1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Circus Boy - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Circus BoyCircus Boy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,551 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,551
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 17.75%
Wants: 24
Gots: 123 | FT: 0
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)
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Circus Boy Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,551 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tone
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, golden color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of yeast, wheat, slight orange, and some grain. Fits the style of an American Pale Wheat Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of citrus, yeast, tart malt, and slight metallic. Overall, high carbonation level hurts drinkability as does the metallic sharpness.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a clear gold with just a whisper thin white head.

Aroma of banana, clove, and lemon zest.

Sadly, the taste doesn't deliver what the aroma promised. Thin and watery with light flavors of banana, yeast, and orange pez.

Light bodied, thin and wet, and sharply carbonated.

All-in-all a very average hefe from Magic Hat.

Photo of irishking1977
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of a mixed 12 pack. For some reason or another, I've felt compelled to review the selections available in the 12.

A: Hazy dark gold with a slight head. A bit of lacing, but otherwise an average looking beer.

S: Clove and banana are usually the basic descriptions for a Hefeweizen. Though the label on the bottle says, "The Hefeweizen," I'm inclined to agree with B.A. that this is more likely an American Pale Wheat Ale. Semantics aside, Circus Boy does not have the scent of bananas, but more of a combination of faint wheat and clove.

T: Clove and wheat appear to be the dominant tastes; it kind of reminds me of an American interpretation of Franziskaner's Hefeweizen, without the banana or typical Hefeweizen feel.

M: The mouthfeel is really what compels me to compare this to Franziskaner's hefeweizen. It has a remarkable and noticable creamy mouthfeel that is found in Franziskaner's.

D: Decent drinkability and could be a session beer in the summer months. The problem is that the mouthfeel is so creamy, that it could become irritating after the third or fourth in a row. Otherwise, it's a pretty good option for a wheat beer.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a hefeweizen glass the beer was a pale gold color with two fingers of fluffly white head. Lots of streaming carbonation ran up the sides of the glass and the head retained well.

The nose has orange and lemon flavors with a subtle yeasty aroma and faint traces of hay.

The citrus flavros grab the palate first with fait orange and lemon flavors. This gives way to grasy note that has a light and crisp finish. Yeasty finish that close the authentic couterparts.

Medium to light body with very high carbonation.

A solid drinkale beer that would be welcome on a hot day. Crispy carbonated and all around pretty good.

Photo of Winter
2.6/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours golden yellow with a fizzy white head. Bready wheat malt aroma with a feint hop spiciness and the illusion of lemon citrus. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. This is a crisp hefeweizen. It almost reminds me of a pilsner with less bitterness or a blonde ale, even at that. There's no banana. No clove. No fruitiness that's typically associated with a hefeweizen. There's some bitterness that emerges toward the back from the hops and lingers into the finish. Overall, not much to speak about.

Magic Hat has classified this beer as a hefeweizen and if that's the case this is off the mark quite a bit. It's still a drinkable beer, nothing spectacular, but if you're looking for a beer of this style, this is clearly not it.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a variety 12 pack that one of my brother in laws buddies brought over while we were helping them move. Out of a 12 ounce bottle and into a tumbler. Appears a cloudy pale yellow color with about two fingers of bone white foam. Nose and flavors are of tangy lemon, toasted wheat, yeasty, bready, more citrus, mildly spicy. Medium bodied with ample carbonation levels and a somewhat sweet finish. My least favorite out of the 12 pack.

Photo of tdawgydog
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Circus Boy is one of my favorite American Micro Hefe's.

A - A nice cloudy yellow pour with a good two finger head that dissipates to leave a nice lining no the glass
S - The scent is a little off, almost smells a little sour
T - The lemongrass taste really comes through as the dominant flavor of this beer.
D - It's a little thin in the body but the taste more than makes up for it.
M - Well carbonated, goes down smooth. Could spend an evening with a six pack of circus boy.

