Hocus Pocus | Magic Hat Brewing Company

251 Reviews
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Hocus PocusHocus Pocus

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A toast to weeds, rays, and summer haze. It was a light, crisp ale for mowing lawns, hitting lazy fly balls and communing with nature, Hocus Pocus was offered up as a summer sacrifice to cloudless days. Its malty sweetness finished tart and crisp and was best appreciated with a wedge of orange.

13 IBU

Added by purplehops on 01-02-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 251 | Ratings: 602
Photo of Doomcifer
1.4/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance - Pours a slightly cloudy, pale golden color, with almost no head to mention of.

Smell - honey, very sweet smelling, sugar...

Taste - Tastes like a strong Budweiser. Same skunky finish too. I cant find anything good about this taste.

Mouthfeel - Airy, lots of carbonation, dry finish

Drinkability - I am having a hard enough time forcing down just one of these.

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Photo of vitesse
1.82/5  rDev -46%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

served in a brown 12 oz. bottle.

avoid this beer. just an awful example of an american wheat ale. please don't expect much from this one. it's totally filtered. no cloudiness. pale, yellow, clear appearance. not much head. too fizzy and utterly lacking body.
there's no flavor here at all except for an astringent, metallic aftertaste that hits you right after some slight hop bitterness drops out.
you can't taste the wheat malt and if you want a pale, slightly hoppy, session beer, try their mother lager, which is much better, imho.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.06/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – This one poured a yellowish-orange in color with lots of carbonation but a modest head.

Smell – The cheap grain and lack of wheat was disappointing.

Taste – The cheap grain and lack of wheat was disappointing.

Mouthfeel – This light-bodied pretender was fizzy and empty.

Drinkability – I actually sent back beer for the first time in my life (at the Tribeca Grand in NYC).

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Photo of ppoitras
2.13/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed (??) on tap at Taylor's, Greenfield, MA.

16oz pint glass presentation. Just a thin film of small bubbles for a head, lacing almost non-existant. Aroma is an odd combination of citrus, wheat, and something else that I couldn't identify, but it just wasn't very appealling. Taste was similar to the nose, with the slight wheat flavors not having much of a shot to be enjoyed before the lemon/unknown flavor took over. Mouthfeel and drinkability quite low, I had trouble finishing this one, and not too sure why I did.

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Photo of dedalus
2.2/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the summer variety show 12-pack.

this beer poured an appetizing bright gold with average head and lacing.

the aromas were very muted: just a light hint of weak grain and a whiff of dry grass. i know this is supposed to be a light, wheaty, drinkable summer ale, but this near dearth of aromas is very disappointing.

the flavors were, amazingly enough, even less perceptible than the smells: a distant, limp, biscuity breadiness with no fruit flavors, hop flavors, or anything else i look for in an ale. if i had been doing a blind taste test, i don't think i could have told the difference between this beer and a macro pilsner. it was honestly like drinking a glass full of carbonated water with a thimblefull of beer poured in for flavor.

the mouthfeel was thin and watery, which isn't really a problem for the category, but it certainly isn't anything special, either.

drinkability? you could guzzle this like water if you wanted to, but when i want water i drink water.

this beer was an almost all-around disappointment. i appreciate restraint and reserve in brewing, but the hocus pocus is like yellow seltzer water. any ale that tastes like watered-down, mass-produced lager is missing the point in my estimation. even for a quaffable summer quencher, this is drastically wanting in the flavor department.

i can't recommend this beer at all.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.23/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a little cloudy yellow with a white head that went away pretty quickly. It had the aroma of a lemony dryness. In the taste, well, it had a nice dry end, but no real taste at all. It kind of sticks to the top of the mouth, with somewhat of a flat beer charicteristic. It was ok, a bit malty for a wheat, and really not much flavor at all.

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Photo of waughbrew
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very clear light light gold with sticky white head. Decent retention. Funky ringwood aroma with a honey dirtiness to it. Very intriguing - I like it. Flavor is very dry with some astringency. Very bland flavors of spiciness that leave my mouth tingling a bit. The carbonation is medium, but combined with the taste it becomes harsh. Not a very (I need to stop saying very) good beer. I hope not to have it again.

