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Magic Hat No. 9

Was out for drinks with one of my buddies and we were talking about beers and drinks in general (the main part was my bemoaning the fact that they don't sell Yuengling in GA where we are moving in a few weeks) and he brought up a Virginia brew called Magic Hat No. 9. He recommended it pretty strongly.

So I'm at home the next day and looking for something to have with a snack (just crackers and chicken salad, it was already made and I was lazy, hah). Open the fridge and see the usual stuff, Yuengling, Michelob Ultra (my mom drinks it), and a few bottles left from a Microbrew mixed pack. Turns out one of them is the Magic Hat. So I figure what the hell, I'll try it.

It was very tasty. A very good beer for with an afternoon snack or if it's warm out. It had a fruity taste to it (infused with apricot or something so it makes sense) but not overwhelmingly so. Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone else sees it on the shelf and wonders if it's worth a try, I say yes.

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  1. The Magic Hat Brewery is in Vermont, not Virginia. Their other varieties are just as tasty.

    6 Replies
    1. re: MikeA

      My bad, he had bad info then. Still tasty.

      1. re: MikeA

        Being from Vermont magic hat #9 is kiddie juice to us. Coming of age on 9s appealing fruity flavorf I have since moved on, as it just dosent do it for me now, but Magic hat does rock as it is from my town Burlington VERMONT and they do know how to keep it local up here. If you like the apricot taste of #9 you will LOVE Ithaca brewing companies apricot ale... Ithaca New York that is... sorry B-town but those new yorkers have us beat on the apricot beer... cant beat "our" ball boys though (red socks nation)

        1. re: culinaryculture

          #9 is what really introduced me back in the day to craft beers or just beers that were a little bit different.

          although I may be guilty of beer snobbery, I still admit that I am a huge fan of #9 and roxy rolles. still to this day havent had jinx.

          1. re: yankeefan

            I do like Roxy Rolles.. I first had it at the brewery actually and was taken aback by it... brought a bunch home. As for Jinx... not so much. I wouldnt rush out to buy some. There is something just weird about it. I have had some of their "mystery batches" that were much better.

            1. re: culinaryculture

              just had jinx out of their mix pack, you are dead on right. not very good or exciting. roxy rolles still happy to report as delicious.

          2. re: culinaryculture

            Ithaca Apricot Wheat is my favorite beer. I enjoy #9 as well, but you can't beat Apricot Wheat! (as long as you like the apricot flavor, if you're looking for a more subdued apricot than you might prefer #9)

        2. Welcome to the world where beer actually has flavor. Plenty of flavorful beers out there besides MH #9, (some are made in GA even) so keep exploring the world of beer and discover its endless possiblities.

          At a local beer bar last Friday night, a random guy mentioned to me and my wife that he just had an epiphany while trying a microbrew. He said he has been an exclusive bud lite drinker since he started drinking beer and just happened to want something different and spun the wheel of beer and took a chance. Ah, it warms the heart during this holiday season to see the lights go off in people's head when it comes to beer and they start to realize all the great flavors they have been missing by sticking with that one industrial lager their whole life.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LStaff

            Thanks. And it's not the first beer I've had that "has flavor". Just thought I'd pass along a comment about one I'd never heard of before. You're right about there being some good ones in GA. Terrapin's new Wake and Bake (released just a week or so ago, was at the party) is a very tasty stout, and likely to be enjoyed by those who aren't big stout fans. You can clearly taste the coffee in the flavor, but I love coffee so I was okay with that. Oddly a stout with a coffee focus managed to get rid of the bitterness that I have difficulty enjoying in so many other stouts.

          2. I thought #9 was a bit shapeless and muddled (maybe that's appropriate given the Beatles song its name alludes to). I did like Magic Hat's apparently discontinued Heart of Darkness stout, also their Jinx smoked ale.

            1. Magic Hat has a lot of good beers. My current favorite is Circus Boy, but I'm a fan of hefes.

              1. It is the beer that got me started and turned me toward craft beers and to a bit of a beer nerd. Great ale and welcome to the great world of beer.

                Im not a huge fan of all their offerings, but #9 and Roxy Rolles are top notch.

                1. #9, because of its apricot flavor, pairs really well with spicy food

                  1. I have always found this beer and it's fans a mystery. It is on I'd guess 7 out of 10 bar taps here in Baltimore, yet I don't know anyone who drinks it. I remember when it first started apearing it was considered, as mentioned earlier, a starter beer since it was sweet. Then I was not much of a beer drinker so I gave it a whirl and it reminded me of perfume - it wasn't my thing. I tried it again later once I was more into beer thinking it a good summer option but still found it too sweet and swore it off. I'm more of a brown ale fan
                    So last week at a bar I fequent asked the bar tender if the #9 was indeed popular and he said very. So I know you are out there #9 lovers but who are you and what other beers do you like?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: poached

                      It is big with the Hippie crowd. I remember filtering my way through many a Phish lot hearing "heady #9s - 1 for 3, 2 for 5."

                      1. re: mikek

                        I think it's a bad beer, but it makes sense that neo-hippies love it. Its title alludes to that hideous sonic hodgepodge by an acid-addled John Lennon, and it's made in Vermont.

                        I've heard that Deadheads loved quaffing Anchor's beers at concerts. The stuff would be sold (alongside goodness knows what else) in parking lots before the shows, smuggled in in soda containers and so on.

