Beers in Review: 22 Days

No more excuses. Let's get to it.

Leading off is arguably the most widely available craft beer in America. Magic Hat #9 is so iconic to Vermont's Magic Hat Brewing Company that it even gets its own heading on the Magic Hat website, separate from the rest of their "elixirs". #9 is seemingly available EVERYWHERE, yet I've never reviewed the flagship. Let's change that now.

Despite Magic Hat's seeming eccentricities, #9 seems to be designed to be accessible to everyone. Perhaps that's what makes the rest of the portfolio possible. This "not quite pale ale" pours a perfectly clear amber color and registers at 5.1% ABV and 20 IBU. A fairly mild beer in most aspects, the flavor notes include apricot and some peach along with hints of graininess and spiciness. Really, it quite simply tastes like beer, which, if you've read or watched previous reviews, you will know that is not something I say as a criticism. The beer has a light body with a fairly clean and dry finish. This is a fairly basic beer, overall, but it is quite drinkable. Obviously, many other beers are going to blow #9 away, but it is a solid beer that can be found most everywhere. That's not a bad thing.

From the eccentric megabrewers at Magic Hat to some similarly eccentric crafters based out of Louisville, Kentucky. Against the Grain Brewery (and Smokehouse) immediately break the mold by offering uniquely-named and uniquely-styled beers, with all of their non-kegged beer being served in 16-ounce cans with art that looks like it was done by the Bob's Burgers people. Clearly Everybody Wants Some is a pale lager that pours a hazy golden wheat color and comes in at 6% ABV.  I found the beer to balance pretty well, with mild hop notes blending with a mild maltiness. Sporting a light-to-medium body, the flavor profile also includes some mild grain and wheat notes, along with a bit of lemon. Now, here's the thing. I'm mentioning a whole of "light" and "mild" qualities to this beer, but AtG did a terrific job of making the whole add up to far more than the sum of the parts. This beer is, dare I say, surprisingly very good. You will see the words "pale lager" on this beer's label, but it plays much closer to a top-flight American-style wheat beer. Adjust your expectations accordingly.