Wacko - Magic Hat Brewing Company

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776 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 776
Reviews: 414
rAvg: 2.85
pDev: 23.16%
Wants: 7
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: thekevlarkid on 02-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Wacko is the liquid song of summer: Crisp like the morning, cool like the evening and quenching all day long. Pop the top and set your summer loose. Wacko is a delicious summer beer with a big malty aroma, a subdued hop bite and a clean, slightly sweet finish.

15 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 776 | Reviews: 414
Reviews by undeadozzy:
Photo of undeadozzy
3.84/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got on tap at a local bar.

Appearance: Bright red color. Very odd, but it is to be expected from a beer whose main ingredients are beets. Not really a fan of beers that more so resemble juice then beer, but I enjoy trying things.

Smell: Despite it's unique visage, it smelled just like regular beer, maybe with a few fruity, earthly fumes, but nothing really special here.

Taste: All I can say is unique. I have yet to taste any other beer that tastes like this one. It tastes like beets, but at the same time it tastes nothing like beets. The mixture of hops, malts, beets, and maybe some fruits gives it a very unique bright and cheery flavor; perfect for the summer season that it is sold during.

Mouth Feel: Feels just like a beer. I can't really say it was anything special, just felt like a beer.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink on a hot summer day. Tastes great cold.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
2.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oh! I get it! The beer is pink! That IS wacko! It looks like kool-aid, which I haven't had the desire to drink since I was about ten. This is a gimmick beer in the truest sense of the word. Flashy packaging and claims of how they make "the best beer on the planet" will easily attract the label-shopper. Unfortunately, the beer can't back up any of that. Faint, slightly sweet cherry medicine and biscuit malts in the aroma. The taste is similar to caramel and cake icing, but not as flavorful as either one of those things. Spend less time on coloring the beer and gimmicky packaging and just brew something good already.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
1.84/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Looks like red Kool-Aide with a pinkish hued
head! Best thing about this brew!

S: No distinct aromas save the presence of
alcohol, I was really expecting to pick up
the scent of something off of this boldly
colored brew.

T: The flavor was virtually nonexistant except
for the aftertaste that tasted of a cheaper
corn fed beer.

M: The brew was watered down and left a dry
almost chalky feeling in my mouth and on
my pallet.

D: Nil

Photo of wesbrownyeah
2.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wacko by Magic Hat Brewing Company... Got this one as a freebee at a local beer shop.

A- Pours and average pour for any style beer but not bad for a fruit/veg. beer. Dark orange color and tightly bubbled froth that leaves little to none lacing.

S- Strange beet and hop mixture containing grass, sweet beets and light brown sugars as well.

T-M- The flavor of this beer is a mixture of beet juice and lager. Sweet malts are dominate with a lingering beet biterness and sweetness. Hops are there but fighting to find there place as a grass-like flavor masked by beets and sugars. Mouthfeel is light and watery with a very light carbonated feel.

D- Different but to strange for the average drinker or as a session. I like it but for the next time i'll try something else.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm sorry, I just can't get my head around a beer that is pink. This beer is a reddish-pink color with a thin pink head. The head is gone in seconds. It has a nondescript sweet malt aroma. Some improvement in the taste, with a bit more hops assertiveness. There is also a bit of bubblegum in the taste. I suppose, if you can get past the color, that this beer would be a good session beer.

Photo of generallee
2.78/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It pours a shocking but beautiful reddish/pink rose like color with very good clarity a fizzy bright white head. The head slowly fades down to a thin wispy ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is light and dull. It has an odd sweetness with pale bland malt notes and no hops.

Taste/Mouth: Its flavor is much the same as the aroma. There is a pale malty body with some mild candy like sweetness, light grain and light fruity/vegetable notes. There are some mild hops in the finish that adds a little contrasting bitterness and flavor. It is light bodied with a thin watery texture and fizzy carbonation.

Notes: I wanted really to like this beer but overall it just didn't have much to offer, other than it had an interesting color.

Photo of Guden
2.99/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a light clear pink with a 1 inch white head with good retention.

S- Floral notes of vegetable, hops and caramel.

T- Sweet with vegetableness? Light herbal and earthy notes but predominantly the sweet.

M- Light in body and moderately low in carbonation, goes down pretty easy and seems pretty fitting for the beer and the style.

D- Not overtly bad, sweet and sugary beets is the main flavor with some light beer flavor in the background. It does what it sets out to do but not something I would probably look out to buy.

