MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Budweiser is known for its Super Bowl commercials.  Who can forget the horses and cute puppies?

But, this year, the beermaker also spent $9 million on a 1-minute Super Bowl ad taking a swipe at craft beer. Their message: Beer is not brewed to be fussed over. The ad generated a good bit of criticism, conversation and craft beer ads in response.

There may be good reason Budweiser is directly mentioning craft beers. Over the past decade, the top two beer manufacturers – Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors – have faltered, while craft breweries have grown. In fact, they’ve have grown so much that even Anheuser Busch has bought into some of the smaller craft brews.

According to Beer Marketer’s Insights, the overall beer industry is down 1.1 percent in 2013. Beer Marketer’s executive editor Eric Shepard credits that to the slower economy, more successful marketing by spirits and beer not being the first choice for millennials.

In 2013, craft beers grew by 17 percent.  They now corner 9 percent of the total market, up from 4 percent in 2008. At the same time, the share for Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors has dropped to 70 percent from 78 percent. Crown Imports, which includes Corona and Modelo, have also increased market share as the Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown.

But, the big brewers will make up the bulk of the individual sales.  Bud Light is overwhelming the most popular beer with 18 percent of all beer shipments in 2013.  It was followed by Coors Light (9 percent), Budweiser (8 percent), Miller Lite (6 percent) and Corona (4 percent).

Heather Brown

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