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Taste of America
July 15, 2008 - Wes Burns
Like it or not certain things about this great land of ours, and I'm talking about America here, are destined to stay the same. Americans will never stop eating fast food, we'll always be announced at the Olympic's opening ceremony wearing cowboys hats and we will always lord our victory in World War II over the french. Take these simple truths to heart, dear readers, as the rest of our American bedrock is shaking.
Budweiser has been purchased by a Belgian beer company! I'm sorry for exposing those that didn't know yet in such a harsh manner but time is of the essence. In Bev, an innocuous little truncation that stands for International Beverage, is a megalithic beverage concern based in Europe. They own thousands of breweries across the rest of the world: local brands in Siberia, China, Stella Artois and, in perhaps the biggest slap in the face to American beer drinkers, Becks. Budweiser, in all of its NASCAR glory, is owned by the same people that make Becks.
How weak must our economy be to have Budweiser, the beer of all that is American, to be purchased by a foreign conglomerate? I would like to state that I particularly don't care for Budweiser. To me it always tasted like any other kind of beer that is handed to me at a house party I didn't want to attend. But I understand the cultural signifigance of Budweiser.
I cannot help but wonder if such an aggressive buyout plan would have been feasible just 50 years ago. Imagine, during the height of Cold War hysteria, that an international company tried to purchase a peice of Americana? A company that produces beer in Russia, China AND Cuba? Cuba?! People back then were angry enough when Bud Light won The Bud Bowl.
In Bev spokespeople have said that they don't want to take away from the fine brewing traditions of Anheuser-Busch and hope to keep Budweiser the same great tasting beer that it's always been. Fail. The one good thing that might have come of this was that maybe Budweiser would start tasting good and just maybe there would be a tastey, cheap beer on the market that I could buy anywhere. This is not to be.
So maybe Budweiser will taste exactly the same except the money made from the American Beer will no longer stay in the United States. Maybe Budweiser will start to get some better ingredients and start to taste like legitimate beer. Maybe NASCAR will stop receiving support from Bud and switch over to William Sonoma. Unlikely. The only likely outcome I can forsee is that Anheuser-Busch is going to alienate their core base and In Bev is going to be too scarred to change the formula.
So the once popular beer, with no modifications to its formula what so ever, will become unpopular at bars around America and become consumed exclusively by the only social group that would embrace such an ironic choice: hipsters.
God help us all.
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