More beer + health trend: Anheuser-Busch’s craft brand, Golden Road Brewing, announces multi-year sponsorship of USA Swimming

USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in America, U.S. Masters Swimming and Golden Road Brewing has announced a new multi-year partnership, marking the first-ever alcohol sponsorship for USA Swimming.

As part of the partnership, Golden Road will serve as co-presenting sponsor of VIP hospitality experiences at USA Swimming House and USA Swimming Live at next year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb. The brewery will also hold activation rights in the Toyota Aqua Zone and serve as presenting sponsor of the “Last Session Show” and the Golden Goggles red carpet show. In a unique extension, Golden Road will also implement an athlete support program that provides financial support to adult athletes, as well as industry exposure and professional training.

A former captain of the Yale University swim team, Gill co-founded the Los Angeles, California-based brewery in 2011 when she was just 25. In 2015, Anheuser-Busch bought Golden Road.

“My dream since I was a little girl was to spread the passion and excitement I felt for swimming with others. My second love, beer, happens to have the ability to bring fans together and add to the enjoyment of watching competition,” Gill said. “By chance meeting last summer at the Nationals, I realized USA Swimming’s leadership team had a big vision of taking the sport of swimming to new heights — so our teams have worked on a truly unique partnership to help drive excitement for fans and athletes leading into a major year for swimming on the global stage. I can’t wait to enjoy a Golden Road beer while watching my favorite swimmers compete for a spot in Tokyo next summer.”

Source: Craft Brewing Business

Why It’s Hot

Just last week we had a post on “Performance Beer” and discussed how beer + healthy lifestyle coming together is a trend. Here is further support of that.

 

Budweiser’s anti-craft beer Super Bowl ad made me sad!

Blasphemy! While watching the Super Bowl (commercials) this year, I was taken aback by this non-puppy ad from Budweiser called “Brewed the Hard Way”

The industry and social media is all a flutter as to whether this was a mistaken strategy.

The ad appeared to mock not only craft beer, but also the people who enjoy it — a move that proved to be both tone deaf and embarrassing for the company.

The ad, which began by noting that Budweiser “is not brewed to be fussed over” ended with the tagline: “Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale. We’ll be brewing us some golden suds.”

Except, whoops! Just over a week ago, Budweiser’s parent company bought well-known Seattle craft brewery Elysian . Among the beers that brewery made last year? The Gourdgia on my Mind Pecan Peach Pumpkin Amber.“Elysian’s brands are an important addition to our high-end beer portfolio, and we look forward to working together,” said Andy Goeler, CEO of Craft at Anheuser-Busch at the time.

In fact, Budweiser’s parent company has quietly been buying craft breweries and launching its own craft-style brands for the past few years. Shock Top is a Belgian-style wheat ale produced by the company (which, it’s worth noting, also has a pumpkin seasonal). Organic craft brewery Green Valley Brewing Company doesn’t fly the Anheuser-Busch flag, but it’s owned by the company. So is Goose Island, which was purchased in 2011. And it owns stakes in Seattle’s Red Hook Brewing and Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewery.

The apparent attack on craft beer comes as the King of Beers has seen its crown become more tarnished. Young drinkers have been turning away from the brand for more than 25 years. In 2013, the company shipped 16 million barrels of Budweiser, while overall craft beer shipments came in at 16.1 million barrels.

On social media, craft beer lovers, not surprisingly, took aim at Budweiser – noting the defensive nature of the ad.

Best response:

Why It’s Hot

Frequenters of this blog know that I care about two things (1) Beer and (2) Marketing Strategy! So I do believe this shows us the power of a misguided insight — Budweiser chose to fight against a trend vs. embrace it. If anything, they were appealing to people who already drink Bud. However, the reaction only amplified the exposure of the ad. Go craft beer!!

DELTA TAPS SEVEN MORE CRAFT BREWS FOR IN-FLIGHT OFFERING

Delta Airlines will start serving brews from seven craft breweries on its flights. On certain routes, passengers will be able to drink beers from San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing Company, Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Company, Brooklyn’s Brooklyn Brewery, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Company, Massachusetts’ Newburyport Brewing Company, and Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewery. Plus, all domestic routes will also serve beer from Samuel Adams.

This year, Delta has taken steps to improve its food selection as well: Besides serving the airlines’ addictive spiced, speculoos-style cookies, the company has partnered with chef Linton Hopkins to design an in-flight menu featuring upscale eats.

Delta Air Lines Regional Craft BeersSources: Eater, Delta Press Release

Why It’s Hot

It’s interesting to see how the airline industry is evolving to changing tastes. We saw British Airways matching in-flight food to music tastes recently. It’s also interesting to see the power that beer tastes in particular are driving a change in the beverage landscape. We’ve seen brewers, such as Shocktop, start to adjust to preferences for craft beer as well.

It does make one wonder if airlines are prioritizing catchy perks over major improvements to comfort.