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After collecting feedback at summer-long, nationwide sampling events involving thousands of consumers, St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch used its findings to select three beers for its limited-edition Budweiser Project 12 sampler pack, which will be available this fall. The beers were selected from six small-batch beers brewed by 12 U.S. brewmasters. The winning recipes, named for the zip codes in which the beers were originally brewed, are from brewmasters at Budweiser breweries in Los Angeles, St. Louis and Williamsburg, Va.
Budweiser Batch No. 91406 is a deep-amber lager with 6 percent alcohol by volume. The beer was originated by brewmaster Bryan Sullivan in Los Angeles in collaboration with brewmasters Scott Ungermann in Fairfield, Calif., and Dave Cohen in Houston.
"Our collaboration team used caramel malt on Batch No. 91406, which gives the beer a deep amber color and a little more body," Sullivan said in a statement. "It has a little bit more hop character than our flagship Budweiser lager, but like Budweiser, it's a very clean and refreshing beer."
Budweiser Batch No. 63118 is a deep-golden pilsner with 6 percent alcohol by volume. The beer was first brewed in St. Louis by brewmaster Jim Bicklein and was developed in collaboration with brewmaster Katie Rippel from Fort Collins, Colo.
"The original Budweiser brewery is, of course, here in St. Louis, so we wanted to honor our brewing heritage with a beer that uses ingredients that German immigrants, like our founder Adolphus Busch, would have used when they came to the United States," Bicklein said in a statement. "In this pilsner, we use the same types of Hallertau and Tettnang hops commonly used in St. Louis during the late 1800s."
Budweiser Batch No. 23185 is a bourbon cask lager with 5.5 percent alcohol by volume. The beer was brewed by Daniel Westmoreland from the Williamsburg, Va., brewery and was developed in collaboration with brewmasters Mike Anderson in Jacksonville, Fla., and Dan Kahn in Cartersville, Ga.
"We took staves from fresh bourbon barrels and we aged the beer on those staves and spiced it with a hint of vanilla," Westmoreland said in a statement. "It's an all-malt brew, and it has a perfect color that is similar to the color of bourbon itself. Batch No. 23185 has a nice vanilla aroma with a little oakiness on the end — it's a great beer."
Budweiser will continue to request feedback from beer drinkers on these three beers. Utilizing a quick-response code on the package, as well as an in-pack flighting sheet, the brand is asking consumers their opinions of these three new Budweiser-inspired beers. The flighting sheet also includes tasting notes and details about each beer for in-home tastings.
"We've never done anything like this before," said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser, in a statement. "With all this feedback from consumers, I guess you can call this the largest focus group in Budweiser history, maybe even beer history. There really were no winners or losers with Project 12, but we wound up with three great beers that slightly edged out the others. It certainly wasn't an easy choice. Best of all, we listened to what our beer drinkers told us and we let them help us make the decision about what to bring to stores."
The limited-edition Project 12 sampler pack will contain four bottles of each “zip code” beer and will start hitting shelves Oct. 29.