22 Jun 2016 @ 10:46 AM 
 

America: The Beer

 

You might remember a story from a few weeks ago: Budweiser renames beer ‘America’ this summer.

I’ll admit – I don’t get it.  I feel like they’re pandering to an audience that they’re not likely to lose.  I’m not sure if someone thinks that this will draw in consumers from some heretofore unknown market segment or if someone just thought it was cool (and if it’s the latter, then, fair enough).  The most thought that I’ve put to it beyond that was, “How did they get TTB approval for that?”

I guess there’s nothing necessarily BAD about it.  But you’re not supposed to have anything on the label that suggests a government endorsement nor put anything on the label that’s designed to confuse or misrepresent the product to the consumer and, well, here’s the label:

america_label_1462891903025_2198395_ver1.0_1462914847434_2200648_ver1.0

I don’t know about you, but this seems to represent that Budweiser is American which I would consider to be confusing to the consumer.  And, look, it started here, but it’s clearly moved on and doesn’t really need us anymore.  And E Pluribus Unum?  One, out of many.  I guess it does make a lot of sense for the King of Mergers and Acquisitions.

Anyway, that’s about the last I thought about it until a couple of weeks ago when I was preparing a lunch-and-learn about label approval in NC.  I always use Anheuser Busch as one of my examples because they just have SO many brands, and they tend to represent them legally differently than most small breweries.

And that’s when I noticed this:

Screenshot-2016-06-22-10.19.56

Let me tell you a story about this picture.  When you register a brand in North Carolina, you need to turn into a label approval form.  On that label approval form, you designate the Supplier (Anheuser Busch), the Brand – which designates distribution rights, the Product Description (Pale Ale, etc.), and a Fanciful Name (where most small breweries put the name of their beer).

Anheuser Busch generally lists their individual Brands in the Brand field instead of a Fanciful Name, which is a legitimate practice.   If you search for Budweiser, you get 75 different results.

Screenshot-2016-06-22-10.25.07

It means that they have the ability to control distribution rights on each individual brand (which is really useful if you’d like the ability to punish or reward an individual distributor).  So, okay, no problem, so I searched for America.

Screenshot-2016-06-22-10.28.30

Fun, right?  Now, I’m no alcohol lawyer, but this suggests to me that America is being distributed illegally in North Carolina.  So, I took my time and filed a little bit of paperwork, so now if you search in public records, you can find this:

Screenshot-2016-06-22-10.32.08

That’s why it’s my pleasure to announce that just in time for America’s birthday, you can find America, a Ridiculously Patriotic Extra Pale Ale available in cans from Mystery Brewing Company.  They’ll be available July 1 at our Public House in Hillsborough (and it’s really delicious).

(high res if you click)

AMERICA

And hopefully I don’t get sued off of the planet. In the meantime, I’ll be drinking this baby on July 4. Happy birthday, America.

Tags Categories: brewery, industry, marketing, Mystery Brewing Company, new beer Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 22 Jun 2016 @ 10 46 AM

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Responses to this post » (9 Total)

 
  1. Ron says:

    Sued? With this stake in ground, it’s you who should have standing to be sueing them!

  2. Chance says:

    I like the cut of your jib.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I like you and most especially this very, very much Erik of Mystery Brewing. This is the moxy that the craft beer market needs! Cheers.

  4. […] Apparently AB forgot to register America in North Carolina. That makes it illegally distributed if you see it out and about in the state. Thanks to Top Fermented for figuring this out, check out their blog post on the topic! […]

  5. Kevin says:

    AWESOME!! The label is great!

  6. Nelsitos Brew says:

    Mystery Brewing – Take them out! Get a Lawyer!

  7. […] So AB InBev makes a bold move to rebrand their beer as “America” — sure hope they filled out their proper paperwork.  Oh, THEY DIDN’T?!?!?! […]

  8. Love the picture. Hilarious take on a large company bold enough to brand itself “America”

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