that they can play to their strengths.

The large brewers have enormous resources, knowledge and experienced brewers. They could make the very best craft beers in the world if they chose to invade that market. It's just not their path.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 15, 2013, 06:25:47 AM
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I'd say it's a lot less to compete with craft beer in its own market as it is to keep shelf/tap space and capture the uninitiated. By having an "IPA" like the Shock Top IPA they can go to bars and convince them to give up taps from craft IPAs to sell their own versions. The reps go into a bar and see an IPA and offer a cut rate deal to replace it with the Henry Weinhard IPA. How many sports bars/dive bars/Chili's really know the difference or care what the difference is? Similarly, they can put those products on the shelves along with the craft beers and crowd out some of the craft space. Plus, when you put those two together and people go looking for a "craft beer" they will remember seeing the Shock Top IPA at the bar and pick it up at the store.

The pseudo-craft stuff isn't so far removed that people dabbling in craft beer trying them will be scared away from craft but neither are the likely to run towards it. It's middle of the road stuff that really competes against other gateway craft beers. That's the bigger market in craft beer. The top craft brands all sell a beer that easily works as a gateway beer to craft (SNPA, SA Boston Lager, Fat Tire). It's tremendously larger than the market for 14% barleywine aged in 15 types of barrels with dog balls. There are lots of people who will drink the gateway beers (and I don't mean to suggest anything is wrong with drinking those beers) but don't move further into craft. So it's a larger market that they can play to their strengths.

The large brewers have enormous resources, knowledge and experienced brewers. They could make the very best craft beers in the world if they chose to invade that market. It's just not their path.

Now, this is totally true. I can assure you. But it goes straight back to the point - why don't they just make a decent beer to compete with craft. Again, craft beer's market share is growing, BMC is shrinking. Why go about making a Bud Black Crown if it just waters down the rest of your bramnd. Why not make a beer that actually competes with craft beer?
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: jamminbrew on January 15, 2013, 07:08:10 AM


Now, this is totally true. I can assure you. But it goes straight back to the point - why don't they just make a decent beer to compete with craft. Again, craft beer's market share is growing, BMC is shrinking. Why go about making a Bud Black Crown if it just waters down the rest of your bramnd. Why not make a beer that actually competes with craft beer?
Why try to compete, when you can just bury the competition?
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 15, 2013, 08:41:37 AM
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I'd say it's a lot less to compete with craft beer in its own market as it is to keep shelf/tap space and capture the uninitiated. By having an "IPA" like the Shock Top IPA they can go to bars and convince them to give up taps from craft IPAs to sell their own versions. The reps go into a bar and see an IPA and offer a cut rate deal to replace it with the Henry Weinhard IPA. How many sports bars/dive bars/Chili's really know the difference or care what the difference is? Similarly, they can put those products on the shelves along with the craft beers and crowd out some of the craft space. Plus, when you put those two together and people go looking for a "craft beer" they will remember seeing the Shock Top IPA at the bar and pick it up at the store.

The pseudo-craft stuff isn't so far removed that people dabbling in craft beer trying them will be scared away from craft but neither are the likely to run towards it. It's middle of the road stuff that really competes against other gateway craft beers. That's the bigger market in craft beer. The top craft brands all sell a beer that easily works as a gateway beer to craft (SNPA, SA Boston Lager, Fat Tire). It's tremendously larger than the market for 14% barleywine aged in 15 types of barrels with dog balls. There are lots of people who will drink the gateway beers (and I don't mean to suggest anything is wrong with drinking those beers) but don't move further into craft. So it's a larger market that they can play to their strengths.

The large brewers have enormous resources, knowledge and experienced brewers. They could make the very best craft beers in the world if they chose to invade that market. It's just not their path.

Now, this is totally true. I can assure you. But it goes straight back to the point - why don't they just make a decent beer to compete with craft. Again, craft beer's market share is growing, BMC is shrinking. Why go about making a Bud Black Crown if it just waters down the rest of your bramnd. Why not make a beer that actually competes with craft beer?

For the same reason McDonald's doesn't make an organic sirloin burger, Coke doesn't make craft sodas, Ikea doesn't make handcrafted furniture, etc. However, they will buy up other companies that do. They can keep disparate portfolios of profitable businesses.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: The Professor on January 15, 2013, 10:16:12 AM
In the end, I don't believe that the BMCs of the world are really competing with the small brewers.  They don't need to.

