“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.
Murray Sr. will be running the bar this weekend only, Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17. ...read more ›
The brand just announced five different limited edition bottles....read more ›
Enjoy three days of eating along with live music and 27,000 pounds of lobster....read more ›
One of New York City's coolest hot spots is coming to Denver....read more ›
Mount Bethel Winery is the third oldest winery in the state of Arkansas....read more ›
Once again this program will feature the annual release of Treasure Chest beer packaged in 22 oz. bottles acro...read more ›
Now, dog lovers can share in the joy of drinking with their pet, as Apollo Peak has finally released dog wine....read more ›
With profits plummeting by almost a quarter recently, there's only one thing Chipotle seems think will help its business - giving away free alcohol. ...read more ›
Matthew McConaughey is a lot of things: an actor, a musician, and now, the creative director for Wild Turkey Bourbon....read more ›
The Thirstbat, a product you definitely never asked for, is finally here....read more ›
Shmaltz Brewing, a Jewish brewery in New York, is releasing two Star Trek-themed beers....read more ›
Ommegang and Game of Thrones are teaming up for another new beer release this fall....read more ›