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Brew Wars: Miller Lite Denounces Bud Light’s Corn Syrup Super Bowl Ad As An ‘Unnecessary Controversy’

By  Paul Bois

A feud seems to be brewing between two of America’s largest breweries – a brewhaha, if you will. During the Super Bowl on Sunday, Bud Light stole the show with a brazen commercial that directly attacked its competitor brands – Coors Light and Miller Lite.

With the iconic “Bud Knight” mascot in the starring role, the ad trolls Miller and Coors for allegedly brewing their beers with corn syrup, an ingredient that immediately invokes the word “phony” in the minds of modern bohemians at its very utterance. In case you missed it, take a look:

According to Ad Weekly, Miller Lite responded to Bud Light with a full-page ad in the New York Times on Tuesday in which the company clarified that Bud Light’s denunciation of the beer’s corn syrup is a manipulation of the facts.

“Dear Beer Drinkers of America,” the statement begins. “You may have seen an ad on the Big Game going to great lengths to explain that Miller Lite is brewed with ‘corn syrup,’ while Bud Light is not. That’s a fact. Miller Lite is indeed brewed with ‘corn syrup.’ We’d like to thank our competitors for taking the time and money to point out this exciting fact to such a large, national audience not once, but twice.”

Miller Lite goes on to say that Bud Light completely mischaracterized the beer’s use of corn syrup as being somehow inauthentic or even cheap. In fact, Miller Lite says that corn syrup is what makes their beer “taste so great,” noting the difference between corn syrup and the evil “high fructose corn syrup.”

“To be clear, corn syrup is a normal part of the brewing process used by many of your favorite brewers and does not even end up in the beers you enjoy as it gets consumed by the yeast during the fermentation process,” the statement continued.

Unwilling to call a truce, Miller Lite concludes that Bud Light created an unnecessary controversy over corn syrup, adding that “Miller Light has more taste than Bud Light.”

“It’s unfortunate that our competitor’s Big Game ad created an unnecessary #corntroversy,” Miller Lite laments. “However, we thank them for starting this conversation on such a big stage because it allows us to clarify the truth and remind beer drinkers that Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light with fewer calories and half that carbs.”

The MillerCoor’s blog issued a similarly brazen response to the Bud Light ads, denouncing them as “a series of low-performing television spots,” asserting that “a corn-derived sugar or corn syrup called dextrose” is a common brewing ingredient “because it cleanly and efficiently converts to alcohol during fermentation and has a neutral taste.”

A Bud Light spokesperson has since responded to Miller’s forceful defense by saying the company “has always been about transparency” and is happy to have sparked a conversation among other brewers. The company’s full response:

Bud Light’s campaign has always been about transparency and giving consumers what they want. We’re glad that other brewers have joined us in this conversation. Increased transparency can only be good for beer.

While Bud Light has never used corn syrup, Anheuser-Busch does use it in certain value brands, which are driven by price. Anheuser-Busch proudly supports farmers and the agricultural community. We source our ingredients from U.S. farmers, including 98 percent of our barley, 100 percent of our rice and all of our corn. Last year, Anheuser-Busch purchased more than 1 billion pounds of corn ingredients. We fully support corn growers and will continue to invest in the corn industry.

Consumers have made Bud Light the number one selling beer in the U.S. because it’s a quality light lager made with only four simple ingredients: water, barley, rice and hops. That’s a fact.

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