There are so many small wannabe brewers jumping on the bandwagon these days  that the small brewers are really competing mainly amongst themselves... and as nateo seems to suggest, I think that they are doing so with some good products, but also quite a few uninspired or downright lousy products (It's the main reason that when I buy "craft" beer it is rarely a full sixpack, especially if I'm trying something new). 
If it weren't for my local store offering single bottles of just  about anything in stock, I probably wouldn't be buying it at all (especially at the crazy prices that are becoming so prevalent).

Further, I don't even think that the special products being rolled out by the BMCs should be called "faux craft" or "pseudo craft".  Some of them are quite good, and in fact in a few instances they're better than a some of the "boutique" stuff out there. 

With regard to the subject line of this thread, I think that  Budweiser (ie., AB-InBev) "gets it" perfectly well.
I'm betting that we'll be seeing some significantly bolder offerings from the bigs in the coming few years.  Tastes are changing, slowly but surely.  Light "American Lager" won't be going away, but recognizing the growth (albeit slow growth) of the specialty beer category, they will definitely be upping their game.
If the change means more good beer, and more variety, that's a good thing.  When they do finally roll out  some significantly enhanced products, their main problem will be convincing a segment  of beer lovers who value snob  appeal as much as they like good beer.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 15, 2013, 03:40:34 PM
I understand what you all are saying but I still don't understand why a company that could most likely make a great beer to compete with other breweries such as Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada comes up with products that ultimately fail, as I am assuming this Black Crown is going to. All they are doing is making a beer that is going to compete with their other brands.

What if they made a truly great all malt pilsner and kept the price reasonable? I think they could target some of these other larger craft breweries that are slowly creeping in on their market share.

The crazy thing to me is that the beer they are choosing to go as the mass produce selection out of their sample pack is the one that got the least positive review in Beer Advocate. Of course, I realize that BA is not the end all be all. Just strikes me as as strike out where they could really take back some of the market share they are losing from SA and SN.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 15, 2013, 03:49:57 PM
They need to bring back Bud Dry.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: a10t2 on January 15, 2013, 05:09:56 PM
What if they made a truly great all malt pilsner and kept the price reasonable?

Michelob?
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: The Professor on January 15, 2013, 05:50:16 PM
What if they made a truly great all malt pilsner and kept the price reasonable?

Michelob?

I'll agree with you there.  Michelob is definitely a very good beer, especially considering the source (though technically, they position it as a 'lager', and not specifically as  a pilsener).

I think it's a shame that it is seen so rarely on draft anymore.
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on January 15, 2013, 07:40:05 PM
What if they made a truly great all malt pilsner and kept the price reasonable?

Michelob?

I'd hesitate to call it "truly great" ..... I'm thinking along the lines on Troeg's Sunshine Pils or, even Victory Prima Pils.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on January 16, 2013, 08:08:01 AM
What if they made a truly great all malt pilsner and kept the price reasonable?

Michelob?

I'd hesitate to call it "truly great" ..... I'm thinking along the lines on Troeg's Sunshine Pils or, even Victory Prima Pils.

Believe it or not but those beers are just too hoppy for the normal consumer. I buy those beers along with Noble Pils and sometimes Summerfest (which gets the best reviews) and give them to my dad and uncle and they both remark on how bitter or hoppy the taste is. After years of drinking IPAs these beers seem tame to me but they notice it right away. I'm assuming most people would react the same way and not buy it.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: dirk_mclargehuge on January 16, 2013, 05:32:46 PM
I don't know why anyone cares why Budweiser doesn't get it. Ultimately, their goal, as any business, is to get and keep majority market share. They have it. When it was an American company, they tried with their American Ale.

But that was doomed from the start, flavor aside. The craft beer community started b****ing about it the moment it was announced. (Kinda like this.) Then we tasted it. Yeah, we were right.  It was crap.

Here's what craft brewers should be fearing: ABInBev decides to make a version of the number one beer in the country: Pliny the Elder.

