Anheuser-Busch, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, is the largest brewing company in the United States, with a market share of 49.2% as of 2010. The company operates 12 breweries in the United States and nearly 20 in other countries. Brands include Budweiser, Busch, Michelob, Bud Light, and Natural Light.
Budweiser is a 5.0% ABV Adjunct pale lager introduced in 1876 by Adolphus Busch and has become one of the best selling beers in the United States. It is made with up to 30% rice in addition to hops and barley malt. Budweiser is produced in various breweries located around the United States and the rest of the world. It is a filtered beer available in draught and packaged forms. Lower strength versions are distributed in regions with restrictive alcohol laws.
Introduced in 1981 as Budweiser Light, Budweiser's flagship light beer with 4.2% ABV and 110 calories per 12 US fl oz (355 mL) serving (1,300 kJ/L). From 1993 to 1998, Bud Light aired 30-second commercials featuring Rob and Laura from the CBS series The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Bud Light Platinum
A slightly sweeter, higher alcohol version of Bud Light launched in early 2012, with 6% ABV. This product is noted for being packaged in a new translucent blue glass bottle. Bud Light Platinum has 137 calories per 12 ounce serving, 8 fewer than a regular Budweiser.
Bud Light Apple
Bud Light with apple flavor added. It has 151 calories per 355 ml serving. Released in 2015 with 4% alcohol content by volume.
Bud Light Lime
Bud Light with lime flavor added. It has 116 calories per 12 US fl oz serving (1,370 kJ/L). Released in May 2008 with 4.2% alcohol content, the same alcohol content as Bud Light.
Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas
Since 2012, AB has released a line of 8% alcohol by volume flavored malt beverages titled "Bud Light Lime Ritas," with its flagship flavor being the "Lime-a-Rita," a lime flavored beverage. The drinks are available in a twenty-five ounce can, as well as a twelve-pack of eight ounce cans. Since then, AB has released the strawberry-flavored "Straw-Ber-Rita," the mango flavored "Mang-o-Rita," and the raspberry flavored "Raz-Ber-Rita." For the winter 2013 season, AB released the cranberry-flavored "Cran-Brrr-Rita" as well, and wound up extending it through January and February 2014 due to strong sales. After the release of the "Mang-o-Rita" and "Raz-Ber-Rita," A-B released an eighteen-pack case containing six "Lime-a-Ritas," four "Straw-Ber-Ritas," four "Mang-o-Ritas," and four "Raz-Ber-Ritas."
In August 2014, A-B released a new fall seasonal extension for their "Rita" line, "Apple-Ahhh-Rita," an apple-flavored margarita that will be sold until October 2014.
In February 2015, A-B released a new summer seasonal extension for their "Rita" line, "Lemon-Ade-Rita," a lemonade flavored margarita.
In summer 2016, A-B released the newest "rita" flavor of their line named "Water-melon-rita", a watermelon flavored margarita.
In fall 2016, A-B released the new "Cherry-Ahh-Rita," a cherry-flavored margarita.
Budweiser Select, or Bud Select is a light pale lager that contains 4.3% ABV and 99 calories per 12 US fl oz serving (1,170 kJ/L). Anheuser-Busch has aggressively promoted Budweiser Select. Its slogan was "The Real Deal". The company hired Jay-Z as a spokesman for the brand.
Budweiser Select 55
A version of Budweiser Select that contains 55 calories per 12 US fl oz serving (650 kJ/L) is "a direct counterstrike to Miller's MGD 64" according to Anheuser-Busch officials. Budweiser currently claims that it is the lightest beer in the world. The food energy in both Miller's MGD 64 and Budweiser's Select 55 have been reduced simply by lowering the fermentables content. MGD 64 has only 2.8% alcohol content and some Select 55 states "alcohol content not more than 3.2% by weight / 4% by volume", possibly to allow its sale in areas where that is the limit. The actual alcohol content of "55" is reported to be 2.4% ABV; by comparison, most American lagers have around 5%.
Budweiser Brew No. 66 is a 4% alcohol by volume lager that is brewed and distributed in the United Kingdom by InBev UK Limited. Launched in July 2010, Budweiser 66 has 84 Calories in a 300 ml serving (just over 10 oz).
Introduced in 1994 as "Ice by Budweiser", it has more alcohol (5.5% ABV) than Budweiser. It is best known for an advertising campaign that involved a malevolent penguin that stalked Bud Ice drinkers and stole their beer, announcing its presence by singing the "doo-be-doo-be-doo" phrase from "Strangers in the Night".
A beer with caffeine, ginseng, guarana and alcohol. It contains 6.6% ABV. It was marketed as a caffeinated malt beverage, similar to Sparks. On June 26, 2008, Anheuser-Busch announced that it would remove caffeine and guarana from the beverage in response to concerns that the product was being marketed to consumers under the age of 21.
