Every day on my commute home from work I drive up Route 1&9 in New Jersey and for decades a symbol of my hometown has been this rotating neon sign of an eagle flapping its wings behind a huge A, I’m speaking of the iconic Anheuser Busch factory in Newark, NJ. If you’ve ever flown into Newark Liberty International Airport, you’ve seen the sign I speak of. As my taste for beer evolved, I have come to see that icon as a symbol of what could be but what isn’t, much like my hometown it resides in. See for  long time now I’ve always wondered why such big breweries, such as AB, with all of their great equipment, distribution, knowledge, and history don’t make beers for the discerning palate.  Breweries with as large amounts of power in the market should be able to make beer that blows all of the competition out of the water but they don’t and continue to disappoint and confuse me.

Budweiser Newark

Budweiser Brewery in Newark, NJ

As of 2013 the 6th largest brewing company in the United States is North American Breweries which puts it just above Sierra Nevada and right below Boston Beer. Needless to say its a very large company with a whole range of beers one of which is the Magic Hat Brewery. I have a mix of emotions when it comes to Magic Hat, #9 was one of my gateway beers and Heart of Darkness is a very respectable stout but their ends my affinity for the brewery. See over the years I have grown to view Magic Hat in the same light as Anheuser Busch, a brewery with so much potential but nothing that makes me want to purchase any of their beers.

Renewing My Vigor

About a month ago I get an email from Magic Hat telling me they wanted to send me something in the mail. I had no idea what it was but thought hey why not, if I hate it I can always give it away and ignore future emails.  A few days later the beer arrives and I received a growler of a beer I had never heard of nor know anyone who’s had it. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the beer. I got home poured the beer and a mix of emotions flooded my body. It was an elation and anger wrapped in one bewildered stare at a glass of beer.  I couldn’t’ believe what I was having and for a minute I thought ‘wait is this really a beer from Magic Hat?’ Yes!

Meatwhistle Imperial Stout


ABV: 10.5%  IBU: N/A

Meatwhistle Imperial Stout pours pitch black with little head. Aroma is a malty, chocolate and coffee. Taste of chocolate, coffee and huge bourbon notes with a nice underlying bitterness. Great thick mouthfeel that could have been a tad thicker for my liking. Overall this is a great offering from Magic Hat and one very suprised to have and one I’ll gladly pay for again. If you are able to get some of this I highly recommend you give this beer a try and let the people at Magic Hat know that they should brew this again.

From the original email I received they said this was a one time brew. If Magic Hat wants to show the other craft breweries and the drinking community they have what it takes to brew with the best of them, they will brew this again and make this an annual release. This would be one Magic Hat beer I would buy and drink again and again and again, at least until I pass out on the couch :)

One things for certain I knew one of the big guys had it in them and I’m glad my palate was turned around by a great Imperial stout. Cheers.