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Burgeoning Craft Beer Industry Creates Niche Market For Limited Release Beers
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Got a craving for a cold one, but you’re watching your spending as tax time comes up? Don’t worry. There’s an app for that.

Anheuser-Busch (BUD) just announced it has teamed up with shopping app Ibotta to offer cash refunds to adults who purchase any of its products, including Budweiser, Goose Island or Michelob Ultra Light. The long-term partnership, which runs through 2018, applies to purchases in a wide range of bars, restaurants and grocery stores.

“We prioritize innovation at Anheuser-Busch, and look for ways to use it to enhance the consumer experience,” said Michael Zacharias, vice president of trade marketing, category leadership and sales technology for Anheuser-Busch. “Our goal is to lead our industry in digital and mobile technology, so we’re thrilled to partner with Ibotta to engage with both our retail partners and consumers in a new way.”

How it works

First, you’ve got to download the app and unlock A-B deals in it – a simple procedure. Then pop into the local Chili’s, Hooters or Ruby Tuesdays for lunch and grab a burger and a Bud. Scan your receipt to Ibotta and you’ll have $4 deposited to your account on the app within 48 hours, which you can then transfer to a PayPal or Venmo account.

The app also works at grocery stores and other locations. Depending on where you shop, what you buy and which rebate offer you choose, you can get anywhere from $1 to $5 back. (For instance, buy an 18-pack of Bud Light at a participating grocery store and you’ll get $3 back.)

The rebates can be used multiple times in the same location, but not on the same day.

The beers offered

The partnership spans a wide range of Budweiser products, including Bud, Bud Light, Stella Artois, Michelob Ultra, Shock Top, Best Damn Root Beer and Goose Island, while the app honors receipts from a wide variety of restaurants and retailers, including Wal-Mart (WMT), Kroger (KR), Whole Foods (WFM) and more.

Anheuser-Busch has seen increased competition from craft brewers in recent years, but it’s still the industry’s dominant beer maker. (Click here for a look at America’s 10 next great beer towns.) That makes this an especially big deal for Ibotta, which says it has given over $60 million in rebates on a wide variety of products since its 2012 launch.

“Anheuser-Busch’s bet on mobile, and more specifically on Ibotta, speaks volumes to our ability to grow into the leading mobile media platform connecting brands and customers in all the places where they are already shopping,” said Bryan Leach, founder and CEO at Ibotta.

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