Blue Moon: The Most Controversial Beer in America?

Posted on March 18th, 2010

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.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/SirWinstoneChurchill 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jackie-Debs/1330149028 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.generick 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 ! ! ! !

    L.C.D.

  • 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.luckoff 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

  • 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?
    O_o

  • 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.