 412 characters

Photo of yourunclewalt
2.27/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-One-finger, foamy head, recedes to lacing. Burnt yellow, bubbly body. Macrolager but a bit darker.
S-Citrus notes; lemon zest? Floral hops.
T-Lemon, ginger; a spiced macrolager. Crisp.
D-It's crisp & refreshing, but other than that there's really nothing to keep me coming back.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.33/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lightly cloudy, not as dense as I would expect. Found out later that it is filtered, not exactly what I like to hear when drinking a wheat. Served in a pint glass with a lemon wedge at RFD's in DC. Bartender didn't pour with any head, so I couldn't judge retention. Slight ring of white bubbles around the top edge.

Skunky smell. Nothing notable really stands out.

Weak taste. Like the smell, nothing stands out. None of the typical wheat flavors are evident--and that is why I like them. Slightly hoppy on the backend.

Drank in between a Le Fin Du Monde and an Allagash Bruin. This beer doesn't even stand in the same league as those two. Very weak mouth feel. I don't think I will be having another. Disappointing, since I enjoy #9 and their other offerings. Perhaps just this keg? Summer beers should be much more enjoyable.

 837 characters

Photo of cbl2
2.35/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Cloudy bronze with slight head that settles rapidly. Unremarkable

Dry and hoppy.


Tastes like pot pourri. Way too much hops for my liking. Once you get past the bitterness of the hops, you are greeted by even more hops!!! I'm not a fan.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.36/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle > 16 oz. SA glass

It's a nice golden color, big carboantion with gyser-like bubbles that create this dense and foamy, bone-white crown that shows really good retention and sticks around nicely.

The aroma is mild, with citrus and lemmon, pale wheat malt and a slightly fruity hop scent.

The taste is a bit thin even for a pale wheat ale. The dominating flavor's are a thin wheatie malt, lemmon's and corriander. The best part was it's subtle but strange fruity hop effect. The balance seemed a mess and a unpleasant bitter, metallic aftertaste was not what the doctor ordred.

The feel at first is light and crisp but quickly deteriorates into a thin and flat feel.

There are many other summer-style beers to choose from.

 746 characters

Photo of seedyone
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%

10/24/12 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Applied orange slice as instructed. Couldn't salvage the flavor. Not sure if it's too tart or bitter or both. All I know it's not as crisp as my ideal summer refresher must be, orange or no.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
2.53/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass right out of a refrigerator.

A - Cloudy, pale yellow color with a small head that didn't last too long. Little to no lacing to speak of.

S - Smelled of bananas, pears, and grapefruit, but none of which were too strong. No spices detected.

T - I don't know...seems a little weak. Bananas come out right away, but no other wheat attributes. Tastes slightly watered down with little background flavors.

M - Very thin body and only slight carbonation. Goes down a little too smooth...

D - Maybe more enjoyable in the summer months, but I just couldn't get into it right now. Very thin and the flavors just weren't there. I'll try another in the summer, as I come to expect a little more from Magic Hat.

 767 characters

Photo of yesyouam
2.54/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Magic Hat Hocus Pocus is a very sparkling, pale straw-colored beer with a thin white film of a head. The aroma is muted, warm, grassy and a bit resiny. It is light bodied, prickly, a little watery and the finish is a touch gritty. There is not much bitterness. There is maybe a touch of fruit like peach or apple. It is grainy and the grain seems to be straight wheat. There's not too much there. This beer was meant to be slammed at very low temperatures.
(rated May 29, 2008)

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Photo of LucaBrasi
2.58/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear light yellow with a large white head on top, and laces at the beginning but that’s about all.
The smell is well a combination of pine and lemon...yet not like pine sol.
Anyway I had a hard time with the taste it was rather one-dimensional wheat was presented but not very flavorful.
Mouthfeel was light and smooth.
It was an easily drinkable beer because it was so light but scored lower on the drinkability scale due to its taste.

 451 characters

Photo of AlexJ
2.58/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale yellow with a thin head of pure white and no lace whatsoever.

Aroma is tart and grainy, lemons and wood pulp.

Flavor is sourish wheat up front with light lemon peel, cut grass, and faint hops.

