Magic Hat is a Vermont based brewery known on the East Coast for producing some highly sought after beers. During my time living in the D.C. area Magic Hat #9 became my "go to" beer. This yummy elixir was constantly on hand in either my kegerator or in the bottle form. Their aptly named #9 (for how many I want to have when I start drinking them) is a a light Pale Ale infused with apricot, but unlike normal fruit beers, the apricot mixes well with the drink and provides a subtle fresh taste without the obvious fruit flavor. In fact many people will drink a few of these before they even realize it contains any fruit.
When I moved back to KC I went on a manhunt for this brew. Despite repeated e-mails to the friendly Vermont brewers, Magic Hat refused to cross the Mississippi River due to the fact that they were unable to keep up with demand out East. Chicago (East St. Louis) was the closest area that provided this beer. A friend of mine recently picked me up a case from Chicago and while the bottle version satisfied my #9 cravings it clearly wasn't the same as sipping this beer on draft.
With plans of a Chicago visit in my head, I recently found myself at the Westport Flea Market for a burger (I know... totally unrelated but that's how my mind works). I was impressed that the Flea Market now boasts a beer sampling tray were one can try four different 5 oz samples of their taps. But more importantly, as I left I noticed a sign advertising Magic Hat #9 on draft. Unfortunately, they had yet to tap it that day as it had just arrived.
But now it's on! On like Donkey Kong. Suddenly I have a daily urge to play Keno and sip (or chug) #9. Magical indeed.