Blue Moon: The Most Controversial Beer in America?

March 18th, 2010 | by Carleton

Since its introduction in 1995 Blue Moon Belgian White has steadily grown in popularity, becoming one of the most popular Belgian style beers in America. Despite its popularity the beer also has many detractors who are weary of its corporate ownership and misleading labels.

Many don’t realize that although it says “Blue Moon Brewing Company” on the label, Blue Moon is actually made by Molson Coors, one of the biggest beer companies in the world. Because of this there are many in the craft beer community who are apprehensive about the beer’s popularity. They see it as an attempt by corporate America to infiltrate the craft beer scene under false pretenses and steal the profits from small, independently owned breweries. They fear that big beer corporations like Molson Coors might one day even be able to drive these small craft breweries out of business thanks to their size and strength from a business stand point, forever damaging the craft beer scene.

At the same time there are many who see the surprising popularity of Blue Moon as nothing but a good thing. Thanks to the massive reach and distribution channels of Molson Coors, Blue Moon is available throughout the US and has introduced countless casual beer drinkers to a Belgian style beer who might otherwise have never tried anything but light lagers like Coors and Budweiser. As a result many more are taking an interest in quality craft beer, helping the craft beer movement a great deal. These folks argue that a beer should be judged on taste, not who brews it, and to do otherwise is nothing but petty snobbery.

Personally I have mixed feelings on the beer. While I too am suspicious of a big corporation like Molson Coors, there is no question it has helped spark an interest in craft beer among many who previously couldn’t have cared less. When people new to craft beer ask me to recommend something for them the number one comment I hear is “I like Blue Moon, what else should I drink?” I usually tell these folks to give other Belgian whites a try. Hoegaarden is perhaps the second most popular in the US of this style. While the Hoegaarden Brewery has been around since the 15th century, it’s currently owned by Anheisher-Busch, which makes it similar to Blue Moon’s current ownership status. Hoegaarden’s corporate ties aren’t as well known as the Coors/Blue Moon connection so it tends to elicit less of a reaction among craft beer enthusiasts.

There are however some great craft wits out there, including the Ommegang Witte, Allagash White and Blanche De Chambly from Unibroue.

What do you think of Blue Moon? Has it helped or hurt the craft beer movement? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter.

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Categories: General

  • Nicole Bedard

    Well, I believe Blue Moon was the first beer I drank because I thought it tasted good and not just because I wanted to get drunk. It introduced me to Belgian style beers, which is what I primarily drink these day. But there was also that embarrassing moment when I told someone I only drink beer made by small breweries and they then pointed out to me that the Blue Moon I was drinking was made by Coors.

  • anneonymity

    I honestly had no idea that Blue Moon was owned by Coors, so thanks for the info. I also have mixed feelings on the big whigs discretely owning brews that seem like craft brews to the naked eye. However, I can't say that I'm wholly opposed to it. As you pointed out, good beer is good beer. And if I can get that good beer anywhere in the US, that makes me happy. Although I do love to branch out and try unique and legitimate craft beers when given the chance.

    Also, Allagash White is amazing. It's not as fruity as Blue Moon, but it is certainly delicious (if not better due to less fruitiness). And I don't know what category Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat falls under, but it's pretty enjoyable and in the same orange-wheat realm.

  • ONUMello

    I couldn't (& still can't) stand most of the other brews from the BIG 3; Blue Moon was one of the first beers I had that I truly liked, and it did get me to branch out. Even now that I know its origin (I didn't at first) I still will get it regularly if restaurants have nothing better on tap (which is quite frequent).

  • Bruce Campbell

    I really dislike Blue Moon, but then most wheat beers are on that list. There is something about the taste that turns me off. I really like red ales. But here in Daytona, anything “craft” is very hard to find.

  • Rob Blatt

    It's a great training wheels beer for many. They don't necessarily care what style it is, but you can convince someone to try it easily instead of whatever beer they normally get (insert bud, coors light etc. here) and hook them on it. From there most people branch out, or will try something similar according to a bartender at some point.

    Also, most places carry it at this point, so it's a good fallback beer when you need something from the corner store.

