MillerCoors is taking “Miller Time” offline with a new Miller Lite campaign that includes “Followers,” an ad that dramatizes social media sleuthing. The ad shows a young man being literally followed — chased, in fact — until he ditches his phone and goes into a bar, where he can calmly enjoy a round of beers with friends (Miller Lite, obviously).

MillerCoors’ message is clear: It needs more young people in bars buying its beer. It’s even paying people to do it — the beer brand is taking two weeks off from social media and will refund anyone via PayPal credit who “unfollows” its accounts and buys Miller Lite, Fast Company reports.

I agree with MillerCoors’ point of view here — bars are a far better place to connect with friends than a social networking site — but if millennials are, in fact, tethered to their phones and social feeds, will an advertisement telling them to get offline really resonate? After all, we’re talking about the same demographic that’s drinking less, spending more on premium products, and choosing spiked seltzers and “lifestyle beers” over traditional light lagers.

At the very least, this new approach is better than showing us a woman remove her bra or putting us through another clapback at Bud Light’s “Dilly, Dilly” campaign.

Bear Republic Closing Original Brewpub

Craft beer pioneer Bear Republic Brewing, which opened its Healdsburg, Calif., brewpub in 1995, announced it will close that location next month, Brewbound reports. The brewery will transfer operations to its locations in Rohnert Park and Cloverdale, Calif.

Bear Republic President and CEO Richard G. Norgrove said the closure is the result of building costs, a competitive restaurant scene, and the transformation of the neighborhood. “I live in town and it really has changed… It’s become a bedroom community for second-home owners and very wine-centric tourist trade and we’ve been affected,” he said. “It used to be a little cow town and now it’s Beverly Healdsburg.”

Bear Republic has been serving the local Healdsburg community for nearly 25 years, and it pulls at the heartstrings to hear the family-owned brand can’t afford to stay in its own neighborhood. Situations like these sometimes have little to do with beer quality and a lot to do with shifting demographics — and, let’s be frank, an increasingly competitive beer (and wine) scene. Luckily, Bear Republic still has its other locations, as well as its reputation as a top-50 craft brewing company, according to the Brewers Association. Here’s to hoping it stays that way.

Boston Beer Ditches 26.2 Brew

Boston Beer Co.’s 26.2 Beer, a sports-oriented ale launched under Boston Beer’s new Marathon Brewing label in March 2019, is coming off the production line.

“The decision wasn’t easy as we love the beer, and we’re still committed to the active lifestyle beer space,” a spokesperson told Brewbound.

I’m surprised, in part because this beer literally just launched, but also because marketing spend seemed substantial. Marathon Brewing 26.2 was the official beer of the Boston Marathon and launched television ads featuring past Boston Marathon winners Desiree Linden and Meb Keflezighi. The beer is also on-trend, appealing to active-lifestyle drinkers with its low-alcohol, low-calorie recipe.

But with Boston Beer’s recent acquisition of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in 2019, it doesn’t need the faux-brand (Marathon) to attract runners and healthy-lifestyle beer drinkers. SeaQuench is skyrocketing, Slightly Mighty is the talk of the town, and Dogfish will likely continue to offer more low-cal, “better-for-you” beers. It’s not the best look for Boston to backpedal on a brand so quickly, but it makes sense.