Circus Boy | Magic Hat Brewing Company

659 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 659 | Ratings: 1,666
Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have a friend who loves Magic Hat beers but hates this one... I still struggle to see how that can be. For me Circus Boy is a top choice when it comes to Magic Hat. I had this for the first time back in March 2008 and I really enjoy it ever since. The beer poured out as a nice hazy yellow color, much like a Hefeweizen should look. The head was fluffy and white. The smell of the beer has a nice clove, banana, and wheat aroma coming off of it. The taste has the banana and wheat flavors through out the beer. I never tried this with an orange wedge but I'm sure that's pretty good too. The mouthfeel is light and creamy feeling, very drinkable summer brew. Overall I really enjoy it, I like having it on hot days or anytime for that matter.

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Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured hazy yellow in color into a weizen glass with a two finger high head that faded into a thin layer of bubbles that consistently covered the surface. A medium amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: Aromas of wheat are definitely present along with some hints of citrus, but there are also some sour notes that don't make this seem very appetizing.
T: The taste is mostly dominated by the wheat backbone and has some notes of lemon citrus. Little, if any bitterness from the hops is detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate level of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't difficult to drink and it's low alcohol content makes it very sessionable, although I wouldn't consider it to be very thirst-quenching.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Bought as part of a 12 pack for $11.99

This is one of the better Hefe's Ive had. Definitely an odd take on one, which doesn't surprise me at all considering this is Magic Hat we're talking about. Some nice banana and clove aromas and taste but the drinkability is superb, which is the most important thing. Would definitely have this again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.68/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The lable suggests that this beer would be a standard German Hefeweizen, but after a few sips (and confirmed by the appearance) it is evident that this beer is the inferior American Wheat. the pour brings a muddled golden, straw color with a head formation that falls between fizzy and froathy; but never hung around as it should. the scent is of bread, wheat malt, citus fruits, and a diry, musty aroma that I would later decide to be a deterant. Flavors of wheat malt and barley struggle to give the beer a decent sweetness or body over the tart citric acids. Lemons and grapefruit (not hops) govern the flavors, allowing a bruised-appricot flavor to prevail. Dirty tasting phenols gain intensity as the beer warms, leaving a musty, dusty, attic-like taste on the toung, particularly in the finish. Body starts firm, but finishes thin because of the acidity. Minerally to taste and interferes with mouthfeel. Not the best wheat beer for me, but I've had worse.

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Photo of brentk56
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy straw color with a very frothy head that leaves a nice pattern of lacing

Smell: Kumquat citrus and yeast aroma; interesting, but a bit murky

Taste: Harsh, peppery flavor from the start; lemony complexity after the swallow; pithy and tastes as if it was flavored with Angostura bitters

Mouthfeel: A bit thin but plenty of prickly carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting experiment but not to my taste; I had this on tap recently and enjoyed it a bit more and remember it as more like a traditional hefe than this

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Photo of zeff80
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of LXIXME
2.75/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A lightly hazy, straw colored body, topped by a half an inch of white foam. The head recedes at a moderate pace and leaves thick lace in its wake.

S - Lightly spicy wheat witha hint of sweet malt and that's pretty much all there is to this one.

T - Some lightly tart wheat up front with a hint of malt. Some light bubblegum yeast flavor peaks out in the middle and is pushed aside by herbal hop flavor and very light bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a relatively dry finish.

D - Honestly, it isn't all that bad for what it is. There is just a touch of real Weizen yeast character as a nod to the beers distant origins and the wheat and malt are well balanced with the light hop character. There is nothing the least bit interesting going on here, but it isn't at all offensive either and it is really pretty drinkable, which is more than I can say for most of the other beer that I have had from this brewery.

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Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a a cloudy cross of lemonade and iced tea with a thinner white head that had no lasting power,at first the aromas struck me as unappetizing but after a minute it was better had like a wet grain element but the lemon and slight cloviness showed up after a minute.Wheat malt flavors are large here and toasted cereal grain with the lemon and clove taking a backseat although noticable mainly in the finish.You know its not half bad I am not a huge fan of American wheat ales but this has character a little rough around the edges but its worthy of having a few on warm spring day I think.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Basic American Wheat with some chutzpa.

