Chicago, Illinois based Off Color Brewing brewed an interesting collaboration back in 2016 that you might find a little shocking. The craft brewer teamed up with MillerCoors – specifically the brewers of Miller High Life. In the David vs. Goliath world of craft brewing vs. macro brewing wasn’t ready for a collaboration like this. There were quite a few beer geeks were that overly butthurt by the team’s creation. If you couldn’t’ get emotionally passed it the first time, we have some bad news. Off Color Eeek! has returned.
That’s a bit “Off Color” right? As it turns out, the brewing teams of Miller & Off Color are good friends who have talked about this collaboration for years. In the summer of 2016, a collaboration finally happened. Honestly, this “macro” meets “craft” collaboration turned out to be pretty awesome.
The base beer uses Miller High Life ingredients – the same that have made the Champagne of Beers popular for years. Off Color used their funky, acidic mixed cultures in primary fermentation, then lagered it for three weeks. The final flourish is the bottle conditioning with Champagne yeast. (That last move might have been obvious.)
The result is actually a relatively complex American wild ale with a touch of the grainy undertones you’ll recognize as Miller High Life. Easily one of the most interesting collaborations we’ve ever seen in craft beer. The duo very LITERALLY created the Champagne of Wild Beers.
Off Color Eeek! (Batch 2) is available in 750-milliliter bottles in Chicago starting March 18th. Limited distribution is pending.
Style: American Wild Ale
Availability: 750ml Bottles
Latest Return: March 2018
PIC: Beer Street Journal
When the Atlanta Braves open their new stadium in Cobb County, Georgia, it will feature another Chop House bar, similar to the one that overlooks the outfield currently. MillerCoors has inked the partnership deal for the new three story restaurant and bar at Sunburst Park. You’ll come to know the new spot as the Coors Light Chop House.
Additionally, MillerCoor’s cider brand Smith & Forge will be the official hard cider of the Atlanta Braves, and Peroni Nastro Azzuro (Italy) will be the official import beer.
Currently, Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewery is the official craft brewery of the Braves. SweetWater has declined to mention if that partnership will continue when he stadium opens in 2017.
Image via MillerCoors
Outraged over price increases by SABMiller and AB InBev, restaurant chain The Winking Lizard is dumping Miller Lite and Bud Light. Both companies have raised prices across the board recently. That equates to a price increase for the customer.
An employee of the restaurant chain (who didn’t want to be identified) says this: – “with the price of these light beers going up, there is a decreased value for the customer. What’s the point anymore? Time for more craft, from hard working American breweries.” Yuengling & Yuengling Light will be the national brand of choice.
Important thing to note here, The Winking Lizard has pulled these off the draft wall because of the politics of price increases. Not how the brand is viewed in America’s exploding beer market. Both brands were/are strong sellers in the restaurant chain.
Redd’s Apple Ale (Albany, GA) has officially launched. The beer is “Crisp like an Apple. Brewed like an ale.” This is no cider, it’s a golden ale with red apple hints. The beer is a foreign brand owned by SABMiller, and now brewed at the MillerCoors plant in Albany.
“We are proud to introduce a refreshingly crisp brew that showcases the natural flavor of apples,” said Andrew Zrike, brand manager of Redd’s Apple Ale. “By blending the flavor of apples into a golden ale, Redd’s Apple Ale is the perfect choice for the times when you want a refreshing and sweet alternative to your everyday beers.”
(London ENGLAND and Denver, CO) – SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company reported that MillerCoors second quarter underlying net income increased 9.1 percent to $436.0 million versus prior year, driven by positive pricing, favorable brand mix and cost management.
“As our major summer marketing programs kicked off during the second quarter, we saw sequential improvement in retail sales on our premium light brands, highlighted by the strong growth of Coors Light,” said MillerCoors Chief Executive Tom Long. “We also delivered double digit growth from Tenth and Blake as we scale brands like Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy to meet changing consumer tastes. Positive brand mix shifts — combined with our continued attention to cost control and sharp revenue management — were key to delivering another profitable quarter. We continue to make progress against our strategy of strengthening our core business, while evolving our portfolio to match consumer demand.”
Second Quarter Highlights
Unless otherwise indicated, all amounts are in U.S. dollars and calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP. All percentages are versus the prior-year comparable period and include MillerCoors operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
- Underlying net income (a non-GAAP measure) increased 9.1 percent to $436.0 million.
- Total net sales increased 4.3 percent to $2.224 billion.
- Domestic net revenue per barrel, excluding contract brewing and company-owned distributor sales, increased 3.6 percent.
- Total cost of goods sold (COGS) per barrel increased 2.5 percent.
MillerCoors domestic sales-to-retailers (STRs) were down 1.4 percent, a slight improvement versus the first quarter trend as the U.S. economic environment remained challenging and unemployment among our key consumer demographics worsened. Domestic sales-to-wholesalers (STWs) increased 0.3 percent.
Brand Highlights for the Second Quarter
Premium Light STRs were virtually unchanged in the second quarter versus prior year, an improvement compared to the first quarter 2012. Coors Light continued to post solid results, leading all major premium light brands with low-single digit growth for the quarter. Innovations such as the Coors Light Silver Bullet Aluminum Pint have contributed significant new volume to the brand. In the early stages of the new “It’s Miller Time” campaign, Miller Lite declined low-single digits, while showing incremental trend improvement versus the first quarter. Twelve and 16 oz. can sales have increased in the low-single digits for the brand, attributable to the launch of the Punch Top Can innovation. Miller64 declined low-double digits as new branding, packaging and marketing programs rolled out nationally.
Tenth and Blake Beer Company continued to grow the MillerCoors craft and import portfolio by double digits in the quarter driven primarily by Leinenkugel’s. The Leinenkugel’s franchise is leading the craft segment in share growth, primarily via double-digit growth of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. Blue Moon also continued to show strong volume growth. Peroni Nastro Azzurro grew mid-single digits and continued to show strength.
The Below Premium portfolio declined mid-single digits, as the company maintained competitive price gaps between Premium and Below Premium brands. Miller High Lifecontinued to build brand awareness with its “Welcome Veterans Back to the High Life” program and the unveiling of its new red, white and blue packaging. Keystone Light continued to drive its “Always Smooth” positioning through digital engagement.
The Premium Regular portfolio was down mid-single digits with a double-digit decline by Miller Genuine Draft partly offset by mid-single-digit growth of Coors Banquet.
Financial Highlights for the Second Quarter
- Domestic net revenue per barrel grew 3.6 percent as a result of strong net pricing and favorable mix.
- Total company net revenue per barrel, including contract brewing and company-owned distributor sales, increased 3.4 percent.
- Third-party contract brewing volumes were up 6.7 percent.
- Total COGS per barrel increased 2.5 percent driven by packaging innovation, brand premiumization and brewing material costs, partially offset by tight cost control and savings initiatives.
Marketing, general and administrative costs increased 3.1 percent, driven by slightly increased marketing spending related to the Miller64 brand re-launch and increased spending behind new products and packaging innovations, partially offset by lower information systems costs.
In the second quarter, $32 million of cost savings were achieved versus prior year, primarily within the integrated supply chain.
Depreciation and amortization expenses for MillerCoors in the second quarter were $73.0 million and additions to tangible and intangible assets totaled $47.6 million.
During the second quarter, special items reflect the benefit of a $2.3 million pension curtailment gain.