I could make a very solid argument that even though the "big three" still own over 90% of the market share of beer sales in the United States, we're on the brink of a beer revolution. We are on the cusp of having as many breweries as we did pre-prohibition, finally. (Mississippi is struggling to contribute, but visit these guys for that story)
Soon the rest of the country will be able to try several new releases from the beer giants as they try to take all market share from the little guys that we love. Being an equal opportunist when it comes to my taste I always welcome new innovation and fresh styles of beer. Last weekend I was offered a sneak peek of two of the new arrivals.
Anheuser-Busch is aiming to break out of its longtime status as a tailgating staple and step into the nightlife scene with Bud Light Platinum, a new higher-alcohol-content offering.
AB InBev describes Bud Light Platinum as having a slightly sweeter taste and more alcohol than Bud Light. According to their third-quarter earnings report, the beer is "a trendy blue-bottle line extension that appeals to a key group of beer drinkers and expands consumer occasions."
The newest full-time addition to the Shock Top family, Shock Top Wheat IPA is a unique hybrid style that brings the refreshment and smoothness of a wheat beer and marries it with the crisp, hoppy bitterness of an India Pale Ale (IPA).
To create the new beer, brewmasters started with Shock Top’s signature recipe, adding citrusy Cascade and Magnum hops and dry hopping the beer for several days to give Wheat IPA the rich, hoppy aroma that is the signature of IPAs. Containing 5.8% alcohol by volume (ABV), Shock Top Wheat IPA will be sold nationwide in six- and 24-packs of 12-ounce bottles and on draught and I'm ready to rock with this one.
“Wheat beers and IPAs are among the fastest growing styles of beer, and as we look to build the Shock Top family, we wanted to try our hand at developing a hybrid of these two styles and make it available to beer drinkers across the country,” said Jill Vaughn, brewmaster for Shock Top. “Shock Top’s smooth, wheat malt base provides great balance of flavor to the citrusy hops – giving Wheat IPA a rich, hoppy flavor that’s very drinkable and refreshing.”
I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to drinking more of both these contenders. I went in with an open mind (I was really looking forward to the IPA) and can say that both really intrigued me. I'm looking forward to seeing if these will have more staying power than Anheuser World Select did. RIP