Anheuser-Busch InBev today announced the launch of a new mouthful of a beer brand—Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager. The limited time release is meant to “celebrate the repeal of Prohibition” according to the brewing giant’s press release. One would think that perhaps they’d chosen the date of Prohibition’s repeal to do this, but no—Repeal Day was Dec. 5, 1933. All we can do is shrug, as we do in response to so much of ABI’s marketing.
According to the corporation, “the recipe behind Repeal Reserve dates back to the pre-Prohibition era when Adolphus Busch created and brewed a special Amber Lager for his friends and local community to enjoy. Due to the onset of Prohibition in 1920, the beer didn’t have a chance to be distributed widely outside the St. Louis area… until now.”
The resulting beer is a 6.1% ABV amber lager, which “consists of a light, hoppy aroma and rich caramel-malt taste.” You’ll have to forgive me as a beer geek and writer if I’m not exactly expecting either of those descriptions to be true, but I’ll report back in greater detail (and likely a full review) after we lay hands on some of this lager for ourselves. But for our money, we’d be expecting the following: A slightly maltier version of Budweiser, with all the expected crispness that “essential” ingredients like rice and beechwood aging are known to provide. It will at least look slightly different, as the beer comes packaged in “vintage Budweiser stubby bottles.”
“We are excited to mark the upcoming holiday season and the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with this new brew based on a forgotten recipe,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser, via the beer’s press release. “While Budweiser Repeal Reserve is a great tasting Amber Lager, it also tells the story of an important part of our history and gives reason for celebration.”
Speaking of “vintage,” the brand is also teaming with Lyft for an ostentatious campaign to promote the beer in New York City. As part of the launch, they intend to “bring the Prohibition era to life by unveiling a fleet of antique cars in partnership with Lyft.” These 1930s-era cars will go into service on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in NYC, in a promotion whose name will surely appeal to the hipster Instagram influencer segment: “Bud Vintage Mode.” The cars will pick up people (presumably people with high enough follower counts) and shuttle them around the city to “experience the 1930’s first hand,” which I can only assume will involve stops at the bread line and unemployment office. Maybe they can swing by a crowded tenement, the local typhoid ward, or get shanked in a back alley by one of the colorful street gangs of Five Points? Who knows, but the Lyft people are certainly excited about the possibilities:
“When Budweiser told us they wanted to offer a fleet of vintage cars to launch Repeal Reserve, we knew Lyft was the perfect option to celebrate the new recipe in a stylish and unexpected way,” said Melissa Waters, vice president of marketing, Lyft. “We encourage everyone to make the right choice to drink responsibly and keep our roads safe, and that’s why we continue to team up with Budweiser, a brand that shares the same commitment.”
Alrighty then. For everyone else who doesn’t live in NYC, and thus can’t join in on a Magic School Bus-style adventure across space and time, you’ll just have to settle for drinking the beer instead. Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager hits shelves today, and should be widely available.