The following is a letter sent to Miller Brewing Company earlier this
month. Miller's response is at the end.
Miller Brewing Company
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
Dear Sir or Madam,
I have been a drinker of Miller beer's for many years (actually, ever
since that other company donated a big chunk of change to Handgun Control
Inc. back in the mid 80's).
Initially, my beer of choice was Lite, but some time in mid 1990 while in
Honduras I switched to MGD smuggled up from Panama. Now, for nearly six
years, I have been a faithful drinker of MGD.
For these past years, I have come to expect certain things from Genuine
Draft. I expect that whenever I see that gold can of MGD, I am about
to enjoy a great, smooth brew..
But wait! Sometime around the first of the year, my beloved MGD changed
colors, so to speak. That familiar gold can was no longer gold!
that I am, by nature, somewhat resistant to change, I forced myself to
reserve judgment on the new can design.
Gradually, I grew to appreciate the new label. That was until about May
of this year. That was when I discovered (empirically) that I really
didn't like the new design. Further investigation of the cause of my
distress resulted in the following observations:
- Your cans are made of aluminum.
- Aluminum is a great conductor of energy.
- Your beer is commonly consumed outside, and thus, the container may
be exposed to sunlight.
- Sunlight striking the can causes radiant warming of the surface of
- The resultant heat (energy) is transferred through the aluminum, by
conduction, to the contents of the can (the beer).
- Warm beer sucks.
This is a process that can be observed in just about any beer. However,
this process is significantly accelerated in MGD because you painted the
damn can black!!!
Who was the rocket scientist that designed the new graphic for the can
and implemented the change right before summer? Granted, this process may
not be real evident up there in Wisconsin, but down here in Oklahoma
where the summers are both sunny and hot, this effect is quite a
problem. There's no telling what the folks in Texas and Arizona are
having to put up with.
Knowing that you would probably not address this issue unless you had
firm evidence of a problem, I and several other subjects conducted extensive
experimentation. The results of these experiments are listed below.
The experiments were conducted over two days on the deck next to my pool.
The study included seven different types of beer (leftovers from a party
the previous weekend) that were initially chilled to 38 (and then left
exposed to sunlight for different lengths of time. These beers were
sampled by the test subjects at different intervals. The subjects, all
normally MGD drinkers, were asked at each sampling interval their
impressions of the different beers. The length of time between the
initial exposure to sunlight and the point where the subject determined
the sample undrinkable (the Suckpoint) was determined. The average
ambient temperature for the trials was 95 degrees F.
|Beer Type || Average|
|Miller Lite (white can)||6.2
|Bud (white can) ||5.5
|Bud Lite (silver can) ||5.2
|Ice House (blue and silver can)||4.1
|Miller Genuine Draft (black can) ||2.8
|Coors (gold can) ||0.1
It was evident that the color of the can directly correlates to the
average suckpoint, except for Coors which was pretty much determined to
suck at any point.
It is to be hoped that you will consider re-designing your MGD cans. All
beer drinkers that are not smart enough to keep their beer in the shade
will thank you.
Dear Bradley Lee,
Thank you for your letter and your concern about the MGD can color as it
relates to premature warming of the contents. Like you, we at Miller
Beer take beer drinking very seriously. To that end, we have taken your
letter and subsequent experiment under serious consideration. Outlined below
are our findings and solution to your problem. May we add that we have had
similar letters from other loyal beer drinkers, mostly from the Southern
First, let us congratulate you on your findings. Our analysis tends to
agree with yours regarding Coors. It certainly does suck at about any
Now, it was our intentions when redesigning the MGD can to create better
brand identity and brand loyalty. Someone in marketing did some kind of
research and determined we needed to redesign the can. You will be
pleased to know, we have fired that idiot and he is now reeking havoc at a
pro-gun control beer manufacturer. the design staffer working in cahoots
with the marketing idiot was also down-sized.
However, once we realized this mistake, to undo it would have been even a
bigger mistake. So, we took some other actions. From our market
research, we found a difference between Northern beer drinker and Southern
Beer drinkers in the South tend to drink slower than beer drinkers in the
North. We are still researching why that is. Anyway, at Miller Beer, it
was never our intentions to have someone take more than 2.5 minutes to
enjoy one of our beers. We pride ourselves in creating fine, smooth,
quick drinking beers and leave the making of sissy, slow sipping beers to
that Sam guy in Boston.
However, it is good to know that you feel our Miller Lite can last as long
as 6 minutes. However, may we suggest in the future you try consuming at
least two in that time frame.
From your letter, we had our design staff work 'round the clock to come up
with a solution that would help not just MGD but all our fine Miller
products. We hope you have recently noticed our solution to your
We found that the hole in the top of the can was not big enough for quick
consumption. So, we have now introduced the new "Wide Mouth" cans. We
hope this will solve all your problems. Might I also suggest that if you
want to get the beer out of the can even faster, you can poke a hole on
the side near the bottom, hold your finger over it, open the can, tip it
to your mouth and then pull your finger off the hole. this is a common
way to drink beer at parties and impress your friends. this technique is
known as "shot-gunning". You should like the name.
Again, thank you for your letter and bring to our attention that there
might be other beer drinkers taking more that 2.5 minutes to drink our
beers. Let me assure you that I am have our advertising department work
on campaign to solve this problem, too.
Tom B. Miller
Miller Brewing Co.
P.S. And remember, at Miller Beer we do favor gun control, too. So
please use two hands when firing.