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Coors to launch its Keystone Dry.

Coors to launch its Keystone Dry

The Coors Brewing Co. has decided that the time is right to jump into the "dry beer" category with the April 1st introduction of Keystone Dry. The launch follows a year in which Keystone and Keystone Light grabbed a 14-percent share of the popular-priced segment.

Although the Golden, CO-based brewer eschewed the dry beer segment as recently as January when a company official said that "nothing in our research so far leads us to believe dry is a category for us." Coors spokesperson Pam Krider said Coors is now ready to enter the fray.

"We've said in the past that we would not enter a category unless it is a well-established one where we can expand our production," Krider explained. "At this point, we're ready to enter the segment."

She went on to report that Keystone Dry will be the first popular-priced dry beer to be distributed nationally. Anheuser-Busch, one of the leaders in the category, currently offers the super-premium Michelob Dry and premium-priced Bud Dry.

"This is unique situation for us," Krider continued, "because Keystone Dry is in both popular-price category and dry beer category. We'll be the first brewer in that position to do so nationally."

According to Keystone brand manager Craig Gutherie, this introduction is just what consumers have been waiting for.

"Based on the success of our Keystone introduction, it's evident that consumers are looking for quality beer brands at a popular-price," Gutherie offered. "Keystone Dry will meet consumer demand in a growing category by offering quality beer at a popular price. We expect to gain incremental volume that will make both our wholesalers and Coors Brewing Company more competitive."

Despite optimism in the Coors camp, one Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in Michigan did not expect his products' market share to be affected by the launch. "I don't think [the Keystone Dry] launch will have that much effect on our sales," he said. "Out here, the dry category is relatively flat, and Keystone hasn't been seeing a lot of sales either."

Although the test markets could not be disclosed, Krider noted approximately a dozen cities have been chosen for the April launch.

The introduction of Keystone Dry, Krider said, is one of several steps to be taken by Coors to become "a full-line supplier of high-quality beer in all price segments and achieve the number-two volume position in the rapidly consolidating beer industry."
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Mar 11, 1991
Previous Article:Homebrewers travel to Europe for joint beer-making session.
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