Coors Light and Busch Light are two of America’s favorite beers, as evident by the impressive number of sales and market share of the beers. However, they have different manufacturers and are by no means the same beer. Beer lovers often have questions about which of the beers is actually better, and we are here to address that, starting with this answer.
Busch Light and Coors Light both are light American lagers. Busch Light has an alcohol content of 4.1%, while Coors Light has an alcohol content of 4.2%. They are both refreshing, crisp, and extremely light in the flavor department; however, they have their individual tastes. Both of these beers use corn adjuncts.
As the short answer to the question shows, both beers have multiple similarities, but they also have their differences. Understanding in detail these differences can allow for educated decisions on which is the better beer. This article will assess the characteristics of the beers, including their aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, smell, calories, and alcohol content. Let’s get into it!
Coors Light is the light beer variant of the Coors beer brand, while Busch Light is of the traditional Busch brand. The Coors brand certainly came first, with Adolph Coors introducing the Coors beer into the market in 1873. The first Busch beer was in 1955, under the name Busch Bavarian.
Around the mid-70s, the light beer industry in the United States took off. This came after changing consumer preferences toward less calorie-rich beers. About three decades before the light beer craze, the Coors brand had explored the idea of making their flagship beer lighter in body and calories. They dropped the idea after the Second World War, though.
However, that was not the end of that chapter for Coors, as the brand debuted Coors Light in 1978. The beer quickly became a favorite in colleges, going by the nickname “Silver Bullet.”
Busch Light came much later than Coors, officially entering the light beer market in 1989. The original name of this light beer was Busch Light Draft, but the company removed “Draft” from the name in 1994.
Both of these beers are among the top ten best-selling beers in the United States. Right now, Busch Light is the eighth top-selling beer in the country, while Coors was all the way up in second place.
The foundational classification of any beer is as an ale or lager. What informs a beer’s classification into either of these groups is the fermentation technique it uses. Lagers are brewed using bottom fermentation at cold temperatures, while ales use top-fermentation at warm temperatures. Considering this, both of these beers are lagers.
The classification as a lager is broad, and a more specific classification into the different types of lagers is necessary. Per the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) standards, both of these beers meet the requirements of light American lagers.
If you’re interested in knowing more about this type of beer, and why Busch Light is categorized as such, read this post: What Kind Of Beer Is Busch Light? (Explained). We also have an article on Coors Light, which you can find here: What Type Of Beer Is Coors Light Exactly? (Detailed Explanation)
These requirements include an International Bitterness Units (IBU) value between 8 and 12, Standard Reference Method (SRM) between 2 and 3, and alcohol by volume (ABV) between 2.8% and 4.2%.
Coors Light and Busch Light are renowned for their light-tasting and watery attributes. Judging which of the two is lighter in flavor is almost impossible, with drinkers of the two beers drawing strong comparisons with water.
Many drinkers cannot tell the difference between the two beers. Nonetheless, both beers have individual flavors, however mild they may be. Coors Light has a malty and hay-like taste, while Busch Light has fruity notes. Although the watered-down taste may make it difficult to discern a clear taste, you may be able to tell the difference between the two if your pay close enough attention while drinking.
One major difference between the beers is the adjunct grain they use. Rice and corn are the two commonest beer adjuncts in the United States. Both of these beers use corn syrup in their beers. Although this adjunct is not very prominent in either beer, Coors Light has more hints of corn water in its taste than Busch Light.
Neither of these beers has a bitter aftertaste. However, you may observe mild sour notes while drinking Coors Light.
Ultimately, deciding which beer has the better flavor is not as straightforward as you may want because of their similarly watered-down approach. Still, Coors Light manages to strike more balance between being ultra-refreshing and still mild tasting like a light beer. As such, I am inclined toward Coors Light being the better-tasting beer.
Brand marketers advertise Coors Light as the “World’s Most Refreshing Beer,” and this is one of those instances where I can say they’re not wrong. The beer is refreshing and tastes very much like water. While there may be slight bitter notes when drinking, there’s no lingering bitter aftertaste.
Busch Light is one of the very few beers that can make a viable case as being more refreshing than Coors Light, and that’s saying a lot. Both these beers are light in the mouth, crisp, and clean. Coors Light seems to be the more refreshing beer, but you wouldn’t go wrong with either on a sunny day.
These beers have minimal individual smells. Busch Light has a subtle corn and malt aroma, while Coors Light smells like corn husk and freshly-cut grass. You may be able to tell the difference apart if you smell both of these beers alongside each other for long enough.
All in all, the smell of the beers is not prominent enough to help distinguish between them.
The number of calories a light beer has is an important factor that influences the buying decisions of many beer consumers in the United States. While both of these beers are expectedly lower in calories and carbs than regular lagers, Busch Light is significantly lighter than Coors Light.
According to the official website of both brands, Busch Light has 95 calories per 12 fl. oz. (one can) of beer, while Coors Light has 102 calories. Regarding carbs, Busch Light has 3.2g, while Coors Light has 5g. By implication, you would be better off with Busch Light if you’re seeking a lower-calorie beer.
The alcohol content of a beer is a measure of the pure alcohol the beer contains and is measured in alcohol by volume (ABV). According to BJCP guidelines, light American lagers should have between 2.8 and 4.2% ABV. Comparatively, Coors Light has a 4.2% ABV, while Busch Light has a 4.1% ABV.
The alcohol content is a vital factor in determining the drinkability of a beer. As there is only a slight difference between these beers in terms of alcohol content, they will be very close in drinkability under normal drinking conditions.
Busch Light has a pale, translucent straw-like color, while Coors Light has a brilliant golden color. Coors Light has a brighter color between the beers; you may even be able to tell clearly without placing the beers alongside each other.
What Do People Think About Both Beers?
Coors Light and Busch Light are hugely popular in the United States today, and the sales chart justifies this. This article has examined the differences and similarities between the two beers. Before deciding on which beer I think is better, let’s consider first the opinions of beer fans across the country. For this, we will use data from five major online beer platforms.
|Platform||Coors Light||Busch Light|
From the average ratings from these five platforms, Coors Light holds the lead over Busch Light. We will look deeper into these results below.
The first four platforms are experienced beer review sites, which typically represent the views of seasoned drinkers. There are two ties among these platforms between the beers, with either taking one platform each. Apparently, experienced drinkers can’t decide on which is clearly better, which is expected.
Both of these beers are very light in flavor, which is not a feature older drinkers particularly like. Still, Coors Light tastes better than Busch Light, but the gap is not very wide. A property that may have worked in Busch Light’s favor is its lower calorie count, which is sort of a big deal among many older drinkers.
The final ranking platform represents the opinions of less experienced drinkers, and this is where Coors Light pulls clear. Busch Light is the healthier beer in terms of calories and carbs, but that is not enough to compensate for the difference in taste between these two beers among younger drinkers who favor better-tasting beers.
Coors Light and Busch Light are two of the most refreshing beers in the United States beer market right now. They both have very subtle flavors too, but Coors Light is slightly better-tasting than Busch Light. Considering their calories and carbs, Busch Light is the healthier beer.
Overall, I believe Coors Light is the better beer. However, Coors Light will be the better beer for you if you favor taste. On the other hand, Busch Light will suit you better if you favor nutritional benefits.