You don’t get as big as MillerCoors without understanding the beer business. That’s why the company’s CEO Tom Long knows not to ignore the rise of craft beer. Long has been the CEO for a full month now, and is already speaking about the importance of the booming craft sector. In 2008, the company did some internal consolidation in order to save money. That maneuver worked, and now it’s time to grow. That’s where craft beer comes in.
Organic growth in craft and imports and light beer is our ambition because our future earnings power will come from that growth more than from cost savings, and so that is the challenge of the business.
Last fall the company created Tenth & Blake, a subsect of Miller dedicated to craft brands and imported beer. The need to invest in the craft industry has become widely apparent.
Staunch small beer drinkers aren’t going to be thrilled with everything he says though. He’s betting on a brewery bubble, thinking there won’t be over 1,700 in the future.
“[There] will not always be thousands and thousands of tiny brands,” Long said, referring to the 1,700 brewers in the U.S. today. “Big brands will emerge, and they already have: Sam Adams and Fat Tire and others. Certainly Blue Moon fits into that category”
Miller still sees light beer as the money maker. Seems like this is simple. Big beer shipments down. Small beer shipments up. Evolve or lose. [LATimes]