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Miller Brewing Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Miller Brewing Company
FounderFrederick Miller
Headquarters3939 West Highland Blvd
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
OwnerMolson Coors
ParentMolson Coors Beverage Company

The Miller Brewing Company is an American brewery and beer company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Molson Coors acquired the full global brand portfolio of Miller Brewing Company in 2016,[1][2] and operates the Miller Brewery at the site of the original Miller Brewing Company complex.


Miller Valley in Milwaukee, site of the Miller Brewing Company complex
Miller Valley in Milwaukee, site of the Miller Brewing Company complex

Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick Miller after his emigration from Hohenzollern, Germany in 1854 with a unique brewer's yeast. Initially, he purchased the small Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee for $2,300 ($66,736 in 2018).[3] The brewery's location in what is now the Miller Valley provided easy access to raw materials produced on nearby farms. In 1855, Miller changed its name to Miller Brewing Company, Inc.[4] The enterprise remained in the family until 1966.

The company was one of the six breweries affected by the 1953 Milwaukee brewery strike.

In 1966, the conglomerate W. R. Grace and Company bought Miller from Lorraine John Mulberger (Frederick Miller's granddaughter, who objected to alcohol) and her family. In 1969, Philip Morris (now Altria) bought Miller from W. R. Grace for $130 million, outbidding PepsiCo.

In 1999 Miller acquired the Hamm's brand from Pabst.

In 2002, South African Breweries bought Miller from Philip Morris for $3.6 billion worth of stock and $2 billion in debt to form SABMiller, with Philip Morris retaining a 36% ownership share and 24.99% voting rights.

In 2006, SABMiller purchased the Sparks and Steel Reserve brands from McKenzie River Corporation for $215 million cash.[5] Miller had been producing both brands prior to the purchase.[6]

On July 1, 2008, SABMiller formed MillerCoors, a joint venture with rival Molson Coors, to consolidate the production and distribution of its products in the United States, with each parent company's corporate operations and international operations to remain separate and independent of the joint venture. SABMiller owned 58% of the unit, which operated in the United States but not in Canada, where Molson Coors is strongest, but the companies had equal voting power.[7][8]

Sole ownership by Molson Coors

In September 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced that it had reached a full agreement to acquire SABMiller for $107 billion.[9] As part of the agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, SABMiller agreed to divest itself of the Miller brands in the US and Puerto Rico by selling its stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors.[1][10] Consequently, on October 11, 2016, SABMiller in the U.S. sold its interests in MillerCoors to Molson Coors for around US$12 billion. Molson Coors gained full ownership of the Miller brand portfolio outside the US and Puerto Rico, and retained the rights to all of the brands that were in the MillerCoors portfolio for the U.S. and Puerto Rico.[2][11]


Miller is responsible for originating a number of alcoholic beverage brands, notably Mickey's, Miller High Life, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and Milwaukee's Best.

