Budweiser and Bud Light are beers owned and produced by Anheuser Busch InBev (ABI). Anheuser Busch InBev is the world’s largest brewing company, with company breweries making hundreds of products.
Bud Light and Budweiser are two of ABI’s most successful brands and share similarities in how and where they are brewed.
What Company Owns the Budweiser & Bud Light Brands?
Headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, Anheuser Busch InBev was formed in 2008 when the multi-national corporation InBev acquired Anheuser Busch.
The company is run by CEO Michael Doukeris and employs approximately 170,000 worldwide, and in 2019, the company had more the $236 Billion in assets in the United States alone.
Bud Light and Budweiser first succeeded under the Anheuser Busch brewery, acquired by German immigrant Adolphus Busch and his Father-in-Law, Eberhard Anheuser.
The brewery in St. Louis became the largest American beer maker over the past two centuries, utilizing innovations in brewing and transportation to wield vast influence throughout the country and competing for market share against its chief rivals, Coors Brewing and Miller Brewing, makers of Miller Lite, for decades.
Today Anheuser Busch is a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser Busch Inbev. In addition to Bud Light and Regular Budweiser, the company produces:
- Stella Artois
- Bud Ice
- Bud Light Platinum
- Bud Light Lime
Including several American Craft Beer Makers in:
- 10 Barrel
- Blue Point
- Devils Backbone
- Four Peaks
- Golden Road
- Goose Island
- Wicked Weed
You can find a full list of AB InBev brands on their Wikipedia page.
Are They Made In The Same Breweries?
Both Bud Light and Budweiser are made in breweries all over the US and World. The beers are brewed for consistency. A Budweiser brewed in St. Louis is expected to have the same flavor as a Budweiser brewed in Fort Collins.
A Bud Light brewed in Los Angeles, too, will have the same taste as a Bud Light from China. This can be a challenge, particularly with each brewery utilizing local and regional water sources, but sourcing other ingredients, like barley and hops, at scale can also be crucial (see here for info on where Bud Light is brewed worldwide).
Do They Use The Same Ingredients?
While different beers, Bud Light and Budweiser, share the same ingredients, Bud Light was initially released as a diet beer version of Budweiser in 1982.
Budweiser is an American Lager with five percent alcohol content. Regular Budweiser has more alcohol content and calories than its light lager brand extension. The style is crisp with very low malt and hop flavor.
Bitterness is around 11 bitterness units and a clean, lager character. Budweiser is synonymous with what most people would call a typical American beer, though the growth of craft beer in the US has undoubtedly changed that.
- Six Row Barley Malt
- High Alpha Hops (American and European Hops)
- Pure Water
(Click here for more info on Bud Light’s ingredients)
Bud Light Ingredients
- Six Row Barley
- High Alpha Hops (American and European Hops)
Bud Light is a light beer subcategory of the American lager category. Like Budweiser, Bud Light is made with malt and rice adjuncts and high alpha hops that contribute little to hop flavor or aroma.
Released in 1982 as Budweiser Light, Bud Light was the company’s introduction to diet beer which continues today.
Light beers are brewed to be crisp and refreshing, with less alcohol content and calories.
Brewers reduce the carbohydrates and calories in light beers by adding enzymes during the brewing process that break down non-fermentable sugars that would remain in the beer in carbs and calories.
Bud Light has an ABV of 4.2 percent alcohol and a calorie count of 110, while Budweiser has 145 calories.
Were They Created At The Same Time?
Budweiser and Bud Light might be made by the same company, but their introductions were centuries apart. Each is a product of technological and scientific innovation in their respective eras.
The Introduction Of Budweiser
Budweiser was first brewed in 1876 by Carl Conrad and Adolphus Busch at their St. Louis Brewery, the Budweiser recipe was inspired by a trip to what is now the Czech Republic.
Traditional Bohemian and Bavarian Brewery beers, pale lagers inspired Budweiser. Adjuncts created a lighter beer and took advantage of local crop sources.
The discovery of pasteurization and refrigeration allowed Adolphus Busch to ship Budweiser farther than beers had previously been able to travel. The increased shelf life of Budweiser created a threat to regional breweries across the United States, ultimately driving many out of business and cementing Anheuser Busch as the largest brewing company in the United States.
The Introduction Of Bud Light
Bud Light was first introduced in 1982, the beer leverages the use of enzymes that work to reduce the residual carbohydrates present in a finished beer.
In 1967, a biochemist named Joseph Owades added amyloglucosidase to a batch of beer. The enzymes acted on non-fermentable carbohydrates, effectively creating the first diet beer.
The beer, initially owned by Peter Hand Brewing in Chicago, would later be sold and marketed as Miller Lite. Bud Light benefitted not only from this technology but of Adolphus Busch’s previous refrigeration and shelf stability advancements to become America’s best selling beer.
Today, Bud Light commands more than 10 percent of the American Market. Beer drinkers continue to look for beer brands with fewer calories, and Bud Light continues to be that popular beer.
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