Anheuser-Busch pulling Bud Silver

Anheuser-Busch has withdrawn Bud Silver, the 4.1 per cent version of its premium lager brand that was launched last year.

The brand was introduced as a competitor to leading standard brands such as Foster's and Carling, but UK marketing director Vicki Kipling said the company now wanted to focus on its growing portfolio of premium brands.

Kipling said: "We had high internal expectations for it when we launched last year, but since then there have been four or five new entrants into the standard lager category, and the profit opportunity for us and retailers was less.

"It's time for us to regroup and focus on Bud and our imported brands Harbin, Michelob and Estrella Damm."

She added: "[Standard lager]'s not what we're about. We'll just let the other brands slug it out."

Bud Silver was rolled out last summer after a brief test in Scottish supermarkets, and its first advertising campaign was launched as recently as January.

At the time, Kipling said A-B was "delighted with the level of national distribution Bud Silver has achieved to date".

Heineken pulled out of standard lager in 2003, withdrawing Cold Filtered from the market to focus on premium.

InBev has invested significantly in standard lager over the past 12 months, with the launch of two 4 per cent abv lagers - Beck's Vier and Peeterman Artois.