  • Lauren

    I completely agree with the thought that Blue Moon introduces a more casual beer drinker into craft beers. It's an evolution: first, I'd tell the bartender that I like beers that taste like Blue Moon, then came Hoegaarden, and now delicious Allagash White; I'm peeling away at the larger corporations getting to the beers that are delicious and come from smaller companies. It's all about education, says the girl whose first beer was Icehouse at party in college.

  • Five Alternative Spring Brews – Beeriety

    [...] – As we discussed on Thursday, there’s been a lot of attention in this style recently thanks to the popularity of Blue Moon [...]

  • Recatarius

    I agree with all of the posts. I enjoy most all craft wit beers. BM is and has been a good beer for me at a convince point of view and also a good intro for my wife, who is a skeptical beer drinker, to try craftier beers. Was not Blue Moon a craft beer that Coors took over? If so the originator should be given props for a smooth easy to drink “craft” beer.

  • Dje2nd

    Anything that gets people to try something new is a good thing. Hopefuly they’ll then be more inclined to try other new beers they come across, and before you know it they’ll be heavily into Geuze.

  • Richlucht

    It doesn’t taste like a craft beer.  There is nothing notable or distinctive about it.  Like many mass-marketed beers, it has no aftertaste so it feels like I’m drinking water.  No doubt millions of Americans prefer watery brew – they line up to pay $7 a cup at the ballpark for Budweiser.  I’ll take Red Hook, Anchor Steam, Sam Adams, Green Flash or Stone’s Arrogant Bastard any day.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m not thrilled about the corporate ownership, but if Blue Moon is a “gateway” brew that encourages more people to part from their accustomed beer-water, then it can’t be an altogether bad thing.

  • John Baines

    I suggest Coors attempt to market the ‘Blue Moon ‘ brand at Manchester City Football Club in England UK. I am ceratin  it would be a huge success there as the song ‘Blue Moon’ written by Rodgers and Hart (I think?) is that club’s anthem.
    John Baines,
    long-time supporter

  • Tbtbtb

    I just tried it and found it to be among the worst beers I ever tasted. Never again, this stuff is dish water at best.

  • mike snyder

    Taste great, life is too short to worry about the little beer who really wants to be a big beer.

    Mike Snyder Westlake Village, CA 2011

  • mike

    Redhook is owned by Budweiser…very funny!!

  • Nuggetsfan307

    I’ll stick to my colorado craft beers. Which does not include Blue Moon. Its a good alternative when all that’s on tap are the Big 3 but id honestly take a PBR over Blue Moon. But then again I’m a hops fanatic, the paler the better.

  • Hagen

    Red hook sucks.

  • Dicks

    Why do you discount a beer because it is produced by a corporation? A beer’s taste should stand alone. What the fuck does who made it have to do with your enjoyment of it? And don’t claim you just so happen to ONLY like the taste of craft beers, we all know you’d suck a more enlightened beer snob’s knob. Self proclaiming yourself doesn’t make your case any more rational either. Craft beer brewers parade their “passion for high quality ingredients” because it is they, like corporations, will manipulate any perceieved positive quality in their beer for a higher profit.

  • xbuzz

    Stay classy Coors. Stay classy! Love your name, it’s appropriate.

  • Clem Culver

    I had a taste of Blue Moon at a local restaurant, and decided to have a Fat Tire instead.  Blue Moon had that peculiar cheap American beer taste, don’t know what it is but I don’t like it.  Didn’t know it was Coors/Molson.  I don’t like them passing this swill off as a craft beer.  It isn’t.

  • Bubbanartil

    Great for a macrobrew but still has that cheap stanky Coors essence behind it. Definitely not a clean tasting craft brew.

  • Paney2

    blue moon is actually the beer that got me into checking out other beers besides those made by the big breweries. Previously, I’ve only experienced Bud, Coors, etc. Most of which tasted like crap. Blue Moon was the one that got me thinking, “wow. there’s beer like this?” Now, most of of the beers in my fridge are from avery, rogue, and what not. 

  • Louis C DeBernardi

    I tried to see how the Blue Moon is made cause I think  it is a very good beer,my age is 87 yrs young and I have tasted a lot of beer But you keep refusing me to see how it is made ,I am very soory you feel that way thank you

  • Random

    I just got Blue Moon on tap at my house to give it another chance. It has and underlying Coors Light/Keyston Light stink to it and taste. I don’t know if I got a bad batch but it is almost undrinkable when put next to other witbiers.

