Budweiser to introduce higher-octane version in 2013

In 2013, U.S. drinkers will be able to taste a new take on their iconic Budweiser. Black Crown, a stronger version of the American classic, is just one example of the brewer’s focus on faster, more dynamic innovation.

The drink, which Anheuser-Busch InBev says has a more distinct flavor and taste than regular Budweiser, was selected for production from 12 experimental varieties submitted by head beermakers at each of the brand’s U.S. breweries. With an alcohol content of 6 percent, Black Crown will pack more of a punch than the standard brew’s 5 percent and is scheduled to go on sale in the United States early in the new year.

Attention-grabbing drinks are becoming more important for global brewers such as AB InBev as they seek growth in the face of competition from craft beers, wine and spirits. Changing the attitude of consumers toward established brands and keeping them interested is proving crucial.

“Black Crown’s bringing Bud to a more sophisticated crowd and occasion,” AB InBev Chief Marketing Officer Miguel Patricio said. While the main purpose of innovation is to boost sales, it is also about creating “better brand health,” said the 46-year-old executive, who started in the position in July.

Bloomberg News

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