River Brew Review: Magic Hat Demo


Magic Hat Demo

Beer: Magic Hat Demo

The wettest spring on record continues in Vermont. Instead of being like the nutters I have seen trying to spin cast into the muddy brown mess of the main rivers, it is time to find some smaller water fishing options. Exploring the back roads of the Green Mountains for some small streams sounded like the best idea for the day.

The dirt roads all over were very sloppy, and I have felt safer driving in a foot of snow than I did on some of the roads. However, not even the paved roads are immune to the abuse of all this water. It’s a good thing this washout was marked being as it took up half the road.



I finally found what I was looking for, a small secluded mountain stream that looked prime for some brookies. This section of stream is directly below a confluence of 2 smaller brooks, and was maybe 100 yards of public access surrounded on all sides by Posted signage.

The mayflies I tied on Friday evening quickly produced positive results. While brookies are not big and strong, they are lively and a riot to bring in.

After catching 3 small brookies it was time to indulge in the beer of the trip. Because I knew it was going to be cold a rainy all day I chose the darkest IPA I could find. Magic Hat is “touring” all their IPA’s this year and I was able to find the “Demo” black IPA. The beer was very warming while on the river, and had an almost sweet, malty richness to it that is uncharacteristic of an IPA.

I must admit, on my way home I was driving along the Dog River, which is a medium size tributary of the Winooski, and I stopped to take a couple casts. This river wasn’t completely blown yet but was on the rise, and the water was already very off color. After a little fishing I realized the people driving by are looking at me, standing in a brown river in the pouring rain and thinking “What a nut.”

Appearance: Black in color with a thick frothy slightly brown head that was almost like a porter.

Smell: Not a lot here, smelled a bit smoky with a little spice.

Taste: Smokey, toasted malt was the dominating flavor. This was flavor was overbearing and it was hard to taste the hops.

Overall: Good smoky malt flavor, but a little overbearing for an IPA. At only 45 IBU’s I didn’t expect a strong hop profile, but was disappointed when it was basically non-existent. That being said, this beer is still very good with a good, warming, smokey flavor that is great on a cold day.

Alcohol: 6.0%

IBU: 45

Gravity: 14o

2 out of a Six Pack Scale©

This entry was posted in River Brew Review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *