1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Circus Boy - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Circus BoyCircus Boy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,377 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1377
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 17.65%

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 (36) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Circus Boy Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,377 | Reviews: 648 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DavidS88


3.98/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After drinking pretty much nothing but brewers' versions of Octoberfests, IPAs, and stouts for the past few weeks, it was nice to get back to something crisp, clean, and refreshing with Magic Hat Circus Boy, their hefeweizen-American pale wheat ale hybrid. Poured into a 16oz Samuel Adams glass, it has a nice golden-yellow color and is fairly cloudy since it's unfiltered. It also has a nice white head, maybe about two fingers.

The aroma and taste are very largely wheat and yeast with a good hint of lemon. None of the scents or tastes are really overpowering and they blend nicely to form a delectably citrusy and malty combo that is sure to delight someone looking for a beer that is relatively light and refreshing. Probably more appropriate for a hot summer day than the middle of October, but hey, I needed a break and this looked really appetizing.

Overall, I was really pleased with this. Circus Boy is a great session beer that you can down quickly if you're going out or sit back and enjoy the distinct flavor. Yes, there are beers similar to this that a lot of people might like better, but that certainly doesn't mean you should ignore Circus Boy. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 18:38:00 | More by DavidS88
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Leaving the beer unfiltered may make it appear less polished, but no less attractive. This clouded, yellow offering retains a good amount of shine even despite its lack of clarity and looks pretty darn enticing, if you ask me. Few bubbles are noted and, correspondingly, little head is amassed but there's enough to give it a proper wheat beer image.

Instantly noticed in the aroma is the zest, which, on first thought, I had penciled in as either lemon or orange but upon giving a closer look to the label is actually lemongrass. A good hefeweizen yeast is zesty and aromatic enough and shouldn't need any help, but I suppose it doesn't hurt (and this beer definitely could have used it).

Circus Boy definitely doesn't drink like the hefeweizen it's advertised as. There's little fullness in the mouthfeel and, the bouquet aside, little zest or spice neither. Nothing remotely resembling clove or banana (the flavours most often associated with the style) is noticed and, though well bubbled and a tad creamy, there's little quenching about it.

All that being said, I hesitate to paint too bad a picture of Circus Boy. It is an agreeable ale and sure to appeal greatly to those still unfamiliar with anything other than commercial lagers; the zest and yeast here is too faint for my palate, but might be like hitting jackpot for less experienced drinkers. There are, however, much better offerings at similar price.

Magic Hat is pretty successful by the standards of an economically oriented world. And while they provide a decent variety of styles and a couple of outstanding offerings, I don't know they deserve all the attention that's come their way, not when there are so many better microbreweries still wrestling for a share of the pie. Consider looking elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 17:21:32 | More by biegaman
Photo of HopAlongG

New Hampshire

2.3/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The fact that it says hefeweizen on the label probably skewed my review from the first sip. Even compared to other APWA it's lousy. Maybe because I've been swilling Ayinger, Kellerweis, Weihenstephaner, etc. all summer added to the fact that I dumped it halfway through the first bottle.

I may give it another try but I highly doubt it. It tasted like some bug spray was added for flavor. Perhaps it's just me, but I haven't found a Magic Hat offering that I can tolerate more than a few sips of yet.

If you like this style try A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale by Lags....the standard IMNSHO and truly outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2012 17:32:31 | More by HopAlongG
Photo of enoerew

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

A - Readily foams, leaving about 1/2" of foam fading to a thin ring in 1-2 minutes, hazy golden yellow, no lacing.

S - Lemon, bready, copper.

T - Bright, citrus, slightly acidic.

M - Light, slight carbonation, aftertaste on sides of tongue.

O - Decent hefeweizen, could be more complex tastewise.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2012 01:11:59 | More by enoerew
Photo of zeff80


3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden yellow color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left little to no lacing.

S - It smelled of lemon and cracked wheat. Nice aroma.

