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History of America's most popular beer brands

As we prepare to celebrate National Beer Day today, it is important to look back at the history of America’s most popular beer brands.

The United States is the second-largest beer market in the world and is home to the world’s best breweries. 

A study conducted by Statista found that the most recognizable beer brands in the United States are Corona, Bud Light and Budweiser.

Two of those beer brands, Bud Light and Budweiser, are owned by the American brewery Anheuser-Busch. 

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U.S. respondents to the study found that 85% recognized Bud Light and Corona while 84% were aware of Budweiser. Read below to find out the history of these popular brews.

  1. Corona
  2. Bud Light
  3. Budweiser

1. Corona

Corona Extra beer is the best-selling imported beer in the United States.

Corona Extra beer is the best-selling imported beer in the United States. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

One of the most popular and well-known beer brands in the United States is Corona beer. 

The lager is known to be enjoyed with salt sprinkled around the mouth of the bottle and a lime wedge. Corona is one of the more favored brands enjoyed by Americans despite being imported from a foreign country. The history behind the beer dates back nearly a century.

The beer is produced by Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s larger brewer. In celebration of the brewery’s 10th anniversary, Grupo Modelo created Corona in 1925. Approximately a year after the beer was released to the public, the company decided to use clear transparent bottles to distinguish Corona from other beers, and it has served as an iconic symbol for the product ever since.

In 1937, the brewery released a finer-quality version of the beer called Corona Extra, and it quickly became Mexico’s best-selling beer through an aggressive marketing campaign. By the 1980s, Corona started becoming popular in various urban centers in the United States. By the mid-1990s, Corona was the best-selling imported beer in the country.

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2. Bud Light

Bud Light is manufactured by German-American brewing company Anheuser-Busch. The beer was initially released in 1982 under the name Budweiser Light as part of the company’s marketing campaign for a low-calorie beer, later changing the name to Bud Light for marketing simplicity. 

The drink is one of the most recognizable brews in the United States and one of the best-selling brands under the Busch label.

Beer is the most popular alcohol of choice for millions of Americans.

Beer is the most popular alcohol of choice for millions of Americans. (iStock)

During the 1990s, the beverage became popular throughout the country via a creative marketing campaign filled with celebrity commercial appearances. 

The longtime mascots for the light beer have the Bud Light King and Queen and the Bud Knight.

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3. Budweiser

Budweiser is one of the most recognizable and oldest beer brands in the United States, known by its iconic nickname, “The king of beers.” The pale lager was created in 1875 by Adolphus Busch, a German-American immigrant, and quickly became one of the best-selling brews in the country. Adolphus worked with his wife, Lilly Anheuser, to expand the beer’s marketing and fine-tune its unique taste.

Budweiser's beers are among the oldest and most recognizable beer brands in the country.

Budweiser’s beers are among the oldest and most recognizable beer brands in the country. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

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The pair started using pasteurization so that the beer could travel over long distances without damaging the product – one of the first breweries in the country to use this method at the time. 

The modern Anheuser-Busch company was built on the efforts of the couple as they worked together to create America’s best-selling beer.

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