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Wacko - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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776 Ratings
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Ratings: 776
Reviews: 414
rAvg: 2.85
pDev: 23.16%
Wants: 7
Gots: 36 | 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

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
Photo of bonkers
2.68/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is why you should look at reviews before purchasing. I poured from a 12 ounce glass into my SA pint glass. The beer pours like a cranberry/ 7-up mix with a thin fizzy white head. I do not want my beer to look like a "chicks" drink. The aroma is very faint, maybe a bit musty? The flavor is a little funky with a bitter finish. The beer is thin and highly carbonated. I guess the drinkability is OK, it is probably better at a BBQ with food to hide the beers lack of flavor. IMO the worst beer I have had from a craft brewer in a long time.

Photo of ChugsMugs
2.44/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A- I knew it advertised added beet juice but I was not expecting it to come out looking like cranberry sparkling soda. Minumum head, with some bubbles up the sides. Very transparent.

S- Strawberry? maybe a flowery aroma? Almost smells like water with a drop of fruit juice. No hoppiness whatsoever.

T- What taste? Watered down beet flavoring. Did not make me think "summer beer"

M- Like a less carbonated soda, but has the consistency just more carbonated than water.

D- This was the toughest aspect to rate. I say that the Wacko is drinkable, just not enjoyable for me.

Photo of SiphonKing
2.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It pours alright, it looks fine and the head retention is decent, but the taste is quite unexpected. This is not necessarily a bad thing if you like beet sugar. Wacko is listed as a "summer seasonal" at the liquor store with no hint of it's base style or malt/hop varieties inside. It's astringent and I detect no sour element to the beer. No frutiness from the ale yeast and not much in the way of layers in the pallette. Magic Hat has some good beers out there on the market. Unfortunately this is not one of them. Stay clear of this beer.

Photo of almychristopher
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer pours a very pink color with a matching head that has decent retention. the aroma provides a bit of sweet malt and some off notes... i assume the beat juice. the taste is alright with a bit of a sweet and sour thing going and a dry finish. not a bad beer but not one that i'm going out of my way to find.

Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Crystal clear bright red hue with a one finger pink head that slowly settles to a thick cap. The color moves toward pink when it's held up to the light.

Very light aroma, very hard to find the malts. The beets seem to add a bit of a musty, early, vegetable aroma.

Mildly toasty grains, with a little more of the earthy flavors, although the beets don't show up as much in the flavor. Mostly just very light malt. Lighter bodied.

Actually somewhat refreshing. I guess if you love beets this one will sit just well. Otherwise, it's a middle of the road beer that's maybe trying a little to hard to be original. I'm sure there are some fans out there.

Photo of mj71
2.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - pours a blush wine pink with a decent 1/2" head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer.

S - faint sweet malt, not a whole lot else.

T - I'm at a loss for a description. There's just not much of anything going on.

M - Actually quite good. Very smooth with a nice zing of carbonation.

D - If there was any flavor to be had this would be much higher. It's nice and light, but I don't crave another.

Bought as part of their summer mixpack.

Photo of superdudeo
3.5/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first two adjectives that come to mind when I sip this beer are crisp and humble.

Crisp in the sense that it has a satisfying mouth-feel that dissipates quickly, perfect for a summer beer. Humble because its hop profile is not as pronounced as I would have expected for an APA. For a style that is released as a seasonal in both winter (SA Celebration) and summer (Shipyard Summer), I feel Magic Hat did a good job negotiating this difficult style. Its light flavor and subtle hoppiness seems perfect for any summer gathering, while its hop profile could be appreciated through a snifter in the din of winter .I feel this beer is a satisfactory compromise between these two extremes.

Aesthetically, this beer drives me crazy (in a good way). The "beet" red color is fitting for the often eccentric Magic Hat, a brewery that buries retired beers (much like its Northern Vermont brethren Ben and Jerry's).

Head dissipates quickly with only a slight ring. It doesn't leave even the slightest trace of lacing.

Its smell does not do much for me. This beer is also extremely drinkable. At 4.5, it's no wonder.

