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Tom Long, MillerCoors CEO, asks consumers to judge brewers by the quality of their beers

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Dec 22, 2012.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder Aug 23, 1996 Colorado
    Staff Moderator Site Editor Fest Crew Subscriber Beer Trader

    In response to Steve Hindy's CNN op-ed "Don't let big brewers win beer wars," which coincided with the "Craft vs. Crafty" op-ed piece by the Brewers Association, MillerCoors CEO Tom Long is asking consumers to judge brewers not by the size of their breweries, but by the quality of their beers.
    More: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/21/opinion/long-beer-brewers/
  2. dauss

    dauss Aug 9, 2003 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Didn't know making a beer lemonade flavor created a new style of beer.
  3. hctap00

    hctap00 Nov 2, 2012 Maryland

    Several years ago, I attended a seminar of sorts at MillerCoors. I fortunate enough to hear Tom Long speak candidly about his business experiences and answer our questions. This was easily the highlight of the visit. He is a VERY intelligent yet humble man who was eager to share his words of wisdom with wide eyed college students. While I do not drink his products, I have a great deal of respect for him and do not take his words lightly.
    cfrances33 likes this.
  4. bumblingbeard

    bumblingbeard Jun 6, 2012

    I'll continue to judge MillerCoors and ABV by the quality of their beers. Poor quality beers by breweries that charge premium prices...you've been judged. I respect poor quality beer, when it's priced accordingly. Believe me, I love nothing more than relaxing with a local craft brew as much as the occasional drunken night off of cheap swill. The difference is that the cheap swill provides more taste, more quality at half the cost!

    Obviously there is a place for MillerCoors and AB products in the marketplace. But the utmost stranglehold that they place on the so-called "free market" is overwhelming for other producers, and ultimately it's the consumer who loses out. Consider yourself judged.
  5. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Tom Lang states:

    “ …we're convinced that the ultimate assessment of our beers will not come from an industry organization, but instead from America's beer drinkers.

    We know that no matter what style of beer it is, we will ultimately be judged by the quality of our beers. We like that, because we are confident that the quality of our beers stacks up well versus that of any brewer of any size, anywhere.”

    So, he has the view: “because we are confident that the quality of our beers stacks up well versus that of any brewer of any size, anywhere.”

    This is a challenging statement to discuss since the word “quality” can have differing definitions. If you define “quality” to mean a consistent product then I suppose Tom Lang can defend this statement. In the context of craft beer I would argue that the word “quality” has a different definition. I am confident that the majority of BeerAdvocates would view the word “quality” in the craft beer context to be a flavorful and tasty beer. While “flavorful and tasty” are indeed subjective, those words would not be applied to the majority of the MillerCoors products via BeerAdvocates.

    One aspect of MillerCoors that I find offensive is their blatant use of marketing in the guise of Keith Villa. This was evident in a recent interview he conducted on Fox Small Business (previously discussed in a thread). This marketing is also evident to me in the production of Batch 19. See my discussion here:http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/macro-cravings.52750/page-3#post-694396

    I for one am getting tired of the marketing of MillerCoors. I do indeed agree that “the ultimate assessment of our beers will not come from an industry organization, but instead from America's beer drinkers.” Well, I am an American beer drinker and I claim “Shenanigans” on MillerCoors!

    FrankLloydMike and Kyrojack like this.
  6. mark14580

    mark14580 Jan 15, 2011 New York

    Would love to judge all beers by their quality. Sucks that Tom Long and MillerCoors prevents others from getting access to store shelves. So F you Tom Long.
  7. gstenzel

    gstenzel Aug 4, 2005 Illinois

    great business man...not great brewer...
  8. AnotherImperial

    AnotherImperial Oct 29, 2012 Arizona

    Dear Tom,

    I do judge brewers by the quality of their product. That's why I don't drink your beer. I understand there's a place for what you produce, but that place isn't in my house.
    kpanter, CWinchell, jcb7472 and 25 others like this.
  9. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    If Tom feels that way why dosen't the label for Blue Moon read Coors Brewing Golden CO.?
  10. PsilohsaiBiN

    PsilohsaiBiN Aug 10, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Big businesses will always try to justify themselves and quell their competition in the light of a revolution that is taking a chunk out of their bottom line. Nice try. People who are actually passionate about their beer are succeeding.
    kwakwhore likes this.
  11. palma

    palma Dec 14, 2003 New York
    Beer Trader

    I loved this... Tom Long writes a warm and fuzzy column he says is in response to Hindy's column but then never addresses or even mentions Hindys main point which is that miller and Inbev are working to create an even bigger duopoly in the beer market which is of course bad for the consumer. Long's column was not a response (which would have been the right thing to do), rather it was a counter column with marketing intentions trying to fool the unkowledgeable consumer into seeing miller as the "nice guy".

