Is Corn Syrup in Beer a Bad Thing?

So the biggest news coming out of the Superbowl today is a debate over a commercial that provoked some serious backlash.

If you haven’t seen it already, Bud Light ran a campaign poking fun at both Miller Light and Coors Light for their use of corn syrup in their beer. Here’s the ad:

Now is it accurate? Yes. But accuracy doesn’t tell the whole story.

First of all, we need to understand why Bud Light did this in the first place. Corn syrup is easily one of the most publicly hated additives; more specifically high fructose corn syrup. That’s an additive that has both glucose and fructose sugars and is really not good for you. So on the surface, a beer using corn syrup to brew doesn’t seem good right?

Well no. First, it’s not high fructose corn syrup being used, but regular corn syrup containing only glucose. And here’s the reality: beer needs sugar. Sugar, is the base ingredient to help the yeast create alcohol, so for Miller and Coors to use corn syrup is totally normal. Many popular Mexican lagers use corn as a base sugar.

Second, Bud Light does no different, just with different ingredients. Bud Light uses rice, which ultimately provides a similar level of sugar content for their yeast to consume. And that’s the important point here. the yeast consumes the sugars. Rice, corn, barley, it doesn’t matter what is used, the yeast consumes all the sugars therefore it’s not like the drinker is actually drinking corn syrup in their beer.

So Bud Light has taken an ad poking fun at their competitors by targeting an ingredient that is easy to recognize but poorly understood. It’s a marketing gimmick. The funny thing is we’re talking about Bud, Coors and Miller all beers that aren’t known for their quality but their mass produced beer. This is really a non-argument.

I’m not arguing that corn syrup should be in beer, but what I am saying is it doesn’t matter for macro-beer like Bud Light. This is like arguing the differences in syrups between Coke and Pepsi. You don’t expect either product to have organic, high quality ingredients, and neither are really all that different. So drink your Bud or Coors or whatever, not on the argument of corn syrup but on the argument of which one tastes less like dirty bath water to you.

 

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