Free Beer! No, Really FREE BEER

*Girl not included
Okay, so I know that Seattle--with its plentiful microbrews, craft brewers, beer hobbyists and beer lists replete with obscure Belgian whatevers--is not exactly a Budweiser kind of town. The problem, though? It seems that, these days, nowhere is exactly a Budweiser kind of town.

See, Anheuser-Busch (Bud's brewer, recently merged with global giant InBev) has had a rough time of it lately. Budweiser in particular has seen a big drop in sales (down 9% last year, and looking at a similar drop again this year) and, worse, has taken a catastrophic hit in brand loyalty.

Dig it: According to Brand Keys (a brand loyalty ranking) Budweiser rated #16 out of 501 consumer brands in 2003. In 2006 it was down to #35. 2008 had it at #86, then #165 in 2009. And this year? #220. You can see a nice, pretty graphic of the fall at (where else?) USAToday.

In order to counter this precipitous slide (and to win back some of those lucrative young drinkers that form the backbone of any booze market), Budweiser has decided to go straight for the virtual marketing jugular by...

...Giving away free beer! Yes, Anheuser-Busch has declared next Wednesday, September 29, to be the day of the "Budweiser National Happy Hour," and in celebration, the company will be giving away 6 or 12-ounce pours of Bud to pretty much anyone who asks for them. The intent? To re-introduce America's most drinkingest demographic to the taste and image of Budweiser.

The result? I'm guessing it's going to be a whole lot of broke-ass bar-hoppers jumping from bar stool to bar stool trying to get as smashed as possible, 6 ounces at a time.

The National Happy Hour promotion is a full-on, 'round-the-country event. So as soon as I get some information on what Seattle bars might be participating, I'll be sure to let you all know.

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