Last month MillerCoors unveiled the latest redesign of its Miller Lite bottle, giving it a narrower "waist" and broad "shoulders" to make it more distinctive in bars and restaurants. Around the same time, Heineken announced a new bottle of its own: The short neck that had long been associated with the brand will be lengthened, bringing it more in line with industry-standard bottle designs. (It also has an "embossed thumb groove that improves grip.")
These were relatively minor tweaks, but they're consistent with a common marketing philosophy in the beer industry: If you can't change what's on the inside of the bottle, why not change the bottle itself?
We've seen several redesigns that are zanier than Miller and Heinken's subtle changes: high-tech labels, strangely shaped bottles and cans, gimmicky add-ons and even the occasional functional tweak that changes the way you drink. Here are some of the packaging gimmicks and redesigns that beer companies have used to induce people to buy their brews.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.