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Circus Boy - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Circus BoyCircus Boy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,509 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,509
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 20
Gots: 98 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,509 | Reviews: 648 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdm46410
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle and served in a weizen glass. This beer poured an almost clear golden with a one-finger thick head of off-white foam that slightly lasted. Some light lacing was left behind. Didn't look like a hefe. The aroma consisted of wheat and a solid dose of lemon. Didn't really smell like a hefe. Very mild aroma. The flavor included a very tart lemony note and some faint wheat. No esthers or yeast notes. Didn't taste like a hefe. The mouthfeel was light-bodied and had moderate carbonation. Bland. Please stop calling your average American wheat a hefeweizen.

mdm46410, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of diabecktic
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll be quite honest - it doesn't look that appetizing. The beer is a cloudy shade of light orange with a pale tan head. Head formation and retention aren't that great, but the lacing is pretty good.

It smells like spiced wheat with a hint of lemon. The aroma reminds me of autumn, but it's not really "earthy" - more like crisp leaves. Upon further whiffing, the lemon scent seems to stick out a bit more than the other two. There is also a hint of yeast(iness?).

I'd say that the taste matches the nose pretty well, but it's not present in quite the same balance. The wheat character outweighs the others and is what hits you first. You then experience subtle lemon flavor that fades into a nice spiciness that isn't too overpowering.

It's slightly dry and a little on the lighter side for a hefeweizen (at least, relative to the ones that I can recall), but still a bit creamy. To me, this just makes the beer more stomachable.

Very easy - goes down quite well. Pounding these beers wouldn't be hard. It definately looks thicker than it actually is.

The bottle says it's "unfiltered and unfettered." Judging by its look, texture, and taste, I'd have to disagree with that but hey - it's not like it's bad. This just proves the age old adage: "you can't judge a book by its cover." Again - it definately tastes better than it looks. Try it for a slight variation on a good style.

diabecktic, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of Buggies
4.2/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pale yellow orange. The bottle claims that this is unfiltered, but I would have guessed it by looking at this one. It looks very clear to claim as unfiltered.

S: The smell is quite faint. But I could pick up faint spice and citrus. Though it is faint, what is there is quite nice.

T: The taste is interesting. A mild sweet lemon with just a slight spiciness. Slight little kick in the beginning that finishes quite nice. Very little after taste.

A very nice crisp refreshing beer. As far as drinkability goes, this one ranks high with me. It's just a nice crisp and clean beer that is just nice to drink. Nothing over the top.

Buggies, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of lpayette
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As I continue to purge my cellar of the majority of beers that I don't expect to age well, I am once again surprised that I've yet to review this beer. Perhaps it's because I think it's fairly underwhelming. Best by the end of November '08, so I guess I'm getting this one just at the end of freshness, but I am quite familiar with this one.

A- Pours a cloudy and pale yellow as expected with about a two finger head on a hard pour.

S- Honestly it's a little unpleasant. Wet dog is the predominant feature unfortunately. Hidden behind that however are some clovey and banana notes.

T- The taste isn't too bad at all. Certainly nothing immediately offensive, but that just makes this average or so. A little more intense scrutiny reveals what was hidden in the smell prior which is a subtle banana and clove 1-2 punch. But I like a little more fight in my wheat ales; unleash the character please.

M- Tremendously clean finish.

D- Scores fairly high on drinkability , except the smell really prevents me from wanting more than a bottle in a sitting at any given time. The beer just gets a little boring by about the 3rd or 4th sip in. I realize that I'm a little more critical with this beer than others... it's just because I know what MH is capable of and wish that this year-round offering lived up to what they could be.

So this is a highly marketable beer and MH gets some props whether you agree or disagree with their style. I just wish that this one had a bit more character. A little more yeast in the bottle, higher fermentation temp maybe?, something. Just give me some more flavor and I'll be happy, and I'd be willing to bet the masses would be OK with that too.

lpayette, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of cleeze
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is one of my favorite Americanized Hefe. The appearance is nice and cloudy. Give it a nice swirl and you'll really see nice things happen=) Very nice and thick head with sticky lace. Oh how i love good head.

