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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Future of Beer

Look here (hat tip, Adam Nason):
MillerCoors domestic sales to retailers declined 1.1% in the quarter on a trading day adjusted basis. Premium light brand volumes were down low single digits, as low single digit growth in Coors Light was offset by a mid single digit decline in Miller Lite. The Tenth and Blake division saw double digit growth driven by Leinenkugel’s and Blue Moon. Economy volumes were down low single digits.  Domestic sales to wholesalers were down 1.4% in the quarter compared with the prior year.
This is exactly where the craft versus crafty debate comes from.  To borrow a phrase from a different sector, we have seen "peak lager."  Large multinationals may cannibalize one another, but the overall barrelage of thin industrial lagers is going to continue to decline--and probably quickly.  So wise companies are doing what MillerCoors have done and sign onto the growth segment in ales.  It's the new reality.  Does that mean we are striding boldly into a future where good beer rules the day and big companies have to compete on the merits of flavor, or one in which all that is good and true and tasty will be blotted out by consolidating Wall Streeters who will leave us with only crappy ales? 

Time will tell...


  1. I am honestly interested in the launch of Black Crown. Bud Light Platinum has sold reasonably well and I suppose that Black Crown could be considered an entry into the "crafty" section of the debate.

    "Innovation" is happening to some degree, I suppose. Whatever that means in Big Business speak.

  2. It's funny, Beer Business Daily tried to put a positive spin on it saying "MillerCoors shows marked improvement in q4 despite an industry slowdown in December, MillerCoors domestic sales to retailers (STRs) declined only 1.1% in the fourth quarter on a trading day..."

    Glass half full or empty...there's still a hole in the bottom