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Published November 09, 2011, 07:20 PM

Bud Light Introducing Stronger 'Platinum' Brew

ST. LOUIS — There's a new Bud Light coming, this one with a little extra kick.

By: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

ST. LOUIS — There's a new Bud Light coming, this one with a little extra kick.

Anheuser-Busch InBev said Wednesday that it plans to add another brand to its light beer stable: Bud Light Platinum.

While few details were available, it appears to be a higher-alcohol version of Anheuser-Busch InBev's best-selling product, with a blue and white label that echoes the original. Paperwork filed last month with federal alcohol regulators said Platinum will contain 6 percent alcohol by volume, compared with 4.2 percent in standard Bud Light. It'll start hitting shelves in January.

The beer is the latest in a line of “innovations,” for Bud Light, Chief Executive Carlos Brito told analysts Wednesday. It comes on the heels of Bud Light Lime, in 2008, and Bud Light Golden Wheat, in 2009. The wheat beer, in particular, was a bid by the company to establish a toehold in the growing craft beer segment of the market, and some industry-watchers think Platinum may wind up filling a similar role.

Company spokespeople declined requests to discuss their expectations for the beer, but in a statement said Platinum “appeals to a key group of beer drinkers and expands consumer occasions.”

Meanwhile, the world's largest brewer Wednesday reported a dip in sales in the third quarter, though total revenues grew 3.6 percent.

The weak economy drove down sales in the U.S. and central and eastern Europe, offsetting gains in key emerging markets such as Brazil — where A-B InBev launched sales of Budweiser in September. Volume of A-B InBev brands fell 0.6 percent, and revenues failed to meet analysts’ expectations. That helped drive shares down 79 cents, to $56.21, in Wednesday trading.

(c)2011 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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