It’s exciting time to be alive! What sounds better than a good beer? The answer—an ice cold beer from a “forgotten recipe” dating back to the prohibition era. Anheuser Busch recently released a statement that is sure to bring a smile to beer lovers across the country. In an attempt to promote its struggling brand, the beer distributor is releasing a long forgotten recipe dating back almost 100 years.
A limited-edition brew called 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager hits shelves today that is claimed to have come from the prohibition era recipe Busch released. Pre-prohibition style beer has been big business in the U.S. for some time now. They are mostly made by craft brewers who seek out lost recipes and attempt to recreate the formula. Most brewers were not around during prohibition time, but Anheuser-Busch, which was acquired by InBev in 2008, has been around since 1852, giving the brewer a link to recipes its founders once used.
On January 16, 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect, which prohibited the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. For 13 years, Prohibition was the law of the land and many were not pleased that alcohol was banned. One company that was extremely frustrated that Prohibition happened was Anheuser-Busch, the beer giant that was created in 1852 by Eberhard Anheuser and his son-in-law Adolphus Busch. Prohibition forced St Louis-based Anheuser-Busch to switch from making beer to manufacturing soft drinks, non-alcoholic malt beverages, ice cream, and malt extract. Finally, the Twenty-first Amendment was fully ratified on December 5, 1933, which repealed Prohibition and alcohol was legal once again. This holiday season, Budweiser celebrates the repeal of Prohibition with a beer inspired by an Anheuser-Busch beer recipe dating back before Prohibition.
Sadly, soon after the beer was developed in the early 20th century Prohibition went into effect and the brew was only available in the St. Louis area. The new beer is influenced by the recipe for the special old-school beer that dates back to pre-Prohibition times. Anheuser-Busch InBev beer revealed Budweiser’s 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager, which is a limited-time brew.
“We are excited to mark the upcoming holiday season and the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with this new brew based on a forgotten recipe,” said Budweiser vice president Ricardo Marques. “While Budweiser Repeal Reserve is a great tasting Amber Lager, it also tells the story of an important part of our history and gives reason for celebration.”
The reincarnation was “tweaked” a bit from the pre-Prohibition recipe and is a 6.1% ABV amber lager, higher than original Budweiser’s 5% ABV. The new beer “consists of a light, hoppy aroma and rich caramel-malt taste.” The 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager comes packaged in “vintage Budweiser stubby bottles.” The limited-time beer is a holiday release that coincides with the 84th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.
To promote the 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager, Budweiser teamed up with Lyft to give riders a chance to ride in a Prohibition-era car. Lyft will have five Budweiser-themed early 1900s vehicles for special rides back into time. However, the old school vehicles will only be available in New York City and are on a first-come-first-serve basis. The Lyft cars, which are only available between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25. The Lyft rides will include tours of landmarks and neighborhoods that have historical references to Prohibition.
The limited run of the beer is timed to coincide with the holidays and the Dec. 5 anniversary of the Prohibition repeal. Prohibition also came to an end on the same date in 1933 when Utah became the 36th state to approve the 21st Amendment.
The decision to release the promotion comes as Bud is continuing to struggle with sales. In the U.S., sales were down by 6.6 percent in the nine months ending Sept. 30, according to Nielsen data cited by Beer Marketer’s Insights. All big brands are down, but Bud’s decline was worse than Bud Light (-5.7%), Coors Light (-3.4%), and Miller Lite (-1.6%). Bud is doing much better globally, including in China, where the brand is surging.
Bud is struggling for many reasons one of which is the surging micro-brew businesses popping up across the country. There are now so many choices for the consumers that it’s difficult to justify drinking Budweiser in any form. Either way, this decision is sure to pique many people’s interest and they are sure to have an uptick in sales.