The Blue Moon Brewing Company of Golden, Colorado, certainly doesn’t go out of its way to let you know they’re a wholly owned subdivision of another famous brewer located in Golden: namely, Coors. But they are, and perhaps as another means to establish themselves as a bona fide craft brewer, they’ve continued to expand the line of flavorful beers that they produce.
Case in point: Pine in the Neck, part of the Blue Moon Graffiti Collection sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles. Pine in the Neck is only one of two beers in this series currently, along with Tongue Thai-ed Ale, a beer spiced with lemongrass and basil. The Graffiti collection is not the only way that Blue Moon is branching out, however; they also have some interesting beers in their normal lineup like the newly introduced peanut butter ale. Their Vintage Ale Collection combines beer with wine for those that can’t decide between the grain and the grape.
Back to Pine in the Neck, which I’m drinking tonight. Pine in the Neck is described as a “Double IPA brewed with juniper berries.” Hops and juniper both can add a piney, resiny character, hence the name of the beer. From the back of the bottle:
While camping, brewers John and Tom stashed their beer in a quiet stream to chill it. Smart, until a storm came, causing floods. After trudging through the rain back to the campsite, they found their gear washed away and the beer gone. While hunting for the beer and gear), they decided to brew a bold beer that was nature-proof. This double IPA crafted with juniper berries might be called Pine in the Neck™, but it’s worth the trouble.
I’m not sure that story really tells me anything about the beer, but OK. Blue Moon does tell a bit more about the beer on their website:
Malts: Pale, White Wheat, Munich, Caramel, Carapils
Hops: Citra, Simcoe, Taurus in the brew kettle. Dry hopped with Citra, Simcoe, and Cascade
Our Twist: Juniper berries
I can tell you it has an alcohol content of 7.5% by volume, and that I paid $6.99 for a bottle at Total Wine. And I can tell you what I think about it:
Blue Moon Pine in the Neck pours to a deep amber reddish color with a thick head of creamy foam and a soft nose of fragrant pine. Taking a sip, there’s a good caramel malt body up front followed by a bit of toasty malt before the hops and juniper kicks in. When they do, they take the palate over for the rest of the ride. The hop component is resiny and piney here, and works nicely with the also piney but simultaneously fruity-berry juniper. An assertive bitterness emerges as the beer warms, though less hop aroma than I’d like for a DIPA and not as strong as most certainly.
Overall, Blue Moon Pine in the Neck is quite good! I definitely get the promised pine from the hops and the juniper, and enjoy the berry fruitiness as well. Absolutely worth a try, and a re-buy as well.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.