    And actually, he almost got me - I was thinking wow what a nice sincere article... and then I realized he didnt even mention anthing about the concern that a bigger miller means less choice for the consumer.
  12. Jules11788

    Jules11788 Feb 15, 2011 California

    Hmmm, well if he wants us to judge him based on the quality of his beers then I think my verdict will be pretty low. It's ironic, really, this statement of his. It's like McDonald's responding to an op-ed piece about craft hamburgers by saying that "The quality of our hamburgers should speak for themselves, not the size of our corporation."
  13. Snowrs

    Snowrs Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Now I am not a BMC drinker but their beer is exactly what they want it to be EVERY time, so as far as quality it is among some of the highest quality beer, Which is why they win medals for their beer style, now we may not drink it but saying it's poor quality is flat out wrong.
  14. LOCAL

    LOCAL Oct 29, 2006 New Hampshire

    The thing is that they aim to make a certain style of beer for a specific segment of the beer market. It may not be one many of us here enjoy, but you would have to say that what they make is a consistent product which has given them life time customers. If ANY company can do that, I'd say you're doing something right.
  15. mark14580

    mark14580 Jan 15, 2011 New York

    I could have just "liked" this post but I don't think that would emphasize how spot on this post is.
  16. fredmugs

    fredmugs Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Damn near spit out my Heady.
  17. Stinkypuss

    Stinkypuss Apr 7, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Quality means good beer Tom. You're shite beer is taking up premium shelf space where my local IpAs belong. Until a Pliny clone comes out of miller, you've lost my business.
    stitches58 and kwakwhore like this.
  18. steve8robin

    steve8robin Nov 7, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Ok, I can understand this statement yet at the same time, totally resent it. My first reaction was, yes, beer should be judged by its quality without concern to the brewery having concocted it. I've found a lot of great brews by buying blind. However, my second reaction is, well this all depends on the motivation behind the brewer. For instance, if Tom Long and his macro company are spearheading their industry marketing with the intention to be the largest brewery and put smaller brewers out of business, then there's when free thinking people will not buy your beer based on intention regardless of quality. The thing with the macros, is it seems that their intention is, unfortunately, to be the largest fish in the sea instead of living harmoniously with the small micro or nano brewer, and I do not agree with putting smaller, quality brewers out of business. Especially since most of the passion for beer lies with the micros and nanos and most of the business sense (without the same passion) lies with the macros. Unfortunately, business usually rules the market, but I'm more of a passion man myself. I'll always go for the smaller brewer beer first.
  19. BnjmnDdd

    BnjmnDdd Feb 27, 2012 Oklahoma

    I don't think people like his product for the consistency as much as they like the blander taste. Most who drink their product wouldn't drink something from stone or victory if offered even if it is a "consistent" taste.
    Kyrojack and BoneyardBrewer like this.
  20. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Nothing wrong with that. MillerCoors does make some good beers- Coors Golden is awesome.

    Of course, if they want more respect, more branching out is needed.
    jRocco2021 likes this.
  21. Stevedore

    Stevedore Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    By this you mean not the largest fish in the sea but rather, the only fish.
  22. yamar68

    yamar68 Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    Tom Long is making a bullshit assertion but, I think it should be noted that even though Coors puts out a big line of average but consistent beers that they are most known for, the brewers there are doing some seriously amazing things both behind the scenes at the brewery and around the region... beers that are too expensive and risky for them to produce on a larger basis.

    I would challenge any BA to have a blind taste of one of their fruited sours and tell me that it's just some MillerCoors swill.
    Schwantz and ChrisPro like this.
  23. Jules11788

    Jules11788 Feb 15, 2011 California

    There's a stark difference between "quality" and "consistency". They may be consistent with the quality of their products, but that doesn't mean that the products are of high quality
    Jimjohson and Kyrojack like this.
  24. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Tom's point is that consumers should judge their beers fairly. Well, I would venture there isn't a single person on this site who hasn't judged their beers fairly.

    Many people obviously resent the way they do business, but at the end of the day if Mother Teresa was their CEO and Jesus was their head brewer we still wouldn't drink their beers because they suck ass.

    If Tom wants to get serious about brewing fine beer he should put his effort into brewing fine beer, and pay less attention to responding to fact filled press releases with garbage filled press releases.
  25. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    So let's see, we should cut them some slack because they know how to make fine beer, they just refuse to make fine beer? Just wanna make sure I understand your point.;)
    Jimjohson, benart, Chico_PT and 7 others like this.
  26. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels Nov 22, 2009 Maryland

    I'd have more respect if they took that risk (large batch). Even if they failed, they could afford it. A multi-billion dollar corporation can't afford to make a large batch of fruited sour? Not 'buying' it.
    BoneyardBrewer likes this.
  27. codysjb

    codysjb Jun 16, 2010 Prince Edward Island (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I for one am happy to judge based on quality.

