Wacko | Magic Hat Brewing Company

783 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 783 |  Reviews: 415
Photo of Metalmonk
3.21/5  rDev +13%
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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Photo of animal69
2.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- WTF ??? pours a clear light rosy PINK color w/ a thin white tinged w/ pink(?) head that dissipates so fast i could not accurately discern the color leaving almost no lacing in my glass
S- a typical macro lager smell, cereal grains & adjuncts (the beet juice perhaps ?), no hops at all
T- taste is almost identical to smell, am. macro in style, little to no hop presence, adjunctly cereal in nature, there is a faint sour note about midway poss. from the beets, finishes as dry & crisp as a BMC product
M- mouthfeel is alright, well balanced dry & light, ample co2
D- not an undrinkable brew, just not what i was expecting, for the half the price i could just get LaBatts or something comparable that is thirst quenching

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Photo of 6470zzy
1.74/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

The only slightly redeeming factor about this beer is the pretty shade of pinkish red that is it's hue. I am truly disappointed in Magic Hat for putting out this "macro" type of swill. The mouth feel is average, the aroma is less than appealing and the taste is well insipid. Perhaps a heartier dose of hops could have saved this brew, but then again that would have reduced the profit margin on this one. Lesson learned, don't send the wife to the package store with less than specific instructions on which beer to purchase.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.34/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Comes out of the tap a clear reddish amber with a thick white fine-bubbled head. Aroma is not strong but is malty with a hint of cherry. Flavor is fairly malty and has a subtle hoppy undertone, as well as a firm hint of cherry and a whisper of sweetness. Texture is lively and tingly.

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Photo of burnstar
3.51/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty pinkish amber with a nice sized and persistent head. Aroma is faint sweetness and a bit of grassy hops. Taste is slightly sweet with an interesting note that must be the beets but it comes of as kind of a weak rounded apple flavor. Mellow and balanced. Light to medium bodied and very drinkable. For the style and for a summer beer this actually pretty good and enjoyable.

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Photo of GoBlue28
2.26/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tap handle is 100 times better than the beer. Seriously. If I didn't have to write 250 characters I wouldn't even waste my time giving it some sort of a review besides saying "awful" and "who tasted this and thought it was a great idea to put into the market". If I was magic hat this would be the last beer I'd want a new to magic hat drinker to try. A never before magic hater would probably never again. I got tricked into paying for good marketing and poor liquid by Magic Hat once again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grabbed both the new twelve packs the other day as I had realized that there were 5 of the 7 beers in there that I have not had, and that was good enough for me. Went on an epic magic hat tasting last night and went through them all. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/05/2009.

Just wow, I cant belive this one got put out in such a large release. Pours into the glass like some weird reddish kids drink. Odd look for sure. There really is just nothing going on here. The aroma is like a light cherry maybe, like tried red tang or something it just does not really work. Bland, light flavor of grain and rice almost mixed with a very light fruit taste that is barely enough to notice. Light in body and almost unnoticeable.

Overall wow, this was really not that great of a beer, and to be honest I was unsure it really even was a beer. Not something I plan on going back to for sure.

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Photo of schmitter
3.13/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

its not that it tastes bad, but the beer is literally cherry kool aid red

tastes ... bland? weird after taste also

alot of magic hat's odd notions are delicious, but they dont keep them after putting them in a mixed pack, but they keep this beer? i dont get it


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Photo of beerthulhu
3.03/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a bright orange with a towering 2 finger mushroomy paper white head that was well lasting. A sticky and splotchy broken ring lacing encircles the glass. Large macro bubbles cling to the sides of the glass initially before fizzling out to slow streams of micro bubbles.

S: light with fresh pink grapefruit with light hints of lemon peels. Some pale oranges and sugary notes conclude what is only a average showing here.

T: The flavor starts off citrusy with tart oranges and a zesty carbonation that makes the initial sip spicy and zippy. Musky lemons with a lingering tartness that sits fairly well soon follows. Mildew notes of lemons, with a glazed sweetness and tart oranges makes this a sweet and sour experience. The initial sip brought promise but quickly fizzled out after that. Some funky, tart oranges and flavor but overall was tame and sorry to say lame at times.

