Blue Moon, a division of MillerCoors announced today they are the official “craft beer” of the Kentucky Derby, as well as the first-ever beer sponsor of Churchhill Downs Racetrack.
The multi-year deal grants Blue Moon as the exclusive beer for both the racetrack and the Kentucky Derby, year-round.
Additionally, Blue Moon has announced the addition of the Blue Moon Taproom and Balcony at Churchill Downs, overlooking the paddock area. The buildout will be similar in concept and offerings as their Denver brewery. Furthermore, Blue Moon will be the title sponsor of Churchill Downs Twilight Thursday racing series, as well as adding a pop-up venue in the infield on Derby Day.
The most interesting piece of this story is Blue Moon’s frequent usage of the term “craft beer”. The Brewer’s Association defines the term as independently own breweries producing less than 6 million barrels of beer annually. The term is highly coveted and revered by the nation’s 7,000 craft brewers.
According to the Brewer’s Association, Blue Moon being a whole owned subsidiary of MillerCoors does not qualify as “craft brewer” status. The term craft brewer is not a legally protected one, which allows Blue Moon to call their product, a craft beer – much to the chagrin of many of America’s small and independent brewers.
Expect the Blue Moon/Derby Partnership to be supported by national social and digital media campaigns, plus branded glassware, bowties, pocket squares, seersucker vests and more.