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New Budweiser Black Crown to debut with Super Bowl XLVII Commercial

Discussion in 'Beer Releases' started by Jason, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,365) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    ST. LOUIS (Jan. 8, 2013) – It started with a bold experiment. A year ago, Budweiser asked its 12 brewmasters to envision their own unique version of one of the world’s most iconic beers. After 12 recipes, six beers brewed for national sampling, and 25,000 opinions, the experiment has resulted in a new golden amber lager based on the voice of the people: Budweiser Black Crown.

    The winning recipe from Budweiser’s “Project 12” is now a new brand available for purchase starting Monday, Jan. 21. In suitable fashion for the King of Beers, Budweiser Black Crown will take its place on the national stage less than two weeks later when its first 30-second television advertisement airs during Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, Feb. 3.

    With a blend of two-row caramel malt and four types of domestic hops, Budweiser Black Crown is finished on a bed of Beechwood chips for a smooth, balanced taste. Incorporating the proprietary yeast directly descended from the original Budweiser yeast strain used by Adolphus Busch in 1876, Budweiser Black Crown retains the key characteristics of Budweiser with its clean taste and high drinkability. Featuring more body, color and hop character than the flagship lager, it also has a slightly higher alcohol content at 6% ABV.

    The Budweiser Black Crown recipe was the creation of Los Angeles brewmaster Bryan Sullivan and was the crowd favorite among the more than 25,000 adult drinkers from coast to coast who participated in the brand’s Project 12 sampling initiative.

    “It didn’t matter where in the United States we asked, this is the beer that consistently drew the best feedback, and overwhelmingly so,” said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser.

    During the process that led to Budweiser Black Crown, Sullivan and his fellow Budweiser brewmasters personally sampled the beer with consumers to get their direct feedback. Sullivan collaborated with Fairfield, Calif., brewmaster Scott Ungermann and Houston brewmaster Dave Cohen to perfect the recipe.

    “People respond really well to Budweiser Black Crown, which has a little more body and color and a touch more hop character than our flagship Budweiser lager,” said Sullivan, who heard from beer drinkers during a sampling program at the Budweiser Made in America music festival over Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia. “As brewmasters we spend most of our time in the brewhouse. Project 12 gave us a chance to hear firsthand from the people we brew our beers for. Budweiser Black Crown is a great beer and it is a thrill for our whole brewing team to see it launch with a Super Bowl spot.”

    The beer will be sold nationwide in 12-ounce glass bottles available in six- and 12-packs and in 22-ounce single bottles. It will be available both on-premise (bars and restaurants) and off-premise (grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores). The packaging for Budweiser Black Crown is distinctive and modern, with the crown "design cues” on the bottle and secondary packaging a nod to the history and heritage of Budweiser, McCarthy said.

    McCarthy said Budweiser Black Crown will debut a TV spot during the Super Bowl XLVII broadcast. “We’ve set our sales-to-retailers date for Jan. 21 so we’re fully ready for sales on Super Bowl Sunday,” McCarthy said.

    The beer’s national advertising campaign also includes outdoor, digital, radio and print. In social media, the new brand will have interactive consumer programs on Facebook and Twitter that are designed to be participatory, similar in spirit to when consumers were asked to help choose the recipe that would ultimately become Budweiser Black Crown. The campaign will feature the Twitter hashtag #TASTEIS.

    Nate Scudieri, senior brand manager for Budweiser Black Crown, says the beer is, like Budweiser, very refreshing and appealing to a large base of beer drinkers.

    “Our research shows that after beer drinkers try Budweiser Black Crown, 84 percent would purchase it,” Scudieri said. “It stays true to the original Budweiser recipe but has its own unique take. It’s flavorful, smooth and highly drinkable.”

    Budweiser is America’s No. 1 premium regular beer, selling more than its four nearest competitors combined.

    Budweiser Black Crown is brewed at Anheuser-Busch’s state-of-the art breweries in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Columbus, Ohio and Williamsburg, Va.

    The Super Bowl commercial was filmed in Los Angeles last month and directed by Samuel Bayer, whose previous Super Bowl work includes a spot that won an Emmy for best commercial. More information about the spots will be released later.

    For more information on Budweiser Black Crown, visit www.budweiser.com/blackcrown.

    About Budweiser
    Budweiser, an American-style lager, was introduced in 1876 when company founder Adolphus Busch set out to create the United States’ first truly national beer brand – brewed to be universally popular and transcend regional tastes. Each batch of Budweiser follows the same family recipe used by five generations of Busch family brewmasters. Budweiser is a medium-bodied, flavorful, crisp and pure beer with blended layers of premium American and European hop aromas, brewed for the perfect balance of flavor and refreshment. Budweiser is made using time-honored methods including “kraeusening” for natural carbonation and Beechwood aging, which results in unparalleled balance and character. The brand celebrates great times and has used the phrase “Grab Some Buds” in advertising since 2010.

