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AB InBev Goes Green For St. Patrick’s Day

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No, it’s not what you think. The green beer will not be flowing in abundance this St. Patrick’s Day, as many bars are still taking precautions and staying closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although I’m sure many families will be partaking in the green libation tradition in their own homes paired with a delicious meal of corned beef and cabbage. Some rituals are just too good to skip.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
Image Source: Laura Dolan

But this year, green beer is taking on a whole new meaning. According to their press release, AB InBev’s flagship label, Budweiser, “is turning all beer ‘green’ on March 17 by pledging enough Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to cover the estimated electricity used to brew beer in the U.S. in one day and build on its commitment to building a greener future.”

Budweiser is the first Anheuser-Busch label to pioneer the green brewing movement and has encouraged other brewers in the industry to follow suit. They’re creating an incentive with the distribution of enough RECs to cover the amount of electricity it takes to brew one day of beer in the U.S.-based on estimates made by the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable. 

Budweiser’s goal is to eventually create enough awareness and change that will inspire all brewers in the U.S. to be operating in a sustainable manner by the year 2030, making every bar in America a Green Electricity Beer Bar. 

This isn’t the first sustainable initiative in which Budweiser has participated. In 2019, Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial “Wind Never Felt Better,” showed how the brand was leveraging renewable wind power to operate its brewing process (note how the commercial pans out on wind turbines with Budweiser’s logo on them). They also leveraged the cuteness factor with a Dalmatian enjoying the afternoon breezes as he sits on top of a wagon that’s being pulled by the quintessential Budweiser Clydesdales to a cover of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” 

“Budweiser is brewed with 100% renewable electricity from wind power, something we are very proud of, and inspired us to think differently about what the definition of green beer truly means and how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a new way this year,” said Budweiser’s VP of Marketing, Monica Rustgi. “As one of the world’s biggest brands, we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact, and through this campaign, we invite others to join us in helping to change the beer industry to be a more sustainable one.”

Circling back on the Super Bowl, Budweiser elected not to invest in a 30-second ad spot for the game this year. Instead, the company delegated its media budget toward the development of the COVID-19 vaccination, making it the first time in 37 consecutive years that Budweiser was not present in the Super Bowl advertising lineup. However, some of AB InBev’s other brands still made ad appearances such as Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. 

Budweiser has definitely pivoted its focus over the last couple of years by taking a stand on helping to improve the environment and devoting their funds to make the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine a priority. Let’s raise a glass of green beer to them this St. Patrick’s Day and commend them on the efforts they’re taking to help make this world a better place. 

For more information on how U.S.-based brewers can take part in the Green Beer Bar initiative, visit www.Budweiser.com/GreenBeerBar.  

Special thanks to our friends at Zaius for their insights on this topic.
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