Beer company Molson Coors, maker of Coors Lite and Miller Lite, has announced the release of their first ever plant-based milk — Golden Wing Barley Milk. As the name suggests, Golden Wing differs from other plant-based milks on the market by straying away from the more traditional types of milk alternatives consumers are used to seeing, like oat, almond, or soy.
Golden Wing Barley Milk is made from a combination of water, barley, sunflower oil, shiitake mushroom extract, and pink Himalayan salt. The barley used in the process is entirely derived from the brewing process. When compared to two-percent milk, Molson Coors’ plant based alternative contains twice as much Vitamin D and 50 percent more calcium, all while containing 60 percent less sugar.
It’s a wise move, given that the plant-based milk industry is rapidly growing in the United States, reporting $2.5 billion dollars in sales in the year 2020 alone. While Molson Coors is the first company to introduce barley milk to the plant based milk market, talks of turning used barley into non-dairy milk alternatives has been circulating for a few years now. In fact, Bernardo Novick, the global head of Anheuser-Busch InBev, discussed the possibility of using “spent grains,” or used barley, to produce protein alternatives.
Brian Schmidt, Molson Coors’ marketing manager for non-alcoholic products, shared in a corporate blog post that he believes barley milk will be the next major evolution in plant-based milk. To any consumers who might be wondering what a beer producer knows about creating non-alcoholic dairy alternatives, Schmidt claims that because of the expertise at Molson Coors, “we know beer, and because of that we know barley.”
Golden Wing Barley Milk will be rolled out in a phased approach — Sprouts and Whole Foods locations in Southern California will have the first opportunity to taste the newest addition to the plant based dairy family. While it’s still too soon to tell if barley milk will have the same success as its predecessors, Schmidt claims that early feedback demonstrates that Golden Wing has “strong potential.”