photo by jwiv of

Magic Hat Circus Boy Hefeweizen – Magic Hat Brewing Co. – 4.4% ABV

Being a lover of a good wheat beer (and good beer in general) means I have the chance to check out several varieties from several breweries. I’ve never wanted to confine myself within the boundaries of being labeled a hophead or a bock guy or whatever. I want to try it all, find out for myself which beers I like best. This forum is a great conduit for me to pass my thoughts onto you.

This time around we grabbed another hefeweizen. This one was from Magic Hat. They’re another brewery located in the northeast, Burlington, VT to be specific. I’ve had a few of their varieties and I have to say I’ve liked them for the most part.  Actually this wasn’t technically a “hefeweizen,” but an American pale wheat ale. But what’s the difference really? Well I’ve already been down this road, so for those of you who haven’t been following my lead, I’ll be glad to inform you again. American pale wheat ales are like a hefeweizen, but the strong characteristic of a banana aroma and coriander spice element are not present. I guess you could say that if a hefeweizen was name brand, these would be the store brand – a sort of generic counterpart. These beers also usually come with a lemon or orange attached as a garnish. And as mentioned before, I don’t really like fruit with my beer. It should be able to stand on its own without that help.

The neck label on the bottle says “Unfiltered, Unfettered” which tells me I’m going to get my fill of some sediment at the bottom of this beer. It did not fail to deliver. Pouring this out slowly revealed a color of clear straw golden blonde. But after getting to the bottom, I did the traditional swirl (I’ve also mentioned this before, hopefully this time you’re taking notes) and poured out the remains. This gave the beer a lot more density and a hazy look, also changing the prevailing color to a murky, hazy gold color; almost bordering on orange. It smells like I thought it would, yeast and wheat are dominant in this, but there is a little touch of lemon in there.  The head was pretty big at first, maybe a finger or two, but it disappeared like D.B. Cooper – fast and without a trace.

The taste I got from this immediately told me lemongrass and wheat (FYI it is brewed with lemongrass) but there was also a pretty strong yeast component to it. The beer is thin and slightly watery. It’s like the Widmer Brothers hefe I tried a while back. I can’t say they’re exact duplicates, a smackdown would reveal the truth, but you get what I’m trying to say here. Yes it is thin and kind of watery, but still cool and refreshing if you want to do yard work and need something to take the heat down a notch or two.  Would I say it even comes close to a Paulaner or Sierra Nevada Kellerweis? No way. Those two remain the gold standard for me at this point, as far as that style is concerned. But it is worth a try if you want to cool off this spring/summer, and you’re tired of drinking something from the mass market.


Magic Hat Circus Boy