Businesses in every sector have backup plans for supply chain disruptions triggered by, say, hurricanes, wildfires, or labor strikes. But Anheuser Busch Co. LLC faced another kind of challenge in late 2017 that inspired it to tweak its approach to beer distribution.
That challenge? Thirsty fans—specifically, thirsty Iowa State football fans, who, according to the brewer, drained the city's entire inventory of Busch Light when they traveled to Memphis, Tenn., for the 2017 Liberty Bowl.
To avoid a repeat scenario, Anheuser Busch threw its logistics weight behind an initiative to avoid a similar stockout when Iowa State fans headed to San Antonio for the 2018 Alamo Bowl. In the days before the Dec. 28 game, the St. Louis-based brewer said it had packed Busch Light "to the gills" in distribution centers around San Antonio, stocked more bars around the stadium than ever before, and arranged to have a secret reserve on hand "just in case."
And, of course, the company took to social media to spread the word. The brewer had some fun with the project, helping consumers track the supply of Busch Light on its @BuschBeer Twitter feed and encouraging fans to use the hashtag #BuschSafeHouse wherever they found a San Antonio bar with an ample supply of Busch Light.
The game ultimately proved disappointing for Iowa State fans, whose team suffered a 28-26 loss to Washington State. On the bright side, Anheuser-Busch's stocking strategy was reportedly a success—which presumably made life a little easier for Iowans looking to drown their sorrows after the game.