Blue Moon this fall is brewing up a new beer it hopes will appeal to beer and coffee aficionados nationwide: Iced Coffee Blonde.
The light-bodied blonde wheat ale is brewed with arabica coffee beans from Denver-based Luna Roasters, pours a deep golden straw color and has the taste and aroma of iced coffee. It is slated to hit shelves this month as part of Blue Moon 12-pack variety share packs and in stand-alone six- and 12-packs of bottles starting in November.
A consistent top-seller at Blue Moon’s RiNo brewery and taproom in Denver, Blue Moon Iced Coffee Blonde “is a coffee beer done the Blue Moon way,” says Elizabeth Hitch, senior marketing manager for the brand. “It’s lighter in color with a more refreshing profile that’s easier to drink than a coffee stout or a coffee porter, the coffee beers most drinkers are familiar with.”
Iced Coffee Blonde was initially planned as a winter seasonal, replacing Blue Moon Winter Wheat, but “it’s performed so well and received such positive feedback year-round in our RiNo brewery that we decided to extend it through next summer,” Hitch says.
The 5.4% alcohol-by-volume beer, which has a distinct coffee aroma backed by notes of honey and a mild malt sweetness, finishes clean.
Iced Coffee Blonde is part of the brand’s effort to showcase beers that have performed well at its Denver brewery and taproom and “showcase the creativity and innovative nature of the Blue Moon brand,” Hitch says. It comes to market at a time when the performance of flagship Blue Moon Belgian White wheat-style ale has improved, clawing its way back to nearly flat year-to-date, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through Aug. 31.
Iced Coffee Blonde will hit retail at a time when coffee and coffee flavors are performing well across the broader food and beverage industry, including in products such as ice cream, yogurt, granola, candy and spirits. On top of that, ready-to-drink coffees are averaging an annual growth rate of about 10%, according to Nielsen data covering 52 weeks through Aug. 10.
It also comes to market as MillerCoors is testing a hard cold brew coffee in three U.S. markets in partnership with renowned third-wave coffee company La Colombe Coffee Roasters.
Blue Moon’s entry, however, is distinctly in the beer category.
“Our goal is to showcase our creativity and welcome more drinkers to the Blue Moon brand,” Hitch says. “Iced Coffee Blonde has been such a big winner in our RiNo brewery, and we think it has the potential to be a big hit with a nationwide audience.”