Circus Boy | Magic Hat Brewing Company

658 Reviews
Circus BoyCircus Boy

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

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

Added by Jason on 02-03-2006

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Reviews: 658 | Ratings: 1,659
Photo of corpseshredder
1.12/5  rDev -67.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Simply disgusting. The worst wheat I've ever had. Very strong chemical taste, resembles bar soap, the kind your mother would put in your mouth for drinking such an awful beer. Magic Hat usually makes an acceptable brew, but this is most certainly not one.

I got one in a mix and match pack. After a quarter of the beer I ended up dumping it out, which, anyone who knows me, would say is unbelievable.

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Photo of WhiteOak
1.15/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A- The color is a hazy golden yellow, minimal foam.

S- Thoroughly foul chemical odor, acetone. Repulsive smell.

T- Sour, foul chemical taste. Only on the finish is there the slightest hint that this was once a beer. Infected. Undrinkable.

M, D- Drain pour.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.29/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

$1.70 for a 12 oz bottle at Jacks. Pours out to a brilliantly clear apricot, forming a modest white head with poor retention and no lacing. Moderately carbonated. The aroma is of lemon pledge, dust, and windex. Horrible nose. The mouthfeel is watery and limp with a light body. The taste is horrible as well...lemon pledge, windex, antique furniture, and dustbunnies. This beer doesn't even deserve my continuing.

Horrible, absolutely horrible. Down the drain. How can they sell this crap?

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Photo of bboven
1.32/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The appearance is a beautiful deep cloudy orange. The head is not as thick as I would like for this style, and the bubbles are small and rise quickly more like a macro brew. Decent lacing, though.

Smells of yeast autolysis and sour metal.

Huge sour flavor, tastes like an infected homebrew more than a commercial example of a wheat.

Mouth feel is creamy and bubbly, not grainy as I would expect, but not bad.

Awful, awful beer. I wouldn't even cook with this infected tasting beer. One of the worst beers I've ever paid good money for.

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Photo of PC740
1.43/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This review has no intent of matching the highly descriptive jargon used on this site by more experienced professionals. It reflects the utter disappointment of picking up a six pack after a 14 hour day only to be let down in the worst way.

A light amber color - like apple cider - it pours with slight effervescence with only a half finger head appearing at the last 2 ounces. Yeast on the bottom clouds the pour. The immediate scent is an odd mix of dirty stagnant water and bleach. On sniffing the bottle, faint spices and fruit are detectable.

A hint of pepper appears on taste; carbonation up front, and a watery back end. The foul scent is confirmed. A cask strength scotch is necessary for proper cleansing.

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Photo of tmd44
1.65/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

magic hat is one of the greatest brewing companies known to the beer loving man. i have tasted many a good magic hat in my day. also, i am quite a fan of the hefeweizen style beer. i had this from the joe's garage variety pack( WOOP WOOP TO MY PEOPLE"S!), the appearance was amazing, the smell was quite deceiving, the taste remind me of death, the mouthfeel was terrible, the drinkability...there is no is non existent...i recommend all true magic hat drinkers to never touch this beer. it is absolutely horrendous. the worst magic hat on the market. do yourself a favor and drink a natural light before you drink this. unless you like chewing on salted offense to magic hat. kudo's to an excellent brewing company. however, take the rest of your circus boy and pour it down the toilet drain.
from the 1810 crew...

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Photo of Liquids
1.93/5  rDev -43.6%
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.

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Photo of Floydster
1.96/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle that was part of a Magic Hat mixed pack I received in a trade, split with a friend, poured into a pint glass

A-Super light orange with a yellow tint in the light, 1/3 inch white bubbly head, not much retention, no lacing at all

S-Wheat, bready malt, faint grassy hoppiness, pepper, lots of yeast, lemon, spices, and orange peel

T-Lots of wheat and chewiness, yeast, biscuits, bread, faint amount of spice, black pepper, slightly sweet malt in the finish, weird sourness caused by the oranges or lemons, some grains, more wheat in the aftertaste, too overpowering, no balance, weak taste overall

M-Medium body, taste does not last, small level of carbonation, watered down with not much bite, slightly tarty mouthfeel from the citrus

D-Could not drink many more ounces of this, heavier on the stomach than you would think, ABV is only 5%, not smooth

Another loser of the night in my opinion, my buddy did not like this one either, too sweet and unbalanced in my opinion, will never have this again by choice, not recommended to anybody

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Photo of dacrza1
1.98/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Always a pleasure to try something "new" from the Burlington ladies and gents...pours fizzy to the point of oral effervescence, two-finger head in weizen glass...left no trace in a swift eerie tawny golden funnel cloud centered in its slightly opaque its namesake, quite odd...lemony scent with some clove notes...six-month storage may have something to do with all this....but malty? flattened mouthfeel, straight to throat flow; thus, refreshing yet absent from any distinction...I bet a lemon or orange BlueMoons this into some summer fun... straight-up in May, this Magic Hat leaves me feeling ordinary...

