Bud joins caffeine crowd

Anheuser-Busch is launching a new product under the Budweiser label that will be infused with caffeine, guarana and ginseng – a combination it promises will be both lightly “sweet and tart.” This is the second beer with caffeine – following MoonShot, which recently hit a limited number of East Coast markets.

The new brew is called B-to-the-E – or Budweiser with something extra. BE for short, it will be packaged in a 10-ounce, slim-line can, similar to the non-alcoholic, caffeine-laden energy drink Red Bull, which has grown in popularity at bars.

B-to-the-eRecognizing the popularity of mixed drinks, A-B executives have undertaken a number of consumer studies in the past several months to try and get a handle on the consumer taste changes. A-B said consumers no longer can be considered just beer or just spirits drinkers. “They shift, depending on their mood,” said Robert Lachky, vice president of brand management for A-B. “One thing that spirits do have is a cache of innovativeness.”

Lachky indicated that the company felt it was time to start fighting back. “It’s an attack on the [beer category] that beer needs to protect and reclaim,” he said.

The new drink contains about its 22.5 carbohydrates and 203 calories. It will be 6.6% alcohol by volume, stronger than most beers, and have 54 milligrams of caffeine