Is Michelob Ultra a pilsner or lager?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Michelob ULTRA is classified as a light lager, not a pilsner. While both pilsners and lagers fall under the larger category of pale lagers, there are some key differences between the two styles.

Lagers are a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. This process typically results in a clean and crisp flavor profile. Pilsners, on the other hand, are a specific subcategory of lagers that originated in the Czech town of Pilsen. They are known for their pale golden color, light body, and distinct hop bitterness.

Michelob ULTRA, being a light lager, is brewed with a focus on lighter flavors and lower calorie content. It is crafted using Herkules hops, which lend a subtle citrus aroma to the beer. The use of wholesome grains helps to create a smooth and refreshing finish. Additionally, the beer is designed to be low in both calories and carbohydrates, making it a popular choice for those who are looking for a lighter beer option.

Now, let’s delve into the differences between pilsners and lagers in more detail:

1. Flavor Profile: Pilsners are known for their distinctive hop bitterness, which is balanced by a clean malt sweetness. They often have a crisp, refreshing taste with a slightly spicy or floral hop character. Lagers, on the other hand, can have a wide range of flavors depending on the specific style. They can range from light and mild to rich and malty, with a focus on smoothness and drinkability.

2. Appearance: Pilsners are typically pale golden in color, with a clear and bright appearance. They often have a dense, frothy white head. Lagers, on the other hand, can vary in color from pale straw to amber or even dark brown, depending on the specific style.

3. Brewing Process: Pilsners are traditionally brewed using a specific method known as decoction mashing, which involves multiple steps of heating and boiling the mash to extract the desired flavors. This process contributes to the distinct maltiness and hop character of pilsners. Lagers, in general, undergo a longer and colder fermentation process, which results in a smoother and cleaner flavor profile.

4. Origin: Pilsners originated in the Czech Republic, specifically in the town of Pilsen, in the mid-19th century. They were developed as a response to the popularity of the darker and cloudier beers of the time. Lagers, on the other hand, have a much broader origin and are brewed all over the world.

Michelob ULTRA is a light lager, not a pilsner. It is brewed with the perfect balance of Herkules hops and wholesome grains, resulting in a light citrus aroma and a crisp, refreshing finish. While it shares some similarities with pilsners, such as being a pale lager, it has its own distinct characteristics that set it apart.