Budweiser to Release Higher-Alcohol Beer

The new move looks to expand Anheuser-Busch's gains into craft beer territory

The worlds "Budweiser" and "higher alcohol" usually aren't synonymous, but Anheuser-Busch is looking to gain ground in that area. Introducing the new Black Crown brew, which will be launched in early 2013. The new beer signals Bud's entry into a craft beer market filled with 5 and 6 percent ABV brews. 

AdAge first reported on Black Crown, which follows Bud Light Platinum (at 6 percent ABV) and the limited-edition "Project 12" craft brews. The new brew, which Anheuser-Busch describes as "golden amber lager" that is "distinctively smooth and beechwood finished," seems to be following the success of Bud Light Platinum. There is speculation that it will launch similarly to Bud Light Platinum, with splashy Super Bowl ads (although Anheuser-Busch says they haven't secured air time for the Super Bowl just yet). 

And it seems the higher ABV is doing the trick: Bud Light hits at a mere 4.2 percent ABV, while regular Bud hits at 5 percent ABV. However, AdAge points out that Budweiser has been sliding in popularity, and they hope that Black Crown will help them to regain their footing in the beer scene. Despite Budweiser's decline, Bud Light still rules the country as America's most popular beer. Thanks to multiple extensions of the Bud Light name (like Bud Light Platinum, and Bud Light-a-rita), Bud Light sits pretty with 19 percent of the market share. 

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