Miller High Life, the MillerCoors brand that proclaims to be the “champagne of beers,” is experiencing a comeback: the beer brand has just seen its first uptick in sales and its best quarter since more than seven years ago.
According to Business Insider, MillerCoors President and CEO Gavin Hattersley said in a recent earnings call with investors that the Miller High Life brand saw a return to growth and had its best quarter since the third quarter of 2009.
A big boost has been its ad campaign, which returns the beer to its 1970s vintage look, featuring sexy close-ups of the clear, long-necked bottle as well as its original advertising slogan, “if you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer.”
This ties into the overall Miller High Life rebranding, bringing back its classic-looking logos and packaging akin to its look circa the early 1900s. (Although, anyone who cares deeply about their beer in this century knows that clear glass is not the best container for beer, as it lets in the most light, which can oxidize and thus “skunk” the beer, ruining its aroma and flavor.)
The brand has also seemed to nail what many other macro lager brands can’t — appealing to millennials in an “authentic” way. They admittedly learned that the hard way, first trying to look cool with its “I am Rich” campaign showing cool millennials doing cool millennial things, a far cry from its 1970s-era clamdigging working man vibe.
But if the assumption is that High Life’s return to the limelight is due to millennials looking for something light and cheap to drink, as Business Insider suggests, we’d be remiss not to inform our readers that there are many craft options out there, many of them available year-round at affordable price points (for example, Business Insider sites Miller High Life at $4 per 12-ounce bottle, while Victory Prima Pils is $3 for the same sized can at our local beer shop).
We’re not necessarily hating on High Life — we, too, indulge in the occasional “Low Life” special (a popular High Life and well whiskey beer and shot deal) — but if light lagers are what you’re after, here are a few we’ve been digging from other brewers around the country.
5 Lagers to Try Next Time You’re About to Drink Another High Life
For those who are looking something easy to drink, here are five widely available, relatively inexpensive year-round offerings from regional brewers to keep an eye out for at your local grocer.
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Slyfox Pikeland Pils
Another German-inspired brewer from Pennsylvania, Slyfox kills it with classic European interpretations and emerging American styles. This light and dry pilsner inspired by the lager brewers of northern Germany has earned a Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal in 2007, Bronze Medal in 2003, and made it to a past roster of the 101 Best Beers in America.
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Green Flash Sea to Sea Lager
This Zwickel lager recently made it into our beer fridge by way of a drunken vacation haul, and boy are we glad it did. A Zwickelbier is a milder version of a Kellerbier, both dating back to the Middle Ages and characteristically unfiltered, unpasteurized, and full of vitamins. In the case of Sea to Sea, the light and cloudy body carries with it clean, soft pilsner malt, crisp Saaz hops, and subtle fruit flavors with just a touch of sweetness.