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Elder Betty - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Elder BettyElder Betty

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

1,121 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,121
Reviews: 164
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 17
Gots: 161 | 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

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: 1,121 | Reviews: 164
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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 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 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 beernads
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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 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 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 wrightst
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

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 LXIXME
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

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 dmorgan310
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%

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 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.

Photo of weeare138
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%

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 ejimhof
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of Zaphog
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of biegaman
3.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Elder Betty might as well be called 'Ugly Betty'. The elderberries have only lightly pigmented the beer while still making it considerably murky. They also may or may not be responsible for the pitiful head retention. Whatever is to blame, it's flat and drab. Bottom line: you wouldn't sell a lot of magazines with this on the cover.

Know, however, that if ever you come across a fruit beer that is boldly emblazoned the colour of that fruit something (i.e., extract, artificial colour) was most likely added to achieve that embellishment. You'd also be surprised how little most fruits will contribute to a beer's aroma. Here the scent of berries is sweet and pleasant, but expectedly faint.

The elderberry flavour is better appreciated on the palate, most of all for its tartness. Backed by a crew of deceivingly spritzy bubbles, the acidic tartness of over-ripe berries cuts like surgery but leaves little deposits of sweetness in its wake. It's all quite refreshing and, in a manner, universally appealing - who doesn't love the taste of sweet fruit?

The base of bready pale malt, for its part, plays the role of wallflower (which it's probably better off doing). There's little by way of grain to bog the beer down and make things feel heavier, more filling than they should. "A golden haze for summer daze" is a slogan that's spelling may be off but otherwise couldn't be more correct. It's light-bodied and agreeable.

Elder Betty is fruit beer au naturel, baby. As such it fails to arouse the same way that intensely or artificially sweetened fruit beers do. By the same token, however, it is a beer for which I have more respect. There's no makeup or push-up bras or airbrushing here, just a simple, humble, affable fruit beer made by a serviceable brewery.

Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 1,121 ratings.