Magic Hat #9 – aka The Conundrum


The conundrum started on Saturday. I sat down to enjoy a nice cold beer after a hard morning of training. The beer – #9 by the Magic Hat Brewery – was great. As expected from previous reading, there was a strong Apricot flavour from start to finish with a nice malt backbone. Definitely a Pale ale that’s ‘not quite a pale ale’ (as advertised on the bottle). Not only was my thirst satiated, but I was happy in the knowledge that my next drinking notes would be very easy to write.

How wrong I was…

I sat down last night to write my official drinking notes for this beer. Preparing myself to just go through the (enjoyable) motions of drinking this beer again, I was shocked when my first sip was that of a bland, uninteresting REGULAR pale ale. Gone was the apricot, gone was the tasty malt, replaced by a beer that I’d only drink if there was no better option… WHAT THE HELL HAD HAPPENED TO MY ‘NOT QUITE A PALE ALE’?!

This conundrum brought out the scientist in me (for real, I have a Bachelor of Science…no kidding), and I started forming a hypothesis on how my enjoyable Saturday beer became and tiresome Tuesday drink. Here are my top three ideas:

  1. On Saturday I drank the beer out of a ‘Pilsener’ style glass, Tuesday was drunk out of a more standard ‘schooner’ shape. Glassware is designed to emphasise characteristics of certain beers, but I always thought it was a bit of a wank. Maybe there’s some truth there after all?
  2. On Saturday I drank because I WANTED to. On Tuesday I drank because…well that’s just the day I usually do drinking notes (while the missus watches ‘Packed to the Rafters’) Does a person’s mood affect beer appreciation?
  3. Saturday was hot, sunny and dry at around 2pm. Tuesday night was hot and humid, and the AC was on. Do environmental factors affect beer appreciation?

So over the next few weeks I’m going to play scientist by designing a few experiments to test these theories. I’ll use Magic Hat #9 for each experiment, and hopefully by the end I’ll be able to say what this beer actually tastes like! Now, where did I put my chemistry set…

Oh, this also counts as me marking beer number 93 off my epic list.


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