If the management decided to make a DIPA to rival Pliny, they could do it.  They employ great brewers. (Before you tell me they don't, remember that Mitch Steele and Dan Carey both worked for Budweiser.) They have amazing technology. And they could make an amazing DIPA.

That's what I would do if I were in charge.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on January 17, 2013, 06:50:45 AM
Here's what craft brewers should be fearing: ABInBev decides to make a version of the number one beer in the country: Pliny the Elder.

If the management decided to make a DIPA to rival Pliny, they could do it.  They employ great brewers. (Before you tell me they don't, remember that Mitch Steele and Dan Carey both worked for Budweiser.) They have amazing technology. And they could make an amazing DIPA.

That's what I would do if I were in charge.

Who would buy it though?

I would venture a guess that 90% of people who buy Pliny know who makes it and where it comes from. It AB-Inbev made it, those 90% would not be loyal to them and who in their current market would buy something like that? I just don't see that as a plausible option.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: kramerog on January 17, 2013, 09:15:10 AM
The Hops book indicates that Bud does get it kinda.  When BMC came out with the "I can't taste my beer ads," Bud started making their beers incrementally hoppier.  Bud understands that most consumers want to be able to taste their beer, but not much.  Over time, Bud may continue to get hoppier but it'll be really hard for people to notice the evolution. 
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: dirk_mclargehuge on January 17, 2013, 09:15:54 AM
Here's what craft brewers should be fearing: ABInBev decides to make a version of the number one beer in the country: Pliny the Elder.

If the management decided to make a DIPA to rival Pliny, they could do it.  They employ great brewers. (Before you tell me they don't, remember that Mitch Steele and Dan Carey both worked for Budweiser.) They have amazing technology. And they could make an amazing DIPA.

That's what I would do if I were in charge.

Who would buy it though?

I would venture a guess that 90% of people who buy Pliny know who makes it and where it comes from. It AB-Inbev made it, those 90% would not be loyal to them and who in their current market would buy something like that? I just don't see that as a plausible option.
If it was good, I would drink it. I would know it came from the plant in Houston, just a day's drive away.

Frankly, I don't get the whole "hate AB and MC and everything they make" mindset. I guess it's like the Mac and Linux people hating Microsoft. It's "I'm cooler than 92% of the beer drinkers in the country." Or,  "I live in a cooler state than the other 49." I don't drink AB and MC beers generally. I like Budweiser, I like Coors Light. There is a time and a place for any beer.

Except Lone Star Bock. That stuff's nasty.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: weithman5 on January 17, 2013, 09:31:50 AM
+++++
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmanator on January 17, 2013, 10:16:59 AM
I had the amazing fortune to see firsthand what a company like Ab-InBev can accomplish if they put some resources toward brewing something other than American-style lagers.  In 2007, my brother and I won the chance to scale up an IPA recipe, and help brew it on A-B’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.  At that time the pilot brewery was under the Michelob brand of A-B.  I learned that they were brewing three, 10 barrel test batches, five days a week working on recipes for beers like Czech Pilseners, Imperial IPAs, German-style Dunkelweizens, Irish Red Ales and American Pale Ales .  These beers were fantastic and would stand up quite well to the finest craft beer examples at that time.  If you think they don’t understand the beer industry from top to bottom you are so mistaken.  They have their hands in every sector of the beer industry.  They reach us beer snobs by purchasing or investing in established companies like Goose Island and Redhook.  They try to retain customers who are ready to leap to craft beer, by making beers like the one the original poster complained about.  That beer was not made for you or me or anyone else who posts to a homebrewing forum on a regular basis.  It was made for the lifelong BMC drinker that wants to try something different, but not too different.   Just as Dirk mentioned if Ab-InBev wanted to make a double IPA, I have no doubt it would be an excellent beer.  They have every resource imaginable to make it happen.  They don’t need to do it, because they are already making those beers for us at Redhook, Goose Island and probably a couple of other breweries that I am not yet aware of.  In the end, I prefer to not support AB-Inbev, SAB Miller or Molson Coors because I like to drink local or make my own.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: denny on January 17, 2013, 10:22:49 AM
If it was good, I would drink it.

Sure, you and others would drink it.  Maybe I would, too.  But I think the number is miniscule compared to the number of people buying their current product.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: redbeerman on January 17, 2013, 12:35:47 PM
If it was good, I would drink it.

