Bud and Beam are getting hitched in a first-of-its-kind marketing partnership bringing together a major beer and whiskey brand.
Budweiser in September plans to release a limited-edition brew called Reserve Copper Lager that is aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves. (Staves are wood pieces that makeup bourbon barrels.) Before then, the two brands will begin appearing together at bars. The "beer and a bourbon shot" promotion kicks off this month.
Plenty of smaller craft beer brands have experimented with bourbon barrel-aged brews. But Bud and Beam's collaboration marks new territory for two big, iconic alcohol brands, which together account for 365 collective years of distilling and brewing history, according to the brands.
For Budweiser, the upside is obvious. The so-called King of Beers has suffered a long-running sales slump as major beer brands continue to lose share to craft brews and liquor. Bourbon, on the other hand, continues to thrive. Jim Beam grew sales volume by 6.5 percent last year across all varieties, according to industry tracker Shanken News Daily. For Bud case, the new partnership might amount to an instance of if you can't beat 'em join 'em.
But even as Bud loses beer market share, it's still massive; Beer Marketer's Insights ranked it as the third-largest beer last year. So Beam could also gain entry to a new audience of drinkers. "This partnership feels especially natural given our brands' common values and the pivotal roles they've both played in American history," Rob Mason, VP of marketing for Jim Beam, said in a press release from both brands.