ORLIO/Magic Hat Brewing Company
South-Burlington, VT (USA)



Yesterday a box arrived from the ORLIO organic beer company. It looked innocuous enough. When I opened it up, right on top, there was a rather large mysterious black envelope. As you can see the presentation of the beer bottles are rather severe as well. Such intimidating packaging forced me to open and read word for word all the printed material I found in the
“Black envelope.” (Cue threatening organ music…)

The cover letter from a Susan Evans (Communications and Events Manager), was rather friendly and included the following interesting and informative information; they used pale, Munich Caramel and Carapils malts, and Centenial hops for both flavoring and aroma. It contains 5.4% alcohol by volume and has an Original Gravity of 1.056. This product is available in six packs and selected draft locations throughout the Northeast.

Now you know everything I know, tasting notes follow…


The beer itself is a burnished copper colored that is fairly effervescent. It is topped with a glistening small lacy bubbles that develop a light sun tan brown and the Belgian lace begins almost immediately.


Almost as soon as you open the bottled you can smell the aroma of the hops. As you bring the beer towards your nose, the space between sip and let offers a very refreshing sensation.

Mouth feel:

This is not a heavy beer by any means.


The first sensation is of sweetness with very light touches of burned sugar candy. This is soon joined by a bitter sensation, both in the flavor and in the aroma, that resonates in the nasal passages. Quickly inhaling, in sort of a reverse whistle, shows off surprising levels of different flavors.

The finish of this brew recalls salad of wild greens. It is refreshing and cleanses the palate admirably.

Comments: I believe it was back in August of last year that these folks sent me their introduction beers. I remember at that time, wondering what it was that people would want to produce an organic beer of the grain and the hops. There is little to me to suggest that once the brewing process is complete that it is appreciably different from what would be considered inorganic, or mass-produced. The presence of minute trace elements is something that I will not argue. I have been told that there are trace elements of anti-histamines in the New York City water supply. I did not, will not and shall not stock up on bottled water simply for that reason.

Stepping off my soap box, or better yet – beer keg, let’s talk about food. I have a strange suspicion that this brew might go very well with very spicy foods from the far and middle east. I now have something to do over the weekend…

Magic Hat Brewing Company: http://www.orlio.net/

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