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Wacko | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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782 Ratings

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 782 |  Reviews: 415
Photo of cdizinno
1.61/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured reddish pink, slightly cloudy with a good light pink head. Slight lacing.

S: Slighly fruity sweet scent. Beet...I guess?

T&M: Tastes funny. I don't like beets, so maybe that is why I don't particularly prefer this flavor. Light bodied with medium carbonation. Bitter flavor from beginning to end with sweet taste up front. Dry and tingly finish.

Odd fruit beer. If you like beets you may like this brew. I tried a couple more to see if I could acquire a taste.... it didn't happen.

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Photo of mnrider
2.13/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured reddish amber with light pink head. alright lacing. head goes away quick.

S: fruity Smell i guess beet.

T/M: Tastes like beets, other fruitiness. Carbonated, with more beet after taste. Is smooth and does go down good.

D: Kinda weird. Fruit beers are not my thing, but is not the worst fruity beer i've had. If you like beets you will like this brew. The design on the bottle is cool.


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Photo of strengthdoc
3.18/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As I poured this beer from the bottle I noticed definite red tint to it. It looks like Cherry 7-Up. The aroma is mildly sweet with a strawberry component. The taste is very light and the mouthfeel is very thin and light. The taste is refreshing and actually isn't too watery. The beer is unremarkable, but would be OK after mowing the yard or a round of golf.

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Photo of bluejacket74
2.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle, best by August 2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about a half inch white/pink head. Head retention is low, not much lacing either. Not much to the aroma, it smells like sweet malt and grain. With that being said, it doesn't smell bad at all. However, the taste seems a bit off to me. It tastes like sweet malt, grain, and a weird unnatural sickeningly sweet flavor that I'm not sure what it is. I assume it's from the beets/beet sugar, but I don't know for sure. I just know I don't like it. There's also a weird aftertaste that isn't appealing. Mouthfeel/body is light, but it's not watery and has decent carbonation. Drinkability isn't good, but then I don't exactly like the taste of the beer either so that doesn't help. I'm lucky I just bought a single bottle of this, I couldn't imagine having to drink any more bottles of this than one. Unfortunately this is a perfect example of what I think of most (but not all) Magic Hat products. This is just another brew that is more gimmick than substance. I know Magic Hat is capable of making good beer (like Roxy Rolles and HIPA), I just wish they'd focus more on making decent beer than stuff like this.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have read and heard many bad things about this brew. So, I had to try it myself and see what the big deal is. I will admit I do not care for Magic Hat at all, so I am going into this beer with pretty low expectations. Here is the review:

A: Pours a bright pinkish red. Head is a very light pink color. Very light to no lacing.

S: Not much in the smell. It does smell pretty much like a typical macro lager. I get lots of grain and maybe a touch of sweetness.

T: Actually better than I expected. Tastes like a well brewed macro lager. Pretty similar to Bells Lager of the Lakes. Lots of grain, a little sweetness. Its not complex or outstanding by any means, just tastes like a little more flavorful pale lager.

M: Very light bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing. Finish is very clean with no aftertaste.

D: Probably the highlight of the beer. It goes down like water and is quite refreshing. Nothing offensive about this beer at all. Very sessionable.

Overall, I think this beer is a tad underrated. This is not a great beer, but it is drinkable and is better than the run-of-the-mill macro lager. I actually like this more than some micro brewed lagers like Bells. If you are in the mood for a refreshing lager-tasting beer, this fits the bill nicely. Recommended.

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Photo of NODAK
4.25/5  rDev +49.1%
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 erosier
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

L: Pours a reddish color with a medium sized and thin bodied light pink colored head that laces a bit down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet malts, an adjunct sweetness to it at the end as well that I can't put my finger on.
T: Tastes of sweet malts, earthy hops and a bit of an adjunct sweetness that I still can't put my finger on.
M: Very crisp, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: OK drinkability.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.63/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Whoa. This is RED. Did not expect that. I thought someone poured some cranberry juice into my bottle and resealed it as a joke. But no this is pretty cool. Not too much head, but the amazing color makes up for it. I also ran out of beer glasses and poured this into a red wine glass so this is especially fitting.

Light, woody aroma of German/English malts. Deep like a Dunkelweizen, but brisk and malty.

Taste is not fruity at all, like the color would suggest, but mildly floral and grainy/cereal-y. I assume the beet sugar fermented out but there's not a significant increase in alcohol so I'm not sure what it's lending to the beer apart from the color. And there's a lot of malt flavor so I don't think they skipped there. Seems very light but with enough of the lingering malt taste to balance it out.

