Trouble started brewing last week when Anheuser-Busch accused its rival beer company MillerCoors of stealing trade secrets for their most popular beers, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. The relationship first soured when MC filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch for misleading marketing when Anheuser-Busch suggested that their beers were made without corn syrup back in March. The case resulting in a Wisconsin Federal Court Judge ordering Anheuser-Busch to remove the large “NO CORN SYRUP” labels on Budweiser packages, but the bitter relationship continued to ferment, resulting in a months-long dispute.
Since the court orders of the Spring and Summer, MillerCoors managed to gain access to the recipes and processes to make some of Anheuser-Busch’s more popular beers. The act was taken as an unfair trade practice by Anheuser-Busch, who continued to bring up MillerCoors’ corn syrup accusations. In a court document draft, Anheuser-Busch is quoted writing “the degree of fermentation of MillerCoors’ corn syrup ingredient is less than 100%,” thus leaving some unfermented corn syrup in the product. This sticky situation has called into question the business law surrounding the beer companies, with both sides tapping top litigators to defend them.
The case remains unresolved as of October 22nd, as Anheuser-Busch demands “Trial by jury.”