Sure, you and others would drink it.  Maybe I would, too.  But I think the number is miniscule compared to the number of people buying their current product.

+1  Just as craft beers market share is miniscule compared to the big guys.  The market for craft beer is growing, but it is still quite small in comparison.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 17, 2013, 10:10:48 PM
In 2007, my brother and I won the chance to scale up an IPA recipe, and help brew it on A-B’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.  At that time the pilot brewery was under the Michelob brand of A-B.  I learned that they were brewing three, 10 barrel test batches, five days a week working on recipes for beers like Czech Pilseners, Imperial IPAs, German-style Dunkelweizens, Irish Red Ales and American Pale Ales .  These beers were fantastic and would stand up quite well to the finest craft beer examples at that time.
Why were they doing that?  Working on recipes "just in case", developing less expensive versions for their craft partners, something else?
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: alcaponejunior on January 31, 2013, 08:56:46 AM
What if they made a truly great all malt pilsner and kept the price reasonable?

Michelob?

I'd hesitate to call it "truly great" ..... I'm thinking along the lines on Troeg's Sunshine Pils or, even Victory Prima Pils.

Prima pils is amazing, that's what I was thinking.  However, probably (as mentioned a few posts below) something like Sam Adams Noble Pils would be better.  Prima is pretty darn hoppy.  Noble Pils would appeal to more people, probably.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmanator on January 31, 2013, 09:17:24 AM
In 2007, my brother and I won the chance to scale up an IPA recipe, and help brew it on A-B’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.  At that time the pilot brewery was under the Michelob brand of A-B.  I learned that they were brewing three, 10 barrel test batches, five days a week working on recipes for beers like Czech Pilseners, Imperial IPAs, German-style Dunkelweizens, Irish Red Ales and American Pale Ales .  These beers were fantastic and would stand up quite well to the finest craft beer examples at that time.
Why were they doing that?  Working on recipes "just in case", developing less expensive versions for their craft partners, something else?

Back then they sold these types of beers under their Michelob brand, we did not see much of these out in the PNW, but in the midwest and other places around the US you were able to buy Michelob Dunkel Weisse, Michelob Pale Ale, Michelob Irish Red Ale...
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 05, 2013, 08:17:21 PM
In 2007, my brother and I won the chance to scale up an IPA recipe, and help brew it on A-B’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.  At that time the pilot brewery was under the Michelob brand of A-B.  I learned that they were brewing three, 10 barrel test batches, five days a week working on recipes for beers like Czech Pilseners, Imperial IPAs, German-style Dunkelweizens, Irish Red Ales and American Pale Ales .  These beers were fantastic and would stand up quite well to the finest craft beer examples at that time.
Why were they doing that?  Working on recipes "just in case", developing less expensive versions for their craft partners, something else?
Let me work on Czech Pils recipe. 100% Pilsner malt ans Saaz hops. Shhhh... to not tell anybody. This is a secret recipe.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: boulderbrewer on February 05, 2013, 09:27:22 PM
Having an ear to what they are after it is interesting. My ear was near the ground floor but a brewer. I don't have many answers yet, time will tell.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmanator on February 05, 2013, 10:23:22 PM
In 2007, my brother and I won the chance to scale up an IPA recipe, and help brew it on A-B’s pilot brewery in St. Louis.  At that time the pilot brewery was under the Michelob brand of A-B.  I learned that they were brewing three, 10 barrel test batches, five days a week working on recipes for beers like Czech Pilseners, Imperial IPAs, German-style Dunkelweizens, Irish Red Ales and American Pale Ales .  These beers were fantastic and would stand up quite well to the finest craft beer examples at that time.
Why were they doing that?  Working on recipes "just in case", developing less expensive versions for their craft partners, something else?
Let me work on Czech Pils recipe. 100% Pilsner malt ans Saaz hops. Shhhh... to not tell anybody. This is a secret recipe.