As soon as I started pouring the brew I got an instant whiff of lemon (brewed with organic lemongrass) First taste was lemon followed by a smooth wheaty taste. I think the lemon might be little too strong and the brew could be a little more well rounded. But it's not overpowering yah dig? Overalll still one of my favorite american-hefe

cleeze, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of bonkers
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into an SA pint glass. Pours a hazy pale yellow with a monstrous head. The smell is uneventfull, a hint of spice. The taste is a bit lemony with a lingering sweet finish. A bit different from other Pale wheat beers in that it is not overspiced. The beer is light bodied, nice carbonation and very drinkable. Overall a decent wheat beer, a bit suprised on the lack of clove and bannana-but that may be a good thing.

bonkers, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of sliverX
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poored a cloudy pale yellow with a thick white head that lasted quite some time making a thick film by the end leaving much lacing..
smelled faintly of banana and but mostly of grains
tastes like a hefe should banana and slight cloves
has a decent body not thick but not water either
My first experience with this beer was at bonnaroo 08 and in 90 degree heat needless to say I put a ton of these away and was a perfect fit

sliverX, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into unbranded 19oz tulip pilsner glass.

Appearance: Cloudy golden color with bubbles around the side. A pretty thick white head that leaves a good lace.

Smell: Smells of citrus and wheat, with a slight breadiness.

Taste: Tastes bready, with hints of citrus. Slight bitterness toward the end.

Mouthfeel: Thin, with a sharp carbonation bite. Crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable. Not real sure why it's in a winter mixpack- seems more like something more suited for summer, but pretty good nonetheless. Nothing spectacular to be found here, but still a worthy brew.

Mosstrooper, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of UDbeernut
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in Feast of Fools Variety Pack

a: poured into pint glass, light yellow color, minimal head that has no retention

s: lemon, yeast, and wheat

t: lemon and wheat, somewhat sweet tasting,

m&d: good slightly gry mouthfeel and very easy to drink

Not a bad brew


UDbeernut, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice thirst quenching wheat ale/hefe blend. A big juciy lemon drop impression on the aroma and taste along with some juicy tangerines as well.

There is some spicy wheatiness evident as well....along with some very mild yeastiness (which is why I call this a blend)...not a full blown hefe but it has some subtle characteristics of a hefe.

Crisp and citrus laden...great thirst quencher....I'd drink this again...it has some depth between the spicy wheat and the juicy citrus...

ZAP, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of williamherbert
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The glowing banana yellow color of an unfiltered hefeweizen -- naturally. A big ol' puffy, white ice cream float head. Hazy with bubbles. Quite possibly the ideal look of a hef.

Heavy bready wheat aroma, balanced with some light banana/clove flavor. Crisp malt, even a tad lager-y.

Sweet taste with lemon/orange peel. Slight flowery hops. Sour at first when cold, then mellows as it warms. Hops fade. Pleasant enough, I suppose.

Water and smooth feel. Sits on the tongue. A bit dull. A good summery drink. Slight but pleasant. Tastes just fine.

williamherbert, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of damienblack
2.65/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an off-yellow with a lacy two-finger head. Smells like musty, almost dank lemons. Most definitely a better visual than smell. Tastes biscuity, with a bit of lemon "zest" in the finish. The body seems pretty watery, there really isn't a while lot behind it. Solid mouthfeel, the cloying aftertaste is the best part of the beer for me, if you can get past the initial smell-taste. It's crisp and well-carbonated, making it an easy drink. I just don't know if I would want to have another one.

