For those who follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed an argument recently about craft beers vs. light / domestic beers. I mentioned it in Friday’s post about crossover beers and since then, the debate has raged on with text messages, photos and other forms of social media. It’s been a lot of fun!

Alison Griswold (@alisongriz) wrote a post last week about Team Catholic. She decided, after many efforts to express her thoughts in 140 characters, to write a  blog post: In defense of Michelob Ultra. So today, I bring you part one of this argument. I will be posting part two tomorrow where we will discuss why I disagree with many of Alison’s arguments and believe in craft beer. (I was the Opinion page editor for three years for The Observer at Notre Dame while in college. Can you tell?)

So for your reading pleasure … and be sure to let us know in the comments what you think!

MichelobMichelob Ultra is my go-to drink.  And not because it tries to be the P90x of beers with commercials showing fit, young, professional men and women who take a lunch hour to go hiking, swim, run marathons and then party like rockstars at trendy bars filled with other beautiful athletic people.  No, I love Mich Ultra because of how it works and what it says.

I’ve waitressed here on Hilton Head on and off for years.  As a waitress, you learn that you can tell a lot from people by how and what they order.  This isn’t about an obsession with my outward appearance, but I’m laid back and I appreciate simplicity.  This is my approach to life and a bar.  Plus it’s practicality.  In a beach town, where about 83% of our alcohol is consumed outside, we need light and refreshing.  Even a Corona can seem to too heavy in August humidity.

As a single gal, I have to say that Mich Ultra is a win when you’re on a date or hanging out with guys you want to leave with a good impression.  Its low-alcohol content allows you to adjust your drinking based on the pace of your group.  You can have a couple and still be witty and articulate (sometimes even more so than when you started) without losing your filter.  Also, not that alcohol should in any way be trusted to guard virtue, but I think Mich Ultra is one of the safest options when you want to be sure you are able to still shrewdly evaluate your surroundings as the night progresses. Pope John Paul II describes “the unique role which women have in humanizing society” and while I don’t think a bar was the first place he had in mind, it is certainly an aspect of society which often needs humanizing.  So, mich ultra = more time for drinking = more time for evangelization and humanizing society.

Not to open a can of worms with regards to chivalry and who should pay when, but I also think it’s courteous to drink reasonably when you’re not the one buying.  I can’t say for sure but I’d speculate that dating gets expensive — well, for the classy guys who don’t let you pay, anyways.  When I’m not the one picking up the tab I want to be gracious.  I’m not reducing happy hour to speed dating, but when I see a guy drinking some hoity-toity craft beer, I tend to judge them as pretentious, someone who would rather buy oriental rugs and a BMW than back pack through Europe.  Similarly, I’m not high maintenance, so I don’t want to give that impression.  I always value the company of the people I’m with more than the quality of what we’re drinking. I opt for ultra (or other similar options) because my attention is always first on the quality of people and conversation.  Why spend extra on an a mere accessory to an evening?


Alison Griswold holds a B.A. in Theology and Religious Education from Franciscan University of Steubenville, as well as a Certificate in CPR from the American Red Cross.  She is currently the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church in Hilton Head, SC and a freelance columnist for the Bluffton Packet and Catholic Miscellany.  She once beat Fr. Andrew Trapp at Texas Hold’em and holds the diocesan record for most speeding tickets obtained in one year.  Follow her on Twitter @alisongriz.