Unfortunately, I don't think that many will share my view as this beer will be viewed as a Procrustean bed. Traditional APA fans will spurn its general lack of hops while summer beer fans, disappointed that Magic Hat has not created another Circus Boy, will wince as they choke back a six pack. The thought of this drives me WACKO!

Photo of hopdog
2.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Capone's.

Poured a medium reddish color (cherry Kool-Aid) with a smaller sized pinkish head. One Wacko looking beer. Aromas of vegetables (is i the beets?) and some grains. Tastes of the same with some sugary sweetness. This one was definitely different.

Photo of u2carew
2.83/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A) Beet red like the bottle says. Visible carbonation. Pours with a thin head then disperses to the edge of the glass leaving thin lacing after each sip. Good clarity.
S) Smells more like a hefeweizen or a pilsener than an APA. Yeasty and bready, with some slight caramel sweetness to it. A touch of citrus aroma.
T) A mellow sweetness up front, then a slide to a dry finish with just a bit, but barely even noticeable hop.
M) Crisp up front but then blah.
D) An alright brew. Not too impressed, but to each his own.

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!

Photo of mikereaser
2.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a pinkish orange color with 1/2 inch of foam that quickly disappeared to just a layer of tiny bubbles

S - yeasty, bready aroma, faint sweet malt

T - there is an earthy taste to it, not sure if its the beet juice or what, but its not very good in my opinion. it kind of tastes like wet cardboard

M/D - decent carbonation, but the flavor is just off to me. I had one and now i'm good.

Photo of dickieb
2.86/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours Beat red/pink with not much head and no, lacing. The color is interesting but it in no way resembles a beer. The smell is very light with a small whiff of hops and candied sugar. The taste is not much more then the smell, there is nothing offensive and the flavors that i can pick up are not bad in anyway, but it has as much flavor as a bud light. I could put quite a few of these away easily enough because there is nothing wrong with it, but it dose not impress me at all. How can Magic hat replace some of its better brews with this??

Photo of clayrock81
2.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Didn't know what to expect so when the bartender handed my ruby red/pinkish draft I thought he mixed my brew up with my wife's order (she had a Fraimboise). The head was nonexistent and it carbonated like Cherry 7Up. One whiff and I didn't pick up much except some faint hops and some minor dark fruit notes. It is a little watery and slick, with minor hop bitterness and dryness in there along with some floral hop notes. Picked up some sweet malts on the backend for a decent balancing act. I am not slamming the beer by its color and Magic Hat usually comes up with good beers, but this one is a miss.

Photo of billybob
2.94/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pink beer what next! looks good in the glass held the head well and left a nice lace on the glass. smells funky and metallic. malty dry taste, crisp carbonation and a light mouthfeel. left me with that metallic after taste that i didn't care for so its not something i would buy but its not a bad beer.

Photo of lstokes
2.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe this is me being a girl and all, but it's a pink beer! I got really really excited about it after the pour: beautiful color, a thin head, a little bit of rising carbonation.

But the beer? Completely average. Not bad--a pretty typical american pale ale, I think, and goes down easily, with an almost soda-like mouthfeel, kind of watery, so not my cup of tea, but I would have liked it when I started drinking.

But BORING. I'm not sure the beet juice adds anything but color, and maybe a bit of a sour/earthy note in the smell--my friend said "It smells like I'm about to drink borscht." He also felt that it tasted like a potato at the end.

Might drink again, but only if it was summer, my other options were worse, and maybe there was a pink themed party going on. That's what this beer was made for: a pink themed party with a bunch of your macro-drinking friends. For that it would get an A+.

Photo of boatyard
3.9/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

the color caught me as soon as i poured it, a pinkish reddish color that looked like a fruit beer. it had a pinkish foamy head that left in a hurry. no lacing. it smelled sweet with a little bread mixed in there. you could taste the malt, sweet, and a little bitter with a dry finish. you can not taste the color(you know what i mean). low in abv so drinkability is there. as far as summer beers go this one is ok. i liked the unusual appearance, and it made me like it more(mental thing, cause i love beets.) give it a whirl with an open mind, and compare it to other summer offerings.