Photo of chickencoop
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold with a light head. Smell has a tinge of banana, but a dominant malt characteristic.
Taste was fruity with a carbonated fizzy mouthfeel throughout the experience. A very clean drinking experience throughout.
This is a very drinkable beer, almost too drinkable on a sunny day. This is one of my favorite of the limited Magic Hat beers i've had.

Photo of corby112
2.63/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark golden yellow color with ripe banana notes and a thin fizzy white head that quickly fades into a very thin ring. Nothing in the way of lacing.

Citrus spicy aroma with hints of orange and lemon peel as well as some peppery lemon zest, biscuit malt and subtle hops.

Flavor is pretty bland and again has hints of lemon zest, citrus lemon peel, pepper, biscuit subtle hops and a sweet dry finish. This beer was mediocre in every aspect and I would avoid it in the future.

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Night of the Living Dead variety pack poured into pint glass

A: A pale, cloudy, yellow, golden, tan color, it's darker than straw but kind of a strange hue, head is light and diminishes fast, would have liked more

S: Wheaty twang is definitely present, also some sweet citrus notes, lemon and maybe orange, its not terribly pleasant though, it smells kind off balance for some reason

T: Better than the smell, the flavors seem to blend better than the aromas, that nice wheaty note remains and a definite citrusy lemon comes through, a little different, but it didn't wow me

M: Spritzy carbonation lightens it up, but it still retains a smoothness also, pretty refreshing and maybe one of its better aspects

D: Again, not bad, but not overly impressive, nice and light, it grows on you

Notes: When I took the first whiff something seemed a little strange, and that still holds true, its interesting because it is definitely a little different than a typical wheat beer or hefeweizen, but they didn't quite nail this one for me. The taste is good, but not great. Overall a solid above average beer, but nothing to write home about.

Photo of allengarvin
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a moderately hazy dark straw color with a slight head. The aroma is faint and pretty neutral--some wheat malt is all it has going for it. The taste is more interesting though, with whatever yeast used producing a lot of fruitiness, together with a pleasant tartness that makes it very refreshing. The finish is tart and lightly sour.

Photo of beeragent
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a slightly hazy yellow, forming a 1/4 inch white head that quickly fades. No lacing is visible on the glass.

S - Malted wheat and lemon dominate the nose. Very light.

T - Slightly fruity wheat malt coats the palate, leaving a lemony flavor in the finish. Not too much going on, and no noticeable hop presence.

M - Not quite medium bodied but not light either. Very clean and smooth finish. Good amount of carbonation remains throughout.

D - Good flavor and low ABV makes this a very sessionable ale. Definitley a summer beer.

Photo of deapokid
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright neon yellow liquid (not a pilsener yellow, a yellow of the citrus kind) with limited head and bubbly carbonation.

Scent is ginger all the way with a touch of wheatiness and a hint of sweet cream on the finish. Traditional banana esters aren't present, but these aromas are pleasant enough.

Tastes range from ginger to lemongrass to coriander. This doesn't really seem like a Hefeweizen to me and I'd say it has more in common with Hitachino Nest's Ginger Ale than a German hefe.

As the beer goes down, it tingles the tongue and boasts an intriguing sourness that could be chalked up to lemon zest.

This is really easy to drink, probably due to its ABV and Summery vibe, but this is not "The Hefeweizen" that the bottle claims it to be and those seeking such a thing should definitely look elsewhere.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12oz. bottle. Has a cloudy, light brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus and spices. Taste is lemony, some grains and spices. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good selection.

Photo of morimech
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice looking beer with its cloudy golden color and large white head. Some lacing is left on the glass as the head recedes and the beer is consumed. Unfortunately the aroma and flavor are not what I look for in a Hefeweizen or Wheat Ale. The lemongrass is too prominant and the typical wheat beer qualities are suppressed. Feels nice while drinking because of a soft texture. The body is light without being watery. The flavor is not my thing so I will not be buying this beer again.

Photo of Tee76
4.65/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice bright yellow color,with a great thick head.

