04 January 2010

Should You Blue Moon Grand Cru?

Most craft beer fans have had at least a small experience with SABMiller/Coors' Blue Moon beer. Be it as a last resort beer when nothing else is available, a gateway beer on the road to something more authentic, or an easy to drink alternative, it's hard to deny that the beer brewed under the Blue Moon Brewing Company misnomer are a full flavored and tasty option on the grocery store shelf.

I'll admit that any new variety of Blue Moon causes me to pause and see what the big guys are up to - be it Honey Moon, Harvest Moon, Full Moon, Rising Moon, or Pale Moon, I think the beers are at least worth sampling. On a recent trip back to my hometown, I had the opportunity to drink Blue Moon against Boulevard Wheat - and although I release the beers are different styles, I'd easily choose Blue Moon if given the (lack of) choice again.

The appearance of Blue Moon Grand Cru on Kroger shelves once again piqued our interests, and after a night at Barley Island Broad Ripple, Gina succumbed to the $8.99 price tag and brought a bottle home. The question, then, is this: Blue Moon Grand Cru? Seriously? Is the Blue Moon drinker pining for bigger and bolder Blue Moon? And if so, hasn't that drinker probably moved on already?

According to the bottle, Blue Moon's explanation for the limited release of the beer - is there any doubt this is a Miller product? They've reserved the rights to the phrase "Artfully Crafted" - is in celebration of an actual blue moon on New Year's Eve. They've even proudly dated the bottle, a technique that's usually a craft beer/grocery store no-no.

In any case, we've had a recent (regular) Blue Moon experience, so it probably makes sense to drink it now so we can compare.

The first notable thing is that the beer has pretty much the same Blue Moon nose, but everything is stepped up a bit - elements of orange and lemon, but in the case of the Grand Cru, there's an alcohol element there as well, as well as a sort of flour-like smell that I had never noticed in Blue Moon before. The beer also has the same orange/gold Blue Moon color, but this time there's a noticeable amount of yeasty globules floating around in the mix.

The taste is peppery and almost saison-like, but follow up sips revealed a perfumey mix of flowers and citrus, and a strong alcohol note. We're no strangers to big beers in our time with HBG, and but this is one of the stronger tasting 8.2% beers I've had. The more we drank, the less we wanted it. And with other options in the fridge, we moved on.

As we always hope to convey at Hoosier Beer Geek, when drinking beer, it's best to find out for yourself. But this is one moon where my interest is waning.


  1. I'm waiting to drink this one. I bought it a while back and am hoping to having a better experience than you a naming. You're right to say (we do the same) that you have to try it for yourself.

  2. Never again...that's all I can say. I did try it. Never again!

  3. Well, we tried to warn you...