If it feels like you've seen more and more Magic Hat around, you might be right. The Vermont-based brewer has attached it's name to a number of metro area events this summer, from tastings to dinners to concerts.
"D.C. is a market we're trying to get a little more involved in, particularly the music scene," Magic Hat "ale-bassador" Renee Rubin said. She poured a pair of brews during May's sold-out Savor craft beer festival at the National Building Museum.
On the music front, Magic Hat is one of the sponsors of the Abbey Road on the River Beatles festival Labor Day weekend at National Harbor. This follows sponsorship of the D.C. Jazz Fest in June.
The brewery, which was founded in 1994, has a number of regular area tastings and promotions this summer as well. On July 31 is a scheduled dinner at Clarke's Grill & Sports Emporium in Manassas Park.
"We think beer should be fun and accessible and drinkable, and food should also be accessible and fun," Rubin said. "So we want food and beer enjoyable to all palates. We want to bring it more to the general public."
Speaking with Magic Hat head brewer Matt Cohen over the phone last month, he compared lighter beers with white wines, and darker beers with red wines.
"I think people associate good beer with good food," he said.
Magic Hat's summer lineup includes its flagship No. 9 Not Quite Pale Ale, Blind Faith IPA, Wacko, and the Summer Odd Notion.
The No. 9 and Blind Faith were Magic Hat's featured beers at Savor. While the No. 9 is a solid standard-bearer of the Magic Hat regular lineup, Blind Faith is a pleasant surprise. It's actually a reissue of one of their earliest beers, but with the punch of 60 International Bittering Units and alcohol by volume of 6.2 percent.
The Summer Odd Notion is a ginger ale, true to its name.
"Our main goal is to use raw materials not associated with beer," Cohen said.
Speaking of odd, Wacko is made with beet sugar. Yes, you read right: it's a beet beer.
"It's a very drinkable beer, very refreshing," Cohen said. "It's one of those things. You have to try it."
For more information on Magic Hat, visit magichat.net.