Magic Hat Low Key IPA

Magic Hat's Low Key Session IPA
Magic Hat’s Low Key Session IPA

Another one of those “session” IPA’s, and darn it, i’m tired of not knowing what that means. Hold on a minnit, let me force the Googer to tell me…

OK, ok. That was easy. Apparently, “session” simply means 4.5% alk or lower, so you can then drink it during your “session” of worktime. 4 hours is a likely “session” so 2 beers at work these days, maybe more in thee olden dayes when people had to work from sunup to sundown. And the low alcohol won’t make you fall over on the job, which bosses always hate. Don’t even ask me to cogitate what the workday beer allowance was before child-labor laws…

So this one fits, it’s at 4.5% alk on the dot. The color is pale, happily golden, and vigorous effervescence makes it a lively brew. The taste, however, is quite light as well. I believe there are hops in this, but they are just not slapping me across the cheek, like a good IPA ought to.

Beer body is heavier than the color would suggest, so quality malts used here, but the hoppiness is more than understated, it’s almost absent. It’s a fine beer, but just not what i’m looking for in an IPA. I want a pinecone shoved up my ass, grapefruit coming out of my earholes. Certainly not a bad beer, but what it is, as opposed to what the label says it is, leaves it at 4.4 for a rating. Sorry, Magic Hat Guys, your #9 rocks, but the Low Key Session IPA is a little too, well, low.

Magic Hat SMASH Hits IPA


Magic Hat SMASH Hits IPA
Magic Hat SMASH Hits IPA

A little different take on the IPA, here’s Magic Hat’s take on an IPA singularity: one hop, one malt. The latter is Vienna Pils malt, the former is Delta hops. And this is one of the Magic Hat brews which they’ve contracted out to the Genesee Brewery, instead of pure Vermont progeny.

Alk content is 5.5%, color is pale sure, but not quite as pale as many. What it does have is a distinctive taste, a lemony hop bitter and serious Euro beer body. It’s that pungent taste, sharp and biting that German beers have, only not as serious as they do it. I like the simplicity here, very citrus hopping and light-ish alcohol make this a great Summer beer. And since MH farmed out production, the price is nice too. Rating it 7.9 for having a plan and intent, and sticking to it.