According to an article on today’s online version of the Nation, Germans call Budweiser “Spülwasser,” which translates roughly as dishwater and that seems a fair approximation of the flavor. The article concerns Anheuser-Busch’s being the exclusive beer sponsor for the upcoming World Cup in Germany.
The 2006 World Cup will have eighteen premium sponsors who each paid around $40 million for that designation. A German television station nicely summed up the German reaction at the time of the announcement last year when they said. “A cry went out across the nation.” A-B apparently relented and allowed 30% of beer sales to come from German brewer Bitburger. But then Bitburger protested that the name “Bud” was too close to their “Bit” beer and as a result (along with issues regarding Czech brewer Budvar) Anheuser-Busch will only be able to call their beer “Anheuser-Busch Bud” throughout the tournament, which means for all that money they won’t even be able to use their most popular brandname.
I thought the Nation author’s conclusion hilarious. Here it is:
So Anheuser-Busch has paid all that money for a monopoly that has taken away its name and could trigger a demonstration or even rioting by furious spectators faced with no choice but to go dry or drink dishwater.
On top of that, with the start of the quadrennial soccer tourament only weeks away, the protest is not going away. A new group has just put up an amusing website called Bud Out. The group’s apparent mission appears to be simply to get Budweiser out of the tournamanet completely. I know they can’t possibly win, but I love the idea of them trying. They are asking for people to post their own anti-Bud pictures. So far, there aren’t too many up yet but what is there so far is pretty funny.
Let the games begin.