M: had a lively tingle of carbonation with a medium viscosity but wasn't enough to save this. The flavor just didn't get any better the longer you held it and was better consumed quickly off the tongue.

D: Could take it or leave it honestly. Lacked any wow factor at any point and overall was an average drink.

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Photo of atsprings
2.42/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a DFH snifter a crisp ungodly pinkish red with a thin eggshell head. Aroma is slight sweet fruits and sweet malts. The taste is an overly sweet abundance of malts and fruits, really nothing but a mess. The beer is light bodied with decent carbonation but the overt sweetness blows that all to shit. This is certainly one I'll never touch again with a ten foot pole, I'm very glad I just bought a single bottle.

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Photo of Raymond69
3.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red beer , Oh noes!!! I guess I should have read the bottle , "colored with beet juice".

Thankfully this isn't a SA Cranberry Lambic. Unfortunately their isn't much in the nose either.

A fairly light tasting brew with a slight hint of beet sweetness? I'm reminded of a Corona with lime.

Mouthfeel is light , good carbonation.

Overall this beer beer isn't too bad, I expected the worst after pouring.

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Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Liberty St. Tavern in Allentown, PA. Appeared red with a short, off-white head. Really? This beer only gets a C? It's not that bad, just a simple summer beer with an interesting cherry and apple flavor from beets. There's also a spicy malt flavor in the background - from wheat maybe? Not that bad in my opinion. If you want to try a sweet and simple beer that's a little different, try this.

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Photo of beer2day
2.92/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours pink, a mix of gold and red. Pink infused frothy two-finger head. Pink. Yuck.

Smells like an adjunct lager, even more so. A little something sweet there as well.

Relatively clean and crisp up front, but a little something sweet comes trhough in the finish. One of the few craft beers that tastes better out of the bottle than poured into a glass. Plus you can't see the beer that way.

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, not a good match for the style.

It's drinkable on a hot day, straight from the bottle. Otherwise ...

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Photo of daliandragon
2.93/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another strange one from the boys in Burlington. They love the fruit. This one pulls an alarmingly cranberry red color, kind of like a lambic. The large, wet head lasts longer than it has a right to. Nose is thin malt with touches of citrus and cherries. Meh.

Initially refreshing and light, this becomes cloying and somewhat bitter (although not due to hiops, as I detect none)in the aftertaste. The texture is thin and slightly grainy.

It's true that I'm not a fruit beer fan but this just isn't very good.

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Photo of jnfs
2.93/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It pours amber/ reddish in color, has a slight head and is completely clear. Carbonation is light to moderate. There is a almost berry like aroma that smells sweet and fruity. The taste is of Malt, fruit, alcohol and almost hops. This is a different type of beer that I think lives up to it's name.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.18/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a rather lovely pink color with a small white head that fades. No real lacing on the glass.

Aroma of a rather plain pale ale. Slightly malty with a bit of herbal hops. Mild frutiness.

Slightly sweet upfront with a mild but pleasant malt taste. Not much hop bitterness, but a touch of herbal hops in the taste. Finishes a touch sweet as it started with just a bit of beet flavor at the very finish.

Light body, medium carbonation.

Not nearly as wacky as the label would have you think. Overall a light and refreshing ale, and actually quite boring at that. Little more than a novelty.

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Photo of cnally
2.42/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

didn't michael moore make this into a movie?

this is a pink color, like pink lemonade with sprite. fizzy head.

scents of corn and wheat.

flavor of bitter grains and wheats. the thing is for all of the beet juice talk, it is barely noticeable.

feel is fizzy.

I do not see myself ever buying this beer again. no way.

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Photo of flexinwext
2.31/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

So a beer with beet color. I'm not going to lie, this looked like cherry 7up when I poured it, nice and fizzy. Scent is fairly remniscent of an amber ale/american macro. Sweet somewhat fruity smell. Dry taste with lots of carbonation. Very thin mouthfeel. An interesting beer, the taste was hard to place but pretty awful. Pretty sure I would not buy this again.

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Photo of williamherbert
2.43/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is cloudy rose-pink. A thick mousse of head. Looks very inviting ... or like some kind of girl drink. At any rate it's attractive. Leaves a tremendous curtain of lace.

