As the weather gets warmer, many of us are thinking of picking up some new beers-those dark, heavy brews just don’t seem as tempting now. Fortunately, many breweries have come out with their seasonal beers to suit our seasonal palette. And for those living in regions with weather that can’t decide if it’s spring, summer or still winter, there’s the Magic Hat Spring Fever variety twelve pack.
The Burlington, VT, brewer put together this variety pack to showcase its newest beers alongside two of its best sellers. It includes two wonderful year-round beers, #9 and Lucky Kat, as well as its limited release Odd Notion Spring 2010 and its new regular spring beer, Vinyl.
It’s not often that I find all the beers in a variety pack appealing, especially when two of them are seasonal brews. Generally, I only enjoy Oktoberfest and winter beers (though not Christmas brews). There are exceptions, however, and I do enjoy a bit of variety when the weather calls for it.
Magic Hat #9 is the most popular of the brewery’s beers. They call it a “not quite pale ale,” and the description is apt. This smooth beer is slightly hoppy with a mild fruity flavor-not what most people expect from a pale ale. #9 balances well with mildly spicy food and some lighter fare. For those who would rather have a beer with a little more hops and less fruitiness, there’s the Lucky Kat, Magic Hat’s IPA. It is not an overly strong IPA, but rather a crisp beer with a full flavor of hops. Because it’s not too strong, Lucky Kat is a great beer to enjoy at a barbecue.
Vinyl is one of Magic Hat’s newest additions. The brewery calls it a lager, though it is upside down on the label. I haven’t had a lager quite like this. It’s heavier and darker than most lagers-it’s actually darker than an amber. It has a hoppy flavor and a slightly syrupy consistency. It is a great beer to enjoy on the nights that Mother Nature decides to revert to the previous season.
Odd Notion is just what it claims to be, an anomaly of brewing. The Magic Hat Web site states, “Magic Hat’s Odd Notion Series…give[s] our brewers regular opportunities to set their creative impulses free, and create deliciously different beer drinking experiences that push the boundaries of taste-laden possibility in intriguing new, and heretofore unexplored, directions.” Once again, Magic Hat succeeds in creating a beer that is unique-there is nothing to compare this to. The Spring 2010 brew is a cross between a wheat beer and pale ale-it tastes like a hefeweizen with a lot of hops. The first sip is shocking to those who don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like.