Blue Moon Vs Non-Alcoholic Blue Moon Review: An Eerie Clone Sans The Boozy Buzz

We love beer, but why? For starters, we genuinely enjoy the overall flavor profile of, say, a high-quality IPA or a seasonal Oktoberfest (particularly on tap). Then, of course, there's the allure of booze, whether we're looking for a chill buzz while sipping a couple brewskis during happy hour or a celebration brew at a Super Bowl party (don't drink and drive, people). 

But for those looking to partake in a dry January (and beyond), there are plenty of beer options sans alcohol. Blue Moon is the latest brewery to jump on the booze-free bandwagon with the recent release of the non-alcoholic version of its uber-popular Belgian White wheat ale. While we (or, rather, this writer) may not be prone to purchase a six-pack of non-alcoholic Blue Moon apropos of nothing (we like alcohol in moderation; sue us), we were still curious about the latest release from the Molson Coors subsidiary.

How does the non-alcoholic version of Blue Moon's classic beer stand up to the original? Well, after receiving a sample courtesy of Blue Moon, we can answer that question. Without further ado, here's our review (and detailed rundown) of the new non-alcoholic Blue Moon.

What's in non-alcoholic Blue Moon?

If you know what's in a regular can or bottle of Blue Moon Belgian White, you've got a good idea of the composition of its non-alcoholic version. After all, a gander at the ingredient list for both versions of Blue Moon reveals a near-identical set of products found in each variety of the brewery's famed Belgian-style wheat ale.

Whether it's a glass of non-alcoholic Blue Moon or the real thing (because the booze-free version is actually just a figment of the world's imagination, don't you know), the company's Belgian White is brewed with water, wheat, oats, orange peel, coriander, hop extract, and yeast. Interestingly enough, the non-alcoholic Blue Moon lists malted barley as the second ingredient while the alcoholic variety names its secondary item as barley malts (which appear to be the same ingredient with slightly altered wording).

The non-alcoholic Blue Moon contains natural flavors, as well, which is absent from the alcoholic version. Additionally, despite its non-alcoholic status, the newest Blue Moon isn't necessarily entirely free of alcohol. As the label notes, it has less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) — meaning there may still be trace amounts of alcohol in each can of the non-alcoholic variety, too. While this may contradict the claim on the label, it falls within the maximum ABV for  beverages that can be labeled as "non-alcoholic" per U.S. federal law.

When is non-alcoholic Blue Moon available and where?

As of January 9, 2024, non-alcoholic Blue Moon appears to be available for purchase at participating retailers across the U.S. Now, while we can definitively say that Blue Moon's Belgian White sans alcohol is likely currently available in-person at various liquor stores (presumably located near O'Doul's) or various online merchants, we're not entirely sure how long it will remain on the market.

Then again, by all accounts? It's easy to imagine the non-alcoholic Blue Moon will remain available over the long haul. Even though the company initially released (and promoted) the product to coincide with Dry January, there's no indication the no-booze Blue Moon will disappear from shelves once the calendar flips to February.

Of course, no matter how long non-alcoholic Blue Moon remains for sale, if you're a fan of the brewery, and plan to resume (or continue) drinking alcohol after January 2024? You should consider buying the booze-free version between January 12 and the end of the month. After all, the company will be offering a rebate to customers who purchase a six-pack of non-alcoholic Blue Moon during that time frame to be used towards a future Blue Moon six-pack (with money allotted for the requisite orange garnish, too!).

How much does non-alcoholic Blue Moon cost?

We're not oblivious to the recent boom of the non-alcoholic beer and cocktail industry, and we're well aware of the basic principles of capitalism — namely, a company is within its rights to charge a premium for a product if consumer demand exists. Yet we can't pretend we weren't a bit miffed to discover the average cost of non-alcoholic Blue Moon is akin to the regular version's price tag.

To be clear, there's a wide range of potential prices for a six-pack of both non-alcoholic Blue Moon and its booze-filled relative depending on where (and how) you purchase it. Generally speaking, though, a six-pack of non-alcoholic Blue Moon cans will cost between $10 and $13 dollars — just like the boozy version. More than that, one store in Billerica, Massachusetts had both Blue Moon Belgian Whites available for the same price of $12.69 as of January 9, 2024.

In other words, you shouldn't expect a discounted price for non-alcoholic Blue Moon simply because you won't become intoxicated upon drinking it (not nearly as quickly, at least). Then again, if folks are willing to pay the price, who are we to criticize a company or store's business practices?

What's the nutrition information for non-alcoholic Blue Moon?

Oftentimes, we run into a brick wall of sorts when attempting to find accurate nutritional information for beer. This makes sense, of course, given the differing regulatory requirements for alcohol compared to other food and drink products (there's no mandate requiring purveyors of spirits to print such info on the package). Thankfully, those lacking standards don't necessarily apply when we're talking about a non-alcoholic beverage — so we can, in fact, share some of the relatively innocuous nutritional aspects of this booze-free Blue Moon.

As the package's label proudly proclaims, each 12-ounce can of non-alcoholic Blue Moon contains a fairly paltry 80 calories. Beyond the basic caloric count, each can also comes with 1 gram of protein, 17 grams of carbohydrates (low-cal doesn't always equate to low-carb, after all), and no fat.

How does non-alcoholic Blue Moon compare to the real thing?

The more detail-oriented readers out there may already know how non-alcoholic Blue Moon compares to the real thing; after all, this review's headline sort of gave away the game. Still, we'll gladly elaborate on the specifics of regular Blue Moon versus non-alcoholic Blue Moon.

Honestly, if you blindly served us both non-alcoholic Blue Moon and the regular version, we may not be able to tell the difference based solely on aroma or taste. The citrus scent of non-alcoholic Blue Moon was indistinguishable from the real thing. More than that, the taste was so similar that we did a literal double-take after our first sip of the non-alcoholic Belgian White.

Of course, unsurprisingly, we did notice a handful of actual differences between varieties. The non-alcoholic Blue Moon tasted notably brighter than the alcoholic version, which provided a lingering bitterness on our palate with each sip (an aspect we attributed to regular Blue Moon's 5.4% ABV). That noticeable distinction in alcohol content provides the other clear contrast between non-alcoholic Blue Moon and the real thing — even if the non-alcoholic version isn't wholly devoid of alcohol.

Verdict: We missed the booze in this tasty Blue Moon clone

We made it clear at the start that we (or, more specifically, this writer) aren't exactly the target demographic for non-alcoholic Blue Moon. After all, we're not shy about our occasional enjoyment of the intoxicating effect of alcohol and beer, nor are we ashamed of our predilection to imbibe every so often. Still, we were pleasantly surprised by the experience of drinking non-alcoholic Blue Moon — and would wholeheartedly recommend the shandy-like beverage to anyone looking for a bright-tasting, non-inebriating drink.

Of course, while we can say the orange-forward flavor of the non-alcoholic Blue Moon was far more refreshing than we anticipated, well ... we simply couldn't shake our disappointment with the fact that we didn't end up remotely tipsy after drinking Blue Moon. Like a cup of decaf coffee, we couldn't stop wondering why anyone would bother purchasing a non-alcoholic beer, which undoubtedly diminished our overall experience.

Simply put, we were shocked to find ourselves genuinely enjoying non-alcoholic Blue Moon, and would bet anyone seeking a non-alcoholic brew will be satisfied, as well. As for us, if we want a drink that tastes like orangeade in the future, we'll grab a bottle of actual orangeade; and if we want to drink Blue Moon, we'll opt for the real thing, too.