Baseball is considered “The American Pastime”, but I think a compelling case could be made to change “The American Pastime” to drinking beer. After all, there’s practically nothing that can be done that can’t also be done while drinking beer. Watching sports? Check. Hanging out with friends? Check. Skiing? Running the mile? Running a half-marathon? Check, check, and check. As a self-proclaimed patriotic expert, I believe that there’s nothing more quintessentially American than red solo cups filled to the top with that amber brew.
This week, Budweiser announced that they are changing their name to “America.” To me, something seems fundamentally wrong with a company that labels themselves “King of Beers” trying to co-opt the name of a country founded upon overthrowing monarchical tyranny, but I digress.
While Anheuser-Busch, the brewing company that initially created Budweiser, was founded in St. Louis, MO in 1852, since 2008, the company has been owned under the conglomerate AB InBev, based in Leuven, Belgium and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Some are noting the irony of the name change to “America” from a company that is now owned mainly by Belgians, but financially, this is a smart move for Budweiser.
Since “America” cannot be trademarked, this name change will not cost the company any additional money and it will create buzz in the media from the varying opinions regarding the beer, from people who think that something named “America” should be American owned, to Donald Trump, who is taking credit for the name change under his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Despite the varying opinions regarding the new name, it’s important to recognize that this change is really only a re-branding, as part of the “America Is in Your Hands” campaign. Budweiser has released similar limited-edition cans in the past, changing the images on the can to an American flag or the Statue of Liberty.
However, this time, almost all of the familiar imagery on the label has been replaced with familiar patriotic slogans. “America” as we now know it will be released on May 23rd, and will only stay until the election season comes to a close in November.
So this summer, while you’re watching baseball, running a mile, or simply sitting in your backyard, crack open an ice-cold America, stare off into the distance and revel in freedom. As the great patriot Ben Franklin once said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” *bald eagle caws in the distance*