  • Ridikolus

    I was really disapointed, because I like many thought I was drinking a craft or at least an import. Why do bars charge import prices if its made in Colorado? Thats the real deception here, forget the disguise and all that, were are literally paying $7 a bottle for a $3 beer. Am I wrong?

  • Mamorris

    I am a dedicated local beer drinker but also love great Belgian beers.  My wife bought a six pack of Blue Moon thinking it really was a Belgian beer and at the first taste I said “this tastes awful- it’s nothing like a Belgian. It tastes like an American lager with orange peel essence.”  Then I looked at the label and saw Golden Colorado.  Oops.  I just Googled this to confirm my suspicion, but I knew before finding this blog that Coors had to be involved, given the taste and locale.

  • Mark

    I have tried two types of BM beer. Winter Abbey and Spiced Amber Ale.

    The Winter was passable and I would drink again but would not be my beer of choice. The Spiced Ale will not be on my buy list again. Who makes the beer should never be a way to pick your beer but the overall taste. I will try other Blue Moon beers but I am not sure ir is as good as the hype.

    I will keep an open mind and taste bud.


  • Ajp4856

    Blue moon was independent and was bought by coors and coors was bought by Molson six months later

  • blakjustice30

    Best Beer on tap! I don’t care if a monkey with glass slippers on is brewing it.

  • blakjustice30

    I’m not sure what beer you were drinking but Blue Moon is far from cheap tasting…pabst blue ribbon, miller, Bud, coors light, etc…those are cheap tasting. I think Blue moon and Sam Adams (summer) are very good beers. 

  • blakjustice30

    Red Hook taste like  burned transmission Fluid

  • Asdfa

    I think that blue moon has brought me in and is helping me expand my beer taste beyond Budweiser, so definitely. I actually just start my own little brew kit. Knowing that blue moon has any contact with coors however, makes me sad. Coors is for nascar idiots.

  • Bill K

    Blue Moon beers are delicious. The only wheat beer as good is Hacker Pschorr
    Dunkel Weisse.

  • Grunereric

    Diversity is that sets craft brewing apart from big beer, but good taste it what brings them back together.  Craft beer has shown big beer that the consumer is ready for something different.  I love Blue Moon Belgian White as well as Hoegaarden.  It was not until recently that I learned that both are produced by the largest two beer companies in the world!!!  Does that mean I going to stop drinking them, HELL NO!  These beers showcase that there is more to life than bud-light, coorse-light, miller-lite, etc.  More diversity the better!!!  Let the consumers choose what they like.  Which brings back the repeating theme, drink what you like and keep searching for that one you love.

    P/S: Beer distributors can suck it, down with the 3 terr system which limits what can be sold in my area.  Call your senators allow beer to be sold on line!!!


    Craft Brew Alliance
    owns Redhook, Widmer Brothers, and Kona Brewing Company (acquired in 2010). They
    also had a 38% stake in Goose Island Beer Company (sold to Anheuser
    Busch in 2011). CBA brands its beers under the names: Widmer Brothers,
    Redhook and Kona Brewing.

    Craft Brewers Alliance Inc, was formed on July 1, 2008,with the merger of Redhook and Widmer. CBA acquired Kona Brewing on
    October 1, 2010. The Craft Brew Alliance now publicly trades as NASDAQ: HOOK.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev owns 32.2% of the
    business. Brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer, founders of Widmer Brothers beer, own a
    combined 18% of Craft shares.

  • BM???

     can we not call “blue moon” BM.  Like.. I had a really good BM… OMG

  • WRONG!!!

    WRONG!!  Coors and Miller Joined hands in October 9, 2007.  Blue Moon has been made since 1995.  Originally under the name of Bellyslide Belgian White by Keith Villa, a brewer at Coors Field’s Sandlot Brewery.  So Blue Moon was never a “craft beer”.  That does not mean you should stop drinking it.  Sometimes big beer gets one right time and again.

  • BM-Really

     wow if your beer tastes like a BM why not stick with miller light?

