MillerCoors is killing the beer it created to win over millennials

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Jason, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,161) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    Not surprised ... I am sure we'll see more of "Let's throw some money at the wall and see if it sticks" ideas.
    #1 Jason, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2018
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,032) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Can't blame 'em for trying yet I wonder if just expanding the distribution of
    Extra Gold might be a better idea.
  3. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Defender (603) Nov 23, 2017 California

    I like how it's the millennials' fault that noone wants to drink their flavored cheap beer.
  4. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,202) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    I really like Extra Gold but not 30 cans of it.

    I never heard of the beer being discontinued.
    ericwo, Zorro and Squire like this.
  5. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,032) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I see it advertised for cheap in large stores out West but haven't seen it around here in years.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  6. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,451) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    That was fast ...
    ShawnoftheD3ad likes this.
  7. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (541) Mar 28, 2009 California

    While I get the angle they were going for with “good cheap beer is coming” but you’re still calling your beer “cheap”. There is better ways to phase that. Leverage the low cost but don’t call it cheap. It makes the beer sound....well cheap and to me cheap isn’t good.
    Prince_Casual, Dan411, dcotom and 3 others like this.
  8. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,032) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Yeah, it's hard to convincingly use the words cheap and good in the same sentence.
  9. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (545) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I'm surprised MillerCoors/AB-InBev don't follow Constellation and Diageo (Guinness) and acquire some known spirit brands. It's easier to swim with the current than against. People seem to care less about ownership of spirits and whether they are local too.
    sharpski likes this.
  10. zid

    zid Savant (917) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Yeah - absolutely no surprises here.

    I suppose this is very welcome news for Pabst Brewing regarding their MillerCoors dilemma.
    ShawnoftheD3ad likes this.
  11. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,000) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    Maybe they should just bring back Zima.

    Oh, wait...
  12. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I'm just surprised they only put out two flavors. I was waiting to see more pop up but they kept it to just two. MAYBE that was their mistake.
    dcotom likes this.
  13. blkhawk14

    blkhawk14 Initiate (89) Nov 14, 2014 Minnesota

    good beer ain't cheap and cheap beer ain't good
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  14. Tamarack

    Tamarack Initiate (51) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    hold up, high life is dirt cheap and that beer is basically perfect
  15. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Just as an FYI, Diageo began in Spirits, Constellation begin in Wines and ABInBev's ZX Ventures has recently moved into Spirits.
    Ranbot likes this.
  16. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Aspirant (296) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    That's because established spirits companies all can make really good stuff, when that is the objective (often it is not). They have insanely deep pockets, and don't need to rush anything to market because they need to make rent or payroll.

    Brewing IPA in a 2 barrel system is one thing, but purchasing and then using a massive column still and then potentially aging extremely expensive oak barrels, for YEARS... very difficult to crack into the spirits industry.

    It's not that people don't care- it's that (1) a lot of craft spirits are misrepresented as handmade when they're actually from MGP

    and/or (2) they aren't nearly as good as a similar product from Diageo/ Beam/ Pernod/ Sazerac. Kentucky has more barrels of bourbon aging than people!
  17. blkhawk14

    blkhawk14 Initiate (89) Nov 14, 2014 Minnesota

    That's at least 50% champagne doesn't count
    seth27 likes this.
  18. Tamarack

    Tamarack Initiate (51) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    lmao tell that to all those Brut IPA's :joy:
    blkhawk14 likes this.
  19. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,116) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Eh I had no idea this stuff even existed.
  20. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    While it is certainly the case that the entry costs for a distillery can be more than for a brewing operation, I think you may be underestimating the number of small (craft) distilleries in the US:

    and the level of success some of them have been achieving at producing products as good as or better than the big kids (at least as far as their fans are concerned):
  21. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (105) Feb 25, 2013 California

    I attended a tasting room seminar a year or two back. One of the real solid take aways I got was this: with millenials, authenticity is crucial. Connecting 'millenials' and 'authenticity' was made repeatedly. From what I learned, this type of a transparent grab would assuredly fall flat.
  22. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Aspirant (296) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    I think you may be overestimating High West's branding: not a single product they sell other than OMG silver whiskey, is distilled by them. They buy it ALL from MGP in Indiana. "Rocky Mountain Rye"... made in IN.

