1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,533 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,533
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 22
Gots: 112 | 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: 1,533 | Reviews: 648 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Boto
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Boto, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of scriabin
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

scriabin, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

expatsteve, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of aluskungs
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
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...

aluskungs, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of veggiemafia
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

veggiemafia, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of Stubbie1
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Stubbie1, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 10, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with best before September on the back. Pours a hazy (if you swirl the yeast in) gold with a 2 finger head, good longevity and lace. Nice wheat malt aromas. Banana and clove are present but not nearly as much as the Euro style. Yeasty with an underlying honey lemon smell. Nice sweet malt mixed with honey and lemon. Slight banana and clove flavors. A nice mellow non lingering hop bitterness at the end. Full flavored for an American Hefe. A bit heavy but very easy drinking. A nice example of an American Hefe.

sabrills70, Jul 10, 2006
Photo of RBorsato
4.6/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy peach color with a nice off-white head and very active carbonation. Very cloudy when the yeast is swirled in. Citrus fruit aroma without being tart or biting. Apples come to mind with some orange character. Similar in flavor with a nice refreshing fruit character. Very yeasty with some graininess. A medium-light bodied and smoothly refreshing summer quencher.

Per Label: "The Hefeweizen" & "Natural Flavors Added" (?!?) & "Unfiltered and Unfettered"

Per MHBC website:
1.055 Gravity, 18 IBUs, 5.0 SRM.
Malts: Wheat & Pale
Hops: Amarillo & German Magnum

Drink By (end of): May '06
Tasted: 05/07/06

($14.99 / 2006 Spring Variety 12-Pack)

RBorsato, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a hazy dark gold. Sudsy off white head. Not very clingy.

The smell is full of yeast and spices. Also an underlying odor of salt water?

Taste is full of spicy hops and pungent yeast. I could see this going well with a tangy goat cheese. Quite grainy as well.

The mouthfeel is thicker than I expected. Richer than most wheat beers. Very satisfying "texture."

Drinkability is quite good. A full flavored beer that's rich in taste and texture, but not so much so that you're limited to drinking one or two.

Ieatlambfries, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of andjusticeforale
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice light hazy yellow out of the bottle, with a nice head that doesn't seem to want to last. There is a noticeable smell and taste of lemon. Ther eis a great push of wheat malt and refreshing crispness.

You have to like lemon to like this beer. It almost tastes like the lemon from a box of trix or lucky charms. THe only caveat with this beer would be switching from one to another type and having that lemony taste.

andjusticeforale, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Sammy, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Make Love, not Processes Food"

Lightly hazed yellow gold - frothy white head clings to the glass. Peppery wheat and faint lemon rind aroma. Spicy wheat malts, grain, and citrus hops - ends earthy and dry. Crisp, medium mouthfeel; it all adds up to fit the requirements of a good summer beer.

Apparently, they brew it with lemongrass which would explain some of the flavors. Good for refreshment and better than 370.

wedge, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of beerislove
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, deep yellow, with a nice foamy head. Barkeep just rotated some offerings and told me the keg had just been tapped the night before.

Mix of stong wheat and hop aromas. Just a hint of citrus makng itself known. Expecting a to like the taste....

Initially tastes just like a pale wheat (MH has it wrong labeling this a hefeweizen), with sweet and malty with strong wheat flavors coming through. Lemony , astringent notes follow, but then nothing. It feels like the flavor falls off halfway down my tongue, surely there is more to it.

Overall body is light with nice carbonation, but the flavor just doesn't seem to be amplified enough for me to want any more. MH has the start of something here, but project is still incomplete.

beerislove, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of Franchise
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark orange with different shades throughout the the body which I love, it leaves a thick off white head that is frothy and bubbly. The aroma is terrible, sour, funky sour milk, my first thoughts is this could be a bad beer. The taste fantastic! Sweet malty honey upfront, nothing like the nose very strange this has never happened to me before where the nose is spoiled but the beer itself is great. To continue with the taste it has a strong wheat twang, that is balanced by again some sweetness of sun flowers, fruit, pale malt, and a the finish is brisk clean and lovely. The nose could be a fluke, but I would def buy this beer again I just wonder about the nose.

Franchise, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of taez555
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer initially pours a clear golden orange body, but if you pour traditional wheat beer style by shaking up the yeast it pours a cloudy light brown leather/off-white body with a small white head.

Nose is malty with touches of yeast, wheat, soft lemon and just a hint of spice.

Taste is light to medium bodied with an initial, very cheap, celestial seasonings type herbal tea taste. Touches of lemon and even lime almost give it a Sprite/7up flavor mixed with mop and glo. A slightly rough but chewy wheat and grain taste. A mild bitterness accompanied by a very mild earth hop.

An odd beer, not a classic german or even american wheat. Somewhere in the middle with just a twist to it making it very original beer.

taez555, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle; best before 08.2006.

"Beer for Peace", under the cap.

Cloudy, pale straw; tons of active carbonation. Porous, foamy white head that remains as a thin, creamy sheet. Spotted lacing around the upper half of the weizen glass.

Musty wheat aroma with other adjunctory-smelling grains: rice and corn. Lightly toasted oats with just a hint of lemon.

