Miller Lite ‘Craft?’

Miller Brewing Co. has announced that it will test market in February the Miller Lite Brewers Collection, three craft style beers that are lower in calories and carbohydrates than other craft beers.

The styles will be a Blonde Ale, Amber and Wheat, each with “significantly fewer calories and carbs than a typical beer for that style,” according to Miller.

The labels will be an upscale look of blue and gold foil and include the Miller Lite logo.

“Miller is seeking to again establish a whole new category for the beer industry – craft-style-light,” said Miller chief marketing officer Randy Ransom. “The brewer who can provide a more refreshing and drinkable craft style can stake out a whole new niche in the market. That’s what we intend to do.”

Miller Lite Brewers Collection is targeted to mainstream drinkers and capitalizes on three trends that are driving much of the growth in the U.S. beer industry, including the shift toward light beer, a desire for more variety and “premiumization,” according to Miller.

Miller Lite Brewers Collection will initially be available in six-pack bottles and priced between mainstream light beer and the typical craft beer.

With the new product introduction, Miller is continuing with a strategy of shifting more of its business to higher-end products by “delivering innovative products to market like Miller Chill, Leinenkugel’s and Sparks,” Ransom said.

The test markets will include Minneapolis; Charlotte, N.C.; San Diego, Calif.; and Baltimore.