Keith Villa, the creator of MillerCoors’ Blue Moon Belgian style beer, has now brewed a small-batch beer/wine product.
Vintage Blonde Ale, which is 51% beer, 49% chardonnay, was released in five test markets last year: Chicago, western New Jersey, Denver, Seattle and San Francisco. It sold out. A half-beer, half-sauvignon blanc bottle called Proximity and a half-beer, half-cabernet sauvignon bottle called Impulse is soon scheduled to hit shelves. Vintage Blonde Ale will be renamed Golden Knot and be produced with another beer/wine hybrid in the summer.
Villa had actually developed Vintage Blonde Ale in 1995’the same year as Blue Moon–at the Sandlot, a microbrewery located inside Coors Field that has served as the developmental ground for Blue Moon. But the beer/wine beverage was apparently ahead of it’s time: Customers who had tasted it at the ballpark didn’t care much for it.
Consumer tastes have evolved in the past decade or so. When Villa resurrected it again in small batches, it started to win awards. Now the challenge is finding grapes, the grapes from Napa and Sonoma all reserved. Much of the grapes for the Blue Moon hybrids are from the central coast of California.