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 eclaycamp
2.31/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Well, for a beer calling itself Wacko, this thing certainly doesn’t disappoint. Right up front you notice the color. It’s got a weird sort of reddish pink tinge to it. The head comes up quickly, but goes away just as fast, leaving nothing behind in terms of lacing. Beyond the pinkish hue this beer is a reddish amber, but it’s certainly off-kilter.

Aroma is unpleasant. Smells a bit like rotten fruit. Following the rotten fruit aroma is a smell not unlike that of dish detergent. There’s an earthy undertone that isn’t bad, and somewhere the malt aroma is trying to scratch its way to the surface.

The initial impression of the beer is sweet – almost overly so – and then there’s the beet finish. In the middle there’s a nice single malt note, but it doesn’t really get a chance to shine with the finish coming up strong. Depending on your love of beets, you’ll either like or hate this beer. I happen to like beets, and even with that knowledge I still find this one a challenge from a taste perspective. The more that I taste, it the more it becomes sweet and somewhat unbearable.

Mouthfeel is thin and crisp, with a light amount of carbonation. As a summer seasonal, it works, because it’s light and refreshing. Not much else is noticeable or stands out. The lack of carbonation hurts this one quite a bit, as the beets and malt sweetness combine to make this a cloying mess.

Fact: If I were Dwight Schrute, there’s no doubt that I would love this beer. Fact: I am not Dwight Schrute. Because of this I find myself somewhat at odds with this beer. I don’t really know what to make of it. The aroma is downright disgusting. The taste is strange, with hops and malt hinting at the start but beets taking over. The lack of carbonation hurts what would otherwise be an interesting, albeit Wacko, diversion.

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

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle (best by 10/31/11) into a pint glass. Thanks to Goebel Liquor of Wichita, KS for wrangling Magic Hat into the already huge selection.

I tend to like brews that look different and this one does. It's pink. Freaky. I poured hard, but the head just crackled and snapped off a few and then completely vanished like a cherry 7up. I would've graded much higher had it a nice pink froth with interesting lace, but it just wasn't there. The color keeps it afloat on the scorecard for me. Still, it's the most interesting thing I've seen in some time.

Aroma is just as perplexing - like sweet bread yeast and a brine mixed together with some green wheat berries. Gettin' a little scared at this point.

As weird as this thing is, I can appreciate the flavor. I'm not a fan of beets and it's been a long time since I last tried them, so the beet juice used in this brew really does not strike an identifiable flavor note for me. This is very nutty like pecan and walnut. The sweetness is breadlike and fruitlike at the same time. There is also an earthy blandness like boiled potato without any type of added condiment. This beer is "hop negative." So why the hell do I like it? Like they say in the music biz, "It's hooky." It draws me in.

I thought this brew would be semi-flat when the head just up and vanished like a fart in the wind, but it definitely was not. Although a bit thin, I still liked the bubbles that develop on the palate as they help bring the odd flavors to fruition.

Okay, so this thing is about as strange as they come, but I admittedly don't have much experience with fruit or vegetable brews. Maybe that's why I like this thing. They should have called it, "That Hooky Thing" because it's like that pop song you won't admit is a guilty pleasure of yours.

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Photo of tdm168
3.36/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby red with a thin lacing of head that disappears quickly. Smell is sweet and yeasty. Taste is an odd blend of malt and beets with a mild bitterness at the very end. The beets hang on in the aftertaste. The beet flavor actually is as well blended into this beer as beets could possibly be. Light to medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

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Photo of JNewbs
2.94/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - I'm sorry, I just couldn't get past the fact that this beer was PINK! Maybe some fault of my own for not know it was a beet flavored beer, but regardless. In Facebook terms, "dislike!"

S - Not outstanding, not terrible. Average.

T - Starts ok. A little sweet, a little malt. Finished barren and empty. I was hoping for an aftertaste but was disappointed.

M - A little too carbonated for my taste, and it finished a bit thin. Overall, though, definitely not the worst part of this beer. That is reserved for...

