Michelob Ultra has had a meteoric rise to the top from its debut in 2002. The beer’s rise has garnered a lot of attention, making it one of the most hyped beers in the United States. However, many still haven’t had the beer and wonder what it tastes like and if it is good. That’s what this article will examine. Let’s start with this quick overview.

Michelob Ultra is a light American lager with an alcohol content of 4.2%. This beer is one of the lightest tasting in the light beer market, with very subtle citrusy and malt flavors. The beer has no bitter aftertaste and is refreshing when chilled. The beer also goes well with lime and salt to boost its flavor.

There’s more to Michelob Ultra’s taste than this, though. This article will review the beer extensively, considering its flavor, mouthfeel, smell, and appearance. We will also consider other important details of the beer, like how best to enjoy it and what other beer lovers think of the Mexican brew. Let’s get started!


Michelob Ultra is a light-tasting beer with little flavor to write home of. Still, the beer is not tasteless and has mild citrusy and malt-like flavor notes. The beer is not bitter or sour while drinking, and the beer also lacks a bitter aftertaste.

According to their website, this beer uses rice as an adjunct grain. Brewers often use rice to provide and clean taste to their beer, ultimately making it more drinkable. That also applies to Michelob Ultra. Also, as with most quality beers brewed with rice adjunct, there is little discernable taste of rice in the final brew.

Another critical aspect of a beer’s flavor is beer character. The character of a beer refers to the total drinking experience of the beer and is influenced by factors like flavor, bitterness, carbonation, and alcohol content. Beers with a high character usually have higher values across the boards of these parameters.

In comparison, Michelob Ultra is a low-character beer with relatively low alcohol content, mild flavors, and no bitterness. However, the beer has relatively high carbonation.

If you are a fan of regular or traditional beers with pronounced flavors and medium to high beer character, you may not be too fond of Michelob Ultra. On the other hand, Light beer fans would find this beer great.


Michelob Ultra has a crisp and clean finish. Being a light beer, Michelob Ultra also has a light body and thin mouthfeel. There are no bitterness notes or bitter aftertaste, although some drinkers state that there are slight hints of bitterness after drinking. Even at that, the observed bitterness does not linger.

One interesting property of Michelob Ultra is its high carbonation. The beer brand considers this a necessary feature, as it not only keeps the beer refreshing but also ensures the taste is not utterly bland. Carbonation is a tricky feature in beers, as having too much of it may make the beer undrinkable.

Michelob Ultra manages to make it work, though, with their beer sufficiently carbonated enough to be refreshing and very much drinkable.


This beer does not have a clear or easily observable smell, although if you try hard enough, you may be able to discern a citric and malty aroma. In short, there’s an aroma, but barely noticeable in reality.


This beer has a medium yellow color, similar to many other light beers. Although, upon close inspection, it may have a slightly brighter appearance than its counterparts. The company state that the golden appearance of its beer is inspired by the sun’s rays.

Michelob Ultra comes in bottles and cans, but the bottle is the more typical container for the beer. The bottle is amber-colored, sporting a label with the brand’s official colors: white, blue, and dark red. The bottle seems outdated, but the label design is classy. The beer can is a lot more complicated than the bottle, having two different backgrounds of white and blue split into two halves.

Why Does Michelob Ultra Taste Like This?

According to its official website, Michelob Ultra’s main ingredients are water, rice, barley malts, and hops. This is a similar ingredient list to many other beers on the market today, so why does Michelob Ultra taste this way? Let’s find out by looking at the contributions of these ingredients to the beer’s taste.


Water makes up around 90 to 95% of beer, with the proportion higher for light beers. Michelob Ultra is also a light beer. It is even lighter in body and flavor than other major light beers. As such, I expect the brand to use a lot of water when brewing the beer. Also, because of the beer’s refreshing feel and high carbonation, the water used is also likely carbonated after normal purification steps.

