Friday, October 5, 2007

Much More Chill*

I've got a new Massachusetts Beverage Business piece up, a longer, more detailed look at the Chill/Chelada story, which quotes a very good story from 2001 on the origins of the whole thing. So...if the first piece didn't piss off enough of you craft beer lovers, this one may do the job!

*If you recognize the name of this singing group, God bless you. If you sang in it, you were great!

13 comments:

Mr. Thursday said...

Good stuff. It's an interesting look at how Busch-Miller-Coors develop their products. I'm curious about the Chill, myself, though, so far, I haven't curious enough about it to order it.

S.Johansen said...

Lew,

Help me out here. In the late 90's I remember a similar product; Tequiza. I'm not sure if this is still on the market, but at the time I remember being told it was like a Corona with the lime already in it. I'm also not sure who brewed it, but it must have been a big brewery as I doubt very much it was a flagship. In my uniformed youth, I had this on several occassions at BBQ's, and I didn't think it was horrible, but it's not something that I'm actively searching for today. So my question is, hasn't this "Chelada Brew" already been done? And didn't it already go away? If it's coming back, why isn't Tequiza a player in the market?

Sam K said...

I find it interesting that the comparison is made to Blue Moon in terms of market share. One big difference: Blue Moon has made steady gains pretty much under the radar, while Chill's momentum is all out of the gate backed by big promotional bucks. I see Blue Moon continuing to grow in the long run, while Chill may have already had its best year ever. Can you say Hop 'n Gator?

LandmarkBeer said...

Repeat sales aren't what they should be. I think the huge intial numbers are from aggresive pricing and lots of $ in advertising. It won't last in my opinion. Funny how Miller thinks they have their "craft brand" now. Blue moon has longer legs then this as it has shown of the past decade.

Anonymous said...

did they sing at Syracuse some time back..all i remember..alcoholic haze and all...

LStaff said...

I had the opportunity to try Miller Chill without having to put down my own money on it this weekend while at my friends beach house at the Jersey Shore. He was surprised that I wanted to try it -he knows my preference for good beer, but I was curious. I have to say it wasn't horrible. The saltiness was bang on giving it a snappy refreshing quality but the lime flavor, although subdued, just seemed fake and sweet - just like the fake lime flavoring in candy, low end lime "drink", and those green flava-ice pops. If it had real lime flavor, it would be something worth drinking on a hot day. Better off just buying some Miller Lite, and adding salt and lime yourself. Maybe next summer I will try my hand at homebrewing a version - but with real lime.

Will these beers stick around past summer? I think if they have traction in the Latin-American segment, they could be here to stay, but if not, adios muchacho.

Lew Bryson said...

Tequiza was an A-B product, I don't think it's still available. But it isn't really the same thing: Tequiza was made with "blue agave nectar," and it was a sweeter thing. I was definitely not nuts about it.

But one thing I've learned: there's very little in the beer biz that ain't been done before...somewhere.

Lew Bryson said...

Sam,

Excellent point, and one I should have made. There's a big diff. Of course, it's a different target, and a different business plan, but still.

Lew Bryson said...

Kieran,
I don't think they really think it's a craft brand; I suspect Miller would take a more crafty beer if it came along. They're looking for low-hanging fruit, and stuff they understand. Next summer will tell the tale, though, you're right.

Lew Bryson said...

Much More Chill was an a capella group out of Fredonia State, so yeah, they could have been in Syracuse, and they did a number of drinking songs, so they could be the guys you remember.

Lew Bryson said...

Lstaff,

Pretty much down the line with you on this one. I thought the lime tasted fakey. We'll see.

SteveHo said...

As a Much More Chill alumnus, I can definately say we've been out in Syracuse. We've also rocked out in Boston, Pittsburgh and NYC to name a few more. Thanks for the shout out, Lew!

Lew Bryson said...

Steve! Thanks for the link. I hope there's more -- much more Chill in the future, cuz I'd definitely travel to hear you. I'm in an a capella group myself now, doing spirituals, and there is just nothing like it.