Michelob, the premium division of Anheuser- Busch InBev, has a new beverage to pour- one that represents a new venture for the well- known product line. Available across the nation where other Michelob products are sold, this new beverage does contain malt, but it isn’t classified as beer due to its added fruit, specifically apples, in this instance. It is Michelob Ultra Light Cider, the first cider product brewed by Anheuser- Busch InBev in the United States.
First, let’s look at the statistics. Michelob Ultra Light Cider is a gluten- free product, brewed to be less sweet and less caloric than other ciders. Nutritional facts show an alcohol level of 4.0 percent by volume, 6 grams of sugar, 10 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein per 12 oz. serving. The calories per bottle are only 120, placing it well below the caloric content of other ciders and most brands of beer. These numbers are, indeed, a sight for the sore eyes of health- consciousness drinkers everywhere and this fact alone will likely help the product find its market niche.
I know what you are probably thinking, however. Michelob Ultra beer is already ultra- bland and ultra- boring, so why would I expect anything containing the words “Michelob Ultra” to be any different? Well, it is certainly true that this is a light product and its taste is, according to most who have sampled it, a little too light to take seriously. There is little to no aroma and the apple flavor, while certainly present, isn’t pronounced the way it should be. It cannot compare to some of the great ciders brewed by other companies and it falls short on most measures of quality. In other words, it seems to have “Michelob Ultra” written all over it.
The ultimate measure of the products success, however, will be whether or not it sells well. We all know that Anheuser- Busch InBev is a profit- driven beast that cares only about the bottom line. If they can advertise the product well enough and convince people to buy, then Michelob Ultra Light Cider may be around for some time. I agree there is definitely a market for this product; namely, those who want an adult beverage but don’t want to high calories and/or excessive alcohol content.
Expect Michelob Ultra Light Cider to last a while as marketers emphasize its low calories and more refreshing persona. But don’t expect to find a bottle of this in the hands of craft beer lovers. The words “Michelob Ultra” carry a certain stigma, and Michelob Ultra Light Cider has done nothing to reverse this trend.