1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

1,498 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,498
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 20
Gots: 92 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Circus Boy Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,498 | Reviews: 648 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aquatonex
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another quality offering from Magic Hat.

Pours cloudy with a hint of orange, and a bunch of yeasty chunks that I let settle and made sure NOT to drink (yuck!). Otherwise, it's unfiltered so that's normal. It's got a nice foamy head on it also, moderate lacing and carbonation. Smells of light fruits (bananas), yeasts, and malts. Taste follows well with a refreshing light sweetness and acrid yeastiness with smooth malty foundations. Easy drinker.

aquatonex, May 14, 2006
Photo of cubedbee
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, best by the end of May, poured into an imperial pint glass, this is a deep hazy gold with a huge off-white rocky head that takes it's time to subside. Scattered fingers of lace. Nose is a subdued clove and wheat mixture, and a slight lemon note. Taste is a grainy wheat with an almost tart lemon, finishes with a very gentle spice note. Bit on the thin side of medium. This is a decent easy drinking beer, but nothing really stands out, and this probably isn't a beer I'll purchase again.

cubedbee, May 12, 2006
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy straw hue with swirling and churning darker sediment. A two finger head with good retention and lacing.

The smell was rather complex. A nice clove type spiciness with a lemon tartness.

The taste was spicy and lemony as well. It seems that Magic Hat has taken the trouble of adding the lemon for you. The beer finishes with a strong lemon tartness.

The mouthfeel is nice and clean. Finishes dry due to the lemon element.

A very drinkable and enjoyable hefe. I just wish it was a little hotter out.

plaid75, May 12, 2006
Photo of RedChrome
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a weizen glass and was unimpressed. The wasn't much of the murkiness I think of when I remember my favorite weizens.

I also was not impressed with the aroma of this beer, while I did note some wheat aroma, I was overtaken by a very pungent odor of plastic. It was almost like attempting to smell a loaf of wheat bread through the bag. It poured with a large fluffy head, which dissipated quite quickly.

The flavor was only average without some of the fruity notes I have seen in other beers of the style. It tasted like eating a slice of very yeasty wheat bread.

The beer also didn't have the full feel I expect in an unfiltered beer, and only left an average impression.

Overall, I have to say, this is just another average effort from a brewery that has yet to life up to the hype I hear of their work.

RedChrome, May 11, 2006
Photo of Gavage
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Gavage, May 05, 2006
Photo of ski271
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

How appropriate, the circus is in town this week. Good time to try this beer. Lots of sediment in this one. A careful pour produces a cloudy but vibrant amberish-yellow beer with an off-white, foamy, medium-sized head that quickly diminishes to a thick film. The smell is mild and sweet with plenty of fruit, most notably apple and white grape, with light citrus and berry. Reminiscent of champagne. Some mild grain and slightly off-putting yeast. Tastes kind of like a wheat wine cooler. A little less fruity than the nose while still remaining vinous. It’s fairly thin and lively with a finish that turns a bit bready, followed up by a chalkiness very late in the finish. Definitely a different one and worth trying out their interesting take on the style.

ski271, May 05, 2006
Photo of ism
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz from Joe's Garage, poured into a hefeweizen glass, which contained the voluminous fluffy white head atop a pale gold body that doesn't get properly cloudy until you dump in all the nice yeasty gunk at the bottom of the bottle. Retention is good and the lacing is sudsy. Subdued wheat in the nose, and more of the ticklish spice, with phenol hints, and a slight lemon citrus. Gentle carbonation, medium body, just nice and mellow. Wheat flavors are rather subdued and there's a rather pronounced lemon zest that zings in the aftertaste, mixed along with spice. Going down, there's a dry hop pull, slightly piney, that imparts a nice bitterness as well.

I agree with the BA categorization. There's aren't any characteristic banana and cloves, and the hopping leans towards PWA. It's a PWA with lemon citrus, basically.

