Monday, February 27, 2012

King of the Case: Blue Moon Brewing Company

Wherein I will buy a variety case and decide what the best beer in it is.
Blue Moon Brewing Company

Belgian White
The beer has a slightly hazy golden color and the scent is fragrant while not overpowering. You can pick up the Belgian-style spicing and there is a nice citrus kick. Still, it seems like it could really use the orange slice you would get at the bar (or the one I could get out of my fridge if I were not too lazy to get up). If you're a high-commercial-budget beer drinker looking to step up toward microbrews, this is a good place to start.

Pale Moon Belgian Pale AleFeatures an amber color and a scent that doesn't pack much power. Almost seems to resemble a brown in taste more than the average pale ale. The hops are there, but maltiness seems to jump out more. While this doesn't feel like a pale to me, it doesn't taste horrible. Just a bit uninspiring.

Valencia Amber AleThe orangey, citrus kick is a little more pronounced in this one. Balances well with the malts. Wish I had more on this one, but what can I say? I was watching Roman Polanski's Repulsion at the same time as I was taking these notes. Peak Catharine Deneuve playing crazy held my attention.

Spring Blonde Wheat AleLiked the crisp wheat flavor and the traces of lemony tartness. While it is a little lacking in flavor complexity, the finish did make it memorable with its slightly sour bite.

The LabelsBlue Moon is not into label adventurousness. Being a Coors subsidiary, it is more about brand recognition. That's why all the labels feature their signature font with a blue moon rising up above a tree-lined countryside. So basically it comes down to color preferences. I'll eliminate the Belgian White for being Pale Moon goes because the maroon is a little staid. The Spring Blonde Wheat Ale features a green design that works well with the gold striping. But I will go with the orange-tinged Valencia Amber Ale. Orange is a very appealing color and the crate of oranges in the design gives a little more for the eye to focus on.

The WinnerBlue Moon beers are not made to challenge the customer. The Belgian White can be found in just about any bar you might frequent and therefore it is composed with mass consumption in mind. This being said, I found these beers to be straight-forward yet enjoyable. I would throw back just about any of them - OK, maybe not the pale ale - as long as the price didn't soar too high. As far as a winner goes, I did really like the Valencia Amber even if I can't quite define why. Like I said, have you ever seen mid-60s Catharine Deneuve? Pretty awesome BEFORE you factor in that she spends the majority of Repulsion decked out in a silk nighty. However, I went with the Spring Blonde Wheat Ale and I think the deciding factor was its strong finish. It was the most challenging element of any of these beers. It was easy-drinking, but left the impression that the brewer might have been throwing in a little something to make the drinker think "Maybe I should consider broadening my horizons a little bit."

The Pizza Project
Just a nibble:
Single slice:
The full pie:

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