Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Night Suds - Blue Moon Crimson Crossing

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Blue Moon Crimson Crossing.

I first heard about the Blue Moon Vintage Ale Collection a few years back when the Miller/Coors people began to experiment with adding grape juice to beer. At the time it presented some interesting kashrus and marketing problems for Miller/Coors because they had been making serious efforts to producing kosher products, but the addition of the grape juice meant they were considerably limited with sourcing their ingredients. 

Because Miller/Coors could not meet their need for kosher grape juice when they made their first production run, the original Vintage Ale collection brews were not certified kosher. However, starting in 2013, some of the Vintage Ale products were produced with kosher grape juice and had an OU on their labels.

As I have been mentioning in prior SNS posts, our Yeshiva Week family trip took us through Buffalo and into Canada. Prior to venturing into Canada, we needed to stop at a Redbox to return the entertainment portion of our trip, so I stopped at a Wegmans in Amherst. Since I remembered from my Camp M days that the Wegmans in Binghamton had a decent beer selection, I took a quick recon trip through the beer aisle and came across two Vintage Ale collection beers - the Crimson Crossing and Golden Knot. Although every previous time that I looked at a Vintage Ale bottle I could not find an OU, I looked again, and this time, both were certified kosher. Even though they were $7.99 a bottle, I knew that I had to buy them. Besides, since the bottles are 25.4 oz, you are getting the equivalent of two bottles of beer in each bottle. (Ok, maybe that was not part of my equation, but still...)

This past Shabbos, we had occasion to eat lunch with some friends who appreciate good beer, so I brought the Crimson Crossing to the meal. It was interesting to see how each of the adults who tried it had different takes on what is a unique brew. To me, the beer tasted more like Joyvin Red, a relatively inexpensive sparkling red wine. I tasted a little bit of the trademark Blue Moon essence, but to me there was a very significant flavor from Merlot grapes that were added to the brew. Another guest at the meal thought that the beer was the strongest flavor, while our host Shalom G thought that he could taste the wine at the back end of each sip. Surprisingly, no one commented on the alcohol taste, even though the beer is 9.5% abv.

I cannot really recommend a pairing for this beer because the flavor of the brew really is not beer. I would try this beer again if it came my way, both to see if I developed more of a handle on it and whether it would work with some food pairing.

As discussed above, the Blue Moon Crimson Crossing is certified kosher by the OU, however, prior year's production and other Blue Moon Vintage Ale products may not be kosher, so check the label carefully. For the experts take on the Blue Moon Crimson Crossing, please click here

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

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