Milwaukee, Wisconsin_ 53201
Dear Sir or Madam,
I have been a drinker of Miller beers 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 ready 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!
Knowing 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 can.
- 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 Suck-point) was determined. The average ambient temperature for the trials was 95 degrees F.
Beer Type_____ Average Suck-point (minutes)
Miller Lite (white can)_______________6.2
Bud (white can)_______________________5.5
Bud Lite (silver can)_________________5.2
Ice House (blue and silver can)______ 4.4
Coors Lite (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 suck point, 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 MillerBeer 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 United States.
First, let us congratulate you on your findings. Our analysis tends to agree with yours regarding Coors. It certainly does suck at about any temperature.
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 staff 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 drinkers and Southern beer drinkers.
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. After reading 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 problem. 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 bringing 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 having our advertising department work on a campaign to solve this problem, too.
Tom B. Miller
Miller Brewing Co