Last weekend, we helped our friends Dave and Wendy host some out-of-town guests in celebrating the impending birth of their first child. They share my entertaining philosophy that you never want to run out of refreshments. With that approach, however, you sometimes end up with leftover food and drink. The attendees didn't drink as much beer as we expected, and because the soon-to-be parents aren't drinking they asked my husband and I to take it off their hands. I mean, really, what we do for friends, right?
Well, with a big sigh, I loaded up our cooler with the remains of a Magic Hat Brewery Summer Scene Variety Pack. Actually, we were thrilled because we both enjoy beer from Magic Hat. It wasn't an imposition...it was a special treat. I suggested to my husband that we could review the beers for the blog and he willingly agreed.
First up...#9, as described by the brewery it is indeed a not quite pale ale. You know that song "Revolution 9" on the Beatles' The White Album (Remastered)? That song played in my head as I swallowed my first sip. My tongue was a bit confused and didn't quite know where to land. I felt a similar confusion the first time I heard that Beatles' song. Magic Hat's #9 was not at all what I expected. Its apricot flavor was a pleasant surprise. The texture is thinner and more drinkable than you expect with this flavor, but it is best when very cold. This beer was an interesting mix of mix of hops and sweetness. It lacks the bitterness of an IPA, and is not as sweet and heavy as a lambic.
Next was their latest IPA, Blind Faith. It was a lovely golden-orange color with a creamy head that dissipated slowly. The beer had a strong hoppy flavor that would hold up well against strongly flavored foods. I imagine it would quickly overwhelm more delicate dishes, though. It was very drinkable, but not terribly thirst-quenching. I really like IPA, but I don't think I would drink very many of these in a row.
Our third selection was Wacko, the summer seasonal. Both my husband and I were surprised by the pinkish hue of the beer as we poured it into the glass. A quick glance at the label and we realized why...beet juice! Dwight Shrute would be proud. It was light and refreshing with a subtle citrus flavor...a real lawnmower beer as they say. However, my husband said he didn't think many men would want to be seen drinking a pink beer at their local bar.
The final offering in the summer variety pack was a ginger-flavored ale called Odd Notion. The brewery is offering a seasonal rotation of different beers under that name, so this only applies to summer 2010. We both enjoyed it. I think it is another strong choice for summer...thirst-quenching and refreshing. The ginger is not too sharp or overpowering, more of an enhancement to the yeast and hops.
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