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ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Anheuser-Busch InBev will launch Bud Light Platinum, a higher-alcohol version of its namesake, in January, according to several media reports.
Bud Light Platinum will definitely have more kick than many of the company's other beers. Each 12-ounce bottle will contain 6 percent alcohol by volume and 137 calories, according to A-B InBev's application to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. To compare, Bud Light offers 4.2 percent ABV and 110 calories, while Budweiser provides 5 percent ABV and 145 calories.
The Los Angeles Times theorized that A-B InBev's Platinum launch is intended to counteract a growing U.S. interest in craft beers, which often provide bolder tastes with higher alcohol contents than mass-brewed beers. According to the Brewers Association, overall U.S. beer volume dropped by 1 percent in 2010, while the craft beer industry grew 11 percent during the same time period.
A-B InBev said Bud Light Platinum "appeals to a key group of beer drinkers and expands consumer occasions," the LA Times reported.
According to Advertising Age magazine, Platinum has a proposed blue-and-grey label that "keeps the same look and feel of original Bud Light."
Bud Light Platinum has the chance to be a trailblazer in the light beer market. Most beers in that category deliver fewer calories and carbohydrates than standard beers, while providing a lower alcohol content.
A-B InBev last debuted new Bud Light varieties when it launched Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Golden Wheat in 2008 and 2009, respectively.