In an effort to keep pace with the growing craft beer market and appeal to a younger generation of beer drinkers, Budweiser's famed Clydesdale horses are being forced to share the spotlight.

The beermaker will air a series of commercials featuring people in their 20s looking into the camera and answering the question, "If you could grab a Bud with any of your friends these holidays, who would it be?" The new strategy comes as millennials, the largest demographic in the U.S., are increasingly turning to smaller craft beermakers over larger brew houses

Such ads are in sharp contrast to the nostalgia-inducing scenes of Clydesdales galloping through snow, a reliable holiday commercial fixture since 1987. Budweiser, however, insists its iconic horses will continue to play "a strong role for the brand." In a report by CNN Money, the company says the Clydesdales will be featured in a holiday "responsible drinking" ad, as well as in one of its upcoming Super Bowl spots.

"As icons of the brand — and relevant symbols of integrity, perfection and team spirit for all generations — they are important to the brand and our campaigns," parent company Anheuser-Busch said a statement.

Indeed, not only have the Clydesdales been a fixture of the brand since 1933 (and appeared in more than 125 commercials), but Anheuser-Busch also owns a multi-million dollar operation that breeds, feeds and trains the horses. The company's 300-acre farm at Warm Springs Ranch outside St. Louis cares for more than 200 Clydesdales, one of the largest herds in the world. 

“When people think of the Clydesdales, they think of Budweiser, and when they think of Budweiser, they think of the Clydesdales,” Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdales General Manager Jeff Knapper said last year. “We’re really excited about the next 80 years.”

Check out Budweiser's first holiday commercial featuring the Clydesdales below. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Clydesdale horses to remain a key part of Budweiser's marketing
Despite a shift to attract a younger demographic, the beermaker insists its iconic horses will continue to play a role in the brand's ads.