The Ultimate Guide to Bud Light Ownership: Who Really Calls the Shots?

Curious about who owns Bud Light? Our article explains everything you need to know about the beer brand's ownership.

Jennifer Farrington - Author

Apr. 26 2023, Updated 10:14 a.m. ET

Dylan Mulvaney partners with Bud Light
Source: Instagram/@dylanmulvaney

The beloved beer brand Bud Light has been around since the early 1980s. Known for its refreshing flavor and ability to go down smoothly, Bud Light has become a favorite brew for beer drinkers and a staple at annual gatherings like Super Bowl parties. So, who owns Bud Light?

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In April 2023, the beer brand was both criticized and praised over its partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer. Mulvaney is best known for documenting and publishing her journey (day by day) to finding girlhood. Read on to find out more about the company behind Bud Light and the big names throwing shade at the brand for attempting to be more inclusive.

Who owns Bud Light beer?

Bud Light beer
Source: Getty Images

Bud Light is one of many beer brands owned by Anheuser-Busch.

Bud Light is one of many beer brands owned by Anheuser-Busch, a leading company in the U.S. beer industry. Anheuser-Busch was founded more than 160 years ago, according to the company’s website, and continues to rank high among consumers.

In addition to Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch also owns Budweiser, Stella Artois, Michelob Ultra, Natural Light, Estrella Jalisco, Busch Beer, Presidente Beer, and Shock Top.

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Where is Bud Light originally from?

Although Bud Light isn’t Anheuser-Busch’s first beer, it certainly is one of its most popular brands. Bud Light was birthed after the brewery took off, using Budweiser as its flagship brand. The company got its start in 1860 after Eberhard Anheuser, a German soap maker, purchased a stake in Bavarian Brewery in St. Louis, Mo.

He later bought out the other investors, which allowed him to change the company’s name to E. Anheuser & Co.

Sometime later, Anheuser and his daughter Lilly came in contact with Adolphus Busch. Like Anheuser, Busch managed to get a foot in the brewing industry after forming a partnership with a brewing supplier. Through that, Busch became acquainted with Anheuser and went on to marry his daughter in 1861.

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Eberhard Anheuser (left) and Adolphus Busch (right)
Source: Anheuser-Busch

Eberhard Anheuser (left) and Adolphus Busch (right)

After the two men began working together, Busch purchased half of the brewery, and by 1876, Budweiser had been created. In 1879, the company was renamed Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association. After Anheuser died in 1880, Busch went on to head the company, serving as its president.

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Since its inception, Anheuser-Busch has continued to grow and partner with a number of brands including Four Peaks Brewing Co., Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Red Hook, and Virtue Cider.

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What’s the controversy with Bud Light?

On April 1, 2023, Mulvany posted a clip to Instagram in honor of her partnership with Bud Light. In the video, Mulvaney provides a brief explanation of what March Madness is and shows off a customized Bud Light beer can with her face on it. The video not only sheds light on Bud Light’s attempt at being a more inclusive brand but also on its March Madness contest which comes equipped with a $15,000 prize.

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After the video was published, many took to social media to express their frustrations, including singer Kid Rock.

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While Kid Rock’s reaction video to Mulvaney’s Bud Light partnership prompted other offensive comments to be posted, with some even going as far as launching a boycott Bud Light poll on Twitter, others were surprised by his hostile response.

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Is Dylan Mulvaney a spokesperson for Bud Light?

As brands work their way to becoming more inclusive in an attempt to reach a wider range of demographics, they’re partnering with members from various communities, including the LGBTQ+ to get there. Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney is an example of this.

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In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, Bud Light’s parent company shared, “Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.”

While it isn’t clear if Mulvaney will serve as a spokesperson for Bud Light, the company said the “commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone.” Mulvaney recently celebrated her 365th day of womanhood.

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