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Circus Boy - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Circus BoyCircus Boy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,551 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,551
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 17.75%
Wants: 25
Gots: 125 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,551 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weasbri
4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The most interesting beer from my Summer Variety Pack.
Poured a very murky golden color. In spite of swirling a bit before pouring to mix the yeast, it still settled in clumps to the bottom.
Faint yeast aroma, not much to it.
Complex taste to it, I'll see if I can pin down what's in there. Yeast is obvious, it lingers a bit afterward too. A bit of a slight peppery taste. Mild banana and citrusy fruitiness to go along with the obvious wheat.
Very nicely blended together, and right up there with my favorite summer wheat beers.

Photo of NoLiberty
2.55/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from a delightfull designed bottle into the glass. Very thick and VERY cloudy, almost more like pear juice. Circus Boy has a crispy head that quickly clears.
Aroma is of yeast, yeast and more yeast, more like rising bread dough than beer...not much else.
The taste is tart, yeasty and dough-like. Maybe I've got a bad bottle? Not refreshing like the good hefe I was anticipating. Reminds me of a first homebrew attempt.
Pretty weak body all around. Unless I hear otherwise from someone else I'm planning to stay clear of this one from the good folks at Magic Hat.

Photo of laintringulis
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a pubglass. Pours a frizzy golden color with large white frothy head that thins quickly. Light bodied, moderate, pleasant carbonation.

Smells of warm bananas, cloves, malt, and lemon.

Taste as smells, good malty earthy hit in the beginning with banana and clove appearing in the middle finishing with a light dryness. Very refreshing to drink. I would have preferred a thicker mouthfeel, but it was not watery. Nice balance and transition of flavors. Great session beer. start you lawn mowers!

Photo of asabreed
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Attractively unfiltered and thickly hazy yellow. A nice head sits atop and fades fairly slowly.

Smell: Some spiciness, sweet wheat malt, and lots of tartness and lemon. Some yeastiness is in there too. Alright, but could be much better. Wish there was more hops in the nose too.

Taste: Again, some spiciness, herbal lemon qualities, a bit of mustiness, subtle yeast notes, and fairly sweet due to the wheat malt I imagine. Finishes slightly dry where the hops finally come in, even though they're not extremely present in the nose.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation's a little sprawling, which lends itself to a bit of astringency, and at the beginning it's slightly slick with a decent crispness.

Drinkability: I like this style, as it's definitely closer to an APWA than a Hefeweizen. It takes some interesting liberties, and I made a session brew out of this. It may be too sweet for some, and this could be better, but for right now it's a pretty tasty brew.

Photo of beerdeity
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has the appearance of a hazy golden ale, but was missing the normal cloudiness of a weiss beer. I was unable to pick up much of an aroma, other than maybe a slight citrus. Circus Boy starts with a peppery bite, but smooths out to a citrus body, is very smooth, and has a mild finish. Not one of Magic Hat's best efforts.

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

The beer is fresh out of the growler which has been filled at the brewery today. It is in my newly acquired Circus Boy glass which is surprisingly just a standard pint glass rather than shapes more common for wheat beers.

The beer is hazy, yellow in color. White head disappears quickly leaving a thin cover that clings to the sides of the glass. Refreshing smell - lemon and grass. I guess it is fitting because the guy at the brewery mentioned that it was brewed with lemongrass. Refreshing taste with a nice bite. The taste builds up on the aroma. Light body, almost no after taste.

I find this beer very easy to drink. I don't think I'll be getting it a lot, but I will enjoy my growler.

Photo of villainchiwwin
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cloudy but bright orange (suspended yeast) with an orangey head that falls from great initial height to a stubborn centimeter, left some rings of lacing.

citrus smell, faint fried plantain comes through - orange seems to dominate, faint clove.

sweet citrus (lemon-orange) at first, then some clove over lemon-banana. silky smoothness gets spicier with some jostling from the wheat. a balancing measure of yeast floats in the background throughout and mild hops bitterness pins down the tail.

a brash, gung-ho, and thoroughly drinkable hefe that kicks around the tastebuds with balanced complexity in a wheat beer that doesn't bore.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy golden orange with a thin white head. The aroma has some citrus fruits upfront, along with a wheaty sourness, biscuity malt and a slight hint of ethanol. The flavor is initially malty with a sour wheat character upfront, along with some citrus fruits, biscuit, and some herbal hops. The mouthfeel is light and crisp with good drinkability. A tasty and drinkable pale wheat ale, great for a summer afternoon.

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

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a hazy medium amber color. Nice finger thick off-white head. Good Retention...good lace.

Aroma is wheat, and citrus dominated. There do seems to be some cloves present, and maybe a touch of banana....but the citrus dominates the nose.

Taste is very bready wheat. Some citrusy notes come through towards the back. Finishes with a nice, mild, citrus hop bitterness. Lingers for just a second..

