Dogfish Head’s  new brew takes aim at  ‘fitness beer’  segment

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Dogfish Head is rolling out a low-calorie beer.

Founder and CEO Sam Calagione announced the Slightly Mighty brew in an interview on the Esquire website.

The Dogfish blog has recently featured Calagione touting the benefits of exercise and lighter beer.

Slightly Mighty “has all the flavor and tropical aromas of a world class IPA,” according to Dogfish Head.

Slightly Mighty will take on a low-calorie category that includes Anheuser-Busch Inbev’s Michelob Ultra, which now ranks as the sixth best selling beer and has seen sales grow at double-digit rates. By contrast, its parent company has seen sales declines.

Ultra is heavily advertised with commercials of fit young people ending their exercise routines, runs or hikes with an Ultra.

The Milton-based brewery found a niche in the fitness segment with its SeaQuench, a beer that uses sea salt and lime. SeaQuench has 140 calories, compared to 95 for slightly Mighty.

Dogfish Head is expected to tout as Slightly Mighty as a light beer with the flavor of an IPA. The beer is slated to be rolled out in April in cans and on tap, although Esquire noted that brew is available at the Milton brewery’s tasting room.

Dogfish Head’s calorie-laden60 Minute IPA remains a flagship brand for the company.

Although Dogish is one of the 15 largest craft brewers, it remains small compared to majors and has worked to find new markets.

The brewer has made inroads at Buffalo Wild Wings, the nation’s largest sports bar chain. Dogfish was one of a few craft brewers selected to offer specialty beers at BWW.

Last year, the company managed to post a 9.4 percent increase in dollar volume, according to an industry report. The growing sales came at a time when a number of brewers reported sales declines.

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