T - It tasted of wheat, spices (corriander), lemon and some yeastiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice wheat beer. Glad I finally got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 12:31:29 | More by zeff80
Photo of tobelerone


2.75/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the brewery. Very pale, hazy yellow, with a sizeable white head and patchy lacing. Lemony aroma with lots of grainy wheat and moderate honey sweetness in the nose.

Flavor is blander than anticipated; wheat is the predominant taste, with a grainy and slightly off, catty character. More malty/honey sweetness than I’d like in this style; with lesser citrus/lemon and floral notes. Not particularly appealing. Not a ton of lemongrass coming through.

Light body with fairly crisp carbonation, decent crispness. Still fails to clean up as much as it could. Watery. Not outstanding or particularly tasty in any way and not something I’d return to in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2012 14:11:30 | More by tobelerone
Photo of rundocrun


2.75/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Body is a cloudy straw yellow. A half finger of white head with decent retention forms. No lacing.

S - Aromas of brown bread and just a touch of spicy funk. Mild herbal hops. Overall, not too aromatic though.

T - Dry and bready up front. A touch of fruity tang comes in toward the middle with hints of spices - black pepper and saffron. Also a touch of lemongrass and orange. Finish is a bit metallic and watery.

M - Thin body. Good carbonation. Finish is fairly clean.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 21:46:29 | More by rundocrun
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Weizen glass]

The pour was a hazy pale yellow with a large white frothy head that dissipated quickly down to a thick film with a medium collar and had some fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was pretty basic for a Hefeweizen, with a mild grain malt and a soapy yeast and having notes of citrus (lemon), banana and a bit of coriander.

The taste was light and mildly sweet with a slight banana wheat presence early on, then became rather yeasty with a hint of lemon, a moderate dose of spice and a slight bitter citrus peel finish. The flavor was very short lived with the slight spicy yeast taste fading quickly after the swallow.

Mouthfeel was light in body and watery in texture with a unusually mild carbonation.

Overall a pretty basic Hefeweizen with a nice taste, a refreshing feel and a great drinkability. This is a brew that is light in alcohol and refreshing in taste, making it a great addition to any summer outing...

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 14:17:11 | More by KajII
Photo of thecheapies


3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy tangerine/gold brew. Some minor stick on the glass. The head is a foamy whisp. Looks like beer.

Crackery wheat malts, dusty yeast cake, and faint lemon/orange. Nothing to write home about.

Soapy flavors with a lemon juice punch. Very chalky yeast, dry malts, subtle spicing, and herbal notes are probably not hops.

Super-easy drinking. Sudsy, which is a plus for this one, and it masks the thinner-than-medium body.

Very mild pale wheat that isn't too bad... now, when Magic Hat calls it a hefeweizen, that's when we have a problem.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 03:38:35 | More by thecheapies
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from about an inch or so above the glass give this pale golden colored beer a smallish white head.

A very faint sweet malt and grain aroma on this medium to light bodied beer.

A light sweetness to light grain malt tasting beer.

A light dry aftertaste with just a touch of sweetness to it.

Not much to this beer, it would be good for beginners and beer pong, and that's about it I would guess.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 22:48:15 | More by LXIXME
Photo of RoamingGnome


3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pilsner style glass. Served chilled...

A) Golden with pretty good clarity for a wheat brew. A finger of head settled to a collar. No lacing...

S) Really quite grassy. Just a little wheat on the nose. Very light spice.

T) Nice wheat flavor... Good balance... Grassy hops and citrus zest. Very clean finish.

M) Solid medium body. Nicely carbonated, which keeps this lively, crisp and refreshing. Nice summer brew.

O) Enjoyed this beer... Really one of Magic Hats better offerings. Give this one a shot.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 20:33:20 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle from Trader’s Joe. Pours hazy golden with a short lived white head. Nose is citrus fruit and some grassy hops. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Sweet wheat malt, citrus fruits, hints of spices and banana fill the mouth. Finish is long and pleasantly dry. It is not German Hefe but still pleasant, easy drinking brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 14:37:58 | More by mikeg67
Photo of BottleOfPills

West Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is like a good vitamin laced moment of relief. Dark orangish yellow.

