This week’s Beer of the Week is fruity without being embarrassingly girly, so of course we love it.
Hailing all the way from a microbrewery in Vermont, Magic Hat #9 is a “not quite pale ale” with apricot extract. Because apricot is one of my favorite fruits that I don’t eat all that often, mixing its flavor into beer is a genius idea.
And Magic Hat does it really well. I’ve also had Pyramid Breweries’ apricot ale, which tasted delicious but didn’t take full advantage of apricots’ tartness. Magic Hat #9, on the other hand, offers a smooth bite of apricot and other fruits that is balanced perfectly with the slight bitterness of earthy hops. It’s sweet, but pleasantly so.
While Magic Hat #9 is available year-round – one of four from the microbrewery that are regularly bottled or offered as draft beers – its light fruity notes will be most appreciated during the dog days of summer, the scorchers that Texas is famous for.
But be careful about what other fruits you add to it. The ale was served to me with an orange slice perched on the glass, and I discovered that squeezing the citrus juice into the beer disguises the apricot flavor.
I enjoyed it (orange slice-free) for the first time yesterday evening during happy hour on the rooftop patio of the Handle Bar, off 5th and Brazos, with most of the other Bitch Beer girls. I decided that the ale’s distinct fruity flavor – unlike any other beer I’ve tried before – made it an excellent Beer of the Week choice.
Make it your next happy hour selection, and you won’t be disappointed.