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ST. LOUIS -- Six new small-batch beers, created by Anheuser-Busch InBev's (A-B) Budweiser brewmasters and named for the ZIP codes where they are brewed, are being sampled nationwide this summer.
A total of 12 Anheuser-Busch brewmasters at Budweiser's 12 geographically dispersed breweries worked together to create their own "tribute" beers to fit the Budweiser brand's reputation for quality and consistency. The initiative known as "Project 12" pays homage to Budweiser's clean and crisp taste by using the proprietary yeast directly descended from the original Budweiser yeast culture used by Adolphus Busch in 1876 and still used by Budweiser today.
Through internal tasting and analysis, the 12 small-batch beers -- each lager using all-natural ingredients -- were pared down to six and these will take part in the summerlong, nationwide sampling effort. Consumer feedback will help Budweiser narrow the six beers to three for inclusion in a limited-edition sampler pack, available for purchase this fall.
To launch the six beers, private events with the brewmasters will take place in August in all 12 A-B brewery cities: St. Louis; Merrimack, N.H.; Baldwinsville, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; Williamsburg, Va.; Cartersville, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; Houston; Fort Collins, Colo.; Fairfield, Calif.; and Los Angeles.
"We asked our Budweiser brewmasters to each submit a beer idea in styles that consumers have shown interest in," said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser. "From those 12 ideas, we narrowed it to the six best. Our brewmasters have been working in small teams this spring and early summer to perfect these six and now it's time for consumers to let us know what they think."
Each "Project 12" Budweiser is distinguished by the ZIP code where the beer is brewed. The six include:
- Budweiser Small Batch 91406 (Los Angeles) is described as a deep-amber lager with 6 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) that uses four different types of hops. The beer is brewed by brewmaster Bryan Sullivan in Los Angeles and was developed in collaboration with Scott Ungermann in Fairfield and Dave Cohen in Houston.
- Budweiser Small Batch 63118 (St. Louis) is a deep-gold 5 percent ABV American lager that uses the same types of hops (Hallertau and Tettnang) commonly used at the St. Louis brewery during the 19th century. The beer is brewed in St. Louis by brewmaster Jim Bicklein and was developed in collaboration with Katie Rippel from Fort Collins.
- Budweiser Small Batch 43229 (Ohio) is a light-amber lager using eight different types of hops with 6 percent ABV. The beer is brewed in Columbus, Ohio, and was the brainchild of the brewery's general manager, Kevin Lee, and developed with assistant brewmasters Travis Burge and Tyler Hunter.
- Budweiser Small Batch 23185 (Virginia) is a light-amber, all-malt bourbon cask lager aged on bourbon staves and vanilla beans with an ABV of 5.5 percent. The beer is brewed by Daniel Westmoreland in Williamsburg and was developed in collaboration with Mike Anderson in Jacksonville and Dan Kahn in Cartersville.
- Budweiser Small Batch 13027 (New York) is a bright-golden lager brewed with six imported and domestic hops with an ABV of 7 percent. The beer is brewed in Baldwinsville, N.Y., by brewmaster Nick Mills in consultation with general manager Steve McCormick.
- Budweiser Small Batch 80524 (Colorado) is described as a deep-gold, filtered wheat beer with 5.2 percent ABV using lemon peel, orange peel and coriander. The beer is brewed by Rippel in Fort Collins and was developed by Mills in Baldwinsville, Otto Kuhn in Merrimack and Tiago Darocha in Newark.
"The key to this project was the common yeast -- which is a very important and often under-appreciated contributor to the flavor and aroma of beer," said Jane Killebrew-Galeski, director of brewing, quality and innovation for Anheuser-Busch. "We are proud of all these beers -- the variety and the quality -- but we want consumer feedback. So, we're looking forward to what we hear when we sample this summer."
The six beers will be sampled during "Budweiser Made in America" during Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia. The two-day music festival benefits United Way and culminates a summer of music parties in cities all across America in which Budweiser is inviting its Facebook fans to experience talented local bands and artists, and sample some of these news beers along with local food in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Nashville, Miami, Boston and New York City.