The BEETS! Kudos to Magic Hat for trying something unique. But the risk you run is that oftentimes it flops. This was one of those.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
2.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a pinkish, peach color with a fizzy, white head. It’s a strange color, a lot like a rosé wine.

S: Aroma is a bit tangy with raspberries up front, a tad spicy with the bubbles and maybe some citrus zest, followed by some lingering bready malts and peach fruitiness. It smells light and refreshing.

T/M: A medium to high amount of carbonation and a light grape flavor along with some honeydew and watermelon flavor. It’s all very subtle and leaves almost no aftertaste.

As a summer beer, it’s suitably refreshing, but it could be more flavorful. For this summer, it would be great if it came with a frozen glass, or person with a giant fan-shaped leaf, or winter.

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Photo of Durge
3.17/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A peculiar rosy amber color, with a weak, slightly pink scattered head that spreads to the edges after a few minutes, and little or no traces of laces. The aroma is a peculiar mineral/minty-evergreen and bubblegum. Just hard to describe. Not immediately alluring but okay. The flavor follows suit but brings in more evidence of malt and maybe even what I might call a hint of clove and sweet grass hop. There’s a dry bite to it at the front. It has quite a bit going on but at the end of the day it’s an odd sort of lager that’s a little too bubblegum sweet for my tastes in this sort of style. It’s medium-light bodied with a tiny bubbled, fizziness in feel. Refreshing, an alright summer beer, drinkable enough but not something I will rush back for.

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Photo of mdunman
3.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange-tan beer with a decently sized white head that has some linger

S: Light maltiness with a heavy musky scent that dominates

T: Sweet malty start finishes with an orange and wheat mix with some slight dryness

M: Light body with good carbonation.

Overall: Wacko has a really good taste to it, very refreshing on a summer afternoon. I wouldn't drink this regularly all year long, but I can see myself getting more of this next summer.

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Photo of callmeclemens
3.47/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of just want to say I'm a huge Magic Hat Fan.

Drank straight from the bottle, definate smell carmel maybe a hint of chocolate and beets. Taste pretty much the same, alot of Caramel and chocolate to my palate but thats alright,a hint of beets that ins't my favorite ( i think they taste like dirt) pretty thick (for a summer for me), not really what I'm interested in when I think of a summer seasonal, I would enjoy this much more in the winter of late fall, all in all pretty solid, just not for the summer.

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Photo of Ahoyhoyindeed
2.77/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer is bright red in color, which is concerning off the bat. It is colored with beets and you can certainly taste the sugar right off the bat and it follows through the whole beer experience, which is a bit much even for someone who likes a sweeter beer. First taste impression is sweet, followed a feel of having a sugary drink in your mouth and then leaves you with an aftertaste of sugar. Had it both in bottles and on tap. On tap was at least a bit better as it seemed to balance the sweetness a little more throughout but still was a bit much. Would be good to those who like a super sweet summer beer.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.15/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's a part in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein where the monster ends up living beneath the house of a poor French family. It does all their chores at night, and privately they thank God for the angel that performs these miracles. Then they see the monster and are so revolted by him that they beat him until he runs away.

My point is, I poured a Wacko out of the bottle tonight, into my official Wacko pint glass. Holy Christ, Wacko, you are one UGLY beer.

A: If you wanted to be kind you'd call it cranberry. Reminds me of nothing so much as the meat juices you see sloshing around a package of ground beef or pork. Reddish pink or pinkish red. Revolting.

Head sees what lurks beneath it and quickly commits suicide.

S: A musty basement root cellar scent. Earthy and mildly offensive to the nose.

T: Crisp, nutty and a little bitter with a nice toasty finish. Faint tastes of roots and the smell of raw potatoes. Why is this so good?

M: Medium bodied. Just dances marvelously on the tongue.

