Single Chair Ale - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Single Chair AleSingle Chair Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

467 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 467
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 16.92%
Wants: 7
Gots: 105 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-31-2002

Single Chair celebrates the uniqueness of the Mad River Glen Cooperative Ski Area in Vermont. Medium bodied and ideally balanced for all tastes, Single Chair's tempting light golden color, heady aroma and smooth liquid go down effortlessly and often!

17 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 467 | Reviews: 157
Reviews by thebrood1987:
Photo of thebrood1987
4.2/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the smell I get that sweet grainy pilsner smell with herbal spicy grassy hops. The taste is just like this with a bit of spicy hop in the beginning with the sweet grainy pilsner malt taste following and then ending with the dryness from the yeast and hops. It has a pretty nice lingering bitterness for only 17 IBUs I think it is. It definitely tastes like more. The hop taste and bitterness is very herbal, dry and grassy tasting. I also get a bit of a lemony taste in there as well.

I like how the dryness from the hops the sweet grainy malt taste and yeast taste perfectly combine together for a really good tasting lighter beer. This is a fantastic "lawnmower beer" and has all the right qualities of a session beer. Actually one of the tastiest well rounded lighter beers I've had. This is like Magic Hat's twist on an American Adjunct yet it has no adjuncts and has a better yeast, hop and malt taste over one any day.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Shaler_Tate
2.74/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not very good at all..... Tastes pretty much just like a sour-ish bud light.

Photo of Zephan
2.13/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Did not enjoy. One of the worst beers I have had

Photo of Owen1313
1.09/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Terrible, very first time I've completely disliked a Magic Hat beer, of any variety. It's bland and light, and honestly I'd prefer a budweiser or PBR if this was the kind of taste I wanted to drink because honestly those are better than this beer.

Photo of dca1972
1.66/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Awful. Save your money, better value to go with Molson Golden. Called a 'golden ale', but taste like a cheap lager. Agree with the previous reviewer who noted the site, metallic taste. Trying to get thru the six pack, but only left me with a headache and bad taste. Magic Hat always was hit or miss, but never this bad... Just noticed the addition of Rochester, NY to Burlington, VT on the bottle. No good beer has ever come out of Rochester, or the Genesee river. A huge strike out for MH. I will avoid from now on...

Photo of panajoe
1.73/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

A very bland ale with a muted skunky taste. Why does everything from Magic Hat have a skunkiness to them? Are they trying to be like the mass-produced beers of Canada? It's a brown bottle there should be no skunkiness.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a big fan of Magic Hat, but the name of the beer intrigued me, and it's not a bad beer. An orange color with a small head. It had a floral aroma, with some fruit (?pear) detectable. It had a sweet taste, nicely hopped. Fairly assertive. I would drink this beer again.

Photo of Todd
4.05/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1.375 pint bomber bottle. No freshness date. My bottle cap says "Ripper - Dipper - Zipper - Sipper".

Appearance: Pale golden in colour. Pillowy white foam head; good retention and stick.

Smell: A yummy spicy (ginger-like), hoppy/herbal, fresh and malty aroma.

Taste: Light-bodied, but even. Smooth and creamy. There's a calm malty sweetness (sugary) that ebbs its way across the palate. The beer then goes dry, crisp for a brief second then blends down with notes of ginger, strong "green" herbal flavours, oily woody hop character, wheat and mild husky tannins. Soft Ringwood characters linger in the background, but are tame in comparison to the rest of Magic Hat's product line -- a nice change. Finish is dry with tannins and has a semi-oily coating on the palate, with lingering herbal notes and paper.

Notes: From the back label: "The age of corporate mergers & acquisitions is dramatically changing the face of skiing in Vermont. The Mad River Glen Cooperative bucks the trend by remaining independent. Single Chair Ale is our 'tip of the hat' to the Co-op mission of maintaining their unique character for present and future generations."

What a great offering from Magic Hat. Totally surprised me. I love the character of this beer, especially the hints toward ginger. Truly unique. It too bucks the trend in many ways. Interesting flavours, easy drinking and brings a level of social awareness.

I could easilty see pairing this with sushi, or other fish meals.

Photo of TTripp725
2.65/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very disappointing. I feel that this beer has potential but it needs a lot of work. For starters its very watered down and lacks flavor

Photo of Jason
3.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date. Clear pale golden color, white head does its job of keeping together or at least as long as it takes to finish this brew. Smells of pears, dusty biscuits and delicate wild flowers. Ample crispness, very smooth with a lighter body. Clean palate, maltiness is a bit watery but with some chalky biscuit graininess. Mild fruitiness meets the modest bitterness from the hops. Dry finish.

