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Post Column: 'Not quite pale ale' a simple summer beer

This week we are reviewing a beer from Magic Hat Brewing Company in Vermont. No. 9 is a “not quite pale ale” described as “impossible to describe because there has never been anything quite like it.” So it’s safe to say that we are about to attempt the impossible. No. 9 might allegedly be impossible to describe, but it definitely didn’t taste that way to us.

Magic Hat brews and distributes No. 9 all year long, but it’s mostly on draft in the summer months, and for good reason. No. 9 is a light, summery beer that still manages to have some flavor. Not a ton of flavor, but some good flavors nonetheless.

The beer pours well, but its coloring reminds us of watered-down tea. We can see the carbonation bubbles rising to the top when we look through the glass. The head starts thick, but dissipates after a few minutes. It smells slightly fruity and very malty.

The first taste is fizzy, and very malty. The middle taste is sweet and reminds us that there is sugar in the beer. The end taste is pure malt. You don’t get a lot of surprises with this beer, but maybe that’s its virtue. It’s consistent. It doesn’t slap you in the face. It doesn’t offend.

We’ll go ahead and say it: You should buy this beer. A one-pint bottle at Kroger will only cost you $3, and it’d be a bargain at $5. You might not fall in love — it’s not a love potion, after all — but you’ll like it well enough. Buy it, go out in your backyard and drink it with some friends. Make a night out of it. It isn’t too alcoholic, so don’t feel bad about drinking a couple of them. You won’t get drunk, or at least not too drunk. It’s a middle-of-the-road beer for those nights when you aren’t celebrating nor drowning your sorrows. It’s all about chilling and keeping it simple.


Jared Henderson and Patty Arnold are seniors studying philosophy

and biological science, respectively, at Ohio University and columnists for The Post. What beer should be on their radar? Email them at and

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