Wacko | Magic Hat Brewing Company

415 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Wacko is the liquid song of summer: Crisp like the morning, cool like the evening and quenching all day long. Pop the top and set your summer loose. Wacko is a delicious summer beer with a big malty aroma, a subdued hop bite and a clean, slightly sweet finish.

15 IBU

Added by thekevlarkid on 02-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 415 | Ratings: 783
Photo of mempath
4.5/5  rDev +58.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a clear rose-tangerine with slight ruby grapefruit head that rises fluffy and settles slow. light lacing. interesting. somewhat reminiscent of SNose Hanami...

fruity malty nose. sweetish. so, this is beet. not vegetal in the least. nice.

tangy initially, then an extreme malty/yeasty punch! very dry finish. you return and swallow. perfect mouthfeel, crisp and thickish (for the style) makes this come together (it seems) as intended. a refreshing, unique beetbrau that would go well with brats, pizza, thai, itself! sure, sweet potato fires. an all-around 'unique' brew that i am surprised is so looked down upon here!

quite recommended.

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Photo of thefinn
4.43/5  rDev +56%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm in the minority here.This brew hits the mark that it's shooting for.Poured into a chilled glass on a hot summer night,I found this to be very thirst quenching and totally satisfying.
It's not intended to be anything but a quality summer thirst quencher and it is.
Crisp and clean.

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Photo of oldcrustacean
4.26/5  rDev +50%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My favorite beer of the season so far.

After a long session on the bike I headed to my favorite beer shop but left without making a purchase (that's never happened before) Instead, I drove another 15 miles to the one store I knew carried Wacko.

Not overwhelmingly flavorful. And definitely not sweet as other reviewers had mentioned (actually, it's not sweet at all...) But as a session brew, I could down a lot of these. I'm sold on the color, too.

I hope to see this beer on tap this summer.

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Photo of NODAK
4.25/5  rDev +49.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I definitely get the smell of citrus here...a good deal of lemon. Par for the course for a summer seasonal.

Taste wise, a very refreshing brew. Very drinkable. Very little hop character at all in the front; not a "crisp" beer at all. I get a decent amount of lemon in the body here, but it is definitely not an overpowering taste at all. While some beers go overboard with citrus and end up being tart, this one definitely isn't. The finish is very grainy...definitely some wheat here. No hop bitterness at all in the finish. Aftertaste is pretty clean, a little sweetness remains on my tongue.

The drinkability here is off the charts, I'd say. While the beer isn't likely to please those who are looking for an ultra-complex beer, this style isn't really supposed to be that way. For a summer beer, this is definitely a top choice.

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Photo of Drazilnc
4.25/5  rDev +49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark pink

Smell - not much of a smell

Taste - slightly crisp, odd taste I assume is beets. However, I don't eat beets so?

Mouthfeel - low carbonation, easy to drink

Overall - I like this beer because I don't care for hoppy aftertaste. Never had a beer with a beet undertone so I proceeded with caution. Will buy again, if simply because I like it plus it's a conversation starter.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
4.18/5  rDev +47.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beet red, interesting to say the least

Smell: Fruity undertones, with a strong, strangely pleasent acidic smell

Taste: Delicious. Light and summer-like, with earthy, fruity aftertaste

Mouthfeel: A little watery, but still overall good. Not filling.

Drinkability: An easy going novelty beer that turns into a summertime favorite

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Photo of Carlton1964
4.03/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazing color...the idea of beets in brew kinda turned me off at first, but these folks are on to something. Probably does not add a lot to flavor...but it gives the beer a great look and nice aroma. Maybe I rank this high because my expectations were very low....but all I can say is this had it all.
As another review says...this is a great summer beer.
I actually drank it right at the brewery and it always seems to taste better there to me.

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Photo of inxy
4.03/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying I'm not really a Magic Hat fan. However, this beer is an excellent beer for what it claims to be; a refreshing summer beer.

It has a gorgeous rosy copper color, crystal clear. I wish the head was something more than a half inch of pinkwhite bubbles that dissipates quickly into nothing. No lacing whatsoever, nothing at all sticking to my glass. Again, color is gorgeous.