Very dry and champagne like mouthfeel. Maybe not right for the style but it works. Drinkability is quite good since it's a tasty beer but the lingering cereal taste might get on my nerves after a while.

Definitely a cool beer. Just that first pour out of the bottle was startling and it's a nice take on an English beer.

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Photo of Lordbacchus
2.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

I was very disappointed with this one.
After purchasing Magic Hat's variety pack which consists of #9, Circus Boy, HIPA, and Odd Notion a few weeks ago, I was craving some more tasty beverages (except for the Odd Notion which wasn't what I expected but I digress).

Not even Copperfield has enough Magic to save this one (Wacko).

The complete lack of body and virtually no hop taste or aroma made this summer beer a big letdown.

I thought I was drinking a bottle of big commercial American Lager.

Try this side by side comparison at home:



Miller High Life and red food coloring.

Enough said.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.26/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from bottle a clear light pink with a pinkish white head. Good lacing with this one.

S: Roasted malt and grains in the nose with a slight smell of straw. Slight vegetable earthy aroma. No hop aroma.

T: Malty with a earthy tone. Can't say I taste beets but there is a different flavor almost like carrots, slightly sweet with a bit of adjunct flavor. Hops may add bitterness.

M: Slick, medium body with modest carbonation.

D: Easily a session beer with low alcohol and ease of going down without offensive flavors. Don't be fooled by the color it is pretty good! Magic Hat is clever.

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Photo of petroos
2.75/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep cooper/pink color that is extremely intriguing. Pours about a 2 finger off-white/pink head which leads to a nice persistent lace. Carbonation looks relatively strong, with tiny bibbles.

S: Pretty closed on the nose. A trace of earthy beets. Sour yeast and cream. Overall pretty unpleasant/non-existent.

T: Upfront tartness yields to the earthy sweetness of the beets. Some interesting citrus notes come through also. Earthy hops on the finish with more grapefruit and beets.

M: While the flavors are pretty interesting the mouthfeel is lacking. The carbonation is pretty nice but overall the brew feels watered down.

D: Very drinkable. It definitely lives up to the summer ale intention. I'd trade up this for Bud any day. Works as a porch session beer. As a microbrew, it's a bit weak.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
2.82/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a pinkish-red color with a large, but quickly diminishing off-white head, good lacing. Aroma is pale malts, grainy and that's about it. Taste is sweet, grainy and kind of tastes like, but not as good as their #9. Mouthfeel is lighter and the sweetness stays on the palate for a while. I was scared of this beer because of what I had heard previously. It was not all that bad, but not great.

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Photo of donmonkey1
2.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Copper/Cherry, reddish bronze. White head that recedes quickly with good lacing.

Smell: Not much. Perhaps it's a mental trick because of the color, but I think I smell watered down cherry Kool-Aid.

Taste: If I poured a glass of water, threw some change in the bottom of the glass, and stuffed it with colorful flyers from the mailbox, I'd be pretty close.

Drinkability: I could throw back quite a few, but I wouldn't want to unless there were no other options.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.26/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger light pink head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Clear red color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Faint hoppy nose. Flavor is almost sweet hoppy beets, unusual. Best by Aug 2009. 12oz bottle from 12-pak - any supermarket in VT and NH.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 6-14-09
Best before August 2009

Pours an amusing red/orange color, with a nice white head and a thick layer of lacing.

Smell is quite thin and a little adjunct, subtle earthy hops and a touch of sweet maltiness.

Taste is very dirty and earthy, with a slight fruit edge that actually helps out. The finish is crisp and slightly bitter, with an earthy kick. A little different, not necessarily bad.

Mouthfeel is good, carbonation helps the sweetness be a little lighter.

Drinkability is pretty good, once you get used to flavor.

Overall, not as bad as I expected, try it.

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Photo of jwjon1
2.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really wanted to like this one. I mean, it looked like there would be some interesting flavors popping out, what with it being pink and all. But alas, simply tasted like a force carbonated macro. Which is to say, you could throw a ton down, but would you enjoy it? As for me, not so enjoyable. Nothing wrong with it in any way, just wasn't exciting. Second beer of the night, and ended up being a near full drain poor. Simply didn't want to waste my sobriety to a boring beer. What a waste.

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Photo of puboflyons
2.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of August 2009. Sampled on June 12, 2009. I have never seen a beer pour the color of pink before but that is just what this one did. Pretty bizarre...or whacko, like the name implies. Must be that beet sugar. That is really the only aroma I get is a faint scent of sugars or hops. But it is nothing to write home about. The mouthfeel was rather thin and watery. The taste was also on the bland side and maybe a little tart. The only unique thing about this beer was its color.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.3/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance - Almost a pink color. Small white-pink head with some lace on the glass.

smell - Lemon, and fruit smells here.

taste - Not what I expected. Tasted like a pale ale almost. It is not much of a true fruit beer. It does have some fruityness taste to it, but the bitterness from the hops throws you off.

mouthfeel - On the light side.

drinkability - If you like Pale Ales I would think you will like this. I took this from the Magic Hat Site.

