I know firsthand how hard it is to get an accurate picture of what someone is trying to say from a news article. But this Post-Dispatch story contains so many whoppers from Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock that it’s hard to imagine I’m misreading him:
Peacock got passionate in his defense of Budweiser. It wins blind taste tests again and again, he said. “It is the perfect liquid,” he said, allowing that to sink in, then adding, “I don’t say that out of arrogance.
“We have just as good a story as they do,” he said, referring to the craft brews that tend to harp on their craftsmanship and history. “We just have been remiss in explaining that.”
He said even consumers who hated Budweiser didn’t want anyone to mess with the label. Peacock said he was moved to wonder, “Why don’t you buy it if you’re so passionate about it?”
He also recalled that after the A-B InBev merger in 2008, he was approached by people upset that A-B and Budweiser were being bought by a foreign company. He sounded flummoxed. “If you bought more (Budweiser), it probably wouldn’t have sold,” he said he told them.
Here’s what is actually hurting A-B, and Budweiser in particular: it’s not very good. And as American taste preferences – from food to wine to beer – continue to develop (improve?) over the last generation or two we’ve figured out how not very good it is. I’m not averse to a Bud at the ballpark now and then, but there’s so much beer being made right now that tastes like something – that is actually interesting. And you know those little breweries you ran out of business in St. Louis a century ago? We want those back.
Stupid wasn’t limited to A-B in the story, however. A South City bar owner drops this bit of wisdom on us:
Back at the Bleeding Deacon, McLaughlin said he saw a way forward for Budweiser — A-B must sell the beer using its working class, traditionalist roots and stop “marketing it like it was fruit juice.”
And Budweiser has one thing on its side, he noted.
“No one else has got a good beer that is over 130 years old.”