Miller/Coors Redux

I've had a few days to ponder the Miller/Coors merger (or "collaboration). Here's my outsider's long view ("long" as in the historical perspective).

This story won't have a happy ending. Plenty of beermakers have gone after number one -- and failed. Indeed, both Miller and Coors took a run at Anheuser-Busch in the 1970s. Neither succeeded in the goal of toppling A-B. It's unlikely they'll succeed this time.

If I'd been running the joint, here's what I would have done: reinvented myself as a beermaker with deep roots in the nineteenth century (after all, there are only a handful of American breweries whose histories reach back that far) and in my region (in the case of Miller, the midwest; in the case of Coors, the far west). At least then they'd have had an identity. As things stand, their only clear role/identity/image is as an also-ran. Which is a shame. There are plenty of people at both companies who have worked so hard to make good beer.

Let's hope they still can.