Budweiser is leaking. Once the top beer seller in America, the famous brand is seeking new ways to stay relevant amid fragmentation and strong competition from craft brewers. The Wall Street Journal reports that 44% of drinkers aged 21 to 27 have never even tried a Budweiser, once a right of passage for young American adult males. This year on TV there’ll be no more Clydesdales moving through beautiful snow, with holiday bells jingling as their massive hooves work to bring winter cheer. Nope, Budweiser is going with Jay Z this year. And zombies. Younger stuff. Because if the old Bud brand can’t get some young craft beer loyalists to come over and have some Buds, it’s going to sound like a big game of kick-the-can at Anheuser-Busch InBev.
In 1988, when breakout craft brewer Sam Adams was still a toddler, Budweiser sold 50 million barrels a year. Last year that number was 16 million. The “King of Beers,” as Budweiser styles itself, is hardly invisible though. It’s still the third biggest selling beer in the country (behind Bud Light and Coors Light).