Utah is about to get a little less sober and Budweiser’s Clydesdales are galloping their approval.
Starting Friday, the state will permit beers as high as 5 percent alcohol-by-volume to be sold at stores. Previously, the cap was 4 percent ABV (or 3.2 percent alcohol-by-weight), meaning anyone looking for stronger beer (deemed “heavy beer”) had to purchase it at state-run liquor stores.
Budweiser, which at 5 percent ABV is one of several mainstream brands benefiting from the new law, has seized on it as a marketing opportunity. On Wednesday night the brew held a “funeral” for 3.2 beer in downtown Salt Lake City that included taking the brand’s iconic Clydesdales to local bars. Bud also passed out “obituaries” to bar patrons that included a tribute to the special 3.2 version of Budweiser that was sold under the old law. It included the following passage:
Despite the restrictions, Budweiser 3.2 became an integral part of society, attending local events,basketball games, celebrations and gatherings on an almost daily basis. Yet, despite becoming ingrained into society and an undoubted success, 3.2 suffered greatly under the lack of weight of expectations.
Bud is also running special advertising, including billboards heralding the arrival of “Bud Heavy.”