Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Quick Take: Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale

When one thinks of microbreweries, they might think of Blue Moon. Then again, they might not. It depends on how much you know about beer, I suppose. For the unitiated, Blue Moon has quickly become a brand name for unfiltered wheat beer served at a wide variety of bars with a dainty little slice of orange as a garnish. For the initiated, Blue Moon is the demon spawn of Coors, unleashed to distract attention away from true craft breweries.

I tend to fall somewhere between the two; I can remember trying a Blue Moon somewhere between 1997 or 98 and enjoying it because it was different from my normal, ice-beer swill, but in the last couple of years, I've learned that I can do better with regards to Belgians and wheat beers.

That being said, today, circumstances (a visit to Lionheart in downtown Albany on $2 Tuesday) led to me trying a new variety of Blue Moon: their so-called Honey Moon Summer Ale.

The verdict: disappointing. One of the things I like about Blue Moon is the unfiltered wheat taste; I have a great affinity for unfiltered wheat beers. However, the Honey Moon is a filtered beer. The wheat taste is there, but the generally light coloring (it resembles a light pilsener in color more than anything else) and taste leads me to believe that the presence of wheat in the beer has been somewhat diminished. The website claims it uses malted white wheat, but it doesn't have a great effect in the beer. The honey in question is interesting; it's definitely clover honey as opposed to a more refined honey, but it really doesn't add much to the beer beyond an initial taste.

It's drinkable, that's for sure; but it's not the kind of beer I'd have more than one of. Ultimately, you can do better.

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