damienblack, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of loosey
2.73/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

looks like a failed piss test... cloudy yellow, large bright white head of big bubbles that melts quick

aroma is lemony, wheat, spicy, but also something musty

taste is minimally sweet with a slight citrus flavor, i suppose lemongrass in there, finishes with a slight nutty harshness, like the little papery stuff that coats a walnut or maybe white pepper, not in a good way

mouth is light to medium body, carbonation is abundant

if this beer had mystical properties, or cured cancer i would recommend it... maybe even if it lowered sperm count as mountain dew is supposed to... as it stands however in all good conscience i heartily do not... i also advise against scratching your ears with your elbows and conversing with the mentally insane for more than 3 minutes per day

loosey, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of theghost3
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a thick, fluffy white head. The head and lacing are very interesting as it kind of sparkles--somewhat like soap bubbles. Smell is not real conspicuous--wheat with citrus and some yeast and faint hops. Taste is mainly wheat, lemon, and coriander/orange. Mouthfeel is very crisp. This is one of the most refreshing beers I've had, and I don't think it affects the flavor too much to serve it very cold.

theghost3, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soapy medium golden body, and an aggressive pour yielded two thick but brief fingers of bone white froth, with decent lacing. Lemony aroma with a restrained malty tint, and hints of spice, mainly ginger and a dash of pepper. I was hoping for a bit more. The taste improves matters, with a somewhat bolder malty backbone. In fact, the nice malt taste makes this rather unlike a typical Hefeweizen--less light, fuller bodied, but still quite smooth. This is rather good.

Smooth and effervescent, Circus Boy strikes a nice balance between smooth, taste Hefe and a malty ale. Like many offerings from Magic Hat, this is unusual to the point of being somewhat eccentric, but in a good way. Admittedly, hefeweizen is not my favorite style; it's not that I don't like it. Rather, it doesn't grab me to nearly the same degree as BSDA, Dubbel--really all Belgians--Barleywine, and DIPA. That said, Circus Boy is a good find and well worth trying, and I'm quite glad I grabbed the 12-pack with #9 and more. Quite good.

Gehrig, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of danielharper
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As usual with American-made "hefeweizen," this is actually an American Pale Wheat Ale rather than a true hefe. You can tell because they don't use a true German yeast strain that a real hefe would have, and therefore change the flavor significantly. I'm a huge fan of true hefeweizen, not so much for American Pale Wheats.

That said:

Appearance: Clear yellow-white body, nonexistent head. No effervescence, no yeast in glass.

Smell: A very mild sweetness, slightly yeasty. Some notes of citrus, mostly lemon-lime.

Taste: Very citrusy, strong notes of lemon and orange. Slighty dry on the finish, leaves a cloying aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Moderate, but coats the mouth well.

Drinkability: There are only a handful of American Pale Wheats really worth the time. This isn't one of them. If I hadn't gotten it out of a multi-beer pack I wouldn't have bothered with it at all. It's not unpleasant, and it goes down cleanly enough, but overall it's just not a beer I can feel strongly about. It's less objectionable than plenty of other APW's, for sure, but I won't be buying it again.

danielharper, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of thain709
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A beautiful golden hazy yellow...a white fluff head

S - Nose is full of wheat...and maybe some lemon

T - A very nice wheat beer...the wheat flavor is there...actually the taste follows the nose...good balance between all flavors

M - Not too bitter...medium body

D - I love this beer from Magic Hat...it was my first one and it will always be a favorite of mine

thain709, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy yellow orange. Thin dirty white head. Staying power is good. Lacing is moderate. Aroma is wheat, yeast and bright lemon zest. Flavor is pretty mundane. There's some citrus and lemon. Not a lot of yeast character. ( The bottle label claims "Hefeweizen" so I'd expect some yeastiness.) Some spicy wheat malt is noticeable. Carbonation is fairly high, which is to be expected. Good palate cleansing properties. Medium bodied. Decent enough, but nothing I'd need to return to. Even in the summer.

Bighuge, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle says Hefeweizen, but I'm going with BA and reviewing it as an APWA, because that makes more sense to me based on the flavor profile.

