Budweiser Announces New 'Black Crown' With Higher ABV

Can a lager with a higher alcohol content help Anheuser Busch Inbev recapture beer drinkers who've gone over to the craft beer side?
 Budweiser Announces New ‘Black Crown’ With Higher ABV

Global beverage corporation Anheuser Busch Inbev is on the verge of launching something a little bit different from their usual offerings. According to new reports, it was revealed yesterday that the business is preparing to release a new addition to its Budweiser line – 2013 will be the year of the Black Crown.

AdvertisingAge reports that the darker “golden amber lager” Budweiser Black Crown will come along with a heavy marketing push, with special bow tie-shaped cans and perhaps a Super Bowl ad, and a flavor profile that apparently aims for smoothness:


"Though originally created in L.A., it's a beer born out of the collaboration of all of Budweiser's 12 brewmasters," [Budweiser Brand VP Rob] McCarthy said. "The beer is an amber lager that is a little darker than Budweiser, but is flavorful and like Bud very drinkable."


What’s also interesting is the upward shift in alcohol content – where your basic Budweiser bears 5% ABV, Budweiser Black Crown kicks it up a tick to 6% ABV. Could this be a bid to compete more directly with the craft beer industry? It certainly looks like it.

Not that it should come as a surprise that Anheuser Busch Inbev would be tinkering with their tried and true formulas. While the craft brewing industry is soaring in the United States, the mainstream brewing industry has seen a decrease in profits. AdAge notes that sales for AB Inbev have been slipping for years, even while Bud Light is the top selling beer in the country, and CEO Carlos Brito reportedly admitted that Budweiser sales have failed to meet expectations in 2012.

Will a higher ABV help Budweiser break out of its slump? Maybe, though the changes are still quite subtle. Golden amber or pale pilsner, it’s still within the narrow frame of a lager-style beer – and in the grand scheme of things, a 1 percent change in alcohol content isn’t much compared to the aggressive IPAs that craft beer fans tend to relish. But hey – it’s a start.


[SOURCE: AdAge via Gawker]

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