Interviews

Published on March 13th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Ricardo Marques On The Launch Of Nitro Gold, Budweiser’s On-Going Global Success & More

Earlier this month Budweiser released Nitro Gold, its first-ever, golden lager infused with nitrogen gas to flip beer lovers drinking experience on its head. With notes of toasted caramel malt for a bold, flavorful taste, a silky-smooth finish and a just-right 5.0 percent ABV, this one of a kind lager has people talking. Budweiser Nitro Gold will be available year-round, but it requires consumers to break their traditional beer pouring habits. For example, you are urged to shake Nitro Gold three times and also pour it straight down the middle; not quite the “never shake a beer” rule you may be used to.

To learn about the latest and greatest from Budweiser, I spoke with Ricardo Marques, Group Vice President of Marketing, Core & Value Brands at Anheuser-Busch on behalf of The Hype Magazine. More on Budweiser Nitro Gold can be found online at www.budweiser.com/en/our-beers.html.

Few brands have had the longevity of Budweiser within the beverage space. To what do you attribute the long-term success of Bud? 

Ricardo Marques: At Budweiser, we push boundaries to be at the forefront of innovation while bringing consumers the iconic, refreshing taste they’ve come to know and love from our brand. We know our drinkers are seeking premium innovations for special occasions, which is why Nitro Gold is such an exciting, new innovation for us.

In recent years, Budweiser has expanded to producing some new products beyond the traditional Budweiser and Bud Light varieties of beer. Do you have a favorite?

Ricardo Marques: There’s no way to pick a favorite! We have a history of pushing the envelope with our beers — from aging them to perfection on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves for Copper and Black Lager, to our Discovery Reserve, inspired by an archival Budweiser recipe from around the time of the Moon Landing, to disrupting the brewing process with Nitro Reserve Gold.

AB regularly tries out new products in local markets. Where did the new Nitro first get tested? How long was it in development for?

Ricardo Marques: Bud Nitro Gold in particular was not a product tested in local markets. With Nitro being a huge trend in the beverage industry — Starbucks just launched a RTD Nitro brew coffee — we were excited to expand our portfolio with Bud Nitro Gold while consumer tastes expand.

How would you compare the new Nitro to other products on the market? Is there anything that makes it different in your opinion

Ricardo Marques: Unlike other nitrogen gas infused beers, Budweiser Nitro Gold continues to push the envelope as it does not require a “widget” to energize the Nitro bubbles within. With Budweiser Nitro Gold, it’s all in the flip.

We think consumers will enjoy thinking about a new way to approach their beer pouring ritual. To hit peak refreshment, we encourage drinkers to flip the can over three times to infuse the nitro bubbles throughout, then pour hard straight down the middle of a glass for that extra smooth finish. Next, sit back, relax and savor the moment. We promise, it’s worth the wait.

Besides the new Nitro, what is new and exciting for Budweiser in the coming months? Anything that you can reveal?

Ricardo Marques: We work hard to deliver what our fans and beer lovers want. We know that success comes not from making choices for our consumers, but instead listening to consumers tell us what they want. We promise, we have new ideas brewing already but can’t reveal anything at this time!

Over the years, Budweiser has been a major ally of comedians and other entertainers. Are there any upcoming festivals that Budweiser is a part of?

Ricardo Marques: We always want to connect the brand whether it be sports, music or comedy to consumer interests. We work hard to deliver what our fans and beer lovers want. We know that success comes not from making choices for our consumers, but instead listening to consumers tell us what they want.

Work aside, what was the last concert that you attended for fun?

Ricardo Marques: Guns & Roses in February!

Finally, Ricardo, any last words for the kids? 

Ricardo Marques: For those 21 years and old, shake things up and give Bud Nitro Gold a try! Budweiser fans and newcomers alike have been excited and intrigued about Nitro Gold.


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly PureGrainAudio.com). He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.


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