France's guardians of champagne destroy 2,300 cans of Miller High Life: ‘The Champagne of Beers’

France's trade agency takes issue with Miller High Life's beer slogan as an infringement on its authentic champagne industry

The guardians of France’s prized champagne industry ordered that some 2,352 cans of Miller High Life beer be destroyed by Belgium customs for infringement over its slogan of choice: "The Champagne of Beers."

At the request of the French trade organization tasked with protecting its national products and growers, the Comité Champagne, the American beers were drained after sitting in a Belgium customs warehouse for two months. 

Miller High Life, which is owned by Molson Coors Beverage Co., is not currently exported to the European Union, and the order for more than 2,300 cans of the American beer was intercepted in Antwerp, Belgium, in February on its way to Germany.

Miller High Life France

In this image provided by Comité Champagne, cans of Miller High Life beer sit in a container after being crushed at the Westlandia plant in Ypres, Belgium, Monday, April 17, 2023. Belgian customs have destroyed more than 2,000 cans of Miller High Lif (Comite Champagne via AP / AP Newsroom)

THE FORD F-150 LIGHTNING IS INVADING NORWAY

It is unclear who ordered the beer shipment, though France deemed the company's characterization of "Champagne" as an affront to its prized sparkling wine. 

The buyer in Germany was apparently "informed" and "did not contest the decision" to destroy the beers. 

According to the Milwaukee-based beer company the Miller Brewing Company – which was founded in the 1850s by German immigrant Frederick Miller – began to use the slogan the "Champagne of Bottle Beers" in 1906 after Miller High Life became the company’s flagship beer following its launch in 1903.

The slogan was then changed to "The Champagne of Beers" in 1969. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TAP MOLSON COORS BEVERAGE CO. 50.20 +0.67 +1.35%
BUD ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV 59.70 +0.21 +0.35%
STZ CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC. 262.34 +8.84 +3.49%

"With its elegant, clear-glass bottle and crisp taste, Miller High Life has proudly worn the nickname ‘The Champagne of Beers’ for almost 120 years," the Molson Coors Beverage Co. said in a statement. Though it said it "respects local restrictions" surrounding the classification of "Champagne."

Belgium Miller High Life beer

In this image provided by Comité Champagne, a worker pours out the contents of cans of Miller High Life beer prior to them being crushed at the Westlandia plant in Ypres, Belgium, Monday, April 17, 2023. Belgian customs have destroyed more than 2,000 (Comite Champagne via AP / AP Newsroom)

CHOOSING BETWEEN US AND CHINA WOULD RESULT IN ‘LESS PROSPERITY,’ ‘MORE POVERTY’: EU CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT

"But we remain proud of Miller High Life, its nickname and its Milwaukee, Wisconsin provenance," Molson Coors Beverage Co. said in a statement to The Associated Press. "We invite our friends in Europe to the U.S. any time to toast the High Life together."

Despite its 120-year reign as a top beer choice in the U.S. the E.U. fiercely protects its products to avoid counterfeit or misleading items ending up on the market – meaning it is unlikely that Miller High Life will ever be exported to the 27-member bloc so long as it maintains its current slogan.

Champagne of beer

In this image provided by Comité Champagne, a label on the side of a carton of Miller High Life beer at the Westlandia plant in Ypres, Belgium, Monday, April 17, 2023. Belgian customs have destroyed more than 2,000 cans of Miller High Life advertised (Comite Champagne via AP / AP Newsroom)

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Managing director of the Comité Champagne, Charles Goemaere, said the decision to destroy the beer "confirms the importance that the European Union attaches to designations of origin and rewards the determination of the Champagne producers to protect their designation."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.