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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 Hibernator
3.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Wacko
12 oz brown bottle
Best by August 2009 (It's a freshy)
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a hazy pink-red color. A funky beer color for sure, with a light pink hue to match. Trails of lacings cling to the glassware.

The nose is rather bland, maybe some whiffs of grains and sweetness.

The mouthfeel starts kinda smooth and creamy with a strong carbonation presence. The taste overall though is tart and bitter with some fruit juice sweetness mixed in.

A unique beer (they named it correctly), but nothing special here. I don't see myself revisiting this anytime soon, but glad I tried it.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm sorry, I just can't get my head around a beer that is pink. This beer is a reddish-pink color with a thin pink head. The head is gone in seconds. It has a nondescript sweet malt aroma. Some improvement in the taste, with a bit more hops assertiveness. There is also a bit of bubblegum in the taste. I suppose, if you can get past the color, that this beer would be a good session beer.

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

Don't judge a book by it's cover is the terminology that came to mind with this beer..i just bought to try it out..didn't know about the beet coloring until just cracking open the first one....it's looks like a raspberry lambic (which i've tried before and is awful) but it taste similar to a summer notion beer from last summer. It had a nice pinkish head that never quite settled....to me it tasted like a piney summer beer...don't let the color trick u...good session beer for the summer...it's sure is a head turner..the color that is.

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Photo of rabsten
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

See, I'd been drinking...

It had been a rough week at work. I had my first day that sucked and no particular day where everything went right. And then Friday comes and I finish my day with a trip to an overcrowded Outback to meet my parents and great anunt/uncle. Great. So I excuse myself, head to the bar, get a Samuel Adams - 'cause it's Outback, right? Then my second happy hour Sam and just for the hell of it a glass of Maccallans 12, which at only $8 is a bargain (and doubly so since the big-boned barmistress seemed to have a thing for me...at least until she had to track me down in the dining room to settle my bar tab. That ended the budding relationship real quick. But she still gave me a double for the price of the one shot). Accordingly I had a decent buzz going after my meal, tooling through the Transit Mall, being brusque-to-rude to the panhandlers - hey, I was on the phone and walking with a purpose. Interrupt me with an "excuse me but..." and I'm NOT going to be the friendliest person on Earth. Or Charleston, dubbya-vee, for that matter.

But I digress. I decided I needed a six pack, since all I had at home was cellar-quality big beers and a single bottle of Shiner Bock. And since it's 90-fricken-degrees I thought: Summer Beers. Craft Pils, Kolsches, and Wheats. One of the most wonderful times of the year. So off to my go-to convenience store. A place where good beer is always available and great beer sometimes appears. Harpoon, Great Lakes, Sierra Nevada. Mmmm.

Alas, It was not to be.

There I was, looking forlornly at the cooler. The Sierra Nevada row was full of good stuff, yes, but not the desired SN Summer Brew. Sure, there was ESB, which, for some screwy reason, is known as their "Early Spring Beer." Spring, huh? I was buying it back when Barack was raising his right hand to god and misspeaking the Oath of Office. Yes, I know it wasn't his fault but that's not the point: the ESB, while very good, is three months old, slightly stale, and I've had a crapload of it already. Harpoon? IPA only. And the Shiner shelf? Let's see...Bock..check...Hefe...yeah, but that's not that great...and what's that? Holiday Beer!?! 2008 beer? Naw, not for me.

Then I see it. The Magic Hat shelf. Now, I'm not a big MH fan - more style over substance is my experience - but the Hocus Pocus is a good summer beer and that's what I was looking for. And there's the seasonal pack right there. But it's not Hocus. It's something called Wacko. It says it's a summer seasonal. It says it's a "crisp summer beer." And while it's not something I've ever had before it sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. $7.99 later it's mine.

Let me say this up front: It was fine out of the bottle. Not especially great but perfectly serviceable. No reason to actively seek it out but no reason to actively avoid, either. Take it or leave it, just like most of my Magic Hat experiences.

But pour it into a glass....dear God in Heaven above. What. The. Hell?

Appearance: Poured into a soon-to-be-terribly-appropriate Weeping Radish Brewery pint glass. It's got a great fluffy thick head that lasts. Good lacing. Good carbonation. Not bad at all.