When poured with a swirl of the bottle to rouse the yeast, it gives a very nice, cloudy yellow-orange (just like a peach) body beneath a short head of white froth. The lacing is decent.

The nose is a bit fuller than many examples of the style, and it offers some generic spiciness (a combination of black pepper and coriander/clove) and lemon, but some sulphur as well. Some chalky/nutty yeastiness is present too.

In the mouth it's crisp and medium-light bodied.

The flavor is as the nose sugggests, with a balancing acidity and bitterness. What malt is there is tame, and somewhat bland... wheaty, but almost cardboard-like at the same time - or is that just a cloak of yeastiness? Or maybe due to the pepperiness? The spiciness comes through clearly. No hop flavor is apparent, but it does have a kind of tea-like side.

It finishes chalky dry with a lingering note of lemon and pepper that hang on the tongue.

Interesting but not great. The bitterness seems slightly full for what it is. I'd rather see a touch more sweetness in play with the pepper and lemon. In comparison with other examples of the style, however, it's at least got some character to it. Worth trying.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a mildly hazy, pale yellow with a foamy white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: A lemon & wheat aroma with a background of malt and yeast and a slight hint of alcohol.

T: It has a mild but hearty wheat & malt flavor with a touch of lemon, well-balanced taste that stays consistent from beginning to end and a very faint lemony malt after-taste.

M: Very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation and a clean, slightly dry finish.

D: This is an easy-drinking, poundable kind of beer, due to the smoothness and mild flavor. This was decent beer. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s perfect for the beer-drinker looking to take their first step out of the macro rut.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.65/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Pours pretty clear for an unfiltered wheat beer; bright golden color with a tiny layer of bubbles for a head. Light and grassy aroma, that follows through in the taste, with a bit of mild, sweet citrus. Goes down easy without the acidic bite characteristic of many other wheat beers. Thin, but fairly drinkable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale yellow body with one inch of creamy, snow white head. Highly effervescent.

Smell: Overall, a weak nose smelling of wheat crackers and with only the faintest notes of citrus and spice. For the finale, perhaps Magic Hat can pull a little flavor out of the hat and make my disappointment vanish into thin air.

Taste: Abracadabra! Crackery wheat malt taste with a brief sugary sweetness. Very light everything: lemon, spice, fruitiness, hop bitterness. Bland, watery finish with a crisp charge of carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Well carbonated, from the first sip to the last it's like a sparkling water.

Drinkability: Somewhat acceptable for a light, summertime beer, but the lack of flavor leaves me underwhelmed and the never-ending carbonation leaves me feeling like I've downed an entire six-pack, so I doubt I'll be hanging out again with C-Boy anytime soon.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
2.94/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought this as part of 12 pack variety down ar Kure Beach, NC, BBD of 1 Sep 07, consumed mid-July

Poured a hazed amber with 1' of offwhite head. Zero head retention or lacing

S: Slight sour notes & some apricots

T: Apricots & apples with some hop bitterness up front. Slight peppery notes as this warms. Finishes dry with apple peels & more apricot

Drinks average, even in real hot weather, not one to reccomend IMO. Revised my scores up alittle bit seeing the wasn't a hefe, otherwise I'd just say avoid at all costs...

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decided to use this one to start off my day. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/25/2009.

The pour was very nicely done. Nice bright yellow in color with a rich head of white coming up and over the top. Lots of carbonation was evident even through the light haze. Light grain and banana aroma here, some small semblence of yeast as well. Smooth, clean, crisp flavor. Tight flavor profile came in as quickly as it left, leaving no real flavor on the tongue and only a modest aftertaste.

Overall while being quite the sessionable beer, the lack of depth and strong, pronounced profile leave it a tick above average. Still though, this would not be bad at all in a pinch.

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Photo of smcolw
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly clear for a wheat beer (slight haze); Gold color; light lace on the glass side. Moderate head with excellent lasting power.

Crisp smell; aromas of lightly toasted bread; biscuity.

