Budweiser this summer is serving up cold beers and a little local flavor with Budweiser Country Club, a two-level barn experience activating at four country music festivals. The program, which marks a significant expansion of Budweiser’s investment in country music, kicked off at Stagecoach Festival in Indio, CA, April 29-May 1.
The open-air build out, which has been repurposed from its Budweiser Made in America Festival program, offers elevated views of each music festival for fans. It has two 20-foot bars (one for the brand’s signature draft towers and one for packaged beers), a shipping container that acts as a brewery education center and an outdoor “barnyard” space with yard games, picnic tables, umbrellas for shade and charging stations. In addition, the second floor is being used for meet and greets and VIP experiences for folks such as wholesalers and retailers.
At each stop, Budweiser is bringing in brewmasters from its closest brewery to walk consumers through its brewing process and answer questions. In what is perhaps the most obvious yet under-used premium concept in events we’ve attended, Budweiser Country Club has a customizable koozie station where consumers can have their initials manually hammered into their own koozie. On top of that, Budweiser is bringing in local craftsmen from different types of businesses in each country music festival’s region to display their goods and in some cases sell them on-site, too, adding a layer of authenticity and differentiation to the experience.
“We’ve been choosing craftsmen that really share the same values as Budweiser—people and companies that put a lot of care into creating their goods, that use quality products and align with us on ‘doing things the hard way,’ being made in the U.S. and not cutting any corners,” says Kate Kosco, manager-experiential marketing at Anheuser-Busch. With this engagement along with the brewmasters station, she says, “We really want to drive home that ‘quality’ message and care that we put into our products.”
After Stagecoach, the Budweiser Country Club hit Country 500 in Dayton Beach, FL (May 27-29), the CMA Festival in Nashville (June 9-12), and will wrap up at Faster Horses in Brooklyn, MI (July 15-17). Along with the experiential elements of the marketing effort, Budweiser has new integrated partnerships with country artists Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett. Budweiser is the official sponsor of Florida Georgia Line’s “Dig Your Roots” national tour, and the brand will offer a behind-the-scenes look into Rhett’s tour and creative process through an online video content series. Agency: In-house.
Gallery: Renderings from the Budweiser Country Club