Medium-body, moderate carbonation. Good balance. A little more hoppy than I was expecting, but this is still a nice crisp wheat beer. Label says it's a hefe, but given the strong citrus notes and hop presence it does seem more like an American Wheat.

Photo of Fish113d
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a chilled bottle into a pint glagg, this Hefeweizen pours a pale orange peel color with a fizzy white head, that quickly begins to dissipate. A lot of yeast floating throughout the body, with some settling on the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is mainly of sour citrus fruit (orange). Maybe a bit of spice on teh nose also, but nothing definite. Pretty boring really.

Sipping it, sour orange flavors hit my palate quickly along with some prickly carbonation that kills off some flavor due to the tingly bubbles. Again, some yeast flavors there, but rather boring for a weiss beer.

Like I said, the carbonation is prickly, and the body is refreshing. Decent feel really, but could improve with just a tad less carbonation.

This is quite easy to drink, but not in a good way. I could pound this stuff all night long due to the low abv, but the flavor and overall appeal isn't there for me. In my opinion, Magic Hat does a much better job of promoting and creating cool bottle labels than creating tasty brews.

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle.

Big, rocky head with pretty good retention. Cloudy yellow, slightly orange color. Smell is yeasty, wheat, and sweet. Taste is nice - sweet, a little fruity and tangy with maybe a touch of hops. Very smooth and refreshing with a light-medium body. Very drinkable and one of my favorite wheat beers.

Photo of Litterbean
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No real head, cloudy as hell, half-white half-yellowish.

Smells a little lemony, with bland wheat and grains. The smell is a little "meh."

Taste is lemony, but there's a bland grainy taste behind the fruitiness. A little hint of apricot in the end. A little chalky in the mouthfeel. Refreshing, but not that good.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Fluffy white head. Pale yellow and totally opaque!

S: Mostly citrusy hops but some wheat.

T: Citrus hops, hoppy bitterness, slight citrus on the finish, but quickly overtaken by malts. The malts and bitterness linger.

M: Somewhat full. Quite dry though.

D: Refreshing as expected, but dryness and lingering bitterness hurt here.

Not a hefe as it says on the bottle, but I like it. The dryness in this brew counteracts the refreshing effects. Not something I'd buy, but would certainly drink if offered.

Also note I made sure to dislodge and totally dissolved all the sediment into the beer before pouring, so there were no chunks floating or left in the bottle.

Photo of JMD71
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straw color towards gold. Nice head, but recedes quickly which I am not used to in comparison to its European counterparts. Little carbonation evident.

Aroma: Bubblegum, fruits & candy. Some flowery scents but little in the way or traditional wheat aromas.

Taste: Very flowery! Reminiscent of violets. Perfumy, with some lemony hints. No traditional similarities to hefe's that I can find.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied & highly carbonated although not apparent. Smooth, crisp & clean on the palette.

Drinkability: Easy drinking. Refreshing although the perfumy flavor detracts from its overall attractiveness.

Comments: This was a bit out of the rnage of an American wheat from my point of view. The flowery, perfumy flavor made it a kind of anomaly in comparison. I would drink again if in a mix 12-pack, but wouldn't buy on its own merits.

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

The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer is a hazy straw yellow coloration with heavy sediment. The head was almost non existant.

Smell: The beer has a bit of cloves and a whiff of banannas. The beer has a good wheat maltyness and citrus combo.

Taste: The beer doesnt really deliver on the tasting. The beer has an ok yeasty wheat combo. A flash of citrus breaks the flavor up. Not bad tasting I just want more.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is light bodied. The beer has ok carbonation. This is not a bad beer. I just wanted much more flavor and aroma from my beer. This beer is a ok beer drink. This is just not a top shelf beer.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe Magic Hat stuff is showing up in our local smalltown grocery store. I need to meet their beer buyer and shake his hand. I hope this is a sign of better things to come in Macroland, USA.

Pours a very large head, a few fingers thick. After a good swirl 3/4 of the way empty, that wonderful haze you like to see in a hefeweizen is present. Good dirty yellow color helps make this one quite a looker.

Aroma is largely fruity--peach, banana, pear--before giving way to clean wheat and wet hay.

Still a balanced mixture of wheat and fruit in the flavors, some lemon coming through (no, I didn't use a lemon wedge) and an earthy, grassy element. Must be the yeast helping to impart the tanginess. Seems even when they're not supposed to be, Magic Hat stuff leans toward the sweet side. Good creaminess in the mouth, though it thins out quickly.

An easy drinker, though I suspect this is yet another American wheat beer using the hefeweizen category too liberally. Still a satisfying offering, very likeable as long as you let it volley somewhere between the fruit beer, wheat beer and hefeweizen categories.