    About Anheuser-Busch
    Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 47.7 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. The company brews Budweiser and Bud Light, two of the world’s largest-selling beers. Anheuser-Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo.

    For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.

  2. BigTomZ

    BigTomZ Savant (315) Virginia Apr 14, 2009

    “Our research shows that after beer drinkers try Budweiser Black Crown, 84 percent would purchase it,” Scudieri said. “It stays true to the original Budweiser recipe but has its own unique take. It’s flavorful, smooth and highly drinkable.”

    Those 84 percent probably only drink Bud and other lagers brewed not to taste like beer. To them this Black Crown is probably going to be pretty good. I doubt too many beer geeks will be running to the store to try it.
  3. I may try it out if it's part of a mix-a-six, but I do not envision myself buying a 6 or 12 pack of this in the future
    JEFoy and highdesertdrinker like this.
  4. Well, I mean, that's not really saying much. Comparatively speaking, at least.

    I'm sure my morning piss after a night of drinking has more body, color and hops character than a Bud.
  5. bum732

    bum732 Advocate (650) Lesotho Feb 18, 2008

    Sounds like they're going after the Yuengling market.
    luwak, endovelico and akuczero like this.
  6. I'd buy a bomber if it were cheap (~3$) just out of curiousity, otherwise my AAL of choice is highlife.
    cnbrown313 likes this.
  7. How is a beer both golden *and* amber?
  8. No thanks! The fact that I've bought a bunch of Goose Island this beer season is bad enough.
    luwak likes this.
  9. jglowe77

    jglowe77 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Jan 24, 2011

    The other 16% are us.
  10. " Featuring more body, color and hop character than the flagship lager, it also has a slightly higher alcohol content at 6% ABV."

    Does this mean it might actually taste better?
  11. dhannes

    dhannes Savant (405) Wisconsin Feb 14, 2010

  12. We are the 16%!!!
    Gatch, luwak, nickapalooza86 and 4 others like this.
  13. acelin

    acelin Savant (300) Kansas Feb 14, 2009

    I'm pretty sure this beer is close to if not all barley malt.
  14. Occupy InBev?
    Gatch, luwak, nickapalooza86 and 10 others like this.
  15. Reinbeck11

    Reinbeck11 Savant (455) Iowa Aug 15, 2012

    It started as a Bold Experiment.

    Then it came down to us getting 25,000 opinions, which meant you get more of the same watered down crap we already give you.

    You know if there was anything bold in that bunch of crap they made the more opinions they get the more it turns into them picking the closest thing to Bud Light.

    Hey here's an idea, let your brewmasters brew a really good beer. Then advertise to the american public " this is really good beer". See what happens maybe that would work. Granted the people who just want a can that says beer in their hand, but really just want to drink water will not like it, but maybe the rest of us would.
  16. acelin

    acelin Savant (300) Kansas Feb 14, 2009

    Might actually try it first. It's not watery, it's just a malty lager with little hop bitterness. Takes fine.
  17. “People respond really well to Budweiser Black Crown, which has a little more body and color and a touch more hop character than our flagship Budweiser lager…”

    There is no ‘secret’ there. Anheuser-Busch is jumping into the proven American Amber Adjunct Lager market. Budweiser Black Crown sounds exactly like the established beers of Yuengling Traditional Lager and Shiner Bock.

    MillerCoors is also now making American Amber Adjunct Lagers similar to Budweiser Black Crown beers: Batch 19 and Third-Shift.

    Just another marketing exercise from a BMC brewery trying to grow into the fringes of the craft beer market.:(
  18. Reinbeck11

    Reinbeck11 Savant (455) Iowa Aug 15, 2012

    My point is that there is nothing bold about getting 25,000 opinions, that is called marketing campaign for the beer. Finding out what taste best to every single person possible is what got them to Bud Light.

    If you want to be bold make a good beer market it to the public.
    mattfitz likes this.
  19. acelin

    acelin Savant (300) Kansas Feb 14, 2009

    Indeed, but that's not how you sell a ton of beer. You can't fault them for marketing things to crap.
  20. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (555) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    It is an all-malt beer. Personally, I thought everything from the Project 12 pack was good. Batch No. 91406 got a 3.73 from me, second to Batch No. 63118 (which got a 3.78). They all tasted better than Bud Light Platinum (aka Bud Light Malt Liquor).
  21. acelin

    acelin Savant (300) Kansas Feb 14, 2009

    I think I liked the one aged with barrel staves a bit better, but honestly, this black crown is probably the craftiest of the three in terms of real flavors and true to the style.
  22. “It is an all-malt beer.” I couldn’t find that detail in the Press Release. Do you know that it is an all-malt beer from another source? If so, can you provide a quote or a link?