The smell was very lemony with a solid citrus punch

The taste was that of lemon grass type of herbal tea, perfect lemon taste without being to citrusy

Light to medium body, with decent carbonation

I was able to taste this when i bought Magic Hat's "Night Of The Living Dead" 12 pack sampler, out of all the beers i expected this one to be the lightest and weakest of the bunch.But it surprised me!! really good beer, careful it could get addictive and you'll find yourself drinking more then you planned on.

Perfect for a summer's afternoon

Photo of craftaholic
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz into a traditional pint. Poured a somewhat muddled golden honey hue with about a half finger length head that has minimal lacing.

Smell: Has quite the faint aroma. There is a mix of wheat and subtle touches of grain but nothing overpowering. Has a very 'dry' scent with grassy background hints and a whiff of acetaldehyde.

Taste: The taste is where this brew finally shines. There is a big grainy backbone that the touches of lemongrass ride on. It tastes much like a wheat beer with the signature cut lemonwedge tossed in. There is no banana or real doughy characteristics but rather a nice tart citrus that plays nice with a thin wheat.

Mouthfeel: Quite thin but rather creamy, coats the mouth with an emollient layer of yeast. Has minimal aftertaste and at no point is bitter.

Drinkability: Easy to drink and is really crisp and refreshing. Sessioner for summer or substitute for a pale ale when you want a wheaty consistency.

Overall: It no longer is listed as a hefeweizen and within its newfound 'pale wheat' it is par for the course. Purists may not enjoy the added citrus but it is put together in a rather balanced matter.

Photo of Tballz420
4.08/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty hazy dark golden color. Small white head takes off pretty quickly. Very nice wheat beer smell, lots of banana and clove. Nice wheat malt, lots of the nice ancillary wheat beer tastes, banana and clove. A bit acidic on the tongue but pretty creamy overall in the mouth. Very refreshing drink, i like it

Photo of skinny0ne
2.45/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Circus Boy is Magic Hat's Hefeweizen. It has a deep golden color with a hint of amber. The head is fizzy and subsides quickly. The aroma is very plain. Mostly just boiled hops. No straw, hay, or bread. It's definitely a sweet brew. It starts sweet and the honey-ish flavor stays on the edges of the tongue. From the mid to the back there is a bit of coriander and spice. But the flavor stops about there. Just like the aroma, this hefe is missing the core components. No earthiness. No breadiness. No citrus. And too sweet for what it's trying to be. The positive is that it is very easy to drink. But that's about all I can say about it. Magic Hat has much much better stuff. This is disappointing.

Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale and cloudy yellow, very short-lived eggshell head

S: Wheaty, grainy aroma; nothing very strong comes through. Apparently, there was little to no dry hopping here. Little to no grassy notes and very few (if any) fruity esters.

T: Also a grainy flavor. Dry finish. Moderate hoppy bitterness but very little in the way of citrus flavor or smell; perhaps some hoppy spice. Less of the yeast than expected for a beer labeled as hefe. No banana coming through as others suggest.

M: A higher carbonation bite. Light and smooth. Very clean after-taste. Low astringency also suggests low hopping rate.

D: Very drinkable. Goes down smooth, crisp and dry. Not too much in the way of depth of flavor or complexity, but fairly good characteristics for the style.

Overall: Good summer or gameday drinkable beer.

Photo of ommegoose
4.33/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't have a weizen glass, so substituted a tulip. Could not get the classic look, but came out okay. Nice color, more yellowy than orange. Good yeast consistency with no chunky floaties. Frothy head. Appearance consistent with a hefeweizen, but not as glorious as the best of the bunch. Retention is not top-notch.

Lemony, wheaty aroma. Herbal, grassy hops. Lemon kind of overpowers any banana you might expect to find.

The lemongrass plays quite a role here it seems. It tastes lemony and grassy. It is amazingly like a nice herbal tea. I suppose purists will frown on what is basically a hefe with a lemon wedge already tossed in. But this is no longer listed in possibly the most rigid beer style, and there's room to do something different. Banana notes aren't really to be found. Maybe a little creeps in late. The grassy aspect is nice. Really adds to the crispness, with a very light bitterness. Slight wheaty tart plays well with the lemon. This beer tastes fresher than it probably is. Finishes like herbal tea. I find this very refreshing.