Budweiser/Bud Light Chelada
A blend of Budweiser or Bud Light and Clamato. This beverage became available nationally in late 2007.
Budweiser Prohibition Brew
A non-alcoholic beer introduced into the Canadian market in 2016. It is anticipated to be available in the United States soon. In 2015, AB InBev committed to ensuring that low-alcohol and nonalcoholic beers would represent at least 20% of its global beer volume by 2025.
Non-alcoholic version of Budweiser developed for the Middle Eastern market. Also available in Green Apple and Tropical Fruits versions.
Budweiser American Ale
Budweiser American Ale debuted in September 2008. The beer claims to offer complex taste without much bitterness. American Ale has a distinctive hoppier flavor than other Anheuser-Busch beers, in an attempt to capture some of the American craft beer market, although most American craft beers are hoppier. American Ale is the first beer under the Budweiser name that is brewed with a top fermenting yeast. The beer's darker color is a departure from the other Budweiser brands. Production was discontinued prior to 2015.
Budweiser Brew Masters' Private Reserve
Budweiser Brew Masters' Private Reserve is an all-malt lager with a honey color and robust taste. It is based on a "Budweiser brewmaster holiday tradition of collecting the richest part of the brew as it is tapped to the brew kettles to toast the holiday season."
Bud Dry was introduced nationally in the U.S. in April 1989 with the slogan of "Why ask why? Try Bud Dry." It was originally successful in test markets and was expected to be a popular beer with the rise in light lager popularity. Dry beer is a form of pale lager where the sugars are more fully fermented to give a less sweet beer. It is also known as the Diat Pils style. However, after the introduction of Bud Ice in 1994, Bud Dry wasn't heavily marketed. Production was discontinued in December 2010.
Bud Ice Light
Bud Ice Light contains 5.0% ABV and 115 calories per 12 US fl oz serving (1,360 kJ/L). It undergoes fractional freezing, which Bud Light does not undergo. It was discontinued in 2010.
Bud Light Golden Wheat
On October 5, 2009, Budweiser officially released Bud Light Golden Wheat, a response to the increase in the amount of wheat beers produced from craft brewers around the country. This beer had 118 calories per 12 US fl oz serving (1,390 kJ/L), 8.3 grams of carbohydrates and 4.1% alcohol by volume. It was an American Hefeweizen which is based on the classic German Hefeweizen style. Production was discontinued in 2012.
An attempt to appeal to the tastes of beer drinkers in the United Kingdom, this specially brewed beer contained 4.2% alcohol by volume. It was discontinued in 2006 after it failed to meet sales expectations.
Michelob is a 5% ABV pale lager developed by Adolphus Busch in 1896 as a "draught beer for connoisseurs". In 1961, Anheuser-Busch produced a pasteurized version of Michelob which allowed legal shipment of the beer across state lines. Bottled beer began to be shipped soon after, and the brand was introduced in cans in 1966. Bottled Michelob was originally sold in a uniquely shaped bottle named the teardrop bottle because it resembled a water droplet. The teardrop bottle was awarded a medal from the Institute of Design in 1962. Five years later the bottle was redesigned for efficiency in the production line. This bottle was used until 2002 when it was dropped in favor of a traditional bottle. The teardrop bottle was used again from January 2007 to October 2008.
The company introduced Michelob Light in 1978. Michelob Classic Dark was made available in 1981 in kegs, with a bottled version following three years later. In 1991, Michelob Golden Draft was introduced to compete against Miller Genuine Draft in the Midwest.
1997 saw the introduction of several specialty beers under the Michelob marquee. These include:
- Michelob Honey Lager
- Michelob Pale Ale
- Michelob Marzen
- Michelob Pumpkin Spice Ale
- Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale
From the beginning, the specialty beers have had a very limited distribution. The chief outlet has been through a "holiday sampler pack" produced during the Christmas holiday season. Other specialty beers that are no longer in production include Michelob Hefeweizen and Michelob Black & Tan. Some (notably Michelob AmberBock) have subsequently gone into larger production, while others have not. The brewery continues to experiment with specialty beers—in 2005 an oak-aged vanilla beer was sold under the Michelob logo, available in single pints. In 2006 Michelob added a chocolate beer to the oak-aged vanilla Celebrate holiday season beer released a year earlier. Michelob also brewed Michelob Bavarian Style Wheat and Michelob Porter for its "holiday sampler pack". In 2007, Michelob launched its Seasonal Specialty Line. These include:
- Michelob Bavarian Wheat (summer)
- Michelob Marzen (fall)
- Michelob Porter (winter)
- Michelob Pale Ale (spring)
The early 21st century saw in the U.S. a demand for diet beer similar to that of the early 1970s, and in 2002 the Michelob line responded with the introduction of Michelob Ultra, advertised as being low in carbohydrates. Later Michelob Ultra Amber, a darker, more flavorful beer, was added to this sub-line.
