This Bud's for you... and it's free

A bottle of Budweiser beer at a bar in New York City.


BILL RADKE: As part of a new marketing campaign next week, Budweiser will hand out free brewskis in bars and restaurants nationwide. The company's trying to attract younger drinkers, who've been giving Bud a pass in favor of trendier beers.

Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman has more.

MITCHELL HARTMAN: Maybe the ad with the sappy music and cute Clydesdale colt isn't the best way to attract hip young beer-drinkers. Bud sales are down nearly 10 percent. So all next week free Budweiser will flow in trendy pubs and restaurants where young people hang out -- and where Bud isn't usually a top pick.

JOSHUA BERNSTEIN: People in their early 20s, they have so many options right now.

Joshua Bernstein writes the "Beer of the Week" blog at He says it'll be hard for a big brewery to muscle in on the more expensive microbrews that young drinkers like.

BERNSTEIN: People want quality, they're not going for a six-pack of Budweiser. They're going for craft beers.

And craft beer sales keep pouring it on -- up 7 percent last year, while overall beer sales fell. Bud's new marketing campaign includes a TV-ad blitz, and free beer for Facebook users on their birthdays.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.


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