Coors Light announced it will give away free beer in 10 cities if they hit “record-breaking temperatures.”
The city that “shatters the biggest record … will earn a visit from Coors Light’s Coldstream, a converted Airstream that’s been modified to ‘offer extreme refreshment on the go,’” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Participating cities include Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Tex.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbia, S.C.; Las Vegas; Lincoln, Neb.; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Tampa; and Washington, D.C.
“If and when a record is broken in any of these markets, locals can get completely free, refreshingly cold Coors Light at participating bars in each location,” a spokesperson told Food & Wine. “For example, if June 3 is the hottest June 3 of all-time in that market, they unlock free beer.”
The announcement came as a surprise to me. Last week, I received a press release from Coors Light’s parent company, Molson Coors detailing the destructive effects of climate change. In an email, the company describes the ways it is combating this, including investing $20 million in sustainability efforts spanning farming initiatives, barley variety research, water conservation, and other “future-proofing” endeavors.
If Molson Coors is putting such a valiant effort toward helping farmers future-proof their crops, reduce water usage, and help barley supply become more sustainable, should we be celebrating record-breaking temperatures in major U.S. cities? And, worse yet, with beer?
(By comparison, Anheuser-Busch announced this week that it has begun rolling out efforts to deliver 1 million cans of emergency drinking water to 26 volunteer fire departments ahead of wildfire season.)
If sending a Coors Light Coldstream to a heat-ravaged city is Molson Coors’ way of raising awareness of climate change, that messaging needs to be more clear, and so does what’s in the can.
Constellation Hit With $420K Fine for Illegal Pay-to-Play Scheme
Constellation Brands, a global beer, wine, and spirits producer best known in the beer world as the parent company of Corona and other Mexican lager brands, will pay $420,000 to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The fine is a “compromise” for illegal payments Constellation subsidiary Crown Imports issued to retailers to secure draft beer placements between January 1, 2016 and April 25, 2019, Brewbound reports.
This is certainly not the first time a beer brand has coughed up cash for illegal pay-to-play schemes. In April, the TTB issued a $2.5 million fine to Heineken USA for illegally supplying free proprietary draft systems to retailers, among other offenses. Similar fines among distributorships total nearly $6 million in the last year.
Basically, big businesses are big bullies. But pay-to-play is not just fun and games. It’s a shady practice that muscles out competing beer brands, particularly affecting those with significantly less representation (read: craft breweries or smaller beer companies). Schemes like these make it near impossible for small brewers to gain shelf space or secure tap handles in certain markets, and that’s not cool.
What it boils down to is, the TTB needs more Congressional support (a.k.a. funding) to enforce laws that prevent these schemes from happening by educating retailers about unfair trade practices — and their consequences.
#Corntroversy Update: A-B Will Pull Bud Light Ads
After MillerCoors sued Anheuser-Busch InBev for the latter beer behemoth’s corn-syrup-bashing ads targeting Miller Lite and Coors Light, MillerCoors has prevailed, at least for now.
A judge ruled that AB InBev has to pull Bud Light ads that suggest MillerCoors’ light lagers contain corn syrup (which they do), as well as remove billboards with similar messaging stating that Bud Light contains 100-percent less corn syrup than MillerCoors’ light lager brands (which is true, but doesn’t actually mean anything).
Honestly? I’m ready for the #corntroversy to be over. If MillerCoors claps back with an even more clever ad campaign, I’ll be ready for it. But until then, corn’t we all just get along with adjuncts?