Monday, June 25, 2012

Crisp Cider and Cheddar Cheese


When I was given the privilege to review Michelob Ultra's New Light Cider, I knew I wanted to do it justice. I am a huge fan of the original Michelob Ultra Beer and was excited to participate in a review of their latest product. The problem was that I have never been a fan of the more traditional ciders and I feared I couldn't give an honest non-biased review. So I put some thinking into how I could provide the best possible review and not end up chatting away about how I never loved ciders in the first place and yada, yada, yada. Well I quickly decided the best way to make this product review worth while was to turn it into a group affair. I put together a quick impromptu mommy/lady only happy hour on the Sunday before Memorial Day and invited my most trusted advisers. I sent out a group text inviting all the women over for 4pm to test out the new cider. Being the foodie that I am, I couldn't serve just the ciders alone so I made a quick grocery run and purchased a small variety of cheddar cheeses to accompany the chilled apple beverages. I put together a cheese board consisting of three different cheddar cheeses, some honey drizzled apples and some crisp wafers. I set the board out on the counter and waited for the clock to strike 4pm!

Once all of my guests arrived, I gave them a quick introduction to the cider explaining that Michelob ULTRA Light Cider has 120 calories per serving – that’s one-third fewer calories than an average of the leading regular hard ciders. I also mentioned that Cider is naturally gluten-free and that this is the first cider Anheuser-Busch has produced and distributed in the U.S. After I finished my short spiel, I served each lady a perfectly chilled cider and I started to "take notes". The women started talking before they even took their first sip. Some remarked at the strong apple scent prior to even tasting their first swallow. Once they started drinking, some of the comments were that it was "less sweet" than other ciders they have had, that it was "very refreshing" and it would be the perfect "pool-side beverage". Other women were surprised at how unlike beer it tasted and that it didn't really seem like a beer at all. I think the Michelob ULTRA name may have confused some of them as they expected to taste something more like a flavored beer. I then went on to explain to them that the brewing process for cider follows that of beer, with the main difference being the ingredients used: cider uses apples, while barley and hops are generally the main ingredients for beer. Michelob ULTRA Light Cider is made with all-natural ingredients, including apples, and is naturally sweetened with stevia. And although the brewing process is somewhat similar, Michelob ULTRA Light Cider is an ideal alternative to white wine, champagne and traditional ciders. Some of my happy hour participants mentioned that they thought it was more like a "wine cooler" than like a beer and that it was very light.

The overall reception to the New Michelob ULTRA Light Cider was positive. The ladies at my last minute happy hour seemed delighted with the beverage and happy to try something new. They all believe it is the right drink for the upcoming hot summer months and several of them have purchased the product at a later date post my little happy hour!

Please visit the sponsor's site for more information on this fabulous product.

Please visit Michelob ULTRA Light Cider page on to see more product reviews.

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