Today we are revealing some interesting and surprising facts about the King of Beers, Budweiser. In 1857 Adolphus Busch emigrated from Germany to St. Louis Missouri and he began working at a brewing supply company. He married the daughter of one of his clients and he eventually joined his father in laws brewing company. There he contributed greatly to its growth and innovative sales ideas.
By 1879 the company officially became the Anheuser – Bosch brewing association. The following year Aberhart passed away and Busche became president. Their distribution was taken worldwide and they became the best-selling beer brand in America. Now Budweiser continues to be one of the top-selling brands in America and throughout the world. It is available in 85 markets globally.
For those who want to learn more about Budweiser, you can read our The fall of Budweiser – No longer Americas Favorite
1. Budweiser continued operation during prohibition
In 1920 after Budweiser had been in operation for over 50 years the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution bans the sale of alcohol. Anheuser – Busch saw it coming and prepared in advance. They started selling alcohol-free beverages in the years leading up to the prohibition. And relied heavily on that drink as well as soda sales to make it through the 13 years that alcohol was banned in the US. Although they were able to stay afloat the workers at the Budweiser company were more than relieved when prohibition was finally lifted in 1933.
2. Budweiser payed $1.4 billion to be the NFLs official beer through 2022
In 2010 Budweiser signed a 6 year 1 billion dollar licensing agreement with the National Football League becoming the NFL’s official beer. In 2016 they renew that contract through to 2022 for 1.4 billion dollars. In terms of this agreement, it means that only Bud Light can use the NFL shield on its advertising. And it’s the only beer brand that can use all 32 NFL team league logos on it. They also have exclusive permission among all NFL sponsors to use game highlight footage on their website and social media pages.
3. Bud Light was the 2nd best selling beer brand worldwide in 2016
The best-selling beer globally in 2016 is a brand called Snow that has almost sold exclusively in China. They sold an astonishing 2.8 trillion gallons of beer to claim the top spot. Coming at a distant second is Bud Light which sold 1.24 billion gallons globally. In 2016 Budweiser came in slightly behind at third place.
4. The Budweiser Clydesdales date back to 1933
The Budweiser Clydesdales have become an iconic symbol of the company. They have been featured in a number of ad campaigns including a very moving tribute after the tragedy of 9/11. The very first Budweiser Clydesdales were a gift that August Busch and Adolphus Busch gave to their father to celebrate the end of prohibition in 1933.
5. Adolphus Busch Estate was valuated at $60 million at the time of his death
In 1857 Adolphus Busch immigrated to the US at the age of 18 with very little money. He became a wealthy man about 2 decades later. When he became the president of the company selling the most nationally distributed beer in the pre-prohibition era. He was so loved and admired in life that when he died in 1913 about 100 000 mourners lined the streets for his funeral procession. Twenty-five trucks were needed to transport all of the flower arrangments to the cemetery and the city of St.Louis observed 5 minutes of silence during which even the streetcars were halted. Busch left behind an estate valued at 60 million dollars which is close to 1.5 billion at today’s valuation.
6. They are not the only ones who sell beer under the Budweiser name
Adolphus Busch named the beer after the Budweis region of the Czech Republic. At this time European beers were generally named after the city or region the beer was brewed in. This proved to be a problem for Budweiser because there was already a beer made in Budweiss Hunter the Budeweiser name since 1245 that continues to be brewed to this day. That beer is sold in the US under the name Czechvar while American Budweiser is sold as Bud in all European Union countries with the exception of Ireland, the UK, Finland and Spain. Also Budweiser is called Budvar in New Zealand.
7. Budweiser is vegan
Budweiser beer is technically vegan since no anmial products are used in the brewing process. Budweiser beer is compromised of about 30% rice in addition to hops, yeast, barley and water. The same ingredients that’s been made with since the 1870s.
8. Adolphus Busch was not a fan of beer
Although beer is of course what made him millions Adolphus Busch wasn’t a big fan of the taste and greatly preferred to drink wine. It wasn’t until they went national that the company really began to see success.
9. Budweiser is the biggest buyer of rice in the US market
Budweiser has a unique recipe that relies on rice. The ice is supposed to give the beer a crisper flavor. budweiser and other rice based beers accounted for 30 % of the rice consumption of all Americans. It remains the biggest buyer of rice in the US market buying 6 to 7 % of the annual US rice crop.
10. Budweiser is the 22nd most valuable world brand
As of May 2017 Budweiser brand is valued at 24.6 billion dollars making it 22nd most valuable brand in the world. It comes between BMW and American Express. On the list Budweiser is the most valuable alcohol brand in the world.
11. Budweiser is the first beer to use pasteurization
Budweiser played a vital role in developing the pasteurization process that is most commonly associated with milk. When Ado;phus Busch was looking to expand distribution across the US he had to find a way to keep his beer fresh and tastry after a cross country journey. This lead to the development of the pasteurization process which was used by Budweiser long before it was adapted by the dairy industry to disinfect milk.
12. Budweiser wanted theri products blurred in a hit movie
Usually free advertizing is a good thing but not in this case. The 2012 film Flight is about an airplane pilot played by Denzel Washington that has a drinking problem. One of the alcohol brands featured prominently in the movie is Budweiser. Anhauser – Busch said it received no advance notice from Paramount that theri brand would be used in the film. And that they would never condone the misuse of their products. They requested that their brand be blurred from the movie. Ultimately though theri request was denied.
13. Budweiser has donated millions of cans of water
In the aftermath of disaster Budweiser has been known many times to help the production and repurpose theri brewery to produce cans of water instead. When hurricane Harvey hit the US in 2017 they immediately switched production and quickly sent 155 000 cans of water to affected areas in Texas and Louisiana. In 2016 they sent thousands of cans of water to help with those affected by California wildfires, floods in Louisiana and hurricane Matthew in South Carolina. In total the company has delivered more than 74 million cans of water to support disaster relief in various locations.
14. Justin Timberlake was named creative director of Bud Light Platinum
In 2013 hit singer Justin Timberlake was named by Budweiser as the creative director of Bud Light Platinum. In his role the company says the singer is expected to provide creative musical and cultural curation. And Justin says that Bud Light Platinum brings a refined discerning aestethic to beer that plays well with what he’s doing.
15. Budweiser parent company has exclusive rights to beer advertising in the Super Bowl
For the very first Superbowl advertisers payed about 1300 dollars per second of airtime. By 2017 that number has skyrocketed to over 160 000 dollars per second. Budweiser has had some pretty memorable SuperBowl ads over the years including ones involving Budweiser frogs and of course the legendary Budweiser Clydesdales. However Budweiser caused a bit of a stir in the US with its moving ad during the 2017 SuperBowl that focused on immigrant Adolphus Busch partnering with another immigrant. Some Americans who are opposed to immigration chose to boycott Budweiser after the ad aired. The 62 second spot cost the company 10 million dollars of airtime. Cheers.