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Photo of changeup45
1.99/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I got this from their Summer variety 12 pack. Hazy, murky, tanish color with a pretty thick off-white head and quite a bit of lacing left on the glass. I'm actually not sure if that's the beer, or the fact that this may have shifted. The aroma isn't the greatest, it smells like some sort of mild chemical. The flavor is a bit better but I've got to warn you, if you don't like a lemon zing then you're not going to like this. Mostly lemon with this odd mild cleaning formula taste mixed in and in case you were wondering, that's a bad thing. I ended up with one of the three bottles from this mixed pack sitting for a long long time because I never felt like drinking it and that's also not a good thing.

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Photo of fishtownhxc
2/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

first off, i'd like to point out that i'm a fan of a lot of what magic hat has done in the past. number nine and hocus pocus are both great beers, and i enjoy them quite often, especially in the summer.

as for their circus boy hefeweizen, i have no idea what they were thinking.

this might be the worst hefeweizen i've ever had. when poured into a glass it almost looks as if the beer was filtered because there isn't much yeast haziness at all. i don't even know how they came to the conclusion of calling this a hefeweizen because it's not even close.

there is also virtually no banana or clove type flavoring as well, which is what makes hefeweizens so damn good. instead there's an almost soap like flavor that makes me want to never try this beer again. honestly, my only guess is that this batch wasn't done properly, or the reviewers that gave it a much higher rating had an entirely different beer than me.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.03/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dirty wheat with a muddy ivory and very clingy head fills my weizen glass. Very cloudy. Sweet malt aroma, some spice, mild citrus. Flavor is bland, harsh lemony yeast. Very poor. I found very little substance or character in this beer at all. Mouthfeel is chalky, medium bodied, highly carbonated, and grainy. Very disappointing and hardly drinkable.

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Photo of Lambstrong
2.06/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This came out of the bottle with a golden hazzy color and almost no head. It has an upfront citrus, almost limey aroma. In addition, it has a tart citrusy lime flavor. No discernable hops present. I have to say this has been my least favorite Magic Hat beer to date. Too much on the citrus flavoring. It would benefit from some stronger hop presence to balance this beer out.

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Photo of hardy008
2.09/5  rDev -38.9%
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.

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Photo of jlapennas
2.13/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Called a Hefeweizen on the bottle but Amer. Wheat here. I'd say is more the later. Actually reminds me more of the Sam Adam's summer ale than either style above.

Aroma: Lemon, some banana esters, medicine chest phenol that comes and goes, band-aid, mild background malt character.

Appearance: Hazy but I left most of the yeast in the bottle so not to the point of being murky. Low foam that fades quickly OK for Amer. wheat - would be a much bigger ding if you called this a Hefeweizen.

Flavor: Starts out with a doughy slightly sweet wheat malt character with some creaminess. Followed by a moderately strong phenolic flavor similar to band-aid type aroma. Fruitiness is in the mix as well - mostly lemon. The finish is a little rugged, yeasty, nutty, dirty, and a little spicy - coriander?

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp but without a very high level of carbonation. I like the wheat malt protein character - very creamy for being so light bodied.

Overall: Not a good example of a Hefeweizen or an American wheat. It's too bad breweries like their marketing guys name these beers. This is more like a summer seasonal. I'd actually say this beer is kind of awkward and unpleasant to drink. The phenolic elements really take away from the overall impression. I'm generally not super impressed with Magic Hat beers and this actually undershoots that impression a little. I'd pass on this one unless your a huge fan of seasonal lemony wheat beers.

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Photo of scott
2.14/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Nice yellow pour, with a nice cloud that screams excitement.
Nothing noteworthy to comment on as far as aroma.
A completely boring and weak interpretation of this style. even the yeast was not worth commenting on.
Thin. Watery. If I go on, I will be scolding an imaginary brewer.
Alas, a lemon wedge (a salvage effort) couldn't save this one.

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Photo of marcpal
2.16/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle from MH Feast of Fools Pack. Had a long time ago but thought I would give it another effort with the sampler.

A: Golden color typical of an nonfiltered wheat. Not much remarkable about this one in terms of head, retention, or lacing.

S: Yeast and wheat. Not much else here but had some thick biscuity odors. Not all that exciting.

T: Citrus wheat and not much bitterness, free of any hop flavor. All around bland.

M: Carbonated and left the mouth extremely dry. Light and airy, yeasty mouthfeel.

D: Not a fan again of wheat ales, but I still dont think this is a good example that was all that enjoyable. I would advise to pass on this one unless giving it the effort as part of the sampler. Had to get through these to enjoy ones I know Ill love- roxy rolles and 9.

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Photo of Brew33
2.2/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Very unimpressed. I had heard wonderful things about this beer and was extremely disappointed. It poured a nice yellow. It smelled like Lemon and Miller Lite. The taste was sweet with a cheap lemon/wheat taste that hangs around for a long time. It is relatively refreshing but the taste is not very good. Because it is so light you could drink multiple beers in a sitting but the flavor and aftertaste should be enough to keep you from picking this up again.