Starts out pretty nice but by the end, I'm thinking I'm ingesting lemon Pledge. Still, pretty good for a hot day and in that odd Magic Hat tradition, has crossover appeal.

ism, May 05, 2006
Photo of oelergud
2.38/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Golden cloudy body with a tint of red. Good carbonation and a white undulating head, not much lace but ok retention.
This has a raw smell, not like any other hefe I've had. Sour mash and some licorize notes but not in a pleasant way.
Taste is not a hefe. Some hop present but not much, aftertaste is ok. No discernable malts here.
Mouthfeel is grainy which is good for the style but also dry which is not. Little coating.
Drinkability is not too high.
This was a disappointment from a brewery I've heard so much good about.


oelergud, May 05, 2006
Photo of dippy
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I would like to preface this review by saying that I am not a huge wheat beer fan. I like them but not love. I started to annoy my girl the other night because everytime I took a sip I had to say, "Goddamn, this is good beer". I paired it with grilled filet mignon, asparagus and roasted potatoes. Bloody delicious.

Poured a nice finger and a half head. THe beer was a bit more pale than most beers i drink.

Smelled a bit citrusy on the top, nothing crazy, but it got my mouth watering a bit.

Mmmm, so f-ing good. It has a real clean, crisp taste. A bit lemony (I didn't pair it with any fruit as it is not my custom).

This beer was good to the last drop. Some very light lace was left on the glass, more like a film.

I will make this beer a regular at my bbqs this summer.

dippy, May 04, 2006
Photo of SixpointJMH
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't expecting much out of this brew, but I ended up really enjoying it quite a bit.

It pours a nice cloudy, somewhat murky gold colour with a puffy, wticky white head.

The aroma is spicy, with some wheat and hops thrown into the mix, along with some sweet fruit (lemon) notes as well.

The flavour is very much along the lines of the aroma. It starts out peppery and spicy then moves into a juicy fruit/wheat mix in the middle before combining all three elements at the finish for an almost herbal flavour. The mouthfel has a nice crisp bite to it that echoes the spiciness of this brew.

This one is tasty all around and a bit different from most hefeweizens (listed here as an American Pale Wheat but MH labels it a hefeweizen and I agree, so that's what I'm calling it). It's certainly got more of an interesting flavour than I've tasted within the style in some time. I'd be more than happy to have this one again.

SixpointJMH, May 03, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, light gold...very foamy head...laces and drops slowly.
Smells earthy, doughy, lemon....hints of alka-seltzer.
Tastes grainy....semi sweet...sour lemon...slight hop bite, kind of grapefruity.Finish is bitter citrus rind. dry. Not bad.
Mouthfeel is light/medium...carbonation kind of high.
Pretty drinkable....but not really a hefe, right ??...no banana or clove...to me, tastes more like a saison. Either way, pretty good brew.

Hautacam, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of Liquids
1.9/5  rDev -44%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ultra cloudy, nectar-like consistency and appearance. Ugly, thin, pond scum head. Smells of yeast, more yeast, with a not-so-subtle aroma of epoxy. Yes, epoxy. Ah, and the epoxy aroma continues into the taste. Only a slight taste of wheat considering what it is. The taste, overall, is pungent and sick. Makes me lose my appetite. Finishes with a slightly piney tang. Mouthfeel is full and seems overcarbonated for the style, but overall has the typical heavy/slightly syrupy mouthfeel characteristic of wheat beers. On the whole, this was a drainpour. Magic Hat has lost some of my respect.

Update: Another review is in order - I tried a sample of this recently and it had none of the above negatives, and was actually rather good.

Liquids, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of bonbright7
4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured the hazy golden beer into a 50cl glass mug after the beer spent some time in the freezer with the Skyy vodka I keep there.
It formed a big fuzzy head before I went for the first taste.

The remarkable lemon-orange-grapefruit twang bended like notes on my Telecaster playing Delta Blues. I was taken aback by the smooth light taste that reminded me of a Hefeweisen I had on tap in a street cafe in NYC last summer. It might have been a garish idea, but an orange slice would have been good with this.

bonbright7, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

akorsak, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bukowski's Boston in a 22oz. mug.

