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Circus Boy - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Circus BoyCircus Boy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,374 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1374
Reviews: 647
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 17.65%

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Unfiltered and unfettered, Circus Boy is a unique and refreshing American-style Hefeweizen. Is he a who? Or a what? Or perhaps some of both? Be amazed by the flavorful haze of this wonderful wheat beer.

15 IBU

(Beer added by: Jason on 02-22-2006)
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Ratings: 1,374 | Reviews: 647 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale wheat yes, not a hefeweizen. Herbal Hoppy and some lemon, like a blend of a pale ale and a hefweizen. Moderate amount of wheat in the mouth A nice one, though light on the mouth. Yeast wheaty smell. Cloudy yellowness with white head.Good summer day beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 03:47:33 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.98/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky apricot with swirling dark clouds of just-disturbed bottom of the bottle yeast. The cap is ivory in color with a minimal orange tint and is creamy, firm and semi-sticky. Chunklets of lace adhere to the glass with something less than total commitment. Almost nothing sticks in the end.

It isn't often that one runs across an Amarillo-hopped American Pale Wheat. As a lover of that hop, I approve in a big way. Far from the usual ho-hum aroma of most versions of this style, Circus Boy's nose is orange fruity while not losing its tangy wheat center. The other half of the hop bill is Magnum, but I wouldn't have been able to pull that one out of my hat on aroma alone.

All I ask of an APWA is that it be different, that it be something other than bland and wheaty. Okay, so good is important too. Circus Boy is good. As in the nose, the tropical tangerine fruitiness is front and center. Another benefit to brewing a hop-focused beer of this sort is that there's plenty of bitterness to counter the wheaty sourness.

Actually, now that I think of it, why is this beer designated as an APWA? The label clearly states 'The Hefeweizen!' and a hefe weizen yeast is in use. To be fair to whoever entered it, it doesn't really taste anything like a true hefe. I might be able to pick up a little sweet banana (more than likely my imagination), but no clove finds its way to my taste buds.

The body is no larger than light-medium and the beer is finely, yet vigorously, carbonated. Both of those characteristics result in a drinkable--nay sessionable--ale. I could probably come up with a few suggested improvements, but the mouthfeel is really fine just the way it is.

Like most Magic Hat beer, Circus Boy is different. As far as quality, there is no brewery typical since their line-up ranges from the regrettable (#9) to the fantastic (Thumbsucker). As far as I'm concerned, Amarillo hops are the key to Circus Boy's success. Now if someone could only find the key to let him out of his cage.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2006 13:12:07 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decided to use this one to start off my day. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/25/2009.

The pour was very nicely done. Nice bright yellow in color with a rich head of white coming up and over the top. Lots of carbonation was evident even through the light haze. Light grain and banana aroma here, some small semblence of yeast as well. Smooth, clean, crisp flavor. Tight flavor profile came in as quickly as it left, leaving no real flavor on the tongue and only a modest aftertaste.

Overall while being quite the sessionable beer, the lack of depth and strong, pronounced profile leave it a tick above average. Still though, this would not be bad at all in a pinch.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 00:27:31 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy straw color with a very frothy head that leaves a nice pattern of lacing

Smell: Kumquat citrus and yeast aroma; interesting, but a bit murky

Taste: Harsh, peppery flavor from the start; lemony complexity after the swallow; pithy and tastes as if it was flavored with Angostura bitters

Mouthfeel: A bit thin but plenty of prickly carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting experiment but not to my taste; I had this on tap recently and enjoyed it a bit more and remember it as more like a traditional hefe than this

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 17:43:24 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect


2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The lable suggests that this beer would be a standard German Hefeweizen, but after a few sips (and confirmed by the appearance) it is evident that this beer is the inferior American Wheat. the pour brings a muddled golden, straw color with a head formation that falls between fizzy and froathy; but never hung around as it should. the scent is of bread, wheat malt, citus fruits, and a diry, musty aroma that I would later decide to be a deterant. Flavors of wheat malt and barley struggle to give the beer a decent sweetness or body over the tart citric acids. Lemons and grapefruit (not hops) govern the flavors, allowing a bruised-appricot flavor to prevail. Dirty tasting phenols gain intensity as the beer warms, leaving a musty, dusty, attic-like taste on the toung, particularly in the finish. Body starts firm, but finishes thin because of the acidity. Minerally to taste and interferes with mouthfeel. Not the best wheat beer for me, but I've had worse.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2008 14:03:33 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of metter98

New York

3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured hazy yellow in color into a weizen glass with a two finger high head that faded into a thin layer of bubbles that consistently covered the surface. A medium amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: Aromas of wheat are definitely present along with some hints of citrus, but there are also some sour notes that don't make this seem very appetizing.
T: The taste is mostly dominated by the wheat backbone and has some notes of lemon citrus. Little, if any bitterness from the hops is detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate level of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't difficult to drink and it's low alcohol content makes it very sessionable, although I wouldn't consider it to be very thirst-quenching.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 14:56:39 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale yellow body with one inch of creamy, snow white head. Highly effervescent.

Smell: Overall, a weak nose smelling of wheat crackers and with only the faintest notes of citrus and spice. For the finale, perhaps Magic Hat can pull a little flavor out of the hat and make my disappointment vanish into thin air.

Taste: Abracadabra! Crackery wheat malt taste with a brief sugary sweetness. Very light everything: lemon, spice, fruitiness, hop bitterness. Bland, watery finish with a crisp charge of carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Well carbonated, from the first sip to the last it's like a sparkling water.

Drinkability: Somewhat acceptable for a light, summertime beer, but the lack of flavor leaves me underwhelmed and the never-ending carbonation leaves me feeling like I've downed an entire six-pack, so I doubt I'll be hanging out again with C-Boy anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 16:52:14 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a a cloudy cross of lemonade and iced tea with a thinner white head that had no lasting power,at first the aromas struck me as unappetizing but after a minute it was better had like a wet grain element but the lemon and slight cloviness showed up after a minute.Wheat malt flavors are large here and toasted cereal grain with the lemon and clove taking a backseat although noticable mainly in the finish.You know its not half bad I am not a huge fan of American wheat ales but this has character a little rough around the edges but its worthy of having a few on warm spring day I think.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2006 23:04:57 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


2.48/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

I feel dirty drinking out of this glass, but it's what they have here, so c'est la vie indeed. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear straw topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises wheat, corn syrup, and very light lettuce. There's a palpable sweetness pervading. The taste holds notes of light funky wheat, old lemon peel, and a pinch of black pepper. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a surprisingly very dry finish. Overall, a pretty sad hefe. The yeast character is nil, the wheat is funky, and things just seemed generally off.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 10:31:09 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Basic American Wheat with some chutzpa.

When poured with a swirl of the bottle to rouse the yeast, it gives a very nice, cloudy yellow-orange (just like a peach) body beneath a short head of white froth. The lacing is decent.

The nose is a bit fuller than many examples of the style, and it offers some generic spiciness (a combination of black pepper and coriander/clove) and lemon, but some sulphur as well. Some chalky/nutty yeastiness is present too.

In the mouth it's crisp and medium-light bodied.

The flavor is as the nose sugggests, with a balancing acidity and bitterness. What malt is there is tame, and somewhat bland... wheaty, but almost cardboard-like at the same time - or is that just a cloak of yeastiness? Or maybe due to the pepperiness? The spiciness comes through clearly. No hop flavor is apparent, but it does have a kind of tea-like side.

It finishes chalky dry with a lingering note of lemon and pepper that hang on the tongue.

Interesting but not great. The bitterness seems slightly full for what it is. I'd rather see a touch more sweetness in play with the pepper and lemon. In comparison with other examples of the style, however, it's at least got some character to it. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2006 18:43:53 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of MasterSki


3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to SMason for this extra. Served in a weizen glass. Best before October '09.

