(LifeSiteNews) — According to recently released industry data, Modelo Especial is now the number one beer in the United States, with sales surpassing $333 million for the month of May. In comparison, Bud Light earned $297 million, a 23% drop over the same period last year.
Other top sellers include Michelob Ultra ($267.6 million), Coors Light ($241 million), and Miller Lite ($216.4 million).
Modelo is a Pilsner-style Mexican lager first brewed in the 1920s. It has been one of the best-selling imported beers in the U.S. for decades.
Constellation Brands owns the rights to Modelo in the U.S. The company has faced multiple lawsuits from Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), which owns Bud Light and also owns Modelo outside of the U.S.
Grupo Modelo, which brews Modelo, merged with AB InBev in the 2010s and imports Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch products to Mexico. Constellation, however, controls the production of the Modelo brands for marketing and distribution in the U.S.
Bud Light sales have been in freefall since the company collaborated with LGBT activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year. Mulvaney is gender-confused man who dresses up as a woman in public. Sales during Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. were down nearly 60%. It is estimated that AB InBev has lost a staggering $27 billion in value since April. Bud Light was reportedly the best-selling beer in the U.S. for the past 22 years before its precipitous decline.
Following widespread consumer backlash, Bud Light released an overtly patriotic commercial meant to affirm its American roots. Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth likewise issued an ambiguous half-apology on April 14 by stating that the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.” It has since been trying to recover its image with baseball-themed advertisements.
Despite that, AB InBev announced last week that Bud Light was making a $200,000 donation to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, an activist group that promotes businesses owned by LGBT minorities. Bud Light is also listed as a sponsor for a “Pride in the Pines” LGBT event in Flagstaff, Arizona, this month.
Anheuser-Busch InBev was established in 2008 after Anheuser-Busch was acquired by InBev. InBev was founded in 2004 when Interbrew (which is based in the Netherlands) and AmBev (a Brazilian company) joined forces. The following is a partial list of beers that Anheuser-Busch InBev owns: Budweiser, Bud Light, Busch, Corona, Modelo Especial (outside the U.S.), Stella Artois, Beck’s, Labatt, and Michelob. According to the New York Post, Budweiser and Michelob Ultra have also seen a modest drop-off in sales lately. The company has been forced to buy back unsold cases of expired Bud Light thanks to nationwide boycotts.