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A-B Gets OK for Higher-Alcohol Bud Line Extension

ST. LOUIS -- Anheuser-Busch InBev could be looking to follow its success of Bud Light Platinum now that is has received approved for a proposed label of the high-alcohol line extension.

According to Advertising Age, the beer maker's latest application with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau describes Black Crown the new beverage as a "golden amber lager" that is "distinctively smooth and beechwood finished." The brew is listed at 6 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), which would put it above regular Budweiser's 5-percent ABV, and match the alcohol content of Bud Light Platinum, which was launched in early 2012. AB-InBev declined to comment on the Black Crown application, the news outlet reported.

As CSNews Online previously reported, Bud Light Platinum hit first hit shelves in Texas in late January before expanding to the rest of the country one week later. The product's debut was timed perfectly with Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis and Anheuser-Busch put a lot of money into a Bud Light Platinum advertising campaign leading up to the big game.

The timing of the Black Crown application could signal a similar campaign, according to Advertising Age. However, it is too early to tell AB-InBev's exact plans for the brew, including whether or not the company will make it part of its beer portfolio or if the new extension is simply being considered. Any news could come at a company meeting with distributors in early November.

In addition to Black Crown, AB-InBev also filed an application for "Beck's Sapphire," a potential line extension for Beck's which is described as having "German Sapphire Hops," according to the application. Sapphire is also listed at 6 percent ABV, the news outlet said.

Beer companies are turning to line extensions as they fight with other alcohol products -- like craft beer -- for cooler space. The brewers seem to be targeting a mid-level price range that positions their new brews as slightly less expensive than craft beers but still at a premium to mainstream lagers, it added.


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