Elder Betty - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Elder BettyElder Betty

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166 Reviews

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Reviews: 166
Hads: 1,129
Avg: 3.35
pDev: 16.42%
Wants: 19
Gots: 183 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 03-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Elder Betty is a weiss-style ale with a bready malt flavor balanced by a touch of hops and complimented by the tart berry flavors of elderberry.

13 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 166 | Hads: 1,129
Photo of flybass
2.13/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Disgusting taste - I think this beer would be acceptable if the price could be lowered by a couple of dollars. However, contextualizing this beer with others in the price range, this is the usual low quality product from magic hat. I expect this to not even be the best beer at your local gas station.

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Photo of braugon
2.14/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

A: cloudy orange, gold, one inch, thin head

S: sharp tart fruit, yeast, phenol, berry, gum

T: tastes like some drops of berry flavor syrup, mixed in with any standard domestic beer. Beyond the obvious huckle/elder berry taste, nothing really going on in this beer. I think it's trying to be the berry style of their Number 9, and it is similar.

M: light carbonation, sweet berry, more sweet, finish is like you ate a purple jolly rancher, then drank some beer.

O: this is probably the perfect beer for some who don't normally like beer but enjoy sweet candy-like drinks and alcohol, I think it is too obvious, I like something with more going on. Aftertaste is not balanced at all to me

If you've always wished Schwepps Dry Grape came in beer version, this is your moment.

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Photo of Kooz
2.35/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Very slightly cloudy with very little head which dissipates quickly. It's a pale orange color, and not terribly impressive looking.

Smells of wheat and something else, something slightly sweet. Maybe this is what elderberries smell like?

Tastes a bit like cough syrup in the aftertaste. It's bitter and isn't sitting well on my palate. I was expecting something slightly sweet, this tastes almost ashy and tart.

Very little body to this beer. It's a bit too watery and has a bit too much bite.

I am not impressed with this beer. I expected a lot more from this. Disappointing.

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Photo of emerge077
2.44/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to the random stranger that returned a 12 pack to Trixie's in Madison.
I wouldn't have bought this otherwise if it wasn't a single.

Murky orange body, tight head of white foam that fades to a graduated outer ring around the edges.

Mmm, who put "grape drink" in my beer?

Some astringency and a creamy wheat taste, overlaid with an odd 'purple drank' impression of artificial grape flavoring. Wet cardboard also comes to mind. Body is mellow and creamy, standard APWA/weisse feel, though the astringency throws it out of whack. Overall this is weak. Starting to question my "try any beer once" tendencies... this is without question a sub-par beverage.

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Photo of david131
2.44/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a hazy light orange liquid with a thin but creamy white head. Simple.

S- Uh... All I can smell is a very potent medicinal cough medicine. Not intriguing.

T- Medicinal berry flavor along with some bread. Not too potent or off-putting, but I wouldn't put it in the "good" category.

M- A creamy body with some nice carbonation. Probably the best thing the beer has going for it.

O- The medicinal flavor is not nearly as annoying as the aroma lead me to believe. That being said, it is still a very average beer.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Into a pint glass:

A: hazy brown colored body with a fizzy soft white head that dies within twenty seconds. No lacing was left and very little carbonation was seen rising.

S: some orange, grape and cherry. All three of these were pretty distinct from each other - not really taking any sort of blend.

T: orange, grape and cherry, not much else, maybe a bit of honey, but wasn't exactly combined right, something just didn`t quite right taste right ... ???

M: light and the carbonation was definitely felt, a bit harsh on the tongue.

O: well, I'm glad I only got a single of this just to try and I don't think I'll get this again.

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Photo of apants007
2.69/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

poured it out of a bottle into a pint glass

a: it looks nice enough. like honey. a little cloudy but without much large sediment. sea foam head. nice bubbles.

s: bring it in and you get a nice floral bouquet... like daises in an open field... I'm pretty excited to taste!

t: hmmm... not what i was expecting from the nose... kinda like drinking gatorade at the laundry mat... I think we can actually tie in mouthfeel here... it has the "gummy" feel of gatorade and the "fruit punch" start... then it leaves this weird floral aftertaste that lasts a really long time ... that when left with the gummy mouthfeel tastes like you're standing next to a running dryer with a nice fresh bounce sheet...

overall not poor but a bit unnerving... I frequently like fruit/floral beers. had a smuttynose with chamomile earlier this afternoon that was great and grew up on abita purple haze. but I probably won't go for this one again.

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Photo of Sludgeman
2.69/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a pint glass.

I've had the pleasure (or maybe I should say that I have made the unfortunate decision) to have multiple types of Magic Hat beers over the past few days. Does Magic Hat use the same base beer for everything they brew? It has certainly tasted like that. This beer is not the worst I have had though. It is refreshing, but it is no comparison to other wheat/hefe beers.