Photo of Billolick
3.23/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottles. Comes with handy freshness dating info on the rear label. Pours a radical shade of pinkish red/diluted beet. The head is similarly tinted, loose and fluffy before receding to a thicker film and leaving copious amounts of thick lace. Light and fruity on the nose. Not my favorite style, this one is the expected continuation of the light and fruity theme. Hops flex their muscles mid way through the experience. Hot weather, summer lunch, with dessert, all these occasions could work with this one

Photo of Mora2000
2.83/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a pinkish-red color with a white head. The aroma is grain with some unidentified fruit. Possibly cherries or strawberries. The flavor is not very good. I get a lot of grain and wheat notes with just a tad bit of fruity sweetness. Very bland tasting overall. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

After I drank the beer I saw that it is flavored with beet extract. I guess that explains the color and the flavor. Dwight Schrute may like the beer, I don't.

Photo of jondeelee
3.12/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straight from the bottle, Wacko smells of grains, grains, and more grains: freshly-thrashed wheat, French baguette, biscuits. A decent layer of fruits simmers below, bringing orange and berry aromas. Just at the edges, a thin rind of grapefruit speaks of hops. In all, the nose is balanced and enticing, even if not necessarily impressive or novel.

On the tongue, the beer begins with a shot of orange, banana, and berry fruits, which are quickly joined by the grain flavors noted in the nose, resulting in a lovely fruit-and-grain combo that is somewhat reminiscent of a good cold cereal with fresh fruit slices. The grains can become slightly overpowering, giving the beer a taste not unlike sucking on fresh-pulled stalks of hay. Hints of nut bring an interesting twist. Hops are virtually nonexistent. The aftertaste is a continuation of the grain flavors (lacking most of the fruits), and fades with relative quickness. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium-high.

Overall, this is decent fare, having many good flavors and characteristics, but lacks something to set it apart from the field, and begs for a shot of brown sugar and at least a light hop kick. Good beach fare, then, but not something to take to a beer tasting.

Photo of far333
2.06/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Brewed with sugar beets, the new incarnation of the experimental Kerouac which I had on tap at the brewery years ago, and found it better than this version, but marginally so.

Pinkish orange clear liquid with a bright white head that rises up minimally and settles out to nothing quite quickly.

Aroma of grassy hops and mettalic notes, reminds me of the smell of an American macro lager.

Flavors of rosehips and floral notes, slightly vegetal, some bitterness without any hop flavor, and a burnt rubber and metallic aftertaste reminiscent of an American macro lager.

Slick and watery mouthfeel, slight tingle in the finish. Low drinkability, I'm not enjoying this one. Seems like it's perhaps a light summer drink made to compete with malternatives.

Photo of ShrinerMcBitey
2.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into tall glass. Pink hued cloudy amber. White large cell structure foam. Rather large head. Very minimal lacing even though the head stuck around awhile.

S: Odd, watermelon like sweet and sour smell

T: Same slightly sweet, slightly sour taste as in the smell. Some hop bite on the back side.

M: Mostly thin but a tiny bit of jellyfish like viscosity.

Overall I don't think I would buy this beer again. It's really not terrible, just odd. Hard to pinpoint exact overall flavor impression.

Photo of BranfordBound
2.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Chuck's Margarita Bar and Grill in Branford. The most unusual beer on tap there, which means I must try it. The bartender recommended it and made some beer small talk.

Pours an interesting color, reddish with orange hues. Never seen a beer like it. Half a finger white head fades to a covering. Little carb and lacing.

Smells of... Well not much. Some malty sweetness but that's about it.

Tastes similiar. There is a maltiness like a lager and then a sweetness kicks in after a slight vegetable taste. I think this is brewed with beets or something. Lives up to the name, hehe.

Mouthfeel is typical lager. A little on the wet side, not much from the little carb.

Drinkability is a little below average. I drank one during dinner and didn't want another after that. Nothing terrible and after three beers it tastes like a regular lager. Told the bartender to get some paulaner or weihenstephaner.

Photo of WVbeergeek
1.47/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a crystal clear pink tinged grapefruit juice tone with a light pink tinted head.

Aromatics are dull not much going on except for corn and cooked veggies, WTF! Also on board is a light mineral water extract, are we trying to give micro brews a bad name here.

Flavor is horrid, bitter cooked veggies with little to no apparent sweetness. Just cereal grain offness with more of that cooked corn DMS going down. If your going to add beet sugar to give a beer a pink color at least make it something worth drinking, pure shite.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with an acrid finish of post puking mouthfeel. Carbontion is a bit much and it really over does it and practically induces the gag reflux with each sip.

Drinkability, this beer is a lost cause I hoped to never cross paths with any beer of this level of shit. It has created a new plateau of piss poor brewing efforts, why does it have to come from a likeable brewery like Magic Hat and have such a cool fuckin' label.

