I talked recently about Bells Two Hearted Ale and mentioned that it was Oberon, which was the first Craft Beer I remember drinking that started me on the journey and Craft Beer revelation I am on. I came back from Alabama on New Years Eve but my wife stayed on a couple of weeks where she went to Florida for a few days and brought me back a Florida beer (more in the next post). I had asked her before she left to check for any other interesting beers. She told me she found none.
When I came home she directed me to the fridge to get her a glass of water. My brain registered the strangeness of specifying the "fridge" but that is where we keep the water after all. I open the fridge and find a 6 pack of Oberon and my heart skipped a beat. This beer is the first beer I ever had that was not mass produced in a mega brewery. And I had it in it's home State of Michigan in 2004 over Christmas and in to New year of 2005.
Oberon is essentially a Belgian style*1 Wheat Beer of the American persuasion. It is rather similar then to Blue Moon? Well I was also introduced to Blue Moon around the same time, in fact I think I had Blue Moon first so that sort of set me on the Craft Beer path first but it is brewed by Coors so is not a Craft Beer.... Anyway, Like Blue Moon, Oberon is usually served with a slice of Orange. You can either dunk it in the beer or take it off in disgust (but still suck the juice of course). Any similarity the two beers have end there because where Blue Moon is thin and lacking in any character*2, Oberon is what I would call outstanding for an American Wheat Beer. The aroma is all wheat, spice, orange and grainy. In the mouth the first thing that came to mind was that it tasted like a multi-grain beer, it is of course as all beer has multiple grains but you know what I mean. All of the aroma comes through in the taste and is followed by a chewy malt backbone and a nice bitter finish.
It is a beautiful beer and I am glad that having been parted from it for a number of years, I still find it interesting and moreish and quite complex for what it is.
I have one bottle left to be shared with some other beer geeks, some of which write their own blogs.
*1 It would be wrong to call it that as this is a distinctly American beer and should be proud of that.
*2 I would still rather a Blue Moon that a Coors Light or any other mass produced fizzy yellow stuff. Blue Moon is also better on tap than bottle in my opinion.