O: I am never, EVER pouring one of these out of the bottle ever again. How does a beer that looks like meat juice and smells like raw vegetables taste this good? A beer with a wonderful personality, but it looks like Steve Buscemi.

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Photo of perrymarcus
1.93/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle served in a standard shaker pint.

pours a slightly cloudy pink grapefruit/amber tone while yielding a very short lived, spritzy 3/4" head; no lacing. some points for originality with the color (i guess) but overall not the most appealing presentation.

not much doing in the nose. grainy, some muted malt characters.

flavor isn't an abject failure. unfortunately that's about the nicest thing i can say about it. grainy, vaguely malty, and bitter. just not very tasty. borderline drainpour; i could choke it down, but what's the point of that? thin, light mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, well, i covered that in "flavor"... not one i'll be looking for again.

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Photo of schmidtn
2.82/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew has a creepy color, indeed a fitting name.

Not a lot of head. The thin white head disappears quickly

Has a nice clean smell, acidic and grain smell.

Carbonation is low, or the beer may be too bitter. No strong lingering taste.

Not my favorite but at least is a different summer brew.

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Photo of TheBear11D
3.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours a sunset red with a fairly thick pearl head with a trace of light red coloring. Leaves some lacing, but not much.

Pretty light aromas in the nose. Seems somewhat fruity.

Light fruit flavor and it is rather odd, but still fairly enjoyable.

Pretty light body but has plenty of carbonation that fits the style well.

Overall this is a decent summer beer. I like that it is something different.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
2.83/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best By Aug 31 2011

A: Pours a golden color with pink/purple hues throughout. About a fingers worth of the same pink/purple color head sticks around for a bit

S: Some floral hops with beets and some malts. Not too much, but it isn't that bad

T: Same as the smell, although the beet sugars make it a little sweet. It is a sweet that, for me at least, becomes grossly astringent and garbage-like when it is given the chance to warm up a little

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

O: I'd say that it's an average fruit beer that NEEDS to be drank cold, almost like almost all AAL's if you want any decency out of them. If it's not cold, this becomes a nasty drink that can be hard to down. As long as it's in a cooler, this is an easy-drinking summer beer

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Photo of drabmuh
1.42/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Beer purchased on a lark for 1.50 at a local beer store. Beer is pink and kind of clear, thin white head, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma: OH GOD NO. Bitter...Grainy....Gross.

I should note that this beer is not currently on the top 50 Fruit / Vegetable Beer list on beeradvocate. And for good reason. This beer taste like shit. It is a drain pour for sure. Harsh and bitter, sweet and a horrible lingering grainy aftertaste. This beer kick me in the nuts, beat up my wife, aborted my child and asked me "Is this your dog?" before kicking her and leaving the front door open upon its exit (to waste the air conditioning). This is a disaster of a beer. BEWARE AVOID AVOID AVOID.

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Photo of dtivp
2.27/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy pinkish red with a half a finger head which faded rapidly, no lacing.

Aroma was weak of a slight malt sweetness.

Taste was slightly grainy, a little sweetness, probably from a fruit or vegetable I could not identify.

Mouthfeel was very thin almost watery, moderate carbonation a slightly dry after taste.

Overall, I tried it once and that is enough.

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Photo of coalcracker
2.4/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours with soda-like carbonation that quickly resolves. Unusual in its off-red hue.
Smell: Strong on fruits and beet- very unique.
Taste: Beets and slightly sweet fruits predominate. A little funky aspect in there as well (yeast strain?). Flavor quick to leave the palate.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, but feels a bit watery and definitely on the light side.
Overall: Unique flavor and aroma though this beer itself feels like 'carbonated water with flavoring'. Not terrible, in fact unique in itself- but it just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of fltmedic
2.06/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very translucent light rose color with a light bubbly quickly fading slightly pink tinged head.

The nose is very flat. There are no standouts here except for an idea of something earthy at the end.

Taste is again very one dimensional . Nothing really greets the palette for an notable entry. The body is smooth, lacking any real flavor. No fade to note.

