Reach for the (Blue) Moon

May 17, 2019

The countdown has begun. Blue Moon’s celebration of the 1st Apollo moon landing will launch sales of America’s best-selling craft beer into the stratosphere.

From its storied beginning at the hands of Keith Villa at Coors Field’s Sandlot Brewery, to its ascendance as the largest craft beer in the nation, Blue Moon is an undisputed superstar. With its iconic glassware and orange garnish, Blue Moon has always paired well with warm weather drinking. This summer, the team behind Blue Moon is upping the ante with new, high-profile partnerships and media investments that are double the expenditures of 2018.

Heady Times sat down with Blue Moon’s Elizabeth Hitch to learn why this season is sure to be the Summer of Blue Moon.”

It all kicked off this past May when Blue Moon became the Official Craft Beer of the Kentucky Derby, a premium opportunity if there ever was one. “There are few events more synonymous with ‘premium’ than the Kentucky Derby, and this year marked the first of Blue Moon’s three-year partnership,” says Hitch. It’s a partnership that’s already paying off in spades, getting Blue Moon in front of new and younger drinkers. The last five Kentucky Derby races recorded at least 16 million viewers, and with Blue Moon’s core 25-35 year-old demographic celebrating the race with parties both on and off-premise, this sponsorship set a foundation for Blue Moon’s growth for years to come.

While this summer belongs to Blue Moon, in July they’re taking time to mark the anniversary of a different type of moon celebration – the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. “It’s only fitting that a beer named after the moon be celebrated as the perfect drink to honor this momentous anniversary,” says Hitch. It’s a natural tie-in, to say the least. Look for support this summer with retail programming, television advertising and even a custom Snapchat lens. “There’s already a lot of buzz,” says Hitch. Plus, Hitch promises bar-goers a custom Shoot the Moon game that will be the can’t-miss event of the summer.

This renewed focus on the nation’s largest craft beer comes as new leadership and vision steps in following Keith Villa’s exit from MillerCoors after 32 years. “Keith leaves an incredible legacy,” says Hitch. “[His] ingenuity is part of this brand’s DNA and we try to infuse that twist of creativity into everything we do.”

Taking the reins from Villa is a familiar face to Blue Moon fans. “We are very lucky to have John Legnard as the [new] Brewmaster at the Blue Moon Brewing Company.” It was Legnard himself who assisted Villa on the first batch of the original “Bellyside Belgian Wit” which later became the Belgian White we know and love today. “John is a wealth of knowledge,” says Hitch. “And we use him as a resource often, as we continue to grow Blue Moon.”

Legnard’s new position and Blue Moon’s aggressive plan in 2019 has already led to new innovations ready to be implemented after the summer sun sets. “We are very excited to introduce a new winter seasonal this year, Iced Coffee Blonde,” reveals Hitch. “It’s a perennial favorite at the Blue Moon Taproom at the RiNo district in Denver.” Look for Iced Coffee Blonde to launch in the Blue Moon variety pack this September, with a stand-alone package and draught to follow in November.

With the warm weather already upon us, and a stockpile of new programs and promotions, Blue Moon is set to take an aggressive approach this summer and prove why they remain the nation’s largest craft beer.


Nationally, Blue Moon Belgian White is a "Top 25 Growth Brand"*

Cloudy, citrusy & refreshing, the beer with the orange garnish put Belgian-style ales in the spotlight.
Brewed with ripe mango and a hint of honey, this thirst-quencher earned a Great American Beer Festival medal in 2016. Blue Moon Mango Wheat is available in 12 oz. bottles and draught.
With renewed marketing focus, the nation’s #1 craft is poised to become the #1 above premium tap handle in the on-premise.
A runaway hit at Blue Moon’s RiNo District brewery in Denver, CO, Iced Coffee Blonde will make its national debut this November as Blue Moon’s newest seasonal! This one-of-a-kind wheat ale is brewed with fair trade decaf coffee beans and clover honey. At 5.4% ABV it boasts aromatic coffee notes, a rich, not-too-sweet flavor and a pleasant, bittersweet finish.



*Courtesy of Bump Williams Consulting

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