|Also From This Brewery
Did you know that Blue Moon was a Coors brand? You do
now, certainly, but if you looked on the label you wouldn't see any
reference to Coors. Instead, the beer is listed as being produced by "The
Blue Moon Brewing Company, Denver, Colorado and Memphis, Tennessee."
These days, you might even see a Blue Moon beer brewed in Canada, since
Molson and Coors have now merged. Bottom line, though, is that Blue Moon is
and has always been a Coors brand. The Blue Moon line, of which you will see the
Belgian White year round and the Pumpkin Ale in the fall and winter, is a
noble experiment by a brewery with a tradition of brewing great beers. Since
1995, Blue Moon has brewed other beers, too: an abbey style ale, a
honey blonde, a nut brown, and a raspberry cream.
The Blue Moon line is not the only attempt at craft beers by Coors, however.
Their Winterfest seasonal dates back to the mid nineteen eighties. This was
a slightly heartier than usual lager, unheard of at the time for a large
brewery. In addition, Coors established their "Unibev" division, which
produced an Eisbock, a Weizenbier, and an Oktoberfest (all of which I
sampled long ago). These were a step in the right direction, but not as flavorful as
the Blue Moon beers. Unibev also contract-brewed Castlemaine XXXX, an
Australian brand, for distribution here in the states.
Coors was also instrumental in affording consumers the right to see on beer
labels the percent of alcohol a beer contained. Until a few years ago, the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms prohibited this. Their argument was
that consumers would intentionally seek out higher alcohol beers. I always
considered this the most ludicrous of arguments since (a) consumers have the
right to buy higher alcohol beers if they so desire and (b) hard liquor is
available with its proof listed on the label. Fortunately, Coors took the
BATF to court and won.
Blue Moon Belgian White pours to a cloudy yellow color with a thick foamy
head and a spicy fruit nose that hints at blueberry, though there's none in
here. The palate is light and malty yet at the same time tart with wheat.
There are strong spicy notes of the coriander and orange peel the beer is
brewed with. This is an excellent Belgian-style wit beer, and proof that
large breweries can brew great beers when they set their mind to it.
Assuming, of course, that we as consumers buy them.