Except it's fucking BEET RED with A PINK HEAD. Pink. Bright Pink. PINK!!! JEE-Zus Kee-rist, it's ugly as fuck. Ugly. As. Fuck. Awful. Jolly Rancher Watermelon red. Pepto Bismol Pink. Nauseating. Psychotropically bad. I wish I could give it a zero but I can't. The BA API won't let me.

Aroma: Mild malt.

Flavor: Mild malt with decent hop finish.

mouthfeel: Not as crisp as I wanted but not bad.

Drinkabilty. Good. Unless you look at it. Then it's terrible.

It's probably the other ethanol in my system but man, this is an abortion of a beer if you look at it. Keep it in the bottle and it's fine. Perfectly reasonable. Pour it into a vessel and...I give up. I warned you.

Magic Hat must be stopped. Seriously. This has to end.

Die, Magic Hat, die.

+Edit: Grammar corrections (hey, I'd had a few). And taste taken down a peg now that I've finished it off.

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Photo of SaintPeter
2.15/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beautiful pinkish red color with a sizeable cotton candy pink head of frothy foam that dissipates quickly. The color is really nice, reminding me of a pink champagne. A delve into the extreme brewing. Some lacing left on the glass.

The smell is strange, like a whole beet with the dirt still on it and the roots and greens intact mixed with spring blossoms. Some tart cranberries. Not sure if this is an ale or a lager, but it smells as if it is a lager. Not much else in there.

Taste very unimpressive after the fine appearance. Not much of the...not much of anything comes through, actually. Some hints of fresh cranberries and some nuttiness. If you close your eyes, it tastes just like the last Odd Notion spring beer or most of their other ales (#9, Odd Notions, etc.). Not really a difference, if you ask me, just the reddish-pink color. Try a side-by-side taste test and see for yourself.

Light bodies with a yuck sensation in the aftertaste. It would be a good beer to drink during a really hot day when you don't want to deal with taste, when you just want refreshment.

This tastes like one of those mainstream beer that craft beer consumer rage against, just with a pretty color to it. Unfortunate, because the vibe and the marketing of Magic Hat and what they promote is fantastic. I feel really bad saying this, but it is about the beer. This is not a good beer as far as flavor and quality.

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Photo of onthefarside
2.06/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

So I picked up the Summer pack at the Price Chopper ONLY becasue I was amazed that there was a Magic hat sampler that didn't have Circus Boy in it. so lets see what this tastes like.

A: its pink... ok is it a wine cooler or beer, got hardly no head with a heavy pour and no lacing as far as i can see, preparing for the worst.

S: Not really picking up anything here. almost msells like a fruit spritzer, which honestly is what it looks like.

T: The taste is very watery, almost no malt and maybe a small twinge of hops, almost tastes like beets, which i can't stand in the first place. Over all there is little that makes me want to keep drinking this beer, its destined for the sink.

M: very water, overly carbonated, its like someone put fruit syrup in bud light.

D: I guess you could drink a whole 12 of these if you wanted to, but for me there's nothing to keep me wanting to drink this disappointment. Perhaps its magic hat pandering to its more hipster beer drinking crowd instead of real beer drinkers, but they've gone down a notch in my book, at least HiPA is still good.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.65/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tasting glass.

The color is a clear strawberry red with a slight foamy white head with slight lacing.

The smell is sugary, reminds be of a cookie dough flavor.

The taste is sugary, with some fruity flavorsome mango,some raspberry flavor. A little hint wheat in the background.

The mouthfeel was quite light. Is really quite refreshing and easy to drink, goes down well.

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Photo of Macdoyal
3.56/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Appearance: WOW! Now this is different. It's pours a bright red with a pinkish foam that laces nicely. This is really red, even more then an irish red. When i see this color it makes me think of cherry kool aid which is refreshing to me.

Smell: nothing big to report on this side. Light bread smell with a hint of ... citrus i think.

Taste: Very light taste which is good since this is suppose to be a summer beer. Enough bitter on the back end to refresh with a small amount of sweetness to enjoy.

Mouthfeel: Good amount of carbonation to assist in the cleansing of a thirsty pallette. Not too "thick" of a body and doesn't cling to your mouth.

Drinkability: Very high on a hot summer day and high enough to be reached for any other day.

