Friday, May 29, 2009

A pink hat beer...

I picked up Magic Hat's new summer 12 pack tonight fully expecting to extol the virtues of a brewery that almost always comes to the table with solid offerings. I am fond of the brewery for a number of reasons: I watched the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 while sipping one of their beers in a Burlington, VT pub; my brother Tom majored in drinking at St. Michael's College in nearby Winooski and introduced me to the brewery; and many of their beers are great sessionable summer beers that go down great at backyard BBQs.

I just cracked open a Wacko Summer Seasonal, one of the new beers included this time around. The beer Yes pink. Sorry for the awful pic, I was too lazy to get my camera and took the photo with my laptop camera.
It pours a ruby red grapefruit color with a soft pink head. Generally I wouldn't have a problem with a beer's color. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a similar color and it is one of my favorite beers, but it is naturally that color. Wacko is red because beet juice is added...why...well, I guess to make it pink. And that is what is most troubling. The beet juice is used as a natural food coloring to help market this beer, I guess--I can't see it having any other purpose. You can actually taste beets, but it really doesn't taste bad. The beer is a pretty straight forward golden ale with a typical Magic Hat fruity malt character with some balancing hops. It is pretty thirst quenching and has a refreshing carbonation, but it is pink, did I mention that.

Pink has taken on a new meaning in the Boston area. The popularity of the Boston Red Sox over the last decade has created a new breed of fan called the pink hat fan.

While most of the pink hats are worn by women, you don't have to be wearing a pink hat to fall into this stereotype. The typical pink hat fan shows up to the game a little late, leaves a little early, talks about anything other than baseball during the game, and cannot wait until the 8th inning to sing Sweet Caroline (I am a baseball purest and I hate all of these things). Click here to get a double bonus of a pink hat wearer and a pink hatter sleeping at the get the point. These fans are generally seen as the new wave of baseball fans that jumped on board the well-marketed bandwagon of Red Sox Nation. Fenway has become a place to be seen (notice the pink hatters on their cellphones calling all their friends, waving at the camera, and asking "can you see me, can you see me?").

Sorry, I digress. I guess the parallel is in the marketing and making this a cool trendy beer choice, kind of like a Corona with a lime. "Hey look, I am drinking a pink beer, isn't that really cool?!" Well, actually it isn't, it is kind of stupid...just as dumb as drinking food colored green beer on St. Patrick's Day. I am disappointed in Magic Hat and I hope the other two new brews in the box are a little less colorful.