After a summer spent pounding unconscionable amounts of White Claw, perhaps you’ve been thinking something along the lines of “This is good and all, but I sure wish I was getting drunk more quickly.” Well folks, AB InBev has one of its trademark innovations, ready to wreak havoc on your liver: It’s Bud Light Platinum Seltzer! Boasting a robust 8% ABV, this represents AB InBev making a bigger play for the high-alcohol seltzer market, which has fewer brands than the 5% ABV market that is the norm for all the biggest hard seltzer brands.
To do so, AB InBev is attaching this new launch (in stores now) to the Bud Light Platinum brand, which has had something of a rocky ride within the overall portfolio since it was originally released in 2012. Long periods have occasionally passed between serious marketing pushes for the higher-ABV Platinum, but the brand has persisted anyway. Compared to Bud Light’s normal 4.2% ABV (original Bud “Heavy” is 5%), Bud Light Platinum weighs in at 6%. You can see, then, that the Bud Light Platinum Seltzer is actually quite a stronger beast than any of them, at 8% ABV. That’s double IPA/malt liquor territory.
As always when they release a product like this, Anheuser-Busch’s marketing is walking a tightrope between wanting consumers to know “Hey, this will get you drunk!” and not being able to legally call attention to that obvious fact. Here, they’ve settled on the slogan that this stuff is brewed for the night in the commercial below, which is my new favorite way of saying “this will help you black out and do regrettable things.”
The new Bud Light Platinum Seltzer is available in three flavors: Blood Orange, Wild Berry and “Citrus,” which makes one wonder what kind of fruit they think a blood orange is exactly. Each can has 170 calories, which is a notable bump from the roughly 100 that is expected in the hard seltzer genre, but an unavoidable aspect of the higher ABV. Don’t expect AB InBev to be marketing this one as a diet drink for “active lifestyles” like they do with Michelob Ultra. It’s hitting stores nationwide immediately, in 12 oz. slim cans—but it’s also notable that 25 oz. and 16 oz. cans of Wild Berry exclusively are also being released. A single one of those 25 oz. Wild Berry cans, at 8% ABV, is roughly equivalent to drinking four regular Bud Lights, so we’d be expecting to see that flavor arriving soon at a frat party near you. The side of the package, meanwhile, is emblazoned with “made with agave,” which we can only assume some marketer decided sounded desirably natural and vaguely healthy.
Check out the first TV spots for Bud Light Platinum Seltzer below, for those sweet BREWED FOR THE NIGHT vibes.