Anheuser-Busch's embrace of niche beers reflects a broader trend toward niches across our culture.

Over on his blog, Chris Anderson investigates the mega-brewer’s strategy of investing in microbrews, regional beers and “craft beer”. Pat McGauley, vice president of AB’s Long Tail Libations, explained to Chris:

Anheuser-Busch’s embrace of niche beers is not driven by a radical change in the economics of distribution, but rather reflects a broader trend toward niches across our culture. Anheuser-Busch happens to be unique among brewers in that it’s large enough to have its own distribution network (the others go through third-party distributors, who are hard to sell on micromarkets) and is thus able to experiment with far more products aimed at niche consumers. It can take local microbrews and distribute them nationally or find regional markets for drinks targeted at certain demographics.

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