Elder Betty - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Elder BettyElder Betty

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

165 Reviews
THE BROS
71
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 165
Hads: 1,127
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 4.75%
Wants: 18
Gots: 176 | 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: 165 | Hads: 1,127
Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev -11%
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. (356 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.47/5  rDev +3%
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. (1,771 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A hazy, dark yellow bodied beer with a small fizzy white head that settles fairly quickly. Spotty lacing. Grainy wheat aroma with lightly sweet, somewhat generic malt and a very subtle berry note underneath. Flavor remains very much the same; the elderberry is buried and really only emerges, lightly, in the finish. Somewhat bland and not all that tasty; some grainy wheat flavor, moderately sweet malt, nothing too distinctive or memorable. Medium-light bodied with crisp carbonation, a decent hot weather refresher, I suppose. Easy to drink and clean in the finish.

My overall impression is that this is unexciting, not all that appetizing, and I’d rather have something else after a hard afternoon of yard work. Thoroughly mediocre like much of what Magic Hat does, in my book. (784 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Pale orange, fair clarity with a strong uprising of carbonation. Chalky white, thin, frothy head that was moderately retaining. Some speckled lace but pretty much average in appearence.

S: Cold blueberries, sweet malt, fresh bread with a touch of yeastiness of banana.

T: Flavor was berries, muffin, and sweet malt with some fresh greenery. Light banana, a bit of soda bread on the finish.

M: Spritzy carbonation, syrupy texture with mid-range depth that seems a bit light at first but thickens up on longer holds.

O: Overall an okay, ordinary beer, that pretty much sums up most of magic hats offerings. Beyond that not much else to say, a don't bother, mundane, unexciting tick of a beer. (700 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, maize/copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus (elderberry?), wheat, sweet malt, hint of yeast, and clove. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of elderberry, sweet malt, clove, and a hint of wheat. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and mouth feel. The body is a little lacking, though. (394 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on June 21, 2012 when it was 97 degrees outside. It pours a murky looking pale yellow with loads of carbonation leading up to a huge, long lasting head. The aroma is of pale malts, wheat, and berries. The body is light to medium which is just what you want for a day like today. The taste has some wheat and berries with a low bitterness and clean, crisp ending. I am a bit biased as my late mother's name was Betty and the only craft beer she liked was Magic Hat. But regardless of that, this was ideal for the first full day of summer. (573 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy yellowish blonde color with a thick head into my glass.

Light and fruity with a touch of wild berry and wheat upfront. Your stereotypical "chick" beer or something else?

First thing I notice for flavor is that pesky ringwood yeast. It's not too pervasive, allowing enough of the clove, wheat and elderberry to show.

Finishes very clean too. Similar to Circus Boy, which is actually quite tolerable compared to their other offerings. Not a bad ale to pattern after.

It won't win any awards or wow any beer critics but it's good if you want something inoffensive for a balmy day. (598 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.64/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy copper color, but with a quick head and only a ring o' foam after a sip or two. OK bubbling though, average appearance overall.

Berries, chalk, and medium toasted barkey and wheat. A hint of banana powder. Smells easy drinking, fruity, and refreshing for the Summer in my area.

Mild berry flavors from start to finish, which I enjoy on a hot Summer day after work. Dry palate, banana powder, and toasted barley and wheat bread crust flavors coming together in the middle of the flavor profile.

Easy to drink, makes me feel happy, and refreshed on a long, working, Summers' day. (589 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3/5  rDev -11%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy in color yet more of a darker amber brown tan expected. Head is nice 1/2 inch that turns to a thick lace ring.

S - Wheat and yeast clash with bitter berries and mild vanilla smells.

T - I have to say this is the best beer I ever had with Elder Berries. Wheat and yeasts meet with the slight bittering of berries and a sweet vanilla finish. Bittering berries follow on the finish

M - Light to medium body is expected.

Overall not a bad beer with decent flavorings and a nice wheat body. (498 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a very hazy golden color. Mild head leaves mild lacing. Tons of rising bubbles.

S-Elderberry presumably. Wheaty and light. No hops. Crisp nose. Too light.

T-The Elderberry and wheat combo is pleasant but very soft. Pretty one-sided. Enjoyable to a point. Kinda got became a bit unattractive after a few glasses.

