Molson Coors takes full ownership of MillerCoors

The roots of MillerCoors go back 150 years in MKE
Posted at 5:39 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 18:58:59-04

One of Milwaukee's oldest breweries, MillerCoors, is embarking on a new chapter.

The company announced that Molson Coors is now its sole owner.

This comes after a $100 billion deal finalized Monday between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, the former joint owner of MillerCoors.

The roots of MillerCoors go back 150 years in Milwaukee when Frederick Miller started the brewery in the area now known as Miller Valley.

He purchased the Plank Road Brewery at an auction in 1856.

"He started small but he was ambitious, to say the least," said Ben Barbera, a curator at the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

They currently have a Brewing History exhibit on display. He said MillerCoors is the last of the old breweries in Milwaukee.

"When other companies were being consolidated or downsized or making mistakes, Miller didn't make those mistakes and managed to push through," Barbera said.

With the ownership change, the company's CEO said things will remain business as usual in Milwaukee.

MillerCoors will now become the U.S. business unit of Molson Coors and will be entirely based here in America.

This deal also means Molson Coors becomes the largest brewer in the country and the third largest in the world.

"We're going to be an important part of Molson Coors, we're going to be a large part of Molson Coors," said MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley. "So our success is important to them and the local brands are not going to change."

Meaning Miller Lite, Miller High Life and all of the company's popular brands will still be brewed in Milwaukee and will have zero affiliation with the newly formed company made up by Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller.

And the three hometown markets in the MillerCoors company, Milwaukee, Chicago and Golden, Colo. will all stay the same.

"In all three of those cities, we will remain," Hattersley said. "We will continue to invest into the sports and art and culture that have made each of those communities great."

MillerCoors currently employs 1,500 people in Milwaukee. Hattersley said there will be very little overlap between MillerCoors and Molson Coors.

Barbera said the company has a loyal following and will likely have a long future in Milwaukee.

"People are always going to want to drink beer and as long as they're adapting to market trends, they'll be fine," he said.