Pats find themselves in a beer war

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When Pats fans get lubed up before a game, their official beer is Coors.  Or maybe Budweiser.

At this point, it’s not clear.

It’s not clear because MillerCoors has sued the Patriots, alleging that the team bailed on a deal that would have made MillerCoors the exclusive beer sponsor of the Patriots.  In a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts on Monday, MillerCoors alleges that the Patriots opted to “pursue a more lucrative exclusive agreement” with Anheuser-Busch.

“We negotiated in good faith with the New England Patriots for several months, at their invitation, to become their exclusive and official beer partner after several years of a shared deal,” MillerCoors spokesman Pete Marino told Bloomberg.com.  “Regrettably the team has now reneged on the deal that was reached, and we are left with no choice but to take legal action and ask the courts to uphold the integrity of our binding legal agreement.”

Patriots lawyer Dan Goldberg declined to provide a comment to Bloomberg.com, explaining that he had not yet seen the complaint.

MillerCoors also could potentially make a claim against Anheuser-Busch, if it can be proven that the company knew about the MillerCoors deal with the Patriots and intentionally interfered with it.

73 responses to “Pats find themselves in a beer war

  1. Wow. Really bad news for some. I know Braylon Edwards is thanking his lucky stars he doesn’t play in the AFC East any more. For that matter, Donte Stallworth is probably thrilled he no longer plays for New England given this news.

  2. Had MillerCoors signed a contract with the Pats yet?
    No?
    Then shut up.
    They’d have to be idiots to not know that they were negotiating with Budweiser too, and frankly if the Pats didn’t shop around they would be terrible business people.

    Quit whining and make better beer, not that bud is any better.

  3. Can AB sue Coors? Maybe. But not just if they interfered. It has to be separately wrongful; i.e., a competitor may “interfere” with another’s contractual expectancy by picking the deal off for himself, if, in advancing his own interest, he refrains from employing wrongful means. See Restatement (Second) of Torts § 768 (1979); Nolan, Tort Law § 72, at 85-86 (1979).

  4. Everyone knows at Gillette that Sam Adams is the official beer.

    And Bobs is the official furniture store!

    And Uggs are the official footwear

  5. Does it really matter? AB is owned by In-Bev, and MillerCoors is owned by SAB (south-african brewing) and In-Bev is buying out SAB… Either way 7 bucks for a pint of domestic Swill is far too much to pay some foreign conglomerate…

  6. Non-story for what it’s worth since Coors is only looking for deal to be upheld, damages are minor. Also, the Pats Atty has responded and that response can be found on twitter.

  7. My main concern is that Coors and Budweiser were called “beer” in that story and we all know that’s just not true

  8. Patriot fans should rally against both MillerCoors and InBev/Anheuser-Busch. Both of them strong arm local micro-brews out of the stadiums and replace them with their own fake versions, such as Shock Top or Blue Moon. You would think the Patriots home stadium at least serves up a Sam Adams, but even they are getting too big for their six pack asking price of $8.

    The best thing for fans, is freedom of choice, and giving one of the major beer companies an exclusive vending contract isn’t fan friendly.

    I live down the road from an InBev/AB brewery, so my neck of the woods is a huge Bud Light market. Wouldn’t you know it? MillerCoors have bought the rights to sell their piss at most every entertainment venue in the area. Sadly we don’t the option of a REAL craft brew. Pisses me off!

  9. This should surprise no one. This is an organization based on deceit and falsehoods.

    Remember, this is the same organization that “stole” 2 Super Bowl titles from the Pittsburgh Steelers (and another from another AFC team) by cheating in AFC championship games. It was only after they were caught that they decided to cease their practice of videotaping other teams’ practices (leading to an obvious and lopsided advantage).

    Tom Brady is the best QB in the history of the game. I believe this because he has been able to duplicate his successes since that time period. Bill Belicheat?? No way!! This is a marginal head coach without Tom Brady in the picture.
    The rest of the organization (including past stars) should be lucky to be recognized based on 3 false championships.

    Brady IS that organization. When he’s gone? Back to the line you go.

  10. Eventually the disagreement was resolved and everyone in the country now buys their beer from Miller-Coors-Anheiser-Busch. And associates.

