Free (Near) Beer: O’Doul’s Giving Away Limited-Edition Cans to Promote Responsible Drinking at Wrigley June 21

Have no fear, near-beer is here. O’Doul’s, the OG of non-alcoholic beers, is going to be handing out free cans at Wrigley as part of a new promotion to promote responsible drinking. Wait, does that make it free alcohol-free beer? I think it does.

O’Doul’s has enlisted the help of Chicago-based artist Brandon Breaux, perhaps best known for designing Chance the Rapper’s album covers, to give their cans a fresh look. Think of it like a Brazilian butt lift. The limited-run cans will be distributed on Friday, June 21 — the longest day of the year — when the Cubs take on the Mets.

In the interest of full transparency, I wasn’t planning to do anything with this information when I first saw the email. I’ve never had a non-alcoholic beer and I have made it a point to avoid supporting Anheuser-Busch in general, but I appreciate the value in igniting a conversation around responsible drinking behaviors.

I’m also a little curious about the idea of handing out free (sort of) beer at Wrigley. And since I’ve written with much excitement about the expansion of the ballpark’s suds selection in the past, I figured it was only fair to give equal voice to this latest initiative.

“More than ever, we’re seeing consumers take an interest in drinking responsibly and in moderation,” Adam Warrington, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for at Anheuser-Busch, said. “As the undisputed leader of the U.S. beer industry, we at Anheuser-Busch are committed to fostering a culture of smart and responsible drinking behaviors.

“This includes working with our wholesaler partners to invest in advertising campaigns and community-based programs which aim to reduce harmful misuse of alcohol and educate consumers on making better choices when it comes to alcohol consumption.”

It may sound a little weird on the surface, since most folks aren’t out there sipping on a brew simply because they like the taste and love to spend money. But if given the opportunity to save $10-12 while still maintaining the experience of having a beer at the old ballgame, I think I’d do it at least once for the novelty alone. Factor in the reduction or elimination of your hangover and there’s some legit merit to the whole thing.

Then you figure that this is kind of like a bobblehead giveaway in that you’re getting a free souvenir that can’t be had anywhere else (at least for the time being). Fans can get their hands on these limited-edition cans of O’Doul’s by visiting Responsible Fan kiosks on the concourse levels during the Cubs/Mets game on June 21, so be on the lookout if you’re planning to attend.

And if you do get one, let me know what you think. I’m genuinely interested in your thoughts on the social responsibility aspect and/or the idea that O’Doul’s could serve as a placebo for folks who typically have a beer or three over the course of the afternoon.

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