Free Beer!

Spinnaker

It’s a Beer Market

Anheuser-Busch, a wholly owned subsidiary of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced this week that they are giving away 500,000 free 6 to12 once samples – depending on local laws – of Budweiser starting September 29, a date the company has deemed “Budweiser’s National Happy Hour.” The promotion is said to last through October.

The official locations in Jacksonville, as well as in other major cities, where folks ages 21 and over can grab a free ice-cold beer have yet to be announced. But not to worry, the promoters will more than likely find you.

According to A-B representatives, the promotion of free samples is due in part because of Budweiser’s sagging brand recognition amongst the younger drinking crowd. Mostly because of the rising interest in craft-sided beers or cheaper, lighter beers.

According to research firm Brand Keys, Budweiser’s ranking among national product brands has slipped from 16th in 2003 to 220th in 2010. Beverage Marketing Corp shows that Budweiser’s unit sales are down nine percent from last year – same as the year before.

Stephen Brewer, tour supervisor of the A-B Jacksonville Brewery, said his department does not know yet where the free samples will be in Jacksonville.

“A lot of this came from corporate marketing,” he said. “They set this up nationwide. I’m not sure which bars or how many in Jacksonville have decided to take part in it.”

Brewer said that Budweiser is their main focus for this marketing campaign.

“We want people to remember it and remind people of how good of a product it is,”
Brewer said.

“As far as what we’re doing [at the Jacksonville brewery],” Brewer said. “We’re going to stay open until seven-o-clock on Wednesday and invite people to come in and try day-fresh Budweiser.”