Anheuser-Busch InBev said Tuesday it is introducing a new specialty beer -- an amber lager with a higher alcohol content -- and will promote its new brew in a Super Bowl ad.
The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other brews will formally launch Budweiser Black Crown with a 30-second ad on Feb. 3 during Super Bowl XLVII, though the beer will be available in stores nationwide starting Jan. 21. It will be sold in 12-ounce glass bottles in six- and 12-packs, and in 22-ounce single bottles.
The launch comes a year after Anheuser-Busch InBev introduced Bud Light Platinum, another specialty beer, during the 2012 Super Bowl. Like Budweiser Black Crown, Bud Light Platinum has an alcohol content of 6 percent -- Budweiser's is 5 percent.
Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer's Insights, said Anheuser-Busch InBev is seeking to compete with the large variety of specialty products now on the market. Though Budweiser outsells its four nearest competitors combined in what is known as the "premium regular beer" market, that market isn't what it used to be.
"Budweiser peaked at 50 million barrels in 1988 -- it's only about one-third of that at this point," Steinman said. "There's a constant desire among beer consumers these days for innovation, flavor, variety. That's why cocktails and spirits have gained strength."
Budweiser Black Crown's recipe resulted from a challenge to Anheuser-Busch InBev's 12 brewmasters, an effort dubbed Project 12, the company said. The brewmasters developed six beers, which customers sampled last year during a testing phase.
The company received 25,000 opinions on the samples. The winning recipe came from Bryan Sullivan, a brewmaster in Los Angeles.-- AP