A - Pours a slight cloudy golden color. Cloudiness is not the same like a standard hefe. There was no sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A pale white rocky 1-finger head that quickly dissapates. Well carbonated. No lacing.

S - Some fruitness (I suppose it is elderbeery). No estery, banana or clove like aromas.

T - An adjunct flavor. A faint sweetness/fruitiness or maybe I am imaging it since I know the beer uses elderberries. Low hoppiness.

MF - Light bodied with a med-high carbonation.

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Photo of otterbearfla
2.74/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Head - 2.5 fingers head reducing to no head

Appearance -Opaque and orange to cloudy amber

Smell - bready, lightly hopped, fruity elder berry

Taste- Same as smell
sweet, bready, lightly hopped, elder berry

Mouthfeel - light for a Weisen intermediate to a non wheaty ale

Overall - OK but not a beer I would seek out

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Photo of Josiah2729
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Light orange. Small head with no lacing.

Smell: Fruity light berries.

Taste: Light berry juice, light wheat flavor

Mouthfeel: Carbonation, light texture.

Overall: Disappointing, more like a wine cooler than a beer.

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Photo of Tobe
2.8/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light amber color with an off white head. The head poured full but quickly dissipated.

Light aroma of elderberries fills the nose upon first inspection. There is a fainter aroma of grass and spice. The flavor is light and crisp. Fruitiness on the palate finishing with a little pepper. It coats the mouth nicely but doesn't overpower. This very well may be the best beer that Magic Hat has released in quite some time.

*After a couple ElderBetty it tends to coat your palete with an undesirable sweetness.*

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Photo of allengarvin
2.82/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

IT's a gold beer, a little hazy, with a very small head. The nose... well, it's kinda nice... tart, rather than merely sweet, like I expect in a typical gimmick beer like this Unfortunately, the flavor is in the ugh-range, way too sweet, syrupy, and unpleasant. Actually, I can't finish this. Bleagh.

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Photo of alpinebryant
2.83/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a white head lacing around the edges.

S: Dry , almost non existent aroma, slightly cracker like with some berry aromas.

T: Similar to the aroma, this is a light weiss beer that is slightly thicker than Blue Moon but clearly much darker in color. A Bit of nutty flavor and a tannic twang bite.

M: High carbonation for a weiss, medium body for the style

O: Underwhelming. I haven't bought a Magic Hat mixed 12 in a long while and I probably will not be buying whatever 12 this came in either. Still a middle of the road weiss, thanks to my neighbor for putting in my hand.

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Photo of DeFaz
2.85/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This "hefeweizen" (it doesn't taste too much like a hefeweizen to me, but what do I know) tries so hard to be unique, but it just doesn't articulate anything to me and ends up smelling and tasting like a smattering of flavors, like someone threw random ingredients into a bottle and crossed his fingers. It actually tastes somewhat bland despite this. I was expecting a fruit beer with a dominant flavor of elderberry. Rather than the focus being on the fruit, there's an odd dry herbal and floral flavor and a flavor of nuts and bread. It's earthy. The mouthfeel is thin, crisp, and dry. It's refreshing. I appreciate the effort to be unique, and it's not bad by any means, but the "magic" just leaves me confused and underwhelmed at the same time.

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Photo of rangerred
2.89/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a half finger head that fades pretty quickly. No lacing at all.

Smell has a slight berry fruitiness along with a little clove and banana.

The elderberry is apparent right off the bat but it has an almost artificial taste. Kind of sweet and syrupy. There is some typical wheat spice behind that leading to a slightly sticky finish. Mouthfeel is average.

Overall this beer just doesn't do it for me. The fruit flavor is too artificial and really everything else is just average.

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Photo of KajII
2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Best served in a Weizen glass]

The pour was a cloudy medium orange with a large (2-3 finger) white rocky head that dissipated rapidly down to a small collar with poor spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a light bread malt and a strong sweet doughy yeast with a very noticeable note of Elderberries.

The taste was up front with a strong wheat presence and then had a big dose of berry flavor mix in and that was pretty much the case throughout the rest of the tasting. The flavor lasted an average amount time with the yeasty berry flavor only left for a short time on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was light in body and watery in texture with a strong lively carbonation.