Barley Malt

In brewing beer, a sugar source is needed for the yeast to act upon. Most brewmasters use barley for this. The type of barley present in a beer can influence the taste of the beer. Michelob uses the finest barley malt and pure-cultured yeast strain for Michelob Ultra. The beer balances more to the malt side than the hops side, also contributing to the apparent lack of bitterness.


The hops in a beer are responsible for its bitterness. They are necessary to balance the taste of beer, which will otherwise be sweet because of the sugars used. There are different blends and variants of hops, and Michelob Ultra uses Herkules hops.

Herkules is a German high alpha variety hop released in 2005, three years after Michelob Ultra hit the market. This implies that Michelob Ultra didn’t always have its current taste. Herkules hops are highly bittering and aromatic and are partly responsible for the citrus flavors of Michelob Ultra.

This hop variant is produced by the Hop Research Center in Hüll, Germany. As such, they have to be imported before they can be used to brew Michelob Ultra in St. Louis.


Aside from barley, beers may add other grains to augment the flavor and boy of their beer. These other grains are referred to as adjunct grains. American beers typically use either rice or corn as adjuncts in their beer. Rice promotes a clean and crisp taste in beers and is often preferred to corn because it rarely appears in the final flavor of the beer.

Michelob Ultra uses rice adjunct, which is expected to contribute to the crispiness of the beer. However, you cannot tell any rice flavor in the final brew.

What Is The Best Way To Enjoy Michelob Ultra?

The best way to enjoy a bottle of Michelob Ultra is cold. This is for two reasons. Firstly, like all light beers, it contains a lot of water. Since water is more refreshing when cold, light beers are also more refreshing when served chilled. What’s more, Michelob feels more watery than most other light beers, meaning the refreshing feel when cold is even more pronounced.

Also, lagers need to be served cool. Actually, all beers, irrespective of class, should be served between 38-55° F. However, lagers need to be served cooler than ales for the best drinking experience because of the fermentation technique used.

Another way you can enjoy Michelob Ultra is with a lime wedge and a sprinkle of salt along the bottleneck or glass rim. This is a practice that is common with Corona Extra. The logic behind this practice is that the lime and salt boost the mild citrusy flavor present, so drinkers don’t have to drink a bland beer.

While I like this practice for other regular Mexican beers, like Dos Equis and Corona Extra, it doesn’t work as well with ultra-light beers like Michelob Ultra. This is because the flavor profile isn’t really prominent enough to require complementing with lime. You can still do this if you want, but that’s not what Michelob Ultra was brewed for.

What Do People Think Of Michelob Ultra?

Michelob Ultra only debuted in 2002 but is the favorite beer of many drinkers and even athletes. Below, we will examine what people who have had the beer think of it, as shown by the ratings on the following beer review platforms.

PlatformMichelob Ultra
Average Score6.2

The average score of this beer is well above average but not quite into the elite level. This surprises me a little, considering the continual rise of the beer, among young and old drinkers alike.

On the table, the first four platforms are more geared towards older drinkers. Michelob Ultra doesn’t perform too badly here. Usually, older drinkers prefer more flavorful beers, and Michelob Ultra has a mild flavor meaning it wouldn’t rate too highly on these platforms.

One noteworthy detail is that many older drinkers only drink or tolerate the beer’s lack of flavor because of its low calories and carbs. A review on Beer Advocate goes thus, “Drank a number of these to be able to accept the taste. Very light watery feel. Honestly, I drink more of this than regular beer because of calories and carbs.”

The last platform reflects what younger drinkers think, and the beer does excellently well here, as I expected. Being light and refreshing on a warm day, Michelob Ultra makes a lot of appearances at summer and beach parties.


Michelob Ultra is one of my favorite beers. They have figured out how to make a beer very refreshing yet still feel like a light beer. The balance is nice, and so is the overall body of the beer. I would definitely recommend you have a glass for yourself.