Yeast-English Ale, Malts-Pale, Hops-Columbus, IBUs 15, plus Beet Sugar

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Photo of Pencible
2.27/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This poured a clear, strange pinkish peach color with white head. It smelled mostly of bready yeast with some apple and copper hops, and a bit of barley. Its taste was dominated by bready yeast and earthy wheat and barley, with a bit of copper and apple. It was watery with moderate carbonation, and had a mild metallic and wheat aftertaste. Overall this was not nearly as flavorful or unique as I hoped. The ingredients all tasted low-grade, leading to a dirty and bland flavor. This also had a weak body and low ABV, so it wasn't difficult to drink, but it's difficult to justify drinking. The only interesting aspect about this drink was the strange color, and I'm not sure that was a good thing. You can skip this beer. (Why are summer seasonals so much worse than winter?)

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Taken from mental notes:

A. Stunning pink appearance, little to no head and just a few spots of lacing. This beer had a very memorable hue to it, almost like a lambic.

S. Just a bit of grain in the smell not overly aromatic.

T. The flavor is very light. Some light crystal? malt is all I can gather, with a subtle sweet fruity twinge on the back end, which I imagine is the beet juice.

M. Light and crisp, somewhat dry.

D. This brew was interesting, but the pink body is the only thing that really makes it memorable. Good if youre looking for a light version of craft beer.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.12/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle sample at Party Source.

Poured a clear red color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with fair lacing.
Moderate red beet and spice aroma.
Light to medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation.
Light to medium sweet flavor with a light to medium sweet finish of short to moderate duration.

Refreshing summer brew.

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Photo of TheTrevor
2.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is an odd looking beer. It poured bright pink with a little head. The smell was pretty basic American macrolager, I wasn't able to detect any beet if it was supposed to add to flavor as well as color. Taste is more of the same, some sweetness up front with no hops to balance it out. I could be drinking Budweiser with some food coloring in it. The mouthfeel is slightly watery with some crisp carbonation. This beer is as drinkable as most American Macros, so at least it has that going for it. A very underwhelming brew.

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Photo of rkcrozier
2.03/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very disappointed with this latest Magic Hat release. Its been a while since I have had anything from their brewery but thought I would give it a try. Poured into a clear mug, the color was interesting enough - rose colored - reminded me of the cherry ginger ale that Canada Dry used to make. Anyhow, the color was interesting enough to start several conversations about different beers. The taste was another thing; i think the beets played tricks with my mind as I expected one thing a got something completely different. I can't say anything else other than I couldn't finish it and had to toss it out. Thank goodness I was at a party that I could leave the rest of the bottles behind. Boo...hiss...Magic Hat.

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Photo of NaZdravi
1.94/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer had quite a peculiar smell - maybe it was the beets. Very surprised by the color when pouring it into a glass. Was worried that the beer was skunked from the initial smell, but figured since this is the new seasonal that was unlikely. Nonetheless it was far from good in fact I hope to pawn off the remaining bottles on unsuspecting friends. Disappointing coming from Magic Hat who seems to be normal good beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat's answer to Schmaltz's Freaktoberfest? If so, I suppose Magic Hat achieved their color by more natural means, as the coloring is apparently all natural: beet juice! Thus we have a foamy, airy light pink head, with a liquid that's somewhere between the darkness of actual beet juice and pink lemonade. Pretty wild.

Aroma is a washed-out blend of cereal grain, herbal tea and and cooked vegetables.

First taste impression is a light fruit-juice sweetness, a la cherry Kool-Aid minus the sugar (the beet juice, perhaps?). An earthy raw vegetable thing follows, with faint bread, prickly citrus and fresh-cut grass characteristics entering the mix. Slight fruit sourness to the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and light, perhaps a bit too carbonated, as the tingle overtakes the flavor, although it's the most assertive flavor, either.

Certainly a nice break from my recent personal streak of big-ass syrupy and/or ultra-hoppy ales. But generally I'm thinking this is pretty run-of-the-mill, no-surprises stuff. Maybe the color is a bit wild, but the beet juice doesn't come through strongly enough in the flavor, and a kick in the butt like that would've helped this beer attain something more than averageness. It's okay, certainly worth trying once, but hardly "wacko."

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Wacko from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.85 out of 5 with 782 ratings
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