“Gateway” Brand?

MillerCoors is taking their Blitz-Weinhard brand national, calling it an “entry level craft beer” that will appeal to consumers more familiar with mass-produced brands.

With the national roll-out, the brand will no longer be brewed in Oregon. It has been brewed at Hood River’s Full Sail Brewery since 2003.

The original Portland Weinhard brewery operated from 1856 until 1999. The beer was then brewed at Olympia Brewery until it closed. It then moved to Full Sail

Comments

  1. Brewtopian says

    Very interested to see how they go about rolling this out. Living in the NW the Weinhard brand has all but disappeared from shelves so choosing it instead of say Leinenkugels as its “gateway” brand seems odd. Leinie’s still has a strong brand presence in the Upper Midwest, a better developed portfolio of beers and a much simpler marketing plan.

  2. einhorn says

    Weinhard (predominantly in 12pks) also on it’s way off of shelves rather than onto them in CA.

  3. LuskusDelph says

    brewmaster 2011 wrote: Leinenkugels is gaining alot of ground here in Colorado.

    Not surprising…some of Leinie’s stuff is very good.

  4. callmetim says

    I’m not sure I would describe Leinie’s as “very good”. their Big Eddie’s series is pretty decent but the rest of their stuff is pretty pedestrian – not bad just not IMHO very good.

  5. Brewtopian says

    callmetim wrote: I’m not sure I would describe Leinie’s as “very good”. their Big Eddie’s series is pretty decent but the rest of their stuff is pretty pedestrian – not bad just not IMHO very good.

    I would say that the Leinie’s lineup is superior to the Weinhards lineup across the board. If the goal is to create a gateway brand then doing with Weinhards is going to be one big uphill battle. The NW, home to the brand turned its back and moved on a long time ago and there’s no chance of brining it back there.

    The big brewers have demonstrated no understanding of why people drink one beer vs another much less why so many of them are trading up to craft brands. So much of it is about story and identity of which Leinenkugel’s has both. I think it would have been much easier to just create a new brand from scratch than to try and revitalize one that is long dead.

  6. Bierkoenig says

    I bet Miller wishes they’d have kept that brewery so that they’d now have a presence for their “craft” operations in the heart of Beervana.