#9 is a “not quite pale ale” brewed by Vermont’s Magic Hat Brewing Company. Magic Hat seems to have penetrated the Kansas City market within the last year or so. I’ve reviewed their Hex Octoberfest style beer previously, and I’ve enjoyed #9 on numerous occasions in the bottle and on tap.

#9 is technically a fruit beer, brewed with apricot. To my palate, the fruit flavor is subtle, but some people find this to be a very sweet beer. I’ve not had that experience. I’m reviewing this after a long day of work in the third week of our massive heat wave, so I’m honestly chugging it out of the bottle! LOL And it’s a perfect beer for just that!

So, without getting hung up on how it looks in the glass, #9 has a neutral, clean aroma that is malty (from my past experiences when I have drunk it in a glass). The malt carries forward with some fruitiness in the taste and a tartness in the sides of my tongue later in the taste. It’s not sour, but that tartness that comes across in apricots, peaches and nectarines even when they’re sweet. There is good balance to this beer, but nothing I would call hops comes across in the actual flavor.

The apricot is most evident in the aftertaste, and it’s pleasant and natural in my opinion. I find #9 to light, refreshing and easy to drink, all the hallmarks of a good summer beer. It has just over 5%ABV, so it’s something you can drink a fair amount of without getting smashed, and you will never develop palate fatigue from it like you can from hoppy beers. If you’re looking for a light summer beer, in addition to the usual pilsner suspects, I think #9 is a great beer!