How Molson Coors is lifting the on-premise

Molson Coors set revenue records in 2023, driven in part by its brands’ performance in the on-premise.

In 2023, Molson Coors grew more dollar share of the on-premise than any other U.S. brewer – more than twice the growth of the No. 2 competitor, Constellation Brands. In the fourth quarter, Molson Coors’ share growth was nearly three times the rate of Constellation’s.


Molson Coors’ growth was led by its core brands, specifically Coors Light and Miller Lite, which each grew more dollar share in the on-premise in the fourth quarter than any other brewer did as a total business.

“We saw tremendous growth from our light beer brands,” says Nels Larsen, vice president of national accounts for Molson Coors’ on-premise business.


While Coors Light and Miller Lite led the way, other brands, including Coors Banquet, Miller High Life and Blue Moon contributed, as well.

Banquet scores big

Coors Banquet ended 2023 on a roll, winning nearly 50% more tap handles in the fourth quarter alone, mirroring the trend it’s seen in the off-premise, where consumers have been drawn to its stubby bottle, history and authenticity, Larsen says.

  • In the fourth quarter, Coors Banquet wrapped up its 11th straight quarter of growth, growing volume by nearly 20% for the year. Dollar sales in 2023 were up by 30%, according to Nielsen CGA data.
  • In 2023, it added more than 8,500 outlets.
  • In the off-premise, Coors Banquet is heating up, growing more than 25% for the 13-week period that ended Feb. 4, outpacing its growth for 2023, according to Circana.

“Coors Banquet resonates deeply with people,” Larsen says. “‘Pop culture has been a huge piece of that. And I don’t think we can overstate the quality. It truly is a unique brand in American beer.”

Meanwhile, Blue Moon, the No. 1 craft brand in the U.S., continued its steady performance in the on-premise. It grew revenue more than 6%, while also increasing its total on-premise volume and dollar share, according to Nielsen CGA.

  • “You’re talking about a beer that’s twice the size of any craft brand in the channel. It’s got incredible loyalty and it’s highly profitable,” Larsen says. “We see Blue Moon as the anchor of the above premium category. And when it’s served in its signature glass with the Valencia orange peel, it just stands out in the on-premise.”

Blue Moon has also gotten an early boost this year from Blue Moon Non-Alcoholic and the upcoming rebrand of Blue Moon LightSky to Blue Moon Light, Larsen says.

“We’re seeing a bit of a halo effect with Blue Moon Non-Alcoholic. Lots of on-premise accounts are interested in using it to offer a non-alc product to their consumers,” he says.

For its part, Blue Moon Non-Alcoholic is already the No. 3 craft non-alc brand in the off-premise, according to Circana data for the four-week period that ended Feb. 4.

Holding ground

Larsen says his team has no intention of ceding any ground in the on-premise this year, and is working to ensure a strong performance through March hoops and the beginning of baseball season into the key beer-selling season starting later in the spring.

“We have incredible, consistent brand plans. We a highly engaged network that has been able to execute at a really high level throughout the entire year and we will continue to see that,” he says.

Molson Coors is aiming to continue its momentum in Canada, as well, where it was the only major brewer to grow share of the on-premise.


With Coors Light launching the first salvo in its “Choose Chill” campaign during last weekend’s big game, a campaign of similar scope launching soon for Miller Lite and the approach of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy season, Larsen says Molson Coors’ on-premise team is gearing up for a big year, working closely with accounts to generate bespoke solutions.

  • That includes a sustained push to grow Coors Banquet, driving more velocity for Blue Moon and leveraging Miller Lite and Coors Light’s partnerships, from sports alliances to tie ups with country stars Luke Combs and Lainey Wilson.
  • They’re also looking to grow Molson Coors’ spirits and non-alc portfolio, while giving accounts more ways to offer trade ups (think: not just Banquet, but a Banquet with a side of Barmen 1873 Bourbon).

“We’re looking to keep growing this year. The on-premise, from bars and restaurants to sports stadiums and concert venues, is hugely important,” Larsen says. “Our plans are strong and we’re going to keep energizing our core products, moving into new segments and elevating the consumer experience.”