Dude, Where’s My Beer?

Miller Brewing Co. and Anheuser-Busch are aiming to put their beer cans firmly into hunter’s hands as they roll out a new line of camouflage cans and related promotions, brandweek.com reported.

The camo-cans will target the 65 million outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen, the Web site reported.

Miller High Life and Anheuser-Busch have both long been affiliated with outdoor life and sports, as the brands index high with blue-collar consumers 45 to 65 years old.

The brands’ drinkers skew higher, compared with the general population, for such activities as target shooting, hunting, fishing, watching the Outdoor Channel or Country Music TV, and subscribing to publications like Field & Stream, according to Nielsen data.

That said, linking the brands to hunting and other outdoor activities is natural move for both companies, industry analysts told brandweek.com.

Busch and Busch Light cans and secondary packaging will sport patterns from Realtree, a supplier of camouflage designs for outdoor gear. Miller High Life, meanwhile, will roll out its limited edition "Camo Can" October through January, not only to catch the eyes of hunters and fishing enthusiasts, but hikers, campers and mountain bikers as well.

Last year, Miller offered a blaze orange can. "The orange can last year was our first attempt and we learned a few things," said Grant Leach, director of Miller’s protect brands. "Blaze orange is strongly affiliated with hunting, but camouflage is more universal in appeal."

Other promotions by the companies include local marketing programs, sweepstakes offerings, prizes and chances to meet professional outdoor sports athletes.

The idea of aligning with outdoorsmen via beer packaging isn’t new, brandweek.com reported. Schmidt’s, now a Pabst Brewing brand distributed in about a dozen states, was known in its heyday during the ’60s and ’70s as "The Official Beer of the American Sportsmen." It issued an outdoor collection of cans featuring ice fisherman and hunters.

Also this week, Heineken USA acquired the U.S. distribution rights for Newcastle Brown Ale, while Miller Brewing will become the importer of Grolsch beers.

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