USA: Budweiser and Jim Beam team up against craft brewers

Budweiser and Jim Beam, two behemoths of the American drinks industry, are teaming up to find an answer to the nation’s growing thirst for craft beers brewed by smaller, independent brewers.  In a joint press release the two companies announced today a cross-merchandising program starting in spring and a new collaborative brew launching in fall.

Starting this month, the two brands will begin appearing together at bars and retail venues across the country, just in time for baseball season. Inspired by the “beer and a bourbon shot” occasion, the new on-premise cross-merchandising program will feature Budweiser and Jim Beam bourbon together for the perfect pairing.

Following, in September, Budweiser’s brewmasters and Jim Beam’s seventh generation Master Distiller Fred Noe will celebrate the upcoming 85th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition with the unveiling of a new limited-edition collaborative brew – Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager. The Copper Lager is brewed with two-row barley and aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves to create a toasted oak aroma and deliciously nutty taste with caramel rye and vanilla notes.

“We are very excited about this partnership not only because both brands share common history but also an obsession for quality and a decade’s long connection to America,” said Ricardo Marques, Vice President of marketing for Budweiser. “This is a truly unique partnership and innovation that will surely drive excitement with our drinkers.”

“This partnership feels especially natural given our brands’ common values and the pivotal roles they’ve both played in American history,” said Rob Mason, Vice President of marketing for Jim Beam. “Our family distillers have produced ‘America’s Native Spirit’ since 1795, using traditions and techniques passed down through the generations. This is another exciting milestone in Jim Beam’s history.”

“The collaboration makes sense due to the changing landscape in the breweries industry. The meteoric rise in craft beers has caused major brewers to either create their own craft varieties or acquire small brewers already in the market," said Chrystalleni Stivaros, a beer industry analyst with IBISWorld, a global industry and procurement research company.

AB InBev, owner of the iconic Budweiser brand, has already acquired ten craft breweries in the United States through its High End division, and more than a dozen worldwide through its global disruptive growth group ZX Ventures or one of its local subsidiaries. Last September AB InBev announced to stop buying craft breweries in the US and instead to focus on the development of its existing brands. (, 7.9.2017)

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