Monday, August 23, 2010


MillerCoors is looking to gin-up its craft beer holdings by creating a division dedicated to that enterprise. Read all about it here.

Why is this happening?

Because even in the dismal economy we're all enduring right now, there's a taste for variety, and we'd argue that bland beers have offered no comfort. Yet the craft beer labels do. And as the Brewers Association has pointed out, craft beer sales are up 12 percent for the first six months of the year, while overall beer industry sales volumes are down almost 3 percent from the same period last year.

Mega-brewer MillerCoors has picked up on not just that but the fact that its own labels in that market segment – Blue Moon and Leinenkugel – have performed well.

The Blue Moon portfolio is a veritable brand slate of lunar phases. Besides the Belgian white that is Blue Moon, there's Honey Moon, Harvest Moon and Full Moon, all satellites of planet MillerCoors, which has seen its core labels Coors Light and Miller Lite go flat as far as sales are concerned.

Is this a small step for MillerCoors, or a giant leap into a craft beer street fight? We'll just have to wait and see.

It's worth mentioning, though, that some of those brands under MillerCoors control are transition beers and have let Bud, Miller and Coors drinkers take flight from their old mainstays and go a little deeper toward fuller-bodied beers and different styles. The more adventurous drinkers keep climbing toward the revved up IPAs and other exotic craft beers, especially, we've noticed these days, the younger beer drinkers, the folks with no real or memorable attachment to the labels their parents and grandparents stocked the fridge with.

Stay tuned.

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