This Popular Beer Company Just Discontinued 11 Beloved Brands
Anheuser-Busch InBev is likely the first name that comes to mind when you think of the top beer producers in the U.S. But Molson Coors Beverage Co. is on the same exact playing field, and it also produces some of the country's favorite brews. However, the maker of Blue Moon and Miller recently announced it is discontinuing 11 "economy" brands.
According to MarketWatch, the eliminated brands include Hamm's Special Light, Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve, High Life Light, Icehouse Edge, Keylightful, Keystone Ice, Magnum, Mickey's Ice, Milwaukee's Best Premium, Olde English HG 8000, and Steel Reserve 211. (RELATED: The Most Popular Beer Trends Right Now, Say Experts)
Molson Coors' decision to ax these beloved brands is part of an effort to focus on the higher-end brands in its portfolio, as well as add some new additions.
"We're going to invest bigger behind our fast-growing global hard seltzer portfolio, and we're going to permanently streamline our smaller portfolio of legacy brands," Gavin Hattersley, chief executive of Molson Coors, said on the company's most recent second-quarter earnings call, according to a FactSet transcript reviewed by MarketWatch.
Keystone Light isn't going anywhere, despite the departure of two other brands (Keystone Ice and Keylightful) under the same franchise. Keylightful launched last year in an attempt to compete with Natural Light's Naturdays, according to Food & Wine.
The original Icehouse is also here to stay, but Icehouse Edge won't be on store shelves moving forward. Perhaps the most shocking brand to be cut from the lineup is Milwaukee's Best Premium, though the Ice and Light versions are staying on the market.
It goes without saying that some Americans will likely be devastated once some of these cult-favorite beers are gone forever. Yet Hattersley seems confident that there are enough beer equivalents under the Molson Coors company to make up for the 11 brands' abrupt removal.
"Distributors who sell brands like Magnum and Mickey's are going to feel it when they are discontinued," he said. "So our local sales teams are partnering with distributors and retailers on a market-by-market basis on exit plans and to identify swaps that make sense."