Blue Moon Named Official ‘Craft Beer’ Of The Kentucky Derby

blue, Blue Moon Named Official ‘Craft Beer’ Of The Kentucky Derby

MillerCoors’ has announced that its Blue Moon brand has been named the “official craft beer” of the Kentucky Derby. And while hardly a trifecta it’s still a big win in Big Beer’s ongoing campaign to erase the lines between true craft beer and mass-marketed products brewed by corporate giants.

Here’s the deal…

According to Behind the Beer MillerCoors’ Blue Moon is getting into horseracing biz in a big way and that “MillerCoors and Churchill Downs have agreed to a multi-year pact that grants Blue Moon with exclusive craft beer sponsorship rights year-round at the racetrack, including for the Kentucky Derby.”

MillerCoors’ presence at the Kentucky Derby’s famed Churchill Downs Racetrack is serious commitment that’s ambitious in its scale.

This from Peter Frost…blue, Blue Moon Named Official ‘Craft Beer’ Of The Kentucky Derby

“As part of the sponsorship, Churchill Downs will develop and open the Blue Moon Taproom & Balcony, a new bar that will overlook the racetrack’s historic paddock and be open during live racing. The Blue Moon Taproom & Balcony will serve Blue Moon products, including specialty offerings brewed at the brand’s Denver brewery.”

“Blue Moon also will be the title sponsor of Churchill Downs’ Twilight Thursday racing series, a happy hour event held each week during the track’s spring and September race meets that features live racing, music and specialty food and drink. On Derby Day, the brand will host fans in an elaborate, branded pop-up venue in Churchill Downs’ infield.”

And although the terms of this agreement weren’t made public, one can assume that this high-profile alignment came with a ‘top-shelf’ price tag…

After all Louisville’s Kentucky Derby is the most watched horse race in world. According to the Courier Journal more than 157,000 braved what turned out to be miserable weather, just to be part of what some have called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.”

And if MillerCoors has its way…they won’t be drinking mint julips next time around.

But clearly one the most important aspects of having Blue Moon named the “Official Craft Beer” the Kentucky Derby and a racetrack as prestigious as Churchill Downs is exactly that…

Just as with AB InBev, who continue to argue that its craft beer properties such as Goose Island share the same space as America’s small and independent brewers, MillerCoors paid to be named an “Official Craft Beer” in the eyes of the world.

blue, Blue Moon Named Official ‘Craft Beer’ Of The Kentucky DerbyWhether fans of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky buys into MillerCoors’ crafty argument remains to be seen…

But we promise you than no matter the extent of MillerCoors’ national social and digital media campaign, its special Kentucky Derby cross-branded glassware bowties, pocket squares, scarves and seersucker vests, the Boulder-based trade organization the Brewers Association won’t.

Nor will a nation craft beer fans that frequent serious drinking destinations like Louisville’s Apocalypse Brew Works and Against the Grain Brewing

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