Not too bad, easy to drink with a no frills attitude. If you are looking for something with a bit more oomph then this might not be your beer.

Photo of Billolick
2.63/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

32 ounce growler fill.

Pours light straw, hazed , unimpressive lack of a head, just a thin off white collar and no lace left behind. Boo

I cant smell a thing...Boo

Thin flavor, just the faintist hint of hops and malts.

Very unimpressed with this one. Never been a big MH fan, and I never have any sort of expectations for their beers, but this is truly a new low.

Photo of jondeelee
2.92/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Single Chair begins with a smooth, malty nose that bears a remarkable resemblance to hot buttered French bread--the quality kind served before a meal in fancy restaurants. Beneath that is a slightly sour (in comparison) layer of fresh wheat, smelling like wet wheat fields, as well as light, sparkling fruit esters such as berry and apricot.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a strong wheat and grain note, resembling biscuits, toast, and Grape Nuts cereal rolled into one, as well as a hint of rice cereal. A slight bitter bite at the edges tells of hops, but there is little taste to that hop presence. Very light fruit esters--again, apricot and berry--linger at the extreme edges. Mostly, however, the taste is grains, and the beer thus resembles sucking on fresh malt. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, while this is still far better fare than, say, a Bud, the beer lacks any distinctive characteristics, and also lacks diversity in its flavor profile. A few more sugars and fruit esters would have helped here, or at least another handful of hops.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a slender pint glass. "condoms prevent mini-vans" on the bottom of the cap.

pours out more of straw yellow color than golden with a slight haze. 1 1/2 fingers of white soapy head that faded to a ring a few minutes after the pour. no real lace to speak of. a decent amount of carbonation bubbles.

has kind of an artificial fruity apricot aroma very similar to #9. also noticable are some grains and maybe a hint of lemon citrus.

just a slight hint of the fruitiness found in the aroma, but not really apricots, maybe a light berry flavor? grains are there with some lemon citrus hops that provide just a bit of bitterness in the finish to round things out.

super light mouthfeel, just a touch watery. lots of carbonation.

overall, not really sure what to take from this beer. definatly wasnt brewed to be a pale ale, so im not really rating it as one. more of a blond/ golden ale. not something i would really buy again, but an easy drinker, that any beer drinker could enjoy.

Photo of far333
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow color, with a thin white head. Hoppy smell and very hoppy flavor. Pretty dry, with light hop bitterness from start to finish. Much more hoppy than I remember from having this when it first came out a few years ago. Very drinkable, could have many of these but the flavor goes stale after a handful. The coolest thing about this beer is that it commemorates Mad River Glen ski area, an old-time resort just down the road from Magic Hat in Waitsfield, VT. Mad River preserves the skiing experience the way it was before corporate America took over the ski industry, and still has the original single chair lift in operation that was installed in 1948 when the mountain opened.

Photo of ShrinerMcBitey
3.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 12 oz bottle with best by date on neck, hard to read. Pours light golden, cloudy suspension like. initial head a little better than 1 finger that settles down to a thin head but hangs around for almost the entire beer. Minimal, but some, lacing

S: Faintly floral, faint citrus

T: Kind of biscuity with slight citrus hop bite. Pretty well balanced. Malt mostly an undertone.

M: Slightly astringent but not drying. Good.

Overall I like this "Golden Beer". It's not super memorable, but is an easy drinker with enough flavors to keep you satisfied.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.6/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale golden color with a slight haze to it, egg shell white head forms nicely leaves fine speckled lacing behind. Aroma has a bit herbal hops, biscuit malts with a hint of rust/metallic edge, something earthy similar to the wacko beet infused beers aroma. Flavor wise it's a clean biscuit malt profile hints of herbal/earthy hops with a fruit malt driven light golden ale, pretty unoffensive at it's core. A beer I've never tried from Magic Hat and I've been trying their offerings since the early 2000s. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied sturdy carbonation somewhat creamy texture to it especially for a straight forward golden ale. Overall a decent easy going drinking beer that should be looked at for pure simplicity of the flavor. When you have had too many Double, Imperial offerings and you're ready for something you can have a couple of then grab something like this come summer.

Photo of chinchill
3.23/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle of very clear, golden ale that pours with a semi-durable head and a good amount of visible carbonation.
Both the aroma and the flavor are fairly light, as expected for style. Slightly sweet and made with more light malts than hops.

Feel: near medium body with lightly crisp medium carbonation.

O: a solid version of this pedestrian style.

Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This bright golden beer is opaque, pretty thick in the look. The head is a small whitish one that falls off after a bit. It has an effervescent quality, bubbling lightly the entire session, and lace is light to moderate.
The aroma takes a minute of warming to fully develop. Some soft white fruits flesh balance a dusty note with a certain spiciness. Hops are light, flowery but balancing off a bit of honey sweetness.
It's generally dry, and crisp in more than the feel, as it were. Something like ginger bites, but not too hard, and it has an herbal element. Hops get stronger as it goes, adding a woody, earthy and pithy bitterness against the dry malts and light honeysuckle notes. A hint of graininess and a ghost of cardboard sneaks into the finish, but not enough to taint too heavily.
When the bite calms from a heavy start, a good crispness remains consistent and it really smooths out. Soft carbonation makes it creamy, and the bite comes back at the end of each sip.

Photo of racer2k
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on draft

A - Pours a golden almost orange tinted color with very light lacing and an almost non existent head to this beer.

S - A light fruity aroma that is accented by a yeasty and bready tone to the smell.

T - Very light drinking beer profile with moderate carbonation coupled with a fruity bubbly profile.

M - Some nice moderate carbonation to this beer which creates a tingling sensation in the mouth feel. This sensation lingers for a bit.

D - Very drinkable session type of beer that has a nice light character and good flavor. This would be a great transition beer from a BMC drinker over to a craft offering.

Overall this is a nice refreshing beer from Magic Hat.

Photo of jmz62565
3.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this at the brewery in Burlington. This pours a clear yellow straw with a large 2 finger white foamy head. The smell is hoppy with some earthy floral scents, it's not all that strong. The taste is citrus hoppy with some slight malt sweetness that's very refreshing and good. The m/f is light,but the aftertaste is abit watery. This is a good brew that I can see having a few pints tailgating or at home watching football.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crackly, tight head of blinding white sits on top of a washed-out sunny yellow color. Looks very U.S. lager meets (very pale) Belgian pale ale. Tons of bubble activity.

Very clean floral aroma, but also straw, faint honey and a slight hint of sulfur. Grassy. I'm not thinking "American Pale Ale" at all, but then the bottle only says "Golden Beer," so I won't hold it to any style category. Cramming beers into small style compartments is dangerous business.

Light grass/hay, some honey, and earthy creek stone/mineral tones rule the flavor, but that's a generous use of the word "rule." Some pilsner-like sulfur hangs out too, while the hops are very polite, floral and crisp. "Understated" is the word. Although very bubbly, visibly and texturally, it has a lightness of body and a soft caress. About as nondescript in feel as it is in flavor. Ultimately it goes down without any trouble but unfortunately without much to shout about.

I don't know anything about Mad River Glen, which the label says Single Chair celebrates (a ski resort, I presume?), but I can't help but imagine it deserves better celebration than this beer. It's not bad really, just one of those Magic Hat beers I feel very "ho hum" about. It happens. Next.

Photo of Sammy
3.22/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat presents this in literature as a cream ale. Sampled at the brewery. Was OK, malty aroma, lace in glass. Hops, herbal, balanced. Spiciness.Golden colour. Tad of fruit and spot acidic. Served up quite fresh. Light mouthfeel. Nothing special for Magic Hat.

Photo of bamojr
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not my favorite beer from magic hat but it has a good clean taste. I am used to a more unusal flavors in a magic hat and this has a very standard flavor for a brew from them. It is a well rounded brew and has good flavors I just usualy get magic hat to have some intersting flavor combinations and I feel this beer let's me down on that front.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.76/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just got done gutting the grass and twisted a couple of Single Chairs into my 500ml glass. The color is golden clear with nice head which laces well. The lemony aroma is pleasent. The taste favors lemon citrus....could be considered closer to a golden ale. The mouthfeel is great and was a good drink for after laboreous effort. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of SouthFLBeerLover
2.65/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A very light yellow color with a bright white head.

T: This one tastes more like a Pilsner than an American Pale Ale. Very, very light boby, almost to the point of being watery tasting. Not what I would have expected from Magic Hat Brewing Company.

S: Not much there. Grains, very light malt and a subtle hint of lemon.

M: Not as crisp as one would hope. Lots of carbonation. Overall the mouthfeel is disappointingly light.

O: This is a big departure from Magic Hat's other beers in every way. I would definately not buy this beer again, since it tastes way too much like Bud, which I do not like under any circumstances. Luckily most other Magic Hat Brewing Company's offerings are very good. This one just is not one of them.

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Single Chair Ale from Magic Hat Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.