In early April 2023, Kid Rock took to social media to share a profanity-laced tirade accompanied by him using an automatic weapon to open fire on cases of Bud Light. The actions were in response to the company’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a a transgender social media influencer who shared videos of themself with personalized Bud Light cans.
“This month I celebrated my day 365 of womanhood and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever — a can with my face on it,” Mulvaney says in the video.
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Kid Rock’s reaction video sparked a nationwide boycott of Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch brands as conservative beer drinkers called out the company for misreading their consumer base. Other celebrities such as Travis Tritt, Ted Nugent and John Rich were vocal about their disappointment in Bud Light’s partnership. Tritt made a public statement sharing that he was removing all Anheuser-Busch brands from his tour rider.
Other artists who are deleting Anheuser-Busch products from their hospitality rider might not say so in public for fear of being ridiculed and cancelled. I have no such fear. https://t.co/YgjO9P03tR
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) April 6, 2023
John Rich, while dismayed by Anheuser-Busch’s marketing direction, chose to continue serving the brand in his Nashville bar, Redneck Riviera. His decision would allow customers to decide where they stood on the divisive partnership. Roughly a week after the backlash against Bud Light started, Rich revealed that his customers were no longer purchasing the popular beer.
“The customers decide. Customers are king. I own a bar in downtown in Nashville called Redneck Riviera and our number one selling beer up until a few days ago was, guess what? Bud Light. We got cases and cases and cases of it sitting back there. But in the past several days you’re hard-pressed to find anyone ordering one,” Rich said. “So as a business owner, I just go, hey if you aren’t ordering it, we got to put something else in here. At the end of the day, that’s capitalism. That’s how it works.”
Three months after his social media outburst, customers visiting Kid Rock’s Nashville steakhouse noticed that the establishment was selling Bud Light and called the star out on it.
— George Shearer (@GeorgeDShearer) June 11, 2023
According to Newsweek, the customer asked a waitress about Bud Light being on their menu.
“She said they actually stopped selling it for a week right after [Kid Rock’s video], then started selling it again,” the customer told the outlet.
The post sparked reaction from Kid Rock fans who were “disappointed” in the revelation, with some even calling him a hypocrite.
But, it’s worth noting that there appears to be no evidence that Kid Rock ever called for a boycott or said that he wouldn’t be selling the beverage in his Nashville bar. In fact, the singer’s viral social media post never addressed Bud Light’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney. It only made it clear that Kid Rock had a beef with the brand and the timing coincided with the Mulvaney partnership.
In the months since, Kid Rock has mostly remained quiet, failing to address the issue again. Is it possible that the 52-year-old bar owner took a John Rich approach to the partnership and let his customers decide what they wanted to consume? It’s possible. But, he has never said so publicly.