While searching for beer news the other day, The Thirsty Beagle came across a mention on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch beer blog about Bud rolling out a new beer: Bud Light Golden Wheat. Expect to see some ads for Golden Wheat over the Labor Day weekend, and expect to see the beer rolled out across the country the week of Oct. 5. According to the post, Bud has hopes of pushing and promoting this new beer the same way they rolled out Bud Light Lime. TTB has always been a little suspicious of mega-breweries trying to offer craft-style products. I checked in with a couple of our local brewers, Tim Schoelen of Mustang Brewing Co. and Chase Healey of COOP Ale Works, to get their take on the mainstreaming of craft beer.
This from Tim on mega brewers trying to capitalize on craft beer enthusiasm:
“I think with what we’ve seen with Shock Top and Blue Moon, that is exactly the plan from the mainstream guys. It’s smart business on their part, as long as they can maintain the craft flavor, not just branding.”
And from Chase, same topic:
“All of the big three (Bud/Miller/Coors) want a piece of the craft beer market. New pseudo breweries (actually BMC) pop up all the time with beers like Amber Wheat Dog and Jack Spice Beer. All geared to take sales away from craft beer. The craft market is small, like 6%, but its growing the fastest, and that’s what is causing these breweries to make “craft” style beers.”
Chase suggests the key to finding a good craft beer is to know your beer. It’s one thing for Bud to make Bud Light Golden Wheat; at least they’re being up front about who makes it. It’s another thing when the mega brewer spins off a brewery to make an apparent craft beer under the watchful eye of the mother ship.
On a different note, I’d like to apologize to anyone who read my blog yesterday who was misled into thinking the Prohibition Room was having a 1-year anniversary celebration today (Friday). Much to my extreme dismay, I spent about four hours yesterday (Thursday) genuinely believing it was Friday. I even wrote the blog post below with references to what I was going to do “tomorrow,” thinking “tomorrow” was Saturday. Needless to say, I was severely depressed when I discovered that it was indeed not Friday. So just to get things straight: The Prohibition Room party is Saturday; The Thirsty Beagle is glad that today actually is Friday.