The Beer War Begins: MillerCoors Sues Bud Light

By George Khoury, Esq. on April 01, 2019 | Last updated on April 04, 2019

After this last Super Bowl, millions of beer drinkers were likely scratching their heads wondering if the beers they love contain corn syrup. That’s thanks to the advertising brilliance of Bud Light, which, conveniently, does not use corn syrup when brewing Bud Light.

However, Bud Light is now facing litigation from MillerCoors, who have been skewered by their budget brewing nemesis in the Super Bowl ad campaign featuring the Bud Light Knights returning a mis-delivered barrel of corn syrup to Miller Lite and Coors Lite. That ad, according to MillerCoors, is deceptive because, while they do in fact brew with corn syrup, there is no corn syrup in their beer.

Misleading Advertising

One of the bigger contentions that MillerCoors puts forth is that the Bud Light ad, while technically correct, is intentionally misleading and deceptive to consumers. The actual complaint explains that to brew beer, sugar is required to feed the yeast, and that no corn syrup goes into the beer. However, MillerCoors does admit that, unlike Bud Light which uses rice as the sugar source to feed the yeast, it does in fact use corn syrup for both Miller Lite and Coors Lite.

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that beer consumers do not know the difference between high fructose corn syrup, which is basically a four-letter word now (it really is too, as it is frequently called HFCS), and regular corn syrup. In short, MillerCoors alleges that the ad campaign basically tricked consumers into believing that Miller Lite and Coors Lite contain HFCS. 

Misleading Complaint?

Notably though, the complaint filed by MillerCoors stretches the bounds of credulity by making various assertions in the complaint, such as calling Coors Lite and Miller Lite “high-quality beers.” Those of us who have had these beers, Bud Light included, know that they are only ever really “good” when you are so parched that anything potable would be the best tasting beverage to have ever been tasted (and even then, plain water tastes better).

And in the spirit of misdirection, the complaint raises the fact that the makers of Bud Light brew other beverages using corn syrup themselves, such as spritzers and various other alcoholic atrocities.

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