Thursday, January 17, 2013

1/17: Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale

See my post from the 9th to learn about "Abbey Style Ales." This particular variety is a "single" and is really good. Its alcohol content is only 5.6% abv, compared to last week's triple's 8.4% abv., as you would expect since single, double and triple refer to alcohol content.

This beer is a golden brown and red color, and poured with a better head than is pictured, but the foam quickly dissipated. The flavor was smooth and carmel-y without being overly sweet. The bottle says it is brewed "with roasted malts, Belgian sugar and a touch of wheat." That would explain the carmel and the smoothness. The label says there is "a smooth toffee finish." I didn't pick up on that, but you might. It is definately one would have again, so a 3.

Now I want to talk about the brewery, Blue Moon. It is part of the Tenth and Blake Beer Company - a craft brewing division of what is now MillerCoors.

What do I think about multi-national conglomerates making craft beers? If you make a good beer, I don't care how big you are. They use their distribution networks to get in to bars and grocery stores across the country, and good for them... as long as the local breweries also get to represent at these establishments. And in my town the true little guys get to compete in the marketplace. In some ways, the Blue Moons of the world can serve as a gateway to true Belgians or other small craft beers. It is a good time to drink beer. Craft beers are gaining marketshare (at the expense of the mega-lagers) and consumers like me are learning to appreciate different styles of beer. Blue Moon and Leinenkugel are brands that can help MillerCoors hold overall marketshare when High-Life and Coors Light take a dip. It is good business. And as long as it is good beer and alongside true micro-brews, I believe it is good for beer drinkers.

Jim from Milwaukee

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