“Taste is making an entrance on 02.03.13,” boldly states Anheuser-Busch’s marketing copy touting the introduction of a new label dubbed Budweiser Black Crown. If you are craft beer drinkers like us, you might find it hard to hide a smirk. Is the company actually admitting its beers up to now have had no taste? We wouldn’t argue.
Following a national trend of macro beer companies co-opting the craft beer movement — highlighted by the Brewers Association recently in an essay titled “Craft vs. Crafty” — AB InBev is trying to keep customers from going “off-reservation” and drinking microbrews. Craft beer has gained market share of late, now making up 9% of the total beer by sales in the U.S., and the big beer companies are buying up smaller breweries (Goose Island, for example), or releasing their own “craft-friendly” labels, such as this one.
Black Crown is the result of a yearlong project during which Budweiser worked with a dozen brewers to create a more flavorful brew, starting with 12 beers and narrowing it down to six, three and then one. The winning recipe uses a two-row malt, known for its biscuity, caramel flavors, as well as four types of U.S. hops, and is finished on a bed of Beechwood chips. The yeast used is the same as that used in regular Bud, and is descended from the strain used by Adolphus Busch in 1876.
The resultant beer has “more body, color and hop character than the flagship lager,” according to a company rep. Copying another trait of many microbrews, the ABV of Black Crown is a higher 6%, compared to 4.8% ABV for Bud. Los Angeles-based AB InBev brewmaster Bryan Sullivan was the creator of the beer, which was chosen by a panel of brewmasters as well as in tastings with 25,000 beer drinkers across the country.
Stores and bars will begin carrying Black Crown as early as January 21, to make sure it’s available in time for Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, when the first ad for the new label will be shown. The packaging is distinct from the brazen red of regular Budweiser, and features gold colors and black swoops. In addition to regular 12-oz. bottles, you’ll also see 22-oz. singles of the beer, mimicking another craft brew trend.
More flavor than Bud doesn’t really mean much, but we’re curious how the new beer tastes. Even if Black Crown doesn’t suck, we urge you to support your local craft breweries. “Taste is the new black,” the company says? No. No it’s not.
Gin from London's Ginstitute is now available in select markets in the Northeast. ...read more ›
Beer and wine o'clock might not have an official time, but they both h...read more ›
The characteristics of a cocktail bar that today signal a quality establishment-the bartender as guide, the cu...read more ›
Dogfish announced Punkin growlers, mugs, and Punkin Ale will go on sale September 1. ...read more ›
MillerCoors is hopping on the hard soda trend and releasing a hard orange soda and a hard ginger ale. ...read more ›
Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›
Chances are, if you've driven down the shore this summer, you've driven through an American Viticultural Area ...read more ›
Wheaties is the latest brand to hop on the craft beer train announcing HefeWheaties last week. ...read more ›
Raleigh Beer Garden has more taps than there are days in a year....read more ›
Stag Semen Stout is now a thing at The Green Man Pub in New Zealand. ...read more ›
Hop farmers may soon feel the effects of the widespread drought. ...read more ›
In honor of the hoppiest holiday, we've put together a primer on six of the most popular sub-categories in the IPA family tree...read more ›