Michelob Ultra is a light beer known for its low calories and image of a ‘healthy’ beer. It was launched in 2002 but has since added three additional beers: Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, Amber Max, and Infusions. With a market share of 2.3% in 2017, Michelob Ultra was the 6th best-selling beer in the US. But where is all this beer made?
All Michelob Ultra for the American market is brewed in one of Budweiser’s 12 US locations in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Williamsburg, Baldwinsville, Cartersville, Columbus, Fairfield, Fort Collins, Houston, Jacksonville, Merrimack, and Newark. However, Michelob Ultra’s breweries are spread across several continents.
However, with its long history of mergers and acquisitions, this certainly does not tell Michelob Ultra’s full story. Below, we’ll let you know more about where the company was founded, the many different breweries, and who currently owns Michelob Ultra.
Where is Michelob Ultra brewed in the US?
We have to start with the US to discuss where Michelob Ultra is brewed, as this is where it all began for this beer. Anheuser-Busch, the brewing company to create Budweiser and later Michelob Ultra, set up its first brewery in St. Louis, Missouri.
As Anheuser-Busch’s popularity grew, it was clear they needed to expand their brewing capacity to allow for this rise in sales. Consequently, 11 additional breweries were built across the US. This expansion allowed a massive increase in shipments, which resulted in the brand shipping 7.7 million barrels across the US in 2017.
Anheuser-Busch’s current breweries are as follows:
- St. Louis, MO (Flagship Brewery, opened in 1852)
- Los Angeles, CA (Opened in 1954)
- Williamsburg, VA (Opened in 1972)
- Baldwinsville, NY (Opened in 1983)
- Cartersville, GA (Opened in 1993)
- Columbus, OH (Opened in 1968)
- Fairfield, CA (Opened in 1976)
- Fort Collins, Co (Opened in 1988)
- Houston, TX (Opened in 1966)
- Jacksonville, FL (Opened in 1969)
- Merrimack, NH (opened in 1970)
- Newark, NJ (Opened in 1951)
For most of the above breweries, we can confirm they brew Michelob Ultra. However, it is unknown which beers they brew for the Los Angeles and Fairfield plant, although it is likely they also brew Michelob Ultra. As of now, the only brewery that is known not to brew Michelob Ultra is Newark, NJ.
The St. Louis brewery is iconic for the brand, not only because it was the first brewery but also because of its spectacular building; any beer enthusiast would want to look inside it. However, if you can’t make it to St. Louis, this video should give you a good impression of what it’s like inside the flagship brewery.
Though the flagship brewery is an essential part of Michelob Ultra’s history, the Cartersville brewery deserves a special mention regarding Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, as it was the first brewery to become USDA Organic Certified. This was an essential step to creating a beer that could be sold as certified organic.
Where is Michelob Ultra Made In Canada?
Since 2012, you can enjoy Michelob Ultra across the border too. However, you will not receive beer brewed in one of Anheuser-Busch’s US breweries. Any cans of Michelob Ultra sold in Canada are produced within the country and not imported.
This is because Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired Labatt Breweries, a Canadian brewing company, in 1995. As a result, it only made sense to have these plants brew the beers for the Canadian market.
Labatt’s breweries are found in:
- Creston, British Columbia
- Edmonton, Alberta
- London, Ontario
- Montreal, Québec
- Halifax, Nova Scotia
- St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Where is Michelob Ultra Made In The UK?
After the successful launch of Michelob Ultra in Canada, the brand decided to expand its reach to the UK. Anheuser-Busch currently has three breweries in The UK, but it is unclear which beers these breweries produce precisely. As a result, Michelob Ultra for the UK could be made in these breweries or imported from one of the US plants.
The three breweries are located in Samlesbury, Enfield, and Magor, with the company’s local headquarters in Central London.
The first of these breweries to be operational was in Magor, South Wales, and opened in 1979. The Samlesbury, Lancashire location was ready for production in 1972. The Enfield location opened only recently, in 2017. Obviously, this latest addition was necessary; the brewery currently produces 1 million pints of beer weekly.
Where Was Michelob Ultra Founded?
Anheuser-Busch, the company to eventually create Michelob Ultra, was founded in St. Louis, Missouri. Their first beer was the famous Budweiser, which co-owners Adolphus Busch and his father-in-law Eberhard Anheuser made. Anheuser was the initial founder, but Busch was the one bring innovation and thus built the now well-known brand.
A great example of this innovation was their use of pasteurization, which allowed the beer to stay fresh when traveling long distances.
Michelob was created in 1896 as a high-class draught beer. Ironically, this beer was unpasteurized. However, due to WWI, WWII, and the Prohibition, the beer never really took off. After all, if there is no money or opportunity to buy a standard beer, there certainly isn’t any to buy fancy beer.
As a result, Anheuser rebranded Michelob and created a pasteurized version that could be sold in bottles. This was when the brand started to gain popularity.
Michelob’s real success happened after the launch of the sub-brand Michelob Ultra in 2002. Today, Michelob Ultra has four beers in its catalog: Michelob Ultra (the classic lager), Michelob Ultra Amber Max (the gluten-reduced version), Michelob Ultra Pure Gold (USDA Certified Organic), and Michelob Ultra Infusions (fruit-flavored).
Where is Michelob Ultra headquarters?
Michelob Ultra’s headquarters are located in One Busch Place, Saint Louis. However, remember that Anheuser-Busch merged with AmBev in 2016, which has its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. Additionally, the company has several offices across many continents, including South-America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Who Owns Michelob Ultra Now?
With its many mergers and acquisitions, it is not surprising many have lost track of which company owns Michelob Ultra. The current ownership belongs to Anheuser-Busch InBev, often known as AB InBev. The creation of this company is the result of 3 separate brewing companies merging: Anheuser-Busch, Interbrew, and AmBev.
As can be read above, Anheuser-Busch was the brewery to create Michelob in 1896 and Michelob Ultra later in 2002. As it was founded in St. Louis, it is an American brand established by Germans Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser.
On the other hand, we have Interbrew, established in 1987, when Brouwerij Artois (known as Stella Artois beer) merged with Piedboeuf, both Belgian. Part of their history is the acquisition of the previously mentioned Labatt (Canadian), Bass and Whitbread (British), Diebels (German), and Beck’s & Co. (German), respectively.
Lastly, there is AmBev, a Brazilian brewing company also known as Companhia de Bebidas das Américas in Portuguese. This translates to Americas’ Beverage Company, thus creating the shortened version of AmBev. AmBev was founded in 1999 when brewing companies Brahma and Antarctica merged.
AB InBev ended up being the result of Interbrew merging with AmBev in 2004 and then merging with Anheuser-Busch in 2016.