Photo of glid02
3.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from Hop City.

Pours a pale strawberry color with a half-finger fizzy white head that soon recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly sweet strawberries with mild amounts of light malts with a light breadiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the fruit sweetness is toned down a bit. Light malt flavors up front with hints of breadiness up front carry through and end with a mild bitterness. It basically tastes like a decent pilsner or golden ale with hints of berries until the aftertaste where the flavor profile turns slightly buttery.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's got a decent thickness however the carbonation is on the heavy side.

Drinkability is not so good. I would not have had a huge problem finishing the glass however I chose not to.

Overall I really can't think of a good reason to buy this beer - I'm sure some new craft beer initiates will find it palatable however I'd wager that it'll do more harm than good as far as turning people onto craft beer.

Photo of Edgecrusher328
2.25/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up in a $1.00/bottle close-out section, figured I would give it a try
Poured a bottle into Samuel Adams Boston Lager Glass

A. Light Red/Pink color, half inch of head or so that dispelled quickly, leaving minimal to no lacing.

S. mild malt smell, faint fruit, not might else...

T. very light, mild sweetness, light fruit finish, nothing overpowering.

M. very smooth, lots of carbonation,

D. easy to drink, wouldn't be bad on a hot summer day.

Nothing special. Beach/cookout type beer, but I can think of a number of other beers I would rather drink. The color is unique. I wouldn't search this one out.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of cubedoggy
3.81/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Yes---it's pink.

S: Dry maltiness up front; not much hop aroma.

T: Goes down a bit bubbly, but there is, I find, a nice, dry, almost citrusy finish.

M: Maybe a bit too carbonated, but since it fits no style, who's to say?

D: I don't know, I'm an hophead and a homebrewer, and I think this is an excellent summer brew. I'm not sure why there's such disgust and vitriol in the other reviews. I've bought it 3 times already while here on business in Boston, and my wife has some waiting for me when I get back to Maryland.

Photo of Brenden
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Notes are from last night.

The color is an unusual red with a pinkish tint and a bit of a coppery hue with absolute clarity, showing a darker red in the light. Initially I'm concerned with the appearance; as it pours, it look and sounds like I'm pouring a soda 9or pop if you prefer). Somehow a spritzy pure white head does thicken up at about one finger. It fades after a short time but leaves a firm foam and there's enough activity all the way through to build it up again if I swirl it around. There's very light spotty lacing in the glass that forms well but has trouble sticking.
The aroma is light, and I get almost as much of a vegetable note as fruit; any hint of fruit seems to be a byproduct of some kind of sugars. There's a sweetness that's a bit unusual as well. Very light aromas of hops and malts are also present.
This one's a mix of grains, pale malts and light hops; it's not strong, but it's got more flavor than a typical macro. It's a bit odd and there was a flavor I could just barely remember from having tasted it before, but I couldn't be sure if I was imagining it or it was really there. I was surprised to find that I was correct and there were indeed beet sugars in here. Trust me, they didn't ferment out. They're very much present. It makes for an unusual flavor. It's not bad, but not a great flavor, more of an experiment you might do just to see what it's like. It would be a little better with a bit more depth and strength of flavor.
The mouthfeel is pretty weak; this one's got an extremely light body and it's a little watery. There's a little crispness, but it's mostly from a high carbonation, and there's no smooth character to round it out. It doesn't completely lack depth, I'm just not getting much more from the mouthfeel than I would from a BMC.
I wouldn't seek this out again, but I wouldn't loathe the thought of drinking it. I would certainly attempt to find a good gueze or lambic first, though.

Photo of thefileclerk
3.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bit of on odd beer but not terrible. Redish pinkish color and perfectly clear. Nearly white, pinkish head that goes away modertly fast. No lacing. An odd taste. It's a mediocre taste right off the bat, and then you taste the fruity sweetness of it. Other than the fruity sweetness, apparently from beets which explains the color, there is really nothing else interesting about this beer. Not bad, but not too great.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Magic Hat- Wacko

A- Bright red with a small light lacing pink head. Reminds me of Schmaltz- Freaktoberfest.
S- Light buttery shortbread malt and orange rind
T- Light sweet buttery malt. Shortbread with a touch of light citrus.
M- Light and sweet with a good buttery creamy finish.