Looks pretty good, pale yellow body with lots of fast moving carbonation bubbles. Big white head that has some nice retention and leaves a good amount of lacing around.

Smells very nice lemony with some wheaty twang in the background.

Lemon up front with a wheaty twang next. Has an almost bready finish. Not complicated, but pretty nice.

Very thin mouthfeel, this one could use a little bit more body.

Pretty drinkable beer, much better than I anticipated.

Hojaminbag, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of rtratzlaff
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Circus boy poured into a weizen glass is a light cloudy yellow body under a three finger bone white head. What a great looking beer. The yeast from the bottom of the glass must be swirled in the weizen glass to get equal distribution throughout the beer.

Aromas are lemon and yeasty.

Taste is very crisp with a light wheat malt. Not a ton of flavor but what is there is pleasant. Quaffable, check. Tasty, check. A great easy drinking beer.

rtratzlaff, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle left over from an event at which it was donated. Thanks to ... someone ... for the opportunity to try this one. Poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale golden crystal clear body with a fuzzy one-finger snow-white head that fades quickly. Carbonation is incredibly fast but fine. Some little splotches of lacing are on the sides of the glass, but not too much.

Aroma: Mostly pale, powdery wheat, a little spice, and an almost solventy-smelling lemon zest. Like Pine-Sol or something. Not the most appealing smell, but, to be fair, I've never really minded the smell of Pine-Sol, at least relative to other cleaning solvents. But this isn't a review of Pine-Sol ...

Taste: Pretty simplistic, if inoffensive. It's essentially just wheat - simple, sweet, a little dry - and citrus zest, though it's not as lemony as the nose, with a little more orange coming through. There are also some neutral spice notes, either from the yeast or from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, crisp, and very, very uneven. Smooth, despite its crispness.

Drinkability: Not my favorite style, nor my favorite interpretation of the style. It's not terrible, and it's pretty inoffensive, actually, but I wouldn't reach for this one often.

CrellMoset, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of dedrinker
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy straw color with a fluffy white head. Mildly pleasant grassy lemon aroma. Slightly tart wheat flavor with notes of light grains and lemongrass. Light to medium bodied with prickly carbonation and more lemony tart wheat notes on the finish. This aint bad, but this aint hefeweizen like the bottle says. I would say it is rather pleasant. Enjoy between 11am and 4pm, or any evening over 70 degrees farenheit.

dedrinker, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of adamette
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at McNalty's Bier Markt in Cleveland, Ohio a few hours ago.

A Big head, yellow, forgettable body reminded me of a basic lager really.

S Trace malt, some wheat grains.

T Wheat, not much hops, reminded me again of a lager. Really sort of forgettable.

M Thin, light.

D Good but this beer is really forgettable.

Notes: Listed on the board at Bier Markt simply as "Circus Boy" which intrigued me (what could it be...some wild brew...) but it turned out to taste very pedestrian. I admit that I am not a big fan of wheat beers but I have had better Wheat Ales.

adamette, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer smells great and tastes like mostly-nothing. The aromas are all huge wheat and citrus fruit, nice sweetness. Then the flavor comes through as mild graininess and wheat, almost entirely overrun by the too-strong carbonation. A disappointment.

soupyman10, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of Kuemmelbrau
2.73/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

with a brilliant white head that is thick with near microscopic bubbles, and the color of a windy sand dune during sunset in the Sahara, this beer is only but a mirage for me- its lacing but veil of mediocrity

it smelled oh so mildly of bananas and band aids boiled in a barge full of wheat, and tasted a bit of the same; there was something off about it- no lemony zestiness or yeasty esteryness(?) and it was a bit on the sweet side- yet nothing was that mentionable ANYWHERE in this beer. What happened Magic Hat? {they are mysterious mistresses}

mouthfeel was not worth mentioning either ; ) so-so

although not terrible i would find another hefe-Weizen!

Kuemmelbrau, Sep 13, 2008
Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 1,509 ratings.