Anheuser-Busch Expands Into Spirits

Everyone is getting into everyone else's act. Bourbon king Jim Beam Brands has gotten into wine. The Mogollon Brewing Co., a popular Flagstaff, AZ, micro-brewery, is getting press for its entry into the vodka wars. Now, beer ultramegagiant Anheuser-Busch has formed a spirits unit called Long Tail Libations Inc.

Its first product: Jekyll & Hyde.

It is two products packaged as one. As Mic Zavarella,, Long Tail's director of innovations, describes it, Jekyll is "a 60 proof, scarlet-red product with a wild berry flavor" and Hyde is "80-proof, black in color a little licorice tasting." The bartender or consumer mixes the two liquids to create the final cocktail.

Don't go rushing out to your local spirits shop to look for it. Jekyll & Hyde is just in the market testing stage, sold only in selected restaurants and bars in the test markets -- Columbia, MO, Denver, Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla., the company said.

The move isn't a total surprise. The U.S. beer industry has been losing customers to mixed drinks, particularly among younger drinkers, especially women.

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