    Anchor Distilling has some great brands, for sure, but (1) they are the high end price-wise compared to the big dogs, and (2) Hotaling & Co. certainly didn't establish Drouin, Nikka, or Luxardo.. those are acquisition/partnerships themselves.

    HW bottles good stuff too, but as Obama said "you didn't build that!"
    KarlHungus, Spaceman_Jer and islay like this.
  23. islay

    islay Aspirant (201) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I'd say for many millenials the perception of authenticity is crucial; authentic authenticity doesn't much matter in practice. There are plenty of cash-grab craft breweries with sophisticated (if small) marketing operations that sell a bunch of fruited, otherwise flavored, and gimmick beers, and millennials are lapping that stuff up (as evidenced all over BeerAdvocate by its mostly millennial user base).

    I agree with @Prince_Casual; High West is about the worst example @drtth could've chosen to make his point, given that High West primarily is a blender of other distilleries' whiskeys that has a small in-house distilling operation basically on the side. High West puts out good product, but that's precisely because it doesn't distill the vast majority of its offerings but instead relies on the big, established companies to do that work. I remember Surly making a big deal of using High West rye barrels when it put out its first bottled barrel-aged Darkness in 2014. What it didn't explain was that the barrels were standard MGP 2-year 95% rye mashbill barrels that it sells to re-badgers all over the country.

    Most (not all) craft distilleries are pretty terrible when it comes to whiskey. They make vastly inferior product compared to many of the large distilleries and yet tend to sell it at a premium.
  24. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,648) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for the additional insights you've provided with your comments. Also thanks to @islay for chiming in to make his points.

    Both your response and his have been quite informative and also provided, indirectly, the information I was seeking in choosing those two examples.
    #24 drtth, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  25. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (498) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I suspect that the rather condescending tone of the copy killed this one.
    Good work team!
  26. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Aaaand . . . this is why introducing new brands into a market is so difficult. Wonder why they just didn't do what ABI did with Bud Light Lime and Orange and take an existing brand and add flavoring to it?
    BayAreaJoe likes this.
  27. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    They have more success with vodka, gin, and rum, though not that much more. Most craft whiskey is vastly overpriced garbage that's full of congeners and not aged nearly long enough.
    LuskusDelph, Prince_Casual and islay like this.
  28. muck1979

    muck1979 Initiate (134) Jul 3, 2005 Minnesota

    At least MillerCoors still has a millennial winner with Hamm's. I assume.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  29. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,451) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    I think the answer is pretty simple. Take my local grocery store - Bud light orange/lime sit on the shelf near the other BMC beers. Two Hats sat on the shelf next to the Kona, Sierra Nevada, and Lagunitas. You get a person who wants craft beer but doesn't really know what any of the beers are, they are just as likely to grab some Two Hats as they are any of the others.

    You aren't kidding!
  30. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (272) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    It's worth noting for people who aren't as familiar with the aged spirits world is that bottling someone else's stuff is very much traditional and not (necessarily) shameful or scandalous or anything like that. In the case of High West for instance, their blended whiskies are generally quite well regarded, and often innovative even though they're not producing the components. So much of making a good aged spirit comes down to barrel selection and careful blending. When High West puts out good bottles of stuff they didn't distill, it's actually a sign of good things to come, because 1) it shows they know what they're doing and 2) it shows they're not going to put out their own stuff until it's good and ready.

    Now, there's a lot of bourbon and rye out there that is sourced, that doesn't disclose that it's sourced, that tries to feed you a line about it being grampa's old recipe or whatever, and that is usually not good and overpriced. That stuff sucks. But that's not because there's anything wrong with the practice itself, they're just doing it in a shitty way.
  31. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    "There haven't been any new mainstream light beer launches for this group at this price point … so it's no surprise they think of beer as dusty and old and migrate to wine and spirits," Justine Stauffer, the MillerCoors brand manager who led the Two Hats launch told the company's blog.

    Wait a second, what?... beer is "dusty and old"??? Is it? I think that beer right now is anything but "dusty and old", regardless of your age.

    They think the millennials see it that way because "There haven't been any new mainstream light beer launches for this group at this price point"... are these guys really that far out of touch? What millenials actually find "dusty and old" are price-point light lagers!!! Does anyone need another "cheap" light lager? Raise your hands if you do.

