RATINGS: 442   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.47/5   SEASONAL: Summer   IBU: 15   EST. CALORIES: 135   ABV: 4.5%
A beer with beet juice color.
Wacko is the liquid song of summer: Crisp like the morning, cool like the evening and quenching all day long. Pop the top and set your summer loose. Wacko is a delicious summer beer with a big malty aroma, a subdued hop bite and a clean, slightly sweet finish.

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ChadPolenz's rating

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - MAR 27, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 26, 2012 I’d like to coin a phrase in the beer-reviewing world: Just because a beer is gimmicky doesn’t make it bad. While I would support that statement whole-heartedly, I don’t think Magic Hat Wacko is the example I’d chose to defend it with. This is one of the gimmickiest beers I’ve ever encountered, which wouldn’t be a problem if only it were good. This is a summer beer marketed on the notion that it’s made with beet extract – does that sound appealing to you?


This beer flowed out of the bottle like water and produced a dark pink, but crystal clear complexion reminiscent of raspberry ginger ale. There was plenty of carbonation upon the initial pour, but it quickly calmed down to complete tepidness. The head matched the body with a small, but brink pink color and a soapy composition. It evaporated very quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The aroma was typical for a Magic Hat beer with a sweet, fruity scent with a noticeable malt presence.


I had no idea what to expect from Wacko. I’ve never had beet sugar or extract (or even the vegetable itself), although I suppose that’s good because it gives me a more neutral starting point. Upon my first swig I tasted something I haven’t had in years – a wine cooler (or at least a very watered-down version of those alcopops).

Magic Hat is known for being experimental and having eccentric beer styles, which is fine since the beer always tastes great… until now. Drinking Wacko is not a pleasant experience. I get no specific ingredients here other than an overly-sweetened palate which finishes with a dry, malty thud. No fruit flavors are noticeable, although there is a taste similar to the tartness of cranberry or grapefruit juice.

While I found the first bottle easily drinkable, after my second and third I realized just how unappealing the beer was. It’s just all beet sugar and little else. At only 15 IBUs this beer probably could’ve been vastly improved by increased bitterness for balance.


Some beers are easy to drink in small sips, while others are not. Wacko is definitely an example of the former as it has a fairly soft mouthfeel and a finish to match. However, if drank in larger gulps its dry, tart side becomes very prominent and it begins to take on a much more coarse texture. This is surprising considering this is a summer seasonal, after all.


I was able to drink two bottles of this beer back-to-back without feeling the slightest bit buzzed. While some might argue this is good, I think there is such thing as being a little too light. Wacko is only 4.5% ABV and won’t fill up the drinker – believe me, I tried!


Obviously, not all experimental beers can be a success and while the Magic Hat brewery has a strong track record, Wacko is one of the few blemishes to their record. I could see it being enjoyed by everyday drinkers looking for an easy-drinking summer beer. However, after just one bottle I think most people will be content and prefer to move on.

Bulk_Carrier (6065) - Vermont, USA - JUN 30, 2016
Reviewed from notes. This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a decent mildly dark red color with a thin white foamy head that dissipated immediately. High amount of carbonation could be seen rising at a rapid pace. No lacing. The smell had some sweet beets, light tomatoes, dried flower petals and a sugary sweet maltiness to it. The taste was basically the same. Long extra sweet fruity/tomato-y to beety aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light on the body with a weird sort of semi-sessionable quality about. Hmmm...probably could gulp if I wanted to, but that flavor doesn’t really want to coincide with the feel. Overall, hmmmm...yeah, not really, one and done for this guy.

alexsdad06 (10784) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - FEB 22, 2015
Bottle sample from backlog notes. Pours a strange reddish/amber color with a small off white/pinkish head. The aroma and flavor have pale wheat malts, earthy, beet juice, just a strange beer for me. There will be no revisit for this beer.

generallee08 (778) - New York, USA - JUN 24, 2014
It pours a shocking but beautiful reddish/pink rose like color with very good clarity a fizzy bright white head. The head slowly fades down to a thin wispy ring of lace. The aroma is light and dull. It has an odd sweetness with pale bland malt notes and no hops. Its flavor is much the same as the aroma. There is a pale malty body with some mild candy like sweetness, light grain and light fruity/vegetable notes. There are some mild hops in the finish that adds a little contrasting bitterness and flavor. It is light bodied with a thin watery texture and fizzy carbonation.

rumproasts (6035) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - APR 4, 2014
bottle. reddish color with small head. the color is about it for excitement here. it’s a bland lager otherwise.

Paincane (171) - Georgia, USA - JAN 26, 2014
Reddish gold w/ thin short-lived white head. Fruity & spicy aromas. Light body w/ beet sweetness flavors. Different & refreshing.

hotstuff (5257) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 7, 2013
Rated on 6-30-2009 (Bottle) This beer pours a medium sized frothy, very fizzy pink head that mostly diminishes, slightly hazy body, fair amount of lacing, and visible carbonation. The Aroma is malty, sweet, earthy hops, and a hint of cranberries. The Taste is sweet, hint of cranberries, hint of hops, and vegetables. This beer has a short dry finish. The Palate is mildly tingly and this beer is light bodied. I did not like the taste of this beer as the flavors just did not jive for me.

Imaena (2359) - Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE - APR 20, 2013
Bottle. This is a plain old pale lager with macro taste dressed up with beet juice for color. Not worth it.

JuliusCaesar (162) - New Hampshire, USA - JAN 24, 2013
Not the best magic hat. It is definitely lacking in flavor but still it is drinkable. Cool idea.

fauxpunker (76) - Florence, Kentucky, USA - SEP 24, 2012
Bottle. The beet juice definitely gives it an interesting color; amber that shows red/pink in the light. Not much of head. Was expecting a rather sweet falvor due to the beet juice, but didn’t notice much to be honest. Easy to drink but otherwise rathre plain.

tpd123 (8) - - SEP 2, 2012 does not count
Most disapointing Magic Hat beer out there. Average aroma but a very unique appearance which is deceiving. Weak malty sweet flavor is overun by the strong unbearable beet flavor.

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