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 KTCamm
3.62/5  rDev +27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bobby Q's in Westport CT in an American pint glass.

Pours a bizarre pink color with small white head. Reminiscent of either watermelon or cotton candy. A disconcerting start.

Smell is better - fruity, sweet, little bit of malt, maybe some hop in there.

Taste is...not bad. Fruity, but not overly so. The beer strangely works for me. If you get past the color, the beer itself is refreshing a drinkable. Worked well with my pulled chicken barbecue.

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Photo of Billolick
3.23/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottles. Comes with handy freshness dating info on the rear label. Pours a radical shade of pinkish red/diluted beet. The head is similarly tinted, loose and fluffy before receding to a thicker film and leaving copious amounts of thick lace. Light and fruity on the nose. Not my favorite style, this one is the expected continuation of the light and fruity theme. Hops flex their muscles mid way through the experience. Hot weather, summer lunch, with dessert, all these occasions could work with this one

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev +35.1%
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 Gmann
3.32/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear rose color with a wispy white head that settles into a small ring. Something very unnatural about a pink beer. The aroma is of light tart fruit, perhaps apricot and some veggie. The flavor is a bit grainy, little metallic, and sugary (brown sugar) sweet but nowhere near cloying. The feel is light but not watery, fizzy, finishes neutral perhaps a touch sweet. A gimmicky brew, flavors are ok but seems to have identity issues.

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Photo of ATPete
3.29/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours a light pink color, very off putting, with a small white head. Faint pilsner-like nose, some roasted grain, a dash of bitter hops, no adjuncts. Light on the palate! Super light in fact ,dare i say watery, almost no flavor, a hint of malty sweetness, slight bitterness towards the finish. I guess it does its job well, just not my cup of tea is all. This beer (for me however) gets looped in with Freaktoberfest, i just cant take it seriously, it plays games with the left side of my brain every time i look down at the glass.

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Photo of WesWes
3.22/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a reddish/pink color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a typical golden ale scent with a slight fruity/estery aroma. I guess beet juice was added, but the sugars must have all fermented out leaving behind just the color. The taste is average. It has a very thin pale malt flavor with little hop character and a dry finish. I detect some dry fruity taste, but it's low to moderate at best. The mouthfeel is average. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinker, but it lacks taste and real beer character.

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Photo of bonkers
2.68/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is why you should look at reviews before purchasing. I poured from a 12 ounce glass into my SA pint glass. The beer pours like a cranberry/ 7-up mix with a thin fizzy white head. I do not want my beer to look like a "chicks" drink. The aroma is very faint, maybe a bit musty? The flavor is a little funky with a bitter finish. The beer is thin and highly carbonated. I guess the drinkability is OK, it is probably better at a BBQ with food to hide the beers lack of flavor. IMO the worst beer I have had from a craft brewer in a long time.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
2.44/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A- I knew it advertised added beet juice but I was not expecting it to come out looking like cranberry sparkling soda. Minumum head, with some bubbles up the sides. Very transparent.

S- Strawberry? maybe a flowery aroma? Almost smells like water with a drop of fruit juice. No hoppiness whatsoever.

T- What taste? Watered down beet flavoring. Did not make me think "summer beer"

M- Like a less carbonated soda, but has the consistency just more carbonated than water.

D- This was the toughest aspect to rate. I say that the Wacko is drinkable, just not enjoyable for me.

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Photo of SiphonKing
2.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It pours alright, it looks fine and the head retention is decent, but the taste is quite unexpected. This is not necessarily a bad thing if you like beet sugar. Wacko is listed as a "summer seasonal" at the liquor store with no hint of it's base style or malt/hop varieties inside. It's astringent and I detect no sour element to the beer. No frutiness from the ale yeast and not much in the way of layers in the pallette. Magic Hat has some good beers out there on the market. Unfortunately this is not one of them. Stay clear of this beer.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer pours a very pink color with a matching head that has decent retention. the aroma provides a bit of sweet malt and some off notes... i assume the beat juice. the taste is alright with a bit of a sweet and sour thing going and a dry finish. not a bad beer but not one that i'm going out of my way to find.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Crystal clear bright red hue with a one finger pink head that slowly settles to a thick cap. The color moves toward pink when it's held up to the light.

Very light aroma, very hard to find the malts. The beets seem to add a bit of a musty, early, vegetable aroma.

Mildly toasty grains, with a little more of the earthy flavors, although the beets don't show up as much in the flavor. Mostly just very light malt. Lighter bodied.

Actually somewhat refreshing. I guess if you love beets this one will sit just well. Otherwise, it's a middle of the road beer that's maybe trying a little to hard to be original. I'm sure there are some fans out there.

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Photo of mj71
2.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - pours a blush wine pink with a decent 1/2" head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer.

S - faint sweet malt, not a whole lot else.

T - I'm at a loss for a description. There's just not much of anything going on.

M - Actually quite good. Very smooth with a nice zing of carbonation.

D - If there was any flavor to be had this would be much higher. It's nice and light, but I don't crave another.

Bought as part of their summer mixpack.

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Photo of superdudeo
3.5/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first two adjectives that come to mind when I sip this beer are crisp and humble.

Crisp in the sense that it has a satisfying mouth-feel that dissipates quickly, perfect for a summer beer. Humble because its hop profile is not as pronounced as I would have expected for an APA. For a style that is released as a seasonal in both winter (SA Celebration) and summer (Shipyard Summer), I feel Magic Hat did a good job negotiating this difficult style. Its light flavor and subtle hoppiness seems perfect for any summer gathering, while its hop profile could be appreciated through a snifter in the din of winter .I feel this beer is a satisfactory compromise between these two extremes.

