Just in time to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, two companies that have come to symbolize the alcohol and liquor industry in the United States will combine forces to create a new bourbon beer product.
In a news release issued Thursday and featured in Brewbound and other publications, Budweiser, a division of Anheuser-Busch Inbev, announced that in September, it will market Reserve Copper Lager, a limited edition beer aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves. Staves are the wood pieces that make up a bourbon barrel.
To prepare for the new product, the companies are beginning a “Beer and a Bourbon Shot” promotion this month, according to the release. The promotion is timed to coincide with the beginning of the Major League Baseball season.
The promotion describes Budweiser and Jim Beam as a “perfect pairing.”
The news release noted that both Budweiser and Jim Beam were businesses that earned their reputations over years of making solid products, and in keeping with the prohibition theme, noted that both companies were able to make it through the days when the 18th Amendment made alcohol illegal in the United States by turning their facilities toward the production of non-alcoholic products until the 21st Amendment ended the prohibition experiment and Budweiser and Jim Beam were able to begin producing alcoholic beverages once more.
The promotion is the latest of several tactics the makers of Budweiser, which has been promoted for years as “the king of beers,” have tried in order to regain market share that has been lost over the past few years to craft beers and liquors.
Both Anheuser-Busch Inbev and MillerCoors have bought up small, successful craft beers and have introduced new products that blur the distinction between beer and liquor.
Reserve Copper Lager will have a toasted oak aroma, according to the news release, and a “deliciously nutty” taste with caramel rye and vanilla notes.
The product will be available in bottles and on draft.
Though Jim Beam has not been hit as hard by the craft beer phenomenon as the major beer brands, industry analysts say the novelty and name brand recognition of a product and promotions combining the company with Budweiser should pay off handsomely.
The news release indicates that Reserve Copper Lager may be just the first of many products combining the two venerable companies.
The two brands will lean on their incredible American heritage to deliver a modern drinking experience this year and beyond.