Tag Archives: blue moon

Once in a Blue Moon – Thirsty Thursday

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You may have probably did not notice that I skipped Wine Wednesday yesterday.

{Kangaroos are a bit more exciting, no?}

I think I’m going to let go of those Wine Wednesdays. Maybe I’ll do one from time to time or maybe I’ll do a Thirsty Thursday post once in a blue moon or so. That way, I can write about wine, coffee, beer, tea, cocktails or whatever else strikes my fancy.

I’d rather write about what’s itching me at any given time anyway. It’s a little more freeing. Let’s throw out any “rules” I’ve imposed upon myself!

So welcome to this…

Thirsty Thursday

{To be posted once in a blue moon.}

Speaking of blue moons…

As a semi-beer snob who prefers to drink only craft beers and locally whenever possible, I’m willing to admit that I have guilty pleasure:

 

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Rob doesn’t like wheat beers; but I do. And I love Blue Moon, especially in summer with a nice slice of orange. It’s kind of like Fruity Pebbles cereal. But kind of not. You can find it on tap most places, especially if there are no local or craft beers to be found. In those cases, this will be their “specialty” beer.

To be truthful, we found Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat to be more flavorful when we did a side-by-side taste test with Blue Moon a few years back. But that’s even harder to find on tap now that Summer Shandy seems to be their distributed summer beer of choice.

Although Shock Top is supposed to be similar as well, it’s just not an option for me. Blech. {Although I was pleasantly surprised by Shocktop Pretzel Wheat at the German/Beer night at a St. Paul Saints game this summer…}

I digress…

I’m not huge into Sampler Packs of beer, in general, because I find that 50% of the beers in the pack usually disappointment me. But when I saw Blue Moon’s Fall Sampler Pack, I was intrigued. There were three beers in there that I was dying to try:

  • Harvest Pumpkin Ale
  • Caramel Apple Spiced Ale
  • Cinnamon Horchata Ale

Although Rob isn’t usually a fan of wheat beers – the exception being Cherry Wheat, he was game to try a few with me. The first two up:

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Caramel Apple Spiced Ale

I took one sip of it and handed the bottle over to Rob. I didn’t like it at all. I’ll take a cider instead, thank you very much. But now that I think about it, I always found the concept of Redd’s Apple Ale pretty strange, too. Why not just drink cider? Rob didn’t think the beer was great either, but okay enough to finish it. I will be using the other bottle for cooking!

Tip: If you want a Caramel Apple Hard Cider, take 12 oz (a bottle) to 16 oz (a pint) of cider (Angry Orchard is good for this) and dump in a shot of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka. I came up with this creation a couple of years ago when they had that vodka on hand at the now defunct Burnsville Ale House. The bartender was wondering how we could possibly use it. Ta da! We got a few people drinking those at Rob’s 40th birthday party!

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Cinnamon Horchata Ale

Love this! I let Rob have a sip, while he finished the Caramel Apple Ale. Then I hid the other bottle of Cinnamon Horchata to save for myself another time. {I’m so greedy!} This beer is brewed with long-grain rice for a creamier texture. This was my favorite of the Sampler Pack.

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Then, on another day where the temperatures dropped and we dreaded the oncoming snow and polar vortex, I decided to say, “Goodbye,” to fall with the Harvest Pumpkin Ale.

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Harvest Pumpkin Ale

I have really high expectations when it comes to pumpkin beers due to my undying love of Southern Tier’s Pumking. Although we had a pretty incredible Imperial Pumpkin Ale at Dangerous Man that could give Pumking a run for its money. Since they only serve at the brewery and do not distribute, we were lucky to get it before it was gone! And the Schottky Pumpkin Ale by Tin Whiskers Brewery in St. Paul, is worth a try, too!

With so many good pumpkin beers, my expectations were low for this one. But I was pleasantly surprised. I can appreciate this beer for what it is. And I would drink it again. You definitely get the pumpkin flavor with the wheat in the finish. Nice job, Blue Moon.

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Still, when I picked up this Sampler Pack, something caught my eye on the way to the cash register… And I just had to grab it:

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Let’s just say a few things here:

So much so, that before all of this cold and snow came in, we were planning a little road trip to Central Waters. I think that’s going to have to wait…

How do you feel about Sampler Packs (for anything, not just beer!)?

Cheers~
Carrie

Beer & Food Pairings…

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We interrupt the usual Wine Wednesday for a little info on beer, since it is American Craft Beer Week and all…

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Let’s start out by saying that I know nothing about food and beer pairing. Okay, so really I know nothing about it compared to what I know about food and wine pairing. What I do know: An IPA makes we want to eat salty foods! And a nice Chocolate or Oatmeal Stout pairs nicely with chocolate cake… Or it can be a good replacement for chocolate cake. I’ve been known to order a stout as dessert from time to time. 😉

Still, I wonder if true beer snobs cringe when I order X beer and then a meal that ruins the flavor. {I proclaim I’m a beer snob, but don’t really know much more than that I don’t like the run-of-the-mill lights and lagers.} I mean, when I see people ordering a sweet Riesling with their Prime Rib, I cringe… even if I profess that the best pairing is one that you like.

So it’s time I get educated. First, I went to the Google. Not surprisingly, there are many guides online:

Men’s Journal offers a great basic guide.

Beer Advocate allows you to search by cuisine, type of cheese, meat or course.

You can download a Food & Beer Paring Chart at CraftBeer.com.

Still, just like wine, I know that to really learn and understand beer and food pairings, you need to experience them. So, who wants to be my company? I’m looking for a beer dinner to attend this summer! If a brewery out there wants to sponsor me, I can most certainly write about my experience. 😉

Otherwise, a beer and food pairing night may just have to be in the works. It helps to have a guide, though…

Lastly, here is a recipe for Blue Moon Orange Chicken from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats. I’m not sure that Blue Moon is considered craft beer because it is mass produced, but I love it just the same. I can’t wait to try out this recipe!

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What is your favorite beer and food pairing?

(Beer and Pizza does not count!)

Have you been to a beer and food pairing dinner?

Happy American Craft Beer Week!

Cheers~
Carrie