  11. I only drink Sam Adams at the games. They actually have a local brew contest every year and the winning brew gets served for at the stadium all year.

  12. wvucolumbus says:
    Sep 27, 2011 7:02 PM
    This should surprise no one. This is an organization based on deceit and falsehoods.

    Remember, this is the same organization that “stole” 2 Super Bowl titles from the Pittsburgh Steelers (and another from another AFC team) by cheating in AFC championship games. It was only after they were caught that they decided to cease their practice of videotaping other teams’ practices (leading to an obvious and lopsided advantage).

    Tom Brady is the best QB in the history of the game. I believe this because he has been able to duplicate his successes since that time period. Bill Belicheat?? No way!! This is a marginal head coach without Tom Brady in the picture.
    The rest of the organization (including past stars) should be lucky to be recognized based on 3 false championships.

    Brady IS that organization. When he’s gone? Back to the line you go.

    Please son…get back w/your mother. Your bitterness is clouding your brain. If you really feel that way, you are extremely deranged…and have much bigger issues than who wins or loses football games.

    Just as an FYI when you grow up…The Steelers brought steroids into the NFL, in the mid 70’s…the Chargers followed…then everyone else. …So do you think I care that they ‘cheated ‘ using PED’s? Could care less.

  13. wvucolumbus says:
    Sep 27, 2011 7:02 PM
    This should surprise no one. This is an organization based on deceit and falsehoods.

    Remember, this is the same organization that “stole” 2 Super Bowl titles from the Pittsburgh Steelers (and another from another AFC team) by cheating in AFC championship games. It was only after they were caught that they decided to cease their practice of videotaping other teams’ practices (leading to an obvious and lopsided advantage).

    Tom Brady is the best QB in the history of the game. I believe this because he has been able to duplicate his successes since that time period. Bill Belicheat?? No way!! This is a marginal head coach without Tom Brady in the picture.
    The rest of the organization (including past stars) should be lucky to be recognized based on 3 false championships.

    Brady IS that organization. When he’s gone? Back to the line you go.
    ____________________________

    When Brady’s gone? Maybe, but the Pats are just a football team. You’ll still be bald, living down Mommy’s basement, working as the Head Fry-master at McDonald’s, taking your meds, and making whoopee with your blow up doll.

  14. All you guys talking about Sam Adams – until the got larger, they didn’t even make Sam Adams in MA. It’s brewed in Cincinnati OH and Lehigh PA.

    Sure they have a “brewery” in Boston but that’s a small marketing, test, and tourist deal.

  15. wvucolumbus says:

    Remember, this is the same organization that “stole” 2 Super Bowl titles from the Pittsburgh Steelers (and another from another AFC team) by cheating in AFC championship games.
    ————————————————-
    Have you lost your mind? Most Steelers fans like to pride ourselves on being well-informed. This gibberish is absolute nonsense. The Patriots didn’t steal anything from anyone, let alone any AFC Championships from us. Good grief.

  16. Why don’t the Pats let the fans decide? Take a poll and ask ticket holders whether they prefer Miller/Coors or Anheuser-Busch. Don’t see how either company could argue with the results.

  17. ireman3749 says: Sep 27, 2011 6:08 PM

    Budweiser? Coors? Does it even matter? Piss in a glass and any Pats fan will knock it back like its nectar from the gods……

    Thats just what made me sighn in,they gettin funky over some crap I wouldn’t feed to an enemy,,them guys outa be servin Mickeys Malt!!!

  18. It was the Busch Family who saved the team from their worst hour. James Orthwein bought the team and hired Bill Parcells. His goal was to move the team to St. Louis but the league would not allow the move because of the size of the TV market. He cut a deal and St. Louis was given first dibs on the first team to move, the Rams. Kraft already owned the Foxboro Stadium and had wanted to purchase the team. If anyone thinks Bud deals on the level talk to a few of the small Texas brewers who found out Bud bought all the bottling plants in the area. Talk to Schlitz and try to find out who convinced them to alter their brewing process. The answer lies among a family with a very high suicide rate located in St. Louis.

  19. The answer lies among a family with a very high suicide rate located in St. Louis,

    Well, the beer does kinda suck.