  • Undecided

    I don’t know why no one is saying it…the crappy taste in this beer that everyone hates is the fracking coriander. Get rid of the coriander and this would be a great beer. I love the strong orange notes. Much better than a lot of other wheat beers that use lemon notes. It’s just that fracking coriander.

  • Lord Selkirk

    We are mainly wine drinkers, but have been giving beer a try again after about 2 decades away.  We are thrilled with the way craft beers and microbreweries have taken off, but turned off by the way most of the beers accost the tongue with overambitious flavor.  We like drinks that have a lighter taste that tickles the tongue…and Blue Moon fits that bill very well.
    Don’t really care if it is not “crafty” enough for some of you,  or if it is make by a large corporation.  Really not my concern.  Make a good beer that fits our taste and we’ll drink it….no matter who brews it.

  • Louis C DeBernardi

    How long can you keep Blue Moom Beer until I decide to drink it,Had sugery and can’t drink beer for a while ,how long can i keep it,in the bottles

  • Stephen Stanley

    I’ve stopped drinking Blue Moon because I’ve detected a change in the flavor, more yeasty.  It could be psychological since I’ve found out it’s a Coors product, it could be a change in the formulation.  Bottom line, you like Blue Moon, drink Blue Moon.  You like craft beer, drink craft beer.  Prost!

  • The Gnome

    Blue moon is a good beer.   If I can’t find Hoegaarden on tap, I’ll take a Blue Moon over the crappy hoppy beer most craft breweries in the US are coming up with.   Frankly most beer snobs I know think the more hops the better – I’d say someone that drinks Coors has more taste than these idiots.     At least Blue Moon has more balance like the better European beers.    Take your crappy hops, I’ll have a Blue Moon.   Keep it coming, at least its something I can count on being available along side all the other garbage.

  • kg

    who the fuck cares about who owns the company, it’s a delicious beer that goes with oranges get over yourself..

  • Silicon Valley

    I have no problem with a huge company making an attempt at a craft style beer, my problem is with them trying to hide their ties.  Outside of the Golden, Colorado address there is no indication of who really makes the beer, what’s wrong with stating it’s a Molson/Coors product?  You’d think they’d be pround of creating a decent product. 

  • Mcginnisp1

    I tried it for the first time tonight at Azteca’s. I have not had a beer in probably thirty years, so I sampled Budweiser, Coors Light and the Blue Moon. I chose Blue Moon and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll be back for more!

  • Huuf Arted

    Blue Moon is 100% YUMMMMMM! I wish i could figure out what gives it the delightful afternote on the exhale which makes it even better ! If anyone knows please send me an email at  huufarted @

  • Huuf Arted

    Ill bet richlucht is a smoker… Blue Moon is very unique in its flavor, its not the orange but i wonder if its the corriander ?

  • Huuf Arted

    It actually started as its own little brand in Canada so kudos to the Molson Coors people for not pimping it out like Stroh’s …

  • Huuf Arted

    Right On! I say if you Brew It they will come and thirsty i might add !!!

  • Winston Blake
  • Clifford Rudd

    As long as the small guys except multi-million dollar buyouts for their recipes and product from the large corporations, the best craft beers will be bought up. This is the way it works and I can’t blame a brewer for selling out. Wouldn’t you take the money? As for Blue Moon, I love it and it is always in my frig!

  • Servifax

    Bluemoon is not a belgian beer. It is a canadian beer. Why do they write on the label it is belgian. I would know i AM belgian.

  • Klinton0122

    You are right!

  • Baredd79

    I don’t mind drinking corporate beer, especially if I’m a little low in cash. But why do these same corporations have to deceive people in the art of trickery. There is no morality in being dishonest. I guess it’s a sign of the times. To the big three, just be honest. If you take a shot at a craft brew then proudly boast your name on the label. Most of us beer drinkers are forgiving people and are usually willing to give a new beer that you made a shot. The cat is out of the bag and most of us know that Blue Moon is a Coors product. I still enjoy the seasonals on a regular basis. Why get egg on your face??? Just be honest and more drinkers will respect you.

