Friday, June 19, 2009

Beer Of The Week (Vol XII)

Like many niche interest groups, you can find more than your fair share of arrogance and attitude among craft beer enthusiasts (a.k.a. Beer Geeks). For some of them, there seems to be a never-ending competition to be the purest of the purists. Like music geeks who are always crowing about the latest obscure band no one's ever heard of to prove their superior music cred, beer geeks love to talk about hard to find, limited release beers that only specialists like themselves know about. Anything widely available is immediately dismissed as unworthy of their attention.

I don't consider myself a beer geek. While I love beer, I really have no desire to get involved in the arcane minutia that the hardest of the hard core live for. And I have no desire to brew my own beer. Since I consider cooking a poor payoff of time versus reward (I spent an hour in the kitchen to get this?), I can't imagine investing hours in brewing a beer that in all likelihood would be an inferior product to something I could easily pick up at my friendly neighborhood liquor store. When in comes to beer, I know the meaning of comparative advantage.

So when I approach a beer, the only thing I really care about is whether I'm going to enjoy drinking it or not. While I might be suspicious of attempts by the macro brewers to enter the craft beer field, I don't automatically reject them. I rate 'em as I drink 'em.

Which is exactly what I did with this week's beer Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale. Blue Moon Brewing Company is probably best known for their signature beer, a witbier often served with a slice of orange that has became fairly popular in recent years. Oh yeah, and it's owned by Coors (now Molson-Coors). This alone has caused apoplexy among many beer geeks who view anything associated with a major brewer the same way a vampire views sunrise.

Personally, I think Blue Moon's Belgian White is a pretty good beer and have enjoyed it in the past without a worry about its owner (Who own Blue Moon? Owns, owns.) Therefore my rating of Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale was done without preconditions or prejudice.

Simple brown bottle. The label has a brush-stroked summer scene of a full moon over a lake with a dock and rowboat in the foreground. Sort of a Van Gogh-ish feel to it. Yellow background with a classic style font.

Beer Style: Wheat Ale

Alcohol by Volume: 5.2%

COLOR (0-2): Light golden color. A little too clear for a wheat. 1

AROMA (0-2): Slight. You can pick up wheat and fruit. 1

HEAD (0-2): Full and white. 2

TASTE (0-5): Light honey flavor with hints of citrus. Refreshing but not much there. 2

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Weak and empty. Leaves you feeling flat. 0

OVERALL (0-6): Looks pretty good in the glass, but falls short on flavor. It's a unremarkable offering that definitely does not belong on a list of the top beers of summer. 2

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 8