Photo of Hokies
2.93/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours pink with a fizzy pink white head. This is one very different beer that smells quite sweet and not that much in the way of anything else except for some pale malts. The taste follows the aroma with the sweetness and pale malts. Probably my least favorite out of the Summer Mix.

Photo of gobias
2.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Generally I really like Magic Hat offerings, except this one.

The color is a bit odd, a pale pinkish, to me it looked like diet soda. It has a pleasant sweet smell. The taste is kind of bland. Its not offensive or over powering but rather lacking any real lasting flavor. Once again, with the taste I was kind of reminded of diet soda.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.05/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Slightly hazy, pinkish orange. A finger of white head forms with moderate to low retention, very minimal lacing.

S - Sweet fruits (berries?) and a touch of citrus. Some earthy American wheat is present as well.

T - Sweetness with a slightly tart edge kicks in first with hints of a sweet/sour berries. Am I tasting the beets as well? I can't be sure. Mid palate the fruit flavor begins fading is replaced by a quick citric snap. Earthy, grainy American wheat is all that remians.

M - Light bodied with a moderate to high carbonation. Fairly crisp.

D - Meh. Tastes like another flavored wheat ale for the most part. Interesting for a few sips but nothing that stands out.

Photo of Hibernator
3.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Wacko
12 oz brown bottle
Best by August 2009 (It's a freshy)
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a hazy pink-red color. A funky beer color for sure, with a light pink hue to match. Trails of lacings cling to the glassware.

The nose is rather bland, maybe some whiffs of grains and sweetness.

The mouthfeel starts kinda smooth and creamy with a strong carbonation presence. The taste overall though is tart and bitter with some fruit juice sweetness mixed in.

A unique beer (they named it correctly), but nothing special here. I don't see myself revisiting this anytime soon, but glad I tried it.

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 ergodyne
3.26/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Don't judge a book by it's cover is the terminology that came to mind with this beer..i just bought to try it out..didn't know about the beet coloring until just cracking open the first one....it's looks like a raspberry lambic (which i've tried before and is awful) but it taste similar to a summer notion beer from last summer. It had a nice pinkish head that never quite settled....to me it tasted like a piney summer beer...don't let the color trick u...good session beer for the summer...it's sure is a head turner..the color that is.

Photo of rabsten
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

See, I'd been drinking...

It had been a rough week at work. I had my first day that sucked and no particular day where everything went right. And then Friday comes and I finish my day with a trip to an overcrowded Outback to meet my parents and great anunt/uncle. Great. So I excuse myself, head to the bar, get a Samuel Adams - 'cause it's Outback, right? Then my second happy hour Sam and just for the hell of it a glass of Maccallans 12, which at only $8 is a bargain (and doubly so since the big-boned barmistress seemed to have a thing for me...at least until she had to track me down in the dining room to settle my bar tab. That ended the budding relationship real quick. But she still gave me a double for the price of the one shot). Accordingly I had a decent buzz going after my meal, tooling through the Transit Mall, being brusque-to-rude to the panhandlers - hey, I was on the phone and walking with a purpose. Interrupt me with an "excuse me but..." and I'm NOT going to be the friendliest person on Earth. Or Charleston, dubbya-vee, for that matter.

But I digress. I decided I needed a six pack, since all I had at home was cellar-quality big beers and a single bottle of Shiner Bock. And since it's 90-fricken-degrees I thought: Summer Beers. Craft Pils, Kolsches, and Wheats. One of the most wonderful times of the year. So off to my go-to convenience store. A place where good beer is always available and great beer sometimes appears. Harpoon, Great Lakes, Sierra Nevada. Mmmm.

Alas, It was not to be.

There I was, looking forlornly at the cooler. The Sierra Nevada row was full of good stuff, yes, but not the desired SN Summer Brew. Sure, there was ESB, which, for some screwy reason, is known as their "Early Spring Beer." Spring, huh? I was buying it back when Barack was raising his right hand to god and misspeaking the Oath of Office. Yes, I know it wasn't his fault but that's not the point: the ESB, while very good, is three months old, slightly stale, and I've had a crapload of it already. Harpoon? IPA only. And the Shiner shelf? Let's see...Bock..check...Hefe...yeah, but that's not that great...and what's that? Holiday Beer!?! 2008 beer? Naw, not for me.

