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

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Reviews: 659 | Ratings: 1,666
Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of bnes09
3.89/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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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 FightingEntropy
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.24/5  rDev -5.3%
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. 

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Photo of CEversole
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of Kendo
3.25/5  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.

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Photo of boyessen
2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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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 DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of LazFTW
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of berliner07
2.46/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

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Photo of JMWEB2
3.91/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A bright golden yellow, very little head, and a permanent cloudy look.

S: Sort of watery sweetness/ citrus aroma. A little earthy as well.

T: Sweet lemony/ fruity taste up front almost tangy, but also hoppy bitterness finish. Some lemon zest? Nice take on hefe by Magic Hat.

M: Pretty light and easy drinkability, very refreshing.

O: I enjoyed this beer, as expected Magic Hat departs from typical Bavarian-style Hefe, but in a good way.

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Photo of Scourge07
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with 1/2 to 1 finger of head that does not take long to dissipate. Much carbonation.

Smell: Wheaty/Biscuity with a touch of honey. There is a slight sweetness to it.

Taste: I'm detecting wheat, citrus, and a very subtle banana-like flavor. It is a tad tart/bitter, however, there is almost no detectable hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thin, yet creamy. Heavy carbonation adds a bite to the tongue like soda.

Overall: This is a decent beer. It's a bit lacking in the flavor department as the taste in general is rather subdued, but it is a crisp, refreshing, and sessionable brew. I'm not sure why it's categorized in the APWA category, as there is almost no hop flavor to it. I've had better hefeweizens, but this particular one is not bad as a tastier party beer or a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of Vashtar
2.78/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First off, there were "chunks" of gross stuff in this beer. I almost didn't drink it. Awful. I didn't notice much else about the appearance.

The smell was very average. There was nothing special or distinctive about it.

The taste was also very average. I'd give it to somebody if they'd never had a beer and wanted to know what one tasted like. I'm not sure why this beer has to even exist.

The mouthfeel was also average. There was nothing special or noteworthy about it.

Overall, I'd give it a 2.5 because I was disgusted by the chunks of junk floating around in it!

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in a mug

A: pours a slightly hazy hay color with two fingers of creamy white head that lingers nicely and leaves spotty lacing on the glass
S: notes of banana, slight clove and a nice addition of lemon peel
T: Banana peel and slight lemon
M: A bit intense on the carbonation, leaves a bit of silkiness on the palate
O: not bad but not great, a middle of the road wheat beer in everysense, drinkable but doesnt stand out at all

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Photo of MoreThanWine
2.97/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 1.5" white head which vanished quickly, reminiscent of some cheap brews. Hazy Naples yellow body color. Smell is very mild and most I can pick out of it is citrus zest. Taste is pretty BMC actually, enough so in a blind taste test I might not even guess it was a Hef. There's not much length to the finish and it leaves a slight aftertaste of malt.

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Photo of diamondc
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before Nov 30 2011. $1.99 for a 12 oz.

A: Not much head, some spotted lacing. Unfiltered, hazy dull golden tint to it. Not great for a hefeweizen.

S: Some vague citrus (mainly orange) aromas if I sniff really hard. No banana or clove to be found.

T: Reminds me somewhat of a orange cream soda. Some lemon flavors there too.. Some mild earthy hops at the end leaving a tinge of balancing bitterness.

M: I'm kind of tired of wheat beers without a unique hops, malt or yeast signature. Still, its one dimensional qualities makes for a good beer to session.

O: Another pedestrian wheat beer that I'm sure sells good, but is not inspiring at all.

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Photo of tdm168
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Sawmill Tap Room

Arrived a hazy yellow with no head. Lemony, citrus aromas with faint wheat notes in the nose. The flavor is predominantly a lemon and citrus with mild wheat and yeast notes. Mild carbonation, light bodied, and oddly a little dry.

This is in my opinion all around weak. It's sessionable, but it's rather one dimensional.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

I'm reviewing this as a hefe since it's no where near a Pale Wheat Ale like Lil Sumpin Sumpin which has set the bar for others of the style.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a nice white head that fades to a large ring and leaves some lacing on the glass. Should be cloudy but it's clear as day.

S: The nose is very much like a hefe though. Nice aromas of banana, cloves, wheat, and sweet pale malt.

T: The tastes match the nose with sweet flavors of banana, clove, and slightly bready malts. Not the biggest hefe flavors but they're close. No hops which again leaves the classification wrong here.

M: The feel is creamy and par for a hefe.

O: This is a decent hefe but a horrible APWA. I wouldn't mind a few of these during a summer BBQ but if you're looking for a hoppy pale ale you're going to be disappointed.

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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 DUBinMIA
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a heffe glass. Straw yellow with some yeast haze but rather clear for a heffe. Decent 1 in head but not foamy.

Aroma is sweet and citrusy. Light malt notes.

Taste is lightly tart at first and sweet in the finish. Very crisp flavor. Little yeast is noticed like most heffes.

light body with good carbonation.

Overall it is a very crisp and refreshing beer but not on my top 5 heffe list that’s for sure… give it a try.

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Photo of TheBrewo
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This brew was served on-tap at The Distillery in Victor, NY. It arrived in a pint glass, and boasted a pale golden color, a shade darker than a traditional hefeweizen. It showed a half finger head of white bubbles, with a nice fluffy quality. This disappeared quickly to leave little lacing. Carbonation appeared average, and a slight haze permeated the beverage. The aroma boasted big grains up front, again, darker than the standard wheaty varieties. Once this darkness cleared, the common grain with bitter pale wheat, and a wetter cloudy wheat surfaced. Behind these, even still, we found sweeter orange, and a bitter orange peel that mixed voraciously with a raw and further bittering coriander spice. As we sipped, the taste opened up with warm floury grain, paler malts, and wheat. Through the middle came cleaner, more defined pale malts, and that orangey sweetness, as was seen in the nose. The finish showed a peppery booze and spice, mild musk, and birch spice. The aftertaste was equally as spicy, with pumpkin spice, nutmeg, ginger, lemon rind, and adjuncty grain. The body was light and the carbonation was light. The feel to each sip was significantly watery, with no coating, cooling, or drying qualities. It actually falls quite flat. The abv was appropriate and the beer drank fine.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the spice. This become somewhat apparent in the nose, only to blossom forth in the flavor, and surprisingly even more so in the aftertaste. Where we lost huge points was in the mouthfeel, which was watery and rather undesirable.

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Photo of tigg924
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: wheat and honey

Taste: wheat, bran, honey, and hops at the end

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light bodied, sweet start with a bitter middle spike at the end

Overall: A nice, smooth, sessionable wheat ale. I do like the taste of honey in this. I will look for this again.

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Photo of olimpia84
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this on bottle and poured into a Hefeweizen glass. This beer has a very nice appearance with a cloudy golden body, very little head (one finger) that dissipated very quickly. You can tell and see the bubbles from carbonation rise up into the top of the beer. In the smell, you can tell hints of clean grass and citrus fruits, and a strong wheat aroma that ends with some sweet scents. Wheat is predominant in the taste, with some herbal grassy touches and very small hints of sweetness (honey perhaps?).

Overall, I was surprised at how good this beer was. A perfect example of a good American wheat beer.

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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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