Not overcarbonated. Pretty light bodied, but not in a bad way. It's only 4.4%.

Funny how when I bought the Magic Hat pack, I liked this best, and thought the Odd Notion was a bomb. I wonder if the scores are relatively poor because the bottle says "the hefeweizen" and people really have a stick up their butt when it comes to what is and isn't one. This style is populated with APAs made with wheat, and what are more or less American-style hefeweizens. Of the latter, this is of the better ones. Certainly a breeze to drink.

Photo of VTaler
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into chalace
A - Very Cloudy yellow bronze color with decent frothy head that goes away after a while. Nice lacing
S - Not a very strong smell but there is floral hops followed by fruity banana esters. You can also smell the sweet malt
T - First taste is the fruity esters. It tastes like a combination of apricots and bananas. The wheat is there but not as profound as in other wheat beers. The floral hops mix nicely with the fruity esters. There are clove note and a little bit of lemon notes. Could have been better with a little more yeast character and hops. I've had quite a few of these styles and this one is in the middle as far as wheat and estery and hop flavors go. It's a pretty well balanced beer. As an aftertaste similar to a lager like a pilsner or a adjunct lager but also combined with a wheat aftertaste so it is not that bad.
M -Very light mouth feel with a lot of carbonation.
D - Pretty drinkable, not surprising for such a low ABV and light body.
Also this beer is 4.4% abv NOT 5.5% and it should be called a hefeweizen not an American pale wheat ale

Photo of jjanega08
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A= pours a nice hazy yellow color with a pretty amberish color down the center of my glass. Actually a really cool color. There's a nice three finger meranigue head that unfortunatly doesn't last as long as I hoped. The lacing doesn't stick either and just sort of falls.
S= wheaty and maybe a little clove maybe a small lemon spritz but no bannana.
T= really odd flavor. Its labeled a pale wheat which I would say it most represents but the bottle says hefe which I also can understand only to a lesser extent. There's a light wheat character up front and quite the clove flavor in the middle but that is all swallowed by the spritzy lemon flavor. The finish is wheat.
M= pretty good. Not too carbonated. Smooth and crisp.
D= decent. This beer confused and intrigued me. I'm not sure what style to judge it on. It says hefe but here it says pale wheat. I think it falls more into the pale wheat area but either way its pretty enjoyable with my dog on a hot late summer day.

Photo of elniko
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into weizen glass. Bottle marked by best by October 2009.

A: High carbonation, poured with less head than I would expect from hef. Glowing amber with some murky qualities.

S: Really strong lemon, zesty qualities. Definitely the strongest lemon tones I've ever got from a wheat. Still some wheat and grass qualities in the background as well.

T & M: Lemon tones from the nose come through in the taste as well. Pretty thin bodied with watery mouthfeel which I've encountered with all the Magic Hat brews that I've had thus far. Some almost tea like qualities as well which is a new one for me with a wheat. Finish is crisp with the carbonation qute apparent.

D: Drinkable, but there are definitely better options out there. Wont be seeking again.

Photo of TexIndy
2.65/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weizen glass. Best by notches of 10/09 on back label. Was a hazy yellow color. Lots of carb streams and some lacing. It had an average sized white head that settled into a thin foam and collar.

The aroma was wheat, lemon, clove and pepper. Didn't mix very well for me and wasn't very appealing. The taste followed the aroma with the pepper spice jumping way out in front. Unfortunately, the pepper overwhelmed the other flavors and left a bad aftertaste as it was too much. Felt like you needed a sip of water to cleanse your tongue.

Overall, a disappointment as I'd heard good things about this one. Could be something if they toned down the spice and upped the lemon. Don't recommend.

Rotation: one and done - better out there. Maybe on tap if down to this and BMC.

Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,551 ratings.