Miller Genuine Draft 330mL bottle
Miller Genuine Draft 330mL bottle
  • Miller Lite: A pilsner type light beer. It is 4.2% abv (4% in Canada).
  • Miller Genuine Draft: Nicknamed MGD. Introduced in 1985 with the claim of tasting like draft beer, as that the beer is cold filtered and not pasteurized. MGD received the gold medal in the American-style Premium Lager category at the 1999 World Beer Cup. It also received the silver medal at the 2003 Great American Beer Festival. The concept for cold-filtered Miller Genuine Draft was developed by product consultant Calle & Company. Martin Calle evolved the concept from Miller's New Ventures effort to launch a new dry beer at a time Miller Brewing was in danger of becoming a much-cloned light beer manufacturer. Originally introduced as "Miller High Life Genuine Draft", the "High Life" part of the name was soon dropped. MGD is actually made from the same recipe as Miller High Life but with a different treatment. It was developed to try and replicate the non-pasteurized keg flavor of High Life in a can or bottle. As of 2007 Genuine Draft had a 1.5% share of the United States market; by 2012 it had declined to 0.7% market share, representing a decline of 1.7 million barrels.[12] It has 4.7% abv.[13]
  • Miller 64: (Formerly Miller Genuine Draft 64)[14] A lighter version of the regular Miller Genuine Draft Light with a 2.8% abv, also known as "MGD 64". It contains 64 calories per 12 US fl oz (355 mL) serving (750 kJ/L). Until recently, no other beer on the market had less food energy, although Beck's Premier Light also has 64 calories per 12 US fl oz serving. In the late summer of 2009, Budweiser launched Budweiser Select 55 in response to Miller's popular MGD 64. Miller launched this beer in the summer of 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin. It was received favorably and testing expanded to Arizona, San Diego and Sacramento.[15]
  • Miller High Life: This beer was put on the market in 1903 and is Miller Brewing's oldest brand. High Life is grouped under the pilsner category of beers and is 4.6% abv.[13] The prevailing slogan on current packaging is "The Champagne of Beers", an adaptation of its long standing slogan "The Champagne of Bottle Beers". Accordingly, this beer is noted for its high level of carbonation, making it a very bubble-filled beverage, like champagne. It was originally available in miniature champagne bottles and was one of the premier high-end beers in the country for many years. Today they are popular in 7 U.S. fl oz (207 ml; 7 imp fl oz) pony bottles, introduced in 1972.[16][17] Except for a brief period in the 1990s,[18] High Life bottles have always been quite distinctive, as they have a bright gold label and are made of a clear glass that has a tapered neck like a champagne bottle. High Life has brought back its "Girl in the Moon" logo, which features a modestly dressed young lady that, by legend, is company founder Frederick Miller's granddaughter. The "Girl in the Moon" logo was originally painted in the early 1900s by an unknown artist and has since been re-painted by Nebraskan artist Mike Hagel, who added his own unique touch to it.[19] High Life beat out 17 other contestants to take home the gold medal in "American-style Lagers" category at the 2002 World Beer Cup. High Life has enjoyed a resurgence recently, using its humorous "Take Back the High Life" campaign—which features a common sense-wielding deliveryman (portrayed by Windell Middlebrooks) removing beer from "non-High Life locations" (such as restaurants serving $11.50 hamburgers) to position the brand as "a good honest beer at a tasty price".
  • Miller High Life Light: Introduced in 1994. It has 4.1% abv.[13]
  • Miller Chill: A chelada-style 4.2% abv[13] pale lager brewed with lime and salt. Introduced successfully in 2007, sales dropped in 2008 after the launch of the rival Bud Light Lime.[20] In response, MillerCoors revamped their recipe from a 'chelada' style brew to a light beer with lime, created new packaging which included switching from a green to a clear bottle, and launched a new advertising campaign centered around the slogan "How a Light Beer with a Taste of Lime Should Taste".
  • Miller Midnight: According to the brewery, "This beer combines dark roasted and light crystal malts with caramel flavor. Getting this balance right was an important part of the two-year development process, led by Ronda Dannenberg and Jackie Lauman, specialists at Miller's flagship brewery in Milwaukee. Color, aroma, taste, and finish were all carefully considered. It is available in 330 ml and 500 ml bottles. Released in November 2008 this beer is available only in Russia." It has 5.2% abv.[citation needed]
  • Sharp's: Miller's non-alcoholic beer.
  • Frederick Miller Classic Chocolate Lager: A beer for the holiday season[clarification needed] released October to December in Wisconsin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Indianapolis and northwest Indiana. It is brewed with six different malts, including chocolate and dark chocolate malts.[21]
  • Mickey's: Mickey's is Miller's "Fine Malt Liquor". It is 5.6% abv.[13]
  • Olde English 800: Malt liquor also known as "OE". It is 5.9% abv in the eastern United States, 7.5% abv in most western U.S. states and 8.0% abv in Canada.
  • Milwaukee's Best: Miller's economy label. It is 4.3% abv, and commonly referred to as "The Beast", "Milwaukee's Beast", "Milwaukee's Worst" or "Milly B"[13]
  • Milwaukee's Best Light: Miller's light economy label. Also, it was the main sponsor of the 2008 World Series of Poker. It is 4.1% abv. and commonly referred to as "Beast Light"[13]
  • Milwaukee's Best Ice: Miller's economy "Ice" beer. It is 5.9% abv. and commonly referred to as "Beast Ice" or "the Yeti".[13]


