Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has spent the past three years developing Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider, is set to release the product on April 7. The cider, which the company describes as “refreshingly sweet and intense,” will be available in 12-oz. glass bottles with a twist-off cap in six-packs and 12-packs, and sold individually in 16-oz. and 25-oz. cans. Draught distribution will start this summer.
Inspired by the legendary adventurer and storyteller, Johnny Appleseed is crafted in Baldwinsville, NY, and made with apple juice sourced from apples in the U.S. and orchards around the globe, as well as cider yeast and other natural ingredients; it has an ABV of 5.5%. The company enlisted more than 750 adult consumers (from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. helped to codesign the brand, from taste profile to packaging.
Johnny Appleseed technically isn’t the first cider for AB-InBev; the St. Louis-based parent company of Budweiser launched Stella Artois “cidre” in the U.S. last year. But it is the first wholly new brand from Anheuser-Busch in eight years, and the timing is right for tapping into the fast-growing cider category. Cider consumption surged 65.7% in 2013, reaching 16.8 million 2.25-gallon cases, according to the Beverage Information Group’s 2014 Handbook Advance data.