A-B OFFERS DEVILISH BREW

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Procter & Gamble Co. may have filed 15 lawsuits over erroneous rumors that its corporate symbol implies devil worship, but Anheuser-Busch isn't afraid to launch a beer with Mephistopheles on the label.

A-B said the new American Originals Faust is a throwback to the golden era of brewing.

"The whole premise is to brew a beer as close to the original brands as possible," said a company spokesman.

A-B said the American Originals brands, to be tested in Seattle and Denver, are reminiscent of beers it made at the turn of the century.

A Faust beer was brewed by founder Augustus Busch, honoring both a St. Louis restaurateur named Faust and the popularity of the opera of the same name. That label also featured Mephistopheles.

A second American Originals brand called Muenchener is similar to a brand A-B sold at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. A third, Black & Tan, was popular in 1899.

Heater-Easdon, Boston, is the agency for American Originals.

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