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Scott Jagow: Maybe you’ve heard that Guinness has been trying to sell the idea of making today a national holiday. But maybe you haven’t heard that Guinness has been joined in its efforts by a rival with a distinctly Germanic name: Anheuser Busch. Ashley Milne-Tyte explains.
Ashley Milne-Tyte: For years, barmen have been making a popular drink called a Black and Tan. Traditionally, it’s a blend of Guinness, which is owned by Diageo, and Bass, which Anheuser Busch imports to the U.S. But recently Guinness has been trying to convince drinkers to ditch the Bass and use a Diageo brand instead.
Harry Schuhmacher is with Beer Business Daily:
Harry Schuhmacher: Bass sales have been diminishing year over year for quite some time now. And one of the reasons is because people aren’t mixing it with Guinness any more in the Black and Tan.
By hitching a ride on Guinness’s Paddy’s Day campaign, Anheuser wants to remind drinkers of Bass’s part in the traditional Black and Tan. It hopes their nostalgia will turn into dollars.
Schuhmacher says the brands’ joint effort to turn March 17 into a holiday is a long shot. But beer makers can always hope.
Schuhmacher: It would be good times for all beers, because any time you have a day off on a holiday, beer sales go up.
By 25 to 50 percent.
I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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