  20. The Patriots should just go old school 1970s and bring back Schaefer…the old stadium was once named Schaefer Stadium

  21. Good post Deb(even though you’re a girl), but it’s not about letting fans decide. It’s all about the $. In this day and age, w/no public $ for stadiums, owners have to build w/their own $(I was @ Heinz for the Pats game last yr, nice place, great fans). It’s all about PSL, club seats, naming rights, endorsement deals, etc. Someone came in @the end w/a better deal. Tough .

  22. @cliverush

    BS, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Yes, JO hired Parcells, saved the franchise from Victor Kiam(who was over his head), and helped turned around the franchise, but Kraft owned the lease on the stadium, made a record setting counter offer and had all the leverage. Orthwein couldn’t match it, he didn’t have the $. Now Kraft, who paid 175 mil, has a franchise worth a bil and is one of the NFL power brokers.

    Sorry beer employees are out of work, but this was in 1991.

  23. @ joetoronto

    Thanks for creating “Ice Beer”…..because that is literally the only thing Canada has ever contributed to brewing. We’ve got American IPA, American Pilsner, Barleywine, California Common, Cream Ale, American Pale Ale (APA) and about 30 other AMERICAN varieties. The best brewery in your country is in a province that wants nothing to do with the rest of Canada (Unibroue in Quebec).

    We’ve got Dogfishhead, Stone, Middle Ages, Great Lakes, Goose Island…Sam Adams is probably the best, mass-scale craft brewery in the world…..keep your Alexander Keith’s and Moosehead.

  24. I love it when people say ALL American beer tastes like “water.” Those people apparently have only have Miller/Coors or Anheuser-Busch. There are more microbreweries in America today then there have ever been in history and a lot of them make some damn good beers (Sam Adam’s included).

  25. @tedmurph …

    That makes sense. Business is business … and I’m surprised MillerCoors is suing over it. Thanks for the compliment. Says something about how things are going in my world right now, but a positive word from you made my day 🙂

  26. I mean 1993. Anyway, Orthwein wasn’t trying to save anything, just get a team back to St. Louis so his family could make more $ and he’d leave a legacy.

  27. @Deb…

    Corporate litigation in this country is always an unfortunate $ grab, it’s never worth the negative publicity.

    Tomorrow’s another day.

  28. .

    @Deb

    Q. why not let the fans decide between coors and bud?

    A. because a soccer game would break out ….nil /nil

    .

  29. This should be fairly cut and dry.

    Either they signed a deal with Coors or they didn’t.

    And if they did, that deal either had an out clause or it didn’t.

    We obviously don’t have the whole story here.

  30. Deb says: Sep 27, 2011 8:14 PM

    Why don’t the Pats let the fans decide? Take a poll and ask ticket holders whether they prefer Miller/Coors or Anheuser-Busch. Don’t see how either company could argue with the results.
    ———————————
    Better yet, why not let them just vote with their dollars by making the companies *compete* for market share instead of allowing micro-monopolies within the stadium that allow even more ridiculous markups that fund the exclusive rights fees.

    Oh wait, I forgot that falls under the category of “growing the game”.

  31. realitypolice says:Sep 27, 2011 10:41 PM

    This should be fairly cut and dry.

    Either they signed a deal with Coors or they didn’t.

    And if they did, that deal either had an out clause or it didn’t.

    We obviously don’t have the whole story here.
    ———————————————————

    It’s never cut and dried like that. It’s not like you and me making deal on a car. There’s no way anything that complicated was signed. Even if it was, you can always get out of it(see prenup). It’s a matter of whether the settlement from the ‘alleged’ jilted party is more than the better deal they got from the 2nd party.

    Don’t think you’ll ever get the whole story.

  32. savannahrose44 says:Sep 27, 2011 10:09 PM

    And the Coors, Budwieser beer war marches on through the ages…Will these guys ever NOT be at each others proverbial throats?
    ———————————————————
    It’s like Coke and Pepsi, BK/ McDonalds , Apple/Microsoft, Macy’s/Gimble’s etc: @ each other’s throats, but plenty of $ to go around. Like us fans, still want to be the #1 team.

  33. WVUColumbus, taping defensive signals definitely helped the Patriots beat the Steelers in 2001, when they scored those two special teams TD’s and didn’t do jack crap offensively. Drew Bledsoe came in and threw for 100 yards.

