So I was reading this excellent article from Bloomberg the other day on Blue Moon beers, and how they get no respect from the growing craft beer/microbrew industry. You can read it here if you like, and while you do I’ll go crack a bottle of Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber and wait for you.
Welcome back! Now I’m going to chime in on this topic. Blue Moon (and even Samuel Adams beers to a degree) have always received some backlash from beer geeks as far back as I can remember; at least into the mid-nineties. How can you have a large brewer making quality craft beer the argument would sometimes go, though today brewers like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium have gone from small brewer to large without any degradation in quality.
Blue Moon, of course, has been subject to even more scrutiny because they have always been owned by Coors and over time, the companies it merged with and was gobbled up by. You won’t see it on the bottle, but Blue Moon is now an SAB Miller Coors beer.
So does that really matter? I don’t think so. What’s wrong with large breweries, anyway? If it’s because they produce a lot of bland, boring, American light lagers and you don’t like bland, boring, American light lagers then I can understand why you would not like SAB Miller Coors. What I can’t understand, though, is why you don’t like Blue Moon.
After all, Blue Moon was launched as an effort to offer craft beer drinkers what they want: a more flavorful brew. Sure, they did it to make money and increase sales, but what is wrong with that? Do you work for free? Because I don’t. Why is there a backlash against large brewers making good beer? I don’t know.
In a world where beers like Spaten in Germany and Bass in England are owned by the megabrewers, the line are going to increasingly blur between megabrewer and microbrewer. So if it tastes good, drink it.
In my opinion, Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber tastes good. This is a spring seasonal from blue moon meant to be a flavorful, refreshing entry into the warmer weather. It’s an amber ale with orange peel, roasted malt and a “touch of wheat” per the label, and has an alcohol content of 5.9% by volume. And it’s reasonably priced at $7.49 a six-pack.
Ingredients from the website:
Malts: Pale, Munich, Caramel, White Wheat
Our Twist: Valencia Orange Peel
Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber pours to a bright honey amber color with a toasty malty, slightly citric nose and a medium head. Taking a sip the beer has a solid caramel maltiness accented with a bit of tart wheat. Bitter orange emerges as the beer progresses, and the finish is balanced with spice and a gentle hop bitterness. A good refresher, and a decent amber ale. I like the way the amber malts and citric orange work together with a hint of citrus, bitter peel and spice to make this a refreshing, quaffable brew.
I enjoyed Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber on a warm summer afternoon, and it was a perfect first beer of the day. It refreshed and wet the palate for more flavorful beers to come. I don’t agree with the current beer geek crowd that thinks the only beers worth drinking are those that whack you over the head with hops and malt. Refreshing beers like this are just as welcome to me, and I for one will keep on drinking them.
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.