Miller Brewing Company

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Miller Brewing Company
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1855
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Key people
Tom Long (CEO)
Products Beer
Parent Molson Coors
Website www.millercoors.com

The Miller Brewing Company is an American beer brewing company headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that was owned until October 11, 2016 by the MillerCoors division of the MillerCoors–Molson Coors joint venture. The company has brewing facilities in Albany, Georgia; Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Fort Worth, Texas; Irwindale, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Trenton, Ohio. On July 1, 2008, Miller 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.

The joint venture ended after the SABMiller operation was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) on October 10, 2016. The new company is called Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev).[1] On October 11, 2016, the company sold the Miller brand portfolio outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico to Molson Coors, which also retained "the rights to all of the brands currently in the MillerCoors portfolio for the U.S. and Puerto Rico".[2]

Molson Coors is now sole owner of Miller Brewing Company and plans to keep the MillerCoors name and the Chicago headquarters and plans to operate the company in much the same manner as before October 11, 2016.[3] For the consumer, and for employees, the change to 100 percent ownership (from the previous 42 percent) by Molson Coors will not be apparent in the U.S., according to Jon Stern, MillerCoors' director of media relations. "The good news is that none of this impacts Milwaukee or Wisconsin. It'll be business as usual. Miller Lite, Coors light, Miller High Life and Leinenkugel's -- and frankly all the rest of our brands will continue to be brewed by us."[4]

History[edit]

Miller Valley contains the Miller Brewing Company in Wisconsin.

Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick Miller after emigrating from Hohenzollern, Germany in 1854 with a unique brewer's yeast. Initially, he purchased the small Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee for $2300.[5] The brewery's location in the Miller Valley in Milwaukee provided easy access to raw materials produced on nearby farms. In 1855, Miller changed its name to Miller Brewing Company, Inc.[6] The enterprise remained in the family until 1966.

In 1966, the conglomerate W. R. Grace and Company bought Miller from Mrs. 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 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, Miller Brewing purchased Sparks and Steel Reserve brands from McKenzie River Corporation for $215 million cash.[7] Miller had been producing both brands prior to this purchase.[8]

In 2007, SABMiller and Molson Coors combined their U.S. operations in a joint venture called MillerCoors. SABMiller owned 58% of the unit, which operated in the United States but not in Canada, where Molson Coors is strongest. Molson Coors owned the rest of the joint venture, but the companies had equal voting power.[9][10]

Sole ownership by Molson Coors[edit]

In September 2015 Anheuser-Busch Inbev announced that it had reached a full agreement to acquire SABMiller for $107 Billion dollars, As part of the agreement with U.S. regulators for acquiring SABMiller, AB-Inbev agreed to sell its 58 percent interest in MillerCoors to Molson Coors for $12 Billion dollars[11] The merger was completed on October 10, 2016.[12]

In order to obtain approval for the merger from 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 Brewing Company.[13]

Consequently, on October 11, 2016, SABMiller in the U.S. sold its interests in MillerCoors to Molson Coors who had been its partner in the joint venture, for around US $12 billion. Molson Coors gained full ownership of the Miller brand portfolio outside of the U.S. 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.[14][15]

In Canada, Molson Coors regained the right (from SABMiller) to make and market Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lite.[16] In the U.S. however, the change in ownership of MillerCoors/Miller Brewing Company will not be apparent to consumers or to employees.[4]

Hamm's beers[edit]

The Miller Brewery complex in Milwaukee

Miller bought the rights to the Hamm's Brewery brands.

  • Hamm's Beer: Winner of the 2007 Gold Medal for American-Style Lager and the 2010 Gold Medal for American-Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager at the Great American Beer Festival
  • Hamm's Golden Draft
  • Hamm's Special Light

Plank Road Brewery beers[edit]

This division is named for the 19th-century name for west State Street in Milwaukee (formerly known for its full length outside of Milwaukee as the Watertown Plank Road), where the main Miller brewery has been located since its founding.

  • Icehouse: Icehouse is an ice lager. At 5.5% alcohol by volume, it was the winner of the 2003 and 2007 Gold Medals for American-Style Specialty Lager at the Great American Beer Festival, and also won the American-style Ice Lager Gold Cup of the 1996 and 1998 World Beer Cup competitions.[17] In 2017, the packaging changed to specify 6.9% alcohol by volume.[18]
  • Icehouse EDGE: Icehouse EDGE is an ice lager/malt liquor (8.0% alcohol by volume) and was introduced in June 2012.
  • Red Dog: Although popular during the mid- to late-1990s, Red Dog faded into near obscurity near the start of the 21st century. However, since 2005 it has been returning to stores.[citation needed]

Sponsorships[edit]

Miller has been a 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 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. Also, 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 NHRA, Miller sponsored Larry Dixon for 11 years, ending their relationship in 2007.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nurin, Tara (October 10, 2016). "It's Final: AB InBev Closes On Deal To Buy SABMiller". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2017. leaving Coors Brewing Co. the last of the former “Big Three” beer companies to stand apart from the other two. 
  2. ^ "Molson Coors Completes Acquisition of Full Ownership of MillerCoors and Global Miller Brand Portfolio" (Press release). Molson Coors. October 11, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  3. ^ Dill, Molly (October 10, 2016). "Anheuser-Busch to complete acquisition of SABMiller today". BizTimes. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Mega-merger: Anheuser-Busch InBev's takeover of SABMiller is now official". FOX 6 Now. Milwaukee: WITI-TV. October 10, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2017. As for what this means for workers in Milwaukee, Stern said there's not much overlap between Molson Coors and MillerCoors. 
  5. ^ "Our History". Molson Coors. 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Company Overview of Miller Brewing Company, Inc.". Bloomberg Research. January 31, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  7. ^ Fredrix, Emily (July 4, 2006). "Miller dives into caffeinated drinks with $215 million deal". Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  8. ^ "SABMiller Acquires 2 Brands". Los Angeles Times. Bloomberg News. July 4, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Coors, Miller in U.S. Venture". TheStreet.com. October 9, 2007. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ "Molson Coors buying rest of MillerCoors for $12 billion". Denver Post. November 11, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  12. ^ Nurin, Tara (October 10, 2016). "It's Final: AB InBev Closes On Deal To Buy SABMiller". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  13. ^ Brown, Lisa (October 11, 2016). "A-B InBev finalizes $100B billion acquisition of SABMiller, creating world's largest beer company". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Molson Coors Completes Acquisition of Full Ownership of MillerCoors and Global Miller Brand Portfolio". Molson Coors. October 11, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2017. Becomes World’s Third Largest Brewer by Enterprise Value and Strengthens Position in Highly Attractive U.S. Beer Market 
  15. ^ Trotter, Greg (October 11, 2016). "With new owner, MillerCoors focuses on growth". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  16. ^ Wright, Lisa (November 11, 2015). "Molson Coors doubles with $12B Miller buyout". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Award Winners: 1996; 1998". World Beer Cup. Retrieved February 4, 2016. 
  18. ^ "thisisfutile" (January 4, 2017). "Icehouse ABV increased, but Miller said nothing.". Beer Advocate. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Miller Time ends for Prudhomme's Top Fuel dragster team". Autoweek. June 11, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2016. 

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