Both Bud Light and Miller Lite are immensely popular light lagers. They each have made their unique mark on the beer industry. Bud Light and Miller Lite are each also known and sold worldwide. Let’s look at what Bud Light and Miller Lite have in common and what sets them apart from each other.
Bud Light and Miller Lite are both American light lagers. They are both low in alcohol content and IBU. Bud Light is considered your typical American light beer, while Miller Lite can also be considered a pilsner (because of the hoppier taste). Bud Light has a simple, crisp, and clean flavor profile, while Miller Lite offers a slightly more malty flavor. Both beers are transparent with a golden tint and are very easily drinkable.
We will take a deep dive into what characteristics Bud Light and Miller have in common and what sets them apart. Please continue reading to learn more about their flavor, mouthfeel, smell, appearance, and brand image. We’ll also look at their history and any particular qualities they may have.
Let’s first take a look at both beer’s histories. Bud Light was first created in 1982. At that time, the flagship product Budweiser was experimenting with creating a low-calorie beer. They were successful, and thus Bud Light was made. Miller Lite was created in 1975 by the Miller Brewing Company. Miller Lite has the distinction of being the original light beer. To this day, Miller Lite was developed using the same strain of yeast that Fredrick Miller used in 1855.
Brewing & Classification Process
Let’s first talk about the brewing and classification process of both Bud Light and Miller Lite. Both beers are fermented in colder temperatures (35˚–50˚F). The yeast is not seen during the fermentation process and is called bottom-fermenting yeast. Both beers have a low IBU (International Bitterness Units). Bud Light at 6 and Miller Lite at 12.
Both Bud Light and Miller Lite have an SRM (Standard Reference Method) of 2-3. This scale represents the intensity of color for beer. Both Bud Light and Miller Lite have an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 4.2%. The bottom-fermenting yeast, low IBU, low SRM, and ABV all determine the classification of both Bud Light and Miller Liter as American Light Lagers.
Miller Lite is distinctly different from Bud Light and all other light beers. Miller Lite is classified even further in the American light beer due to the more profound addition of hops and hops extract in its brewing process. Because of this addition, Miller lite has a spicier and hoppier taste than Bud Light or other light beers, which means Miller Lite is categorized as a Pilsner as well.
Next, let’s discuss flavor. Bud Light and Miller Lite both have a small fundamental flavor profile. Both invoke a crisp, light, and refreshing feel for the tongue. Bud Light is specifically designed to be served ice-cold. Miller Lite is specifically designed for its taste. Miller Lite offers drinkers a unique light yet defined flavor based on carefully selected ingredients. Think of Bud Light’s flavor as your everyday run-of-the-mill light beer. Think of Miller Lite’s taste as having a little extra pep in your step.
Next, let’s discuss Bud Light and Miller Lite’s mouthfeel. Both beers offer a smooth, easy, and pleasant mouthfeel. Neither beverage will provide a robust taste, and neither beer is rich or dark. Both beers are must-haves for lightweight drinkers, parties, get-togethers, or anyone looking to relax and drink without worrying about becoming intoxicated or hungover.
Let’s move on to smell. As with their flavor, this is where Bud Light and Miller Lite are not so similar. Bud Light, like most light beers, has a very minimal odor. Apart from a slightly watered-down aroma of barley, very little odor can be detected.
Miller Lite believes aroma is the staging point to enjoying a great beverage. Along with flavor, the smell of Miller Lite is why only very selective ingredients make it into the Miller Lite brew. Miller Lite boosts medium malt with a hops smell.
This distinguishes Miller Lite, Bud Light, and all other light beers. If you were to place Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Lite on a table for a blind smell test, Miller Lite would be easily recognizable, while Bud Light and Coors Lite would be almost indistinguishable from each other.
Next, let’s look at both beer’s appearances. If we were picking a winner and loser of each category, this category would be a 100% tie between Bud Light and Miller Lite. The intensity of the color is based on a beer’s SRM. The SRM scale ranges from 2-to 80 and is measured by passing a beam of light through .39 inch (1cm) of beer and measuring the attenuation of the light. Both Bud Light and Miller Lite have a 2-3 on the SRM scale. This accounts for both beer’s transparency and light golden tint.
The final comparison between these two great beers is the brand image. Over the years, both Bud Light and Miller Lite have worked to perfect both their brews and their physical brand appearance. Both companies’ brand image has changed over the years.
Bud Light and Miller Lite target males and females between 21-and 34 years of age. This makes sense as the overall formula for both beverages is created for ease of drinkability and the ability to drink the beverage for an extended period with little to no adverse effects.
While both Bud Light and Miller Lite have been around for over 25+ years, Bud Light has the advantage of marketing its brand on a larger scale. Bud Light sponsors athletes, concerts, and sporting events and puts their brand anywhere they possibly can.
They believe that the more they can be in front of potential consumers, the more sales they will come to have.
What Do Other People Think About Both Beers?
Another thing we definitely can’t forget about is to properly take into account the opinion of the general public when it comes to both beers. For this, we gathered data from several beer websites that allow people to review beers. The scores of each beer and each website are shown below (on a scale of 0 – 10).
|Platform||Bud Light||Miller Lite|
What becomes clear here is that Bud Light is typically liked less than Miller Lite. What’s especially interesting to note is that Miller Lite scores significantly better on websites such as Beeradvocate, Ratebeer, and Untappd. This is because these websites attract experienced beer drinkers and they seem to enjoy the stronger, hoppier taste of Miller Lite more, as described by a reviewer on Beeradvocate:
Probably the best lite/light beer I’ve tasted, carries a lot of the flavor profile and body of High Life (my fave AAL to date).
On the other hand, we also see that Bud Light edges out Miller Lite on a more general website such as Influenster. This is likely because Bud Light has a lighter taste than Miller Lite, which is preferred more by the masses and/or the inexperienced beer drinker, as described in this review on Influenster:
Bud Light has always been my beer of choice. Whenever i go out and want to enjoy a nice cold beer it’s bud light. It’s smooth and not too harsh. Thats the main reason I drink bud light
So, whether Bud Light or Miller Lite is the better beer definitely also seems to depend on who you ask and what kind of beer drinker you are yourself. Let’s move on to a conclusion.
Which Beer is Better?
Personally, I believe Miller Lite said it best. They have fewer calories, fewer carbs, and a better overall taste. Now having said that, I do not dislike Bud Light, and the recent Bud Lite ‘controversy’ had no impact on my preference. I believe Bud Light is perfect for a laid-back, relaxing day with friends at the beach or a backyard party. Both beers have a clean, refreshing taste that refreshes and revives the consumer.