Stella Artois Launching Cider

The Belgian beer purveyor will introduce Stella Artois Cidre on May 13

Stella Artois launches a new cider out May 13

Wannabe Europeans might enjoy this bit of news; Belgian beer brand Stella Artois is introducing Stella Artois Cidre to appeal to the cider drinkers of the upscale world, simply by changing the way cider is spelled.

According to a press release, the cider is styled after "drier, European-style ciders" and will be released in 26 states May 13 (further expansion is possible in 2014, Anheuser-Busch says). The new brew is reportedly "a crisp, distinctive European-style cider made with apples hand-picked from wine growing regions," with 4.5 percent alcohol by volume.

This move is apparently a play to get in on the cider market, as a 2012 report from Euromonitor found that ciders boosted U.S. sales 20 percent in the year before. In contrast, beer had a 2 percent decline in sales. Anheuser-Busch is trying to offer cider as an alternative to white wine, saying the Cidre should be paired with chicken, fish, and some cheese, as well as Asian and spicy foods.

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"Stella Artois Cidre is designed to be savored and is very different from sweeter, domestic U.S. ciders," Adam Oakley, vice president of import, craft, and specialty brands at Anheuser-Busch, said in the release. "Stella Artois Cidre has the potential to change people’s perceptions of cider here, offering a refreshing alternative to white wine."