  • lioin

    i really enjoy blue moon. but we just found a weird looking bug in my wifes beer. i have been trying to find a contact to inform them and they do not have any listed. blue moon was by far my beer of choice but that will probably change now.

  • navy sailor

    just purchased a really really awful batch of blue moon , i have had the beer in the past and have never complained , although i do agree there are way better choices out there in the craft beer varieties. getting ahold of this bad batch definitely has soured my taste for it and i will more than likely not purchase in the future.

  • Shipwhistle

    Who made it has everything to do with it, at least with me, and for anyone who tries to lead an ethical life. The politics of the Coors family and the morality of corporate America guarantee that I won’t be drinking anything with a Blue Moon label on it.

  • Jackie Debs

    No matter what activity one can do, there will always be a group of people who like to act elitist and turn their nose up at others. These people simply have self esteem issues. If you truly need to dismiss a quality beer because it is made by a corporation, then you have some deeper issues.

    Coors originally started as a small $20,000 dollar operation and grew into a huge corporation by reputation. You people act like these big businesses were magically born or something. The size came due to success. What is wrong with that? Is that not what America is all about?

    I will keep enjoying my blue moon, and if you miss out on it because you can’t get past its origin, then it is your loss.

  • Rick Generick

    According to Wiki (for what that’s worth), it sounds like Blue Moon was kind of a side project for one of the major brewers, which makes it questionable from the get-go, but it’s really not that bad. My problem with the corporate beers is that they’re mostly public companies, which means the board rules the day, which means Maximize Profit In Every Single Quarter, which means use the cheapest crappy ingredients you can, stretch them as far as you can, and water it down as much as you can get away with. That simply makes for bad beer. And I like good beer. 

    I would like to see a scene where the little guys stop going for wide distribution (and thus going public, i.e., opening themselves up for hostile takeovers), and just focus on infiltrating a region, kind of like the “eat local” movement; you might have a “drink local” movement to go with those artisanal cheeses and heirloom tomatoes. But consumers have got to demand more for their dollar. Mindless Corporate Endless Revenue Growth models count on the ingorance of the consumer. So wake up everybody you know and make them demand things that are worth eating and drinking (even if it costs a little more).

  • Ldebernardi

    The worst beer that I ever tasted and be side it is priced way out of the market…used to be $ 11.00 then 12,then 13,and now it is 14 to $ 15.00 out of site.And the best thing it is made in the State Of Colorado..The best beer you can Buy is Fat Tire ! ! ! !


  • Keith Kruppner

    I love Blue Moon.I now drink it more than any other beer,(I have been drinking craft beers for years).Who cares who makes it as long as it is good!! If some one else can make something similar and as good as Blue Moon I will probably drink that too.But they haven’t. Thanks, Keith

  • Messyjess2235

    Shock top taste just like blue moon!

  • Mike

    It’s a great beer for women

  • Scott Luckoff

    Shock Top Sucks Ass!!!

  • SteamBot

    It’s a fermented bug now. Really don’t see the harm. A full rodent, on the other hand, might be something to scratch your head about.

  • real

    Well blue moon sucks so this is irrelevant

  • HBAS2D

    I don’t know about you guys, but I drink to get a buzz on. Was getting tired of drinking drinking10-12 beers and not feeling anything. Didn’t want to drink imports because didn’t like the taste ( Heineken ). My brother turned me on to Blue Moon with it’s 5% alcohol content, yea! Really like the taste and no hangover. Trying to be more of a connoisseur in trying to taste the flavors in the different seasonal beers. But after the first 2 or 3 can’t tell the difference. Am told a lot of younger people like Blue Moon, but I been drinking for roughly 50 years and I’ll drink what taste good to me, not what the latest hot trend is. And if Coors actually makes it, good for them!

  • Z

    Bought a combo pack of Blue Moon summer beers and enjoyed it. When I looked at where this company was located and saw Golden CO as there home I immediately knew it was a Coors brand. Sorry but I’m not going to support a company that despite trying to change its image to increase beer sales has such a right wing homophobic John Burch past. Family of idiots. Too many other choices out there.

