Is Blue Moon an accurate representation of a Witbier?

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mciaio

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Forgive me if this has been asked before, and I did do a search. Blue Moon kinda tastes like a cloudy Coors Light. I would like to make a Wit and will be really dissapointed if it tastes like Blue Moon.
 

JAG410

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No. It's a good representation of what "the man" wants you to believe is an exotic wit beer. It's certainly drinkable, and makes a decent session beer because nearly every store carries it.

Hoegaarden is the next most commercial example of a wit, but it actually has a long history. Give this one a try, and if you don't like it, Wit beers aren't for you.
 

SumnerH

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Blue Moon is basically in-style, but it's pretty bland on all the major points. Hoegaarden is the one that really helped popularize the style, but it's also not considered a particularly great wit either.

Probably the 2 best widely available wits are St Bernardus witbier and Allagash White. The latter is on tap up and down the east coast, and not that hard to find at beer stores with decent selection elsewhere.

Being as you're in Philly, you ought to have no problems finding Allagash White at a decent beer bar in the city.
 

TurboBrew

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:off: What makes hoeegarden so white? I've brewed several wits (extract mind you) and have never had a "white" beer
 

Jewrican

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i am aparently not a wit beer fan. Had a hoegarden last night and I'd rather drink from a hoe in a garden.. ugh!
 

zanemoseley

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I'm a big fan of Mothership Wit too, I used to like Blue Moon till I tried better wits now I'm not a huge fan. I will occasionally get a bomber of it just for the hell of it.
 

SumnerH

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i am aparently not a wit beer fan. Had a hoegarden last night and I'd rather drink from a hoe in a garden.. ugh!
Hoegaarden's not a great wit, though it's certainly decent. Most of the commercial review sites grade Hoegaarden, Blue Moon, and Wittekerk around a "B", which is about where I'd put them.

Try an Allagash White, St Bernardus Wit, or if you want a bigger wit try the Brooklyn Grand Cru. All are decently widely available. I know I've gotten Allagash products in GA before so they should be around; I think I've seen Brooklyn stuff too.
 

944play

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Try an Allagash White, St Bernardus Wit, or if you want a bigger wit try the Brooklyn Grand Cru.
...or Southampton Double White.

I kinda like Blue Moon. I remember thinking it sucked when it first came out.
 

JesseRC

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I agree with the other folks who lover blanc de chambly. I did a AHS clone of it, I think it was perfectly balanced, while blue moon just seems overly spiced.
 

Fat Guy Brewing

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blue moon just seems overly spiced.
Agreed, I think it has too much hops which is not the point of a wit.


What makes hoeegarden so white? I've brewed several wits (extract mind you) and have never had a "white" beer

I brew extract also, hence I call mine Brown Belgian White.
 

Homercidal

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I prefer Blue Moon to Hoegaarden.

But, I like Celis White better than both. Wish I could find it around here. You'd think that if it was brewed in state, it would easy to get!

There are many brands that I'd like to try. I've done a wit a few times using extracts and it's generally a bit darker than what you find in the store due to the extracts. It's hard to get a real light beer that way. Have not tried an AG version yet. (kinda burned out on that style right now.)

The wheat gives it a lighter appearance with suspended particles.
 

Hokie

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After keeping an eye out forever, I finally found a place that sells Celis White near me and I got to taste it for the first time. I am quite impressed to say the least (compared to other Wits at least).
As for Blue Moon, it's certainly introduced the masses to a unique beer flavor combination (coriander and orange peel), but from what I understand, it's brewed with American ingredients and a clean fermenting ale yeast. With that said, you'd be hard pressed to approximate the benchmark Wits brewed in Belgium with Belgian ingredients.
 

Cookiebaggs

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After keeping an eye out forever, I finally found a place that sells Celis White near me and I got to taste it for the first time. I am quite impressed to say the least (compared to other Wits at least).
As for Blue Moon, it's certainly introduced the masses to a unique beer flavor combination (coriander and orange peel), but from what I understand, it's brewed with American ingredients and a clean fermenting ale yeast. With that said, you'd be hard pressed to approximate the benchmark Wits brewed in Belgium with Belgian ingredients.

I like Blue Moon. I find it a nice summertime beer and it is a crowd pleaser. In fact, I just brewed up 11 gallons last Thursday.

Here is a good thread on Blue Moon from one of the people who developed it.

It is indeed fermented with a clean ale yeast to bring out the coriander and orange peel. This is probably why those that like traditional wits don't really think Blue Moon is a good example. It would be interesting to see what it would be like with a wit yeast.

I used the percentages that Wayne1 said to use and this beer turned out great.