    Millercoors beers are perhaps the absolute worst beer I've had the displeasure to taste. Judgement on your quality is that is sucks... But I think they know that and are attempting to grab a market share by saying they have good quality.
    cavedave likes this.
  28. mountsnow1010

    mountsnow1010 Jan 23, 2009 Vermont

    Source or more info?
  29. surfmanjim

    surfmanjim Aug 21, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, when you talk about quality, it is a relative term. Toyota makes a high quality ptoduct, that is largely utilitarian. Mercedes produces a high quality vehicle that stands out from most other vehicles because of it's luxury appointments. The two brands are both autos, but are easily discernible. Toyota can also be discerned from the other brands in it's segment, because of it's quality. Can the same be said of a Miller/Coors product? You can tell a Coors from a Victory Prima Pils in a blind taste test, but can you tell a Coors from a Bud or Miller or any of the light beers from one another?

    Also, the model that is currently used to distribute wine, beer and other spirits is anachronistic and limits consumer choice. Craft brewers need to form an alliance with the specialty Specialty Wine Retailers Association and push for legislation that would allow them to distribute directly to outside states. Ground zero for such a movement, could be in Colorado, where there is a 168 craft brewers and brew pubs. In Bev and Miller Coors, are getting to be like Standard Oil, and need to be prevented from unfairly manipulating the market place.
  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    This is more like the definition of quality that someone who has worked in a manufacturing industry would use. Quality products are those that are free from defects, and meet the customers expectations. Consistency happens when you hit the target (accuracy) with small variations (precision). In this definition AB and MC have great quality.

    The beers may not be premium or aspirational products. When was the last thread about an infected Bud or Coors Banquet?

    I would also argue on the car examples above, that a Toyota has better quality than the Mercedes. Had a top of the line MB where I worked that cost 4 or 5 times most of the Toyotas in the fleet, that spent more time in the dealer's shop than on property. The fleet coordinator was on a first name basis with the repair shop manager.
  31. bennetj17

    bennetj17 Oct 30, 2005 Arizona
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    When you say your product stacks up well against any craft beer, and then you cite beers like Summer Shandy and Blue Moon, then you are full of shit. Like most other CEO's in America this guy is just talking the talk. If he really wanted to let beers speak for themselves then why does he have to write a memo to convince us?
  32. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Nov 8, 2012 Missouri
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Why make it when they've proven over the years can just buy into it?
  33. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    The fact that even bacteria can't stand their products is hardly a ringing endorsement ;)
  34. marquis

    marquis Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    "Quality" is often a user defined term and it's in this instance it's quite meaningless. I wouldn't touch the basic stuff-I would even go out and buy a long bargepole to not touch it with- but that doesn't make it a poor quality item.Just one which doesn't meet my requirements for enjoyable beer.I don't like ballet but don't go round telling people it's crap. I regard Country and Western music as mindless babble but that's me-I've got friends who greatly enjoy it so maybe they can see (or rather hear) something I can't.There's a thing called the Jack Spratt principle.To each his own and if countless millions enjoy drinking Coors products that's their choice and they at least feel that Coors get it right.
    MrMcGibblets likes this.
  35. surfmanjim

    surfmanjim Aug 21, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, beer is a manufactured product and it is not easy to differentiate one large adjunct lager from another, with the exception of Yuengling. So, if the consumer is unable to differentiate between various products, then how do you establish quality? If it is free of defects and meets consumer expectations (in that market niche), can it be said yo be a quality product?(it is a product) For 80% of beer consumers, it does meet the definition of quality. Now, we tend to define quality differently than the average beer drinking public. We tend to view adjunct lagers as swill that cannot be compared to what we prefer, so we are talking about our definition of quality versus a manufacturing executives definition of quality.

    Perhaps I used a poor comparison in Autos. I own an '03 Tacoma and so far, it has been bullet proof compared to the 94 Jimmy that I owned.
  36. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Charlie Bamforth uses the industrial definition. If it is good enough to him it is good enough for me.
    Chico_PT likes this.
  37. Snowrs

    Snowrs Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    You may want to look up quality

    a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies and significant variations. It is brought about by strict and consistent commitment to certain standards that achieve uniformity of a product in order to satisfy specific customer or user requirements

  38. Jules11788

    Jules11788 Feb 15, 2011 California

    Yeah, Merriam-Webster defines it as this:
    "A: degree of excellence<the quality of competing air service — Current Biography>

    B: superiority in kind <merchandise of quality>"
    nickfl and quetzal013 like this.
  39. Snowrs

    Snowrs Oct 10, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Show me a better Adjunct Lager. Superiority in kind

    And are you saying that someone else makes a clearly superior adjunct lager (degree of excellence)
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