While much of the focus for MillerCoors with its premium beers remains on the cold proposition and packaging innovation, the beer marketer showed a remarkably wide range of new craft products coming to market soon during the NACS Show in Las Vegas. The U.S. joint marketing arm of SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co., through its Tenth & Blake subsidiary, has a handful of ambitious introductions scheduled between now and the second quarter of 2013:
- Crispin Natural Hard Apple Cider. Acquired in January, rolling out to convenience stores now, the U.S.-made cider carries a distinctly British image, including the Union Jack featured prominently on the can. It is being sold in 4-packs of 16.9-ounce cans.
- Henry Weinhard. After a storied history in Oregon, MillerCoors/Tenth & Blake is taking Henry Weinhard’s three craft beers national. Available in 6- and 12-packs, the Henry Weinhard’s collection includes the Woodland Pass IPA, Redwoods Flats Amber Ale, and Private Reserve.
- Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. MillerCoors will introduce Leinenkugel’s Lemon Berry Shady this fall. With it, MillerCoors hopes to do for fall and winter craft-beer sales what Summer Shandy did for spring and summer (growth of 60% and 79% over the past two years).
- Blue Moon Belgian White is the reason MillerCoors made a strong entry into the craft-beer market in the first place. It aims to expand that success with a new 4-pack of 16-ounce cans coming this fall.
- Batch 19 is inspired by the last batches of beer brewed by the Coors Brewery before Prohibition took hold in 1919. It’s currently available on-tap in select cities and coming to off-premise retail soon.
The ambitious new-product schedule for Tenth & Blake is no surprise considering the craft arm of MillerCoors was a highlight of the company’s second-quarter earnings report. Beyond craft beers, MillerCoors also has a couple intriguing new domestic additions coming to market:
- Redd’s Apple Ale isn’t a beer at all, but rather targets the sweet, flavored-malt-beverage market in traditional beer packaging (12-ounce bottles and 6-packs). The 5%-alcohol-by-volume drink will come to market in February.
- Third Shift is a mainstream beer developed by MillerCoors brewers on, yes, the third shift. The Amber Lager, which launches in February, is the first of “a series of award-winning beers brewed by a band of brewers whose love of beer/passion for brewing doesn’t stop when the day shift is over.” (CSP Daily News: www.cspnet.com)