USA: New Budweiser Supreme debuts in five test markets

Anheuser-Busch has started to sell a new version of its signature brand Budweiser in five testmarkets across the United States. New York, Washington D.C., Ohio, and West Texas are those markets where Budweiser Supreme debuted on Monday. Anheuser-Busch calls the triple-filtered beer, that is brewed with honey malt and the same yeast used for the classic Budweiser, a "reimagining" of its classic lager.

The honey malt (also known as 'Bruhmalz') gives the beer its intense malty sweetness with flavors of honey, bread crust, toast, pretzel, grain, and a hint of tartness. Rob Naylor, Director of Product Innovations at AB InBev explains that honey malt is responsible for the intense color and amazing sweetness.

In order to get some of the Budweiser characteristics “we use our iconic Budweiser yeast with this but we're changing things up a little bit on some of the other raw materials and making sure this really finishes smooth,” Naylor elaborates. “I get a little bit of a citrus note out of it but I definitely get some of the yeast notes coming from the Budweiser.”

At 4.6% alcohol by volume, Budweiser Supreme has slightly less alcohol than the ordinary Budweiser with 5% ABV.

“In the past, we've launched bolder, higher-ABV extensions — a number of those through the Reserve series that were great as limited-time options but not great as permanent just because they're not quite as drinkable, not quite sessionable,” Daniel Blake, Vice President of Marketing at AB InBev adds. “Supreme is very sessionable — it's great for a hot day out in the backyard with friends and family,” he is convinced.

“We're taking a very thoughtful, methodical approach to how we launch this. Five focus markets for the brand is how we identified them. We're going to be very focused in terms of the distribution, the types of accounts that the product shows up in, and build the brand over time. We really want to build Supreme in an organic, natural way. And one that I expect to be around for many, many years to come. This is not a limited-time-only offering,” Blake said.

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