The Smell is a bit fruity, mine I thought had that flat tasting smell, but that sounds like a bad thing - I guess smell wise it is.

The taste I like, so even though my smell rating was average I liked the taste of this. Crisp, almost Bud Light (the masses scream in hate and amass outside my door with pitchforks and torches). After reading the other reviews of this beer, I can definitly taste the "black pepper" and it does bring out the other flavors. It must be Lemon Pepper - I don't know, but the taste is a crisp fruit peppery taste.

Mouthfeel I mentioned is crisp.

Overall this is a pretty damned good offering from the boys and girls from Magic Hat. I would definitly drink more of it.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 20:09:15 | More by BottleOfPills
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass:

A: clear yellow/orange body with no head whatsoever, lacing is minimal and somewhat spotty and drips down the side of the glass. It leaves no rings and there isn't any visible carbonation rising.

S: fresh sort of floral yet lemon aroma. However, I do note the black pepper that comes out pretty strong. There are some hops in the background.

T: brings back the lemon and some malts come out. A slight wheatiness comes out in the taste. The black pepper comes in the taste closer to the end of the beer.

M: light with a heavier carbonation which leaves a crisp sort of feel. It leaves a slightly dry finish.

O: not a bad beer. I guess I found it interesting with the "black pepper" thing going on in an American Pale Wheat Ale. It may be something I just need to get used to, that's all. I'm not sure if I would get this again, maybe on tap.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 00:06:42 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of bnes09


3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange and hazy ale. Thin head with minimal lacing.

Fresh, floral and lemon hoppy aromas.

Sweet, somewhat tart flavors of lemonheads and fresh cut grass. Malts are mild and smooth with wheat flavor. Slightest hint of yeast with banana notes.

Light bodied. Snappy, harsh carbonation. Crisp, clean finish.

Really good stuff. Would make a great summer session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 01:30:43 | More by bnes09
Photo of hardy008


2.08/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a one finger off white head with fair retention, and no lacing. Smells like weak lemon, yeast, and wheat.

Tastes like light lemon, wheat, and yeast. Somewhat sweet, although there is not much taste, kind of disappointing.

Light bodied, plenty of carbonation, thin, and watery. I'm not sure if this has been sitting for a while, or just placed on the shelf, but I am glad I only tried a single. I will pass on this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 01:32:27 | More by hardy008
Photo of FightingEntropy


3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another Magic Hat that I liked the sample last summer on site more than the bottle that I've been able to acquire in Minnesota. While I understand that I shouldn't be surprised, the beer that's being drunk in Vermont doesn't seem to make it here in the same shape sadly.

White head pops up and evaporates quickly to leave just the straw gold with copper highlighted beer in the glass. My notes from last summer say hefe w/ lemongrass, and I can smell in lightly when I look hard. Taste is thin bodied and lacks any pizzazz. Light yeast and fruity characteristics follow with a slight bite, but little more.

Disappointed in this bottle and won't be trying it again--at least until I get a chance for a draft in Vermont to figure out the difference. After finishing my review, I saw the Alstrom review has being much higher. That review is from 2006, so maybe something has changed in the beer since then in spite of the name being the same, but iin reading Jason A's review I am not drinking the same quality of beer. Whether it's transportation, lack of Magic Hat sales in Minnesota, timing of when I bought it, etc, I'm not sure. Just doesn't live up.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 18:41:58 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of JackieTH


3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is yellow and slightly hazy with a slight foam head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. Smells of crackers, biscuit malt, wheat. Taste is wheat and corn, malt, yeast, a tad sour, with a bit of brightness from the carbonation.  Mouthfeel is medium to light but holds together adequately.  I wouldn't turn it down, nor would I seek it out. 

