Take that Budweiser! Hillsborough brewer makes his own ‘America’ beer

When the iconic Budweiser beer recently changed its name to America for the summer, most people rolled their eyes at the marketing gimmick.

But Erik Lars Myers, owner of Mystery Brewing Co. in Hillsborough, immediately looked online to see whether the company had filed the change with North Carolina officials. Business owners use an online database to make sure potential names of new wines, beers or liquors that they want to produce aren’t the same as products already on the market in the state.

Myers said he didn’t see that Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, had filed to create an “America” beer — so he applied to create his own.

Myers’ America beer label, which was approved by state officials this week, features a bald eagle in front of snow-crested mountains and this description: “a ridiculously patriotic extra pale ale.”

However, officials with the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission provided documents that show that Anheuser-Busch InBev filed a label revision request on June 8 to change the Budweiser label to say America. The request was approved June 23.

Agnes Stevens, public information officer for the N.C. ABC Commission, explained that the Anheuser-Busch InBev’s label change – being visual in nature – would not show up in the database that Myers was searching. In an email she wrote: “You have two different beers, two different brands and two different labels that share a word in common.”

Regardless, you will soon be able to buy Myers’ America beer, which he describes as simple, clean and as light as possible. Sort of like Budweiser, Myers said, but with flavor.

Starting July 1, Myers hopes to have the beer available at the Mystery Brewing Co. pub at 437 Dimmocks Mill Road, Hillsborough. (Call to make sure. Doors open at 4 p.m.) The following week, Myers said about 20 cases will go to their distributor. Myers said the best places to buy it in the Triangle are likely The Glass Jug in Durham and Beer Study in Chapel Hill.

That’s all Myers plans to do with his America beer – so far: “Unless everyone thinks it’s amazing, then I’ll have to make more.”

Weigl: 919-829-4848; Twitter: @andreaweigl