                        1. re: Kenji

                          Speaking for Deadheads (since I am one) we, like any other sub-demographic, drink all kinds of beers. Maybe because both the Dead and Anchor call SF home there's a special affinity, but I've never sensed that personally. As I stated above, I like #9 when eating spicy food because of its fruity, slightly sweet finish, and I love its hippie home of Burlington, but it's never my regular brew; that would be Heineken or a quality IPA like Dogfish Head 60-Minute.

                          1. re: Kenji

                            Just wondering, what makes it "bad beer" to you?

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              It struck me as shapeless and muddled.

                              1. re: Kenji

                                The last time i tried a #9 (which I had previously not been impressed with) was this past summer at an outdoor party. As such, I'd already had several beers and was eating rich, spicy, salty food, etc., so it's not the best time to get an accurate tasting of a beer but I, too, thought it was "shapeless and muddled".

                                In my case that was because I'd missed my glass when pouring from the bottle, and the beer had gone onto the ground. <g>

                      2. If I had to categorize MH#9 as a good or bad product, it would clearly fall into the "good" category. Although it may longer be my first choice I'd never take the time to deride it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Chinon00

                          Wish I had some right now...The wife and I both love #9. I also went through the beers in the mixed pack, jinx stands out as being my favorite.

                        2. Hey, we get it on sale at the local Shaw's supermarket and for the price, we love it. A little "hippie" fun w/ beer/ Far out! Better than PBR smashing empty beer against your forehead crowd. Humor is good. Lite beer is bad. What else does one expect from good ol' socialist Ben & Gerry's Vermont? Bud Clamato?

                          1. Hocus Pocus is their summer seasonal. It's incredible! I am a fan of Circus Boy too. I'm going to visit my brother in Burlington next month (he's at NECI) and I am looking forward to drinking lots of Magic Hat.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: eightlegeddj

                              you should plan a visit to the MH brewery in S Burlington, and a meal at Bove's. I'm jealous.

                            2. Put me in the not a fan group of #9. As a disclaimer, I am not a fan of fruit-infused beers overall, so I can't judge whether it's a good beer or not. I am, however, a fan of the double IPA's that get a haunting grapefruit flavor that sneaks in without a fruit infusion. *sigh* Yumm.

                              I'm also a Magic Hat fan in general, but I loved Roxy Rolles. I put it in the past tense because I was of the impression that it was a seasonal brew, and put away for the warmer months. I haven't been able to find it recently. So sad. Any one have different info?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: thinks too much

                                Roxy Rolles is a winter seasonal and it was widely available in North Carolina this past season. I think it is the best of their mainstream beers.

                                Notwithstanding, I'm not a big fan of Magic Hat's output. The beers just seem like they are brewed for mainstream popularity, rather than to be the best of their styles. The brewery is quite capable of brewing much better beers, as I was quite impressed by the Chaotic Chemistry that I tasted at the Extreme Beer Festival in Boston earlier this year. That makes the pedestrian nature of their line-up all the more disappointing to me.

                              2. Generally I don't mind the Magic Hat brews, but I haven't tried #9 yet. My husband is deathly allergic to peaches (or maybe it's a pesticide or something else on the peach, who knows? Every time he challenges himself he gets really sick) and I wonder if the apricots in #9, somewhat in the peach family I think, would spoil his day. Neither of us cares for fruit beers all that much, with the possible exception of Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic (are there real cranberries in that stuff?) so for now the 'Fruit of Death' and all its relatives are off-limits at our house.

                                1. Roxy Rolles, is the only MH. beer that I can honestly say I really enjoyed.
                                  As for #9, no thanks.

                                  1. My take on Number 9: Simply tasty and quite addicting on tap. I am not a fan of fruit-beer, although this brew has tickled just the right taste buds.
                                    Tidbits: Magic Hat (from yes, Vermont) recently purchased Pyramid Brewing. The West Coast may possibly see Magic Hat in the (hopefully near) future.
                                    I'm from (south!) Jersey and had a local watering hole that poured it on tap. But recently inquired about where I live now (Seattle WA) I was informed of the brew purchase that may hook the west coast up.
                                    Very Cool!


                                    1. #9 is a gateway beer- because it is common, it helps to open the mind about the world of imports to many people that would otherwise have no exposure. Things can only get better from there! In some parts of the U.S., this is as good as it gets. I am lucky enough to live in an area with broad selections all around. In the grand scheme of things, I'd rate Magic Hat a step above Blue Moon products. In some towns, that's the best they've got, & what I would choose over Yeungling/Blue Moon, and the like.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: hawaiigrl2003

                                        As a shallow, trendy, hippie-wanna-be beer consumer, I wouldn't mind trying a 'gateway beer' like Magic Hat #9. The Grateful Dead and John Lennon are apocryphally connected? I will keep and eye open and give it a try soon! ;-)

                                      2. Also not a fan, it always seemed to lack flavor other than the fruitiniess. Almost watered down.

                                        If you are moving to Atlanta, there are some great beer places down there. I lived above THE VORTEX in Midtown which is one of the best beer bars around, but there are tons more. Good city for beer lovers in my opinion. Especially since I think they have lifted the ABV ceiling that existed for store sales when I was there.

                                        EDIT: Rookie mistake of not noting posting date, i'll leave it just the same.