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Odd Notion - Participation Lager (Autumn 2008) | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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50 Reviews
Odd Notion - Participation Lager (Autumn 2008)Odd Notion - Participation Lager (Autumn 2008)

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Pre-Prohibition Lager brewed with corn.

Added by Brad007 on 08-08-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 61
Photo of Knapp85
2.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I remember drinking this right before I went to go vote in the 2008 election. I felt that it was fitting for the event about to take place. This beer is pale yellow and has a pretty good head on it. The flavors had some pretty decent hops in it but in the long run it was still a bland adjunct lager. The smell was a bit off to me, kinda smelled a little sour or something. Either way I think this beer could have been a little better but it was still drinkable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not real sure about the characterization for this beer. It seems to have a strong pilsner malt backbone similar to a German Lager or Bohemian Pilsner- not with the emptiness that rice or corn riddeled American Micros have. So the beer fares pretty well with me. A strong straw color with a mild haze, froathy white head that endured the session. Aromas of pilsner malts are overtaken by American hops-- I generally think that pilsner-type beers are under hopped anyway. Flowery and perfumy with the hop character with a mild citrus note and agressive bitterness. A touch of sulfer and vegitalbes come through as the beer warms, but didn't seem to deter too much from the taste. Firm in the body with a crisp hop finish. A fairly good beer that seemed to come out one season too late.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.87/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

AN interesting beer for sure.. this was part of the summer seasonal mixed 12 pack on clearance (only $6.99 and it's best by date is January '09!!!)

Tastes like an American Pale Ale to me.. not sure if putting it in the same style category as Bud/Coors/Busch does it justice. Pretty hoppy and very drinkable, also pours very cloudy which is kinda interesting. Smooth and enjoyable, would definitely have again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orangey-gold body with a bubbly white head, but it soon departs.

Smell: Pale malt aroma with a distinct scent of floral, spicy hops. Distant note of fruit in the background.

Taste: Pale malts with a light hint of toasted grains. A single, solitary drop of honey provides some sweetness. Spicy, floral Saaz hops with a medium bitterness that holds beyond the finish, even. Finishes dry and quite crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Potentially in the pocket of Big Bitterness, the Participation Lager makes as much sense as picking Palin as a running mate.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Quick six in West York PA sampled Decmber 1st - taken from notes
Poured chill into my Stein
A - A hazy golden w/ a snowy cap of 2 fingers w/ lots of streaming bubbles

S - somewhat metallic aroma w/ subtle cooked veggie(dms) and mildly grainy aroma.

M - A very effervescent feel - fizzy and almost sharp w/ nice grain elments and touches of hop spice for balance.

T - The hop flavors are up front w/ hints of floral and spice notes, the next taste is a biscuit-like malt w/ mild sweetness. Slight hoppy citrus tastes are lemony w/ suitable malt accompaniement. The malt flavor is enhanced by the yeast and there is a hint of woodiness. The flavor doesn't seem affected by any adjunct.

D - a very tasty magic hat brew. I could drink several of these without the need to switch gears. The refreshing quality and flavorful hops add interest to overall drinking ability factor. I enjoyed this lager.

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Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date notched. Under the cap reads "Enjoy a Heart, it's A Work of Art." Not sure what that means but I did eat some chicken hearts at a Brazillian BBQ joint. As for the theme, politics and beer should never meet though being a neutral point of telling you to get off your ass and vote comes across well.

Pale yellowish golden color, decent frothing with some sticky lace on the glass. Sweet grainy malt meets a mildly pungent grassy hop in the nose. Just enough crispness to get by, moderate sized body. The malt kicks things off with a toasted husky flavor then quickly lets the light but rough edged corn flavor and finially the hops jump on with a grassy note that just does not want to leave. Finishes dry with lingering grain and hops.

