Budweiser plans to introduce a new beer in January called Bud Light Platinum that it hopes will appeal to a "key group of beer drinkers." We know what that means: Budweiser -- or Anheuser-Busch InBev, the multinational corporation that owns the Bud brand -- believes this beer will appeal to craft beer enthusiasts.
Nice try, A-B InBev.
There is no universally accepted definition of "craft beer" -- a fact that beer writer Andy Crouch highlighted in a recent article -- but what Budweiser does isn't it. "Craft" suggests the beer has been handcrafted, with care, with perhaps more attention to how good the beer is than to how much the product will increase a company's bottom line. (Side note: I'm not sure how A-B InBev can call this new beverage a "light beer" when it has more alcohol than regular Budweiser and only 8 fewer calories.)
It's understandable that a big company like A-B InBev would try to capitalize on the growing appetite for craft beer. While total US beer sales dipped 1 percent in the first half of 2011, sales of craft beer rose 11 percent, according to the Brewers Association. But come January, I don't expect many of us who enjoy craft beer will bypass the offerings of Pretty Things, Allagash, Stone, or Smuttynose in favor of Bud Light Platinum.
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