Molson Coors Sweetens the Pot

by InvestorPlace Staff | March 8, 2012 9:37 am

Anyone who’s ever thrown down a light beer during an August baseball game knows just how satisfying a cold brew can be, but let’s face it: For sheer refreshment, iced tea takes the hot-weather cake.

And rather than fight that reality, Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP[1]) has decided to embrace it.

That’s right: The brewery this week put a sweet twist on hops by unveiling its new iced tea-flavored Coors Light to a group of analysts, according to CNN Money[2]. Molson Coors will launch Coors Light Iced T in Canada. Depending on its success, it eventually could be released in the U.S.

Sweet summer adult beverages are far from a new thing, with the Zima and Mike’s Hard Lemonade offering an assortment of malted drinks. And flavored beers have grown in popularity, especially among the microbrews, who put out everything from chocolate stouts to watermelon ales. Even Molson Coors has a sweet offering – its orange-hinted Belgian witbier, Blue Moon.

But iced tea has come to the alcoholic forefront in recent years, with Firefly and Jeremiah Weed’s popular sweet tea vodkas among those leading the charge. They’ve even been used to twist an old summer classic, the Arnold Palmer — a half-and-half lemonade/iced tea mix named for the legendary golfer that loved them so — into an alcoholic version jokingly dubbed the “John Daly.”

Molson’s Coors Light version is the first major attempt at an iced-tea beer. The company said it was hoping the new Coors Light — among other new beverages — would help spur sales, keeping cost-cutting down, according to Reuters[3]. Molson Coors, as well as beer industry rivals like Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD[4]) and Boston Beer Company (NYSE:SAM[5]), face an increasingly difficult market, with liquor and wine cutting into their pockets.

Molson, which is coming off a Street-beating fourth-quarter earnings report in mid-February, closed Wednesday trading at $42.11, down 3% for the year and just off its YTD low, which was reached Tuesday.

— Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor

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  3. Reuters:
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