    We should also keep in mind that these aren't just "Cheap" light lagers, they're flavored beers which really brings them into another category entirely - one that's been inundated lately!!!

    It's amazing to me that these people who are running huge corporations, or at least parts of them, have no clue what's going on.
    KarlHungus and TongoRad like this.
  32. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (995) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Pardon my language, but I fucking love Extra Gold. It was the first full beer I ever got to drink before I was of age. Now that you injected it into the conversation I needed to throw my hat in the ring.

    Extra Gold is definitely tougher to find out here but it's certainly still around at some of the bigger stores like Total Wine, Canal's, etc. only in 30 packs though. When I was on a camping trip I stumbled upon a 12 pack of Extra Gold at Sheetz in Burnham, PA. It was an instant buy.

    Did you guys ever have it on-tap before? I highly doubt they still keg it. I bet it's very nice on-tap or even a glass bottle (definitely none of them around anymore).

    LuskusDelph and Bitterbill like this.
  33. Pantalones

    Pantalones Devotee (445) Nov 14, 2014 Virginia

    Well, that sure didn't last very long. Wasn't it just a month or two ago that they started showing up on shelves??

    Might try some just for the heck of it (and because I'd like to collect oddball discontinued beer cans whenever possible -- do they still make Oculto? if not, well, I guess I'm already collecting some!) before they all disappear for good.
  34. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,202) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    I WISH that I saw it on draught.
    Hell, I think there's only 1 place in town that has Coors Banquet on draught.
    tzieser likes this.
  35. longbongsilver

    longbongsilver Disciple (311) Aug 27, 2005 Missouri

    If it had actually worked it'd have done so by cutting into the market for the other light lagers they were already selling.

    I dunno how or even if they do research on what such a market segment as "millenials" actually wants, but being just outside of that segment myself and having drank with younger people for years, when I saw them get beer it was either a simple craft ale at a decent price point for a session or the most basic of macros on special until they got shitfaced. If I were them with this information I'd have just done a pale ale they could possibly undercut a craft one pricewise with, cuz if anyone seriously wants a light lager they've already got their options.
  36. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (995) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Damn, from a tough cowboy state like Wyoming I figured Banquet would be on-tap everywhere in the Rockies (if the commercials are to be believed lol)

    Forgot to mention, I have seen Extra Gold in sixers too but I think they’re after market six packs...I picture some poor bastard having to break down a palate of 30 packs into six packs for the cheap folks. I think they go for like $4.00
    #36 tzieser, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    Bitterbill likes this.
  37. peteboiler

    peteboiler Initiate (137) Dec 16, 2010 Florida

    I do miss the Extra Gold...
    Squire and Bitterbill like this.
  38. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Aspirant (296) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    I am merely posting this for conversation, not to be argumentative with you or @islay or @drtth :

    1) These "skills" all these people (not just HW, every merchant bottler) claim to have "picking barrels from MGP"... let's talk about the process. Call MGP, arrange appointment, tell them what you're looking for. They mail you samples, or you go to IN and get to try stuff they pick for you to try. Then you buy it or not, either straight up or in an auction format. You get to try what they let you try, and you don't have a hell of a lot of other options besides them. They have a couple mashbills (same as BT or HH) and it comes down to barrel location, which, is what they offer you depending on how much you want to spend.

    I'm not saying "anyone" could do it, but going to an extremely well run, almost clinical mega distillery, and buying barrels, I personally am not of the opinion that ANYONE who does this is any better or worse, than anyone else. I certainly don't think for a second that any perceived skill or strategy at this is going to correspond to anything at all, on their own make. Whatever they make, they have to use, or dump. There isn't 25 more warehouses with 10 floors each, worth of the same distillate at MGP to "use their blending skills on." Hint: they're not going to throw anything they make away!

    2) Putting "Whiskey Advocate: Distiller of the Year" on products you didn't distill doesn't seem THAT honest to me. To say nothing of their high end "Rocky Mountain Rye" which, again, was made in IN as well.

    >>>>again, NOT trying to be a dick, just food for thought from someone very skeptical of American Whiskey, even though I do enjoy it.
    surfcaster and JackHorzempa like this.
  39. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,202) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    So, I found the pineapple and lime at Albertsons and made my own 6pack of crappy beers. :wink:
    lordofthemark and FBarber like this.
  40. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,451) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    Better review them before they're gone!
    Bitterbill likes this.