Miller reaches for the SKYY
'Malternative' will have citrus flavor and vodka
Jan 4, 2002 - Miller Brewing Co. has confirmed it will introduce a malt beverage by early March, joining the growing market for alternative alcohol drinks targeted at 20-something consumers.
Miller said it will partner up with Skyy Spirits of San Francisco to launch SKYY Blue, a malt beverage with citrus flavor and SKYY vodka. It's the Milwaukee-based brewer's first national entry into the "malternative" market, which includes Smirnoff Ice, Mike's Hard Lemonade and Zima.
Miller will begin brewing SKYY Blue in February and the product is expected to be available at national retail outlets by early March, said Miller spokesman Scott Bussen.
The debut will be Miller's biggest product launch in five years since the failed Miller Beer. Bussen said the company has committed $40 million in total marketing support for the new brand for 2002.
SKYY Blue will be brewed with malt grains and fits the guidelines for a malt beverage even though it includes vodka, Bussen said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allows malt beverages to include a secondary alcohol as flavoring as long as the beverage does not exceed 6% alcohol by volume, Bussen said.
Miller will produce SKYY Blue at its Tumwater, Wash., and Albany, Ga. breweries, Bussen said.
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