Super Bowl Beer Ad Roundup

Posted on February 9th, 2010

On Sunday the New Orleans Saints came back from behind to beat the Indianapolis Colts and win their very first NFL Championship. It was a great game, but it wasn’t the only reason to watch the Super Bowl. Every year many tune in just to watch the creative and big-budget commercials that are showcased between plays. Beer commercials are always a staple of this yearly tradition, and Super Bowl XLIV was no exception. Here’s a quick look at what beer ads there were this year.

The most dominate beer ads this time  were Bud Light’s “Here We Go” ads. This series features various situations in which people unexpectedly discover large amounts of Bud Light. A spontaneous party erupts regardless of everyone’s current circumstances fun is had by all. Take a look at this one set on a deserted island following a plane crash.

The others follow the same basic template with different settings – an observatory, a book club, etc. The most notable thing about all of these ads is how little they actually focus on the beer or its quality. This was a theme which was also evident in this year’s Budweiser Clydesdale ad, which had almost nothing to do with beer.

Perhaps the decision to focus more on the social aspects of Budweiser beers rather than its taste or quality is indication that Americans are becoming savvier about beer. With craft beer steadily growing in popularity, more and more people are trying quality beer and realizing how much light lagers like Budweiser lack. Anheuser-Busch can no longer get away with bragging about their taste, because people know theirs better things out there.

The other beer ads on Sunday were for two super light beers.

Michelob Ultra:

and Budweiser Select 55:

These are beers which are brewed to be as light as possible, Michelob Ultra was the first, weighing in at 95 calories per serving. The success of Ultra led to Michelob coming out with MGD 64, which has just 64 calories per serving. Budweiser Select is the latest in this category, with, as you might guess, 55 calories per serving.

We’ve looked at these beers in articles before. As we said previously, beer isn’t a sports drink. It isn’t something that should be enjoyed for the dietary benefits, it should be enjoyed for the taste. The caloric difference between these beers are slight to say the least. Are the six calories you save by drinking Select 55 really going to matter much? We certainly don’t think so. As we pointed out before, the caloric difference between Ultra and regular ‘non sport’ beers isn’t that much either. We’re all for staying healthy and watching what you eat and drink, but we feel the amount of calories you save by drinking these super light beers hardly make up for the significant loss in taste.

What did you think of these year’s ads? Let us know in the comments.

Budweiser: The Great Czech Lager?

Posted on July 17th, 2009

Budweiser The Great American Lager?

Budweiser is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and well known American beers around the world. Thanks to its countless commercials proclaiming it the “King of Beers” and “The Great American Lager” coupled with its near universal availability in the US, it’s hard to think of American beer without thinking of Budweiser. Unfortunately, Budweiser isn’t American at all, it’s Czech. That’s right, the beer that is most synonymous with America was actually stolen from a brewery in what today is the Czech Republic.

Pilsner, the style of beer Budweiser attempts to replicate, is originally a Czech style of beer. Originating in the Czech town of Pilsen, Pilsner is a German word which means “from Pilsen.” The first clue that the Great American Lager actually isn’t all that great or American comes from its name. ‘Budweiser’ is also a German word, meaning “from Budweis,” which is a town in the Czech Republic. When German-American immigrant Adolphus Busch started selling Budweiser in 1876, he decided to name it after the town he got the recipe from, Budweis. This wasn’t something the people of Budweis were too pleased about of course, considering they’d been brewing their own Budweiser beer since the 14th century.

As a result Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar, the brewery in Budweis which sells the original Budweiser, have been locked in copyright disputes ever since. Currently they’ve reached an awkward truce which allows A-B to sell its beer in the US under the name ‘Budweiser’ while in most of Europe it must be sold as simply ‘Bud’ and in Germany it’s sold under the awkward name ‘Anheuser-Busch B.’ Budejovicky Budvar for it’s part is allowed to sell their beer under Budweiser in Europe while having to go by ‘Budweiser Budvar’ here in the States.

Budweiser "Bud" and Bud Budvar

To give A-B some credit, they didn’t simply ‘borrow’ the recipe and name from Budejovicky Budvar, they also dumbed down the recipe, replacing much of the barley and grains used in the Czech version with flavorless adjuncts like rice and corn. Nothing says American like stealing from other countries and making bland, watery beer. So I guess in a lot of ways Budweiser is the Great American Lager. God Bless America!

All drinks have ‘drinkability.’ Shut up, Bud Light.

Posted on July 2nd, 2009

Bud Light & Drinkability

Budweiser has recently launched a major ad campaign centered around Bud Light’s unique ability to be placed in your mouth and swallowed, or as they refer to it, “drinkability.”

This is apparently something that sets Bud Light apart from other drinks. Really Budweiser? Let’s take a look at one of those ads.

I have to agree with Budweiser on a few points. Something is generally easier to drink when it’s not being sprayed at you from a hose at full blast, or not hot sauce, or not hail (which as a solid and not a liquid is in fact impossible to drink.) Last time I checked however none of the other light beers out there were any of these things, they were in fact beer, and generally served in glasses. So unless there’s some brewing company I don’t know about making a hail and Tabasco flavored beer that’s sprayed at you from a hose, I’m not sure if Budweiser is really making much of a claim for Bud Light.

Hops are supposed to be added three times. Shut up, Miller Lite.

Posted on June 26th, 2009


As a followup to a recent post about hops I wanted to address the way this key ingredient in beer is sometimes portrayed by the major breweries in America. Recently Miller Lite has begun boasting about how they add hops to their beer not once, but three separate times during brewing.

They make it sound  impressive, but the thing is you’re suppose to add hops three times during brewing, that’s just how you make beer. Just check John Palmer’s book about brewing, How to Brew; you’ll see that he instructs you to add hops three times during brewing. This is  the reason that hops are divided into three different types: bittering hops, flavor hops and aroma (or finishing) hops, which Palmer also describes on that page.

The reason Miller and othe brewers can get away with such nonsense is that they count on the average beer drinker not actually knowing very much about beer. We here at Beeriety are aiming to change that, stay tuned to learn more about beer and beer culture.

“Frost brewed” beer isn’t anything special, that’s how beer is made

Posted on June 11th, 2009

Almost every macro-brewery has at one point or another laid claim to being the coldest brew at the store or on tap. We’ve all seen in countless TV commercials and Super Bowl spots where advertisers victoriously proclaim that their beer is always Ice Brewed or Cold Brewed or Frost Brewed or Glacier Brewed or some-other-cold-sounding-word brewed.

Coors Light with their recent “Our beer tastes like licking the Rockies” advertising shtick, is particularly guilty of this, just take a look at this ad featuring former NFL coach Bill Parcells. (Starts around the :30 mark)

Coors Light Cold Activated Bottle

Cold Activated Bottles. Provided by MillerCoors LLC

34 degrees sounds pretty cold, right? Pretty impressive maybe? Let’s do some fact checking with John Palmer, author of the book How to Brew, a guide to home brewing. 34 degrees happens to be the exact temperature Palmer recommends for making lager in your kitchen. So way to go MillerCoors, you’ve managed to follow directions from a recipe and do something anyone with an old ice box and a couple of bags of ice can accomplish. Brilliant!

Beer companies are usually selling the message of Ice Cold Beer because they know it appeals to the consumers sense of refreshment. They are also willing to assume that the average American does not know how beer is made, much less what a hop is (a topic for a much larger post down the road).

Beeriety is here to change some of these myths by providing more information about beer, beer culture and homebrewing to the everyday drinker.