Light carbonation here would work nicely for a summer beer (as it is self-billed) but without any taste underneath it just seems like a tease. Otherwise, thin and watery.

The color is beautiful, but the gimmick of beet juice is its hook and there isn't anything to keep me there. This tasting resulted in a drain pour of about the last 3 inches of the pint. Sad, I know, but life is short.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured this mystery beer from Magic Hat out of a 12 oz bottle, into a pint glass. This ale poured a pink, yes pink color and produced a light pink head. The head retention was only average and the lacing was below average. The aroma of the beer is fruity. The type of fruit, i cant put my finger on it- Its some sort of cross between a watermelon and a raspberry flavor.
The taste of this beer is just as the name suggests- Wacky. I assume that the color of the beer and to a degree some of the taste has to be attributed to beats or beat sugar. Whatever this flavor is, ill call it beats and some sort of funky yeast taste comes through. Overall- I don't like this beer- It s to Wacko for me- I guess someone likes it.

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Photo of gskitt
2.48/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer poured a light rose color, clear, offered little head. Scent was undetectable. Taste was minimum. I'm not sure what Magic Hat was going for here. It does not have an off-putting taste, just not one that is well, tasty. Mouthfeel was eh. Overall, not my choice.

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Photo of david18
3/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Here is my review from a couple of years ago:

Once again, having no idea what style of beer this is when I bought it, I'm a little frustrated by the experience of trying to figure it out. Color is very interesting, an orangish gold that's a little lacking in carbonation. Flavor is intersting but not really anything special. It's worth a try but I'm not all the enamored wtih this brew.


I got a growler of this at Whole Foods, where it was listed as an amber ale, certainly not a great characterization. Again, an average beer. Magic Hat house flavor but not great.

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Photo of UDbeernut
2.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured in a cheater pint

A: strange cherry red color, little head with almost no retention

S: not much nose, slight malt sweetness

T: malt sweetness, tannin, not sur e what fruit is in there because its not even faint

M: light bodied, lingers in the mouth

O: swing and a miss, not worth the money or the time.

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Photo of bnes09
2.77/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strange bright red color. Some head with poor retention. Minimal lacing. After ten minutes, this stuff looks like cherry Koolaid. Wheat and fruit juice aroma, odd. Flavor has a weird sweetness from the beet sugar. I don't know why they would add that to a beer. Medium-bodied with adequate carbonation. This stuff is definitely innovative, however, in this case I'm not so sure it's a good thing.

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Photo of mrseano
2.19/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Cool, hazy reddish appearance. It's an odd color, first thing I noticed is that I couldn't figure out exactly the way to describe the color of this beer. Fairly opaque.

S: Not much going on in the scent department. Smells like sweet grain/yeast. Veggie scent as well, not really that good. Smells like an off golden ale.

T: Very subdued, sweet grain taste. No alcohol or hop presence, tastes more like a flavored soda water or flavored malt beverage. Taste disappears very, very quickly; no aftertaste is very odd feature.

M: Dry mouthfeel due to fairly high carbonation. Effervescent and similar to a champagne-like beer.

O: Not really impressive at all. Below average, cheap feeling beer with no lasting impression on scent, taste or mouthfeel. Color is cool (beet juice added), but is more of a gimick. I like #9 by Magic Hat, but they missed on this one.

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Photo of Duxx
1.93/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My daughter works at a brew pub in Co MO and one of the brewers left this in her apartment.

A: Hazy and rosy pink with no signifcant head.

S: Slightly acid or tart like a wit but with no spice or hop aroma. Pretty bland really.

T: Sugary sweet not malty sweet at all. No hop flavor. In fact no real flavor at all.

M: Thin and watery

O: I was expecting something interesting if a guy who brews beer for a living is drinking this, but no. Really the most bland beer I've ever had. Just pink fizzy water with a little sugar. Oh wait, that's diet soda??? This is my 2nd magic hat beer and so far they are 0 for 2!

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