Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

It’s been so long since my last beer review that I should be ashamed.  I mean, I was doing so well there for a while

Ah, life.  Something we can’t get away from and still keep writing.

I was at the local supermarket earlier this week when I found myself unable to leave without a bit of beer.  This particular store only carries one beer from a craft brewery, and for some reason I wasn’t in the mood for Sweetwater 420.  It just wasn’t that kind of a night.  Instead I settled for a seasonal Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Blue Moon Brewing Company, which we all should know (or should know) is owned by MillerCoors.  No matter how you look at it, MillerCoors influences the feel and taste of this beer.

It also explains why I found it at a grocery store in Adel, Georgia.

With flash, so you can see the label

Without flash, so you can see the color of the beer.

From the neck label:

A pumpkin ale crafted with autumn’s bounty of vine-ripened pumpkin and flavors of cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.  Then brewed with a touch of wheat for a smooth, lightly spiced finish.

The average brewer with experience in spiced ales knows immediately that this is bullshit.  That aside, it’s a drinkable ale.  When I twisted off the top and poured the first one, I put it to my untainted nose and could detect the nutmeg and allspice flavors.  It’s a clear reddish-brown ale, and a bit fizzy with little head retention.

First taste is a bit astringent, but held in the mouth one can get the “wheat” and liken it to Blue Moon’s Belgian White.  The two have a strikingly similar finish.  It could be the water out there in Golden, or an addition of corn sugar to push up the alcohol by volume to 5.7%. The carbonation is the same level as an American lager, another tell-tale sign of large-brewery influence.  You cannot bottle-condition with twist-off caps.

Aside from the aroma that I sometimes have to close my eyes and breathe in very slowly to really get in, I’m not impressed with this brew.  Drinkability was an obvious factor when this was created.

My wife brought me some Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8%) and Terrapin’s Pumpkinfest (6.1%) tonight.  It’s my birthday tomorrow and I hope to have good quality beer in the evening.  Until then,

Cheers!

Quantities Abound

This project is finally coming to an end.  This isn’t intended to be a full-on review of the beers mentioned in the article but to illustrate a point: the mega-breweries do not produce a unique product.  I took nine different cans and compared them visually and by taste to see if any one of them stood out in any way.  Read on to learn what I did and didn’t do.

I don’t have a whole lot of notes; I didn’t really take any.  I tasted the Natural Light first, as it was simply the first in line.  The next, Coors Light, has a distinctly different taste to it than Natural Light, though that difference cannot be described in terms of ingredients.  I believe I could only tell this because I tasted them together.  The next, Coors, had just the slightest bit more body than the two light beers before, but still had that same old smell that American lagers have.

When I got down to the Bud Light, that familiar yet still indescribable taste was found, right where I left it in 1996.

 

Old Milwaukee somehow comparatively tasted like some cleaning solvent found in a motorcycle repair shop.  Seriously.

After my tasting that included spillage down my beard and onto my shirt, I concluded that the smell of bile is something they all have in common once they begin to get warm (I’m talking low 60s F warm, not room temperature).  That is simply something I cannot get over, and was not able to drink them all during the video/photo shoot in my back yard.

I must admit I wasted beer, but it wasn’t really beer to begin with.  I’m sure that at some point in the 19th and 20th centuries these breweries, while still separately owned and producing for quality, made something worth drinking.  I do not believe that to be the case today.  Enjoy craft beer and know where it comes from.  Get to know or read about the people who make it and make sure it’s good.  If you don’t know where to start, just ask me!