Photo of EPICAC
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw golden with a creamy fluffy white head.

Smell: Yeasty, grainy, light citrus, sweet but subtle bubblegum.

Taste: Grainy wheat, citric tartness, with a lemon zest bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, low carbonation that still manages to give a tingling sensation

Drinkability: Light and refreshing.

Overall: An okay beer, an easy drinker, but lacking in flavor.

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

Poured a ginger-ale banana golden color. The head wasn't spectacular, but it stayed in little island remnants for quite a while with some rimming.

My first impression was that it was modestly hoppy for a wheat beer, tinny with some bubblegum.

The head and also the beer has a bit of what seems at first to be a tinny zinc taste, and this has been my consistent impression with this beer. It's not overwhelmingly hop-ish in taste, yet the hops florals are present. But unlike a lot of beers with hops-presence, this one taste like actual fresh green hops-cones. Even a breath of the aroma has the same interesting flavor/scent.

I actually liked it a lot better after it sat for about 10 minutes. Hops florals and the wheat began to come through nicely in the nose. Unfortunately after it sat for about 30 minutes it had a strong nose of laundry detergent.

This is a nice drinking beer, although I suspect 2-3 would be my limit before I lost interest and moved onto something more interesting or less-accentuated.

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

12oz bottle: This pours a mainly cloudy golden color. It was a little fizzy, and suprisingly had no head to it. The aroma was OK, with some notes of banana, but mainly citrus and some wheaty breadiness. The taste has a suprising hint of bitterness to it. Some wheat flavor, with some malts to the body also. It had potential, but I think the circus boy was hanging out with the bearded lady instead of making a good beer.

Photo of scriabin
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beer with a strong personality, no doubt. The citrus aroma and flavor are very pronounced. Not quite a hefeweizen but then again american wheat beers seem to be gravitating towards the "hefeweizen" moniker lately even if the resemblence is a little far afield. But that is not to criticize the flavor, which I enjoyed. It is a great beer for a hot, swealtering summer night. It is on the sweet side but has a round, full flavor that definitely is one the ale side.

Photo of expatsteve
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I tend to think that whoever entered this beer did it a favor by listing it as an AMerican Pale Wheat. Unfortunately, MH call their beer "the Hefeweizen," which set me up for a little disappointment.

Appearance: Cloudy but dull golden orange. Big 3/4 inch head, dissipating quickly into light suds cover; low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Grassy, sharp citrus smell that was a little off-putting for someone expecting more hefeweizen bananas. Some banana and honey develop as it warms.

Taste: Thick grainy wheat finish with nearly no bitterness. Brief citrus burst on the middle palate with some lemongrass (though I can see why folks call it ginger). Sharp and a little acidic for the style - though this does compare well enough with a lot of pale wheat ales.

Mouthfeel: Pretty well spot-on for a wheat beer - full and a tad creamy, without being heavy. Medium carbonation is refreshing.

Drinkability: This is drinkable, sure enough, and even refreshing on a 99 degree day. But the odd sour flavor and lack of development leaves this a little flat. Not particularly offensive, but not much as a hefeweizen either.

Photo of aluskungs
2.83/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Is this a hefeweizen? Tastes more like an american wheat! On the bottle it's called a hefeweizen so I was disapointed that it wasn't what I expected.

Shake it up baby! This beer is unfiltered so get all that good stuff on the bottom in solution.

Pours nice, cloudy, bubbly, a bit of head, and good color. No smell? I couldn't really get anything. Zilch!

Taste is average. One can taste the wheat, some sourness and hop bitterness and something else (ginger?). The aftertaste is a ginger like burn, like ginger beer, but subtle. Leaves your mouth refreshed.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably not, I prefer a hefeweizen, but this could be a wheat beer for people who don't like wheat beer or a transition to something more...

Photo of veggiemafia
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a weizen glass.

Appearance is very cloudy burnished gold with yeast floaties. The yeast stays in clumps and sinks to the bottom. Definitely not an appealing sight.

Smell is nice. Fruity from the Amarillos, but a really nice grainy wheat presence, to boot. Little funky. May have not been stored properly? May just be a slightly funky beer.

Taste is similar. Nice hop spine but a grainy, sweet, wheat roundness.

Full-ish medium body. Carbonation/head formation and retention isn't quite what I expect out of an APWA, though.

Very drinkable. Dry, balanced. Not a bad effort.

Photo of Stubbie1
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pouring from the bottle, this brew is the color of straw yellow. Cloudy from the yeast a nice head appears on the top of the glass. Lacing is fair, aroma of yeast, lemon and fresh grass. Taste is a hint of lemon with the wheat in behind and the mild mustiness of the yeast. Nicely carbonated, smooth going down. Overall not bad. I find it hard to find a good American wheat beer. Some lack flavor , some lack everything. This one has enough to make it an good brew.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

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