Budweiser bottles Jets passion

The brand has created a limited edition beer, available only in Manitoba, to celebrate the return of the Winnipeg Jets.

There’s no crying in baseball, but Budweiser must think it’s allowed in hockey, because the brand is back with another ad tugging at the heartstrings of every puck-loving Canadian.

Following its Super Bowl ad, which had the beer brand send a flash mob to a rec league hockey game in Port Credit, ON., Budweiser has created a special beer brewed specifically for Winnipeg Jets fans to celebrate the return of the team to Manitoba.

Dubbed Fan Brew, the Budweiser blend was created with New York-based ad agency Anomaly, using water that was placed in vessels around Winnipeg during the Jets’ opening weekend this fall and blessed by fans, according to a release. Some of this water was placed onto the ice on opening night, with the rest brewed into a limited edition Budweiser beer, of which 24,000 cases were created, says Andrew Oosterhuis, brand manager, Budweiser, Labatt Breweries of Canada.

Though not promoted with a media buy, cases of the specialty beer have been flying of the shelves since it launched last week, with Budweiser getting calls from across the continent asking for some, says Oosterhuis. Each pack comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity, and he says the program will likely be cut short because the beer is selling faster than anticipated.

The program is documented in a short online spot from Toronto-based production company FamilyStyle, which details what the city of Winnipeg has gone through to get its NHL team back. Fan Brew was also promoted last week at the Winnipeg Jets game versus the Florida Panthers, where the special beer was the only one available and was sold in special cups with a public toast on the big video screens during intermission.

Oosterhuis hints that Canadians haven’t seen the last of the fan-centered spots from Budweiser.

“We have a very specific strategy around hockey, and elevating the fans’ experience around the sport,” he says. “This is a great example of enhancing the emotional connection to the brand moving forward.”