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What Hops Are Used In Michelob Ultra?

Michelob Ultra is a popular light beer produced by Anheuser-Busch. With its low calorie and carbohydrate content, it has become the go-to choice for many health-conscious beer drinkers. But what gives this beer its unique flavor profile? The answer lies in the type of hops used during the brewing process.

Michelob Ultra primarily uses Herkules and Taurus hops to achieve its desired flavor and aroma. These German hop varieties are known for their mild bitterness and subtle floral notes, which contribute to the beer’s signature taste.

In this blog post, we will explore the world of hops, delving into the specific hop varieties used in Michelob Ultra, as well as other factors that contribute to its taste.

1. A Brief Introduction to Hops

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, and they play a crucial role in the beer-making process. They serve several functions, including:

  • Providing bitterness to balance the sweetness from the malt
  • Contributing flavors and aromas that vary depending on the hop variety
  • Acting as a natural preservative, which helps to prolong the beer’s shelf life

There are hundreds of hop varieties available to brewers, each with its unique characteristics. The choice of hops can significantly impact the beer’s overall flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel.

2. Herkules Hops: Bitterness and Balance

Herkules hops are a high-alpha acid variety originating from Germany. Alpha acids are compounds found in hops that provide the beer’s bitterness when they are boiled during the brewing process. Herkules hops typically have an alpha acid content of 12-17%, making them a popular choice for brewers looking to add a solid bitter backbone to their beer.

In Michelob Ultra, Herkules hops contribute to the beer’s gentle bitterness, which helps to balance the sweetness from the malt.

3. Taurus Hops: Subtle Aromas and Flavors

Taurus hops are another German variety known for their earthy, floral, and subtly spicy aroma profile. With a lower alpha acid content than Herkules hops (7-10%), Taurus hops are primarily used for their aromatic qualities rather than their bittering potential.

In Michelob Ultra, Taurus hops provide the subtle floral and earthy notes that make the beer stand out from other light lagers.

4. The Importance of Hop Timing

The timing of when hops are added during the brewing process can significantly impact the beer’s flavor and aroma. Hops added early in the boil contribute more bitterness to the beer, while hops added later in the boil or during the fermentation process (known as “dry hopping”) provide more aroma and flavor.

In Michelob Ultra, the brewer’s careful choice of hop timing helps to create a balanced beer with a mild bitterness and a delicate aroma.

5. The Role of Malt

While hops play a crucial role in defining Michelob Ultra’s flavor profile, it’s essential not to overlook the impact of malt. Malt is the primary source of fermentable sugars in beer, and the choice of malt can greatly influence the beer’s color, body, and overall flavor.

Michelob Ultra uses a combination of pale and specialty malts to achieve its light, crisp, and refreshing taste.

6. The Yeast Factor

Yeast is another critical component in the brewing process, as it ferments the sugars from the malt into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Different yeast strains can produce a wide range of flavors and aromas, and the choice of yeast can have a significant impact on a beer’s overall character.

Michelob Ultra uses a clean-fermenting lager yeast strain, which contributes to the beer’s smooth, clean taste and allows the hop flavors and aromas to shine through.

7. Water: The Unsung Hero

Water may not be the most exciting ingredient in beer, but it plays a vital role in the brewing process and can significantly impact the final product’s taste. The mineral content of the water used in brewing can affect the beer’s mouthfeel, clarity, and overall flavor.

Michelob Ultra uses water with a balanced mineral profile, which contributes to the beer’s crisp, clean taste and smooth mouthfeel.

8. The Brewing Process

The brewing process for Michelob Ultra involves several steps, including mashing, boiling, fermenting, and conditioning. Each stage plays a role in developing the beer’s flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel.

The precise brewing process for Michelob Ultra, including the specific hop schedule and fermentation temperature, is a carefully guarded secret that contributes to the beer’s unique character.

9. Pairing Michelob Ultra with Food

Michelob Ultra’s light, crisp taste and subtle hop character make it an excellent choice for pairing with a wide range of foods. Its mild bitterness and clean finish allow it to complement dishes without overwhelming their flavors.

Michelob Ultra pairs well with seafood, grilled chicken, salads, and light appetizers, making it a versatile choice for any meal or occasion.


In conclusion, Michelob Ultra primarily uses Herkules and Taurus hops to achieve its unique flavor and aroma profile. These German hop varieties, along with the careful selection of malt, yeast, and water, contribute to the beer’s light, crisp, and refreshing taste. Here are ten key facts about Michelob Ultra and its hop choices:

1. Michelob Ultra primarily uses Herkules and Taurus hops.
2. Herkules hops provide the beer’s gentle bitterness.
3. Taurus hops contribute subtle floral and earthy notes.
4. Hop timing is crucial in creating a balanced beer.
5. A combination of pale and specialty malts is used.
6. Lager yeast is used for a clean fermentation.
7. Water with a balanced mineral profile is used.
8. The brewing process is a closely guarded secret.
9. Michelob Ultra pairs well with a variety of foods.
10. The beer’s unique character is a result of the careful selection of ingredients and brewing techniques.


What is the difference between Michelob ULTRA and Bud Light?

Michelob ULTRA is a low-carb, low-calorie beer marketed towards health-conscious consumers, while Bud Light is a light beer with a slightly higher calorie and carb count. Both are brewed by Anheuser-Busch.

What is the difference between Michelob and Budweiser?

Michelob is a premium beer brand with a slightly higher alcohol content and a more complex flavor profile, while Budweiser is a classic American lager with a lighter taste and lower alcohol content.

What grains are used in Michelob ULTRA?

Michelob ULTRA is made with barley, hops, water, and yeast.

Is Michelob Ultra made by Bud Light?

Yes, Michelob Ultra is made by Anheuser-Busch, which is the same company that produces Bud Light.

Which is healthier Bud Light or Michelob ULTRA?

Both Bud Light and Michelob ULTRA are low-calorie beers with similar nutritional values. However, Michelob ULTRA has slightly fewer calories and carbs than Bud Light. Ultimately, the healthier option depends on an individual’s specific dietary needs and preferences.

What hops are in Michelob ULTRA?

Michelob ULTRA uses a blend of hops including Hallertau, Tettnang, and Strisselspalt.

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