Thin, watery, bland, and very forgettable. Had to chug an Oberon immediately afterwards to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of rousee
2.6/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I like my light colored Summer seasonals and I do not like this one.This beer reminds me of what many brewpubs create to appease bud drinkers. It is a waste of time. Strong honey smell and taste added to a very thin lite lager. Magic hat can do much better than this although I applaud them for trying to fill the pollenator void. Other smell and taste notes are citrus, grass, more honey, very slight malt. I think this might be better when it is really hot outside. Its not too hot here right now.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.63/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent and very very pale gold with a lacy white head. Smells a bit hoppy and sweet.

Taste is quite sweet up front but hocus pocus the taste just disappears. Very thin. Super light finish, almost nothing. Definitely smooth but not particularly tasty.

Magic Hat brews usually hit big or miss big with me and this one misses. I give them a bit of credit for trying to do something interesting with a light bodied beer but it doesn't work for me. This could be a decent summer brew but that's about it.

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Photo of MattFrenzy
2.65/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Eh. Wasn't too impressed. Summer ale with a very citric taste, lemon and... orange maybe? Reminds me of Sam Adam's Summer Ale but not as drinkable. Don't get me wrong, decent beer but you have to have the taste for it... which I don't, citrus beers are starting to get on my bad side. Probably not something I'll buy again.

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Photo of pbrian
2.7/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tart, grainy, citrusy aroma. Slightly sweet grainy start. Tart, super-dry, stale, funkily-sour finish. Not a very good summer drinking beer, too dry and funky tasting.

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Photo of tempest
2.73/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a spice-overload, there's just too much and they aren't mixing well in my book. Everything just comes off a bit meat-like if that makes any sense.The aroma is less intense and not bad with a hint of lemon, ginger, and wheat. Those flavors come together in the taste with god knows what else for a train wreck.

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Photo of ralree
2.74/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A: Slight yellow, slightly cloudy, decent lacing, OK retention.

S: Citrus alcoholic smell, backed by some grain. Doesn't smell all that good.

T: Tastes like it smells - lots of citrus (lemon), a little bit of hop flavor, a little alcohol. Grain flavor after the swallow. Not a fan of this one - it's too fruity, not enough hops.

M: Medium-bodied, good carbonation, non-astringent. Very dry and clean.

D: Drinks well, but I don't like the taste.

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Photo of billybob
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

small white head very little lacing clear gold color. smell is of honey taste is of honey with a little hop. clean light mouthfeel not overly carbonated and no after taste. i didn't really care for the honey taste in this beer but i'll give it another try to see if taste buds change otherwise i don't think i would buy this one again.

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Photo of Jacobob10
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thought I would give this a try since all of the other Magic Hats I have tried in the past were very good.

Fairly hoppy with some citrus, lemon, and even a piney smell. Light body with a dry texture. Too much carbonation makes this difficult to drink. Leaves a chalky, alcoholic taste in your mouth which is not too pleasing.

Well, the verdict is in. I just simply do not like wheat beers. An average brew from Magic Hat at best. This will probably be the last wheat beer I ever purchase.

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Photo of Umbra
2.76/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Labeled as their “seasonale” this summer. Sampled then and haven't gotten around to posting. As usual, despite what you may think of their beers, they create packaging that catches the eye. The bull’s eye intermixed with bright yellow and black just draws you in.

Pours a hazy neon yellow gold with some good natured white foam. A sticky ring remains to leave lacing thoughout the pint.
Aroma of citrus and yeast

Flavor was pretty limp. Had a chalky malt accented with citrusy lemon as the dominant flavor. Nice bitterness, but not overly hoppy in and of itself. Ringwood yeast? Just a touch of diacetyl is there, but in a good way with the yeast and lemons.

Just the right amount of refreshing carbonation in the mouthfeel, which was extremely light and clean. This brew went well with grilling and fishing. It didn’t overwhelm me, but I would have another. It was markedly better than the Smuttynose Weizenheimer I had at the same sittings.

As a side note, some macro lovers accidently drank one or two of mine while they weren’t paying attention. They enjoyed them, and their conversion to the dark side is just beginning.

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Hocus Pocus from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.37 out of 5 based on 602 ratings.
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