Did Anheuser-Busch close half of its U.S. breweries after "the worst goof in marketing history"? No, that's not true: Lead Stories could not find any news reports of Anheuser-Busch closing half of its U.S. breweries. Anheuser-Busch's web page of news releases includes no such announcement. This claim is from a satirical website. The site has a disclaimer that describes the site as part of a network of "parody, satire, and tomfoolery." Christopher Blair, the originator of this website, has a history of trolling using satirical news stories.
The claim appeared in an article published by "Patriotic Party Press," part of "America's Last Line Of Defense" group of satirical websites, on April 22, 2023, titled "Anheuser Busch Closing Half Of Its Breweries In The US After 'Worst Goof In Marketing History'" (archived here) which opened:
There's no other way to describe it. Anheuser Busch's Vice President of Bud Light, Joe Barron, said it perfectly. The Dylan Mulvaney "trans can" was an abomination.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
(Source: Patriotpartypress.com screenshot taken on Wed May 3 15:58:13 2023 UTC)
The article reports that Anheuser-Busch's CEO called the Bud Light advertisement featuring trans TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney "the worst goof in marketing history" :
There's no other way to describe it. Anheuser Busch's Vice President of Bud Light, Joe Barron, said it perfectly. The Dylan Mulvaney "trans can" was an abomination. "It was the worst goof in marketing history," said Barron, "the brand is never going to fully recover. Our analysis says we lost approximately 49 percent of our loyal customers."
There are no reliable news outlets that have reported on the claim that Anheuser-Busch is closing half of their US breweries, Lead Stories found in a search of Google News, which indexes thousands of credible news sites. The brewer's news release web page included, as of May 3, 2023, no announcement to support the claim, either.
The "Vice President of Bud Light" position is not held by a man named Joe Barron. The VP of marketing for Bud Light, assuming that's what the article is referring to, during the time the Mulvaney ad came out was Alissa Heinerscheid. Joe Barron is a name commonly used in America's Last Line Of Defense stories. Lead Stories has debunked other claims involving "Joe Barron" here.
America's Last Line Of Defense is not a newsworthy website. Their own About Us page defines themselves as part of a network of "parody, satire, and tomfoolery." The network this site is part of also includes Dunning-Kruger Times and Patriot Party Press, created by a man named Christopher Blair.
Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites, including wearethellod.com, bustatroll.org or bebest.website. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.
Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up.
Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:
'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America
November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories
If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.
Other Lead Stories fact checks about the Bud Light and Dylan Mulvaney advertisement can be found here.