New beer to debut in Central Missouri

A new beer created by Billy Busch, a member of the family that founded the Anheuser Busch brewery in St. Louis, will debut next month in Central Missouri.

After the Busch family sold Anheuser Busch Inc. and all Budweiser products to Belgium-based InBev a few years ago, William “Billy” Busch decided last year to launch the William K Busch Brewing Company.

The company brews two brands — Kraftig Lager and Kraftig Light — it eventually plans to roll out around the nation. For the last year, Kraftig has been sold only in the St. Louis area.

Starting Feb. 4, the Kraftig beer will be sold in stores and bars in Jefferson City and Columbia.

Then on April 1, Kraftig will be distributed at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Billy Busch will be on hand today at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City to offer samples of the beer at the city’s annual “Taste of Jefferson City” event.

The event occurs on the opening day of the 2013 session of the Missouri General Assembly.

“As members of the General Assembly and local residents return from the holidays,” Busch said, “we want to show them what they can look forward to enjoying a beer.”

Busch said the beer is brewed with a unique German brewing method known as Reinheitsgebot. It uses only pure water, fine barley malt, premium brewers’ yeast and Hallertau hops. It adds no filler grains such as rice or corn to lower costs or alter the taste.

“What better place to unveil our expansion plans than at the state capital,” Busch said.

In Central Missouri, The William K Busch Brewing Company has appointed Fechtel Beverage & Sales, Inc. to be the exclusive distributor for the Central Missouri region, which now includes Jefferson City, Columbia and Lake of the Ozarks.

During the last year, the Busch brewery has captured about 1 percent of the St. Louis beer market.

Last month the brewery began selling 30-packs in addition to other package sizes.

“My primary goal a year ago,” Busch said, “was to start a company that would keep the Busch family brewing legacy alive in St. Louis.”

After succeeding in St. Louis, Busch wanted to expand to Central Missouri.

Busch said the Kraftig Lager beer has a malt flavor up front with a slight sweetness and a hop character that does not overpower the taste.

Kraftig Light is more of a pilsner pale lager beer familiar to many American beer tastes.

Both beers have a distinctive green label with the Kraftig name.

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