Posted by: Michael | 8 November 2012

I’ve got a bone to pick…

…with MillerCoors Beers. Yes, the folks who’ve graced us with the vortex bottle that funnels booze into your mouth all the faster and the blue mountains on the label to tell you when it’s OK to tap the Rockies.

This morning I went to the grocery store with a hankering for chips and salsa. I’ll spoil my appetite at any Mexican restaurant that throws those damn things in front of you for free until the entree arrives. But that’s beside the point. Whenever I go to the grocery I take a stroll down the beer aisle – despite the fact that this is a national chain store, they often have at least a tiny selection of decent beer on offer. At the end of the aisle I noticed a stand with some beers I’d never seen before: Henry Weinhard’s. They had their Redwood Flats Amber and Private Reserve (a generic lager) available. I immediately thought “Must be a trick. This has to be owned by A-B InBev or MCB.” I checked out the packaging and bottles and couldn’t find anything to that effect. I got a little exciting – a new brewery I’ve never even heard of? Great!

Then I noticed the price. $6.49 for a sixer? Seriously? There’s no way that isn’t an A-B InBev or MCB property. I’ve checked out the Henry Weinhard’s website – no mention of either conglomerate, and the contact info at the bottom of the screen very clearly states “Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company, Hood River, OR.” Go search through the site’s Terms and Conditions – no mention of Miller, Coors, or A-B. Ditto for the privacy policy. So no indication whatsoever that this company is owned by anyone other than the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company.

Now go check out MillerCoors Beers. Specifically, go here. What do you find, down there under the “craft” listing? Lo and behold, it’s Henry Weinhard!

What’s my beef? That isn’t craft beer. That’s a super corporation swooping in and taking advantage of a burgeoning craft brew market. It’d be one thing if there was something on the Henry Weinhard packaging to indicate it came from an MCB holding. But it isn’t there. You aren’t supposed to know. The packaging, the style, the placement away from the other MCB and A-B InBev offerings – all are meant to make the consumer think this comes from some shack run by a few good ‘ole boys. And that’s no good.

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Responses

  1. […] increasing prominence of faux craft beers, put out by the likes of A-B InBev and MBC/SABMiller. I wrote about my own experience with this bait-and-switch crock a few weeks ago. Today I see via Beer Street Journal that the […]

  2. […] and shaming (rightfully so, I might add) those faux-craft brewers that I’ve written about here and here to a more positive message of listing those breweries that do fall under the craft […]

  3. […] covering the battle between authentic craft brewers and the multinationals for a few weeks now (see here, here, and here). Today, Tom Long, CEO of MillerCoors, fired his own volley via CNN (I originally […]


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