A lot goes into every Bud Light.
And a lot doesn't.
Start scrolling to see the Bud Light journey.
From farm to bottle, and every step in between, we believe you deserve to know how we brew America’s favorite light lager.
Barley is an ancient grain and a whole grain, largely believed to be the first farmed grain in the world.
CULTIVATED FOR OVER 10,000 YEARS
And for good reason.
Barley contains more protein on average than many of the whole grains, including corn, brown rice, millet, sorghum or rye. Wild barley originates from western Asia and northern Africa, but wasn’t introduced to North America until the second voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1494. And though it wasn’t very good for making bread, barley was (and still is) excellent for brewing beer.
THE BODY AND SOUL OF THE BEER.
We use barley to provide the malt character and golden color of Bud Light. All of our barley is grown here in North America, primarily in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas.
DID YOU KNOW:
Edward I of England standardized the inch as equal to "three barley seeds." Sounds like our kind of king.
As far as grains go, nothing tops rice. It's grown in over 100 countries and is eaten by more people in the world than any other grain.
FROM SEED TO MATURE PLANT IN ABOUT 120 DAYS
American farmers grow approximately 19 billion pounds of rice a year.
Like many cereal grains, rice is gluten free and consists of complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down.
Rice is extremely hard to brew with, not to mention more expensive. But we believe the light beer drinker is worth the extra effort.
THE CRISPNESS OF THE BEER.
Rice provides Bud Light with its distinctive crisp, clean finish. All of the rice used to brew Bud Light is grown in the United States, from Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, California, Texas and Missouri.
DID YOU KNOW:
Anheuser-Busch is the largest purchaser of rice in the USA.
DID YOU ALSO KNOW:
Our rice is likely fresher than the rice you get with your takeout.
Hop plants crave the sun so much that each one grows upward, often times to more than 20 feet tall.
HOPS ARE ACTUALLY A FLOWER
The first cultivation of hops took place in the Hallertau region of eastern Europe.
Hops are now cultivated worldwide along the 48th parallel north because of the moist temperate climates.
The spice of the beer.
Our blend of hops (including varietals like Hallertau, Willamette and Cascade) gives Bud Light its aroma and slight bitterness. We source our hops from the finest hop growing regions in the world, including from our own hop farms in Bonners Ferry, Idaho and Huell, Germany.
DID YOU KNOW:
In the early days of brewing, a variety of herbs and plants such as rosemary, coriander, ginger, and juniper berries were used to flavor beer instead of hops. We tested Bud Light Rosemary with focus groups, but shockingly, it didn’t perform well.
Water is the world's most important natural resource. It's in the air we breathe, the food we eat and it makes up about 60% of the human body.
Needless to say, the consistency, quality and purity of water truly matters. That's why we brew with the purest water available.
THE INTEGRITY AND PURITY OF THE BEER.
If you want a clean and tasty beer, you need to start with clean and tasty water. Which is what we do. Our water comes from the same place yours does, but it's then filtered through a multi-stage process and treated to maintain a consistent minerality and pH.
DID YOU KNOW:
Our municipal water suppliers meet or exceed water standards, and our additional testing ensures that our water supply is as perfect as possible.
Brewing an American light lager, like Bud Light, is hard.
The American light lager style is so clean and clear that any imperfection comes through. There is nowhere to hide.
We pay special attention throughout the entire brewing process and take extra steps along the way. It's just one of the reasons Bud Light is America's favorite light lager.
Bud Light's mash cooking process takes hours, not minutes.
The rice and barley are first ground and mixed with hot water to begin the mash cooking process. Taking our time gives Bud Light just the right balance of body and flavor.
What helps separate Bud Light from other beers?
Spoiler alert: it starts with our mashing process.
We use minerals and a strict control of temperature and pH to ensure the exact proportion of fermentable sugars are converted from the barley and rice starches.
After cooking the mash, we strain it, and what remains is called wort. It may not sound sexy, but it is kinda sweet.
DID YOU KNOW: Virtually all of our spent grain is reused as animal feed. Almost makes us wish we were a cow. Almost.
Before the hops leave the farm and arrive at the brewery, our hop cones are dried, treated and pelletized to help keep light and oxygen from interacting with them.
Hops so nice, we add them in twice.
We start by introducing the hops when we begin the boil of the wort, which gives Bud Light its slight bitterness. Then, later on in the boil, we add more hops for Bud Light's aroma. And while we don't expect you to sniff our beer before taking a drink, we wouldn't blame you if you did.
THE LIFE OF THE BEER
Our yeast today is still a direct descendent of the original Bud Light yeast from 1982.
Yeast is what brings Bud Light to life, added during the fermentation process to convert the fermentable sugars into alcohol. And as important as yeast is at this stage, it’s ultimately not considered an ingredient because, after filtration and pasteurization, it has no effect in the finished product.
Fermentation is when the magic happens.
And by magic, we mean alcohol.
Our fermentation process is long and grueling. It includes two parts requiring special care, attention to detail and specific nutrients. Primary fermentation takes about 6 days. Then we prepare Bud Light for our second fermentation - beechwood aging.
A lot of beers would be heading to packaging right now. But as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. Including Bud Light.
This may be an extra step. But it's extra worth it.
We age our beer cold and slow for around 21 days over beechwood chips. While we hate to keep you waiting, this secondary fermentation process mellows and balances Bud Light.
The finishing process is what gives Bud Light its brilliant, crystal-clear appearance.
Our crystal-clear, golden beer is a sight to behold. And to be held as well. Sure, they say it’s not polite to stare, but we don’t mind.
What we remove from the beer is just as important as what we put into the beer.
Proteins may help build muscle, but they also help ruin beer. They can oxidize and degrade Bud Light, impacting taste and clarity. And nobody wants that.
We bind these proteins together, then filter them through naturally occurring minerals to (yep, you guessed it) filter out unwanted proteins from the beer.