I dig this beer a lot, not as clean as your typical retro lager and not as drinkable either ... it makes up for all of that with the amount of flavor that is throw at the taste buds.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a surpisingly hazed golden hue almost hefe like in nature, large billowing thick chunky head forms above the rim of my Sam Adams half liter krug. Aroma full of herbal hops, mineral water, and light toasted malts with ample amounts of flaked corn standing out. Flavor has enough hops to keep the mild corn sweetness at bay, solid strong hop bitterness with herbal and citrus highlights. Almost like kettle cooked popcorn in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied bubbly carbonation that does tickle the back of the throat pretty well. Overall a tasty beer that doesn't redefinte anything but has enought hop bitterness in a pre prohibition lager to keep things interesting.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by November "08:

Part of Autumn '08 variety pack (though I got as a single from a friend):

Pours hazed golden with a thin, but lasting, white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is grainy and grassy with floral and citric notes.

The taste is of lightly carmelized graininess with a lime-like citrus backing. There's a touch of apricot with a grassy/floral bitterness in the finish. Pretty hoppy.

It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied with a smooth creaminess.

Quite a bit of subtle complexities for a lager, with a nice bitterish finish. I would certainly pick up a 6-pack of this if it were available that way!

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Photo of tempest
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pulled out of a variety case.

Well if Magic Hat set out to make a craft-brewed macro-style lager (and I think they have), they succeeded. The aroma has pale barley and cooked corn, while the flavor has a bit of yeast-driven sweetness and light bready malts. The flavor is full, the body is still thin enough to make this a throwback beer, and it's clearly an adjunct lager. I guess it's good beer. I might say it's like PBR, but cleaner. You can really taste the ingredients here.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pilsner malt scent along with some fruity yeast esters. It's dry with a clean lager aroma; low hops. The taste is decent as well. It has a smooth pilsner malt flavor with quite the bitter finish. It goes down easy and finishes clean with a residual bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good beer, although they should cut the hops back some. It throws off the balance of what would be a good drinking lager.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.29/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

try to impress.. And you make a Mess

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Murky yellow with a soapy head with little craters on it. Recedes to nothing.

S. Smells of musty yeast and some grain. Reminds me of a wheat beer in the nose.

T. A very tasty macro here. In fact, possibly the most tastiest ive come accross. Let me delve into this. The first attribute I must point out is the flavor. A lovely flavor in this beer. Some sweet malts and slightly mild but citric hop character. Little to no astringency, a mild corn sweetness is barely noticable. Hints of brown sugar. Excellent.

M. On the heavy side of light bodied. Full bodied for a macro style beer. Chalky finish leaves me wanting more.

D. This is an amazing take on a macro lager. Ive had very few macros if any this good. I hope this becomes a regular release.

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Photo of Brad007
4.6/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is available in the new Participation 12 pack sampler from Magic Hat. I'm glad they decided to release a new Participation beer. I still remember Participation Ale from 2004 (and I still have the empty bomber!).

Color: Pours a mild golden amber color with a thin head and decent carbonation.

Aroma: Strong, sweet aroma of malt upfront with only a touch of hop bitterness in the nose. Basic.

Taste: Smooth with a decent amount of breadiness upfront. Not too sweet. Strong hint of hop bitterness in the middle and towards the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Breadiness and hop bitterness linger on the tongue. Very nice mouthfeel, like a pale ale or IPA.

Drinkability: From what I've mentioned, this is a decent lager from Magic Hat. It's better than Mother Lager as well. I think I sampled this at the brewery before they gave it a name. It tastes better in bottle form so could be a tweaked recipe. Definitely a worthy lager and I like the fact that they took the time to put emphasis on the hops.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden orange. Looks like a hefe. Ha, leave it to Magic Hat and their "elixirs"...a marco style lager that looks like a german hefe. Dirty white head graces the surface and drops sporadic patches of lace behind. Aroma is sweet and slightly grainy. Cereal grains type of feel on the nose. Spicy taste to it. I get the feel that some extra element was added to this potion. Ginger?? In any case, it's a flavorful beer with hints of weizen and lager. Peppery and herbal. Doughy malts. A soft lingering bitterness. Meidium bodied and fairly spritzy with the carbonation. This is certainly an agreeable beer.

