Even though it’s been four years since the Belgium-based company InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch, a certain subset of consumers is still having a hard time swallowing the idea that Budweiser is not made by an American company. This summer, though, a company in St. Louis is introducing a beverage meant to appeal to drinkers who love the U.S.A. and light lager beer in equal measures: American Patriot Beer.
John Beal, the owner of a large roofing company in St. Louis, has a new venture launched with the intention of “Taking Back America … One Beer at a Time.” That’s the tag line of the All-American Beer Company, which is rolling out its first beers, American Patriot and American Patriot Light, this week in the St. Louis area.
For Beal, American Patriot is about something much bigger than beer. “I’d like to create a movement,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
As the name indicates, American Patriot was born as a response to foreign ownership of the most popular beers in the U.S.—not just Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser, but also Coors (owned partly by the Canadian company Molson) and Miller (owned by the multinational SABMiller, based in the UK and South Africa). American Patriot’s initial commercials include the scene of a man at a bar smacking a bartender after the barkeep refers to a pale draught beer—presumably Budweiser—as an American beer.
While the company introducing American Patriot beer is based in St. Louis, the beer is actually being produced by City Brewing, a Wisconsin company that has also made beers such as Samuel Adams, LaCrosse Lager, and a cheap brew aimed at sports fans and sold at 7-Eleven called Game Day Beer. All of these beers are American-owned and, obviously, made in the U.S.A., as is Yuengling, “America’s Oldest Brewery,” based in Pennsylvania.
Nonetheless, Beal felt it necessary to make his own very American beer. After visiting breweries around the country, Beal signed on to have American Patriot made in Wisconsin, and cases of American Patriot and American Patriot Light have been trucked into St. Louis this summer.
Interestingly enough, another St. Louis company recently introduced a new beer meant to compete with Budweiser. While an American beer, it has a curiously foreign-sounding name: Kräftig. The beer was launched last fall by a member of the Busch family, via the William K. Busch Brewing Co., though like American Patriot, it’s not made in Missouri but Wisconsin. (St. Louis Public Radio reported that the company hopes to break ground on a brewing center in St. Louis in the next year or two.)
So while American Patriot is hoping to corner the market on patriotic beer drinkers, there are already quite a few all-American beers vying for the attention and dollars of drinkers. Besides Sam Adams, Yuengling, and the like, there’s also the American Brewing Co., a microbrewery based in Washington state that encourages consumers to “Drink Domestic … Buy American,” and individual brews such as the All-American Imperial Pilsner, made by Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Co.
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Let’s not forget about fictional all-American beers either: On “Family Guy,” Peter Griffin is a big fan of Pawtucket Patriot Ale.