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Mar 21, 2006 - Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser Select was the most successful new beer brand launched in 2005, according to a company that tracks vital sales information, but imported beers dominate the top of the list of most successful brands for 2005.

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Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), which compiles data on sale of packaged products through large retail outlets, ranked Corona Extra as No. 1 on its list of Top Beer Brand Performers. To compile the list, IRI analyzed volume growth, share of segment trends, front line pricing, distribution gains, and incremental sales and growth in 2005 versus 2004 to determine the brands with the strongest performance.

Three beers from Grupo Modelo in Mexico made the top five - Corona Extra, No. 2 Modelo Especial and No. 4 Corona Light. New Castle Brown was third, and New Belgium's Fat Tire Ale the No. 5 ranked brand. It would surprise many specialty beer drinkers that Blue Moon from Coors was ranked eighth, with sales of about 200,000 barrels in 2005.

The top five beers on the New Beer Brands list were: Budweiser Select, Smirnoff Twisted V Watermelon, Smirnoff Twisted V Black Cherry, Mike's Hard Berry and Becks Premier Light.


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