Soda die-hards know if you want a kick of caffeine, Mountain Dew is the beverage of choice. And in some cities in the US, people will soon get to try out a malt-flavored version of the popular soft drink.

Named after the Tennessee town where Mountain Dew was born, “Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold” will be test marketed at Kroger and 7-Eleven stores across the Midwest, as well as in Charlotte, NC and Denver. PepsiCo spokeswoman Andrea Foote describes it as “malt flavor with a kick of lemon-lime.”

Although malt-flavored drinks are popular in parts of Latin America and the Middle East, there aren’t many in the US — which could make the new concoction a risky move. But industry analysts like John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest, said that because Mountain Dew is already a well-known brand, the flavor might sell well.

“In the declining soft drink business, a new product with a real point of difference might have potential for growth,” Sicher said. “Only time will tell.”

Foote said the new beverage is simply an effort to give loyal Mountain Dew drinkers “something unique,” but money may have something to do with it, too. Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold will likely sell for $1.49 for a 16-ounce can — 50 cents more than other sodas.

[Reuters]