Overall- Too watery. Not enough hop presence to make this a worthwhile APA. A gimmick because of the beetjuice coloring.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beat coloring gives this beer a red-pink color which is pretty strange, you could call it unique. Finally!! someone has done something more productive with beats! The head is a well-retained frothy whit head, 1" high with a slight pink tint on top. This one looks like a Man's Brew!!!

a sweet fruity aroma pops out, beats, cherries and wild strawberries with a tangy-citrus effect. Hearty herbs and earthy spices keep in grounded. (slightly)

Oooh, this has a very wheatie and crispy malt, very hearty and herbal. All-spice flavored hops, very earthy and spicey with a mildly sweet edge. nice balance. A nice session-style brew made for summer. a clean and dry wheatie finish tops it off.

Sorry Haters, I dig this one...except for the silly color and gimmicky nature. a blind taste test would serve this brew well.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat's answer to Schmaltz's Freaktoberfest? If so, I suppose Magic Hat achieved their color by more natural means, as the coloring is apparently all natural: beet juice! Thus we have a foamy, airy light pink head, with a liquid that's somewhere between the darkness of actual beet juice and pink lemonade. Pretty wild.

Aroma is a washed-out blend of cereal grain, herbal tea and and cooked vegetables.

First taste impression is a light fruit-juice sweetness, a la cherry Kool-Aid minus the sugar (the beet juice, perhaps?). An earthy raw vegetable thing follows, with faint bread, prickly citrus and fresh-cut grass characteristics entering the mix. Slight fruit sourness to the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and light, perhaps a bit too carbonated, as the tingle overtakes the flavor, although it's the most assertive flavor, either.

Certainly a nice break from my recent personal streak of big-ass syrupy and/or ultra-hoppy ales. But generally I'm thinking this is pretty run-of-the-mill, no-surprises stuff. Maybe the color is a bit wild, but the beet juice doesn't come through strongly enough in the flavor, and a kick in the butt like that would've helped this beer attain something more than averageness. It's okay, certainly worth trying once, but hardly "wacko."

Photo of tdm168
3.36/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby red with a thin lacing of head that disappears quickly. Smell is sweet and yeasty. Taste is an odd blend of malt and beets with a mild bitterness at the very end. The beets hang on in the aftertaste. The beet flavor actually is as well blended into this beer as beets could possibly be. Light to medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Photo of mempath
4.5/5  rDev +57.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a clear rose-tangerine with slight ruby grapefruit head that rises fluffy and settles slow. light lacing. interesting. somewhat reminiscent of SNose Hanami...

fruity malty nose. sweetish. so, this is beet. not vegetal in the least. nice.

tangy initially, then an extreme malty/yeasty punch! very dry finish. you return and swallow. perfect mouthfeel, crisp and thickish (for the style) makes this come together (it seems) as intended. a refreshing, unique beetbrau that would go well with brats, pizza, thai, itself! sure, sweet potato fires. an all-around 'unique' brew that i am surprised is so looked down upon here!

quite recommended.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wacko is certainly not "wacko", nor is it anything new. It looks like a raspberry beer that's been made with real fruit, and to be honest, it kind of tastes like one as well. There's a subtle fruitiness to it, as well as some earthiness and sweetness in the nose, and then a hint of fruit pulp and some tartness follow in the flavor. But OK, disregard that, this is made with beet juice (and you can taste it), and the label reads "A beer with beet juice color" - implying that it's a colored beer, not unlike Coney Island Freaktoberfest (except that that beer is almost purple!).

Moving forward, it is an attractive looking beer with a slight haze and a gently ruby cast beneath a short but frothy pink head.

The aroma is a bit unusual for the uninitiated, but anyone who's had a Belgian Geuze (not the super-sweetened stuff) or an American sour ale , or even a brewpub produced raspberry ale with real fruit has had a whiff of something like this. Personally, I like it, but I can see why they might think this was off-putting to the common drinker and then think that calling it "Wacko" with an interesting label might help. Or maybe not.

The same kind of earthy, fruit-pulpy funk returns in the flavor, but it's masked a bit more. There's a hint of tartness, some nice fruitiness, and a bit of sweet golden malt. Not bad. The bitterness rises in the finish though, and although I'm fine with it, I think that might be off-putting to someone who'd be excited by a pinkish beer. Or maybe not. Oddly, based on my past experiences with this kind of stuff, the general public that will put their lips to a glass like this will tend to blind themselves to what they don't like about it (or don't realize they don't like about it), and instead, rally around it, adopting it as their own weird and cool potion.

So what do I say? Gimmicky, perhaps. I don't think that the beet is anything special, but on the other hand I don't think that marketing something like this is bad either. Whatever sells, right? And let's be honest, cards on the table, I enjoyed this and liked it a hell of a lot better than tequiza. I know chicks will dig it. And hippie guys will probably love it too. So what the hell, spread the love!

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Wacko from Magic Hat Brewing Company
67 out of 100 based on 776 ratings.