The Great Pumpkin Beer Taste Test

Posted on October 28th, 2010

Click to Embiggen Every fall countless pumpkin beers are released. With all the beers out there to choose from it can be tough to know which one to enjoy. To solve this problem last week the Beeriety crew conducted a blind taste test of 16 popular pumpkin beers. We were hoping to see what beer would emerge as the group favorite when labels, brands and preconceptions were removed. We had a blast, and learned a lot about pumpkin beer in the process.

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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.

Beer Diplomacy: Obama holds “Beer Summit” at White House

Posted on July 31st, 2009

The Beer Summit

The much anticipated ‘Beer Summit’ took place last evening at the White House between Pres. Obama, Prof. Henry Lois Gates and Sgt. James Crowley two weeks after Sgt. Crowley arrested Prof. Gates in his Cambridge home for disorderly conduct under questionable circumstances.  The arrest lead to charges of racism by many in the media and Obama proposed the meeting to help create a “teachable moment” to address the issues raised.

Although no apologies were given during the meeting, Sgt. Crowley said afterwards  that it had been a pleasant experience and that they had “agreed to  disagree” when it came to the specifics of the arrest in question.

Regardless of how you feel about the arrest, I think everyone can agree that this incident and the interest it has attracted really demonstrates the brotherhood and sense of community which can come from sharing a beer with someone else. Can you imagine them hashing out their differences over a vodka tonic, glass of wine or anything else?

Although we really applaud Pres. Obama’s recognition of this unique quality of beer, it’s a shame he wasn’t able to enjoy a quality American craft beer instead of Bud Light, but that’s politics for you. It was also nice to seem them pour them into appropriate glasses, although we were a little disappointed Sgt. Crowley and Vice President Biden put fruit in their beer, something we’ve warned against  in the past.

After much speculation about the choice of beer, Gates ended up drinking a Sam Adams Light, Officer Crowley had a Blue Moon, and Vice President Biden, who also joined them had a Bucklers, a nonalcoholic brew made by Heineken as he does not drink.

The Beer Summit in Washington of course wasn’t the only one held last night. Beeriety also co-hosted it’s first meetup with BostonTumblrMeetups at the Publick House in Brookline, Mass. It was a lot of fun and we meet a lot of new friends, stay tuned for details on the next one.