In an effort to capture a growing contingent of consumers who are drinking both beer and spirits during a night out, Anheuser-Busch and Beam Suntory have inked a multi-faceted cross-merchandising program and collaborative brewing project.
As part of the partnership, the two companies, via their flagship Budweiser and Jim Beam Brands, will “begin appearing together at bars and retail venues across the country,” according to a press release.
As part of the on-premise merchandising program, consumers will see the Budweiser and Jim Beam brands together for “the perfect pairing.”
In other words, order yourself a shot of Jim Beam and wash it down with an ice cold Bud.
“This is a truly unique partnership and innovation that will surely drive excitement with our drinkers,” Ricardo Marques, A-B’s VP of marketing for the Budweiser brand, said via the release.
In addition to “beer and a bourbon shot” occasion, sometimes referred to as a boilermaker or a “happy meal,” the two companies will also collaborate on the new limited-edition “Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager.”
The beer, according to the release, is “aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves to create a toasted oak aroma and deliciously nutty taste with caramel rye and vanilla notes.”
“This partnership feels especially natural given our brands’ common values and the pivotal roles they’ve both played in American history,” Rob Mason, Jim Beam’s VP of marketing, said in the announcement.
The launch of the new marketing initiative comes on the heels of a similar spirits and beer tie-up between Scottish craft brewery Innis & Gunn and William Grant & Sons’ Tullamore D.E.W Irish Whiskey brand. In February, the two companies announced the release of “Kindred Spirits,” a limited edition stout aged in used Tullamore D.E.W. barrels.
Pernod Ricard USA, via its Jameson Irish Whiskey brand, also collaborated with seven U.S. craft breweries in 2016 as part of its “Caskmates” program.
A press release with additional information on the Bud and Beam partnership is included below.
American Icons Budweiser and Jim Beam Come Together in First-of-its-Kind Collaboration
April 3, 2018 – New York, NY – Today, Budweiser and Jim Beam® bourbon toast to the future as they join their 365 collective years of stateside distilling and brewing history to kick off a new friendship and marketing collaboration. The all-American pair will introduce a new taste of history to beer and bourbon fans alike through a cross-merchandising program starting in the spring and a new collaborative brew launching in the fall.
Starting this month, the two brands will begin appearing together at bars and retail venues across the country, just in time for baseball season. Inspired by the “beer and a bourbon shot” occasion, the new on-premise cross-merchandising program will feature Budweiser and Jim Beam bourbon together for the perfect pairing.
Following, in September, Budweiser’s brewmasters and Jim Beam’s seventh generation Master Distiller Fred Noe will celebrate the upcoming 85th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition with the unveiling of a new limited-edition collaborative brew – Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager. The Copper Lager is brewed with two-row barley and aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves to create a toasted oak aroma and deliciously nutty taste with caramel rye and vanilla notes.
“We are very excited about this partnership not only because both brands share common history but also an obsession for quality and a decade’s long connection to America,” said Ricardo Marques, Vice President of marketing for Budweiser. “This is a truly unique partnership and innovation that will surely drive excitement with our drinkers.”
“This partnership feels especially natural given our brands’ common values and the pivotal roles they’ve both played in American history,” said Rob Mason, Vice President of marketing for Jim Beam. “Our family distillers have produced ‘America’s Native Spirit’ since 1795, using traditions and techniques passed down through the generations. This is another exciting milestone in Jim Beam’s history.”
The World’s most valuable beer brand and the World’s No. 1 bourbon brand share impressive histories of persevering through the Prohibition era while they were not able to produce their signature products. For Jim Beam, it was their fourth generation distiller – James B. Beam – who rebuilt his family’s distillery in a mere 120 days to produce what is today the world’s best-selling bourbon. Similarly, Budweiser kept its doors open through Prohibition by creating other non-alcoholic packaged goods as they waited to bring beer back to America. Budweiser’s Reserve Copper Lager aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves celebrates this important moment for these brands and all Americans.
The partnership between Budweiser and Jim Beam promises to deliver unique product innovations, integrated marketing efforts and a unique way to delight both beer and bourbon fans. The two brands will lean on their incredible American heritage to deliver a modern drinking experience this year and beyond.