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Beer Review #38 Full Moon

I can honestly say that I don’t do “macro” brews on here very often. That is do to a number of factors, but the main two are that I like to support smaller breweries and that I think the smaller breweries turn out a better product. Full Moon is brewed by the Blue Moon Brewing Company, which is a spin-off of Coors. Blue Moon actually got its start at the test brewery for Coors located at Coors Field. As Dane Cook would say, “there’s a fun fact for you (an FF).” Is that still relevant, I mean really when is the last time you heard a Dane Cook joke?

And back to topic we go. My wife used to love this beer, and being that seasonal beers are tough to find in Lubbock, I’m willing to buy almost any seasonal, from wherever, and made by whomever. So we grabbed it. Full Moon pours a ruby color with an off-white head that quickly diminishes. It is crystal clear, if that matters to you. The bottle says the following, “this full-bodied ale is brewed with roasted malts and a hint of Dark Belgian sugar for a perfectly balanced taste.” OK then.

The nose on the beer is a malty sweetness, with a small bit of Belgian sugar. There is an ever so slight hint of the Belgian yeast, but you could easily miss it. The taste starts with a slightly malty tone, followed by some slight Belgian yeast. The candy sugar in the beer is the most apparent taste with some bready notes also buried in there. I’m surprised a Belgian beer could be toned down so much on the yeast ends of things. The taste is not super strong, but it does give a nice ending to the beer. There isn’t any hop flavor in there either, not that it should always be expected with a Belgian beer.

The body of the beer comes in light-medium and it is rather watery. Blue Moon puts this under an Abbey Ale while I have also seen it classified as a Belgian Dubbel. Which ever the case, it is a watered down version of a true representative of this style. It is drinkable, but for most craft beer drinkers I think this one misses the mark. It is a great introduction to craft beer though for a newcomer. While it is made by a macro, it is balanced enough to not turn someone off. This isn’t going to be for a Belgian beer lover, but as an introduction to the style, it isn’t bad. (more…)

Big beer prices going up

MillerCoors and Busch announced that they are both going to be increasing prices this fall according to this article.. What I find interesting is the following quote from the article.

“The price increases are part of a strategy by the companies to protect profits rather than market share, said Harry Schuhmacher, editor of the trade publication Beer Business Daily. Consumers should expect to pay more because ‘retailers will not eat the price increases.'”

So the big boys are going to be giving up some market share in order to keep their profits the same. To me that sounds like a bad idea in that their sales have remained flat over the past several years. They are unlikely to gain that market share back once it is gone.There are so many micro or craft breweries out there today just waiting to get a bigger piece of the pie.

I’m not saying that the big beer prices are going to come up to a craft or micro level, but the closer that gap is, the better it is for the small breweries. I was talking to my buddy Pete the other day and we discussed the article and some of the implications. He told me about a business professor at some hoity-toity college that was predicting the downfall of one of the big companies. I don’t know if that would be a good or bad thing but the implications would be interesting.

Maybe the big companies are like the O’Doyle family who have a strong arm and can use it, but are heading for a major downfall. I you don’t get that reference watch the video below.

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Of the big companies I see Busch as the biggest innovator. They have put several new beers out to the market that attempt to emulate craft beers, but for a larger share of the market. What have Miller and Coors done recently? I could be totally wrong as I don’t look at any of those breweries much, but that’s how I see it. What do you think of the beer price increases and/or the survivability of the big boys.

Beer handle

Just when you thought the classic beer can could not get any beer, someone has done just that. No I’m not talking about Coors and that stupid vent thing, I’m talking about the Beerhandle. A company aptly named USA Tailgaters Inc. has maded a device that turns you can, into a mug. Just snap the metal clip onto the can, and wham, you can feel a bit for classy.

Too bad all of the promotional materal on thier website uses Bud and Miller products. Then again, there aren’t many good beers that come in cans anyway.