An American craft brewer is calling out Budweiser’s summer marketing campaign as “un-American.”
The new campaign was polarising, in part because Budweiser-parent company AB InBev is based in Belgium.
Now, a craft brewer is speaking out.
“Frankly, Budweiser calling itself ‘America’ is the most un-American thing I’ve observed in quite a while,” Will McCameron, president and co-owner of the Greenville, South Carolina microbrewery Brewery 85, wrote in a blog post on craft beer website Brew Studs.
McCameron goes on to call out Budweiser for trying to market itself as an all-American, while taking business away from American craft brewers. And, as the American craft beer industry grows, the beer giant has to work harder to compete with craft breweries.
Ultimately, Budweiser’s America campaign is part of a bigger set of questions and issues about the American economy. McCameron writes:
“The 2016 election season has got all of America thinking pretty extensively about the state of our economy. We’re all asking questions: Are we really creating enough good jobs? Is our trade policy hurting the American worker? Are we allowing foreign-owned multinationals to unfairly exploit the American consumer? Now this is the part where I might offend the rest of you, who don’t work in Big Beer — #SorryNotSorry, but don’t come to me bitching about the state of the American economy with a can of Bud in your hand.”
McCameron’s issues with Budweiser are just of a wider battle between AB InBev and craft brewers.
Breweries like Scottish craft brewer BrewDog have criticised beer giants for prioritising marketing and sales over originality and quality. As a result, AB InBev’s acquisition of craft brands like Golden Road and Camden Town have been met with criticism.
“We support craft, and craft breweries should be independent, not bastardized by megacorporations who will compromise the quality of the beer to cut corners, cut people, and make a profit,” Sarah Warman, BrewDog’s head of marketing, told Business Insider in March.
In other words, Big Beer can buy craft brewers and sell “America” beer, but craft beer creators and drinkers like McCameron believe you shouldn’t believe the marketing — and that a true American craft beer will trump Budweiser every time.
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