Review: Budweiser Barbecue and Wing Sauces

Budweiser.  Just reading the name probably gives you a visceral reaction.

But before you judge, let’s look at the facts:

  • It’s one of the biggest, most well-known domestic beer brands.
  • It’s parent company Anheuser Busch remains the top seller of beer in the U.S., with 46.4 percent market share, based on sales to retailers (as of Feb 25, 2016).
  • Their beer dominance is being challenged by the newer, smaller, craft brewers.  A classic case of disruption.
  • Brand expansion in the cooking area isn’t new for them – you can buy Budweiser grills, grilling toolsaprons, pint glasses, and more.
  • Big news: Budweiser Premium Barbecue Sauce are now available at Walmart, and they wanted to see if I could put their sauce to the test.

Thank you to the kind folks who sent me the Budweiser Premium Barbecue Sauce lineup: 4 flavors including Classic, Sweet and Smoky, Honey, and their Wings sauce.

The Budweiser brand itself does have some advantages – it’s a known brand, so it carries some weight and some trust.   So if you like Budweiser you may pick this up.  Some folks may pick it up as a novelty gag – even if they wouldn’t drink Budweiser – to be that guy that shows up at the part with a fancy wine and a bottle of Bud BBQ Sauce.   It could also be a great gift for someone you know who just loves beer.  There aren’t many other sauces I’ve ever seen that include beer in the ingredients list – so there’s that too.

And for about $2 a bottle, it won’t break the budget to pick up a bottle.

Once I tried these sauces, any critical opinion of Budweiser was put to rest.   After all, this is the Clydesdale company, the Polar bear company, the Wassssaaaaup company.   Their brand has done some great work over the years, and it is clear they didn’t take the easy road with their sauces.

I was really surprised by the flavor.   They were mostly great tasting sauces across the board that quickly became the go to sauces in my fridge.

Here’s my comments on them all:

Classic flavor has the best balance and flavor of them all.  Very thick and quite sweet.  Held the flavor, stuck to the meat well, and provided one of the best flavored sauces I’ve had around the house in a while.  This bottle is now empty after about a week and a half.   This is a five star sauce.    I also used this on some ribs but had a camera issue and only managed to scrape off a “before” picture of the ribs before the sauce was applied during the final part of the cook.  Several folks who tried the ribs said they were some of the best they ever had… I’ve been working on my smoker skills for awhile now 🙂

 

Sweet & Smoky has a real nice flavor with a kicked up portion of liquid smoke to give you that a smokey flavor even if you weren’t cooking on a smoker for hours – no surprise given the name.   Execution was mostly there, but cooked it lost a little flavor.  We’re talking 4 star sauce here overall but makes an amazing dipping sauce.

Wings – a classic wing sauce without much surprise – thinner than BBQ sauce., this would probably work better being applied to wings after a session on the grill or in the smoker. But on boneless chicken it held well and did the job – I really enjoyed the flavor and texture and color.  This is a 4 star sauce.

 

All of these sauces are tasty and very well-packaged.  There’s nothing watered-down about these sauces – I’d recommend trying the Classic and see if you like it – then try some of other flavors.

Bottom Line:

Budweiser is attempting to take their massive domestic beer brand and the sauce category with a solid contender.  At $2.48 a bottle, it’s easy enough for anyone to afford.   My biggest question going into this review was not just “will it taste good?” but will it win on the shelves of Walmart?

The Answer:   Hell yeah, it tastes great and yes I think the people of Walmart will enjoy a tasty sauce at a tasty price.

Site Editor, BBQ Sauce Lover, Family Guy, Hi Tech Marketer by Day. He recently wrote the Ebook “How to Market Your BBQ Sauce” which can be purchased on this site.

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