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Miller Brewing drops test of fruity malt drink

/ Source: The Associated Press

Miller Brewing Co. says it has dropped test marketing of a fruit-flavored malt beverage.

Consumers didn't like the Brutal Fruit drink when it was tested this spring and summer in Richmond, Virginia, Tampa, Florida, and Seattle, Miller spokesman Peter Marino said Monday.

Brutal Fruit had been billed as fruit juice with 5 percent alcohol by volume, a level similar to beer, and it came in strawberry, mango, litchi and kiwi flavors.

The drink was introduced in 2002 in South Africa by SABMiller Plc, Miller's corporate parent, and has enjoyed strong sales in South Africa, particularly among women between 24 and 35.

"We will aggressively look at products that have had success in other parts of the world for SABMiller," Marino said. "But we're going to be very disciplined in what we ask our system to focus on and support."

Anheuser-Busch Cos. of St. Louis announced last week it was launching Tilt, a new raspberry-flavored, caffeinated malt beverage.