According to a report by Beer Marketer's Insights and published by USA Today on December 9, 2013, sales of Michelob Light declined by nearly 70% between 2007 and 2012. The article listed Michelob Light as one of "nine beers many Americans no longer drink."
Michelob 5% alcohol; Michelob Golden Draft 4.7% alcohol; Michelob Golden Draft Light 4.3% alcohol; Michelob Ultra 4.2% alcohol; Michelob Ultra Amber 4.0% alcohol; Michelob: ULTRA Lime Cactus A fruit-infused light pilsner with natural lime flavor and a floral essence derived from the cactus; Michelob: ULTRA Pomegranate Raspberry A pilsner with a berry aroma, raspberry flavor, and a hint of pomegranate; Michelob: ULTRA Tuscan Orange Grapefruit A pilsner with fresh juicy orange notes and a slight pink-grapefruit finish.
All fruit flavors have the following nutrition content: 107 calories, 6.0g carbs, 0.5g protein and 0.0g fat, per 12 oz bottle.
Advertisements for Michelob Ultra feature people engaged in sporting activities. The Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill and Michelob Ultra Futures Players Championship, were sponsored by Michelob Ultra. Michelob Ultra serves as a presenting sponsor of the Tour of Missouri bicycle race and sponsors the King of the Mountains jersey. Michelob also sponsors the Rugby Super League, and many of its teams have shirt sponsorships with its AmberBock brand. PGA Tour player Sergio García is sponsored by Michelob. Lance Armstrong signed on October 6, 2009 a three-year agreement to become Michelob Ultra's new spokesperson and ambassador, but was dropped by the company in 2012 after being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Michelob sponsored several episodes of the Diggnation podcast. The hosts, Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, sampled the beer during the show and several episodes included interviews with the company's head brew-master to discuss the different products that can be found in the sampler packs. Also, an episode of the show was filmed inside the Michelob brewery.
Michelob is most notably famous for its late-1980s TV commercials that used the slogan, "The night belongs to Michelob", which centered on its "night" theme and used songs that had the word "night" or a form of the word "night" in its title, including "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" by Genesis and "Don't You Know What the Night Can Do?" by Steve Winwood. In the 1980s and 1990s, Michelob used the slogan "Some days are better than others".
Rolling Rock is a 4.5% ABV pale lager launched in 1939 by the Latrobe Brewing Company. In May, 2006, Anheuser-Busch purchased the Rolling Rock brand from InBev for $82 million and began brewing Rolling Rock at its Newark facility in mid July, 2006. Other pale lagers marketed under the Rolling Rock brand name are Rock Green Light, 3.7% ABV, and Rock Light, 3.5%; the company also produces a 5% ABV amber lager, Rolling Rock Red. Ingredients are pale barley malt, rice, corn and hops.
Busch Beer, a 4.3% ABV economy brand pale lager was introduced in 1955 as Busch Bavarian Beer; the brand name was changed in 1979 to Busch Beer. Other beers marketed under the Busch brand name are Busch Light, a 4.1% pale lager introduced in 1989, Busch Ice, a 5.9% ice beer introduced in 1995, and Busch NA, a non-alcoholic brew. Ingredients are a mix of American-grown and imported hops and a combination of malt and corn. At a slightly lower price point than flagship brand Budweiser, it serves as Anheuser-Busch's second most popular brand.
Shock Top is a 5.2% ABV Belgian-style wheat ale introduced under the name Spring Heat Spiced Wheat brewed in Fort Collins, Colorado as a seasonal beer in 2006, then all year from 2007. The beer is brewed with wheat malt, two-row barley, orange, lemon, lime peel, coriander and Cascade and Willamette hops. Entering as the Spring Heat Spiced Wheat, Shock Top Belgian White won gold and bronze medals in the Belgian Wit (White) category at the 2006 and 2007 North American Beer Awards, respectively. The brand now includes some seasonals and specialties that have replaced the Michelob Seasonals. Such varieties include Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat, Shock Top Raspberry Wheat, Shock Top Wheat IPA, Shock Top Lemon Shandy, Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat, Shock Top Chocolate Wheat, and Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat. It competes directly with the MillerCoors brand Blue Moon.
Natural Light is an economy brand 4.2% ABV reduced-calorie pale lager introduced in 1977. The brand was originally called Anheuser-Busch Natural Light. In 2008 The Wall Street Journal listed it as the fifth largest selling beer in the U.S. Natural Ice is an economy brand 5.9% ABV ice beer, introduced in 1995. Nearly two decades after the introduction of Natural Ice, a malt liquor, Natty Daddy (8% and 5.9ABV), was added to the market in 2012.
