Almost two years ago, I posted a review of a Magic Hat beer called Kerouac, that was marketed as having beets in it. (Beets, Kerouac, Beats, get it?)

I remember not loving the beer, lamenting that beets were a very weird thing to add to such a beverage. I also remember thinking at the time that they were retiring some of their more charming offerings (Fat Angel, St. Gootz, Blind Faith) and foisting upon an unsuspecting public these spurious concoctions.

This summer, Magic Hat unveiled “Wacko,” a beer that markets itself as having a “beet color,” but strangely shies away from actually admitting that there might be beets in there.

I have a theory that the good folks at Magic Hat decided that they would have trouble licensing the Kerouac name on a grand scale and decided to rebrand it as “Wacko.” Follow me.

Kerouac —> Kero-wack —> Wack-o

Come on! It’s obvious!

I’m not sure why Magic Hat insists on making beets the new blueberry, forcing it into their already diminishing twelve-pack. (#9 is passe, Circus Boy is average, Wacko is below average at best.) The Magic Hat brewery is a very cool one, and I love to support all experiments by any brewers, but it seems that Magic Hat is starting to go just a little off the deep end with some of their ideas. I know they are trying to carve a niche with their brand name and identity, but why add a beer with beets in it when you don’t have a mass-produced Stout, Belgian White or Barleywine — other than the occasional Odd Notion offering.

I will still continue to support them because I just like what they are about, but until they step up their twelve-packs, I’ll be doing it in small doses.


~ by William H on June 26, 2009.

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