M-One of the lightest mouthfeels I have come across. Bubbly. Like water.

O/D-Not bad. Too soft and it got old. Wish I didn't buy a whole six-pack. Worth a try though. I would compare it to a poor man's Blackbeary Wheat by Longtrail, but much less awesome. (579 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This must be the official beer of the French soldiers in The Holy Grail, eh? 12 oz bottle pours a hazed gold color with a decent cap of white head. Modest retention and lace. I must say, I do like the label on this one.

Nose has a nice flash of berry-like fruitiness to go with a soft wheat and yeast background. I actually like the smell of this beer, it seems to flow nicely from one component to the next.

Taste is not half bad. The added fruit flavors throw a nice little curveball in there and kind of cover for the lackluster hefe background. Id say this is more of a fruit beer than a Hefeweizen, and more of an American Wheat for a background at that. It keeps the hops at a minimum to avoid any clashing with the fruitiness. I wont be rushing out to the store to buy more, but actually makes for a good summertime quencher and should be liked by fans of fruity wheat beers. (884 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden amber with a fizzy white head that dies away to a thin ring of mousse within a couple seconds.

S: Aromas of elderberry syrup, wheat toast, vanilla, cream, and butter are present on the nose. Not nearly as cloying as I was expecting.

T: Notes of wheat toast, cream, vanilla, butter, grass, straw, minerals, and elderberry wash across the palate. The finish is smooth and sweet with fleeting impressions of elderberry and wheat toast.

M: Light in body and relatively dry. Carbonation is crisp and active. Very drinkable on a hot day.

O: This is a simple, straight-forward beer that (thankfully) does not succumb to Magic Hat's tendency toward sweetness. It may be nothing all that new or innovative, but it is an effective thirst quencher nonetheless. Should be worth seeking out for fans of fruit beers. (829 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – It pours a hazy deeper golden color with a huge, thick white head. The head has quite good retention and slowly fades to give a light to medium amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is rather interesting. It has a yeast and doughy with some lemon and elderberry smell with a somewhat funky aroma. There is a somewhat bitter aroma mixed in as well; the aroma is overall somewhat satisfying.

Taste – The taste is light elderberry and dough up front mixed with a lighter citrus flavor. These flavors form a base for the brew lasting the entire taste experience. The lemon flavor remains the same in the taste, while the elderberry seems to intensify more toward the middle. At the end, the yeasty doughy flavors really gets rather strong and mix with a somewhat bitter lemon and funky flavor which linger on the tongue for quite some time.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is slightly above average with a carbonation level being on the average side. The body is quite nice for the doughy taste with the carbonation good for the citrus flavors. Very fitting for the brew.

Overall – This was a rather interesting beer. A little different, but good none the less. (1,219 characters)

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

Pours a hazy orange peach with a dense one inch cream head that dissipates somewhat quickly for a wheat beer and leaves no lacing.

Aroma begins with wheat, bready sweet malt, and blueberry. I've never smelled an elderberry, so I'm assuming that's what it really is. There's a lemon zest note at the finish.

Flavor is somewhat more subtle than the aroma, with sharp berry tartness and wheat opening at the back of the mouth, leading to a light bready malt backbone, and a subtle berry fruit flavor at the finish, which is a touch dry. The malt detracts a bit from the berry and wheat character. Apply esters emerge as it warms.

Body is moderate with fairly high carbonation. The finish is fairly crisp.

Overall, more subtle fruitiness than I expected in the flavor. Lacks the banana and clove esters of a typical weiss beer, but the elderberry adds enough character to keep things interesting. (896 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at BBC-Cedarville--served into a pint glass

Appearance: minimal head, medium carbonation, dark gold in color, hazy

Smell: faint blue and black berries, wheat

Taste: wheat, blueberry, blackberry, twigs, spice

Mouthfeel: sweet, light body, medium carbonation

Overall: I like this as a hefe/sahti mix with a bit of fruit. As beer overall, I think it is creative and would have a couple on a hot night. I think there are way better hefes that are truer to style however. (483 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a somewhat hazy orange-ish amber color with a 1/4 inch head that retains OK before becoming an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and plentiful surface foam. Fluffy, resilient lacing.

