Michelob Ultra vs. Guinness Draught in a Bottle

Racanelli's Pizza, 12 S. Euclid Avenue, 314-367-7866

Jan 14, 2004 at 4:00 am
Both come in a bottle and are considered "beer." The label of each has a brown-and-beige motif, with a shock of red to get you mentally pumped in anticipation of the adventure that lies ahead. The labels of each are made of paper and are affixed to the glass with some sort of sticky goo. Both combine multiple fonts on said label, some blocky, others fancy. Ultra's bottle is clear; Draught in a Bottle's is deep, chocolatey brown. Both have a cap on top that covers a hole you'll soon be wrapping with your lips and angling into your mouth.

Mich Ultra offers twelve ounces for $2.75, or 22.9 cents per ounce. Guinness Draught in a Bottle costs $3.50 for 11.2 ounces, or 31.25 cents per ounce. The former contains 2.6 grams of carbohydrates; the latter, 9.6 grams. Mich Ultra, however, is packed with 0.6 grams of protein, while Guinness contains only 0.3 grams. The former's innovation: "Low Carbohydrate Light Beer." The low-carb thing is sweeping the nation, and the fit wealthies are lapping it up. Guinness' innovation, not so much, but it's pretty cool: in the bottle, a clever little invention called the Rocket Widget. When the brew is uncapped, the Widget creates a surge that forms Guinness' famed creamy head right inside the bottle. Every time you swig, the Widget refreshes the surge.

Low-carb beer is a funny concept, considering beer is made from grain, and grain makes bread and pasta, which, according to Dr. Atkins, makes you puffy. Mich Ultra has a born-on date, which is dumb; Guinness doesn't, which isn't.

Ultra's Web site attempts to equate consumption of the light beer with meditation, which is insulting. Guinness Draught in a Bottle is an insult to anyone who has ever enjoyed a pint of true-blue Guinness draught at a pub.

One tastes like beer-flavored Sprite; the other tastes like flat, watered-down molasses, chocolate and tar. Guess which is which.

You are correct.

Guinness is pasteurized stout; Michelob is probably pasteurized, too, but it doesn't swagger about it. Mich Ultra is a much better-tasting product than we imagined; Guinness Draught in a Bottle is a less better-tasting product than we imagined. Ultra washes down a slice of spinach pizza at Racanelli's quite well and aids in the removal of excess internal mouth crumbs. Guinness Draught in a Bottle's foam is apt to gather at the corners of your mouth, which will make you look like a sickly lush. So be careful. Guinness is, however, still Guinness -- yummy; and Michelob Ultra is, alas, still Michelob -- not so much.