Vinyl Lager is Magic Hat Brewing Company’s spring seasonal that they call a “scrumptious spring lager.” When I first picked this up, I was a little surprised to see a spring seasonal available. After all, it is only February and I am still working on some winter seasonal reviews, but I was intrigued and it sounded like something different. The idea of a spring seasonal got me thinking about what flavors sum up the spring season. I couldn’t think of many flavors featured in beers that really made me think spring and I was a little worried that whatever those spring flavors were might be overdone. I think some seasonal beers tend to highlight whatever flavors they select even if it skews the style they are aiming for. I’m sure we’ve all had a winter seasonal heavy on the cinnamon or a summer ale with a little too much citrus. I was pleased to find, however, that my assumptions were wrong. Vinyl is a perfect example of a well balanced beer in both flavor and season and, from what I can tell, achieves its balance without an overdone seasonal flavoring.
Vinyl is a clean amber lager with a thick foamy head. It is full bodied with a prominent malt character and, as Magic Hat puts it, “a slight balancing hop touch.” This 5.1% ABV lager is more of a winter-into-spring transitional beer than a true spring seasonal. It is only available from January 15th through March 31st and it matches the seasonal shift perfectly. The Burlington, VT product is a flavorful lager with a clean and bright finish that is perfect for warmer spring days, but has a substantial quality that makes it just right for colder spring nights as well. Vinyl is a great seasonal not because it forces a flavor of the spring, but because it fits a traditional flavor profile that pairs perfectly with the season.
Tim Meyers (Tim@GoodHopBadHop.com)