Back off InBev, or the Clydesdale gets it
InBev‘s $46 billion bid for Anheuser-Busch is stirring up some Budweiser pride in the brewer’s home tome of St Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a crowd of about 100 demonstrators marched this weekend, chanting “Hell no, Bud won’t go.”
Some wore “This Bud’s for U.S.A.” T-shirts, perhaps not surprising since Anheuser-Busch spends about $475 million each year on ads that often tout Budweiser as “America’s Beer.” Rally attendee Dave White promised that he would never let a drop of Bud pass his lips if InBev, the Belgian brewing giant, was successful in its takeover bid.
“I’m not a Miller guy, so I’ll have to go with micro beers or brew my own,” he told the Post-Dispatch.
It was unclear if the people at the Budweiser rally, aimed at keeping the hometown brewery from “falling into foreign hands,” were aware of the brand’s tangled roots. “Budweiser” originally designated a resident of the Bohemian town of Budweis, part of the Czech Republic. The trademark has been in dispute since the early 20th century, due to the existence of a Bohemian brewery called Budweiser-Budvar.
As a result, Anheuser-Busch sells its flagship beer as “Bud” in France and other countries, and as “Anheuser-Busch B” in Germany. The Czech beer is sold as “Czechvar” in the United States and Canada.
Back to the protesters — they’ve set up a website, saveab.com, with an online petition where concerned citizens including Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt have committed to “joining the effort to keep Anheuser-Busch owned and operated right here in America.” Also featured is a parody Budweiser ad from a local radio station:
“It’s a condiment to the American life: A beer and a hot dog, a beer and peanuts. You Belgian guys? What do you have to offer: Beer and a waffle — won’t that taste great?”
(Photo: Teresa Prince, St Louis Post-Dispatch)