Spotlight: Blue Moon Brewing Company1/21/2015
It’s baseball season in 1995. The spring air is fresh and crisp, and the sun is shining. You’re with all of your friends and holding a classic: a beer from The SandLot Brewery. Sound relaxing? Definitely. If The SandLot Brewery doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because it later changed the name to Blue Moon Brewing Company and started brewing at 22nd and Blake in downtown Denver, Colorado. Blue Moon believes that brewing beer is an art, and it all started with head brewmaster Keith Villa’s idea to brew his interpretation of a Belgian beer, which he first tried while studying brewing in Belgium. He then added the iconic orange slice to enhance the natural citrus flavor and aroma.
What makes Blue Moon so special and such a popular favorite among beer drinkers? The list goes on, but Reas Perry, the area distribution manager for three areas around Iowa, says it’s because one can never go wrong with a classic.
“Everything we do flows from our artistic approach to brewing,” he said. “It’s been that way ever since we first started brewing back in 1995.”
The best part of being part of the Blue Moon family is the consumers. “It’s great to hear their stories and see their passion for our beers,” Perry said.
This classic, year-round beer is Blue Moon’s first and most popular option. The preferred serving style is in an open-top glass to make room for the aromatic, zesty orange flavor. This beer is special because it has the typical wheat beer flavor but with added sweetness from the orange combined with a spiciness from the coriander. Even with these two prominent flavors, it still has a creamy mouthfeel and a full finish — but everyone knows it’s the orange slice that really makes it. Back in 1997 when this beer first made its entrance into the world, master brewers at the brewery brought oranges to garnish the beers. “Then a funny thing happened,” explained Perry. “Keith started getting calls from the bar owners who ran out of oranges.” The Belgian White is available in 12-ounce bottles, 6-packs, 12-packs, Brewmaster’s cans, 16 ounces and draft.
First Peach Ale
This seasonal beer is brewed to serve the tastes of beer lovers coming out of the cold months and entering into the warmer ones. The main flavors are caramel and peach. Caramel is directed to the rich tastes of winter, and peach is added for the subtle sweetness and lightness of summertime. “It’s one of those beers that, once you have a sip, you need to have more,” Perry said. It’s slightly tart and has a medium thickness. Available in bottles.
Availability: January – March
Cinnamon Horchata Ale
One of the latest specialty release beers, Cinnamon Horchata, is inspired from the Latin drink Agua de Horchata, which means cinnamon rice milk where horchata means almond syrup. This has a thicker texture, is brewed with natural rice and flavored with cinnamon to give it a stronger kick. The cinnamon notes are followed by a subtle caramel-sweetness, and this frothy beer ends with a warm wintery feel.
Availability: In variety packs throughout Iowa
Blue Moon can be found all over Iowa, including Saints Pub and Patio, Bar Louie, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop, Cabaret West Glen, Funny Bone Comedy Club, Shotgun Betty’s and other hotels and gas stations around the metro.
Craft beer. Craft beer is a type of beer that is made in a traditional and non-mechanized way by a small specialty brewery. The Brewer’s Association website says “the hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation.”
Because of the spicy and citrus flavors, the original Belgian White brew pairs perfectly with seafood, chicken and Asian dishes. It is suggested that anything with rich spices, hints of citrus or anything spicy is best paired with this classic beer. Visit www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com to check out the websites favorite Artfully Crafted Grilled Chicken recipe recommended for the Belgian White. As an added bonus, it even uses the beer in the recipe.
Peach Ale and Cinnamon Horchata Ale are both recommended to be eaten with dessert-like dishes. First, Peach Ale is to be paired with nutty or creamy desserts, which is amplified by the sweet peach flavor. Cinnamon Horchata Ale is for something a even little sweeter, like custard, crepes and anything chocolate. Both beers are enhanced by sweet flavors and fruits. While you’re checking out the recipe for the Artfully Crafted Grilled Chicken, get the recipe for the Chicken Salad with Grilled Peaches that goes perfectly with First Peach Ale. Lunch and dinner recipes all in one place. CV
What’s brewing calendar
Jan. 22 – Stitch and Bitch, 7-9 p.m., 515 Brewing Co., 7700 University Ave., Clive, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/stitch-and-bitch/?instance_id=416
Jan. 28 – Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey sampling, 6 p.m., Mickey’s Irish Pub Waukee, 50 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, www.mickeyswaukee.com/events.html
Jan. 29 – Guinness Blonde sampling, 7-9 p.m., Mickey’s Irish Pub Waukee, 50 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, www.mickeyswaukee.com/events.html
Feb. 5 – Social Run with Fitness Sports and 515 Brewing, 6 p.m., Fitness Sports, 7230 University Ave., Windsor Heights, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/social-run-with-fitness-sports-and-515-brewing/?instance_id=447
Feb. 21 – Boulevard/New Belgium Tap Takeover, 5 p.m., Up-Down, 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines, http://updowndsm.com