Elder Betty - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Elder BettyElder Betty

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BA SCORE
76
okay

1,126 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,126
Reviews: 164
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 16.36%
Wants: 18
Gots: 174 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,126 | Reviews: 164
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.05/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some slightly sour berry aromas. Taste is much the same with bread and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of mineral-like bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable but nothing I would go after again.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy pale golden with an orange hue body. Single finger white head.

S: wheat and light fruity notes but overall this is mild.

T: nice wheat flavor with dried fruits, mostly apricot and grape notes.

M: high carbonation and light body. very summery and refreshing.

Overall: A nice summer beer. One of the more flavorful of their usually highly drinkable beers.

Photo of metter98
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is very hazy dark yellow in color and poured with a quarter finger high off white head that gradually died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of wheat in the nose along with hints of elderberries.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the flavor of elderberries is a bit more pronounced.
M: It feels a light- to medium-bodied bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn’t that difficult to drink but lacks any refreshing or thirst-quenching qualities.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i like when magic hat does something new. this is a nice summer wheat beer with lots of subtle flavors going on. elderberry is a vermont staple in the permaculture age, and its inclusion in this otherwise average wheat beer is a nice treat. pours cloudy yellow with a faint pinkish glow and a 2 inch white foam head. smells pretty standard, a little fruity but at this point it could just as easily be the yeast. flavors are tart fruit at first, sweeter fruits in the middle, and a very crisp wheat malt finish. i bet this would be killer as a big ipa, but i like it well enough in its current form. mouthfeel is fine, medium carbonation and a pretty light body for an unfiltered beer. overall very drinkable and im sure ill have a fair few this summer.

Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a hazy golden orange color. The head is white with a decent retention. The smell of the beer was sweet, slightly fruity. The taste of the beer has an artificial fruity flavor up front, it's sweet and moderately refreshing. The mouthfeel of the beer is light and well carbonated. Overall the beer is ok, it's another pretty standard fruit beer from Magic Hat.

Photo of emerge077
2.44/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a hazy, golden yellow color with a small, fizzy white head that receded quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of berries and light wheat notes. Nothing overpowering. Good balance.

T - Nice sweetness from the elderberries. Light wheat taste. Very little bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is an okay fruit/wheat beer. Not overdone or overly sweet. Nice summer ale.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.02/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16 ounce pint - $6.00 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Fairly cloudy appearance for a dark, dingy-looking, golden hue. Very small, near white head. Let's jump on it, shall we?

Smell: Sets the tone of a modest base (wheat) beer to hold up the squirt of elderberry additive.

Taste: Sweetish taste of malted wheat with a crunchy granola bar accent and, then, the lightly tart elderberry flavor. Very low hops, near nil bitterness. Near dry, berry-hinted finish with some, thankfully, palate cleansing carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Well, it's better than Wacko. Elder Betty follows the tired, old fruit beer pattern -- bland to modest base beer (be it a blonde ale or something wheat-based) with a splash of flavoring.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Although they're certainly not the first to do so, you've got to give Magic Hat at least a little bit of credit for originality in producing "Elder Betty", an elderberry weiss. The berry flavor comes through quite clearly, and adds an interesting secondary flavor that comes out in the lingering finish. The base beer is well-made, although basic, but that's clearly so as not to interfere with the berry flavor; and along those lines the bitterness is kept in check, and there are no hop flavors to speak of. It's interesting and refreshing, although I'm not sure you'd really want to have two of these in a row.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains berries, citrus, light caramelized malts, wheat and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of berries, citrus and a touch of spice. Then some breadiness comes in from wheat and a thin malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a little bit of balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, seems very much like any other berry wheat beer out there.

Photo of jlindros
3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"Remember the Dinosaurs", in what used to be fun quips and infinite wisdom of Magic Hat, but even that seems like it's fallen off the cliff. That's a pretty lame quip.

The beer pours a fizzy white head that attempts to hit 1 finger but fades fairly quickly and keeps it from doing so, over a hazy honey orange colored beer, fairly hefe looking though.

NOse is fairly light but not bad, plenty of hefe like aromas, full of wheat, citrus, banana, clove, light floral spices like, and a light floral elderberry bittering aroma.

Taste starts OK but quickly turns to an almost fake extract and artificial flavored beer. Starts with light hefe wheat, hint of banana and citrus, touch of clove like flavors, and just a hint of elderberry bitterness. Then fake syrup flavors, and an overpowering artificial fruity and floral taste like they added fake elderberry flavoring and some weird fruity extract things. Finish is weird bitter extract, sticky, hint of lingering wheat and DME flavor.

Mouth is lighter bodied, decent carb but less than expected for a hefe.

Overall again tastes like Magic Hat went from craft beer to artificial gimmicky beer. The beers all taste forced, extract and artificial, bland, and just like they're not cared for as much as they used to. Even the words of wisdom from the cap seems to have faded as this one was fairly lame. [sigh] Magic Hat was my gateway beer, and I even had a keg of Fat Angel at my wedding, but they really just die more and more every time I try them.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Part of the Magic Hat 2012 summer mixed pack...

Pours a cloudy golden color, nice fruity smell to it. Light to medium bodied, some dryness, decent finish. Not sure what an 'elderberry' is supposed to taste like to be honest, but this tastes like a typical slightly tart and fruity wheat beer. Nothing too extraordinary here... probably good on a hot day, but nothing work seeking out... above average though and drinkable for sure.

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber color and head in the tall glass. Really pleasant carbonation. I guess the flavor grows on you a little. Rather alarming at first sip. Fortunately it's not overly sweet, though it is plenty malt. It would be interesting to compare with Éphémère Cassis to see if the Unibroue product is really that much better.