    jesskidden likes this.
  23. JulianC

    JulianC Savant (380) Illinois Mar 9, 2012

    Heh, Bud Light Platinum was also 6% and look how that turned out. One of my most vile experiences... would rather drink regular Bud Light.
    budgood1 likes this.
  24. PlayaPlaya

    PlayaPlaya Savant (285) Illinois Sep 19, 2012

    ISO: Black Crown FT: Rare, CBS, King Henry, Fou Foune
  25. "Turned out"? You mean, such as reaching a million barrels brewed in only 5 months with a 1.4 market share - one of the most successful brand launches of the past decade?

    I'm thinking AB is probably pretty happy with that and that more than makes up for BA's rating of "55 - poor".
  26. jglowe77

    jglowe77 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Jan 24, 2011

    That's a really, REALLY far out fringe :D
  27. JulianC

    JulianC Savant (380) Illinois Mar 9, 2012

    I was answering the question above:

    "Does this mean it might actually taste better?"
  28. It is not too far on the fringe. MillerCoors is already marketing Batch 19 as though it is a craft beer.

    It will be interesting to see: “The beer’s national advertising campaign also includes outdoor, digital, radio and print. In social media, the new brand will have interactive consumer programs on Facebook and Twitter that are designed to be participatory, similar in spirit to when consumers were asked to help choose the recipe that would ultimately become Budweiser Black Crown.”

    If in the ads for Budweiser Black Crown you see a lot of bikini girls than Anheuser-Busch is marketing that beer to the mainstream. If instead you hear words like “more flavorful” or “full bodied” then this indicates marketing to craft beer drinkers.

  29. Nobody has touch upon this: If Budweiser has looked to develop a "better tasting" beer, it is essentially admitting that their flagship beer or for that matter any of the beers they brew are not for everyone. As such, and being a profit-driven capitalistic company, they want that segment as well. With all of the craft breweries around, it would be real easy for them to throw some money around and buy up a bunch of them in one area, consolidate operations and pick the best one or two beers to continue brewing. Then again, suppose some of their marketing people actually are paying attention to sites like this one and have come to realize that those who have already taken up the craft beer mantle aren't going back to macros or anything associated with a macro beer company. What they really need to do is make sure that their loyal customers don't stray and try other brands or heaven forbid, real craft beer, therefore they're developing their own brands that their customers not only can identify with, but will also like even before they taste them since they're made by Budweiser, the king of beers. Make sense?
  30. Budweiser isn't tryint to get the craft community with this beer. Just look at the responses to this thread. How many BA's are actually going to buy this regularly. My guess is is 2%. Bud knows we're not buying this stuff. They are trying to get their Bud/Bud Light drinkers that are starting to think about getting into craft, starting to explore craft. If they can keep them in the Bud "family" as they explore then they can keep getting their money. If they experiment with beers outisde the family they may find things like Yuengling, Gansett, etc. and then AB won't be getting their money.

    Either way, I won't touch the stuff, even if it tastes like KBS.
    Cvescalante, luwak, tarawho and 3 others like this.
  31. We apparently posted simultaneously.
  32. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (555) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    I haven't been able to find it either. One of them was all-malt and it was the bourbon cask lager.
  33. “Budweiser isn't tryint to get the craft community with this beer.” I will await judgment on this topic until I see the marketing campaign for this beer.

    :Just look at the responses to this thread. How many BA's are actually going to buy this regularly. My guess is is 2%.” I have no idea whether your guess of 2% is on the mark but I do know that the overall craft beer market is much, much larger than the folks who participate on BA.


  34. I am not privy to all of Anheuser-Busch’s brewing practices but permit me to make a statement that Budweiser Black Crown will indeed be an adjunct beer.

    My guess of the grain bill:

    65% neutral base malt (American 2-row)
    5% Crystal Malt (playing the role of ‘food coloring’)
    30% Rice (to provide a consistent lighter body that will not turn off the mainstream beer drinkers)

    I doubt that I will ever be able to find out what the actual grist for Budweiser Black Crown is but I am pretty confident on the above guess.

  35. ISO

    Haters gonna hate
  36. Crusader

    Crusader Savant (430) Sweden Feb 4, 2011

    I think it makes perfect sense. Offer a slightly more flavorful beer to appeal to those drinkers who still drink AALs, lights and regular, but are getting bored with it or find that it doesn't have enough taste to it. I've seen alot of American craft beer drinkers refer to early experiences with European import lagers which then led them to try American craft beer. Almost always the story is that they liked the imports better than the domestic AALs. Standard European macros (adjuncts and all-malt) are more flavorful than American AALs overall (having a slightly elevated bitterness around 20IBU typically), even though both categories have experienced a process of lightening over the course of the last century or so.

