Steve Canal is basking in the success of his first year as the Atlanta market development manager for MillerCoors.

Having worked with the brand as a consultant for a year and a half prior, Canal had a strong grasp of the core mission — to sell beer. If you let the six-foot “plus plus” Canal tell you, his swagger has a lot to do with his being appointed to take on this assignment.

“In the market, I highlight different brands in our portfolio. Last year, it was Coors Light and Peroni. This year, it’s Coors Light, Miller Lite and Peroni and also featuring Blue Moon and Leinenkugel Berry Weiss,” he says.

Atlanta tastemakers have had the pleasure of partaking in some really creative initiatives hosted by Canal, including the MillerCoors T.A.P. Awards, an event honoring the city’s brand pioneers and featuring top-notch mixologists who served specialty beer cocktails, and the Peroni Buon Natale, an end-of-the-year holiday affair for Atlanta’s who’s who. Rolling out spoke with Canal recently, and this is what he had to say:

What has he learned this past year

“In the multicultural community, we like to be connected to a brand and, if you’re not paying attention, we’re not going to support your brands. There are businesses that don’t understand our spending potential. For example, I spend money on things that I like, and I like to enjoy myself. I realize that’s how it is in the Atlanta market as well. It’s not just about your vodkas, drinking your tequilas, bourbons… A lot of people drink beer as well.

What’s next for scenesters in search of a good time?

“‘Search for the Coldest’ is our national tour with N.E.R.D. We’re doing it here in Atlanta at Mansion Elan on May 25 and a show in Baltimore and New York. The finale will be held during the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. It’s a tour where we’re ‘Searching for the Coldest.’ You go online and upload an original song and then people go online and place their votes. Artists from the north, south, midwest and west open up for each show. The winner will have the opportunity to possibly open for N.E.R.D. at Essence.

“Also, ‘Make Summer Count’ is a ‘taste points’ program for MillerLite. Each bottle has a code. You have a chance to win great prizes: island-hopping getaways, ATVs, G-Shock watches, shows at Center Stage,” he reveals. For the true MillerLite fans, there will be some other events for the grown-and-sexy like rooftop parties.

Other than his charm and smooth demeanor, Canal tells what sets him apart from just any market manager. “I have a strong connection to the community. Most people work 9 to 5 and go home. I am pretty much a 24-hour guy. I am always there for my clients. It can be 3 [o’clock] in the morning, and they can call me with a question or an idea. I have interests and am vested in the community and the brand. I love what I am doing and support it 100 percent. Also, it’s my job to support the community initiatives like the M.L.K. march and 100 Black Men of Atlanta.”

yvette caslin

For detailed information and contest updates, visit www.searchforthecoldest.com and at select locations where Coors Light is sold.

Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.