June 16: Latest in a widening range of beers from top US brewer Anheuser-Busch to be launched in aluminium bottles are Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Amber, which reach retailers on Monday June 19.
Featuring, says A-B, “high-gloss graphics and visually striking designs” the 16-oz bottles “are particularly popular among contemporary adult beer drinkers, many of whom say the innovative package makes the beer feel and taste colder.”
Anheuser-Busch first marketed its World Select, Michelob and Budweiser brands in aluminium bottles early in 2005, filling beers on specially-adapted lines at two of its breweries. It says that sales in the first quarter were 600 percent up on the same period in 2005.
The 57-gram bottles are made by Exal Corporation at its plant in Youngstown, Ohio, using impact-extrusion techniques. The Michelob beers will be sold in four-packs initially and later in 15- and 24-packs.
Exal is developing techniques to almost halve the weight of the bottles and reduce costs to drinks companies that are excited by the marketing opportunites.
Ball Corporation is planning to set up a manufacturing line in Kansas for lightweight-aluminium bottles using technology licenced from a Japanese company.

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