How a beer came to sponsor a brothel

There is a brothel in Nevada with a Budweiser room, which tells a unique tale about how brands promote themselves.

Sheri's Ranch in Nevada is known as the Consumer Electronics Show's "unofficial brothel."

Technology news site Re/code, in a profile of the brothel and its extensive social media efforts, noted in passing that Sheri's is the "only brothel sponsored by Budweiser."

That turns out to be as interesting a story as the brothel itself.

Attendees crowd an aisle on the trade show floor during the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Jan. 6, 2015.
Steve Marcus | Reuters
Attendees crowd an aisle on the trade show floor during the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Jan. 6, 2015.

Nevada Beverage, a Las Vegas-based beverage distributor, is the brothel's sponsor, rather than Anheuser-Busch proper.

Not that the Budweiser maker minds, of course.

"While Anheuser-Busch doesn't sponsor this licensed account in Nevada, it is a longtime account of our independent distributor, Nevada Beverage, which services hundreds of licensed accounts," the company said.

In a state where prostitution has long been legal, the distributor shrugs at any connotations.

"They [Sheri's Ranch] are a retail-licensed account that we sell and promote our brands in, just like with any other licensed account in our territory," said Robert McDonald, the company's general manager.

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The Pahrump, Nevada-based brothel has had a relationship with the brand for a decade, noting on its blog that "one of the bordello's Jacuzzi sex rooms is dedicated entirely to the promotion of Anheuser-Busch products."

Disclosure: NBC News group is a minority stakeholder in Re/code and has a content sharing partnership with it.