The smell is not so fetching. Severe, textbook macro lager aroma. Strictly cereal rice. Some bitter fruit... maybe that's the beets? Really not good, I'm sorry to say.

The taste is better than the aroma, but still has the adjunct macro lager thing going on. There is that extra sweetness, which does make it bearable, but still not "good." A little crisp bite at the end. Just a smidge of bubblegum that it could have used a lot more of.

The feel is lagery, for lack of a better word. Smooth enough but watery. This one is a real disappointment. A typical macro lager in sheep's clothing.

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Photo of weeare138
2.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a hazy pink with an orange hue. A small, pink head fizzles into a tiny white cap. Speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of obvious beet sugar...not much more of anything else.
Perhaps a touch of citrus but that may be a stretch.
Taste is of the aromas with notes of red grapes. Very mild flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodies, fizzy, and sugary. An odd but interesting choice for a Summer seasonal release.

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

Okay, this is a bit Wacko. Pours a bit like cherry Kool-Aid with some seltzery bubble action and a pinkish head. Interesting look for a beer, I agree with another reviewer that it looks like Lindeman's Framboise quite a bit.

Smell actually reminds me a bit of #9 but not quite as sweet. Nothing really special going on with the smell to be honest.

Taste is about as non-offensive as they come. Very little wheaty/malty sweetness and pretty much no hop bitterness. Its quite plain Jane and actually pretty much lacks any real character.

Other than the color this beer is basically about as lackluster as they come. Its low ABV makes it a good candidate at a BBQ that starts around 11am on a Saturday and continues on until 2am.

I wish I'd read some reviews as I'd have stuck with one bottle and not six.

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Photo of originalsin
2.67/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a bright dark cherry red with about a 1/2 inch of cherry-tinted white fizzy head. This is a beer, right?

S: I don't know if it's necessarily beet that I smell but certainly some floral notes in addition to fruitier ones like cherries.

T: Some sweet and pale malt tastes come through. The beet flavor never really pokes its head out aside from a little bit on the roof of your mouth as an after taste.

M&D: Well carbonated with a medium body and somewhat poor drinkability that I'd attribute to it's odd flavor, smell, and color.

I suppose some people might like this beer. I'm not one of them. Hopefully this isn't going to stick around as the summer seasonal for years to come: Magic Hat can do better.

Probably the first time Magic Hat has genuinely rubbed me the wrong way...

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Photo of myxomatosis
2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours clear, bright red. The color surprised me even though I knew ahead of time it had beet sugar in; it reminds me a bit of Lindemans Kriek. About an inch of head which disappears over about a minute, with no lacing.

S - Light. The aroma doesn't necessarily jump out at me, but I can smell a distinct note which is difficult to describe - the nearest thing I can liken it to is latex.

T - Clean, light and a bit bready. Again, there's an unfamiliar, almost latex-y aspect to the flavor.

M - Carbonation is a bit like soda. Goes down smoothly. Very clean; doesn't linger too long on the palate.

D - It isn't awful; it's definitely an oddball, but as cubedoggy said, I don't think it deserves such harsh criticism. It's certainly light enough to be within-context for summer - the overall flavor and mouthfeel would make it fairly easy to drink - but the extra weirdness in the flavor sort of takes away from it.

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Photo of msolar
2.27/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


I'm haven't been a fan of Magic Hat for a few years and this beer doesn't help change that. It's beet red and completely lacks body and taste.

I'd compare it to some Bud Light that someone added food coloring to for the holidays.


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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. The back label of the bottle advises I drink this before July 2009. You got it, Magic Hat!

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-pink hue topped with an inch of fizzy, white foam.

Smell: Slight nose with some vague berry-like fruit hints, hint of lemon, and crisp, though delicate pale malts.

Taste: Pale malts, though very mild in flavor and with a small amount of sweetness. Hint of citrus from the hops with a medium bitterness. Vague hints of beet-ish, berry-like fruitiness. Finishes dry, lightly bitter, and with a club soda fizziness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high carbonation, a bit fizzy.

Drinkability: Not recommended. I've had some great beet dishes in my time. Now, I suppose I've had one iffy beet-based beer. This is a one-off release, right? Right?

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