As reported last Feburary, US mega brewer Anheuser-Busch has obtained the exclusive rights to sell the beer at the World Cup in Germany. Reports from across the sea have it that the move to only sell a thin bubbly rice based fluid has not been particularly well received. Unlike German keeper Oliver Kahn after the last World Cup in 2002 and his own beer of choice, right, apparently the Germans do not like the bidding war winner much:
Most pubs don't even stock it," Walter Koenig of the Bavarian Breweries' Association told the paper. "Bavarian beer should be available in a Bavarian stadium - Munich - for the first kickoff. But what can we do? Budweiser paid $40 million for the concession even before Germany had been chosen to host the tournament." Nicholas von Hoffman wrote in The Nation that German youths mounted a Web site (www.budout.org) depicting "Teutonic youths performing extreme anti-Bud acts." Franz Maget, a Bavarian Social Democrat, was quoted as calling Budweiser "the worst beer in the world."Hmm: "[t]hey call it Spülwasser, which roughly translates as dishwater." As a compromise, I read that Bitburger brand is being sold in logoless cups at 30 percent of concessions appeased some Germans. There was no such compromise at the last minute, however, to spare the shorts of a thousand Dutchmen the other day. Hmm:
The storm of protest was particularly strong in Bavaria, where politicians joined the public discussion. One stated: "We have a duty of care, a caretaking obligation to not poison World Cup visitors with bad American beer."Oh dear. 40 million can't buy that much bad PR, can it? I suppose if you are forced to call your beer "The Official Beer of the 2006 FIFA World Cup" rather than its own name, it can.