There's a slight sourness to this beer. Strong spicy and bitter finish. Very little wheat flavor compared to most of this style. High carbonation; decent body.

This is a lighter beer; it's quenching and easily finished.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at my cousin's wedding at the Susquehanna Club in New Cumberland Pa. Served cold in a tumbler.
A - Cloudy gold w/ an amber hue, the head is white and about a full inch high and creamy in appearance. There is a good amount of lace that clings well.

S - Yeasty odors w/ a light custard note. Slightly doughy w/ a gentle wheat aroma.

M - Light body, low carbonation w/ gentle sweetness and creamy round qualities.

T - A light wheat cereal taste w/ a lemony spice note. The taste has a gentle nutty quality. The graininess is light w/ more of a banana shake like smoothness. Pretty samey after the intial taste.

D - Not too complex, after a pint I was satisfied. It serves its purpose as an easy to drink American wheat. It has some moments that are better than average, but I would probably pass next opportunity.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a freshness date on the back label. Under the cap "Being Stronger means Living Longer"

A- Dirty dish water foam clings to the glass ... I know that sounds disgusting but that it is what it looks like. Pale beige orange clouded color from the yeast and pale malts.

S- Touch spicy, touch lemony. Dusty wheat malt flour. Nuetral but nutty yeast in the back.

T&M- Iced lemon herbal tea comes to mind with a spicy wheat kick. Roughness of the grain keeps an edge, muted yeast adds one more layer to the mix. A bit smoother than crisp, with a solid medium body. Finishes with a musty dryness.

D- This beer is as interesting as its name, a nice surprise coming from Magic Hat. One of the first American Wheat Ales that does not make me think "summer seasonal". They took a somewhat pedestrian style and added some flare to it, this one gets a thumbs up from me.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.48/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

I feel dirty drinking out of this glass, but it's what they have here, so c'est la vie indeed. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear straw topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises wheat, corn syrup, and very light lettuce. There's a palpable sweetness pervading. The taste holds notes of light funky wheat, old lemon peel, and a pinch of black pepper. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a surprisingly very dry finish. Overall, a pretty sad hefe. The yeast character is nil, the wheat is funky, and things just seemed generally off.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.71/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer is hazy and yellow, as is typical of the style. Small white head that leaves a thick trail of lacing on the glass. The aroma offers lemons, malt, cleaning solution. More cleaning solution and artificial lemon in the flavor. Lacking body, character. Tastes gimmicky, cheap. Just not my thing. I would never choose this over any German hefe. Not a repeat.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a heavily clouded orange blossom honey hue with a large off white head at least two fingers deep leaves uneven bands of lacing with each sip. Aromatics slightly tart accents from the wheat additions here absent today are all of the yeast highlights of banana clove and vanilla from the typical hefeweizen definitely seems more of an American Wheat. Touch of citrus in the nose with some bready doughy yeast and malt tones not so much sweet in smell but gristy and bread like. Flavors sharp wheat with powdered yeast doughy notes and finishes with citrus and herbal hop tones nothing overpowers here all aspects of the beer are blended well. Kind of a let down if your expecting a tasty hefe but nonetheless a solid American Wheat pretty satisfying. Mouthfeel prickly carbonation tickles the throat body is light not watery has some substantial protein body here from the wheat. Drinkability is decent like I said seems bland to me but better than most American wheats with any fruit additions out there, definitely refreshing.

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Photo of stakem
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy yellow color with a thin white head momentarily. Doesn't have much retension and laces just a bit on the glass where the head previously resided. Both the aroma and taste are full of lemon...and rightfully so since the label states it is brewed with lemongrass. Up front it is a little sweet and it finishes quite crisp, you can pick up on a slight bit of citrus (other than lemon) in the finish as well. High amount of carb and thin, light feel which is expected for the style. I am a little bummed out that there isn't any banana or clove character in either the nose or the taste but it still fits the bill. Not bad overall but I am content with just trying this once, there are others I prefer but it was worth the experience for the lemongrass addition.

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Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.42 out of 5 based on 1,666 ratings.
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