The Corn Industry Did Not Like Bud Light’s Corn Syrup Super Bowl Ad

A bartender pours Bud Light from a tap.
No corn syrup in here. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bud Light would like you to know that its beer is not brewed with corn syrup. And Big Corn is not happy about it.

In the beer company’s medieval-themed Super Bowl commercial, a giant wooden barrel of corn syrup is mistakenly delivered to the Bud Light castle, which prompts the Bud Light king to set off on a quest through forests, over mountains, and across the sea to deliver the comically large barrel to the castles of Miller Lite and Coors Light, since they both brew their beer with corn syrup. Heaven forfend!

Bud Light’s direct call-out of its competitors (and its disdain for corn syrup) left a sour taste in some people’s mouths. Pete Marino, the president of Tenth and Blake—MillerCoors’ craft and import division—clarified that, while none of MillerCoors’ beers contain high fructose corn syrup, some of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s beers do. Hmmmmm indeed!

MillerCoors took a similar jab at Bud Light.

Heineken chimed in to say that it doesn’t use corn syrup either.

The most pointed reaction came from the National Corn Growers Association, whose mission is to “create and increase opportunities for corn growers.”

“We think it is good for the beer industry as a whole to be transparent about what’s in your beer,” Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, told USA Today.”

Anheuser-Busch wasn’t always so devoted to transparency. The beer goliath first revealed its ingredients in 2014, reporting that Budweiser and Bud Light include nothing more than water, barley malt, rice, yeast, and hops.