Smell is clean and crisp, bit of sweetness. No alcohol in the nose.

I'm in love with the flavor. It works. I hate citrus in my beer, and am punished when i want something light and refreshing. This is is my style, taking something unique like a beet and utilizing it perfectly in a medium its not generally utilized. Crisp, refreshing, and different. Carbonation is perfect.

I could session this, but i would finish with some higher ABV beers at the end of the night. Great for starting the day off earlier.

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Photo of arboristfish
4/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of the beer is an oragish haze colored beer. With a slightly off colored head. I could have sworn the head was kinda pink, maybe it was the lighting. The taste is of malt and some yeast character. Their site says they only use pale ale malt, which im wondering is true. It reminds me of a more mellowed out Sam Adams Summer Ale. It is a drinkable beer, with the mouthfeel heavier than a lager, but lighter than a brown ale. Low medium mouthfeel I guess you could say.

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Photo of drowninginhops
3.98/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the magic hat summer variety 12 pack from a standard pint glass.

A: Moderate red in color. 1 finger of white head. Not very good in retention or lacing.

S: Grainy/ grassy malts. Berries, beats, lemon, etc.

T- Berries, beats, grassy, with floral hops and malts.

M- Light body moderate carbonation

O- Good for the evening on the beach. Liked it last year and this year.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this as a single this summer. Have no idea why I never reviewed it.

A - Pours a nice Hazy red. Looks like fruit juice kind of a pink lemonade with a foamy white head.

S - Mostly like a lager with slight sweet malts. But mostly grain ans slight hops.

T - Again its sort of like a lager with sweetness. I have never tasted beets other than in Voodoo's Gran Met but this one was more balanced with less ABV. Enjoyable.

M - Very light to medium bodied. Taste was sweet but succession-able.

D - Well since it's fall you can find this on discount shelf's and other places. It may hold up with slight sediment and the flavor will probably be more bitter. Will pick up a sixer next summer.

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Photo of boatyard
3.9/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

the color caught me as soon as i poured it, a pinkish reddish color that looked like a fruit beer. it had a pinkish foamy head that left in a hurry. no lacing. it smelled sweet with a little bread mixed in there. you could taste the malt, sweet, and a little bitter with a dry finish. you can not taste the color(you know what i mean). low in abv so drinkability is there. as far as summer beers go this one is ok. i liked the unusual appearance, and it made me like it more(mental thing, cause i love beets.) give it a whirl with an open mind, and compare it to other summer offerings.

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Photo of thebrood1987
3.88/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours that beet color with smells of the typical Magic Hat yeast smell with a sort of odd sweet smell and a touch of fruitiness. The taste has that crispness of a pilsner or pale ale with the sweet grains rolling across the tongue mixing together from the sweetness of the beet sugars which is subtle and not disgusting at all. Some people would think because beets are in it that it would have an off taste...this is not the case. It's actually a very mild taste it reminds me of their Single Chair Ale but with a fruitier sweeter taste. You do get some spiciness and bitterness from the hops but its very subtle.

This beer is a subtle beer and I could tell they didn't want to go overboard on the beet taste so that it wouldn't maybe turn people off when they tasted it. Yeah its a safe beer for such an outlandish one and I think this is what peoples main problem with it is. They are expecting this unique knock your socks off dare I say off centered ale but instead get a very subtle flavoring profile which I think when recognized is pretty damn good. This is a really good sessionable beer as well as its light in the mouth and alcohol. Is it the best summer beer? no but is it worth getting a six pack of this summer? I'd say so.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beat coloring gives this beer a red-pink color which is pretty strange, you could call it unique. Finally!! someone has done something more productive with beats! The head is a well-retained frothy whit head, 1" high with a slight pink tint on top. This one looks like a Man's Brew!!!

a sweet fruity aroma pops out, beats, cherries and wild strawberries with a tangy-citrus effect. Hearty herbs and earthy spices keep in grounded. (slightly)

Oooh, this has a very wheatie and crispy malt, very hearty and herbal. All-spice flavored hops, very earthy and spicey with a mildly sweet edge. nice balance. A nice session-style brew made for summer. a clean and dry wheatie finish tops it off.

