NEW YORK – This free Budweiser’s for you. But so is the job of figuring out when and where to get it.

Since Anheuser-Busch InBev announced this week that it will give away thousands of samples, drinkers have been calling distributors, posting on Facebook and checking in with local bars to learn when and where they can get the free drinks.

Because of local and state laws that regulate how people sample alcohol, the brewer can’t give specifics, but others can. Anheuser-Busch plans to give away 500,000 free samples of 6 ounces to 12 ounces each — depending on local laws — through October.

The “Budweiser National Happy Hour” Wednesday kicks off the promotion, which will include free samples at bars and restaurants across the country.

The samples are part of a new campaign to woo younger drinkers and generate new interest in the sagging brand.

Budweiser and other domestic premium beers have been hurt as shoppers either seek out cheaper alternatives in the weak economy or opt to spend more on higher-priced craft beers.

Anheuser-Busch president Dave Peacock said the beer is sometimes taken for granted. Sales have been falling for 20 years as light beers continue to gain in popularity; they now make up about half the market. So new drinkers are key for Budweiser.

It’s just that Anheuser-Busch can’t tell them specifics about the samples.

“We’re doing our best to make sure, where we can, coordinate and let people know, directing them through Facebook, to their local bar and restaurants,” Peacock said Thursday. And at least the confusion is generating talk about the brand, he said.

The chatter comes as the company, along with the industry, takes another price increase this fall. Anheuser-Busch raises prices separately for its various brands and markets, so Peacock said he couldn’t generalize how much prices were going up.

Reasons for increases vary too, he said, sometimes relating to rising ingredient costs.