Anheuser-Busch InBev is adding hard cider to its line of drinks with Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider.
The new product is the first new brand in eight years from Anheuser-Busch, which merged with InBev in 2008.
The cider with an alcohol content of 5.5% will be made in Baldwinsville, N.Y., and be available nationwide April 7.
Anheuser-Busch announced its plan for hard cider in late 2013, when its growing popularity was already set. According to market tracking firm Technomic, hard cider sales rose 78% at retail outlets and in restaurants in 2012. Earlier this month, MillerCoors launched its own version of the drink under the name Smith & Forge Hard Cider.
Cider occupies a "sweet spot" between beer and wine and hard liquor drinks mixed with juice, says Adam Oakley, vice president of high-end at Anheuser-Busch. Given the declining sales of traditional beers, it makes sense for Anheuser-Busch to pursue other drink trends and add to its lineup of offerings designed to appeal to today's tastes.