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It’s Big Beer vs. Big Corn, and it looks like somebody is in a dilly of a pickle.
In one of its big Super Bowl commercials, Bud Light—which has been hammering the Dilly Dilly king storyline for longer than a Bud Light-induced hangover—declared that it does not use corn syrup in the making of its product. In the commercial, a barrel of corn syrup was accidentally delivered to his kingdom, prompting an epic adventure where the king and his subjects attempt to redirect to the barrel to the Miller Lite and Coors Light castles.
It’s funny in a Super-Bowl-commercial-chuckle-while-I’m-jamming-a-chicken-wing-down-my-gullet kind of way. But don’t tell that to the National Corn Growers Association, because on Twitter, the NCGA popped with rage.
Here’s the commercial.
And here’s the response from the NCGA.
.@BudLight America’s corn farmers are disappointed in you. Our office is right down the road! We would love to discuss with you the many benefits of corn! Thanks @MillerLight and @CoorsLite for supporting our industry. https://t.co/6fIWtRdeeM— National Corn (NCGA) (@NationalCorn) February 4, 2019
To be clear, Bud Light never mentioned whether the other two brewers use high-fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup, it should be noted, is largely not considered as much of a health risk as high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup, meanwhile, can lead to cholesterol and liver problems.
But Bud Light was happy to point out that its beer only has four ingredients: Barley, rice, water, and hops.
Franks Red Hot sauce was eager to join the fight.
yooo peep the label - we don’t have any corn syrup either pic.twitter.com/tJOM77Dpzb— Frank's RedHot (@FranksRedHot) February 4, 2019
But at least one apparent corn farmer, in a show of defiance and disappointment, decided to dump his Bud Light down the drain (though some speculated on Twitter that he really was pouring out water).
In fact, much of the Twitter reaction to Bud Light’s commercial was not kind. This came from a MillerCoors spokesman.
Bud Light uses rice to aid fermentation. We use corn syrup. Interestingly, none of our products use High Fructose Corn Syrup, yet several of ABI’s do. Things that make you go hmmmmm https://t.co/Y2Na2mbErZ— pjmarino2 (@pjmarino2) February 4, 2019
This isn’t a good thing, you brew your beer with RICE! Even worse than Adam Levine’s tank top!— Adam Levine’s tank top (@LevineTank) February 4, 2019
A rare look into the Bud Light bottling division! pic.twitter.com/QBjjBBqJVf— chris (@ryegrass4) February 4, 2019
If you are drinking Bud Light you probably don’t care what’s in it... 🙄 pic.twitter.com/VRqx9sgL8v— Jolie McClure (@joliem24) February 4, 2019
Either way, people were excited to witness the feud.
Maybe they were stalk -ing @budlight— Redistributing Opportunity is Democratic (@WordCatcher) February 4, 2019
I didn’t know I wanted an obesity industry vs. a beer industry fight but I’m here for it.— Christian H. Cooper (@christiancooper) February 4, 2019
I’d like to see the Venn diagram of Bud Light consumers and people who care about corn syrup— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) February 4, 2019
Three terrible beers arguing whether they use a terrible sweetener.— Jim Stogdill 🙊 (@jstogdill) February 4, 2019
Anheuser-Busch, which makes Bud Light, said in a statement that it “fully supports corn growers and will continue to invest in the corn industry” and that “Bud Light’s Super Bowl commercials are only meant to point out a key difference in Bud Light from some other light beers.”
MillerCoors also went out of its way to point out the health benefits of drinking its suds.
At MillerCoors, we're proud of our high-quality, great-tasting beers. We're also proud that none of our products include any high fructose corn syrup, while a number of Anheuser-Busch products do. And Miller Lite has fewer calories, fewer carbs and more taste than Bud Light. pic.twitter.com/GeUUXqnSpc— MillerCoors (@MillerCoors) February 4, 2019
“At MillerCoors, we’re proud of our high-quality, great-tasting beers,” the tweet said. “We’re also proud that none of our products include any high fructose corn syrup, while a number of Anheuser-Busch products do. And Miller Lite has fewer calories, fewer carbs and more taste than Bud Light.”
The best part of this feud? The fact that everybody is trying to portray themselves as the healthiest option. Yes, you might live longer by drinking Bud Light or Miller Lite, depending on which brand you believe, but in the end, that just means you’ll end up drinking more of their crappy beer for more years than you originally expected.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.