Bud Light Beer Camp?

Did anybody else see this? I was watching the Colbert Report last night, as I often do, and happened to catch a commercial for “Bud Light Beer Camp.” If I’d had a beer at the time, I might have done a spit take. As litigious as Anheuser-Busch InBev has been, is it really possible that they could not have noticed that Sierra Nevada has been running a pretty high profile beer camp now for several years? Sierra Nevada Beer Camp has to date done at least 43 beer camps (I did #41), which is how many are listed at the Beer Camp website. But since 43 was held in 2011, it’s probably closer to 50 by now. Certainly, there’s been enough of them for ABI to have noticed. [UPDATE: Since I originally posted this, a colleague sent me a note that they knew someone who did Beer Camp #67 and believe that it’s closer to 80.]


I can just hear ABI’s lawyers, if the situation was reversed, arguing that this would create confusion in the mind of the consumer. I couldn’t find any of the commercials on YouTube, so I just photographed it on my television screen.


Doing a Google search, all I could find was links to a few comedian’s websites talking about how they were involved in a series of “Bud Light beer camp” ads for Comedy Central. One conedian, Adam Newman, even had an embedded video, but it has been taken down. That site said it was a “six-part Bud Light ‘Beer Camp’ series” and included “other hilarious comedians Trevor Williams, Zack Poitras, Craig Rowin, and Jermaine Fowler.” He said it was “running this summer on Comedy Central.”


A second Bud Light Beer Camp commercial ran at the end of the Colbert Report, and that one included a screen promoting the Port Paradise Music Festival, which appears to be a two-day music festival and cruise to the Bahamas that they’re sponsoring.

I assume that even with all of Sierra Nevada’s resources, they still won’t be taking ABI to court over this, though I imagine if the situation was reversed, that’s exactly what Bud would do.



  1. says

    I wonder if they need to take any defensive offense and send a cease and desist notice. I’m not a lawyer so I wouldn’t know.

    What would the world be like if AB-InBev played nice and worked with the craft beer community instead of against it?

    • says

      I’m no lawyer either, but my understanding of trademark law is that a TM holder MUST aggressively work to protect their mark, or it can be lost just through negligence. That’s why you often see disputes that seem questionable, because that’s what has to be done to protect a trademark.

  2. suurballe says

    I’m no comedian, but were these commercials real? Could they have been part of the show? I’ve seen other comedy shows with fake commercials.

  3. beerman49 says

    My long-time brew-geek bud suurballe makes a cogent point. I’ve seen none of the Colbert show ads, but I’m 99.99% sure that megabrew-corp mentality hasn’t yet reached the point where a marketing geek who’s aware of SN’s beer camps can convince them to clone the concept.

    Those companies are “beancounter”-driven; @ corporate level, that ilk (especially those age 50+) is mega-unlikely to have much beer-geek knowledge.

    Nonetheless, SN should trademark “Beer Camp” ASAP (if for no other reason than to prevent the usurp from Jim Koch, the opportunist – the megas’ aren’t the real threat here, as they have nothing to offer that would be of interesting to a serious geek – Koch does). It’s bad enough for the CA craft brewing scene that Koch is bringing back New Albion as a “one-shot” limited-release “tribute”. Cynical me assumes that Koch paid NA’s founder a hefty reward for the privilege to brew a beer that will retail for an exorbitant price – & sort of shame on on SN/Stone/Anchor for not beating that eastern twit to the punche.

      • beerman49 says

        “under the radar” ? I follow craft brewing pretty closely, & I don’t remember reading anything about it in the Celebrator or on this site, which I’ve been a subscriber to for 4-5 yrs.

  4. says

    From the few commercials I’ve seen for Bud Light and beer/campish-like things, it appears it’s just a drinking/party experience.

    I’ve wanted to go to Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp for a while now. Looks like Siebel/Doemens will be my paid-for beer camp experience next year.


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