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Anheuser-Busch will debut a new hard cider beverage nationally next year, Johnny Appleseed, to capitalize on growing demand for apple-based alcoholic beverages.

St. Louis-based A-B, the North American headquarters for A-B InBev, confirmed the beverage will launch next year, but more details about the packaging and marketing plans won't be released until early 2014, according to Paul Chibe, vice president of U.S. marketing. 

The debut follows A-B's launch of Stella Artois Cidre hard cider in the U.S. earlier this year. 

The new Johnny Appleseed beverage will have a balance of sweetness and intensity, A-B wrote in a letter to wholesalers. The letter says the launch date is April 7. "Cider is a rapidly growing category and Johnny Appleseed is uniquely positioned to capture share of volume and share of voice in this expanding segment," A-B said in the wholesaler letter. 

Johhny Appleseed will be sold in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles, a 16-ounce can, and a 25-ounce can. 

Lisa Brown is Business Editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.