Beer Man

Sales of Blue Moon cans (who knew?) go nationwide

For two years I've been wondering when Coors would decide to start canning its once-formidable-but-now-somewhat watered-down Blue Moon.

The Belgian-style wit beer is perfect for summer, falling somewhere between standard canned beer fare like Coors, Bud and PBR and heavier canned micros like Dale's Pale Ale, Fat Tire and Ska's Modus Hoperendi.

I asked the guys down at the Blue Moon @ the Sandlot, the Coors Field brewpub where Blue Moon was invented fifteen years ago, but they didn't know if it would ever be canned -- although they said they'd been suggesting Coors do it for years.

So I e-mailed Coors spokesman Tom Ryan in April 2009. At the time, he told me that Coors had no plans to start canning Blue Moon.

But this past May, Coors did start canning the beer, which is made with orange peel and coriander (at its plants in Golden and in Eden, North Carolina), distributing it as Blue Moon Belgian White Brewmaster's Can on the East Coast, in the Midwest and in the mountain states, including Colorado.

And this week, Blue Moon began distributing the cans to whatever states they weren't t already in. (Ryan wouldn't say which those were.)

"We've heard directly from Blue Moon fans that they want to bring along their favorite craft beer for a variety of outdoor activities, like picnics, concerts, golfing, festivals and cookouts," the company said in announcing the can roll-out. "The Brewmaster's Can package is more welcome in places like parks and beaches, where bottles and glassware aren't always allowed."

The announcement went under my radar, though. Guess I don't spend much time on the Coors, Bud, Miller side of the beer coolers at my local liquor stores anymore. In fact, I only found out about it after TMZ revealed earlier that Blue Moon was the beer that JetBlue flight attendant Steve Slater grabbed after allegedly yelling at a passenger in a plane parked at New York's JFK, before activating the emergency slide and slipping off into the sunset and into the media limelight.

Apparently airlines like canned beers because they are less breakable and lighter than bottles, although JetBlue still carries bottles of Blue Moon (a recent addition).

Oh, and although Blue Moon was first served in June 1995 at Coors Field, it only got its current name after a naming contest in August of that year (it was originally known as Belly Slide Belgian White). As a result, the Sandlot may soon hold a low-key fifteenth birthday party for its most commercial success to date.

Slater's not invited.