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

Magic Hat- Wacko

A- Bright red with a small light lacing pink head. Reminds me of Schmaltz- Freaktoberfest.
S- Light buttery shortbread malt and orange rind
T- Light sweet buttery malt. Shortbread with a touch of light citrus.
M- Light and sweet with a good buttery creamy finish.

Overall- Too watery. Not enough hop presence to make this a worthwhile APA. A gimmick because of the beetjuice coloring.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.67/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Okay, this beer is just silly. Beetjuice for color? What's the point. This came in a mixed 12 summer pack so I drank one. I wouldn't say it's a drainpour, but it doesn't really have anything to recommend it either. Pours an orange/pinkish-red with no head beyond a thin ring. Smells vaguely fruity and a tad dusty. Tastes light, fizzy, slightly fruity, dusty, and slightly bitter and metallic on the finish. Pretty blah. Carbonated and slightly bitter and artificial in the mouth. The beetjuice does nothing for this beer but add some dusky notes and an artificial color, and there isn't much else there either. I'll avoid this in the future.

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Photo of Tomdee74
2.12/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I bought a six of this even after reading the label to see it is beet red in color which makes it hard to take serious when you pour it into a glass. It didn't taste absolutely horrible and I'm sure people that don't really like the taste of strong beer will like it. People who like wine coolers and things like Bud Light would probably love this. If you prefer a good ale, porter, or stout (or fall or winter beer) then this is not for you...

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Just bought the Magic Hat Summer Variety pack for $13.99 and tried the Wacko right away after hearing all the hub-bub about it.

Pours a pink color with pink foam.. I would say I've never seen this before but I've tried AB's Wild Blue Lager... anyways..

Eventually the head turns white and the beer mellows out to just a pinkish read. Not much there aroma wise. I must also say I've never tried a beet before, so I'm not sure of its taste. But, this beer has a nice mouthfeel and is nice and smooth and easy to drink. Has a nice fruity sort of flavor to it, but not over the top at all. Sort of like #9 just with beets I suppose. To sum it up, it's an easy drinking beer that is light bodied and good. I don't know what else people are expecting from a summer beer but there it is.

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Photo of oldcrustacean
4.26/5  rDev +49.5%
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 rregan
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Off red color, bright pink foam.

S- Slight fruity aroma.

T- Instant fruit sweetness, fades into a bland finish

M- Overly-carbonated. Got that bubbly bite that Sprite does.

D- Average. Not great, not horrible. Just ok. Decent enough for a taste, I suppose. I'll enjoy the beer I bought, but I doubt I'll get it again.

It's a replacement for Hocus Pocus, which was a solid good brew, but was a Sam Adams Summerale clone, so I think I prefer them doing something different for the sake of variety.

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Photo of thespaceman
3.51/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: A nice billowing head tops a beautiful cramberry red in color, nice frothy lacing sticks to the glass, head retention is decent.

Smell: Some spiciness from the hops give way to a enticing fruit floral, notes of citrus, apple spice, and lime are all present, can't really get beets in the aroma but the nose is very flowery.

Taste: I can get some beets now up front, a typical fruit filled body is here, some raspberry, grapes, and a bit of msngo sweetness. A small dose of malt compliments the hops, tastes alot like a seltzer but this isn't a bad thing. The character from the hops giving off the fruit punch like sweetness paired with a decent dose of malt backbone make this very refreshing to session.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is dry and carbonated, a bit spritzy like, holds up pretty good on the tongue without getting too wet.

Drinkability: I don't know why all the bashing on this offering, sure it's not Magic Hat's best beer but it's a fairly decent one at that, it's easy to drink, refreshing, and features enough elements to make it easily better then alot of other fruit engulfed beers on the market today. Don't know if I'd get another 6 pack of it, but if offered, I would easily have another one.

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Photo of 01121987
2.6/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the only reason anyone would ever buy this beer knowing what it was is either because they want a "bitch beer", or its the only thing available and they really want to get drunk.
the only thing this beer has going for it is its color. there is nothing in this beer that makes me want to drink it other than the fact that it has a very interesting appearance.
the presence of the beet sugar makes this beer overly dry and finish with almost no flavor whatsoever.
this is a sub par beer from a good brewery. i hope they dont make it again next summer!
i think hocus pocus rocks this one into the ground, even with its limited flavor profile.

