From the HBD Archive
From: hisata!
Subject: Miller Reserve
Date: 1989-11-12 13:45:29 GMT

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by a marketing research firm in Atlanta.
This is a nice way to get paid for giving your opinion, and I've done
several surveys with a couple of firms. Anyway, this company wanted my
opinion on...BEER! I was interviewed about the types of beers I enjoy
(other than my homebrew), what I have in the 'fridge, what I've drunk in
the last six months, etc. Not surprisingly, most of the brands I named
were NOT on their list! I then had to rate all the varieties in comparison
with each other, and with a list of "popular" beers. (I mean, how do you
compare Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout to Bud Lite?!) They then showed me 5
TV ads for various beers, and sandwiched in the middle was one I'd never
seen: Miller Reserve. At this point, it became pretty clear what they were

Another questionnaire rating stupid statements like "This is a beer men
drink" and "This beer is made with real malt" and "This is a beer I like to
drink a lot of when I'm having a good time." You get the picture. They
had me "buy" some beer at a "store," and since they didn't have any of the
brands I like, I chose Beck's Dark, mumbling something about the
Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law. After that, I was interviewed about
my opinions about beer. Fortunately, I'd brought my soapbox with me. I
rambled on about the variety of the world's beer styles, excessive use of
adjuncts, the sameness of American pilsner, etc. I pleaded with whatever
corporate weinie would be reading the survey to begin brewing ales and
beers with some character.

So they send me home with $26 cash and two six-packs of Miller Reserve.
This beer is not yet on the market, as far as I know. I'm wondering if
it's a response to the rise of microbreweries and a few more educated
consumers. The label boasts "100% barley draft." But don't get excited
and think that the Big Boys have finally seen the light...sorry, the lite.
The beer is just a tad darker than an American pilsner, and there is just
a hint more body. It is clean and relatively well balanced. But there is
no mistaking the style. It tastes about like all the rest of the big
commercial beers. Bland and boring and undistinguished. And shot full of
CO2 to make it too fizzy. Nice try, Miller. But you still haven't figured
it out.

Excuse me. My wort is boiling.

Doug Allison

PS In the state of Georgia. Home brewing is still an illegal activity.
Quick, call Bill Bennett! I'm being civilly disobedient!

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