Overall a very fruity Wheat Ale, refreshing and tasty but nothing overly special...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I just had a world class German hefeweizen, why on earth am I drinking this now? Pours nicely into the same weissbier glass, glowing hazed golden orange hue with a bright white head, much less texture going on than the German counterpart. Fine even lacing formed looks nice, into the aroma: Tart berries, they say elderberry, I wouldn't know that one in particular but some fruity tartness that resembles berries. Think head to head competition with Leinenkugel's "fruity pebbles" beer. A bit cloying in my first sip a strong sense of berry extract comes down the palate, with some lifeless watery notes and hints of grassy/grains colliding with elderberry extract. I will let my wife finish off the rest of these, she enjoyed one straight from the bottle last night. In all of the years in trying Magic Hat beers, I've never seen marketing this bad, the weird looking Elder Betty on the tree doesn't make me want go see jambands perform. "Golden Haze for Summer's Daze" ha-ha-ha (smoker's cough following). Outside of marketing the American yeast used in the beer makes the wheat component pretty lifeless and one dimensional, the yeast is chalky/doughy no spice no esters just effin boring. Mouthfeel I will repeat finishes cloying like I neither need to eat something or brush my teeth to get these flavors off my palate. Carbonation no complaints really, just a huge blunder of a summer beer release. Give me a good German Helles any day, that's not normal anymore in the craft brewing trends. Overall if you have to try do so within the confines of a 12 pack summer sampler when they're released.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.94/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Medium yellow. Hazy. Thin white head that quickly dissipates. Looks like a weiss, but no hint of the elderberry influence.

Smell - Sweet pale malt with a hint of berriness. Not entirely sure what elderberries smell like, but the berry scent here is sweet and faux-blueberry-ish.

Taste - Sweet pale malt, a hint of clove and a hint of berry. Not offensive, but not impressive. Still don't know what an elderberry is supposed to taste like.

Mouthfeel - Light.

Overall - I don't dislike this, but I can't see going to it again. And I didn't get much elderberry. Maybe that's the fault of the fruit, but then why make a beer featuring it?

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Photo of jbraico
2.95/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

At first when I smelt this beer I thought I was going to enjoy it. I liked the blueberry smell it gave off personally, but with every sip the taste kind of went south. This is more of a summer outdoor beer (beach, picnic,etc...). Not the worst thing I have

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Photo of Rifugium
2.95/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First had: Philly Beer Scene Tasting panel with Matt Falco at Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

I was privileged enough to be on the tasting panel for PBS Magazine, along with Bill Covaleski of Victory and Greg Ramirez of Exton Beverage. This was one of 21 beers we sampled during the session.

I'm typically not impressed with much that MH has to offer, and this was really no exception. Poured a hazy orange-yellow with a small white head that receded to a wispy layer of bubbles. Aroma of grains and sweet berries, sugary malts, sweet candy. More of the same in the taste, elderberries (there's a Monty Python joke in there somewhere), sweet bready malts, grains, mildly wheaty and acidic. Definitely more sweet than tart as far as any fruitiness goes. On the lighter end of medium-bodied and a bit stale in the aftertaste. Not too bad overall, but just not my thing.

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Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A cloudy burnt orange colored beer with small white colored head.

Smells of wheat malt and fruit with a light scent of berries and bubblegum. Smells slightly sour and that is about it.

Starts out malty with a slightly sour berry flavor. Each sip starts out sour and finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall this is a poster child for a "Just OK" beer.

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Photo of spinrsx
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Bessette's Canton NY for 1.79$

Appearance – Hazy amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains/wheat, berries, banana

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains/bread mixed with light citrus, hints of bananas, and something along the lines of blackberries. It ends with a slightly spicy berry aftertaste.

Overall – Well, it's better than I was expecting. The fruit flavour isn't cloying and the beer is fairly drinkable.. even for someone who isn't a fan of fruit beers like me.

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Photo of cmq103
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a standard glass mug. This was part of a summer sampler 12-pack offering from Magic Hat.

Appearance: An aggressive bottle pour only yielded a small ¼” off-white head which quickly dissipated to nothing noticeable. A hazy amber/copper color brew with almost no lacing as my mug emptied.

Smell: Sweet berries come to mind right away, mixed with a little bit of your typical bready wheat and yeast aromas. You can definitely tell from the smell this is fruit beer.

Taste: Sweet and sour berries attack the tongue right away, followed by more and more sweetness. A light bready/malty wheat is present, but takes a back seat to the sweetness. Hops?? I’m not convinced they found their way into this beer.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation for this light-to-medium body beer. Its easy drinking for a fruit beer, but you would have to like the fruity style to really enjoy it. The berry flavor lingers awhile on the tongue after each sip.

Overall: If you like sweet fruity beer then this may be one you want to try. I don’t see myself running out to buy a 6-pack though since it’s too fruity-sweet for my liking. One or two from a sampler pack is plenty. At 5.5% ABV, it’s probably not the summer session beer one is looking for. Their #9 and Circus Boy are much better in my opinion.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer you'd give your wife at some outdoor barbecue.
And this particular beer tastes more like a grape taffy then a beer.
How many sips does it take to get to the bottom of an Elder Betty beer.... the world may never know.
Like every other fruit beer. Its clear golden with a tiny white soda head.
Aroma grape toosie pops.
Taste grape soda malt beverage.
And so on, and so on...

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Photo of Schmidts
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Pours yellow Orange not much head. Smells of Berries and Lemon. Only a Little lacing. Not much exciting about this beer it is refreshing but does not go enough on any point. I was very disappointed.

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Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.