And this summer it is changing its name to America. Every 12-ounce can and bottle of the King of Beers (will it have to surrender this title on the grounds that America has no hereditary monarchs?) will be printed with “America” in the place of “Budweiser” until November, at which point this nightmare will end. “King of Beers” will be replaced with “E Pluribus Unum,” and the spot for “Anheuser-Busch, Inc” will instead read “Liberty & Justice for All,” among other, more subtle changes. It will say “Since 1776” where it used to say “Registered” — which is just an outright lie, Budweiser being a comparatively recent innovation. But never mind. It is the Spirit of the thing.
Some people, such as craft beer historian Tom Acitelli, are complaining that this is wrong. Budweiser is neither craft nor local, as a true American beer ought to be. It is, he complains, “foreign-controlled” and “mass-produc[ed].” I can literally think of nothing more American than being foreign-controlled and mass-produced. That sounds as American as a made-in-China T-shirt with an eagle on it — which is to say, EXTREMELY.
Budweiser is America in every way. It, too, is both bland and tasteless, like Guy Fieri. Budweiser tastes like accidentally licking your hand after you have touched a surface in Las Vegas — again, like America. It offers a bland commingling of desire and despair. It is better than the alternative, but it is not exactly what you wanted, either. It could not be any more American if it were a bundle of contradictions wearing a Trump hat while watching “Hamilton” sweep the Tonys.
It is good in large doses, and the more you have of it, the more you want and the more palatable it feels, and if you acquire six of it you can build them into a wizard staff and fight people with it, but then afterward you feel a little gross about yourself. (This is basically like America too, although I lost control of the metaphor somewhere around the wizard staff.)
Like America, people invest a lot of money into convincing you that the Lite version is just fine, if not better, especially if you are a Lady trying to watch your waistline.
America is not a craft beer. That is Hipster Millennial Nonsense America, the kind that wants the Authentic Past but with straight white teeth and indoor AC.
No, this branding is perfect and makes total sense. What’s in it for Budweiser, though?
(And, like America, this promotion is scheduled to end in November.)