Anheuser-Busch recently launched "Project 12". Budweiser is brewed in 12 cites across the US. Each of the AB brewmasters was asked to create a variation of Budweiser. The resulting brews were narrowed down to six beers (labels shown in this post). Based on consumer feedback, Budweiser will release the top three as part of a limited edition sampler pack this fall.
While "Small Batch" is a relative term, Budweiser seems to be borrowing a play from the craft brewer playbook. It's a smart move. After all, if you can't beat 'em, might as well join 'em! However, this has me wondering who the Budweiser marketing folks are targeting with Project 12. Are they wooing existing Bud consumers, casual craft beer drinkers, or craft beer geeks?
My guess is they're going after macro and casual craft beer drinkers. I highly doubt craft beer geeks will be interested in Project 12—and I expect AB is fully aware of this. However, since craft beer geeks are a relatively small part of the market, they aren't needed to make this a successful experiment.
What do you think about Project 12? Are you likely to try any of these beers? I think Batch 23185, a light-amber all-malt bourbon cask lager aged on bourbon staves and vanilla beans, looks the most intriguing. However, if none of these look appealing to you, you can always try the Budweiser & Clamato Chelada. Yum....