- December 9, 2019
As MillerCoors releases their white-hot brand Saint Archer Gold nationally, the taste and quality of the liquid underscore why some call it the best light beer in the world. Low in calories, but bursting with flavor most light beers can only dream of, Saint Archer Gold is attracting “mindful millennials” back to the beer category. Brewery president Brad Nadal has recognized that active-lifestyle millennial consumers are looking for an authentic drink to join them in their pursuit of happiness – a beer that doesn’t hold them back, a “light for the journey.”
Enter Saint Archer Gold.
A helles-inspired lager made with Noble hops, Saint Archer Gold has made huge waves in initial test markets. At 95 calories and only 2.6 grams of carbs, Saint Archer Gold fills what Nadal calls a “white space for taste and lifestyle authenticity in the above-premium light space.” Saint Archer’s aim with Gold was to create a “beer that appeals to Michelob Ultra drinkers, who have prioritized lower carbs and calories over flavor and quality.”
Mindful millennials are seeking brands that embrace a life of balance and self-actualization [see sidebar: what is a mindful millennial?] just like the Saint Archer brewers. This validates the brand’s authenticity. “When consumers taste the liquid, they buy it for its flavor,” said Paul Verdu, vice president of sales & marketing for Tenth and Blake, the MillerCoors craft and import division. “That’s when we decided it wasn’t an exaggeration to call it ‘The Ultimate Light Beer.’”
Nadal points out, “We’re essentially the opposite of Ultra. We aren’t about the finish, we aren’t about the end game or being the best… we’re about being in the moment… the journey. Being there for our consumers’ passions, whether that’s art, music, sports, outdoors etc. We want to be there for our consumers along the way, as they do the things they love.” This is the Saint Archer lifestyle. “Our founders came from all walks of life: skaters, snowboarders, surfers, photographers, artists, musicians, who all came together to brew beers that fit who we are and what we love.” Saint Archer Gold reflects that belief: a go-anywhere, taste-forward, low-carb, low-cal brew that is perfect for the journey.
Early test markets show it’s already attracting a strong following. In the four markets where the beer was tested, a whopping 53% said they would spend their own money on the product. That speaks volumes. (Most test marketers are happy if 30% of those who sampled indicate they would purchase it, if left to their own devices.)
“Our team spent a year getting the taste of Saint Archer right,” says Verdu. “It is slightly more hop-forward in flavor than other light beers, but it’s still crisp and refreshing. And it’s a more upscale alternative to most light beers.”
Saint Archer Gold was crafted in response to two major industry trends: the huge growth in above-premium, lower-calorie, low ABV beers (Gold clocks in at just 4.2% ABV and is one of the lowest-calorie lagers in the market) and the renewed interest in flavorful, light lagers desired by modern consumers.
Verdu went on to explain that a helles beer this good could only be made by a team of highly skilled brewmasters. “This style is regarded by many as the absolute pinnacle of brewing science and art. The beer must mature for a long time – about six weeks – and there is no room for error. Any off flavors have no place to hide.” All that hard work has paid off – Verdu and his team believe that “the stars really aligned” when they created Saint Archer Gold. The liquid is that good.
Founded in San Diego by Josh Landan in 2013, with the help of a group of professional surfers, skateboarders and snowboarders, Saint Archer was born out of his team’s “commitment to following the path less travelled, and the realization that sometimes when you’re going down a road untraveled by others, you might want a light for the journey.” Once again, that authenticity and mindset speaks to active, health-conscious 21 to 39 year-olds.
Since the launch of the first nationally-available American light beer back in 1975, the beers of the category have been appreciated for what they lack – fewer carbs, less calories and less alcohol – compared to their full-figured brethren. And while they do taste like beer, drinkers accepted the reality of the situation. Most true beer lovers understood that they couldn’t enjoy their beloved beverage and maintain a healthy-ish lifestyle, without sacrificing something. And that something was exceptional flavor.
But that was then, this is now.
Saint Archer Gold represents the future of beer. An above-premium, authentic, lifestyle beer that is low in calories and carbs, that doesn’t sacrifice taste. Most importantly, it’s the new benchmark for a beer segment that generates 85 percent of the industry’s volume. For Nadal and his team, the sky is the limit for Saint Archer Gold. “We’re confident we have a winner here,” says Nadal. “Once we get the consumer to try it, we win! We’re excited to align with the team at Origlio and get this Ultimate Light Beer to their retailers and in the hands of our consumers!”