a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Mein Gott — Budweiser is World Cup’s beer

Posted by Thomas Nephew on May 23rd, 2006


With the 2006 World Cup in Germany only weeks away, tragedy seems unavoidable:

…Germans are furious that Budweiser will be the official tipple for the World Cup, which starts next month. The American lager has secured a near-monopoly of beer sales inside World Cup stadiums and within a 500m radius of the grounds, supplanting more than 1,270 domestic breweries.

(Via “Notes from the Basement.”) The Anheuser-Busch web site confirms the travesty — and announces that the company has locked up the 2010 and 2014 concessions as well.

Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not one of those people who would never buy a Budweiser. I use it for beer can chicken barbequeing all the time, and when chilled as close as possible to freezing, it’s an acceptable emergency drink when safe water supplies aren’t available.

But with German-American relations only just back on the mend, this is too much to ask of our good German compadres … our Kumpel … our buds. (Oops.) To any Germans reading this: I am so very, very sorry. If there’s anything I can do — short of drinking it myself — let me know.

UPDATE, 5/23: Here’s one small thing we can do to try to help out. Just click through and sign the (ahem)

[…] 4. We insist on the right of the German Brewers, who supported soccer in Germany for decades and assisted in making the FIFA World Cup 2006 possible, to present their own German Beer in and around the stadiums of the World Cup – in a friendly coexistence with Anheuser-Busch.

Brilliant! Freedom of beer choice — what could be more American? We can do this — for them …for world peace … (sob) … for beer.

9 Responses to “Mein Gott — Budweiser is World Cup’s beer”

  1. Paul Says:

    I’ve always wondered how Bud can be the number one beer when I’ve never seen anyone actually drink the shit.

  2. Vol Abroad Says:

    Not to defend Bud, but it actually tastes better over here in Europe. They must be doing a different formulation. I don’t choose it by preference, but in the US I find it absolutely undrinkable, but here I can just about force it down my throat if there’s nothing else.
    Still, a nice German beer would have been nicer.

  3. Brett Says:

    My choice would have been Einbecker Urbock, but nobody put me on the committee, and probably Bud can put up the cash like no one else. Can’t vouch for Bud on the other side of the pond, but if the locals say so, I have to believe them. And if it’s true, this might be an opportunity for some Voelkerverstaendigung, although I imagine that people who try it in Germany and then come to the source will be disappointed. Anyone want to take up that metaphor?

  4. Thomas Nephew Says:

    Paul: Maybe it’s just used in huge quantities for beer can chicken and killing garden snails.
    VA: I think the explanation is that, surprisingly, there aren’t enough Clydesdales in Europe, so Anheuser-Busch Europe had to resort to actually making beer.
    Brett: Well, maybe that would be exactly the Voelkerverstaendigung (understanding between peoples) you’re hoping for: “Mein Gott! You drink this?” Germany starts an emergency beer shipment program; a Reinheitsgebot is passed by Congress; statues to Spaten and Paulaner beer sprout across America; a new world dawns.

  5. Cricket Says:

    Perhaps a beer airlift, right into the stadiums?

  6. Thomas Nephew Says:

    Yes! Genius! Bundeswehr cargo planes bypass FIFA checkpoints*, dropping palletized beer kegs by parachute directly into World Cup stadiums. Helicopters land, beer distributed peacefully as soccer fans throw flowers. Hardened hooligans weep, hug eachother, minorities.
    One drawback: Angela Merkel’s popularity skyrockets, she stays in office for next 20 years. But this should be a happy story, so I say she uses her power for good, not evil.
    * Script treatment for followup movie: haggard, grizzled sergeant in plane orders “Jetzt! Jetzt! Jetzt!” as pallets are shoved out the back of the low-flying plane; Wagnerian music score from Das Boot, the scene where they’re all in the conning tower with the surfaced ship cutting through big waves.

  7. WorldWideWeber Says:

    Vol Abroad has opened my eyes: Budweiser probably does use a different formula in Europe. In Germany, if I understand the Reinheitsgebot, it would be illegal to sell Bud as “bier” if rice was used in making it.
    If this is true, then the crisis reduces to bruised national pride, I guess.
    But I enjoyed the Cricket/Thomas airlift fantasy immensely.

  8. Thomas Nephew Says:

    If this is true, then the crisis reduces to bruised national pride, I guess. But I enjoyed the Cricket/Thomas airlift fantasy immensely.
    The anti-Budweiser insurgents glanced at eachother; an unspoken decision was reached. Cricket flicked her cigarette to the floor and ground it out with her heel. “Weber, let’s go for a walk.” He reached for his beer stein, but Thomas held him back.
    “You won’t be needing that any more.”

  9. WorldWideWeber Says:

    Weber whirled and fixed Thomas with narrowed eyes. “That’s right. I won’t be needing that stinking stein. I’ll be drinking my beer straight from the can now, like a good American.” And spinning to face Cricket and the rest of the gang of bieristas, he said: “And you all can just go to Reinheitsgebot hell!” Turning on his heel to go, Weber muttered, “I’m getting dizzy,” and fell to the floor in a gangly heap.
    “I never trusted that guy,” Thomas said as he and his team walked out of their lair. “Two sides of an issue were never enough for him.”

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