An Open Letter To Budweiser


Dear Budweiser,

I’ve known you my whole life.  But before you wonder about the morals of my parents, I’ll explain.

I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, which was your headquarters and is still your home.  The first horse I ever saw was a clydesdale, and from that day on, I pestered my folks to take me again and again to the barn at Grant’s Farm where you housed them. During my grade school years, we took field trips to see the brewery. No one thought that was weird—a fact that says less about the era and more about your place in the city.

My first beer was a Budweiser long neck, handed to me by an older cast member at the opening night party after some summer stock production or another. I was 12, and there was a cake in the shape of a penis. That’s all I remember—other than my mother shouting, “Who gave my child a beer?!?” when she showed up to take me home.

I appreciate your long and careful stewardship of the St. Louis Cardinals during the decades you owned them, and I’m glad the stadium is still named after the Busch family.  When Belgian beer giant InBev bought you, I understood. Rather than mourn, I threw over Duval and Chimay, serving only you at my annual Belgian Night party.

I tell you this to demonstrate my deep affection for you. Even though I don’t drink much beer, you will always be one of the brands to which I am bonded. When I go see the Cardinals play, I always order a Bud from the vendor patrolling the stands—and not just so that I can hear him say, “Cold beer heya!  Getcha cold beer heya!”

So I hope you’ll take this in the spirit it’s intended:

For the love of all things holy, stop running Super Bowl commercials that make me cry. Enough with the magic of interspecies friendship. Let’s leave off, shall we, with the acoustic pop music and striving clydesdales. I’m still dabbing my eyes from the one where the trainer is reunited with the horse he trained. And the one where Hank gets trained to be part of the team? I’d be more composed while watching Love Story and cutting onions. The last two years have been simply unfair. Loyal clydesdales, anthem rock, and dogged labrador puppies. Lab puppies? Have you no shame?

You are making me think that the secret ingredient in Budweiser—the gracenote of flavor that makes it taste like longing, baseball, home, and pride—must be man tears, which you harvest in bulk every February.

Please stop. Your beer tasted fine before. Now I can’t drink it without weeping, and the tears water down (even more) the taste.  If you promise to stop making me cry, I promise I’ll keep buying Bud.


Jeremy Katz


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