Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not So Magical Actually

Three days into my new running plan and I've already deviated from the schedule. But I assure you it was for a good cause. That cause? Why, beer, of course.

Last night, a local chain restaurant, the Winking Lizard, hosted a Magic Hat beer tasting. On tap was No. 9, Circus Boy, Lucky Kat, Single Chair Ale, Roxy Rolles and Braggot, the latter of which is this season's Odd Notion.

I've already sampled half of these in the bottle and No. 9 on draft, but I was excited to taste the rest from the tap and see what exclusive beers were included in the tasting. I enjoy most of the Magic Hat beers. They tend to be light and refreshing. However, tasting these six flavors in succession made me realize just how similar they all are.

All were ales, save for Circus Boy, which is an American Hefeweizen. Sadly, none of the beers distinguished themselves. Half were a variety of pale ale. One was a golden ale and the other a honey ale. Mixed together, all the flavors seemed the same.

In the winter, I prefer darker beers. The majority of these are light and would be tasty on a warm day out on the porch. This is November in Northeast Ohio. Give me a porter or a stout. According to the Magic Hat site, the brewery does make a stout, called Feast of Fools. Where the heck was that?


In addition to the underwhelming selection of beers, the tasting itself was a tad under-organized. Now, granted, I haven't gone to many tastings, but it seems to me that the brewers are the experts on their beer. Shouldn't they tell me what order to drink these beers for proper enjoyment?

Well, there was none of that. It was willy-nilly: pick your flavor from a sheet of paper that described the beers. Perhaps the top-to-bottom order of the beers was the suggested sequence of consumption, but this was not made clear.

Piss. Poor.

I did however get a sweet T-shirt, a pint glass, a keychain bottle-opener, a sticker, and I actually won a raffle prize, a Magic Hat flag. Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy drinking Magic Hat, but I was not impressed with the variety -- if you can call five ales out of six beers a variety.

I would like to get my hands on the stout, but until then I will wait until the Spring to enjoy another No. 9. As the evening went, a Christmas Ale nightcap was the cure for a bored tongue.

Running tonight? Sure, why not. And perhaps some hot, mulled cider and whiskey to warm the cockles. Cheers.


Turi Becker said...

Warm cockles. Yeah, that's why I'm doing early morning runs on the treadmill. Too chilly out. Didn't think of trying cider. How do you apply that to the cockles?

Marcy said...

I don't know . . .I think I'd rather run than test out beers. (I know I just got banned from your blog LMAO) If it were girly drinks with umbrellas and male strippers or something then talk to me :P

Marcy said...

Are you ok today? You seem all too happy. Hmmmmm . . . Still drunk? :P

Sun Runner said...

I am extremely fond of No. 9. I'm sorry to hear your overall experience was not up to your beer snob's preference. (I say "beer snob" with only the best of intentions. IMO it's the only way to be. Life's too short to drink bad beer.)

I'm going to a Lagunitas tasting tonight at a famous Ann Arbor watering hole. I cannot wait!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I like the Magic Hat stuff okay.

We (and by "we" I really mean my wife) found a pub nearby that has both good grub AND Fullers ESB on tap. It had been so long since I'd had a Fullers on tap that I forgot how good it was. a part of my brain that had been asleep for years came back to life. Then I re-killed it with 4 more pints of Fullers.

Al's CL Reviews said...

I think it is the company. The Magic Hat tastings I have been to have been crap compared to others.

the erratic epicurean said...

well, i guess i'm glad i saved my $30!

Anonymous said...

I'm a snob... it drives me up a wall when said organized drinking ventures are not organized and all willy-nilly drunk-fests. Drunk-fests have there own special places (Annabelle's in Highland Square for me). I feel your' pain in wanting to have the spice of variety in your' life. I don't know if you can find these in Akron now but I have recently found a new love in Anderson Valley Beers especially their Brother Timothy double and triples (yikes they are nearly barley wine!). Excellent for a post run warm-up.
Best of luck with the search for variety (on a more local note I always enjoy the variety packs of Great Lakes when in the Crakron area).
Keep your' knees up while running.

Anonymous said...

The Feast of Fools is a decent beer, but not the best out there. If you want an amazing beer tasting, I highly recommend coming out to the DC area and attending one at the Brickskeller. They know how to do a tasting! Also, if you can find a SAVOR event (I'm pretty sure they aren't just in the DC area), that's one of the best beer tastings ever.

tfh said...

So where does the Magic Hat flag go?

I would not do well at a beer tasting; I'm not going to say why at the risk of bringing shame to my family name (honestly, my maiden name has the prefix Ale), but it involves the words "same" and "bad." I am not proud of this. I did pretend to enjoy Magic Hat No. 9, back in college, to impress a guy, which seals my title to Beer Loser.

raulgonemobile said...

I've had the Feast of Fools, and it was OK, but not stellar. I think their best beer is the #9, and it's better on tap than in a bottle, as you know. Even then, I think I like the Ithaca apricot better.

Yes, the other ones in their lineup tend to blend together.

They should have had a better scheme for tasting.. I went to a Harpoon tasting not too long ago, and it was certainly a prescribed order.

Jess said...

You had me at "Winking Lizard." Any place with that name must be good!

Jess said...

Can't say I've ever had Magic Hat. I'm not a beer drinker. Probably banned from the blog now like Marcy.

Sun Runner said...

So yah, that beer event I went to on Saturday? It fucking rocked. Here's what I had (that I can remember):

Anderson Brother David's Double
Ommegang Rare Vos (yum)
Lagunitas Lucky 13 Anniversary Ale
Dogfish Head Pangea (really weird)
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (orgasmic)
Victory Prima Pils (didn't like)
Avery 15th Anniversary Ale
Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout (holy awesome)
Leinenkugel Creamy Dark
Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga
Jolly Pumpkin Buche de Noel
Redwood Cream Stout
Rogue American Amber
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (wowza)
Detroit Beer Co. Detroit Dwarf

As you might guess, it was a very, very worthwhile afternoon. I think the highlight was the Brooklyn Black Chocolate.