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Lawsuit Between Bud Light and Coors Light Now Alleges Beer Recipe Theft

— October 23, 2019

Anheuser-Busch, the maker of popular beers like Bud Light, recently accused MillerCoors of stealing its beer recipes.

Many may already be aware that there has been a bit of a feud going on between Bud Light and Coors Light for a while now. However, earlier this week that feud got kicked up a notch when Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light, accused MillerCoors of stealing its secret recipes for popular beers like Bud Light and Michelob Ulta.

Glass of beer on wooden table; image by mnm.all, via
Glass of beer on wooden table; image by mnm.all, via

What happened, though? Why are the two beer companies engaged in a feud? Well, it all began earlier this year when Anheuser-Busch “aired a Super Bowl commercial that shamed Miller Lite and Coors Light for using corn syrup.” Following the commercial, MillerCorps, the U.S. Subsidiary of Molson Coors, filed a lawsuit in response. Then in September, “a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Anheuser-Busch, preventing the beer giant from using Bud Light packaging that says ‘no corn syrup.’” However, Anheuser-Busch is currently appealing the injunction and issued a redacted counterclaim earlier this month that alleges “a former employee who now works at a MillerCoors brewery in Colorado was obtaining information from current Anheuser-Busch employees who were violating confidentiality agreements in the days before and after the Super Bowl.”

According to the filing, some of the questions “involved the use of corn syrup in the brewing process.” Additionally, the filing alleges some of MillerCoors’ senior executives “were asking for the information, and CEO Gavin Hattersley was included on email chains about the findings.” Furthermore, as part of its case against Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors has allegedly “produced documents that show the recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.” Anheuser-Busch alleges that “those recipes were printouts of screenshots that were folded up, taken out of its brewery and sent via text.”

When commenting on the alleged recipe theft, Anheuser-Busch issued the following statement:

We will enforce our right to uncover how high up this may reach in the MillerCoors organization. We take our trade secrets seriously and will protect them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Adam Collins, a spokesperson for MillerCoors, pushed back and said that “Anheuser-Busch has lost three rulings in the case and is trying to distract from the fact that they misled American consumers.” He added:

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? And why are the ingredients printed on Bud Light’s packaging in giant letters?” 


Bud Light brewer Anheuser-Busch accuses MillerCoors of stealing its beer recipes

Anheuser-Busch Accuses MillerCoors of Stealing Confidential Beer Recipes

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