Late last month, Anheuser-Busch had a social media faux paux. On Instagram, the company posted a photo of one of its products, Wicked Weed La Bonté (with pear), and a caption insinuating the brand introduced sour beer to the U.S. A-B also referred to lactobacillus, a bacteria strain commonly used in sour beer production, as a yeast strain.
Of course, the Internet went wild. Worst Beer Blog posted a screen shot of the post on Instagram and Twitter (which was a savvy move, as A-B swiftly deleted its post). It sparked several insults and jokes, which you can see below.
In response to the social media misstep, Wiley Roots Brewing of Greeley, Col., took that lemon and made lemonade. Actually, they made beer: “Beer Flavored Beer,” a basic-looking German-style Helles lager presumably meant to mimic A-B’s Budweiser. The brewery also mimicked A-B’s Instagram post by copying its language.
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After centuries of development in and around Belgium, lager beers have arrived in the United States. In addition to standard ale yeasts, lager beers make use of "lager" yeasts like Saccharomyces and Saccharomyces: microorganisms that consume sugars to create uniquely crisp, sometimes enjoyable flavors. Often, heavy doses of rice or corn are added to these beers before they've gone through initial fermentation. #ABeerWithBeer ⠀ Releasing January 18, 2019 at 12pm ⠀ #WileyRootsBrewing
Of course, A-B has made sizable contributions to commercial beer in its 165-plus-year history. And Wicked Weed, prior to its acquisition by AB InBev and the subsequent backlash, was well-regarded as one of the best sour beer producers in the country. However, neither were the first to make sour beer in the U.S.
This Insta-slip is a lesson in clarity of messaging in the digital age — crossing T’s, dotting I’s, and knowing the difference between brettanomyces and lactobacillus.