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Photo of glid02
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a mixed sixer from Whole Foods on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear gold color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Not much as far as lacing.

Smells of grass and sweet malt with a small amount of floral hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malts up front with a slight grassy flavor. The hops come through a bit at the end with a small amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and active carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I wouldn't want a drink a whole lot of these but one is pretty refreshing.

Overall this is a pretty solid lager in my book, nothing overly exciting but pretty well done. Worth a shot.

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Photo of ZAP
2.74/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Interesting beer for sure...pours a cloudy bright yellow with a nice fuffy white head..aroma lends some bready notes...taste is big on a lemon like flavor (hops?)...adds a sourish (not in a bad way) flavor and feel.

Not really what I was expecting (which is not unusual with MH)...feels more like an american wheat ale strong on the lemon drop elments..

Not bad but nothing I would buy again..

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Photo of ccrida
3.17/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into my Church Brew Works shaker, Participation Lager is a clear gold with lots of lazy streamers forming a large, fluffy off-white head with impressive last that leaves heavy lace. Man, I've really had some nice looking beers tonight, for the style, I can ask for nothing better.

Smell is grainy and sweet, with some fresh, herbal hops.

Taste is ok, a bit metallic and sharp, there is a hint of corn pops cereal flavor that frankly I wish was more developed, rather then the corn sugar flavor that dominates (e.g. I'd like a tad more depth). Fairly bitter, with a vanishingly clean finish. Not a style I enjoy or drink hardly ever, but something about the smell/taste as it first hit's my lips incites a gag reflex, reminding me of guzzling cheap lager in college. I'm not really sure if it's just this beer or the style, but after the first few sips it went away.

Mouthfeel is dry, some what crisp, but with a bit of a slickness too it, not the lightest body per se though.

Drinkability is ok, it is what it is, seems rather run of the mill, perhaps a step above cheap swill, but it still reminds me of such. I would not be able to drink this to fast, the taste would back up on me, even through there's really not a lot of flavor.

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Photo of wedge
2.86/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

"It's trippy to be a hippie"

Pours yellow with a slight bit of haze and a sticky, frothy head. Sweet corn and veggie aroma with some dry grain and yeast...not the best smelling thing in the world, but acceptable for what it is. Husky grain and rough, spicy hop flavor. A touch of metal. Not really my cup of tea to be honest...it's kind of funky. Crisp, dry, and not watery.

Average in most aspects, but it's not something I'd ever vote for.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Magic Hat mixed pack, another three #9s I don't really want. Glad my wife's okay with them. For the 100th time, Magic Hat: PLEASE ease off the #9 in the mixed packs. Please?? If this year's election buzzword is "change", maybe you could adhere to that too? Y'know, in the spirit of this beer?

Off the soapbox and into the glass goes MH's new Participation Lager. Produces a thick billowy head, creamy on top, slightly rocky (looks like the surface of the moon), typical lager gold with great clarity and big bubbles pushing slow toward the top.

Aroma is boiled veggies with a more musty/basement weirdness and heavier sweetness than most lagers. Some light hops too. Interesting smell, especially considering the style.

Flavor is big and juicy at first, then dries out leaving a peculiar spicy flash in the finish. Caramel, butterscotch, a smidgen of burnt sugar--or maybe brown sugar--and only the mildest hit of that metallic thing you get with many in this style, and even here it's not annoying or cloying. A certain spiciness prevails throughout, damned if I can properly nail it, but if pressed I'd fall back on cinnamon. Pretty assertive texture, not overly carbonated but just a really solid presence and relatively big feel for a lager. If we're supposed to review according to style, then I gotta give this macro lager high marks.

I'm pleasantly surprised. The flavor is completely satisfying, and it doesn't immediately make you think "Magic Hat". It's great when any brewery has its own niche flavor, but Magic Hat stuff sometimes blurs together because of the brewery's unique twist on things. This one stands on its own. I'd buy it again if I didn't have to adopt three more #9s to do it.