A - Pretty typical weizen look - three fingers of creamy white foam that slowly dissipates to a thick cap. Hazed golden color that is a little lighter (more straw-like) near the bottom of the glass.

S - Smell is strong in tangy yeast, with lots of spice and a touch of lemony citrus hoppiness. Not really a ton of banana or clove in the nose here. Definitely more APWA than Hefeweizen - even though the label tries to convince me otherwise. As it warms the spicy yeast kind of takes over in a less than pleasant way.

T - Taste is a little cleaner, with some malted wheat and light notes of lemon, spice, and a yeasty aftertaste. It's OK, but nothing special - a step up from phony macro witbiers like Blue Moon or Shock Top.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium body - finish is a little heavier and stickier than I prefer from a wheat beer.

D - Nothing wrong with this brew. The lemongrass addition works well within the flavor profile and doesn't seem overtly gimmicky. Low ABV and solid taste make it inoffensively drinkable.

Magic Hat seems to be moving towards capturing the craft beer entry-level market, which isn't overly glamorous to veteran BAs but is probably important to the long term health of craft beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 18:25:27 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a mildly hazy, pale yellow with a foamy white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: A lemon & wheat aroma with a background of malt and yeast and a slight hint of alcohol.

T: It has a mild but hearty wheat & malt flavor with a touch of lemon, well-balanced taste that stays consistent from beginning to end and a very faint lemony malt after-taste.

M: Very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation and a clean, slightly dry finish.

D: This is an easy-drinking, poundable kind of beer, due to the smoothness and mild flavor. This was decent beer. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s perfect for the beer-drinker looking to take their first step out of the macro rut.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2006 03:35:42 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought this as part of 12 pack variety down ar Kure Beach, NC, BBD of 1 Sep 07, consumed mid-July

Poured a hazed amber with 1' of offwhite head. Zero head retention or lacing

S: Slight sour notes & some apricots

T: Apricots & apples with some hop bitterness up front. Slight peppery notes as this warms. Finishes dry with apple peels & more apricot

Drinks average, even in real hot weather, not one to reccomend IMO. Revised my scores up alittle bit seeing the wasn't a hefe, otherwise I'd just say avoid at all costs...

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2007 05:31:47 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pale and wheat malt scent that has a nice lemony zest and yeast earthiness. The taste is decent also. It has a crisp, wheat bite with loads of lemon zest and a somewhat earthy finish. There are some hops present to round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This a refreshing beer that is highly drinkable, but it's low on my list of wheat beers on the market.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 16:47:21 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000


3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is wheat with some grain notes as well as a little bit of pepper. The flavor is heavy on the lemons, oranges and wheat with some pepper notes. Easy to drink and actually quite enjoyable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. One of the better Magic Hat beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 04:23:52 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden yellow color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left little to no lacing.

S - It smelled of lemon and cracked wheat. Nice aroma.

T - It tasted of wheat, spices (corriander), lemon and some yeastiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice wheat beer. Glad I finally got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 12:31:29 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85


4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have a friend who loves Magic Hat beers but hates this one... I still struggle to see how that can be. For me Circus Boy is a top choice when it comes to Magic Hat. I had this for the first time back in March 2008 and I really enjoy it ever since. The beer poured out as a nice hazy yellow color, much like a Hefeweizen should look. The head was fluffy and white. The smell of the beer has a nice clove, banana, and wheat aroma coming off of it. The taste has the banana and wheat flavors through out the beer. I never tried this with an orange wedge but I'm sure that's pretty good too. The mouthfeel is light and creamy feeling, very drinkable summer brew. Overall I really enjoy it, I like having it on hot days or anytime for that matter.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 04:05:32 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clouded yellow with a thin white head.

The smell is of light banana-like fruitiness. Wheat tang.

