Something new in the way of a brew is being prepared at the Anheuser-Busch brewery on Schrock Road.

Something new in the way of a brew is being prepared at the Anheuser-Busch brewery on Schrock Road.

Named for the Northland-area ZIP code in which the 258-acre facility is located, "43229" has a chance of becoming one of three small-batch beers that would make up a sample pack available to the general public in the fall.

"Of course, to have a product that you helped develop, that has our ZIP code on it, the Columbus brewery pride would just be so resounding," general manager Kevin Lee said last week. "Everybody likes to see their work go forward. You like to see your kid succeed. We would be honored and proud as a brewery to see it go forward.

"Of course, it's not a contest," he hastily added.

No, of course not. It's a project.

In a case of Goliath wanting to also be David, executives with the country's leading brewer -- with a 47.7 share of beer sales to retailers -- came up with Project 12, in which brewmasters at all the company's regional breweries were invited to devise small-batch "tribute" beers.

Internal taste-testing and analysis, according to a corporate announcement, pared the creations down to six, with Budweiser Small Batch 43229, Lee's "brainchild" developed with assistant brewmasters Travis Burge and Tyler Hunter, making the cut.

Lee said last week that even more people were involved in crafting the small-batch brew.

"It's a Budweiser style," he said. "It incorporates the crispness, the cleanness, the taste of Budweiser, but in a multitude of styles.

"It's a large collaboration, is really what it's been about."

Described in a company press release as a "light-amber lager using eight different types of hops with 6-percent" alcohol content, Lee said he thinks 43229 is more of a bock style of beer. It's a little heavier than regular Budweiser, he added, with a "little touch of bitterness."

"Bock beer in general is stronger than your typical lager, more of a robust malt character and higher alcohol, somewhere between 6 to 7 percent alcohol by volume, with an amber hue," according to the website beeradvocate.com.

"We were thinking about this part of the country," Lee said. "We were thinking about the Midwest and appealing to this area and the characteristics of this area."

Consumers around the country, although not in central Ohio, will have the opportunity to taste the small-batch brews from all six locations still in the running at various events. The others are from the Los Angeles, St. Louis, Williamsburg, Va., Baldwinsville, N.Y., and Fort Collins, Colo., operations.

The samplings will be by invitation to fans of the company's Facebook page in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Nashville, Miami, Boston and New York City.

This will culminate in a two-day "Budweiser Made in America" festival in Philadelphia over Labor Day.

Lee, an Anheuser-Busch employee for 26 years, has been at the Columbus brewery since 2001 and has served as general manager since 2008. He said whether or not one or more of the three brews included in the sample pack this fall makes into the company's regular lineup is a decision far off in the future.

Anheuser-Busch's dozen regional breweries already put out an astonishing array of products. These include five in the Budweiser "family" alone, one of which incorporates a mix of clam and tomato juices, or clamato, he said.

"Our goal as a company is to better serve our customers," Lee said.