Yesterday, while wasting a perfectly good Sunday watching football, I noticed the same commercial popping up over and over again. Picture a hypothetical sports bar, with beautiful people cheering because all of their favorite football teams are winning. Cut to another equally bizarre reality and you see a duo of mountain climbers trekking up icy cliffs with a few bottles of Coors Light in tow. At the summit, they reach a magical portal, which transports them directly into the bar. They hand the bottles off to a waitress, who orders them to go get two more. Back into the fray they go.
My first thought: Slowest bar service ever.
My second thought: Why doesn’t MillerCoors advertise some of the finer points of their company?
It’s hard to deny the idea that the global company is having a bit of a moment right now, specifically with its more craft-friendly (and downright craft) brands. Last week, Slate ran a post spotlighting a recent poll that Blowfish, a hangover cure company, and AMP conducted, which asked drinkers to pick their preferred beer brand. The result? Blue Moon. Blue Moon everywhere. If Blue Moon Belgian White, a witbier, is trending up, wouldn’t it be safe to assume these same consumers might also enjoy a bottle of Golden Knot? Oh that’s right, they don’t know Golden Knot exists.
Golden Knot, a witbier brewed with Chardonnay grapes, just won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Like the flagship Blue Moon Belgian White, it’s brewed by Blue Moon Brewing Co., a division of MillerCoors. It’s also available now at your local bottle shop.
Despite its global conglomerate appearance and love affair with big budget TV adverts (seriously, read this post about shooting that mountain climbing commercial), MillerCoors releases some stellar beer within its divisions. Blue Moon Brewing’s taken home a number of GABF medals in specialty categories over the years. So has AC Golden Brewing, recently for trendy craft styles like India pale lager and barrel-aged imperial stout. Then there’s The SandLot, based inside Denver’s Coors Field, which won the Large Brewing Company of the Year award, two gold medals and one bronze at this year’s GABF. But MillerCoors would rather try to sell you on the idea of an ice-cold, mountain-brewed lager, and to a much lesser degree, a witbier.
I recently had the pleasure of touring the Anheuser-Busch facility in St. Louis, and the absolute highlight was walking through its R&D pilot brewery. Later that day, I tasted a few samples of incredibly inventive beer, like a pretzel beer (yep, tasted just like a chocolate pretzel). The saddest aspect of the experience was the fact that these beers never see the light of day—at most, they might appear on tap at some obscure festival. The market result of AB-InBev’s experimentation usually ends up tasting something like Budweiser, like Budweiser Black Crown. MillerCoors, on the other hand, doesn’t seem timid about releasing creative beers. But telling you about them? That’s a different story.
I don’t know why there aren’t more TV commercials for Blue Moon Belgian White, or any at all for Blue Moon Golden Knot or Crimson Crossing (a wit brewed with merlot grapes), during NFL commercial breaks. There’s no doubt the company has the resources.
I’m not advocating for or against a new MillerCoors campaign touting its success in the craft beer realm. But, as I’m stretched out on the couch on Sundays, thinking about what new beer I might want to try as another extreme Coors Light commercial plays, I do know one thing: I simply don’t get it.