One might say the stars and planets have aligned for Blue Moon Brewing Co.
"There is a blue moon on July 31, and it happens to be a Friday night so we figured what better time to celebrate our 20th anniversary than an actual blue moon in the year 2015?" said Keith Villa, the company's founder and head brewmaster. The celebrations will take place in 750 bars nationwide.
Blue Moon has come a long way from where it was when Villa founded the company on Sept. 14, 1995. The brand, part of MillerCoors' craft beer division Tenth and Blake, is one of the best-selling beer brands in the United States. But it initially wasn't easy to persuade consumers to give an unfiltered Belgian-style wheat beer a try.
"The No. 1 craft beer brand in the U.S. when I launched Blue Moon was George Killian's Irish Red Ale, which is a very caramelly, malty beer," he said. "Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 were all things like Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sierra Nevada, and a bunch of red beers, or amber beers."
While early craft drinkers were looking for more flavor in their beer, their palates were not yet ready for some of the innovation that is being embraced in today's marketplace, he said.
"People weren't ready for unfiltered beers or a lot of hops or a lot of different styles," he said. "As the market evolved, Blue Moon helped to expand people's horizons."