  • KK All Day

    blue moon is dank i dont give a f who makes it seriously you guys are sooooo stupid. if a beer is good why not drink it. btw im drinking some blue moon right now and it is tasty, coors is going to be making bank anyway regardless if you purchase their products or not. so buy some good beer like blue moon mother fuckerssss

  • George

    I fit in that category as never was one for beer, just Boubon. I liked Blue Moon and that has led me to the craft beer scene with help from my 28 yr old son.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait to here which breweries you think are virtuous.

  • Anonymous

    People seem to forget that cost is a huge factor in average folks buying beer. Some of these snobs may think nothing of plunking down 10+ for a six pack but the average Joe is just trying to cop a buzz for less than 7. Be thankful you can afford more and stfu.

  • Bill Buckalew

    you know what’s hilarious? whether you buy blue moon or not, the company who creates it will live on, and make billions of dollars. but you go ahead and not buy it, i mean that 5-15$ is going to kill them.

  • Lawrence A Dickerson

    Who is John Burch?

    Why do so many people have uneducated responses to subjects that require a finesse regardless if one appreciates true flavor and aroma?

    And why do people have the need to induce mundane profanity into a discussion?That speaks badly for their intelligence.

  • JADamn

    I laughed out loud at your comment. Then again, plenty of craft beer drinkers won’t think twice about calling Blue Moon “BM”. Heh.

  • JADamn

    When and if I’m poor, I’ll buy a twelve pack of Fat Tire. It gets the job done.

  • Proust

    You’re a woman though

  • Brewbeast

    You wanna live in Australia mate, try plunking down $35 -40 for a six pack of craft….

  • Anju

    is Blue Moon GMO free?

  • Paul Bear

    i agree. However, some people like light beer and may be of the mind to buy a light trendy beer. Those people are not going to pursue a full body, flavorful craft beer. That does not hurt the craft market. Those people are not part of the craft market, and are not likely to become part of it.

  • Anonymous

    I don´t like it. not because it it from a big corporation but the flavour. It is low quality.
    You should try a real Belgian beer like Duvel.

  • buddhablue

    back in the 90′s the family took a vacation to Colorado. we were in Golden, and did the Coors Brewery tour. interesting company at that time. they processed their own water, and also the water for the city of Golden. they processed, dried and pressed all of the leftover vegetative materials and sold it, or gave it to ranchers for feed. they also supplied heat for the Colorado Mining College above town by piping steam up to the buildings. in my mind that made up for the founding fathers and their extreme right-wing leanings in their early days. but at the same time, while taking the tour, and seeing the enormous brewing kettles, a set of smaller kettles off to one side was pointed out as an experimental brewing center for their folks to experiment on smaller batch beers. they told us that they were using the Blue Moon name for their work. so, to me, this kind of puts the label on beer before the whole large international corporate takeover of the beer.

  • james

    Blue Moon is a good beer, However if the food babes recent warning is correct.
    I insist on knowing what additives are being used. Till then I will drink micro brew beers.

  • Anon

    Perhaps you should try some Batch19 instead…

    I don’t care who makes it – I work in Golden, and the people there brew homebrew themselves and there’s a passion for doing things the right way. Fine, it’s a macro brew – and as far as I’m concerned you can put worse stuff in your fridge.
    It’s like no place I’ve ever worked – “big companies” versus “small companies” … who cares? How about “good companies” versus “bad companies” instead? The world is more complex than your argument suggests.

  • Anon

    The beer itself comes through a filteration system that yeast can’t penetrate. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but it’s more likely it came from your house or back yard than from the beer. The only possibility I can see might be the can was contaminated…?
    Contact the brewery in Golden, CO – site is listed. Perhaps start with the tour number and see if they have a better number to call.
    I’m on-site and have no problem drinking anything made there.

  • Anon

    They succeed because they make decent-to-good beer. Chik-fil-a makes a great chicken sandwich. Your boycot will mean nothing. Good products win over bad ones and that’s how things work in the free market. Trust me, you don’t want the alternative.

  • Anon

    A canadian beer made in Golden, Colorado?

  • nthezone

    Blue moon sucks period.The best beer in the world is Sierra Nevada.

  • nthezone

    Blue moon sucks period,the best beer in the world is Sierra Nevada.

  • Don Fowler

    I believe its the best tasting beer or ale , its the best according to me , an I’m a nobody.

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