How to Support America and Drink Beer in the Same Gulp

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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.

(MORE: 10 Things That Cost Way More Outside the U.S. (Including Beer))

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.

(MORE: Can an Aluminum Truck Really Be Considered ‘Ford Tough’?)

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.

(MORE: And the Best Beer in America Is…)

Let’s not forget about fictional all-American beers either: On “Family Guy,” Peter Griffin is a big fan of Pawtucket Patriot Ale.

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

29 comments
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Josh Simonson
Josh Simonson

I'd point out that while the big brewers may be multinational corporations, they do use more domestic ingredients in their beer.  Many of the ingredients that make micro-brews more flavorful are imported (mainly from Europe) where they've had flavorful beer all along. 

Rather than playing favorites based on politics, if it tastes good - drink it!

landofaahs
landofaahs

I make my own Lager but I also like Leinenkugels Lager out of Chipawaa Falls Wisconsin.  But  I will drink whatever you bring. ): Another good one I've not seen in a while is Andech's lager out of Monroe, Wisconsin. Smoooooth

rampantlion
rampantlion

Have you tried anything from New Glarus Brewing? They are making some excellent beer...

landofaahs
landofaahs

No. Where is it from.

landofaahs
landofaahs

U2.) May the amber grains of heaven fall upon you and yours to overflowing.

rampantlion
rampantlion

Landofaahs, it's been a pleasure. Ironically, I need to leave for a formal beer tasting--we are sampling 5 different beers from 21st Amendment (never tried any of them before). Stay thirsty, my friend...

landofaahs
landofaahs

Remember, there is no such thing as bad beer, just bad company. Well meister brau is the one exception.

landofaahs
landofaahs

My great grandfather was born in Wis. in 1852. You tempt me to retire there and I would but it is so liberal. That and you have many who belong to that heretic Martin L. LOL I am thinking of taking my millions to Argentina....By the way have you tasted wine made the old fashioned way before they made crappy wine worth $100 a bottle? lol

rampantlion
rampantlion

New Glarus Brewing is from New Glarus, Wisconsin. Most places in Wisconsin that stock craft beers should have some. We can usually find some in the Twin Cities without an extensive search. Cheers!

landofaahs
landofaahs

Romney has successfully ran Bain Capital while Obama has unsuccessfully run PAIN CAPITAL.

medavidson
medavidson

You can save some cash on beer (be it craft or macro) at SaveOnBrew DOT com.

Ricardo Bocaz Bocaz
Ricardo Bocaz Bocaz

Mistake. "Support USA" America is a continent which belongs to many countries, not just one.

jimmy kraktov
jimmy kraktov

You obviously have a lot of time to kill, and you're wrong.

North America is a continent. South America is another.

I doubt that very many people, seeing the name 'America' in an article, stop to wonder whether the author is talking about Canada, or Mexico.

If you read about something going on in 'The United States' do you ask yourself which 'United States' is being referenced? Now that I've thought about this, then yes, I suppose you would.

Do you really have nothing better to do? I'm sure that the people in America do.

David Adnauseum
David Adnauseum

Geography changes with different languages and countries. Ricardo seems to think that we all should follow the Spanish language model of the continents with "América" being one continent made of North and South America. This idea is better expressed in English by saying "the Americas", while English usage of "America" generally refers to the Unite States. He is wrong, leave it at that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... 

By the way, I'm glad to see a Canadian, a fellow NORTH American, weighing in on the subject. :)

David Adnauseum
David Adnauseum

Todavia no aprendiste que "America" y "América" son falsos amigos? Tambien querés que los estadounidenses digan "alemania" porque a vos "Germany" no te suena bien? Es su propio idioma, dejate de quejarte de tal tonterias.

jimmy kraktov
jimmy kraktov

If you really do your homework you'll find that not many Americans, even the ones that say they do, actually buy "American" because the only thing that's still "American" about the products they consume is the name. The product ownership has been 'off-shore' for a long, long, time.

Don't believe me? Take the 5 most cherished "American" brands you have in your home now, and go online and see who really owns them.

rampantlion
rampantlion

Try moving beyond weak imitations of European pilseners and it gets alot easier. What's in MY fridge? 1. Surly "Furious" (Minnesota); 2. Bell's "Two Hearted Ale" (Michigan); 3. Odell's "IPA" (Colorado); 4. Summit "Red Ale" and "Saga-IPA" (Minnesota); 5. Leinenkugel's "Summer Shandy", for my wife (Wisconsin). If you like microbrews and/or craft brews, it is NOT HARD.

Dan Batten
Dan Batten

Amazing.  We need another LARGE American company brewing here in the USA!!

rampantlion
rampantlion

Why a large company? There are smaller all-American brewers (Summit, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, etc.) that make much better beer. The smallest ones, craft brewers (Surly, O'Dells, Bells, etc.) are making some of the BEST beer in the world!

OldManPar
OldManPar

Then drink Sam Adams or Yuengling.  

bhedges
bhedges

It might not be American owned but there sure are a lot of Americans working for them. The world has become a much smaller place when it comes to business. What really counts is the Job's that are created here and stay here.

padgettshcom
padgettshcom

The seemingly exponential rise of the microbrewery in the past 10 to 20 years is a true American small business success story. There are countless successful breweries here in Michigan alone. In fact, from where I'm sitting in Detroit, I can think of at least four breweries within a mile radius of me right now. And I'm probably forgetting several others.

snopup
snopup

 He was before my time so I don't partake in the love/hate-fest, but Jimmy Carter's move to de-regulate the industry during his time in office made this exponential rise happen.  http://www.balloon-juice.com/2...

OldManPar
OldManPar

Carter also signed the bill allowing homebrewing to be formally legalized.  That led men like Jim Koch, Kim Jordan and Sam Calagione to concoct recipes in their kitchens (or garages) that eventually became huge commercial successes.

In fact, when Calagione was in a television show about his company, he showed his homebrewing equipment and talked about how he still uses it to experiment and develop new beers that eventually become Dogfish products.  It pleased me no end that it was exactly the same setup that I have here at my house.

quitasarah
quitasarah

The "problem" with microbrews is that they make beer with flavor, and if sales are any indication, that's not what the American public wants (or think it wants). Whenever I drink with my relatives from Sweden I'm told this joke: What's similar between American beer and making love in a small boat?  They're both f***ing close to water.  But the rise of microbrews in this country is heartening.  Drink American!

aschwab84
aschwab84

There are already enough microbreweries in the US to drink without having to sell yours as a gimmick....and they actually make good beer unlike another light beer.

Brian
Brian

Why not simply support one of the hundreds of thousands of microbreweries across the United States? One might even discover that good beer goes beyond the "light pilsener" style that stunted the growth of true beer in the US for decades!