A-B Continues Faux Craft Brands

Anheuser-Busch has introduced a new “specialty” faux craft beer called Skipjack Amber. Brewed at the A-B Williamsburg brewery, the beer will be sold only in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Williamsburg creation is the sixth such regional beer brand in an effort to let its breweries develop new regional products aimed at slowing the market share growth of authentic craft beer.

Anheuser-Busch has tried in the past to branch into niche alcohol markets with products such as B-to-the-E, beer enhanced with caffeine and ginseng, specialty drinks and with its recent acquisition of import brands from InBev.

A team led by brewmaster Dan Driskill created Skipjack Amber, which is named as an homage to the Chesapeake Bay sailboat. The beer is described as “medium-bodied beer characterized by a rich caramel and roasted nut taste” that is “balanced by a complex blend of citrus, floral and spicy hop aromas.”

Anheuser-Busch has started selling six new beers over the past year in different parts of the country surrounding a brewery. For example, the Collins, Colo., Anheuser-Busch brewery recently introduced Ascent 54, which will only be available in Colorado.

Skipjack Amber will have an eye-catching tap handle featuring a fish wearing sunglasses and holding the beer and a plaque with a picture of a skipjack sailboat. The Williamsburg group designed the tap and the brand, not just the beer.

The beer will initially be available on draught in select bars and restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee.