Blue Moon vs Shock Top – Taste, ABV, Calories, Carbs, Ingredients

Blue Moon and Shock Top have become two of the most popular beers in their style – the Belgian-style Witbier. They two are similar but have their differences. What are the differences between Blue Moon and Shock Top?

The difference between Blue Moon and Shock Top is in the taste. Blue Moon has a more robust flavor with more potent citrus notes. Blue Moon and Shock Top have the same amount of calories and a similar ABV at 5.4% and 5.2%, respectively. Blue Moon is more popular and more easily available than Shock Top.

Read on for more detailed information on the differences between Blue Moon and Shock Top, including ingredients, history, and taste.

Shock Top vs Blue Moon comparison overview

Blue Moon vs Shock Top

Blue Moon and Shock Top own some of the largest market shares in the country for Belgian-style wheat beers. They’re common brands for varying levels of beer enjoyers, and each holds its own in the name of craft beer, despite being mass-produced.

Blue Moon and Shock Top are more similar than they are different. They share similar recipes, the same calorie count, and almost the same ABV. 

Each beer has its fans, and some swear by one or the other. Truthfully, they share eerily similar qualities, but they have their differences.

ComparisonBlue MoonShock Top
IngredientsWhite wheat, yeast, hops, valencia orange peel, coriander, oats, corn syrupOrange, lemon, and lime peels; Hallertau, Cascade and Willamette hops; 2-row barley
TasteSweet orange, citrus, wheat, Orange, citrus, subtle spice with lemon-lime flavors
AromaRobust and sweet orange peel, citrusMostly orange citrus
Popularity$370 million in sales (2021), 1% market share (2018)Generally less popular then Blue Moon, decline sales in recent years
HistoryFirst brewed by Sandlot Brewery as “Bellyslide Wit” in 1995Started as a seasonal in 2006, won a gold medal in 2006 North American Beer Awards
Table comparing Blue Moon and Shock Top – calories, carbs, ABV, ingredients, Taste, Aroma, Cost, Popularity

What is the difference between Blue Moon and Shock Top?

These two beers have similar foundations and even taste somewhat the same. There is, however, variation in taste, aroma, calorie count, and more between them. The rest of this article will detail the two beers’ differences in greater depth.

The main differences between Blue Moon and Shock Top are present in the:

  • Calories
  • Carbs
  • Alcohol Content (ABV)
  • Ingredients
  • Taste, flavors, and aroma
  • Cost
  • Popularity and sales
  • History

Blue Moon

Blue Moon was originally brewed in 1995 by The SandLot Brewery in Portland, Oregon, out of love for baseball. It was appropriately named “Bellyslide Wit.”

Over time, the name changed but the ingredients remained the same, with most of the flavor coming from a couple of key ingredients.

Blue Moon has 168 calories with 14 grams of carbs. Its signature flavor comes from the white wheat, Valencia orange peel and coriander used to brew it. It’s one of the most popular beers in the country, with roughly 1% of the market share. A six-pack costs about $11.

Blue Moon is and always has been owned by Molson and Molson Coors.

Calories, carbs, and other nutrition facts

Blue moon is not a light beer, and its nutrition facts reflect that.

Blue moon has 168 calories in one 12-ounce serving. It has 14 grams of carbs and zero grams of fat. Blue Moon has 96 mg of potassium.

Alcohol Content (ABV)

Blue Moon has a relatively high ABV compared to some other popular beers in the US. Its Belgian-style characteristics afford it a higher alcohol content.

Blue Moon has a 5.4% ABV and nine IBUs. It is not bitter.


Blue Moon is made with four standard beer ingredients: water, hops, yeast, and barley. Its main ingredient, though, is something different.

Blue Moon is brewed with white wheat, Valencia orange peel, coriander and oats.

Taste, flavors, and aroma

Blue Moon gets a lot of its flavor, taste and aroma from the orange peel and coriander. Like other beers that taste like Blue Moon, it’s brewed with at least 50% wheat in the malt bill.

Blue Moon tastes like orange citrus and coriander. It has a creamy mouthfeel from the oats used during brewing.


Blue Moon is one of the most popular beers in the United States. How much does it cost for a 6-pack?

A 6-pack of Blue Moon costs about $11 on average. It costs more in bottles compared to cans.

Popularity and sales

Blue Moon remains a popular beer style and makes up a large portion of the beer market in the United States.

Just less than $371 million in sales of Blue Moon occurred in 2021. In 2018, Blue Moon made up 1% of the US beer market shares, making it one of the most popular beers in the country.


Blue Moon wasn’t always called Blue Moon. In 1995, it was brewed for the first time under a different name.

Blue Moon was brewed in 1995 with the name “Bellyslide Wit,” from The SandLot Brewery in Denver, Colorado. It was given its original name after the head brewer’s passion for baseball. Eventually, the name changed to Blue Moon. Molson always owned it and then Molson Coors.

Shock Top

Shock Top, although not as popular as Blue Moon, has similarities to its more-popular counterpart, with just enough differences to tell the two apart.

Shock Top has 168 calories with 15 grams of carbs. Its flavor comes from the wheat, orange, lemon and lime peel, and coriander used to brew it. It’s a common substitute for Blue Moon and has seen a decrease in popularity after 2019.

Anhesiser-Busch InBev owns Shock Top.

Calories, carbs, and other nutrition facts

Shock Top is a refreshing beer with an appealing nutrition label.

Shock Top has 168 calories with 15 grams of carbs and 2.2 grams of protein. It has zero grams of fat.

Alcohol Content (ABV)

Shock Top’s ABV is respectable but low enough to keep it light and refreshing.

Shock Tops ABV is 5.2%. It has 10 IBUs and isn’t bitter. 


Shock Top is a Belgian-style witbier, so it has those signature spicy notes with hints of citrus.

Shock Top is brewed with orange, lemon and lime peel with coriander. The recipe includes at least 50% wheat among the other grain additions to give it a soft and creamy mouthfeel characteristic of the Belgian Wit style. It also uses Hallertau, Cascade and Willamette hops with two-row barley.

Taste, flavors, and aroma

Shock Top tastes like a classic wheat beer, with sweeter citrus flavors from the three fruits used to brew it.

Shock Top gets its taste, flavors and aromas from the wheat, orange, lemon and lime peels used during brewing. The subtle spicy flavor in Shock Top comes from the coriander.


Shock Top comes in cans and bottles and can be found on draft at select restaurants and bars.

Shock Top is $10 on average for one 6-pack. It is generally less expensive than Blue Moon.

Popularity and sales

Shock Top is a preferred choice for some Belgian-style witbier fanatics, and it’s a common substitute for Blue Moon.

Shock Top started as a seasonal offering in 2006 under a different name. After a name change in 2007 and a rebranded in 2017, popularity increased but has been declining in recent years.


It wasn’t always called Shock Top. And a Super Bowl commercial helped revive the brand for a couple of years. 

Shock Top was originally called “Spring Heat Spiced Wheat,” but changed its name in 2007. The brand mascot, Wedgehead, was featured in a Super Bowl Commerical in 2017 with comedian T.J. Miller.