I would still quibble with the High Powers who called this one an American Wheat. If Magic Hat #9 is a Fruit Beer, then this one is a Fruit Beer.

From the 12 oz bottle in the 12-pack sampler from Trader Joe's.

Photo of Jason
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle w/ no freshness date.

LOOK: Hazed orange golden color, minimal lacing stays for a while.

SMELL: Berries, taffy, cracker-like graininess, nutty, chalky yeast

TASTE: Smooth, grainy, soft berry tones, faint tartness, very grassy, walnut skins, semi-dry finish

Not much to this brew at all. It is a wheat beer with a smattering amount of berry character. Not crisp and perhaps too much body for a "summer beer", either way it lands pretty lackluster on my palate.

Photo of Rifugium
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.52/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appropriately cloudy. Decent starting head but fades far too quickly, leaving no lace.

Strong soured blackberry and blueberry aromas. Light wheat, almost approaching a lambic in smell.

Think artificial berry Sweettart flavor. It's actually appealing to me. Too sweet for it fit into soured lambic category. Too little wheat for a truly fruit flavored wheat beer. Richer than some wheats. Overall, an innocuous hybrid.

Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hefeweizen? Really? This beer is GOING DOWN. Tick shared by the other Matt, Huhzenbendah, thanks!

Beer served in a snifter, beer is yellow and mostly clear with a lazy white head, low retention, low lacing, not a good looking head.

Aroma is sweet, a little yeasty a little elderberry-y.

Beer is medium to light in body, nothing about this beer is elderberry, it has this mild sweetness, mild fruitiness, I wouldn't have guessed this was a hefeweizen. Not a repeat.

Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazed gold with a thin head. Some lacing sticks then fades off.

The smell is of some fruit juice - elderberry and a hint of grain. Has a bit of the "artificial" juice aroma.

The taste is on the bland side. Some elderberry juice with a hint of wheat tang and yeast. Not too sweet.

It has a smooth, light body (fuller side of light body).

This is pretty much your typical American fruit wheat beer (perhaps a little less fruity and less sweet). A rather bland brew.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.16/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy to cloudy dark yellow to orange in color. There is a half finger tall white head that reduces to a thick layer over the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Mild aromas of light wheat as well as some light aromas of berry as well.

T: There is a light wheat flavor along with a stronger presence than in the smell of elderberries. The berry flavor is almost artificial in nature.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Light and easy enough to drink though the slightly artificial berry flavor is a mild turn off. Nothing special about this beer and I'm not sure that I would get this one again.

Photo of Mora2000
3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma has a nice blueberry and elderberry character, as well as some wheat. The beer smells fairly juicy overall. The flavor has some tart berry notes, as well as some wheat. The fruit seems a bit artificial and is very sweet. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Better than I expected, but nothing to seek out.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Artistic looking label caught my eye. Upon realizing I hadn't tried this, I picked up a single at Total Wine.

The beer is yellow and mostly clear with a small white head. The aroma is a bit sweet, fruity esters. Smells OK. The flavor is a bit of a let down. A bit too sweet, and lacking those distinguishable attributes we associate with hefeweizens. I can't single out or detect any elderberry presence. While drinkable, this is pretty boring. I won't buy this again.

Photo of woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

The CANQuest ™ leads to unscrupulousness at times and last night was one of them. Several of us had just been to a really rockin' show and we decided to hit up the newly renovated Horse Inn a few blocks away. Their new claim to fame under new ownership is having an unbeatable CAN selection. When you say that to me, I become deeply dubious, so I was anxious to see just what they had to offer, not expecting to find anything new. Lo and behold! I did not know that Magic Hat was CANning this beer, but I am not a huge fan of field reviews, either. Here in PA, beer may be purchased for takeaway at a bar, but not as a single. I asked anyway and Score-O! I know, I am going straight to Hell for all of this.

From the CAN: "A Golden Haze for Summer's Daze".

The Crack! showed that even Magic Hat is not holding back when it comes to brimful CANs. Knowing now why many of them do it, I am curious as to why they all do not fill their CANs this way. I got in an inverted Glug and then sat back to watch as the pseudo-cascade took place. The three fingers of dense, rocky, yellowish-white head was like meringue atop a pie! I kid you not, that was some of the thickest, densest head that I have enCANtered in a long time. It took forever to settle, also. Color was a cloudy (not hazy, sorry) Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7). Nose smelled like berries, but I would have guessed blueberries or the like because I just do not have much experience with elderberries. Lacing began to appear as the head fell. Mouthfeel was soft and medium. I liked the way the tartness of the wheat and the sweetness of the berries interacted to create a nice balance. I really felt like I was drinking liquid blueberry pie. Finish was semi-dry since the berries were not bringing that much sweetness to it. Once again, a good Summer beer.

Photo of tdm168
3.32/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - pours orange with a fizzy, white head that fades to nothing quickly

S - sweet, tart, raspberries, blackberries

T - tart, faint raspberries, juice-like

M - very crisp, a bit over carbonated, light bodied

This is a rather disappointing beer. It comes across like fruit juice rather than a fruity hefeweizen. It's tart and sweet and has no elements of a traditional hefeweizen. I'll pass next time.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Magic Hat : Elder Betty

Pours a hazy golden color, white head with some good staying power. The aroma opens up quite fruity and yeasty, you could say very berry. Tastes of light wild berry flavor, biscuity malt, wheat, clove and a light acidic bitterness. Tart due to the residual acids from the elderberry. In 86 degree heat this tastes pretty good. In a pinch I'd have this again.

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Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 1,126 ratings.