Bud Light’s Brewer Accused MillerCoors of Stealing Its Beer Recipes

The cheap beer legal smackdown continues, now with corporate espionage

Bud Light
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Apparently, there are secret recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.

And those secrets are apparently worth stealing, according an accusation leveled at Molson Coors Brewing Co. by Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev SA. This news came out in a court filing made on Thursday, where Anheuser-Busch claimed brewmaster Josh Edgar (at MillerCoors, a Molson Coors subsidiary) illegally obtained recipes for the beers via a series of text messages and photographs exchanged before and after this year’s Super Bowl.

In the latest filing, Anheuser-Busch notes the recipes provide more information than what’s listed publicly, including types of barley and hops.

This new suit is actually a counterclaim — you might remember Molson Coors suing AB over an ad campaign earlier this year that suggested Miller Lite and Coors Lite contained corn syrup. That fact was brought up by a MillerCoors spokesman during the latest court filing.

“MillerCoors respects confidential information and takes any contrary allegations seriously, but if the ingredients are a secret, why did they spend tens of millions of dollars telling the entire world what’s in Bud Light?” said a MillerCoors spokesman. “Anheuser-Busch has lost three major federal rulings in this case and now they are simply trying to distract from the basic fact that they intentionally misled American consumers.”

Meanwhile, we’re still trying to figure out the recipe for Rauchbier, one of nine brews we recommend for fall.

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