Magic Hat Brewing Company

October 30, 2017
Inspired By The Arts, Magic Hat’s Brewing Innovation Is At An All Time High
Since it first opened in 1994, the Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center (its full, given name) has been a strong supporter of the arts, from brewing to visual and everywhere in between. 
“Art is in our blood,” explains Magic Hat president Mark Hegedus. “Everything we do is inspired by the artists in our brewery and in our community, those who take on the risk of being judged, who put their energies out there in the world to inspire, inform, provoke and bring joy.” In 2017, Magic Hat received national recognition from Americans for the Arts for being one of the top 10 businesses partnering with the arts in America.
Magic Hat’s newest year-round beer (and only the company’s 6th year-round offering) – Taken for Granite (aka TFG) – is a testament to the creative pioneers at the brewery. First brewed on their 5-barrel pilot system for their VT-Only series, TFG isn’t just about pleasing palates. It’s about acknowledging where Magic Hat came from – a groundbreaking Vermont brewery – and showing where they’re headed – doubling down on innovation, and not taking for granted their place in the annals of craft beer. 

Here are 10 things you should know about the Magic Hat Brewing Company:
  1. Taken for Granite (aka TFG), Magic Hat’s newest year-round beer, will be available in early 2018. It’s a rock solid IPA with juicy hop notes of grapefruit, orange and peach that will mine your every taste bud. 
  2. As far as Magic Hat knows, their flagship #9 is the only Not Quite Pale Ale in the universe. 
  3. Magic Hat once brewed a beer with a clove of garlic in every bottle (and garlic in the boil), called Ale of the Living Dead. It was so bad that their local wholesaler sent their pallet back after they tasted it. The beer was then used when placing bets around the brewery; loser had to drink a bomber. 
  4. In 2016, Magic Hat released a series of Split 6’ers, 6-packs featuring two year-round beers paired with two spin-offs of that beer. Choose Your Hefe was the first, with Circus Boy (American-style hefe) and Zirkus Boy (German-style hefe), followed by A Duet of Nines, featuring #9 and its hopped up counterpart, Hi9. 
  5. In 2016, the brewery installed a 5-barrel pilot batch system. Beers brewed on this setup are part of Magic Hat’s VT-Only Series. Only 20 1/6-barrels of these beers are kegged and they’re only available in Vermont. To date, they’ve brewed beers like Fancy Grade (Maple Doppelbock), Local Rocker (Saison), a Switchel-inspired beer and a Rosemary Patersbier.
  6. Magic Hat also installed a new canning line in 2016 that cans #9, Circus Boy, TFG and more in 12- and 16-ounce versions. 
  7. Some of the electricity it takes to power their brewery comes from a “digester” in their backyard. This machine, created by PurposeEnergy, takes spent grain and wastewater from the brewery and converts it to methane gas, which is then turned into electricity. 
  8. Every year, Magic Hat holds the Labels for Libations contest in which local Vermont artists are asked to design a label for their Art Hop Ale.
  9. Magic Hat hosts the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the Northeast. Every year in March, tens of thousands of people visit Burlington and brave the harsh Vermont winter to watch floats roll down Main St. The event benefits the local food bank.
  10. Each beer in Magic Hat’s Humdinger Collection benefits a different Vermont non-profit. Past beneficiaries include the Lake Champlain Committee, VT Cares, Vermont Foodbank, SEABA and The UVM Hops Project.  
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