#9 Not Quite Pale Ale
Magic Hat Brewing Company / South Burlington, VT
Magic Hat's flagship beer is shrouded in mystery, prompting questions such as: 'Why is it not quite a pale ale?' and 'What does the number 9 signify?' The answer to the first question is simple, albeit long: This beer is brewed with apricots, and while the aroma is loaded with this key ingredient, its flavor comes across with a subtle, citrusy sweetness with a touch of tartness, just as in the actual fruit. Fermented with the brewery's 150-year-old strain of top-fermenting English yeast, it's light-bodied and has mild hop bitterness, which are atypical of the average pale ale; hence it's not quite a pale ale. As for the mystifying #9, the brewery won't reveal its secret. Be sure to examine the inside of the bottle cap, which includes cryptic messages such as, "This cap will self destruct in 10... 9..." This beer is not for everyone, but if you like apricots, you'll probably enjoy it.