updated 9/2/2009 4:27:06 PM ET 2009-09-02T20:27:06

Just weeks into testing its lowest-calorie beer ever, Anheuser-Busch plans to add more test markets for its Select 55 brand next month.

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The brand, named for the 55 calories it contains, was introduced in 15 markets on Aug. 10. Early results have prompted the company to expand into 12 more markets starting in October, vice president of marketing Keith Levy told The Associated Press Wednesday.

"I think we're learning enough to say we want to learn more," he said. "We're going to roll that out wider to get maybe a broader read on a proposition for the brand."

The brand, which targets men and women between the ages of 25 and 49, is doing well but Levy said he wants to do more testing before decisions about a national launch are made.

The St. Louis-based North American unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev hopes Select 55 will appeal to consumers looking to lighten up their light beers, the dominant category in the beer world. Bud Light, the company's best-selling brew, has 110 calories, double the amount in Select 55.

But with fewer calories comes less alcohol. Select 55 has 2.4 percent alcohol by volume, while Bud Light has 4.2 percent.

Levy said the expansion will be done in phases in October and November. So far testing is taking place in markets like Green Bay, Wis., Tampa and Orlando, Fla., San Diego, Dallas and Arizona. Additional areas to be tested include parts of Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Ohio.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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