The taste is of crisp wheat and light banana.

Light and refreshing with some creaminess to it.

A decent brew for the style. Easy and tasty enought to be "sessionable" on a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 16:55:48 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a heavily clouded orange blossom honey hue with a large off white head at least two fingers deep leaves uneven bands of lacing with each sip. Aromatics slightly tart accents from the wheat additions here absent today are all of the yeast highlights of banana clove and vanilla from the typical hefeweizen definitely seems more of an American Wheat. Touch of citrus in the nose with some bready doughy yeast and malt tones not so much sweet in smell but gristy and bread like. Flavors sharp wheat with powdered yeast doughy notes and finishes with citrus and herbal hop tones nothing overpowers here all aspects of the beer are blended well. Kind of a let down if your expecting a tasty hefe but nonetheless a solid American Wheat pretty satisfying. Mouthfeel prickly carbonation tickles the throat body is light not watery has some substantial protein body here from the wheat. Drinkability is decent like I said seems bland to me but better than most American wheats with any fruit additions out there, definitely refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2007 13:49:14 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy pale yellow color with a decent 1/2" head that slowly fades. Some spots of lace develops. Limited carbonation bubles slowly rise to the top.

Smell: dull citrus and grass.

Taste: a mild but quite dry grainy wheat tone is paired with some soft lemon zest, lots of fresh pepper, and green grapes. Noticeble bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: light-medium in body. Lightly crisp and dry throughout. Not as clean as I would like to see, as the flavors tend to stick to the tongue.

Drinkability: not very impressive to me. I like my hefe's more crisp and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2006 21:31:30 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly clear for a wheat beer (slight haze); Gold color; light lace on the glass side. Moderate head with excellent lasting power.

Crisp smell; aromas of lightly toasted bread; biscuity.

There's a slight sourness to this beer. Strong spicy and bitter finish. Very little wheat flavor compared to most of this style. High carbonation; decent body.

This is a lighter beer; it's quenching and easily finished.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 01:23:22 | More by smcolw
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

advertised as a hefe, this i think is mych more of an american wheat beer hybrid style. pours a slightly cloudy yellow color with visible yeast bits and a nice lacy head. smells fruity and malty, mildly spicy aroma. taste is very refreshing, noticable lemon or lemongrass element and a nice yeast flavor. very well carbonated and lighter bodied makes it a crusher in the summer, but this beer is good any time of year. one of magic hat's most popular beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 17:59:44 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tempest


3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow, barely hazy. Nice white head though. Smells of lemon and with a little yeast and sour wheat. Taste is pleasant but lackluster, there are hops somewhere in there, some sweet wheat malts, some more sourness and citrus. Easy drinking, but not that enticing to have many more. Its a pretty pale wheat beer, something for the uninitiated maybe.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2006 22:38:41 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak


3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased a six pack of Circus Boy for tryin' purposes in State College, PA.

Appearance: The ale is a hazy yellow-orange color. It poured with a nice ring of head that left a patch of lace on the glass.

Smell: The ale has a wheat aroma, with little yeast/ester characters.

Taste: The wheat malts dominate the flavor. I hoped for a bit of banana or clover, but those flavors are very hard to find. This is very refreshing, but it is more of an American-style wheat ale.

Mouthfeel: The ale tastes very well and does not overpower the tastebuds. The lack of banana esters hinders it.

Drinkability: The ale is surprisingly good (when I think of other magic hat ales, that is). The wheat gives it a refreshing quality that is perfect for the summer months.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 22:22:51 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium


2.65/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Pours pretty clear for an unfiltered wheat beer; bright golden color with a tiny layer of bubbles for a head. Light and grassy aroma, that follows through in the taste, with a bit of mild, sweet citrus. Goes down easy without the acidic bite characteristic of many other wheat beers. Thin, but fairly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2011 21:26:33 | More by Rifugium
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Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,374 ratings.