Yep, all you need is a recipe and anyone can make a great Czech Pils...
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: gmwren on February 06, 2013, 05:55:45 AM
If anyone still believes "they" still don't get it, read last weekends rather lengthy article from the Washington Post about AB InBev and their attempt at buying out the last 50% of Grupo Modelo. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/beer-merger-would-worsen-existing-duopoly-by-ab-inbev-sabmiller/2013/02/01/efa78ce8-6b1c-11e2-af53-7b2b2a7510a8_story_4.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/beer-merger-would-worsen-existing-duopoly-by-ab-inbev-sabmiller/2013/02/01/efa78ce8-6b1c-11e2-af53-7b2b2a7510a8_story_4.html) Interesting dance between the two bigs (ABI and SABMiller) who really do seem to get it. With craft beer at only 6% of US beersales, the efforts of these giants will place an even stronger hold over the distribution network. Craft beer will have a very difficult time expanding in the future. Yes, they do get it. Unfortunately...
Title: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on February 08, 2013, 09:34:27 PM
If anyone still believes "they" still don't get it, read last weekends rather lengthy article from the Washington Post about AB InBev and their attempt at buying out the last 50% of Grupo Modelo. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/beer-merger-would-worsen-existing-duopoly-by-ab-inbev-sabmiller/2013/02/01/efa78ce8-6b1c-11e2-af53-7b2b2a7510a8_story_4.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/beer-merger-would-worsen-existing-duopoly-by-ab-inbev-sabmiller/2013/02/01/efa78ce8-6b1c-11e2-af53-7b2b2a7510a8_story_4.html) Interesting dance between the two bigs (ABI and SABMiller) who really do seem to get it. With craft beer at only 6% of US beersales, the efforts of these giants will place an even stronger hold over the distribution network. Craft beer will have a very difficult time expanding in the future. Yes, they do get it. Unfortunately...

Budweiser does not get it. They get marketing, don't get me wrong. But they don't get brewing. Their brewers get brewing, for sure. But the beers they produce are dictated by marketers in suits who don't understand beer.

Smaller breweries like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada will continue to chip away at the beer scene in America, while even smaller craft brewers will continue to grow and BMC will continue to see their share of the market slip because those in charge are more interested in marketing than they are in brewing.

If anyone thinks that the trend will reverse and people will go back to bud lite and mich ultra, you should think again. The trend is going to continue to slide toward craft beer for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 16, 2013, 04:41:57 PM
That was interesting article.
I do not care how they are fixing their pricing as long as I have access to Liquor / grocery stores and I can sell my beer there.
I even do not care about their distribution channels because I self distribute.
One thing that I am concern about with this consolidation is raw material supply chain.

I think they do get how to maximize the profit.
They do not care what they sell.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: majorvices on February 17, 2013, 06:55:09 AM
It's a challenge to maximize profit when your sales in the US are slipping every year.

That said, I kinda recant what I said earlier about Bud not getting it. InBev does a good job with their massive portfolio and what is in the Bud Line actually all makes sense. They have Pils style beers in their "Becks Line" and that's where InBev is striking out. They could come out with a truly great German Style Pils made right here in the US made under the "Becks Line" and what they come out with instead is the mediocre-at-best Black Sapphire.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on February 22, 2013, 07:25:37 AM
It's a challenge to maximize profit when your sales in the US are slipping every year.

That said, I kinda recant what I said earlier about Bud not getting it. InBev does a good job with their massive portfolio and what is in the Bud Line actually all makes sense. They have Pils style beers in their "Becks Line" and that's where InBev is striking out. They could come out with a truly great German Style Pils made right here in the US made under the "Becks Line" and what they come out with instead is the mediocre-at-best Black Sapphire.

They also have Pilsner Urquell for a softer Czech Pils.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: dbeechum on February 22, 2013, 08:01:57 AM
They also have Pilsner Urquell for a softer Czech Pils.

That's SABMiller
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: brewmichigan on February 22, 2013, 12:23:28 PM
They also have Pilsner Urquell for a softer Czech Pils.

That's SABMiller

Damn, had a 50/50 chance and still blew it.
Title: Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
Post by: csu007 on February 23, 2013, 05:54:27 PM
At the liquor store I work at their new black crown was flying of the shelves for a couple weeks and is already slowing down drastically. With most of the bud (non craft-like) drinkers they just want a light, clean, easy, & cheap beer to get drunk off.
Many off their craft like beers are good but their is no major hurry for bud to overhual their thinking as they (inbev) have a ~70% share of the beer market in the U.S.