Miller Lite Beer Mints Review: Buy A Pack Of Gum Instead

Just in time for beer lovers observing Dry January, Miller Lite is launching its latest non-beverage promo item, Miller Lite Beer Mints. These brew-based confections shouldn't be confused with regular breath mints sold in wrappers stamped to look like Miller Lite cans. These novelty sweets are a whole new item that takes the flavors of both beer and mint and merges them into a singular treat made especially for beer fans. The combination may sound less than pleasing, but other treats like Brew Candy show there's a space in the snack world for beer and candy to co-mingle.

A better question to ask than "What is this odd-sounding item and why am I so enticed by the thought of it?" is "Why has Miller Lite gone to the trouble to launch a limited-edition nonalcoholic product at all?" The company that produces a canned brew known as The Champagne of Beers should be doing well enough with its own momentum to avoid easy cash grabs in the form of product tie-ins like beer mints, shouldn't it? Still, keeping your brand in the public eye during times of slow sales calls for invention and imagination, and these mints look to be that type of clever contrivance for Miller. 

Beer Mints come in a very familiar package

Miller takes a wise tack by packaging its Beer Mints in hinged aluminum tins similar to Altoids containers. The product recognition gives prestige vibes much more than a disposable box or easily crumpled wrapper would. You can tote your beer substitute in any pocket you choose without fear of crushing the candy inside. And when you're done, you have a sweet little memento to add to your bar memorabilia collection, or somewhere to stash your cash until Beerbuary (totally a word) rolls around.

As for Beer Mints' ingredients, it's a very short list: organic sugar, organic gum Arabic, natural flavors, and gelatin. The lack of call-out for peppermint oil or some sort of hop-based syrup clued me in on the notion that these may not pan out to be the most flavorful fake beer candy ever. But choosing to use organic ingredients where possible is a surprisingly thoughtful stroke for beer drinkers and candy fans with standards. The label also clearly calls out that this is an item meant for the 21-and-up crowd — in other words, legal U.S. drinkers — lest the company be accused of marketing its product to minors. Even if they are alcohol-free, Beer Mints bear the bold Lite logo and seal on the lid. Only adults are welcome here.

These creative candies are $5.00 per tin

If curiosity gets the better of you and you feel compelled to try Beer Mints for yourself, you won't have to shell out too much of your hard-earned cash. Miller has priced these short-term treats at $5.00 per tin, which is similar to the cost of an actual Miller Lite, as the company points out in its promotional verbiage. Of course, no matter how fantastic a candy is, there's just no chance it can recreate the feeling of drinking a real beer. Miller would love for customers to think of this promo product as the next best thing.

Each package contains 40 mints, which equates to 40 servings, though it might be difficult to pop just one in your mouth at a time. In addition to the Altoids-adjacent packaging, the mints are the size and shape of Altoids too, and few mint poppers ever do a single serving of those. The multiple-mint habit means you may blow through a whole pack of Beer Mints without blinking, and purchases are limited to one tin per customer. So regardless of affordability, consider a restrictive plan of enjoyment to make sure they last awhile.

You have two chances in January to grab some for yourself

Rather than announcing a date range for the promo, Miller has revealed two drop dates for the mints, the first coming on Friday, January 12 and the second happening a week later, on January 19. A special website has been set up to sell just Miller Lite Beer Mints. Customers 21 years and older can indulge, even though there's no alcohol included in the mints. Miller has held similar short-term promos to ramp up excitement about its products, like its 99 Beer Bottles Sweepstakes, only in that promotion the company gave away actual beer. For free. 99 bottles at a time. (Similar is not the same.)

The timing of Beer Mints' availability is no coincidence. The marketing angle aims to capture the hearts of drinkers who've made a New Year's resolution to eschew alcohol for the month of January. Miller's solution to keep cravings at a minimum is to infuse brisk, zero-proof mints with beer flavoring, filling a space that only exists until the month is over. Presumably, when Lite lovers go back to swilling their favorite beverage in February, the need for Beer Mints will be over.

If you're reading between the lines to wonder if Beer Mints are a way for Miller to generate cash flow while beer sales take a temporary dip, you're not alone; we see the same subtext.

Beer Mints are the latest in a line of other Miller non-drink items

Remember when Miller launched Lite beer-infused charcoal designed to flavor your grilled foods with fantastic beer flavor? How about Miller Lite Beer Drops that let you bring added beer Lite flavor to any drink you desire? Clearly, Beer Mints is just the next in an ongoing line of clever (and weird) non-beverage products that bring the essence of brew into places it's never been. There may be a good reason for this; just like smoking your burgers or imbuing your coffee or soda with a hoppy flavor layer, enjoying beer in candy form seems unnecessary from the consumer side of the counter. At best, it seems like an attempt to incorporate beer into experiences beyond the bar, and at worst, it feels like a desperate try by Miller to become relevant outside of its core product line.

The underlying idea may be vertical expansion, a business buzzword used when a company works its products into different markets rather than staying in its own lane. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it's a wash. By presenting beer as a carry-around candy, Beer Mints feels like it falls into the latter category.

Beer Mints aren't the most nutritious food product on the scene ... but they aren't the least nutritious, either

It's no leap to decide a mint with ambitions for capturing the essence of beer isn't nutritious by nature, even if beer fans sometimes proclaim that their favorite beverage is plant-based, and therefore a healthful drink by nature. But the happy surprise on the back of the tin is a breakdown that also doesn't crash anyone's healthful lifestyle, which is ... odd. If Beer Mints aren't unhealthy, and they aren't nutritious, what exactly are they?

Reading the nutrition facts reveals that there are fewer than five calories per mint, though the exact number isn't given. There is also no fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fiber, or protein. There's a single gram of sugar, equating to 2% of your daily recommended intake. While your taste buds are feeling out the flavor to find mint and beer hidden somewhere in these little tan tablets, the rest of your physiology will be negligibly impacted by whatever else it finds in the process.

Miller Lite Beer Mints are bound to leave you flat

The promise of a minty forward note followed by a wash of beer flavor turns out to be untrue; I could taste neither mint nor beer when eating Beer Mints. I tried chewing them straight away, letting them dissolve on my tongue, and even eating a couple at a time. There's no beer or mint to be found. What there is instead is a strangely wheaty vanilla essence that stayed with me from start to finish. It did nothing to freshen my breath or to give the impression that I was enjoying a beer, Miller Lite or otherwise, although the chalky Necco wafer-like texture meant both chewing and sucking the mints makes them dissolve easily.

I was enticed by the idea of a spearmint blast followed by a hoppy follow-up, like the promo materials described. When neither flavor appeared, I wrote off the expectation to hype and decided these candies could be enjoyed as a lightly sweetened treat on their own. No need to be disappointed if you're looking for Altoid-level refreshment or actual beer flavor to fool you into thinking you haven't kicked off the year by giving up your favorite quaff, as long as you know what you're getting. And $5.00 isn't too much to spend on specialty mints that come with a nifty collectible tin. Just don't make your purchase thinking you've found a beer replacement with Miller Lite Beer Mints.