Sorry Haters, I dig this one...except for the silly color and gimmicky nature. a blind taste test would serve this brew well.

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Photo of Zodijackyl
3.85/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Coalhouse Pizza's Magic Hat Brewery Dinner in Stamford, CT, paired with peach cobbler and cinnamon vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel.

Pours like a medium red wine with a little bit of spritzer-like head. Smells very fruity, like Hawaiian Punch if it were a 4% ABV malt liquor. Tastes like it smells, with a smooth malt and natural flavoring, and a bit of emphasis on the cherries amongst the "red" fruits. Quite a bit of carbonation, which brings out the malt a bit more and making it similar to a spritzer. Very drinkable, it seems like a more refined beer approach to a light, fruity malt liquor.

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Photo of undeadozzy
3.84/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got on tap at a local bar.

Appearance: Bright red color. Very odd, but it is to be expected from a beer whose main ingredients are beets. Not really a fan of beers that more so resemble juice then beer, but I enjoy trying things.

Smell: Despite it's unique visage, it smelled just like regular beer, maybe with a few fruity, earthly fumes, but nothing really special here.

Taste: All I can say is unique. I have yet to taste any other beer that tastes like this one. It tastes like beets, but at the same time it tastes nothing like beets. The mixture of hops, malts, beets, and maybe some fruits gives it a very unique bright and cheery flavor; perfect for the summer season that it is sold during.

Mouth Feel: Feels just like a beer. I can't really say it was anything special, just felt like a beer.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink on a hot summer day. Tastes great cold.

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Photo of CupcakeNY
3.83/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful pink/red color with a fluffy, but pretty quickly dissipating head.

Aroma is vegetal, with beet and berry notes.

Taste is not as sweet as expected; notes of beet and even tomato are noted, along with a touch of citrus--maybe grapefruit. Mothfeel is rather thin, with a fizzy carbonation.

This beer was a bit off=putting at first , but I have grown to like it. It is very refreshing, easy to drink, and reminiscent of a cocktail - it has bitter and vegetal aspects as well as sweet and fizzy notes. All in all, way better than the Odd Notion also in the Summer variety pack.

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Photo of cubedoggy
3.81/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Yes---it's pink.

S: Dry maltiness up front; not much hop aroma.

T: Goes down a bit bubbly, but there is, I find, a nice, dry, almost citrusy finish.

M: Maybe a bit too carbonated, but since it fits no style, who's to say?

D: I don't know, I'm an hophead and a homebrewer, and I think this is an excellent summer brew. I'm not sure why there's such disgust and vitriol in the other reviews. I've bought it 3 times already while here on business in Boston, and my wife has some waiting for me when I get back to Maryland.

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Photo of mavesba
3.81/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Crytal clear, deep red, rust color, with moderate carbonation.

Smell - Faint sweet, butterscotch aroma. Definitely pick up the beet.

Taste - Distinct butterscotch up front, with pronounced sweetness on the finish. Well balanced, nothing over powers the taste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy feel, with light carbonation up front on the tounge.

Drinkability - This beer suprised me. I really enjoyed it. Not my favorite style, but it is definitely a good refreshing, summer beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wacko is certainly not "wacko", nor is it anything new. It looks like a raspberry beer that's been made with real fruit, and to be honest, it kind of tastes like one as well. There's a subtle fruitiness to it, as well as some earthiness and sweetness in the nose, and then a hint of fruit pulp and some tartness follow in the flavor. But OK, disregard that, this is made with beet juice (and you can taste it), and the label reads "A beer with beet juice color" - implying that it's a colored beer, not unlike Coney Island Freaktoberfest (except that that beer is almost purple!).

Moving forward, it is an attractive looking beer with a slight haze and a gently ruby cast beneath a short but frothy pink head.

The aroma is a bit unusual for the uninitiated, but anyone who's had a Belgian Geuze (not the super-sweetened stuff) or an American sour ale , or even a brewpub produced raspberry ale with real fruit has had a whiff of something like this. Personally, I like it, but I can see why they might think this was off-putting to the common drinker and then think that calling it "Wacko" with an interesting label might help. Or maybe not.

