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Why does Budweiser just not get it?

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majorvices:
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.

brewmichigan:
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.

firedog23:
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.

Slowbrew:
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

Joe Sr.:
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.

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