Johnny Appleseed is a 5.5% ABV cider produced by Anheuser-Busch subsidiary Brokenstraw Beverage LLC and introduced in April 2014. Brokenstraw Beverage was created by Anheuser-Busch in 2014 as a corporate identity to manufacture and distribute Johnny Appleseed out of their Baldwinsville, N.Y. brewery.
LandShark Lager, brewed in Jacksonville, Florida, is a 4.6% ABV island-style lager launched in 2006 as the house lager for "Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville" restaurant chain. Under a sponsorship deal, Dolphin Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes, was renamed "Land Shark Stadium" for the 2009 football season. The contract ended in early 2010, and the stadium has since been renamed "Sun Life Stadium" as of January 18, 2010, in time for both the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIV.
Jimmy Buffett's song "Fins" is about "sharks that can swim on the land", (in reference to men in a beach town trying to woo a vacationing woman) while the landshark was a recurring character portrayed by Chevy Chase in the TV show Saturday Night Live.
Goose Island Brewery
Goose Island started as a couple of brewpubs in Chicago. On March 28, 2011, Goose Island announced that it will sell its 58% stake in Fulton Street Brewery LLC (the legal name of Goose Island Brewing) to distribution partner Anheuser-Busch. The remaining 42% stake, owned by Craft Brewers Alliance LLC, is also to be purchased by Anheuser-Busch. The Chicago brewery continues to produce and sell small batch microbrewed beers while their national offerings are made in bulk at various Anheuser-Busch facilities. Bourbon County Brand Stout is still produced solely in Chicago.
On February 5, 2014, it was announced that Blue Point Brewing Company was being sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev for nearly $24 million. As of the time of sale, the brewery will continue to operate in its Patchogue, NY location.
in November 2014, it was reported that 10 Barrel Brewing, with brewpubs in Bend, Oregon and Boise, Idaho, would be acquired by Anheuser-Busch. This was the second small brewing company acquired by the company in the calendar year.
Elysian Brewing Company
Elysian was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1995 by Dave Buhler, Joe Bisacca, and Dick Cantwell. On January 23, 2015, it was announced that Elysian would be sold to Anheuser-Busch in a deal expected to close within three months.
Golden Road Brewing
The purchase of Golden Road Brewery in Los Angeles was announced on September 23, 2015.
Four Peaks Brewery
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Karbach Brewing Company
King Cobra is a 6% alcohol by volume malt liquor introduced in 1984. It is brewed with a warmer fermentation than used for the company's pale lagers, and the ingredients include barley malt and corn. Shortly after its launch, King Cobra was supported by an advertising campaign featuring actor, martial artist, and former American football player Fred Williamson and the tag-line "Don't let the smooth taste fool you!"
Hurricane High Gravity Lager is an 8.1% alcohol malt liquor beverage available primarily in the United States. It is available in 40 ounce bottles, as well as 12, 16, 24, and 25 ounce cans. Recently, Hurricane High Gravity 8.1% has gone from a Black Label to a Silver Label in all of its serving sizes. Hurricane also comes in a lower alcohol content just called Hurricane malt liquor usually sold in a 40-ounce bottle Emina with an ABV of 5.9%.
The company introduced a flavored 12% ABV malt liquor under the name Spykes in 2007. It was sold in colorful, 2-ounce bottles. Available flavors included mango, lime, melon and chocolate. It was withdrawn in the same year after criticism from alcohol industry watchdog groups that it was being marketed to underage customers, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau found that the labeling of Spykes was illegal.
- Tequiza was a 4.5% ABV fruit flavored pale lager introduced in 1998 in limited markets in the USA, then withdrawn in January 2009. Tequiza Extra, with more Tequila flavor and less lime, was test-marketed in 2000
- Green Valley Brewing Company, has a craft beer appearance; "Anheuser-Busch" does not appear on labels of its products.
- O'Doul's, introduced in 1990, it is a low-alcohol beer of less than 0.5% ABV.
- O'Doul's Amber, introduced in 1997.
- Redbridge, a gluten-free beer made from sorghum.
- Tilt, a line of fruit flavored malt beverages.
- Wild Blue Lager, a strong lager with blueberries
- Ziegenbock, sold exclusively in the Texas market.
Minority ownership brands
- Redhook Ale Brewery founded by Gordon Bowker and Paul Shipman in 1981 in Seattle, Washington;
- Widmer Brothers Brewery founded by brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer in 1984 in Portland, Oregon;
- Kona Brewing Company founded by father and son team Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa in 1994 in Kona, Hawaii;
- Omission Beer developed internally in 2012 in Portland, Oregon; and
- Square Mile Cider, launched in 2013
Craft beer distribution alliances
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