Beer drinkers are familiar with a variety of beverage categories. From lagers to IPAS to even stouts, there vast and varied ways to brew hops into an effervescent sip. But, no brewer ever wants the drinking experience to go flat. As beverage trends evolve, so does the beer industry. With Bud Light NEXT, the iconic brand finds a way to expand the beer conversation while still connecting with its fan base.
Bud Light is an iconic beer brand. While the company’s recent Super Bowl commercials might have gathered its legions for an epic reunion, that visual proved how the brand has woven itself not just into the beer industry but also into the cultural collective. It is more than just a highly recognizable blue logo on the shelf.
While Bud Light has captured its space in the light beer category, it continues to look for beverage innovation. Having capitalized on the hard seltzer trend, the company looked to bring more consumers into the community. From traditional hard seltzer flavors to special seasonal offerings, that beer alternative found its audience.
Although much has been said about the hard seltzer market, that clean, crisp taste is impacting the beverage space. As more drinkers thirst for a beverage that allows them to sip yet still be engaged in an active lifestyle, companies need to adapt to those wants. It doesn’t mean that the shelf is wiped clean of traditional beer styles, but consumers want options.
How is Bud Light NEXT changing the beer conversation?
According to a recent announcement, Bud Light NEXT is brewed to be a “super crisp light beer.” With only 80 calories, 4% ALC/VOL and zero carbs, the beer seems to bridge the gap between a traditional light beer and a hard seltzer.
As Andy Goeler, Vice President of Marketing, Bud Light, said, “Today’s consumers are all about breaking barriers, being trailblazers and setting their own path. We are proud to introduce this new super crisp beer which is brewed to meet their evolving taste preferences; it’s a truly symbolic innovation that celebrates the barrier breakers who like us embrace possibility.”
While those sentiments capture the spirit of the launch, the taste is what will drive people to pop open a can. Having had the opportunity to taste the Bud Light NEXT, the beer does have that crisp, clean taste.
From the first pour in the glass, the straw colored hue conveys the lighter quality. Far from the hazy IPAs or even the golden color from a lager, the color conveys the sip to be experience. This beer is one that will not weigh you down.
Upon first taste, the crispness is clear. Although refreshing is a generalized feeling, the citrus notes capture that brightness which makes this beer an enjoyable sip. In some ways, that touch of citrus leads the drinker to go back and drink again.
Thinking about the Bud Light NEXT, it offers a tremendous amount of versatility. While drinkers will appreciate the beer qualities, it doesn’t have that hoppiness that can make drinking beer feel heavy. In some ways, it takes sessionable in a new direction. It is more than being able to enjoy a couple beers, it is enjoying a couple beers without feeling weighed down.
In addition, the carbonation in this beer is quite enjoyable and adds to the drinkablity factor. While the effervescence is present, it is not overbearing. Again, it is another factor that lends itself to the concept that this beer is one that goes where you want to take it. From day to night, from event to event, it is the beverage that fits seamlessly into that on the go lifestyle.
Since Bud Light NEXT was brewed to take the beer conversation in a new direction, every aspect of the beverage was taken into consideration. From the slim can, which is similar to the packaging of a hard seltzer, to the design that has a nod to Bud Light yet stands out on the shelf, the new beer finds its own path in the Bud Light family.
As the new beverage hits store shelves in time for Super Bowl LVI, it will be interesting to see how drinkers embrace it for the end of the football season and looking ahead to spring and summer. For some, it might be the perfect beach beer, a staple for that backyard picnic or just the most versatile beverage in the cooler.
No matter the scenario, for beer drinkers who want a sip that captures a clean, crisp taste they will want to pop open a can. While this Bud Light beverage might have taken the brand in another direction, it begs the question what else could be the next offering on the shelf?