A graph from today’s Wall Street Journal shows the decline of one of America’s dearest friends, the once-coolest kid on campus, good ol’ Bud Heavy.
Bud Heavy used to be the man. He is still a legend, without a doubt, but that might be the problem. Bud Heavy hails from a time in American history when Marlboro Men walked the earth and Burger Kings ruled. Then health and science happened and a major shift in consciousness usurped both of them. Today, the people who make the best beers are called craftsmen and CVS completely bans the sale of tobacco. The word of the year was almost ‘bae’ and people don’t want an average tasting high-calorie alcoholic beverage.
It’s a different place, and Bud Heavy doesn’t know where it fits in anymore.
As the chart indicates, the combined sales of all craft breweries barely outsells Budweiser, but the overall trend is very impressive.
Light beers and tasty micro-brews with higher alcohol content have grabbed the reigns and replaced the clydesdales. According to Anheuser-Bush Inbev’s research, 44 percent of Americans between the age of 21 and 27 have never even tried a Bud Heavy. Frankly, that’s astounding, especially considering Bud Light is the second best-selling beer in the world and even ten-year-olds are allowed to taste the last sips of their dads’ Budweisers. It’s a social contract everyone accepts and always will: child is recruited to throw 98 percent empty beer can away for parent/adult and that child tastes what ever gross last drop is left as soon as she/he turns the corner. Failing to fall into the category of “Has tasted Budweister” is an achievement in itself, although a concerning one at that, and the meaning behind those new numbers must be shocking to the makers of “America’s Greatest Lager.”
As a result, the marketing wizards have ordered the clydesdales to stay in the barn this holiday season, as Anheuser-Busch Inbev refocuses on beer drinkers in their 20s. The gurus who created the “Wassup Guys” and taught America a lesson in the majestic symbolism of clydesdales are going to have to devise a way to repurpose Bud Heavy, and fast.
My money says they’ll buy him boots, grow his beard and send Bud down to an advertising internship in Brooklyn, hipsterdom might be the only way out.
Watching the game, having a bud. True.