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Coors Light vs Miller Lite Beers: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on December 19, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Consumption of beer, especially light lagers, has significantly risen in the global light beer market—and brands Coors Light and Miller Lite are the two heavyweight giants in the industry.

Although these brands have the same parent company, they have their unique mark, from classification to brewing procedures and tasting notes.

Here’s the ultimate beer match between Coors Light vs Miller Lite. Read on.

Beer Battle Between Miller Lite & Coors Light 

Miller Lite & Coors Light in can

Miller Lite comes in an iconic can design, offering a crisp, hop-forward beer taste, while Coors Light comes in a sleek silver can, offering a balanced taste and refreshing beverage.

Both Miller Lite and Coors Light are American light lagers, but Miller Lite has extra hops in its brewing procedure, making it a pilsner-type of lager.

Although US beer cans of Miller and Coors have similar ABV and comparable prices, they differ in carbs and low-calorie content.

Miller Lite has fewer carbs and lesser calorie content.

Origin 

Miller Lite is known as the original light lager. It was introduced in 1975 and was made by Joseph Owades, a biochemist, who developed a recipe for light beers. [1]

Meanwhile, Coors Light was first produced in 1978 as Silver Bullet made from its silver cans.

This brand marks the first time in 20 years that the company made more than one beer style. [2]

Brewing & Classification Process 

Beer Brew Kettle

Light lager, like Miller Lite and Coors Light, uses a cold bottom fermentation procedure that sinks yeast at the bottom of the tank. 

This process removes the bitter taste making these two light lagers clean in taste and low in IBU. However, Miller Lite is distinctly different due to its extra hops.

Coors Light adds hops once, while Miller Lite adds hops three times throughout the brewing process. 

Flavors 

Miller Lite beers establish its brand as a flavorful, low-calorie beer.

This light beer tastes great and isn’t harsh on the taste buds, with a watery texture and a unique hop-forward flavor.

Coors Light is a balanced, refreshing lager with a clean beer flavor, especially when served icy cold.

It has high carbonation but leaves no lingering aftertaste in your mouth.

Although Coors Light has more carbonation, both Coors and Miller light beers are light in flavor and body, with low to no bitterness.

Alcohol By Volume

Man Holding Miller Lite Beer

Both brands have low alcohol content. Miller has a 4.2% ABV, while Coors has an alcohol content of between 4.2% in the US and 4.5% in other countries.

These ABVs are relatively low compared to other liquor, but Miller Lite and Coors Light ABVs are enough to make you drunk if you consume more than a standard drink.

Tasting Notes: 

Mouthfeel

Coors Light and Miller Lite have similarities in their taste and flavor profile. They both offer pleasant, crisp, and smooth mouthfeels and don’t have a robust taste.

However, after our blind tasting, we felt the airy and light bubbles when drinking Coors Light, not being dry, which is quite lacks in Miller Lite.

Color

Coors Light color appearance has a solid 2, while Miller Lite comes in between 2-3 on a color scale.

Both have a transparent light yellowish hue, and neither beer is dark.

This color scale is based on an SRM color grading system or Standard Reference Method specifying beer colors.

Aroma

Miller Lite has a medium-body malty brew scent with the hops aroma. This scent differentiates it from Coor Light and other beers, such as Bud Light from Anheuser Busch and Natty Light.

Coor Light has many takes on its aroma, depending on where it is consumed.

In the US, this light beer smell like grain-like corn, while outside the US, it smells fruity with hints of fresh grass.

Beer Type 

opening a can of Coors Light beer

All beers have mainly categorized as either lager or ale, and both Miller Lite and Coors Light are classified as American light lagers with low calorie and low carb.

“…there are very few people who realize that we actually have women to thank for beer in America,”

– Elizabeth Hitch, Senior Director of Marketing Miller Lite

However, due to Miller Lite’s addition of hops in the brewing process, it is also classified as pilsner, a subcategory of lagers. [3]

Drinking Temperature

Both brands are served cold. However, Coors Light should be served and kept at an ideal temperature of 35°F to 45°F. 

You can drink Miller Lite like other light beers, between 40°F to 50°F, while Coors Light tastes best when you drink it in an ice-cold and chilly temperature.

Can Design 

Coors Light and Miller Lite Beer in can

The Miller light beer bottle layout is the original look of Miller Lite since it started. It switched to a retro blue look, then returned to the iconic can of the 1970s.

The “A Fine Pilsner” emphasizes what kind of beverage Miller Lite is, while the red and blue lettering reflected the dominant colors of beers at the time. [4]

Meanwhile, Coors Light’s modern-era design has a color-changing mountain icon on its cans.

When it is cold, the mountains will turn blue, and then it’s ready for drinking.

Its sleek silver can, also known as Silver Bullet, is designed to impart a feeling of brighter skies and colder beer.

What The Experts Say 

Some experts stated that Coors Light is enjoyable because it’s light and crisp. Shaun O’Sullivan, the co-founder of the 21st Amendment Brewery, said this beverage was his guilty pleasure.

However, some experts are clinging to Miller Lite beer cans because of their unique, hoppier, and fresh taste than Coors Light beer.

Critiques from a platform for beer drinkers, like Beeradvocate and Ratebeer, state that Miller Lite beer carries more flavor and taste profiles than other light beers.

Sales By Volume

beer barrels on a rack

In 2019, Miller Lite sold around 12.4 million barrels, while Coors Light sold around 14 million barrels. But the sales slowly declined when the pandemic started.

Did you know? These two brands are under one parent company, MillerCoors. 

Although MillerCoors hasn’t disclosed each of the updated sales of Miller Lite and Coors Light, these brands continue to dominate its sales in the light beer industry.

Price & Value 

A 12-pack of 12oz in-can Miller and Coors beers costs around $14. Miller offers a hoppier, natural light taste of beer, while Coors gives a balanced, clean flavor and refreshment.

Both Miller Lite and Coors Light beers offer great and unique tastes at an affordable price. These beers are mostly available by 12’s.

FAQs 

Which has fewer carbs, Miller Lite or Coors Light?

Miller Lite has fewer carbs than Coors Light. Per 12oz serving, Miller Lite has 3.2 grams of carbs, while Coor Light has 5 grams of carbs.

Is Coors Light healthier than Miller Lite?

No, Coors Light is not healthier than Miller Lite because it has higher carbohydrates and sugar content.

Which has more calories, Coors Light or Miller Lite?

Coors Light has more calories than Miller Lite. It has 102 calories per 12oz serving, while Miller Lite has only 96.

Final Thoughts

Coors Light and Miller Lite beers have a pleasant taste and are undeniably light.

But for this beer match, Coors Light’s clean and refreshing profile edges out Miller Lite’s hop-forward taste.

Also, Coor’s fancy mountain icon got the millennial’s taste over the retro style of Miller.

However, Miller overmatches Coors in terms of having fewer carbs and lesser calorie content. 

But whether it’s just the design of the can or just brilliant marketing, these mega brands are still winners in the global light-lager market. 

References: 

  1. https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/joseph-owades-created-light-beer-america-drinks
  2. https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2019/11/08/coors-brewing-colorado-timeline.html
  3. https://time.com/5218581/types-of-beer-guide/
  4. https://fortune.com/2015/03/23/miller-lite-beer-evolution/

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