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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anheuser-Busch Dialing Up the Malt in Michelob

Michelob was first introduced by Anheuser-Busch as a draught-only brew back in 1896. It was a 100 percent barley malt product until 1961, when rice was added to the recipe. The St. Louis brewer has decided to turn back the clock and re-introduce the Michelob family as a 100 percent malt brew by the end of this month.

This is just the latest move on the part of America's largest brewery to appeal to a wider group of beer drinkers, including those that have turned to more flavorful craft beers.

Interestingly, Michelob will be relaunched in the teardrop bottles that had been dropped back in 2002. That teardrop shape was first rolled out in 1961 when the brewery altered the all-malt recipe. Anheuser-Busch plans to promote Michelob as the
“beer for connoisseurs” as part of this move.

Anheuser-Busch holds a 48.8 percent share of the domestic beer market. It has made a concerted effort introducing new products and signing import agreements during the last two years in order to fuel additional growth. This comes at a time when spirits have been growing at a rapid rate, taking share from the beer segment.

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