Hamm’s, the beer resurgent

The beer from the land of sky-blue waters is having a good 2017.

With MillerCoors making a nationwide push, Hamm’s sales are up more than 45 percent year-to-date through May 20, according to Nielsen.

Nielsen also ranked Hamm’s as the No. 10 growth brand in beer.

First brewed in 1865, Hamm’s really came to prominence starting in the 1950s, thanks to its catchy jingle and iconic bear. It has remained a popular brand in some regional markets.

MillerCoors late last year shared plans with distributors to market Hamm’s nationally as a value brand. This move was part of a broader strategy to strengthen the MillerCoors economy portfolio.

Other parts of this strategy include a new look and new advertising (with an old song) for Miller High Life and new packaging for Keystone Light (which has moved up to the No. 4 growth brand in Nielsen).

MillerCoors has made some adjustments to the strategy as well, including returning to the original recipes for Icehouse and Milwaukee’s Best Ice.

With Hamm’s, MillerCoors is tapping into the brand’s heritage.

“We have big ambitions for Hamm’s,” Ashley Selman, vice president of brand marketing for economy and emerging brands, said this spring at a MillerCoors distributor meeting. “Our packaging and our marketing feels as if it came from a time capsule, which will resonate with [consumers] who crave the authenticity and heritage that Hamm’s delivers.”

So far, so good.