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Of All the Recipes, MillerCoors Is Accused of Stealing the Formula for Bud Freakin’ Light

Plus, those tariffs go into effect today, and more news to start your day

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Two cans of bud light on a bed of ice Shutterstock
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

The rivalry between Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors now includes accusations of recipe stealing

Earlier this year, MillerCoors sued Anheuser-Busch over its Super Bowl ads, which implied that Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch) was one of the only mainstream beers on the market to not use corn syrup in its formula. MillerCoors argued the ads were “false and misleading,” and that corn syrup is a common fermentation aid (Bud Light uses rice). Anheuser-Busch took down the ad, but a watery, malty taste for revenge remained, and now the company is claiming that MillerCoors stole trade secrets, and recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.

Anheuser-Busch says Josh Edgar, a MillerCoors brewmaster, got an Anheuser-Busch employee to provide him information and photos of recipes. But when asked about corporate espionage, MillerCoors spokesperson Adam Collins got sassy. “...If the ingredients are a secret, why did they spend tens of millions of dollars telling the entire world what’s in Bud Light?” he said. “And why are the ingredients printed on Bud Light’s packaging in giant letters?” Though all that’s on a Bud Light label is “Hops. Barley. Water. Rice,” so maybe this isn’t the burn you think it is, Collins.

The alleged beer recipe theft is not all that impressive, either. You go through all the effort of corporate espionage and the thing you want to steal is...Michelob Ultra? Buddy, aim higher!

And in other news...

  • The tariffs on European food products go into effect today, so hopefully you stocked up on wine and cheese. [CNBC]
  • The Times magazine looks at Jean-George Vongerichten and his restaurant empire. [The New York Times Magazine]
  • Poking light fun at the natural wine trend. [The New Yorker]
  • A Jersey couple is suing Taco Bell over being charged $12.18 for two chalupa cravings boxes, when they were advertised as being $5 each. []
  • Nudists do not like to deal with hot oil when they’re cooking. [Jezebel]
  • Speaking of nudity, a couple posed naked for their engagement photo shoot except for some strategically-placed pizza. [NY Post]
  • A startup is trying to save crops by making a nutrient-dense formula for bees, which gives them more energy in the winter. [CNN]
  • Fox News railed against tipping, saying baristas don’t deserve any extra for just “handing [you] coffee.” Padma Lakshmi is not here for it.

All AM Intel Coverage [E]