Salon's McClelland revels in the delicious irony of Budweiser's fall as "America's beer" (it recently merged with Europe's InBev) and the resurgence of local breweries. He writes:

But Budweiser's position as America's beer -- the alcoholic version of McDonald's, Disney World and Wal-Mart -- has made it difficult to reach the modern drunk. Traditional-beer sales have been stagnant since the 1990s. The baby boomers graduated from their prime drinking years, and new local beers arose to replace the hometown lagers Bud had helped pour down the drain. In 1980, America had eight craft breweries. A quarter-century later, there are over 1,300. ... Budweiser is seen as kind of like 'The Man,'" says Eichelberger, a serious student of beer semiotics. ... For the same reason, Pabst Blue Ribbon is the cheap beer of hipsters in the funky-but-not-quite-scary dive bars of our largest cities. (emphasis mine)

(Bless my mother for retiring in Portland, OR, which has more breweries and brewpubs per capita than any other U.S. city.)

I also found this historical note interesting:

Budweiser is especially popular in the South. Because of the Bible Belt temperance movement, a lack of German immigrants and a hot climate unsuited for brewing, the region developed few indigenous beers. It's also close to [Budweiser's home of] St. Louis. Shipping was easy and, until the Braves moved to Atlanta, the Cardinals were Dixie's team.

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