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Photo of DNICE555
1.86/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Beet red body with a strawberry tinted white head. Weak lacing.

Smelled malts and citrus.

It tasted like a soda. No hint of alcohol or anything else for that matter except for the sweetness.

I thought it seemed high in carbonation and had the mouthfeel of a can of soda. Very light and not much to it.

Way too sweet for me to have more than a couple. Not very drinkable for the session beer style abv.

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Photo of albern
2.21/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is the worst Magic Hat beer I've had hands down. It pours the reddest color I've seen and is truly beet red, as cited on the label. The beer is clear, modestly carbonated, with a thin white head, no lacing, not much head retention either. The nose on the beer was quite musty and bad right out of the bottle. After it sits awhile, it is slightly better but has a very musty, wet cardboard like aroma.

The taste is quite nasty. What were they thinking. This tastes like really lousy ale with a bunch of coloring and flavorings added. The underneath is a dry and poorly crafted maltiness, and on top is just some awful fruit adjunct. The beer is part dry, part sweet, none too refreshing. The mustiness just lingers all the way through. What a disappointment. This is a drain pour for me.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - clear and red with a pink head.

S - odd earthiness and malty aroma.

T - this should have been part of MH's Odd Notion series, as it is odd tasting. bitter hops keep the beet sugar and malt sweetness in check until a sweet aftertaste takes over.

F - light and crisp.

D - it's fun to drink and might be sessionable in some situations.

Note: this beer could work in getting more chicks to play beer pong (get the clear plastic keg cups!).

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

I picked up a six of this, anticipating something clever, creative, and tasty in a summer beer for the Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium. Instead, Wacko MIGHT be creative, but I found it not very clever or tasty. A thin, fleeting finger of pink froth sat atop a berry Mountain Dew-colored body; no lacing. Nice color to the body--for a fountain drink.

The smell was faint at best, emitting scant caramel malt, no berry to speak of--poor. A little more malt and a splash of sweet fruit emerged in the taste, which was on the whole banal. The soda-like mouthfeel was too reminiscent of cloying corn malt based beers that deliver a lot of fizz and little flavor. Check that. The more I had of Wacko, the more I asked why--then decided that I indeed was the Wacko for consuming this.

Avoid this trite, unrefreshing beer, to me easily the worst that Magic Hat has to offer. A poor offering that ought to be discontinued forthwith.

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Photo of oddfire
3.78/5  rDev +32.6%
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 Bowdoinbeerboy
2.76/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is weird. It pours with no head and little carbonation, but get this, the beer is pink. Nose is a little bit skunky but nothing too crazy and the taste is slightly sweet but not over the top. Overall this beer is interesting but nothing worth buying again.

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Photo of tjcortez
2.86/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle out of the Summer Scene 12 Pack.

A | Very cool looking beer. My first experience with a "pink" beer. Poured into a pink glass, pinky finger height head that disappeared pretty quickly.

S | The scent turned me off right away. Right after popping the cap off the bottle I could smell it. I suppose its the beets.

M | A refreshingly smooth mouth feel with a gentle bite that keeps you going back for another sip.

T | Doesn't taste as bad as it smells. I'm not sure if it really 'tastes' like beets (I haven't had a beet in a while), but it wasn't bad. I don't think I'd be excited to drink this again though.

D | It's drinkable, but I think i'll finish up the 3 bottles from the variety pack quickly so I don't have to have another. It's okay for a summer beer, but there's plenty of beers I'd go to before this one.

I wouldn't normally recommend this beer, but I suppose just for the experience it might be worth trying, as long as you don't have to pay for it.

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1.98/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Might as well have drank a miller light and put some food coloring in it.Poured a dull pink collor with excessive carbonation. No aroma to speak of. Tatsed like you would expect a bad pilsner to taste. I would wright more but the opening statement pretty much sums it up.

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Photo of biggred1
3.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pink colored beer with a light pink fluffy head that fades quick and leaves some splotchy lace on the glass. Smells of toasted malt and beets otherwise very clean. Tastes very light and crisp, faint caramel malt and toasted grain with a splash of beet thrown in for good measure. Light and effervescent with a dry finish. Not bad but not great either. The bottle I have says 4.5% ABV.

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