Belgium's government collapsed today, but at least they can drink away their sorrows. An American treasure — Budweiser beer — is now Belgian. Perhaps baseball or apple pie will leave us next. For $52 billion Belgian company InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch, pledging to keep the North American headquarters in St. Louis, while cutting $1.5 billion in costs.
The King's defection hits no place harder than its birthplace St. Louis, MO. Anheuser-Busch's reign in the Midwest city dates back to a brewery founded in 1852. If you're keeping track, InBev's first brewery was founded in 1366.
For more on Anheiser-Busch's American legacy, and what my grandparents in St. Louis have to say about this "rotten deal"
Anheuser-Busch may not have survived this millennium, but it did survive US prohibition by introducing ice cream, root beer, and chocolate-flavor drinks, as well as dealcholized Bud in the 1920s. When prohibition ended, the now infamous A-B Clydesdale horses delivered a case of beer to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the White House.
My Nana and Papa, born and raised in St. Louis, are mourning the end of their hometown icon. Nana remembers the days before air conditioning when you could smell the hops in your home on hot summer days. And Papa will miss checking the newspaper daily to see how the A-B stock is doing.
Are you sad to see the King of beers be bought by a European company, or do you prefer imported beer anyway? So Belgium, this Bud's for you.