In the last of my series for National Beer Drinking Day, I am highlighting one of my all-time favorite beers. My friend Kelly introduced me to Magic Hat #9 on a July afternoon about 9 years ago. I had just started a new job and the happy hour crew was out to celebrate. My love of IPA’s was immediately transformed when I took my first sip of this “not quite pale ale” – and what an awakening it was!
Rather than a shin-kick of hops and bitterness, #9 is a beautiful ale made with 2 kinds of malt, Cascade and Apollo hops and a hint of apricot. That’s right, I said apricot – if you don’t have a well-developed palate, you’ll be searching your mind and tongue for that ingredient with every sip. This beer is light and refreshing, but heavy on flavor. You almost get the mouth feel of a heady pale ale, but it goes down smooth like a light beer or wheat. It’s crisp and slightly fruity, but not at all sweet. If someone doesn’t like hoppy beer, chances are they’ll fall in love with #9 – sounds like the love story from a James Bond movie, right?!
While it used to be hard to find, you can now get Magic Hat at many grocery stores and bars and restaurants. Imagine my delight when I found #9 in 16-ounce cans at a local golf course and at our concert venue – jackpot!! Pair this beer with just about anything, but it goes amazingly well with a charcuterie platter and cheese assortment. You’ll think you’re drinking wine the way the flavor is enhanced by different foods. Try a little crusty bread with camembert and dried apricot and listen to #9 sing with that one. Check them out in your area or find out more online at magichat.net.