S- Light, fruity aroma with a hint of sulfur. A bit sweet.

T- Sweet fruit in the onset gives way to a soft wheat flavor. Light malts and equally light hops. Has that "give" in taste that I always speak of but is hard to describe. Notes of apricot (surprise, surprise), orange and peach.

M- Slightly watery with medium-high carbonation and a light body.

O- Not as bad as expected. Magic Hat is just one of those breweries who can't be taken seriously anymore. (718 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a toasted wheat color with a short dense white head that settled into a light cap.

The aroma is of a bready wheat malt coupled with some berry sweetness. The elderberry has a blueberry scent to it. There is some light lemon as well.

Berry sweetness hits right away. Not a blueberry, like in the nose, but more of a grape soda fruitiness. There is a muffin like bready sweetness from the wheat malt. Some lemon tartness.

Moderate feel with prickly carbonation. A bit creamy despite the carbonation. Mostly sweet but has a light fruity tartness.

Decent wheat ale. Not overly fruity. (590 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.32/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky, cloudy, dark-golden in color...small head, with a ring of lace. The smell is a nice mix of soft, twangy wheat, a little yeast, some banana and grass, and, finally, a generous fresh-berry scent. The taste has a bit of wheat, a tart dryness, and enough hops for balance. The body is sooth and creamy. It's a decent beer, but it didn't grab me. (348 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Cloudy yellow orange, nice carbonation and a two finger head.

S-Grapes, what I assume are elderberries and spice. The overpower the floral notes and it is not a good overpowering like with some IPAs.

T-Strange mesh of grapes and what I again assume are elder berries. Overly fruity. Some wheat. Not well balanced. Some tartness as well.

M-Light with a nice deal of carbonation.

O-The tartness is nice however the elderberry/grape notes overpower everything else and make this beer way to fruity. Possibly it can be used as a soft intro to sours for some people? Also the beer does not warm well. (601 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.32/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into oversized chalice. Pours a hazy orange/brown with slight purple hue. Aromas of wheaty malts and fruit, grape or some sort of general berry aroma.
Taste is of grape, wheat, and some malts. It has that artificial grape flavor we all enjoyed as a child, but its not as bad as it sounds...its actually very mild.
This isnt something id run out to buy again, but at 5.5% it hits hard for the style. Overall, worth a try but dont seek out. (458 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - a slight haze to the strawberry golden brew. The head billows up quick but has no staying power. It is down to a partial cover within the minute.

Aroma - an initial burst of berry sweetness, but it fades pretty fast. Faint grain and berryish after setup. I don't know what elderberry smells like - this is slightly raspberryish to me.

Taste - a weakish grain supporting the light fruit flavor. It still reminds me of raspberry but has a more tart edge to it. Overall, a pretty thin flavor profile. Ends clean with elements of both sweetness and dryness.

Mouthfeel - clean, very carbonated, medium to light feel. Pretty refreshing for the style.

Overall - it's not a very complex beer but I did enjoy it and could see knocking a few back by the pool. (766 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark blonde and cloudy. Soppy foam too is small.

Tangy berry scent crossed with spicy wheat and light citrus. Not picking up any clove. Kind of fruity with elderberry and not a whole lot else.

Drinks with a lighter elderberry presence. Some tangy wheat and yeast esters that seem mostly nutty. Faint banana tries to come through. Citrus is a little bit of orange peel that reveals itself alongside finishing dryness and some herbal hops and bitterness. Not exactly to style.

Too thin and too peppy. Not very rich.

They should change this back to a pale wheat. It would score a little higher. (595 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
2.82/5  rDev -16.3%
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. (300 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.57/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a shaker pint glass at a local BBQ joint.

Pours a hazy cloudy pale golden yellow. Good foam that settles down to a thin layer. Moderate lacing.

Nose is fruity, berry like. Know nothing of elderberries, but the smell and subtle taste is blueberry. Not quite as tart though - subdued sweetness. With overriding wheatiness.

Low carbonation - may just be the draft effect, but there wasn't too much substance or pop to the mouthfeel. Hops were quite light as well.

Another interesting MH brew. Not earth shattering, but a good enough summer wheat beer. (569 characters)

Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.