USA: Miller is launching a hard seltzer … into space

Molson Coors Beverage Company will launch a hard seltzer into space as part of a livestreamed event on May 13. The event is part of a campaign of Miller Genuine Draft (MGD), featuring the beer as a brand that will never have a hard seltzer with the Miller name on it.

“Hard seltzers are a cultural phenomenon, and people have asked if Miller has plans to launch a seltzer,” says Sofia Colucci, global vice president for the Miller family of brands in a news release today. “We want to be clear: We will never launch a seltzer. Miller is unapologetically about beer. The only way we will ever launch a seltzer is if we’re launching it into oblivion.”

On Thursday, May 13 at 4:00 PM EST, Miller's MGD will affix cases of hard seltzer to a rocket and send the oh-so-trendy beverage hurtling into the atmosphere. Beer fans can suggest online the seltzer brand that most deserves to be propelled from the planet.

Molson Coors shot a 60 second commercial for the campaign, which will be broadcast on social media channels before the event.

Bianca Guimaraes, Partner and Executive Creative Director at Mischief @ No Fixed Address, the agency that has developed the event, said: "Every beer brand is launching a seltzer, so it only felt right to do the same. We spent a lot of time debating if we should bury seltzers, shoot them off into space or drop them into the mouth of an erupting volcano. But sending them into a black hole seemed to make the most sense."

Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick J. Miller when he purchased the Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee. The brewery's oldest enduring beer is Miller High Life. Known as the Champagne of Beers, it was introduced in 1903 and still is brewed with the same yeast strain that Miller carried in his pocket from Germany.

Miller Lite was introduced nationally in 1975 and is among the top-five selling beers in the United States. Miller Genuine Draft (MGD), introduced in 1986, is the original cold-filtered, packaged draft beer. Miller Brewing Company is part of the North America business unit of Molson Coors Beverage Company.

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 USD 130 million, outbidding PepsiCo. In 2002, South African Breweries (SAB) bought Miller from Philip Morris for USD 3.6 billion worth of stock and USD 2 billion in debt to form SABMiller, with Philip Morris retaining a 36% ownership share and 24.99% voting rights. 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. Molson Coors owned the rest of the joint venture, but the companies had equal voting power. On September 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced that it had reached a full agreement to acquire SABMiller for USD 107 Billion. As part of the agreement with 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. 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 USD 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.

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