Beer Review 0438: Michelob Ultra Adjunct Lager

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Editor’s note: Yes folks, do not adjust your sets. Today, we’ll be reviewing five different American adjunct lagers — while we normally focus on artisan beers, these beers deserve to be looked at, too. I’m not doing this as any sort of novelty — I’m actually reviewing the beers, so here’s an honest take at some of the beers that would normally get laughed at.

Michelob is a brand of Anheuser-Busch, which is owned by brewing giant ABInbev, a Belgian-Brazilian beverage company. They are the world’s largest brewer, with nearly 25% global market share, and hold 14 brands that generate over $1 billion US dollars of revenue each year.

Developed by Adolphus Busch in 1896 as a so-called “draught beer for connoisseurs,” the name Michelob comes from an actual person named Michelob Michelob, a Bohemian brewmaster from the Saaz region. Michelob wasn’t bottled until 1966, and the original bottles resembled a teardrop.

Michelob Ultra is a low-calorie light version of the original lager, which comes in at 5% ABV (alcohol by volume). Ultra drops the alcohol to the (apparently) industry standard 4.2% ABV for light lager, and it contains 95 calories. Out of all these light lager reviews I’ve done, Michelob Ultra has the most ridiculous website, which seems to talk more about yoga and fitness than beer. Seriously, check it out for yourself!

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Pouring delivered an average size head, frothy and fast diminishing. Have you heard this before: light, pale straw yellow. That’s the color. The body is clear, free of particles and sediment, and lacing is a no-go.

The nose: grain, hay, and straw. Nothing else. A general sweetness. Move along.

I’d report on the flavor, but there isn’t much of one. Grain with a cardboard finish. As quick as you sipped, it’s gone. Is it refreshing? Hell yes. But is it enjoyable? No. This is carbonated grainy water.

Michelob Ultra is a prime example of NADS — Non-offensive Alcohol Delivery System. Apparently, this NADS is meant for fitness gurus and dieters. Nothing wrong with that, but damn, I think I’d just take the few extra calories and go with liquor if I wanted a buzz that bad.

This beer is HORRIBLE. It ranks below beers I’ve had that are infected and gluten-free.

Michelob Ultra Adjunct Lager, 38 points. Price: $1.79 US for one 24 oz. can.

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