Then I see it. The Magic Hat shelf. Now, I'm not a big MH fan - more style over substance is my experience - but the Hocus Pocus is a good summer beer and that's what I was looking for. And there's the seasonal pack right there. But it's not Hocus. It's something called Wacko. It says it's a summer seasonal. It says it's a "crisp summer beer." And while it's not something I've ever had before it sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. $7.99 later it's mine.

Let me say this up front: It was fine out of the bottle. Not especially great but perfectly serviceable. No reason to actively seek it out but no reason to actively avoid, either. Take it or leave it, just like most of my Magic Hat experiences.

But pour it into a glass....dear God in Heaven above. What. The. Hell?

Appearance: Poured into a soon-to-be-terribly-appropriate Weeping Radish Brewery pint glass. It's got a great fluffy thick head that lasts. Good lacing. Good carbonation. Not bad at all.

Except it's fucking BEET RED with A PINK HEAD. Pink. Bright Pink. PINK!!! JEE-Zus Kee-rist, it's ugly as fuck. Ugly. As. Fuck. Awful. Jolly Rancher Watermelon red. Pepto Bismol Pink. Nauseating. Psychotropically bad. I wish I could give it a zero but I can't. The BA API won't let me.

Aroma: Mild malt.

Flavor: Mild malt with decent hop finish.

mouthfeel: Not as crisp as I wanted but not bad.

Drinkabilty. Good. Unless you look at it. Then it's terrible.

It's probably the other ethanol in my system but man, this is an abortion of a beer if you look at it. Keep it in the bottle and it's fine. Perfectly reasonable. Pour it into a vessel and...I give up. I warned you.

Magic Hat must be stopped. Seriously. This has to end.

Die, Magic Hat, die.

+Edit: Grammar corrections (hey, I'd had a few). And taste taken down a peg now that I've finished it off.

Photo of SaintPeter
2.15/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful pinkish red color with a sizeable cotton candy pink head of frothy foam that dissipates quickly. The color is really nice, reminding me of a pink champagne. A delve into the extreme brewing. Some lacing left on the glass.

The smell is strange, like a whole beet with the dirt still on it and the roots and greens intact mixed with spring blossoms. Some tart cranberries. Not sure if this is an ale or a lager, but it smells as if it is a lager. Not much else in there.

Taste very unimpressive after the fine appearance. Not much of the...not much of anything comes through, actually. Some hints of fresh cranberries and some nuttiness. If you close your eyes, it tastes just like the last Odd Notion spring beer or most of their other ales (#9, Odd Notions, etc.). Not really a difference, if you ask me, just the reddish-pink color. Try a side-by-side taste test and see for yourself.

Light bodies with a yuck sensation in the aftertaste. It would be a good beer to drink during a really hot day when you don't want to deal with taste, when you just want refreshment.

This tastes like one of those mainstream beer that craft beer consumer rage against, just with a pretty color to it. Unfortunate, because the vibe and the marketing of Magic Hat and what they promote is fantastic. I feel really bad saying this, but it is about the beer. This is not a good beer as far as flavor and quality.

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

So I picked up the Summer pack at the Price Chopper ONLY becasue I was amazed that there was a Magic hat sampler that didn't have Circus Boy in it. so lets see what this tastes like.

A: its pink... ok is it a wine cooler or beer, got hardly no head with a heavy pour and no lacing as far as i can see, preparing for the worst.

S: Not really picking up anything here. almost msells like a fruit spritzer, which honestly is what it looks like.

T: The taste is very watery, almost no malt and maybe a small twinge of hops, almost tastes like beets, which i can't stand in the first place. Over all there is little that makes me want to keep drinking this beer, its destined for the sink.

M: very water, overly carbonated, its like someone put fruit syrup in bud light.

D: I guess you could drink a whole 12 of these if you wanted to, but for me there's nothing to keep me wanting to drink this disappointment. Perhaps its magic hat pandering to its more hipster beer drinking crowd instead of real beer drinkers, but they've gone down a notch in my book, at least HiPA is still good.

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