I know another post stated that Blue moon is hopped too much. I disagree. I just had a tap of Blue Moon over the weekend. It is very lightly hopped.
 

SumnerH

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After keeping an eye out forever, I finally found a place that sells Celis White near me and I got to taste it for the first time. I am quite impressed to say the least (compared to other Wits at least).
I haven't had a chance to try one of those yet. I'm keeping my eyes open. FWIW, reviews lump it in with Hoegaarden in the "solid but not great" range just a cut above Blue Moon:

Celis White - Michigan Brewing Company
Hoegaarden Original White Ale - Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
Blue Moon Belgian White - Coors Brewing Company

compared to some of the top Wits (I've had Allagash, St Bernardus, and Brooklyn and they're all great; someone upthread vouched for the Southhampton one):

St. Bernardus Witbier - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Allagash White - Allagash Brewing Company
Brooklyn Grand Cru - Brooklyn Brewery
Double White Ale - Southampton Publick House
 

SumnerH

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With that said, you'd be hard pressed to approximate the benchmark Wits brewed in Belgium with Belgian ingredients.
One more note: 2 of my top 3 personal wits are brewed in America, but they're with Belgian-style yeast and ingredients. Though Allagash as a brewery is probably more Belgian (beer-style-wise) than half the breweries in Belgium.
 

jgln

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Forgive me if this has been asked before, and I did do a search. Blue Moon kinda tastes like a cloudy Coors Light. I would like to make a Wit and will be really dissapointed if it tastes like Blue Moon.

Really? I have had both before and never thought one came close to the other. I now have a experiment to try and purpose for doing so. :mug:

But maybe I can buy just one can of Coors Light and a six of Blue Moon. I like light beers but never Coors much.
 

williec30

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I love hoegaarden, also wittekerke.
<thread hijack>anyone have a recipe for wittekerke? i have searched high and low with no luck. there are a few threads with discussion... no ingredients unfortunately.</thread hijack>
 

Hokie

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I should probably clarify some things from my previous post... I have nothing against Blue Moon and enjoy it every now and then as a matter of fact.
Also, I understand that some of the finest examples of the wit style are not even brewed in Belgium (much like the Vienna lager situation I suppose).
One problem I have with Allagash is their price for 4 bottles is more than 6 of a very decent alternative (in my opinion of course).
 

Bob

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This thread is interesting and infuriating at the same time.

Pierre Celis is the man who revived Hoegaarden before coming to America and establishing another Belgian brewery - Celis, of course - complete with Belgian brewers and Belgian ingredients, who is virtually single-handedly responsible for the style even being extant. And both of his beers get lumped into the "ho-hum" category in favor of beers that shouldn't even be compared with traditional Witbier. Brooklyn's Grand Cru and Double White are completely different beers. They're too BIG to be Witbier.

Those reviews are not a statement that Hoegaarden or Celis aren't good Witbiers. It's a condemnation of the whole rotten consumer-driven review process. The benchmarks aren't "bigger faster LOUDER MORE", so they get "ho-hum" reviews.

Sometimes we beer geeks just suck. We get jaded, so we only pay attention to the biggest, baddest beer on the block, the beer version of an H1 with no muffler and a 12" lift kit. Suddenly everything else pales in comparison. So we go and buy it up. The other brewers notice, and suddenly everyone's got Imperial This or Double That. And we buy that, too. The infuriating part is that excellent beers - like fresh Hoegaarden or Celis - get lost in all the noise and exhaust fumes. Hell, most breweries have dropped their session beers.

That's why I never pay attention to the review sites, and always advise anyone who'll listen to do the same. In the first place, they're quantitatively and qualitatively useless, because very, very few people who post to them actually know how to properly review anything. In the second, they do far much more damage than good to the beer scene as a whole.

That's my stand.

Bob
 

SumnerH

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One problem I have with Allagash is their price for 4 bottles is more than 6 of a very decent alternative (in my opinion of course).
They're on tap at a lot of places in the area (e.g. Vermillion and Rustico in Alexandria, which have the same owners as Tallula/Eat Bar in Arlington) in the same price range as anything else.
 

SumnerH

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Pierre Celis is the man who revived Hoegaarden before coming to America and establishing another Belgian brewery - Celis, of course - complete with Belgian brewers and Belgian ingredients, who is virtually single-handedly responsible for the style even being extant. And both of his beers get lumped into the "ho-hum" category in favor of beers that shouldn't even be compared with traditional Witbier And both of his beers get lumped into the "ho-hum" category in favor of beers that shouldn't even be compared with traditional Witbier. Brooklyn's Grand Cru and Double White are completely different beers. They're too BIG to be Witbier.
If you like Celis' take on Wits (I do) please try the St Bernardus Wit that I've recommended. Pierre Celis designed that one, too. It's not a huge beer, either (5.5% ABV). The other one I recommended initially (Allagash White) is not a big beer at 5% ABV, just a very well executed wit.

