Miller Lite Brewing CollectionMillerCoors has ended its test run of craft-style beers early because the Miller Lite Brewing Collection didn’t perform as well as expected in test markets including Baltimore, Minneapolis and Charlotte, N.C.

The collection aimed to latch onto the fast-paced growth of craft beers, which are rising faster than overall beer sales and also command higher prices.

The goal, MillerCoors has said, was to build on the popularity of low-calorie Miller Lite, go after craft drinkers and woo new ones.

But Green said testing showed the company had to build consumer awareness to help people separate Miller Lite from the Brewing Collection.

“We need to kind of look at improving the positioning,” he said.

Notice that the lack of success is blamed on marketing, not the beer itself. This, I think, perfectly illustrates the key difference between macro-brewers and typical craft brewers. The big guys are selling an image while the little guys are just trying to make great beer. This is why there was such a brouhaha over InBev’s takeover of AB. Budweiser had been successfully marketed as an American icon. Now that marketing is worthless. The beer won’t change but the “brand postitioning” must.

MillerCoors has not said if or when they will try to reintroduce their Brewing Collection.