The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Anheuser-Busch chooses Dodger Stadium to debut Mexican import beer Montejo

Montejo makes its U.S. debut at Dodger Stadium this weekend. An area in right field has been rebranded as the Montejo bar, instead of the Bud Light bar.
Montejo makes its U.S. debut at Dodger Stadium this weekend. An area in right field has been rebranded as the Montejo bar, instead of the Bud Light bar. Ben Bergman/KPCC

Starting with this weekend's homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers, Dodger fans will be able to buy the Mexican beer, Montejo, at the ballpark.

It will be the only place you can buy Montejo in the U.S. for the rest of the month, before it goes on-sale at other locations throughout the Southwest.

The megabrewer is billing the launch of Montejo – which first launched in Mexico in the 1960's – as its first import from Mexico to the United States. It also says this is the first time a major new beer has made its debut at a sports venue, according to Javier Vaquer, Anheuser-Busch’s Regional Marketing Director.

"We chose Dodger Stadium because of the heritage," Vaquer told me. "They have a very multicultural following."

Anheuser-Busch – which brews about half of U.S. beer – is best known for Budweiser and Bud Light, which are readily available at Dodger Stadium. But the conglomerate is also trying to expand into craft beers and Mexican beers because of the country's changing demographics and changing consumer preferences.

"The majority of consumers turning 21 and over are Hispanic," said Vaquer. "That’s what is driving the growth of the Mexican portfolio.”

"Millennials are looking for more diversity in their palate and we’re looking for more interesting flavors," Vaquer added. "You’ve seen expansion of the craft segment."

Some may find it odd that the massive Anheuser-Busch, which was bought by the even larger Belgium-based InBev in 2008 for $52 billion, would say that its selling craft beers, but Vaquer doesn't think so.

“There is no reason why we can’t participate in the craft beer market," said Vaquer.

The launch of Montejo comes after Anheuser-Busch's 2013 antitrust agreement, which required it to shed some of the most popular Mexican beer brands. From The Los Angeles Times:

This isn't Anheuser-Busch's first foray into Mexican beers. The beer maker agreed to sell its U.S. rights to distribute Corona and Modelo last year as part of an antitrust agreement with the Justice Department before it could go ahead with its $20.1-billion takeover of Grupo Modelo of Mexico. 

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