Elder Betty - Magic Hat Brewing Company

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Elder BettyElder Betty

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

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium tulip. The pour is a hazy, almost murky orange with a thin head. Very weissbier-like nose with hints of apple, clove, and orange. Not getting any berry notes on the nose.

The beer is light bodied with a (proper) soft mouthfeel. Nice sweet wheaty flavors hit you up front and are joined by traditional banana and clove notes. Right at mid-palate, I do get just a hint of berry and it adds a nice tart complement to the weissbier flavors. The finish is neither dry nor spectacular, but the beer is easy drinking and extremely refreshing.

This is a fantastic weissbier that all fans of the style should try. The use of elderberries is not overdone at all. Rather, there is just enough to complement the traditional flavors. (762 characters)

Photo of soulfly1492
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Mild to moderate aroma. Wheat, pale malt, some fruity berry in the mix. Mild American hops. Low yeast character. No clove or banana.

Appearance: Pale orange, looks like apricot juice. Medium haze. Lots of tiny bubbles rising along the edge of the glass. Head is pale white, low retentio.

Taste: Lots of pleasant wheat. Mild pale malts and mild to moderate bitter hops. The fruit is ok, nothing special. Elderberry, but concentrated, a bit synthetic but OK. Quite sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Thick and oily, almost milky. Low smooth carbonation.

Overall: Not bad. A great spring/summer brew. Good wheat taste and decent fruit presence. (648 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 BEERMILER12
3.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Let's make haste... slowly"

A: Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with 2 fingers of head that quickly fades to nothing

S: Elderberries rule the nose, along with a twang of wheat and other fruits

T: Follows the nose, along with the usual suspect of the MH yeast. The yeast overpowers the berries somewhat, taking away from the overall elderberry experience. Still get the wheat and fruitiness, though again slightly dampened by the yeast

M: Light-moderate bodied with moderate tight carbonation

O: If only MH would switch up their yeast, I think they would get much more praise. It either dominates or makes a presence in ALL of their beers and changes some of their could-be greats into mediocre beers... sigh (724 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Elder Betty
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a cloudy and hazy orange with a basic white line for a head on top. A very clean, non-exsistent head.

Whiffs of wheat and some berry notes.

A dry wheat backbone up front. Very clean with an herbal and raspberry finish. These flavors remind me of a wheat beer infused with a berry puree.

There is no doubt that this beer is drinkable and I can make it work, but it certainly leaves me wanting more. When my friend was visiting a couple of weeks ago, we decided to try this seasonal and it left us wanting more. (591 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 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 DirtyPenny
3.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hazy light amber with only a few millimeters of eggshell head. Lacing quickly slides its way back down and joins the brew again.

S: Fruity, slightly tart berry scent hits a cloud of musty vegetation/grass. Maybe it's the yeast Magic Hat uses? I swear I get that same scent out of every beer they make.

T: Berries on the forefront lead into hints of citrus and wheat. Marred by a somewhat astringent finish.

M: Creamy at first but the carbonation gets a little prickly.

O: Well, alright. I give Magic Hat props for trying new things, but despite a nice bouquet there's nothing much special going on here. (610 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.2/5  rDev -5%
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. (785 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.2/5  rDev -5%
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. (1,502 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 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 StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (753 characters)

Photo of dfwprosportsjon
3.99/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly dark orange with the fruit in it clearly darkening it.
S: Very fruity aroma with a nice amount of head that slowly dissipated over a few minutes.
T: A smooth, sweet fruitiness that is very much the fruit as it overpowers the yeast of the hefe. There is a little wheat taste in it but for good or bad the fruit clearly takes over this beer. I love the taste of the elderberry as it's sweet without being too sweet and therefore love this beer. Again though there is no yeast flavor which is strange in a hefe.
M: Decent thickness and great carbonation level as it isn't as carbonated as some wits and hefes.
O: I was pleasantly surprised with this beer as it's fruitiness is sweet but not too sweet and has a lingering taste I really like. This beer gets poor reviews and I can understand if it's b/c the yeast doesn't show up as it's strange to drink a hefe and not taste the yeast but otherwise I really like this beer and think it's a good one to drink now and again. I don't want more than 1 per sitting but it's a great change of pace. Drops just below 4.0 due to the "wouldn't want to drink more than 1." (1,129 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
3.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- murky orange with sudsy 1 finger head

S - I smell malty crackers and bread

T- very pedestrian beer with easy drinking watered down metallic metal flavor and a hint of tartness which I guess is elderberry.

M - decent

O- an easy drinker . Sessionable but just a boring beer. (279 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 cmq103
3/5  rDev -11%
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. (1,324 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)

Photo of nick76
3.61/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is malty and somewhat yeasty with a fruity like essence but hardly any. The hops are herbal in nature. The appearance is deep cloudy gold with a foamy head. The taste is like the aroma. The palate is smooth. Overall a nice beer but does not have much of a elderberry taste or smell. (292 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Magic Hat Summer mixed 12-pack. Poured into Sam Adams Pint Glass.

A- Pours a fairly hazy slightly translucent gold, about a quarter finger of fairly thick frothy head with decent retention, above average carbonation.

S- Strong smell of berries- blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.., a little bit of a malty wheat aroma, some light hops mixed in the background. A little bit of a artificial/soda presence to it.

T- Berries, lightly sweet, some malts, reminds me of a diet berry soda. Not overly flavorful.

M- Light, crisp, refreshing for a summer, above average carbonation, abv decently hidden.

O- This was a fairly average fruit beer, probably my least favorite in the 12-pack. The taste/smell were a little bit too artificial and soda-like, which I didn't really care for. It's why I dislike most fruit beers. There are definitely better fruit beers out there and there are definitely some worse ones. (935 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (537 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 ChainGangGuy
3.02/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (777 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" white head disappearing at an average pace. Slightly hazed body is a cross between straw and gold. It smells like it will be tart, and you can smell a little malt. Taste is only slightly berry, not tart at all, yet somehow the fruit aspect still overwhelms all the beer aspects. Mild malt comes through in the aftertaste. Drinkable, non-offensive, but more of a beer for those who don't really like beer. (416 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Consumed 6/5/12

Appearance: Hazy, light orange/golden, starts with a small, white head, leaves a few wisps and spots of lacing

Smell: Extremely mild - some light, vaguely sweet berries - faint wheat funkiness and some light grains - lightly sweet, definitely inoffensive, but overly subtle

Taste: Also mild, but more interesting than the aroma - pale and lightly toasted wheat, and some light grains - crackers - slightly tart, nicely sweet - the berries work pretty well

Mouthfeel: Light body, smooth, nicely carbonated, undeniably quaffable

Overall: Not bad, but not really good, either

This beer has berries but it lacks balls. Seriously. The smell and taste are good, but they are excessively mild. This would be a good beer to give to someone that doesn't really like beer. I personally believe that Magic Hat can make a better wheat beer. (850 characters)

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