Welcome to PW's 50-Beer Countdown to Philly Beer Week! Every day from now through the Opening Tap ceremonies on May 31, we'll be getting in the mood by spotlighting a different great craft brew that's been poured by one or more Philly Beer Week participating venues.
Fact: Up until being acquired by the same company that brews Genesee and Dundee, among others, Magic Hat was one of the nation’s largest craft brewers. Under Brewer’s Association rules, however, they no longer qualify as a “craft brewery.” That doesn’t dissuade the tens of thousands who love Magic Hat’s flagship, #9, nor do the low ratings on beer geek websites. Fans see it for what it is: a refreshing, easy drinking beer that seems ready made for a summer day. It’s brewed with apricots — or rather, apricot extract — but not so much that it’s embarrassingly fruity. Instead, it’s just a basic pale ale with a zesty twist. Not a beer that’s going to change your life, nor one that you’re going to rush to tell your friends about, but when it comes to beers on a blazing hot day it sure beats a lousy Mexican lager. This one is a crowd pleaser. Magic Hat #9 is sometimes available at Tir Na Nog.