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 05:47:50 | More by JackieTH
Photo of CEversole


3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy yellow colr with an off-white head (1/4 finger).

S: Smells of malt and bread. A pick up a slight hint of a floral hop aroma. not bad in this area.

T: Definately a malty flavor followed by bread/wheat/straw notes. I'm picking up a citrus or floral hop background and after taste however I cant quite place it. Wheat is definately there as well. Just read the bottle and it is brewed with "lemongrass". I can really taste it at the end. Its a nice touch nonetheless.

M: This beer has a thick feel in the mouth that I am attributing to being unfiltered. Not sure if that is what it is but seems to be. Still, it is very clean, crisp, but could use just a bit more carbonation.

O: Overall I enjoyed this beer, I had my doubts because M.H. can be so-so at times. I was surprised at the outcome.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 01:59:55 | More by CEversole
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a weizen glass. Body is ever-so-slightly hazy - golden- yellow in color with a 2-finger off-white head.

S: Some spiciness, modest bready malt - no real wheat twang like one would expect for this style. Still, the nose is inoffensive and mild.

T: Not impressed. Fruity sweetness overwhelms the wheat and spice, which is there, but in the background. Finishes a bit sweet too, though there are some florally hops with a touch of lemon at the end.

M: Light in heft, slightly slick feel to it, which is surprising for this style. I expect more vibrancy, crispness and pop from an American Pale Wheat Ale.

O: This is OK. Would probably benefit from the addition of a lemon.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 21:27:15 | More by Kendo
Photo of boyessen


2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smells a litle citrus, lemmon? and a strong sent of Hay, yes Hay.

Tastes little citrus little sweet, but pretty tart.

The Mouth feel is this and high on carbonation

Short overall aftertaste which turns into a strong lingering tart residue.

Overall not too good, a little sweet and much too tart. The carbonation didn't help.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 20:41:34 | More by boyessen
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

advertised as a hefe, this i think is mych more of an american wheat beer hybrid style. pours a slightly cloudy yellow color with visible yeast bits and a nice lacy head. smells fruity and malty, mildly spicy aroma. taste is very refreshing, noticable lemon or lemongrass element and a nice yeast flavor. very well carbonated and lighter bodied makes it a crusher in the summer, but this beer is good any time of year. one of magic hat's most popular beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 17:59:44 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of DrDemento456


3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks like a nice Hefeweizen. A nice bright hazy yellow with a slight 1/4 inch of head.

S - Smells pretty good, better than I remember. Lemon and hay with a slight bit of wheat and yeast. No real banana.

T - Quite good and pretty full bodied in flavor. You first get lemon that transitions into the yeast which gives it a fruity flavor. Then finishes with a wheat body that makes it crisp.

M - Light bodied for sure this has high drinkability written all over it.

Overall I can think of many better offering but this one is a pretty good domestic Hefeweizen. You really have to get it fresh or take special note of the "best by" date because after a few months these flavors tend to age out (Had an old bottle once and it was yeasty and bland) OK beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 05:34:14 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of LazFTW


3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if the recipe for this changed recently or what but I can not agree with some of the reviews here saying that this beer just tastes like a regular beer. When I tried Circus Boy, the citrus taste in the beer was STRONG. I got a heavy dose of lemongrass and a slight hint of banana. Interestingly, the next time I had the beer from a different six pack, the citrus flavor was still there but not as intense.

Overall though, The Hefeweizen is a really good wheat beer. A few of my buddies tried it for the first time when the swung by last weekend and they loved it. This may be my favorite of that Magic Hat line as of this writing.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 20:56:26 | More by LazFTW
Photo of berliner07

New Hampshire

2.48/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tried this beer again, after a long hiatus. I wish I enjoyed it more, but just find it so bland. It is an easy sipper, that can be sessioned. But I just cant find enough interesting character to warrent frequent returns. Wish there was some spice or sweet or more pronounced wheat or yeast character.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 18:31:13 | More by berliner07
Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,377 ratings.