Michelob Ultra 19th Hole Coming this Spring

Line extension infused with lemonade and iced-tea flavors

ST. LOUIS -- Michelob Ultra will introduce a line extension this spring called Ultra 19th Hole Light Tea and Lemonade, according to a memo Anheuser-Busch InBev sent to distributors, reported AdAge.

Billed as a "light alcohol beverage" infused with natural lemonade and iced-tea flavors, it will vie with fast-growing offerings such as Boston Beer Co.'s Twisted Tea Hard Iced-Tea Light and Arizona Beverages' recently launched Arnold Palmer Hard Half & Half.

Ultra 19th Hole, scheduled for a national launch in April, has 4% alcohol by volume, 140 calories a can and "offers a great opportunity to capitalize on outdoor drinking occasions, including recreation and golf," according to materials sent to distributors and cited in the report.

Sales of hard teas and lemonade brands were up 54% in 2010, according to the memo. Arizona, which markets Hard though affiliate Hornell Brewing Co., plans to raise distribution to 21 states from five, AdAge reported. Twisted Tea had impressive sales growth of 36%, to $78.4 million, in the year ending Sept. 4, according to SymphonyIRI, which tracks grocery sales, excluding Walmart Stores and liquor stores.

Michelob Ultra, a low-calorie beer long marketed to athletes such as runners and golfers, is also on a solid run, with sales up nearly 6%, to $497 million, according to SymphonyIRI.