Miller Lite launches Fourth of July limited edition can honouring female brewers

This Fourth of July, Molson Coors brand Miller Lite is paying tribute to the women who came before the male beer industry titans such as Adolph Coors, Frederick Miller, John Molson and Jacob Leinenkugel.

The beer brand is turning out a limited run of its iconic white can to honour Mary Lisle, the first documented female brewer – or brewster – in America, as well as the innumerable so-called ale wives who came before her.

The limited-edition cans replace ‘Miller Lite’ with ‘Mary Lisle,’ and update its trademark to read ‘There’s no beer without women.’ The cans also include an etching of Lisle and information about the history of women in American brewing.

In 1734, Lisle’s father died, leaving his Philadelphia brewery to her, making her America’s first recognised brewster. She operated the Edinburgh Brewhouse until 1751. Then she was lost to history as beer became a massive industry – more often than not dominated by men.

When Miller Lite asked legal-age drinkers if they knew women first brought beer to America, just 3% answered yes.

“Women have been written out of brewing history in America, and we want to remind people during the biggest beer-drinking weekend of the year that without women, there’s no beer,” says Kelsey Ott, associate marketing manager for Miller Lite. “Mary Lisle is the first documented brewer in American history, but it took 100 years to record her name. There were countless women who came before her and played an incredibly important role in brewing beer in America.”

As Miller Lite honours women’s contributions to beer in America, it is also helping women in brewing today, donating $5 from every case sold during the holiday weekend on Instacart and Drizly to the Pink Boots Society, a professional organisation that supports female brewers.

The limited-edition cans will be unveiled at an event on 30 June in Philadelphia, where attendees can learn more about Mary Lisle’s contributions to brewing history. Miller Lite is also running a sweepstakes, where legal-age drinkers can enter for a chance to win the special can.

Throughout the years, beer brands have historically objectified or underrepresented women.

“Although there has been immense progress, Miller Lite believes there is still a lot to be made,” Ott says. That includes at Molson Coors Beverage Company, which, along with Miller Lite, has committed to making the beer industry more inclusive through professional development, education opportunities and more representation of women and people of color.

“We’ve made a lot of advances in this industry and at our company, pushing to increase representation of women in our breweries and corporate offices,” she says. “But there’s more work to be done to not only move forward but honor the important role women played in American brewing. We’re proud to help bring Mary Lisle’s story to more people this Fourth of July.”

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