Aesthetically, this beer drives me crazy (in a good way). The "beet" red color is fitting for the often eccentric Magic Hat, a brewery that buries retired beers (much like its Northern Vermont brethren Ben and Jerry's).

Head dissipates quickly with only a slight ring. It doesn't leave even the slightest trace of lacing.

Its smell does not do much for me. This beer is also extremely drinkable. At 4.5, it's no wonder.

Unfortunately, I don't think that many will share my view as this beer will be viewed as a Procrustean bed. Traditional APA fans will spurn its general lack of hops while summer beer fans, disappointed that Magic Hat has not created another Circus Boy, will wince as they choke back a six pack. The thought of this drives me WACKO!

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

On tap at Capone's.

Poured a medium reddish color (cherry Kool-Aid) with a smaller sized pinkish head. One Wacko looking beer. Aromas of vegetables (is i the beets?) and some grains. Tastes of the same with some sugary sweetness. This one was definitely different.

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Photo of u2carew
2.83/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A) Beet red like the bottle says. Visible carbonation. Pours with a thin head then disperses to the edge of the glass leaving thin lacing after each sip. Good clarity.
S) Smells more like a hefeweizen or a pilsener than an APA. Yeasty and bready, with some slight caramel sweetness to it. A touch of citrus aroma.
T) A mellow sweetness up front, then a slide to a dry finish with just a bit, but barely even noticeable hop.
M) Crisp up front but then blah.
D) An alright brew. Not too impressed, but to each his own.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +33.3%
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 mikereaser
2.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a pinkish orange color with 1/2 inch of foam that quickly disappeared to just a layer of tiny bubbles

S - yeasty, bready aroma, faint sweet malt

T - there is an earthy taste to it, not sure if its the beet juice or what, but its not very good in my opinion. it kind of tastes like wet cardboard

M/D - decent carbonation, but the flavor is just off to me. I had one and now i'm good.

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Photo of dickieb
2.86/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours Beat red/pink with not much head and no, lacing. The color is interesting but it in no way resembles a beer. The smell is very light with a small whiff of hops and candied sugar. The taste is not much more then the smell, there is nothing offensive and the flavors that i can pick up are not bad in anyway, but it has as much flavor as a bud light. I could put quite a few of these away easily enough because there is nothing wrong with it, but it dose not impress me at all. How can Magic hat replace some of its better brews with this??

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Photo of clayrock81
2.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Didn't know what to expect so when the bartender handed my ruby red/pinkish draft I thought he mixed my brew up with my wife's order (she had a Fraimboise). The head was nonexistent and it carbonated like Cherry 7Up. One whiff and I didn't pick up much except some faint hops and some minor dark fruit notes. It is a little watery and slick, with minor hop bitterness and dryness in there along with some floral hop notes. Picked up some sweet malts on the backend for a decent balancing act. I am not slamming the beer by its color and Magic Hat usually comes up with good beers, but this one is a miss.

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Photo of billybob
2.94/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pink beer what next! looks good in the glass held the head well and left a nice lace on the glass. smells funky and metallic. malty dry taste, crisp carbonation and a light mouthfeel. left me with that metallic after taste that i didn't care for so its not something i would buy but its not a bad beer.

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Photo of lstokes
2.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe this is me being a girl and all, but it's a pink beer! I got really really excited about it after the pour: beautiful color, a thin head, a little bit of rising carbonation.

But the beer? Completely average. Not bad--a pretty typical american pale ale, I think, and goes down easily, with an almost soda-like mouthfeel, kind of watery, so not my cup of tea, but I would have liked it when I started drinking.

But BORING. I'm not sure the beet juice adds anything but color, and maybe a bit of a sour/earthy note in the smell--my friend said "It smells like I'm about to drink borscht." He also felt that it tasted like a potato at the end.

Might drink again, but only if it was summer, my other options were worse, and maybe there was a pink themed party going on. That's what this beer was made for: a pink themed party with a bunch of your macro-drinking friends. For that it would get an A+.

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Photo of boatyard
3.9/5  rDev +36.8%
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 Hokies
2.93/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours pink with a fizzy pink white head. This is one very different beer that smells quite sweet and not that much in the way of anything else except for some pale malts. The taste follows the aroma with the sweetness and pale malts. Probably my least favorite out of the Summer Mix.

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Photo of gobias
2.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Generally I really like Magic Hat offerings, except this one.

The color is a bit odd, a pale pinkish, to me it looked like diet soda. It has a pleasant sweet smell. The taste is kind of bland. Its not offensive or over powering but rather lacking any real lasting flavor. Once again, with the taste I was kind of reminded of diet soda.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.05/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Slightly hazy, pinkish orange. A finger of white head forms with moderate to low retention, very minimal lacing.

S - Sweet fruits (berries?) and a touch of citrus. Some earthy American wheat is present as well.

T - Sweetness with a slightly tart edge kicks in first with hints of a sweet/sour berries. Am I tasting the beets as well? I can't be sure. Mid palate the fruit flavor begins fading is replaced by a quick citric snap. Earthy, grainy American wheat is all that remians.

M - Light bodied with a moderate to high carbonation. Fairly crisp.

D - Meh. Tastes like another flavored wheat ale for the most part. Interesting for a few sips but nothing that stands out.

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