Miller Brewing has signalled its delight at arch-rival Anheuser-Busch's apparent confession that it has altered the recipes for Budweiser and Bud Light.

Anheuser-Busch chairman August A. Busch III was quoted yesterday (26 April) saying that the brewer had made changes to its brewing processes to add flavour to Budweiser.

"I told the growers of our desire to use more hops in our brewing for the purpose of delivering more amplitude and hop flavour in Budweiser," he told the Wall Street Journal.

The news comes after A-B had repeatedly denied Miller's claims that it had changed the recipe for Budweiser and Bud Light.

In November, Miller embarked on an advertising campaign that claimed that the taste of Bud Light had "changed". Miller said results of independent taste tests had shown A-B had increased the carbonation and bitterness levels in Bud Light. A-B hit back labelling Miller "desperate" and dismissing its claims as "just another marketing ploy".

However, a Miller spokesman told just-drinks yesterday (26 April) that the brewer planned to capitalise on "Miller Lite's taste advantage".

"We're glad that the King finally came clean and admitted that their long-term strategy is to get bigger and bigger by making it taste smaller and smaller. For mainstream beer drinkers, Miller Lite offers them more taste," the spokesman said.

"That taste advantage and taste profile has been an important driver in Miller Lite's growth over the last couple of years."

Demand for niche beers is on the rise in the US as beer drinkers hanker after import and craft beers with more flavour. Craft beer sales rose 7% last year, outpacing the rest of the brewing industry.

A-B has also recently struck deals to become the US distributor for Grolsch and Tiger Beer to gain a foothold in the growing import beer segment in the US after seeing domestic mainstream beer sales slump last year.

A-B failed to return requests for comment as just-drinks went to press.