    Plus, without those amazing signals, the Patriots clearly do not have what it takes to beat the Steelers, as evidenced by the 2007 and 2010 games. Oh, wait. Yeah, Brady had about 800 yards and 8 touchdowns in both games…

  34. I for one would like to see Natty Ice be the official beer…it can be sold cheap and after the first two, one’s tongue should be numb enough to keep downing that swill. Heck, at least the good ol’ folks at Natty Central don’t pull punches about their beer being swill. MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch have been slinging swill for generations under the guise of quality and tradition. Get the deal done!

  35. What’s wrong with people. Bud, Miller, and Coors are all awful “beers”. Oh, and lite/light beer is NOT manly, despite what the commercials say. Now you’re drinking less flavorful terrible beer. Sad.

  36. @jpmelon:

    You lost all credibility when you mentioned Unibroue. The French know as much about brewing as the Greeks do about managing their finances.

    BTW: Both Keith’s Ale and Moosehead are far superior to anything I have ever tasted coming from the lower 48 by quite a large margin, I might add.

  37. pigeonpea says: Sep 28, 2011 8:18 AM

    BTW: Both Keith’s Ale and Moosehead are far superior to anything I have ever tasted coming from the lower 48 by quite a large margin, I might add.
    —————————————————

    Then it’s obvious you haven’t tried very many of the micro-brews in the lower 48, because Moosehead tasted like crap(To put it nicely). Can’t speak for Keith’s Ale, but I’m sure it can’t hold a candle to Dogfish Head’s great beers, or even the Brooklyn Brewery’s offerings for that matter. To be honest, most of the beer I’ve tried from Canada, tastes like it came fro ma skunks ass. No offense, as I love Canada, but their beer blows.

  38. Speaking of Schlitz, it is once again being brewed using the original ’60’s formula from the days when they battled Bud for supremacy. Available in many states in bottles and now also in the old “Tallboy” cans, it is far, far better tasting than either Bud OR Miller!!!

  39. “The best brewery in your country is in a province that wants nothing to do with the rest of Canada (Unibroue in Quebec).”

    They named a beer after Joe Flaco’s eye hair?

  40. Being the “official beer” just means they get to put it on their boxes/cans. At the stadium they will sell anything they can make $9 off of, regardless of brand.
    What I really want to know is who is the “official Proctologist of the New England Patriots”? Of course I cuold just turn on the radio and find out during the next commercial break. These “official” things are getting crazy, but at least they’re not trying to con me into buying grass or a brick.

  41. Who in their right mind would drink Miller or Coors over Bud & Bud Light. And I’m sorry but Sam Adams truely is piss in a bottle!

  42. Brady isn’t the issue. He’s kryptonite to the Steelers.

    The rest of the organization? shoot for the middle of the line because the Steelers, Packers, Cowboys, Ravens, and others run better overall organizations w/o dependence on best QB of all time.

    I don’t think Brady is overrated AT ALL. I think the Patriots organization is overrated. When they played the Steelers during Brady’s ACL year, how’d that work out for the Pats?

    Declaring cries of “returning to my basement” does nothing to discredit the fact that this organization will rightly return to the middle tier franchises once the best QB of all time calls it quits.

  43. Unibroue specializes in craft Belgian style ales. I don’t care what language they speak when they brew it. Just because a hefe weizen is produced in Colorado doesn’t make the style less German.

    Directed @ pidgeonpea…..thanks for proving my point that (even Canadians beleive) Quebec shouldn’t be considered part of Canada…..so in this case, the stuff that unibroue produces doesn’t count in favor of Canada.

    I like quite a few Canadian beers….I just can’t be content, sitting around and listening to people say that America doesn’t produce some of the best beer in the world; because people who say that are very wrong. Go ahead and get a Dogfishhead 60 minute IPA and tell me that something in Canada can compare (I am aware that they make 90 minute and 120 minute, but I think 60 minute has a flawless balance to it). Go get yourself a shot of Sam Adams Utopias and then proceed to tell me that Canada has anything nearly as unique.

    I can appreciate it when a Canadian has pride in their beer, but to say that American beer is swill just because you don’t like Coors light is the same as me saying that Canadian beer sucks because I don’t like Old Vienna.

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