Miller has been a large motorsport sponsor since the 1980s. In the CART World Series, the company has sponsored drivers such as Al Unser (1984), Danny Sullivan (1985–1989, 1991), Roberto Guerrero (1990), Bobby Rahal (1992–1998) and Kenny Bräck (2003). It also sponsored the Miller 200 race at Mid-Ohio.

In the NASCAR Cup Series, Miller has sponsored Bobby Allison from 1983 to 1988, Dick Trickle in 1989, Rusty Wallace from 1990 to 2005, Kurt Busch from 2006 to 2010, and Brad Keselowski since 2011. Allison won the 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, and Keselowski won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The company has sponsored the Miller High Life 500, Miller 500, Miller High Life 400, Miller 400, Miller 300, Miller 200, and Miller 150 races.

In the NHRA, Miller sponsored Larry Dixon for 11 years until 2007.[22]

From its opening in 2001 until the end of 2020, Miller owned the naming rights to Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers when the naming rights were bought by American Family Insurance in 2019.[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b Brown, Lisa (October 11, 2016). "A-B InBev finalizes $100B billion acquisition of SABMiller, creating world's largest beer company". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Molson Coors Completes Acquisition of Full Ownership of MillerCoors and Global Miller Brand Portfolio". Molson Coors. October 11, 2016. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "Our History". Molson Coors. 2017. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  4. ^ "Company Overview of Miller Brewing Company, Inc". Bloomberg Research. January 31, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  5. ^ Fredrix, Emily (July 4, 2006). "Miller dives into caffeinated drinks with $215 million deal". Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "SABMiller Acquires 2 Brands". Los Angeles Times. Bloomberg News. July 4, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Coors, Miller in U.S. Venture". October 9, 2007.
  8. ^ "Molson Coors and SABMiller merge U.S. operations". Financial Post. October 9, 2007. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Nurin, Tara (October 10, 2016). "It's Final: AB InBev Closes On Deal To Buy SABMiller". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  10. ^ "Molson Coors buying rest of MillerCoors for $12 billion". Denver Post. November 11, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  11. ^ Trotter, Greg (October 11, 2016). "With new owner, MillerCoors focuses on growth". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  12. ^ Frohlich, Thomas C.; Sauter, Michael B. (December 10, 2013). "Nine beers many Americans no longer drink". USA Today. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Beer Nutrition Facts and Codes". MillerCoors. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  14. ^ Edwards, Jim (March 27, 2012). "Before and After: Miller Genuine Draft 64 Has A New Logo – And A New Name". Business Insider.
  15. ^ "MGD 64...As Light As It Gets" (Press release). Miller Brewing Company. February 29, 2008.
  16. ^ Connor, John M.; Ward, Ronald W., eds. (November 6–7, 1980). Advertising and the Food System. College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison. p. 309.
  17. ^ "CSA Super Markets". 50. Lebhar-Friedman. 1974: 68. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ McMath, Robert (April 27, 2011). What Were They Thinking?: Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from Products That Flopped. ISBN 9780307793645.
  19. ^ Stevenson, Seth (October 10, 2005). "Aiming High". Slate. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  20. ^ Daykin, Tom (February 18, 2009). "Miller Chill makeover squeezes in more lime flavor". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  21. ^ Daykin, Tom (November 12, 2014). "At pilot brewery, MillerCoors learns what new beers will fly". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  22. ^ "Miller Time ends for Prudhomme's Top Fuel dragster team". Autoweek. June 11, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  23. ^ Gores, Paul; Nelson, James; Barrett, Rick (January 23, 2019). "American Family Insurance to replace Miller Brewing Co. as naming rights sponsor for Brewers stadium". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 30, 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 December 2021, at 02:02
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