For nearly as long as it has existed, Budweiser has been America’s beer. Its ad campaign has always revolved around that: baseball, NASCAR, the weekend cookout, bros just bro-ing out.
But that was then. Budweiser, first brewed in 1876, is now owned by the Belgian company AB InBev. And Bud Light Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid has declared the brand’s past marketing efforts as “out of touch” and “fratty.”
“I’m a businesswoman, I had a really clear job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was ‘This brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand there will be no future for Bud Light,'” Heinerscheid said.
Her comments were made before it was revealed to the public that Bud Light decided to partner with transgender “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney, a biological male. Mulvaney recently marked one full year in transition, so Bud Light celebrated the occasion by creating a can with Mulvaney’s face on it.
Well, you might think, “Who cares?” But it turns out there was an incredible blowback from the craven move to cash in on the ever-growing “look-at-me-I’m-tolerant!” campaign. Consumers across the U.S. revolted against Bud Light, according to bar owners and beer-industry experts around the country.
“I think society flexes its muscles sometimes and reminds manufacturers that the consumer is still in charge,” Jeff Fitter, owner of Case & Bucks, a restaurant and sports bar in Barnhart, Missouri, told Fox Business. “In Bud Light’s effort to be inclusive, they excluded almost everybody else, including their traditional audience.”
Therein lies the irony. Beer has long been a more macho drink. Women can, of course, drink it, but beer has been associated with men standing around, talking sports and punching each other. Now, before you move to cancel me, that’s just how it has been. I didn’t make it happen. Women have a nice glass of pinot grigio, men hork down a Bud, which happens to be the nation’s top-selling beer brand.
But hoo boy, did men bail on Bud Light. Fitter said sales of Anheuser-Busch bottled products dropped 30% over the past week, while draft beer plunged 50%.
It wasn’t just Case & Bucks that saw sales of Bud plummet. Brewhouse owner Alex Kesaris told Fox that 80% of Bud Light drinkers ordered something else this week, “while the 20% who did order the beer ‘weren’t on social media and hadn’t heard yet.'”
A national beer-industry analyst told Fox Business that Bud Light’s move was a “bad decision” that defied “virtually every rule in building brands and marketing.”
The analyst cited a scenario in Texas, where Bud Light has long sponsored a weekly dart league that draws more than 100 players every Thursday. The bar usually blows through three kegs of Bud Light at the event — nearly 500 12-ounce glasses.
This week, the bar sold only four bottles of Bud Light.
But there was more than just anecdotal evidence. Anheuser-Busch (AB) distributors placed fewer orders of Bud Light after it launched its gender propaganda, according to a Beer Business Daily report reviewed by Fox News.
“We reached out to a handful of A-B distributors who were spooked, most particularly in the Heartland and the South, and even then in their more rural areas,” the popular beer industry trade publication wrote. “It appears likely Bud Light took a volume hit in some markets over the holiday weekend.”
“Whether it lasts or whether the publicity sparks incremental off-setting demand from over the ideological divide in metro areas, remains to be seen,” the publication wrote.
Oh, it’ll last.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.