Earlier today, MillerCoors commemorated its 160th anniversary with a small celebration – attended by public officials, employees, community leaders, media and more – outside Miller Brewing Company's facilities, at 3939 W. Highland Blvd.
In addition to enjoying glasses of 1855 Lager, an original beer inspired by Frederick Miller, the event featured the creation of a time capsule, filled with Miller memorabilia and messages from employees and sealed up, not to be opened again until 40 years from now on the company's 200th anniversary.
Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee author and historian John Gurda, Wisconsin State Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd, MillerCoors Vice President of Brewing and Research Dr. David Ryder and MillerCoors Chief Legal and Corporate Services Officer Kelly Grebe also spoke to the crowd, sharing stories about Miller's presence in Milwaukee and paying tribute to the Milwaukee brewing company.
"They're great to their employees; they make a great product, but they do a lot more than that though," Abele said. "They give back, and I see it in the community. We had a fire at the courthouse two years ago – I'm sure a lot of people remember – and I got a call from a friend at Miller who said, 'Hey, is there anything we can do to help out.' We had no air conditioning, it was 95 degrees and hot as heck, and all of a sudden, a truck shows up from Miller with thousands of bottles of water. They didn't do any press around that; they did it because it was a stand-up thing to do. I personally believe companies that have that kind of culture last a lot longer."
"We like to say that we stand for quality – not just talking about the quality of the product, but the quality of the people, the quality of the processing, the quality of everything we do," Dr. Ryder said. "Obviously we can't continue to make the great beers that we make without the people that we have and the qualifications of the actual people.
"The brewing industry changes and it's a constant change – and we would expect nothing less over the next 160 years," Ryder continued, "but if we've survived for 160 years making quality products, if we continue to do that, there's no reason why we can't say the same thing in 160 years time at our 320th anniversary."
The celebration comes shortly on the heels of reports stating that Anheuser-Busch InBev approached MillerCoors about a potential takeover.
"I'm not sure where that's going, but in the 20-plus years I've been in Milwaukee, there have been controlled changes here already," Abele said. "I remember the SABMiller deal, the MillerCoors deal – that happens in the industry. But throughout each change, the presence of Miller has stayed here in Milwaukee, and no matter what happens or changes, I can't imagine any scenario where any new buyer wouldn't recognize the value of keeping the brewing history here in Milwaukee. I don't see it as an easily portable thing or the culture as an easily portable thing. But in the meantime, I'm just happy to celebrate 160 years and look forward to a lot more."
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.