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BLOOMINGTON - Twin City residents know good beer and Anheuser-Busch Inc. has stocked faith in it.

We're one of four communities chosen as a test market for A-B's latest brew - Wild Blue Blueberry Lager.

"Most of the women love it, and the guys are mixed on it because it's like a wine. It's fruity," said Terry Stralow, co-owner of Pub II in downtown Normal.

Wild Blue is brewed and bottled in New York by Blue Dawg Brewing, part of the Anheuser-Busch team. Blue Dawg is being test-marketed in Bloomington-Normal; Madison, Wis.; and Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Mich.

"Our target drinkers in these communities are contemporary adults who enjoy trying new things," said Dave Wolfe, manager for Wild Blue. "Bloomington-Normal is an excellent community for contemporary adults, with a great mix of restaurants, bars and other accounts."

Contemporary beer drinkers better like a strong brew. At 8 percent alcohol, Wild Blue is slightly stronger than the typical domestic beer.

"If you drink a couple bottles of it, you might go, 'Wow,' because it'll creep up on you," Stralow said.

Some aficionados call it a "sipping" beer, rather than a light brew swigged into the twilight hours.

"I've had a couple people compare it to a wine. It's not something people seem to want to drink throughout the night. It's something they get once and sip on," said Jayne Troelstrup, a bartender at Maguire's Bar & Grill in downtown Bloomington.

The beer is available at most Twin City pubs and some restaurants and grocery stores.

Wolfe wasn't sure how long the product would be available, saying the company didn't want to "rush" the marketing process.


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