Last beer I drank: Blue Moon Spring Blonde Wheat Ale
I've found that people generally have a mixed reaction about Blue Moon's lineup of wheat ales. Some beer fans frown at the fact that Blue Moon isn't quite as flavorful as a classic witbier. Others enjoy the easy-sipping body of Blue Moon and it's approachable hop content. I personally think Blue Moon in general is "beer": not really great, but not bad. A good "gateway" beer if you will. This seasonal brew falls perfectly in line with my line of thinking. It's an easy going ale that sips with only a slight hop content and finishes with a light tang associated to wheat ales. Blue Moon suggests a lemon or orange garnish for their beers. I had mine without, but I could see how a burst of citrus would balance out the flavors of this beer immensely. Bottom line? This is a easy sipping beer that won't really excite you with newness, but will be a comfortable brew during these first few weeks of spring. I would also love to try it with some chicken grilled out on the BBQ.
Let's shift gears to the topic of the day. What comes to you mind when you hear the adjective "economy"? Generally I think it can mean one of two things. The first is "cheap but effective". Case in point: the economy car.
I'm not one to knock a mode of transport (my automobile is certainly nothing grand to speak of). A car is made to get you from point A to point B. However, some cars move you while looking really ugly, and some allow you to arrive at your destination in style. Some cars that are (typically) ugly are defended as being "economy". That is they get 200 miles to the gallon and save you enough money to buy things that hopefully compensate for the car that you have selected. In this case "economy" has become somewhat a backhanded label. Sure you save money, but you're driving a shoebox which frat guys will tip over at the drop of a hat (or end of a championship game). Small price to pay in this day and age? Debatable, but you will be the one laughing when you can basically drive through a gas station to refuel.
The other meaning of "economy" that I've found has been associated to friggin' huge boxes of food and house goods that cost less overall than buying the same amount from a typical supermarket.
So this "economy" is a more forgivable usage. Wholesale markets save the buyer tons of money, give you tons of goods, and best of all the goods are humorously oversized. This of course allows one to store things inside cereal boxes big (and strong) enough to hold 3 or 4 bowling balls. In this case the "economy" runs parallel to the first use, but is less laughable.
Now that we've established the nomenclature of "economy" would someone mind telling me what "economy beer" is? I joke you not. While out on the weekly chores in a big name supermarket, I took to browsing the beer aisle (a top placer for 'top five aisles in the grocery store'). I went through the import section, to micro-brew, and on to domestic, when I looked up and noticed a new area, at the tail end of domestic:
It took me a minute to process this new and interesting label. Had I gone too far over in the aisles? Was this a mis-labeling? After some investigation I found that no, this was just the convenient way for the store to label their beer as, well, cheap. In every sense of the word. I've tried to formulate why "economy" beer would be appealing to anyone, and I've been having a hard time rationalizing it. In the sense of the first definition I guess you do get good "mileage" out of economy-beer as you get thirty for the price of two decent beers, but what destination could anyone possibly end up at swilling the stuff? A buzz reeking of old sweat socks? In the sense of the second definition I suppose you're getting more for your money, but once again: 1000 bad beers could never even equal 1 "ok" beer in terms of taste.
I guess I should be pleased: at last grocery stores are being honest about the food they stock. It does make me wonder what would happen if they applied this honesty to the entirety of their store though.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for those 2000 calorie "Hungry man dinners."
"Certainly sir, those are in aisle 10: artery clogging and hardening foods."
If anything this label of "economy beer" does make it easier for people looking for decent beer know where to look; namely as far to the left of this aisle placement as possible.
I'll end at that note, taking another knock at cheap, crappy beer. Next time tune in as I drink what some might call crappy beer in order to come up with a solid definition of good "gateway beers" to introduce your friends and family to!