The same kind of earthy, fruit-pulpy funk returns in the flavor, but it's masked a bit more. There's a hint of tartness, some nice fruitiness, and a bit of sweet golden malt. Not bad. The bitterness rises in the finish though, and although I'm fine with it, I think that might be off-putting to someone who'd be excited by a pinkish beer. Or maybe not. Oddly, based on my past experiences with this kind of stuff, the general public that will put their lips to a glass like this will tend to blind themselves to what they don't like about it (or don't realize they don't like about it), and instead, rally around it, adopting it as their own weird and cool potion.

So what do I say? Gimmicky, perhaps. I don't think that the beet is anything special, but on the other hand I don't think that marketing something like this is bad either. Whatever sells, right? And let's be honest, cards on the table, I enjoyed this and liked it a hell of a lot better than tequiza. I know chicks will dig it. And hippie guys will probably love it too. So what the hell, spread the love!

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Photo of oddfire
3.78/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a strange beer. It is redish pink. I thought I have seen everything until I poured this beer. The appearance is cool. The smell is like a slightly sweet beet. The taste is not bad. There is a very slight hoppiness and a sweet aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good too. This beer is not as crisp as the packaging says but it is still not bad in the mouth. As for drinkablity...This beer is not a bad beer very cold and I could see the refreshing fator on a warm day. All around it is a odd but solid beer and I will buy again.

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Photo of anglagard1
3.78/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I allowed my love of a bargain to overtake my love of beer on this one as I picked up an assorted 12 pack of Magic Hat "Summer Scene". That is the reason why I am staring at what is essentially a purple colored beer. But given the fact that the beer is called Wacko, I have nobody to blame but myself. The smell is what one might encounter at an overpriced candy store in some touristy area, an artificial yet enjoyable sugary fruitiness, much like taffy. The sugary fruitiness continued into the taste, but was joined with an earthy maltiness. The mouthfeel had very much a fluffy dessert feel to it. Despite my initial hesitation, once I let go of my preconceptions/pretentions, I actually quite enjoyed this beer. There is a solid base to this beer beneath its initial appearance. I could seriously consider sessioning this sometime.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.78/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer is a deep orange color with strong ruby tendencies. In the right (or wrong) light, it nearly looks like red pop. Head is a medium-dark ecru color which fizzes down to a thin film on the surface very quickly. Around the edges, there's a touch more thickness to the head, though. Just for the novelty of the color, and the decent head retention in spite of the beer and glass being warm, I've gotta rate this pretty high.

Smell: Cran-raspberry wheat beer. Lots of red fruit, with a gentle sourness which is evenly matched with a mellow sweetness and acceptable bitterness. Past that, a light malt character (pretty yeasty) and a touch of grassiness. I like it! Mixed well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Well, it's very fizzy, as the imploding head would suggest. Through all the carbonation, it's difficult to taste much of anything. There's a strong wheat vibe to it, but only a smattering of fruit flavor. Moderate fresh-cut-grass, a very subdued sweet'n'sour berry flavor. Aftertaste is pretty wet...all in all, not bad, might be a good summer session beer. As it is, it's fall...all in all, not so great.

Overall: So so. Not bad, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of lovindahops
3.74/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A- strange. For a second it looked like pink lemonade. No head but a very light amber look with solid carbonation

S- sweet malt, some watermelon and biscuit like scents. There is a strong almost pilsner scent that arises

T- dry and bitter with a sweet malt taste at the end. Even bitter on the exit. There seems to be a slight inserted bit of sugar that is meant to exemplify the summer aspect of the brew

M- very carbonated and even creamy throughout

D- wacko is a drinkable beer for the ridiculous weather. It does not jump out that much but its not awful neither

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Photo of Amalak
3.73/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of 12 ounce bottle.
A- Copper, amber color. Great, bubbly head and lace. No bubbles.
S- Slight bitterness as it's scent.
T- Great malt taste. There's a nice vegatable taste to it. It says Beats on the lable and that makes sense. Very smooth.

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Wacko from Magic Hat Brewing Company
2.84 out of 5 based on 783 ratings.
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