ANHEUSER-BUSCH FIELDS WHEAT BEER WITH CROSSROADS

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Nearly a decade after Miller Brewing Co. unsuccessfully tried a wheat-based beer, Anheuser-Busch is giving it a shot with Crossroads.

A-B said it will market Crossroads not as a specialty brew but as a mainline product complete with TV, radio and outdoor advertising from the Glennon Cos., St. Louis. Ads broke March 1, themed "There is a lot going on here."

"We see it as a mainstream brand to address the changing demands of the marketplace," said Paul Stoddart, senior brand manager-specialty beers.

A-B will test Crossroads with two price strategies. In Columbus, Ohio, and Minneapolis, it will be premium-priced, about the same as Budweiser. In Raleigh, N.C., and Denver, it will be a superpremium brew at the same price as Michelob.

Mr. Stoddart suggested the market has changed since Miller marketed Dakota, but said Crossroads is closer to a German wheat-based beer than Dakota.

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