USA: MillerCoors launches hard cold brew coffee

MillerCoors today said it is testing a hard cold brew coffee in three U.S. markets in partnership with Philadelphia based third-wave coffee company La Colombe Coffee. La Colombe was founded by Todd Carmichael and JP Iberti in 1994 and owns and operates today 30 cafes in major cities in the US like Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffee, a ready-to-drink cold brew with 4.2% alcohol-by-volume, is rolling out this month in Boston, Denver and in the greater Tampa/Fort Myers/Treasure Coast area in Florida. The drink is made from medium-roasted Colombian and Brazilian cold brew coffee, alcohol derived from a malt base, cane sugar and natural flavor. Its two flavors, Black and Vanilla, are packaged in four-packs of 9-ounce cans that will retail around USD 9.99 and 9-ounce single cans that will go for about USD 2.79.

MillerCoors is the next major brewing company to tap this relatively new market. In July, Pabst Brewing Company announced to test Pabst Hard Coffee in five test markets ( 26.7.2019). Other breweries which have already launched coffee beers include Ballast Point, BrewDog, Founders, Goose Island, Mikkeller, New GlarusBrewing, Oscar Blues, Sixpoint and Stone Brewing. However, most of the products are coffee infused beers and not hard coffees where the coffee is infused with alcohol from beer like with the new La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffee.

Limited data is available on the nascent hard cold brew space, which includes relatively few players that range from brewers like Pabst to smaller players such as Café Agave and Bad Larry’s. But MillerCoors and La Colombe see promise in the proposition, positioning the brand as “the perfect drink for many occasions, like weekend brunches, all-day events and evening celebrations with friends,” says Sofia Colucci, vice president of innovation at MillerCoors.

The La Colombe launch comes as ready-to-drink coffee continues to grow, averaging an annual growth rate of about 10%, according to Nielsen data covering 52 weeks through Aug. 10. La Colombe is outpacing the market, logging growth over that same period of 33%, per Nielsen.

“We’re thrilled to team up with La Colombe on this exciting launch, “ Colucci was quoted as saying. “They bring deep expertise in the category and their focus on quality sourcing, roasting and innovation made them the perfect partner. Millennials are constantly looking for new products to complement their active, busy lives. La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffee does exactly that.”

“One of us knows the alcohol industry really well and the other knows coffee really well, and it turns out together we (are) the perfect pair. This Hard Cold Brew Coffee is truly something beautiful,” says Todd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe.

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