Magic Hat Brewing Company teamed up with the band Dropkick Murphys to create Barrom Hero, an English Brown Ale. Their website states that proceeds from this traditional pub ale benefit the charitable foundation of Dropkick Murphys, the Claddagh Fund. Drinking beer and supporting a charity is a win-win.
Barroom Hero pours a dark brown, almost as dark as a cup of coffee but not quite. This is definitely darker than your typical brown ale. There is an appetizing tan head that forms and rose to just over a finger. The aroma is one of bread, toasted caramel, some brown sugar or molasses, and just a hint of hops and malt.
The first sip somewhat follows the nose with forward notes of toasted caramel, malt, and bread with a little hops and citrus on the back end without being overpowering. There is also a tinge of chocolate towards the end. The finish is warm and toasty, a comforting embrace that makes you want another sip. The carbonation is light and almost smooth, perhaps creamy is a better word.
I don’t know if I would classify this as a traditional English brown ale. It certainly has some characteristics of one but this seems slightly more adventurous. The flavor stayed consistent throughout the session which was an overall enjoyable one. There was some lacing on the glass as it drank.
Overall, this is a fairly good, slightly different take on an English brown ale. It is inviting and flavorful. Don’t come at this with preconceived notions about brown ales. This could be a good session beer as it clocks in at only 4.2% ABV. This is a good beer and some of your money will go towards charity so it makes you feel good in several ways.
Magic Hat Brewing Company out of Vermont has been around for a long time and helped foster in the craft beer craze across the United States. They have produced a wide variety of beers including #9 which is up for review today.
Magic Hat #9 bills itself as a not quite pale ale. It pours a slightly hazy, glowing, burnt orange color with a foamy head that stood just over one finger tall at its best. There were some bubbles seen rising to the top but not many. The aroma is pretty subdued with some malt, and a touch of hops. There is also a little sweetness to the aroma, like a dried apricot.
The first sip offers malt quickly followed by that tangy sweetness as if dried apricot were used in making this beer. There are some hops on the back end but not a lot. There is a light mouthfeel to the brew and it finishes a little wet. The more you drink this beer the more it grows on you. The tangy sweetness of the apricot, at least I’m fairly certain its apricot, is a good flavor that balances the malt and hops but doesn’t linger or taste artificial.
The glass didn’t lace much, I think it was the way my glass was cleaned that was making it foam and lace resistant. Still, the beer looked good as it drank from the color of the brew and the ring that stayed around the edge of the glass.
Overall, this is a very fun beer to drink. It does feel as if your mind and taste buds are playing tricks on you but in a good way. The tangy sweetness is not clingy so it makes you want another sip as soon as you are done with your first. It was a fun beer. Not great but in no way bad. This is something I would have again. And at 5.1% ABV maybe again and again and again.
Magic Hat Brewing Company began producing beer from South Burlington, Vt. in 1994 and has grown to become a nationwide distributor. Even though it was bought by Pyramid Breweries in 2008, and Pyramid was bought by North American Breweries, Magic Hat has stayed true to its roots. You know them. You’ve seen them in stores. We’re drinking them. Up for review is Single Chair Golden Ale.
Single Chair is an ode to one of only two remaining single chair ski lifts in Mad River, Vt. It is advertised as a medium-bodied golden ale that is crisp and refreshing. The beer pours a clear gold with moderate carbonation rising to the top which features a nice, white, foamy head that stood just over a finger tall.
The aroma is malt, some bread, a little sweet note, possibly from citrus, and a touch of grass. The aroma is very light with nothing taking the lead here. It is pleasant and just smells like beer.
The taste is almost identical to the aroma. The malts and breads take the forefront here. There is a touch of sweetness but without a clear identifier. It just tastes like beer which is a good thing sometimes. It doesn’t advertise a lot of bell and whistles and it doesn’t bring them. Its just a straight up golden ale which is nice and refreshing. The art on the can shows a ski lift so you almost expect a heavier winter beer but this beer can be had year-round. It is on the lighter side of medium in the mouth with moderate carbonation, just enough to tease your tongue. It finishes crisp and dry.
Overall, this is a good beer. It is as it it’s advertised, a medium-bodied golden ale. It tastes good and consistent throughout the glass and while it doesn’t really stand out it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Don’t be afraid to drink a beer with a ski lift all year long, though I feel if I had this in the winter I would just be dreaming of warmer days. At 5.0% ABV it is something you can drink any time and anywhere.