Anyone who says that America has lost its innovative edge in technology and manufacturing hasn’t chugged a can of Bud recently. The buzz is back, baby!

Well, actually, Budweiser is no longer American. It’s now part of a Belgian outfit called Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest maker of suds.

And the brew crew overseeing the “King of Beers” knows what we American quaffers want in a beer: a new and improved can.


Yes, says Pat McGauley, Budweiser’s “vice president of innovation.”

hightower-beer-Sinead Stout

Sinead Stout/Flickr

“We’re consciously working to bring innovation to the packaging side” of the beer market, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

That’s why the corporation’s container-shapers have devised a “bowtie” can that kinks inward in the middle. How exciting is that? Plus — get ready to bust your beer gut — there are 8.5 fewer calories in the new can. How did they manage that?

Well, the bowtie design allows the multibillion-dollar brew kings to short you by almost an ounce of beer in every can. But, come on, we experienced hoisters of the brewer’s art will definitely feel that loss of product, so they can’t fool us into paying more for less.

Well, that’s where their innovative genius trumps our consumer instincts. To keep us off balance, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s bowtie can has nearly doubled the amount of aluminum of its regular can, making the new feel just as heavy as the old. Less beer, more metal — that’s heavy innovation, my friends.

Oh, there’s one more innovative twist. In case some of you trend-seekers try to compare ounces in the new six-packs, you’ll find that the bowtie cans only come in eight-packs. Gotcha again!

If you want honest beer, try the craft brews at your local pub or store.

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Jim Hightower

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

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