Recently my wife came home from grocery shopping with a six pack in hand. Since she had been at Walmart and made no other stops, her choice was limite, so she decided to let us give Budweiser’s new journey into clearly charted water a chance…Budweiser American Ale. So I poured a glass. It looked better than I thought it would in the glass; however, the reddish hue was far lighter and clearer than my expectations allow. The fragrance was strangley familiar. What did it smell like…it was so familiar…oh yeah, Budweiser American Lager. The way of describing the flavor is by comparison. Imaging a pint glass filled 2/3 with Bud, 1/3 with a mild ale (e.g. Bass Pale Ale), and a pinch of read foold coloring for good measure and you have a prety good idea. If I were to grade this beer against the world of Ales out there, I’d give it an F, but if all the other products put out by Budweiser were the standard, sure, it would get an A.
Will Budweiser American Ale last? No…but not because it has underachieved at quality. Here’s why…the cap is pry off, not twist off.
Here’s where I am going with this. As I am reading through a great book, Blue Ocean Strategy, I see Budweiser’s flaw. They have jumped into a ocean of competition, rather than a competition free sea of inovation and thirsty consumers . The idea is that in our greed driven capilastic economy, all the various producers of beer out there are swimming in a bloody red ocean, competing for consumer loyalty–a difficult task when supply is overwhelming demand.
Let’s face it…there are more micro brews than ever before, and they are succeeding because they combined passion with untapped market. Budweiser’s business strategists missed the boat some 12 or more years ago. Perhaps then they could have put out a lame American Ale with a twist off cap and stolen the market…after all, everyone knows “Budweiser.” Instead of playing offensively, Budweiser played defensively. To keep up their profit margin, they have stayed alive via an unending series of mergers. Go HERE to see all that is held by Anhueser Bush.
Now the best they can do is dress up a typical brew with an earthy label and a craft-beer-esque pry off.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not here bashing the brewing giant. If you’ve read the first post on this blog, you know I have a great deal of respect and love for the lager king. All I’m saying is that perhaps Budweiser should stick to what they know best.