    As I said in another thread I think the difference in taste between American mainstream beer (lighter and lighter taste profile of the regular beers combined with the introduction of light beer which ends up dominating the entire beer industry) and European mainstream beer can in part explain why America is seeing this boom in craft beer. As someone who's beer intake to 90% consists of pale lagers of various kinds, I can say that there is a difference in taste between an American adjunct lager and a typical European lager, the latter is more satisfying as far as taste, the former is more refreshing than anything, the taste that is there I enjoy but it's light to the point where I feel cheated (especially when considering the premium price I have to pay compared to European pale lagers).

    If ABInbev can come up with alternatives that are closer to European macros, i.e the stepping stone of many a craft beer drinker, then I would imagine that they could maintain at least a few drinkers within their portfolio (although there are counter-examples to this, such as the revised all-malt Michelob which has fallen like a rock in sales). Since European macros seem to make for a more content beer drinking consumer, it might be a sound strategy if backed up with successful enough advertising (and fresh brands, even brand extensions, might be of importance here, reviving old brands such as Michelob that are on the skids might be more difficult, and this might explain the failure of that brand).
    luwak likes this.
  37. bolus14

    bolus14 Zealot (95) New York Aug 19, 2008

    The funny thing is they say that this was the most appealing, not surprising when it's the closest to Bud Light/Budweiser. I would like to see what beers the 25,000 drink on a normal basis are. If the majority drink BMC regularly I wouldn't expect them to stray too far from what they like. And, if you get 25,000 random drinkers, statistically most of them will be BMC drinkers not craft or micro drinkers. The majority of BMC drinkers don't give two $h1t$ about taste, they want a buzz or to get drunk, period! This gets them there quicker 6% vs ~4%, and most likely with a very close if not the same price point.

    Honestly, I still enjoy Goose Islands beers and to me AB hasn't messed with them. I will still buy them, although cringe a little now that my money is going to AB. At the same time I have started home brewing and have been spending more time with friends that have been doing it for 5+ years. In the end I am hoping to drink mostly my home stuff and occasionally pick something off the shelves to inspire my own work.
  38. Crusader,

    Your above post has a number of good discussion points.

    I suspect that what Anheuser-Busch is really ‘thinking’ is: Boy, Yuengling and Spoetzl sure are selling a lot of American Amber Adjunct Lagers (Yuengling Traditional Lager and Shiner Bock) these days. How do we get some of those sales?


    P.S. Yuengling Traditional Lager was ‘invented’ in 1987 and Shiner Bock became a year round beer in 1973. Lager and Shiner Bock accounts for the vast majority of beer sales for those two breweries.
    Crusader likes this.
  39. Crusader

    Crusader Savant (430) Sweden Feb 4, 2011

    True, you make a good point about the craft beer fringe consisting of the amber lagers, adjunct and not, low IBU and moderate IBU. I suppose I should never underestimate the suggestive power of the caramell malts :p. As a Swede I find this to be rather interesting since amber lagers in the modified style of a Bavarian lager (what used to be known as Bavarian lager, the original lagers with darker bodies) has almost entirely died out in Sweden. There is somewhat of a revival of sorts I suppose with Samuel Adams Boston lager and Brooklyn lager which are doing well saleswise, whilst the only remaining Swedish macro example of the Bavarian, or Bayersk, style is quietly passing away (that beer has even less of a taste than its pale lager parent brand however with a lower IBU and overall weaker taste, in line with the historical division between Bavarian lagers which were sweeter and less bitter and modified pilsners that were drier and more bitter).

    I suppose the color is a good way to distinguish the beer you are trying to sell from the other AALs and light beers. Even though the marketing strategy appears similar to this Coors Extra Gold advertisement:

    Apparently this Black Crown is supposed to have an IBU of 15, which is comparable to Shiner Bock's 13IBUs, and I think Yuengling Traditional lager has a similar IBU as well. For the latter two a low bitterness is obviously not a problem when it comes to sales, so I guess there's no reason to expect that Black Crown will do badly due to a lack of IBUs. Though I can't help but feel as though the addition of caramell malts and a 6% abv should make for a rather boring beer without the addition of a marked and refreshing bitterness to signal that this is something apart from the regular Budweiser. Especially since the 5%, all-malt Falcon Bayerskt (caramell malt enhanced lager with slightly lower IBU and less hop profile than its parent brand) that they sell here is one of the most boring beers that I know of taste wise.
  40. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,320) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    I wonder how long that will last seeing as so many of the GI peeps left. Including the head brewer, who's starting his own Brew Pub.