And, FWIW, both of these rank higher at those maligned beer sites than the big double-wits you railed against (which are really a slightly different style, agreed).

I do think Hoegaarden's a fine wit indeed, just not quite up there with St Bernardus or Allagash.
 

humann_brewing

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I use to like Blue Moon when it started to get notariety, but then I found that Coors made it and it was not as intersting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Moon_(beer)) ) I just can't convince myself to pay a craft price for a coors no matter if it is better than their major sellers or not.

Don't get me wrong, when they are free or it is the best thing at a local bar and it's happy hour, but I'm not going to pay $7-9 for a sixer of it.

It also look like Bud has jumped on the bandwagon with their shocktop http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29/39908 I do like theirs better and I have a bar here that has it for $1 all day/every day.
 

Homercidal

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I use to like Blue Moon when it started to get notariety, but then I found that Coors made it and it was not as intersting (Blue Moon (beer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) ) I just can't convince myself to pay a craft price for a coors no matter if it is better than their major sellers or not.

Don't get me wrong, when they are free or it is the best thing at a local bar and it's happy hour, but I'm not going to pay $7-9 for a sixer of it.

It also look like Bud has jumped on the bandwagon with their shocktop Shock Top Belgian White - Anheuser-Busch, Inc. - BeerAdvocate I do like theirs better and I have a bar here that has it for $1 all day/every day.
I believe that Blue Moon as bought by Coors, but before they bought it, the company spent considerable time making a great tasting, if not spot on, Wit.

Remember that nobody makes the same beer as everyone else, and there is room to play within a style.

I believe Pierre Celis moved on from MBC after helping them with the recipe for Celis White, and last i heard he was somewhere in Texas doing some more helping??

And ShockTop is not very good IMO. More like an orange wheat beer than a Wit I think.
 

SumnerH

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I believe that Blue Moon as bought by Coors, but before they bought it, the company spent considerable time making a great tasting, if not spot on, Wit.
Nope. Blue Moon was created by Coors master brewer Keith Villa at the Sandlot brewery at Coors Field c. 1995. That's since been renamed the Blue Moon Brewery at the Sandlot, but it's always been Coors owned and operated. It won many awards c. 1995-1997.

They have gone out of their way not to advertise that Blue Moon is a Coors product to avoid knee-jerk "BMC=bad!" reactions from craft beer fans.

I find humann_brewing's reaction sillly: he says he liked the beer until he found out Coors made it and now he won't buy it. That makes no sense to me, if you like the beer what does it matter who makes it? But I guess that's exactly the sort of elitism they were attempting to prevent by not advertising it as part of the Coors line.

Remember that nobody makes the same beer as everyone else, and there is room to play within a style.

I believe Pierre Celis moved on from MBC after helping them with the recipe for Celis White, and last i heard he was somewhere in Texas doing some more helping??
He was planning on working with the Real Ale Brewing Company, but it wound up a no-go in late 2006 because the Texas laws constraining marketing by brewers were too tight for Celis' comfort.

Pierre himself remains in Belgium (his daughter and her then-husband ran the earlier Celis brewery in Austin; Pierre never moved to Texas).

And ShockTop is not very good IMO. More like an orange wheat beer than a Wit I think.
It's really bad, IMO.
 

Coastarine

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Great lakes holy moses is another that I enjoy. It probably gets voted in the same so-so range as hoegaarden, but I love that beer too, so I guess its just my taste.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I most definately avoid at all costs anything brewed by BMC. Its the same reason I don't eat at chain restaurants. They just aren't going to get my money.

Blue Moon chaps my ass for one simple reason. 90% of America thinks it is from Belgian and they are all fancy. I get a lot of people, who see me order some beer, then go on to talk to me about there great Belgian wit beer (you know, like whit :rolleyes:). groan.

I like people getting into different styles, but I have had that conversation soooooooo many times. Yes, BM is pretty good. Did you know........

Marketing makes the world go round.
 

humann_brewing

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I find humann_brewing's reaction sillly: he says he liked the beer until he found out Coors made it and now he won't buy it. That makes no sense to me, if you like the beer what does it matter who makes it? But I guess that's exactly the sort of elitism they were attempting to prevent by not advertising it as part of the Coors line.
Sorry, I sometimes don't give the full story. What I should have added that this was in my infancy of drinking beer and I certainly liked the taste of BM, but I had also never had another Wit before. Once I realized it was Coors, I decided to try another and found many others that tasted better.
 
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