Toasted malts with a hint of sweetness. The malted wheat adds a lot of mustiness making for a dry, filmy finish. Citrus notes give a metallic taste with some astringency.

Light bodied; a little filmy, powdery on the palate. Nothing abrasive though.

A boring wheat ale with some flaws in flavor. I was under the impression that this was a former mystery batch. If so, this version is slightly better than I remember, but that's not saying much.

NEhophead, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of rarevos
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into weisse glass.

A: First of all, the pour was fun. Very cloudy beer, and swirling the dregs before pouring the last bit into the glass produced a really noticeable settling of yeast in the glass. All kinds of migrating swirls, and it just seemed appropriate for a beer with such a quirky brewery. I made my wife watch it as I held it up to the light.

S: I'm stealing someone else's line about how it smells like aromatic soaps, because it's dead-on accurate. This beer smells like a craft store, absolutely. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I've never smelled a wheat beer quite like this. Perfumy. Lavender? Definitely reminiscent of fresh-baked bread. What a completely mystifying aroma.

T: The craft store element shows itself during the tasting. No banana flavors at all, which is odd for a wheat beer. Not even much citrus. It's still a very yeasty beer, but it's unlike any other hefeweizen I've had. A very long finish.

M: Very light, and just the right amount of carbonation for a refreshing wheat beer. I don't feel any tingling on the tongue at all.

D: A pretty interesting beer, really. How you feel about the aroma is critical to this beer. I'd rate it as pretty complex.

rarevos, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of LvilleIPA
4.43/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

When I got this in, it was warm. I took one out of the case to check it out, tilted it, and held it towards the light.

I couldn't believe the amount of "sock lint" in the bottom of this one.

After observing the pouring directions on the bottle, I sat on the front porch and took a sip. Next thing I knew, the six pack was gone (this is perfect for a hot, summer day).

Not a typical Hefe, really not alot of vanilla/banana nose or other traditional qualities of euro hefes, but I couldn't believe how drinkable this was.

Magic Hat is shaping up to be a hit with the Macro drinking women out there. Most of the girls I know now love this as well as #9.

LvilleIPA, Jun 09, 2006
Photo of IPhantom
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a flared pint glass. On the cap: "Only louts are ruled by their doubts."

Nice color, cloudy honey with a thick white head that gets down to a finger, some lacing, with a lot of bubbles. Aroma is on the heavy side for a hefeweizen, reminds me almost of fresh grass (in a good way). Taste is tart, almost winey, with hints of grapefruit. Alcohol hits on the way down. Flavor was probably helped by this bottle being particularly fresh. Moutfeel was light, bubbly, and dry. The grapefruit tang and light character make it a nice summer beer. Perhaps a little hoppier than other hefs, but that's what Magic Hat does.

IPhantom, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of hopsaplenty
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, Best By Aug notched on label. Cap message: Support your local music.

“The Hefeweizen” is printed on the front label.

Clouded ochre core with chaff highlights. Short, off-white bubbles that settle quickly to a collar, with no carbonation streams present. Lemony and slightly yeasty with a modest spicy hop note. The taste is fruity and zesty, lemon zest with some bread crust yeastiness abound. A bit grainy, and there is also a slight mustiness that shows up in the finish. The mouthfeel is bright and effervescent with a medium body. I enjoyed this as a wheat ale, but do not expect a true hefeweizen as those defining banana and cloves notes are 100% removed. This is a wheat beer with a built in lemon.

hopsaplenty, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of RollingRock01
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is my first review...somewhat under the unfluence

this is really one of my favorite beers. its absolutely delicious. nice color to it, orangish tint, not too much head and smells itrusy/fruity. absolutely perfect for any summer drinking session, and made me realize the goodness of hefeweizens in general. surprisingly this beer comes in top few of magic hat beers and hefwiezins overall

RollingRock01, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of Suds
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color with a nice thick white head. Pretty high carbonation is evident immediately. The aroma is of wheat and citrus with a bit of rustic straw and earth underneath. There’s a tart-smelling quality to the aroma that makes the beer seem refreshing before you take the first sip. Moderately dry with a light, spritzy character. The citrus quality really comes out in the taste. Not much in the way of phenols or esters, just straightforward wheat. This gives the beer a bit of a “ho-hum” quality. There may be a sketch yeast taste, but it’s not a centerpiece of the beer. Light and very easy to drink, this may be a decent ‘sit-on-the-deck-in-the-sun’ beer.

Suds, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of AoxoMoxoA
4.6/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very cloudy beer, but it's meant to be cloudy. After all, we drink it because it tastes good... not because its crystal clear. And Circus Boy certainly does taste good. It reminds me of some of the beers a local microbrewery serves on tap. The fact that Magic Hat can reproduce that quality in a mass production of bottled beer is commendable, to say the least. The pouring tip on the side of the box definitely affects the overall taste and appearance of the beer; give it a try.

AoxoMoxoA, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of HurricaneMo
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat pale beer with a slight orange tint. Average head but lacing was not very impressive. Smelled stongly of citrus, definitely some lemon. The taste seemed to comprise of a lot of citrus with some wheat undertones. A nice mouthfeel but less carbonation than one would expect. Definitely very easy to drink. Try it if you get the chance but nothing to write home about.

HurricaneMo, Jun 01, 2006
Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,533 ratings.