A: Pours a white almost milky hazy yellow with a foamy two finger head that has great retention and leaves wonderful lace. The appearance of this beer reminds of the ocean after you swirl the sand around a lot causing it to be mirky and cloudy. Looks gritty.
S: Aromas of bready wheaty malts dominate with a slight hoppyness that peaks through also--these aromas are all faint, but they're there.
T: Tastes of wheaty and bready malts combined with a lemon and grapefruityness that gives it a refreshing thirst quenching taste. Great tasting pale wheat ale--perfect for the summer.
M & D: Great on the palate. Not heavy but almost in a way, light and very smooth. Great for a summer's afternoon. Drinkability is high--I would have a bunch of these.

bjohnson, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

WesWes, Apr 20, 2006
Photo of medic25
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, this beer is a cloudy golden color with a clean white head that quickly dissipates. Slightly sour aroma. The taste is fairly typical of the style, although better done than some. Wheat flavor, peppery, a little bit of bitter hops. No banana flavor of note. A fairly light, easy drinking beer.

medic25, Apr 20, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a small white head that thins. Spotty lacing on the glass.

Aroma is grainy and bready with a definite hop character. No noticable banana or clove esters.

Taste upfront is grainiy and bready with a nice hop flavor that steps in. Rather crisp and refreshing and finishes quite dry.

Plenty of carbonation, light bodied as it should be.

This is quite a refreshing and drinkable beer. However, other than the appearance - there isn't much about this brew that makes it a wheat beer. This "American Pale Wheat" category really leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

MaltyGoodness, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a hazy cloud of light gold with a fluffy white head that doesn't want to fade. Plenty of yeast from the bottle making it's way in there. Scattered amounts of chunky, marshmellow-ish head left around the tall weizen glass. Certainly looks like it's on par with the German boys...considering they are calling this a Hefe on the label.
I think they changed yeast strains since the Batch 370 b/c this doesn't have any of the banana esters noted before. Maybe they just changed the fermenting temp...or changed the ingredients all together. Perhaps some crisp wheat mixed with lemony zest & pepper. A touch of sulfur dioxide is very, very faint in the background. Darn...just an American wheat.
Taste is on par with the aromas. Some lemony yeasty wheat.
Mouthfeel is yeasty, medium bodied, dust-like, and semi dry. Looking for a little bit more "oomph" out of a wheat beer with some smooth vanilla and subtle banana in the background. Unfortunately, doesn't hold up to the likes of the German wheats.

weeare138, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this MH offering poursa straw color with moderate carbonation and a thin white head that laces quickly

S - an plethora of aromas, hoppy, wheaty, bready and most of all lemony, a sweet combination

T - a savory strong lemony flavor, would make a great summer beer on the back porch

M - well balanced, good for a lighter hefeweizen

D - high, if you dont mind a lemony beer, otherwise it'd be lower

sinstaineddemon, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of PhillyMonk
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, very heady straw color. Smell is faint, but has lemon/spice aromas. Wheat malts are front and center, but fairly spicy as well. Started off fairly carbonated and tangy for this style of beer, but seemed to get smoother as I got used to it.

I've had many worse American "wheat ales," but this one certainly can't touch its German counterparts that come in the big bottles. Not a bad beer for $7/sixpack, and one I would consider again for a barbecue or warm-weather meal.

PhillyMonk, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of riversider76
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color. Foamy one finger,head with nice retention and lacing. Smell is light,and is of malt,yeast and spice.Body is medium and carbonated. Taste is spicy with a hint of lemon, and hops in the finish. Had a bit more of a bite than some of the other wheats I've tried. Not bad at all!

riversider76, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of Schwarzbart
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice pillowed white head formed when poured. The head receded slowly to a nice clumpy layer. Lacing was way above average and the color was pale yellow. Barely cloudy with lots of carbonation.

Smell: Wheat malts are the main aroma with some yeast and spices.

Taste: Taste was much better than the smell with a good smooth wheat malt flavor and a good bit of lemon and spice.

Mouthfeel: Light body but creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easy to drink and tastes much better as the chill comes off
the beer.

Schwarzbart, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

NeroFiddled, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't know why they bother why Magic Hat bothers to make both this and Hocus Pocus as there isn't much to choose between the two brews. They both do what they do in reasonabley respectable fashion... I spose I like this one a bit better... but they are very similar things.
Wheat and lemon dominates smell and taste... slightly stale wheat, pretty fresh lemon...
Inoffensive, easy drinking, on the refreshing side, etc.
Not too shabby for the style but most folks would probably be happier with an authentic hefe weiss.

ommegangpbr, Apr 06, 2006
Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 1,498 ratings.