Obit of the Day: The “Lite” Went On
The first “Lite” beer, spelled incorrectly on purpose, was distributed by Chicago brewer Meister Brau. (The can on the left in the above image.) An executive vice-president for Miller Brewing recognized the potential for the brand and pushed Miller to purchase “Lite.” Miller actually purchased all of Meister Brau and took the “Lite” label for itself. In 1973 Miller Lite was introduced to America.
And that is John Francis Savage’s contribution to modern beer culture. He was the VP who understood that the 1970s would see a growing demand for more “health-conscious” beers. (Eventually Miller Lite would dominate the market with it’s famous “Less Filling. Tastes Great.” campaign.)
Prior to joining Miller in 1946 Savage spent four years working with the FBI. One of his assignments was to stakeout Al Capone’s home in Palm Island, Florida monitoring visitors and taking down license plate information. (This was after Capone was released from prison and was slowly dying of syphillis. Capone would pass away in 1947.)
John Francis Savage died at the age of 101.
(Image of the is courtesy of Landor Associates who designed the Miller Lite cans and bottles.)