Under the cap: "Red Sky at Night, Sailor's Delight"

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.06/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Call it a 'Get Out The vote' brew, newly released in celebration (?) of the 2008/9 election. Poured into my glass a bright, golden hue with a pure white head. Laced very well and displayed good retention too. Aromas of dry malt, yeast with hop hints underneath. Tart, crisp and clean on the tongue. Hops come forward first, then the yeast, both making it a little bitter initially. But there's a hint of sweetness in the malts that follow. Mouthfeel is very nice, semi-filling, smooth and refreshing. Delicately balanced with just the right amount of carbonation. A very good Lager overall and one of the best brews this brew produces. Respect to South Burlington.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow, tinge of orange.

Smell has a strong bready aroma, malty, slight citrus presence as well as some yeast, certainly more interesting than most macro lagers in the smell department.

Taste is light and crisp, malty with a bready/yeasty aftertaste, almost surprises me since this doesn't quite taste like a macro lager.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.51/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A pint on tap at Eli Cannon's. Listed as Magic Hat Pre-Prohibition Lager.
Clear gold, with a light dusting of head. Good clarity and color, I thought. Spattered lace on the glass.
Not much aroma aside from lightly floral, spicy hops. Maybe a little doughy malt sweetness, but pretty light in the scent overall.
The flavor opens with an empty vacancy, feels cold and spritzy, but nothing else. Light malt presence as it sits on the tongue for a moment, doughy more than anything else, moving into floral, citrusy hop bitterness with a bit of a sour taste in the end. Not sure how well the hops work with the vapid maltiness. Their presence feels blunt, obtuse if you will, compared to the Jessica Simpson-esque mouthbreather maltiness. Relatively light overall. I didn't go for a second glass.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got it out of a MH taster a friend picked up for the debate (seemed appropriate to be drinking a beer with Uncle Sam on it). I will say it was better than I expected, although that's not really a hugely ringing endorsement. Not terrible to look at, although the head was weak and there was no lacing. Aromas were light and malty. Flavor's are really fruity - I got a fair bit of apricot and some citrus in there (and there was an occasional, off, peanut butter flavor as well - it fortunately only peaked through every once in a while). Body was medium, good carbonation. Overall, not too bad, and an easy one for drinking.

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Photo of thain709
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A golden yellow...almost a little hazy...white head that disappeared quickly

S - Hard to describe...I get a malty smell...but maybe a little bit of hops as well

T - Very surprised after the smell...I got a nice flavor of hops...almost an APA taste...a little bitter after taste

M - Went down smooth...well carbonated

D - As I said I was surprised with this beer...I enjoyed it but I wouldn't go as far as saying it's a favorite

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color, with about 1/4 inch of white fluffy head that stays throughout the beer.

The nose is of sweet malts and some toasty floral hopps.

The taste is mostly the floral hopps and some grain. There is a slight alcohol taste.

This is light-bodied, crisp, with good carbonation.

Very easy drinker, this is a very good macro, one of the better ones I've had.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly clear medium gold body with a thick finger of off-white head. Traces of lacing and little head duration deprive Participation Lager of a better score. Modest whiffs of malt and bitter hops confront the nose; decent but very straightforward aroma.

The taste represents an improvement over the first impression categories, nicely balancing smooth malt with the moderate hop bite. Hops emerge early and much more in the finish. I like the malt taste and texture, more complex than the pedestrian, sweet corn malt that characterizes so many macros. This has hints of caramel and a slight toffee taste. It should be bolder in malt content, aroma and taste, but it's on the whole fairly good.

This is not a knock-your-socks-off lager, far from it. Yet it is fairly solid if unspectacular, smooth and enjoyable. It lacks a Wow! factor, but won't offend either. Worthy.

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Odd Notion - Participation Lager (Autumn 2008) from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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