Track Your Bud Lets You Find Out Where Your Brew Was Born

There are many things about food and drink that I will readily admit confound me. How did salty, slimy fish eggs become a delicacy an ounce of which cost more than my monthly rent? What is the obsession with food so spicy, it literally hurts to eat it? If Anthony Bourdain weren't famous, would he be an angry twitterer everyone hates?

These questions and others would keep me up at night if I didn't sleep so soundly and not care all that much. But, one question that I can honestly never say once crossed my mind is, "Where was my beer born and who was the guy that made it?" The only time I might have remotely considered it was when that guy in Mexico handed me a bottle of beer with a Corona label, but a top that was loose and almost falling off. Well, technically, the question in my head then was, "Did this guy just piss in this bottle and tell me it's beer?" but you get the idea.

Anyway, the folks at Anheuser-Busch are betting beer drinkers love Budweiser so much, they'll want to know exactly where that beer in the 24-pack they bought at the convenience store was born, to go along with the birth date stamped on the can or bottle.

They have released a website and companion phone app called Track Your Bud that does exactly that. Enter the born date and code from the bottle or can on the website or simply snap a shot of QR code with your phone and you can find out exactly which of the 12 U.S. breweries (Houston included) churned out the mass-produced suds in your hand.

You can even take a video tour of the brewery with the head brewmaster from that particular location. Yipee!

But that's not all. According to a press release, "Track Your Bud also gives consumers insight into where Budweiser's raw materials come from -- which includes barley farms in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin; and hop farms in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Germany."

It continues, "The site also details other facts about the Budweiser brewing process, including that brewmasters use the original Budweiser yeast culture strain from 1876 and still practice the time-honored process of Beechwood aging, which was commonly used by German immigrants to the United States in the 19th Century."

My first thought when I read about this was, "Only 12? Couldn't I guess at it and have better odds than the average Vegas craps table?"

But, seriously, who cares about this information? If you are a hard-core beer nerd, you aren't drinking Bud anyway, right? And I'm betting garden-variety beer drinkers who, according to commercials drive big trucks, watch a lot of sports, ogle women and make fun of their friends, aren't going to care where their beer came from unless the details included the phone number of the hot bartender that served it.

Maybe I'm way off base here, but I can't see a huge market for this campaign. But AB has money to burn, so what does it matter?

What say you, beer drinkers?

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke