Once in a Blue Moon
They obviously try to be as coy as possible about it, but Blue Moon Belgian Wheat Ale is a Coors product. You won’t discover that fact on the label or box, though. This is not because Coors would be ashamed of this effort; it is because most beer drinkers wouldn’t touch the stuff if they knew it was a relative of the dreaded Coors Light. Only by marriage, it seems. Blue Moon is still brewed in Memphis at a brewery that Coors just happens to now own. So first, do exactly what the marketing types want you to do -- completely forget about the Coors connection and give the beer a shot.
But, please. Forgo the orange slice some will try to foist on your glass. It’s not cool. It’s not sophisticated. It doesn’t help the flavor. It changes the flavor, but doesn’t help it. Just say no. Leave that silliness for the tarts that fall for all that fashionable nonsense.
Another disclaimer that will be apparent right off: Blue Moon is not Hoegaarden. It might aspire to be something along those lines, but it is puny in comparison. Everything about it is toned down a notch. Or five.
It pours well enough. A slightly orange tint to the pale, cloudy yellow. It remains gloriously unfiltered like a wheat should be. The carbonation is about right for the style, which is a bit more than a normal ale. The head is promising, but quickly fades. A muted aroma with some citrus and spice can be found if you sniff very hard.
The flavor is as muted as it smells, unfortunately. Though, not as muted as a typical Coors product, just in terms of a Hoegaarden. It is crisp and light. The mouth feel is a bit watery, but some of that 5.4% alcohol warms the tongue. It’s just not as… Not as. Not as citrus. Not as spicy. Not as sweet. Not as complex. Not as interesting. It has all of those elements, just in a much smaller dose. But, it is smooth and creamy with a dry bitter finish. That’s always enough reason to have another swig. Particularly on a hot summer day.
Actually, it is an easy drinking beer. Because the flavors, especially some of the sweetness, are cut back a bit, this is a beer that can be swilled all night long. It is also a good beer with food. It’s not overpowering. There are better obvious accompaniments to almost anything you might be eating, but this will go acceptably well with just about everything. Not surprising from a macro brew that masquerades as a micro. Just the beer for the super all-you-can-eat buffet, especially one of a Chinese variety, perhaps.
Blue Moon is a nice enough beverage, just forget who actually owns the stuff. The problem is, if you’re out looking for a complex and interesting beer and decide to try a wheat ale, there are better options. Blue Moon is likely to be fresher and a dime or two cheaper, but it just isn’t quite as good. Not bad at all, but if you’re looking for taste and charm, plunk down a little more and get the really good stuff. If you’re just out for several beers and you might be thinking of eating something along the way, Blue Moon Wheat is a comfortable choice.