Released Today: New Budweiser Can Shaped Like a Bow Tie

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So long six-packs: Budweiser's bowtie-shape cans are sold in eight-packs.
Pat McGauley is passionate about the new can shape, and he makes a strong case for the reasoning behind the new design.

It's all about iconography.

"It's authentic," he explains. Rather than inventing a new shape out of thin air, McGauley contends, "we've taken something we've had around for more than 50 or 60 years."

To utilize such a recognized symbol, he continues, "is to bring iconography to a brand."

McGauley posits that what this new can actually accomplishes is the creation of a stronger, more permanent association between the bow-tie icon and Budweiser, so that years from now, if someone were to see a blank can shaped like a bow tie -- sans any label or brand name, they would instantly recognize it as Budweiser.

In a sense, then, Budweiser is continuing to do what it has always done: innovation as a form of branding.

Having nodded sagely at the epistemology lecture, Gut Check brought up the communal kvetching over the 0.7 ounces of spilled (as it were) beer.

Aren't we now getting less beer for the same price?

The answer is yes...but.

Essentially, for engineering purposes, the new can was forced to shed some interior volume. In order to create the bow-tie shape and maintain the traditional twelve ounces of beer, Budweiser would have had to manufacture a thirteen-ounce can. But in order to do that, the brewer would have had to create an entirely new production line for the thirteen-ounce model. And as we suspected, the new can requires more aluminum (which does cost more, though McGauley did not reveal how much more).

Furthermore, McGauley reveals, Budweiser plans to give back in the near future -- in the form of a 25-ounce can, which -- compute along with us, mathematicians -- will add a full ounce.

Now we're talking!

McGauley says the traditional-shape Bud can will remain available, and there are no plans for phasing it out. (We get the feeling he'd like to see the new can rise to world dominance, but that's just Gut Check's perception, and therefore subject to beer-goggle vagaries...)

Back to the taste test: Holding the new bow-tie can is a unique experience. It feels incredibly sturdy, pretty much the opposite of a flimsy piece of aluminum you might crush against your forehead. In fact, we found it extremely difficult to even make a dent in the thing.

We'll give McGauley and Bud the benefit of the doubt on the whole piece-of-history aspect. Too deep for Gut Check.

In doing research for this story, Gut Check came across this 2006 article from NPR show All Things Considered, which chronicles the ten-ounce can of Budweiser traditionally sold in Southern Maryland's St. Mary's County. According to NPR's Noah Adams, ten-ounce Budweiser cans have been standard in St. Mary's County for the past 50 years. Listen to the below interview for the full story.

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19 comments
Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

make one that looks like christina hendricks and i'd start buying that beer again.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

who cares that beer tastes like Clydesdale piss

collierevans
collierevans

Hmmmm I wonder if this new packaging will make it taste better? Hahahahaha


mscheaf
mscheaf

Umm. You can't use the word aficionados when describing Budweiser drinkers. Are you kidding me? That piss colored rice water is NOT real beer.

OlDiz
OlDiz

They need to include a complimentary bib in each pack to protect the inevitable spills trying to tip the last swallow out of the bottom.

Floyd Brookman
Floyd Brookman

Just what I need - another excuse to spill beer down my shirt. How do they expect you to get the last drink outta this thing. It looks likes somebody tried to smash it against their forehead.

Rick Blevens
Rick Blevens

They need to spend more time making good beer and less time screwing around...

Wil Grundon
Wil Grundon

Domestic corporatebrews' marketing strategy: Everybody knows our beer sucks, so let's market the packaging it comes in. Even Coors Light knows this, and their current ad campaign is "world's most refreshing can" they don't even bother mentioning the beer.

Blake Harris
Blake Harris

Form over function=pretty stupid move. Plus its Budweiser.. I try to stay away from yellow beers these days..

Kurt Boemler
Kurt Boemler

This is the only time bow ties are not cool.

Mark Swain
Mark Swain

Same Price, Holds less beer. Corporate ass holes!

Stacy Perry
Stacy Perry

Less beer same price it's a bow tie rip off

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