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Photo of tapman
2.26/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

BING BONG! Last stop on the magic hat express. 4 out of 4.

Just what you expect out of a wheat ale, pale as it may be. Pours a light golden haze. Unfiltered, or at least limited filtration, opposed to Abita's Purple Haze (I can't believe they have the nerve to mention wheat in there at all). Creamy head that dissipates quickly a la most magic hat, but lets move on...

Faint apricot fruitiness mixed with a metallic/ alcohol back, also faint. Hops and malts are equally as mild as everything else.

There isn't too much taste at all in this one. It started out so promising with the appearance, but truthfully this brew flunks out in the taste department. Its like the student who knew the material well enough, but gazed at the thong straps of the hot girl in front of him and left half the answers blank when time ran out.

Has some wheat texture, but doesn't live up to the "unfiltered" declaration on the label. Maybe they should have used more wheat, or at least some more yeast to raise the alcohol to make this brew worth the money.

When wheat is involved there are certain expectations. Also this is definitely not a Hefeweizen as the label suggests due to the lack of wheat-beer standards. Thinner than it has to be!

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Photo of TheDeuce
2.28/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Magic Hat Circus Boy....

Appearance-pale yellow, huge head, really really active carbonation, head is gigantic,

Smell-usual pungent aroma of bananas and sugar, some fruit, but the banana takes up most space.

Taste/Mouthfeel-heavy wheat flavor, bananas and fruits come in, muddled unfinished flavor which isn't pleasant, carbonated to the max.

Drinkability-not for me, but others may like.

Overall-the beer was made alright but for me it felt unfinished and had a flavor that was really not good. I didn't enjoy and will not seek out again.

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Photo of believeinpeople
2.3/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Everything about this beer is completely opposite of the mark of hefeweisen. Clear, bright color with no head retention, unlike a cloudy, frothy hef. Very faint floral and fruity aromas; no in-your-face banana or apricot esters of a Hef.

A very basic pilsner or traditional lager taste; that same old grainy flavor tht many big brews are achieving. The body, flavor, and intensity that you are expecting in a hef are completely absent from this beer. The main flavor difference between this and a basic big brew: the pathetic attempt to add a hint of fruit and the even more noticeable hint of metallic aftertaste.

I don't mean to be a downer, but this beer is so bland and off the mark of what it is advertised as that I don't know how they get away with the label. A sizebale fail for Magic Hat.

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Photo of DZiegler
2.31/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A: Typical hefeweizen appearance. Light golden color and hazy. Very thin head formed but dissipated within about 10 seconds leaving no lacing.

S: Definitely can smell the fruitiness of the beer. Hints of citrus and something else sweet, can't quite put a finger on it.

T: Very sweet tasting at first, but the aftertaste is pretty bad, i.e. watery and bland

M: Very light with little carbonation.

O: Overall, I can't say it was a bad beer, but it wasn't a great one either. I expected more from the beer as Magic Hat usually has a great product.

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Photo of HopAlongG
2.33/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

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Photo of DrunkPagan
2.34/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

There are good hefeweizens, and bad hefeweizens. Good ones are light, aromatic, flavorful, and the really good ones have a nice crispy aftertaste. The Circus boy has none of that.
While it has an appealing light honey color, the smell put me off. It reminds me of some floral soaps that we have in the bathroom i.e. too powerful, too heavy, and slightly soapy.
The taste was also a let down. A slightly sour aftertaste to a sickeningly sweet flavor. I can barely taste some hops, but they don't mix well.
There is a bit of crispness as it rests on the taste buds, but it's mostly from carbonation. Worst of all, this one goes down heavy. My stomach is still protesting. There are better hefeweizens out there.

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Photo of chiefydawg
2.34/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Neat packaging overall, let's get to the beer inside. Very pallid and hazy yellow with a short, white,frothy head. There is the signature yeast at the bottom to swirl loose.

Smells wheaty with some fake citrus. No real banana, clove, or bubblegum to speak of, but a soapy, spent-grain aroma lingering. Not pleasant.

Initial taste is artificially cloying as it hits the tongue, partially due to the smell. After a couple sips, it settles in as not quite so bad. By the end of the glass it becomes more wheaty and crisp like a Hefe should, though this is more of an American Wheat ale with a Now N Later dissolved.

Overall, I would not recommend. Not the kind of flavor I want in a Hefeweizen, and I could go get something more palate refreshing seen in a commercial during any NFL game.

Note: I'm glad I didn't review more of these out of the 12 pack sampler in fear of sounding harsh. The #9 was even worse, but the Roxy was by far the best. I don't plan to buy more, so doubt if I review.

Edit - I see this is listed as an American Pale Wheat Ale on heere which makes more sense, though the bottle says "The Hefeweizen".

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Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.42 out of 5 based on 1,659 ratings.
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