The best gifts you can give are those that are free. Unless it’s beer, then the best gifts cost you something, roughly the price of the beer. A friend and fellow Perfectly Happy Man gifted me with several brews this holiday season, by leaving a mishmash of brightly colored, interestingly logoed and creatively named beers in my fridge. The first one in the lineup was Magic Hat’s Lucky Kat. His wide grin was a bit frightening and the crazed look in his mismatched eyes seemed to allude a bit to a crazy brew inside. It poured an orange as bright as the pink on the logo, and donned an initially puffy and frothy head, dwindling after a bit, to one finger. The hops jumped out of the glass, pawing playfully at my nose.

The playful demeanor become more serious upon first sip, as a mouthful of straight hops went down fairly smooth and lingering. With most beers I am looking for complexity, a series of flavors and scents as the beer progresses through the different stages of temperature and duration in my glass. However, with Lucky Kat, everything revolved around the hops, straight, pure and simple, but I enjoyed the whole glass. Around the edges were, perhaps, a bit of pine and tiny dabs of citrus as well. This was a refresher, simple but satisfying and while perhaps not a ‘blow your mind’ pale ale, a good possibility for a go-to brew.

ABV: 5.8%

Grade: B