This post has been a long-time coming. Magic Hat is a Vermont brewery whose brews are available up and down the east coast. Their flagship, #9, was one of the first new brews I had when I got out here two years ago. It's also been one of my enduring favorites, but since I have yet to review it, or any other Magic Hat beer, it's new to the rest of you.
This brew advertises itself as a "not quite pale ale." That's a fair description--take a typical pale ale, and then back off the hops and the malts a bit (yes, it's even less malty than a pale), and that's where you start. But you take this somewhat bland base and then add a heavy dose of crisp sweet citrus. However, the sweetness is heavily tempered by a very dry finish, a very light mouthfeel, and a substantial dose of carbonation. In sum, it's kind of like a copper ale, but a bit lighter and bubblier, and even more drinkable.
While this isn't a particularly complicated or subtle brew, it's also a beer that I don't think I'll ever get tired of. It's consistently refreshing and always seems to fit the occaision. To those of you living out west, this is one you have to try if you ever visit the other, colder coast.