As of today, Bud Light Platinum and Bud Light Lime-a-Rita are officially old news.
Anheuser-Busch InBev has identified its next “big” offering, a golden amber lager known as Budweiser Black Crown.
At 6% ABV, the King of Beers’ newest brand seems to be positioned as another attempt to lure some “lost” craft beer drinkers back. It’s slated to receive plenty of marketing attention (shocking) and will likely be the star of at least one Super Bowl commercial. The conglomerate’s overall sales are up more than 36% this year, yet Bud and Bud Light sales are still slumping – and someone thinks the answer is to add more alcohol.
Bud Light Platinum is selling well – and that has more booze in it than the other stuff. That’s got to be the solution! Up the alcohol content, keep the same low price, and everyone will love it, right? Wrong.
The fact that the only real information available speaks exclusively to the elevated ABV isn’t very reassuring. Although the label describes Black Crown as “distinctively smooth and beechwood finished,” that doesn’t say much. I’d describe all of the Bud products as “distinctively smooth” – in the same way that the water from my Brita pitcher is distinctively smooth.
Then again, it’s been over a year since Bud Light Platinum came out and all they’ve said about that is that it’s 6% ABV, triple filtered with a smooth finish, and has top-shelf taste. Oh, and it comes in a blue bottle – that’s a feature they feel the need to mention.
I’m typically a firm believer in not judging a beer before it’s been tasted, however my hopes for Budweiser Black Crown are not all that high.
I once wrote about whether or not Budweiser will ever be able to earn the market share they’ve lost to craft brewers back and as far as I’m concerned, that question remains unanswered.
If there’s any hope however, they should probably try releasing a beer that focuses more on flavor and less on the amount of alcohol involved. Besides, it takes something 20% ABV or higher to create a buzz with the craft drinkers these days.
Someone should remind Budweiser that bigger isn’t always better, and after too many mistakes – kings can be overthrown.