Punch Drunk: Thanks to Budweiser, Day Drinking Is Now Patriotic 

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If you’re not drinking America, then you might as well move to Canada, you freedom-hatin’, Labatt Blue-swillin’, terrorist-supportin’ sumbitch.

Granted, that may not exactly be the message that Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is trying to sell us by changing the name of Budweiser to America, but that’s the message I’m receiving — and I love every word of it.

As you’ve probably heard by now, the brewing giant is swapping out most everything on its iconic can till the November elections. The name of its best-selling beer is now America. Underneath that, instead of “King of Beers,” it says “E Pluribus Unum.” It’s even changed the little “AB” at the top to “US.” The new labeling also includes phrases from the Pledge of Allegiance, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.”

With the Olympics looming and with what you might call an unprecedented election season upon us, a vice president from Budweiser, Ricardo Marques, calls it “probably the most American summer of our generation.”

From sea to shining sea, we’ll be inundated with American packaging this summer — from presidential candidates to Olympic commercials to Bud.

Summer is peak beer-selling (and -swilling) season, and Budweiser is pushing all of its chips to the middle with this move. The special summer-edition cans have featured such images as the American flag and Statue of Liberty, but never before has it gone this far. And you know what? I absolutely want to drink a million Americas. Or America cans? Or is the plural, Americans? Yessir, nothing like getting my mouth on a few ice-cold Americans.

“Budweiser has always strived to embody America in a bottle,” Marques says, “and we’re honored to salute this great nation where our beer has been passionately brewed for the past 140 years.”

Man, this is more than America in a bottle. This is the Great Plains in a bottle. These are factory workers from the Rust Belt in bottles. This is Hulk Hogan body-slamming the Iron Sheik in a bottle. This is Neil Diamond singing “America” — in a freakin’ bottle.

This beer tastes like freedom. It tastes like independence. It tastes like Abraham Lincoln. My taste buds are being emancipated. If the “Hamilton” musical and Lin-Manuel Miranda were liquefied, this beer would be the outcome.

Oh, but these aren’t even cans of beer. Nope. They’re to be referred to only as “vessels of liberation.”

I feel like I’m drinking Francis Scott Key, and dammit if ol’ Frank isn’t delicious.

After a six-pack of these, an Uber I proudly hailed at twilight’s last gleaming.

Man, I’m riding a bald eagle into the Grand Canyon. “Born in the U.S.A.” on repeat.

Drinking with friends is now called patriotism.

America beer is the new freedom fries.

This stuff is like Toby Keith in a can. I love this bar and I love this beer.

There’s now only one beer that can defeat ISIS, and it sure as hell ain’t Moosehead Lager.

A blonde in a bikini, in the back of a truck, eating a burger, drinking a can of America. That’s ‘Murica in poster form, son. Put it up over your bed.

I’m going to be sorely disappointed if Kid Rock doesn’t write a song about America the beer that immediately becomes the anthem of summer.

If our athletes don’t go undefeated and win 900 gold medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, then they didn’t drink enough of America.

With all the Donald-Hillary-Bernie madness, Budweiser is bringing a fractured nation together with a few cold ones, and it’s just what we needed at exactly the right moment.

Part of this awesome branding campaign is the new tag line, “America is in your hands.” I get it. We have to put the nation in our hands, and that nation is 12 ounces of frosty goodness. The problem is, after five or six “Americans,” I’m not sure you want to give me, or anyone, that much responsibility. I mean, look at the people we’re about to turn the country over to.

So grab a cold one. You deserve it. S

Jack Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play weekdays from 6-9. Connect with him at letters@styleweekly.com, or on Twitter at jackgoesforth.

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