Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Elder Betty | Magic Hat Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
169 Reviews
Read the review
Elder BettyElder Betty

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Jason on 03-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 1,143
Photo of HBBJ
3.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Straw colored and slightly hazy. Pale white head quickly faded, leaving a thin layer of fine foam with just a bit of lacing.

Smell: Moderate bready aroma. Spicy, with a strong smell of berry candy, and a touch of fruity hops.

Taste: Light malt-wheat flavor, with not quite enough berry flavor. Hop flavor and bitterness barely detectable. Refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, and slightly sour.

Overall: A reasonably well-made wheat beer. Lack of berry color indicates beer had flavor added, as opposed to being brewed with elderberries, and the berry flavor suffered as a result.

 596 characters

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Golden color with a thin white head and a lot of carbonation. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus/hops with berry notes.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth light bodied. Taste of hops with fruity citrus and berries and a tart aftertaste.

Overall: Ok brew. Glad I tried it.

 319 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- goldish-orange in color With a bit of a haze, small head, no lacing.

S- Berries, grains, wheat, very fruity.

T- Wheat and artificial berries. A bit of yeast and light hop bitterness at the end.

M- smooth and light bodied, medium carbonation,

O- I can see the intent with this one, but the berry taste came across artificial to me. Wouldn't be bad on a hot summer day but I can think of better options.

 411 characters

Photo of Amalak
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A. Hazy, opaque, deep gold/orange color. Average head with some lacing.

S. Very strong scent, kind of orange with a soapiness to it.

T. It has a very strong jolly rancher, grape and cherry taste to it. Honey is adding a strong sweet taste to it. There's a mild grassy taste toward the end.

M. Tingly yet smooth. Refreshing.

O. The sweetness is a bit too much. This seems like a beer that could do with being aged a bit.

 425 characters

Photo of Gus_13
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a hotel water glass. I know I know not the best thing. But I'm making do.

Appearance: It poured how most weiss do in my opinion. Cloudy with a small head and no visible alcohol legs. Looking at it it look just how a wheat bear is expected. Head dissipated quickly.

Smell: Definitely has the bready smell to it. But the fruity, berry smell comes in to over power that. It smells refreshing.

Taste: Front of the mouth has a sweet tart, fruity, berry taste to it. That comes from the fruit used in it I'm sure. has the mouth feel of most wheat beers. I do like the taste. I can see it being very refreshing during the summer months. The aftertaste is again berry and citrusy.

Overall: It is a good beer. And I think it fits into the weiss beer and especially what Magic Hat was trying to do. Most of their offerings are a little off-the-wall and I can appreciate that. I'm definitely going to enjoy this 6-pack in the August Daytona Beach sun.


 980 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
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 mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
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 drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 467 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of the Magic Hat Summer Scenes Variety Pack, a new Summer Seasonal, replacing Wacko. Elder Betty is brewed in the Hefeweizen style but uses Elderberries for a subtle fruit twist.

Served in a Magic Hat Pint glass at 55º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp soapy off-white head over a mildly hazy golden amber body. Retention is average. Lots of carbonation. Beer looks decent, although not spectacular. The head quality could have been amped up a bit. 3.5

(Smell) A mild fruitiness over a murky wheat base, quite heavy and sweet on the nose. Berries are very forward in the aroma, not too unlike berry syrup extract, although the aroma of the elder berries are a bit more murky and tart. It certainly doesn't bring a traditional Hefeweizen to mind, but it's a pretty decent twist. I just wish the flavor was a bit more subdued and the sweetness was tuned down. 3

(Taste) A medium wheat profile is paired with a subtle berry profile. The berry flavor is a touch fainter here than in the aroma, although mildly sweet with subtle tart undertones makes it a more complex berry for a drinkable dessert beer. A bit heavier bodied than the average hefeweizen, the flavor is enjoyable unless you are looking for a more bare-bones Hefeweizen recipe. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is very mild, little carbonation presence, a mildly chewy presence from the wheat paired with a slightly syrupy slickness from the berry profile makes for a thick, heavy texture. Body is medium-heavy for a Hefeweizen, light-medium overall. Alcohol presence is low. The carbonation is too low, draws too much attention to the sweet heavy flavor profile of this beer and takes away from drinkability. 3

(Overall) An interesting Hefeweizen variation. While the elder berry additions were not overdone, the low carbonation makes the beer harder to enjoy. Suitable as a dessert beer to pair with some ice cream, but not as sessionable as one may think a Hefeweizen should be. 3

Magic Hat Brewing Company's
Elder Betty Elderberry Weiss

 2,019 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
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 Immortale25
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
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 -4.5%
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 -4.5%
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 berliner07
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wss really excited about this one. An elderberry beer. Great idea. Also, great packaging. Poured a pretty non-descript color. Not too interesting in the aroma. The elderberry shows up in the taste, but not too interesting. Light and refreshing, but nothing too complex here.

 276 characters

Photo of poop_brew
3.16/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - A 12oz. can...drunk from the can. (3/5)

S - Smells like a cheap watery beer with a hint of wheat & fruit. (3.25/5)

T - Hits your palette with that cheap beer aroma but then finishes with a hint of elderberry. Fresh aftertaste. (3/5)

M - A thin drinkable feel with minor carbonation. (3.5/5)

O - I'd recommend this to anyone looking to drink a portable festival ready/beach beer. It's a little on the pricey side for what it's worth, but it's a cheap beer for classy brew drinkers. (3.25/5)

 497 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.16/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 711 characters

Photo of ToddT
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Hazy light orange with a fluffy off white head. Head fades quickly to a ring but leaves little lace on the glass.

S- Sweet fruit, grapes and elderberries and the dominate notes.

T- Follows the nose, elderberries dominate the taste with a few notes form the wheat to round this out. Not very complex but a nice refreshment on a hot summer day. The finish is mostly sweet and lingering without any counterpoint to the berry taste.

M- Medium in body and with decent carbonation.

O- I would want a lot of these but it was a nice diversion on a hot day. No real character of a hefeweizen in this but it was still a pleasant beer to drink. The 5.5% ABV is low enough to make it a session beer but it is a little sweet for me to want do so.

 741 characters

Photo of alaimoa
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is an interesting beer with a very tasty summery flavor that you could drink in the hot sun for hours. Has a berry, wheat, light taste and mouthfeel that is refreshing. Don't let the rating deceive you, if you are looking for a good summer beer to drink all day you won't be disappointed.

 293 characters

Photo of cousineddy
3.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very hazy tan/orange color 1.5 fingers of foamy white head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Smells a bit like welches sparkling grape juice, very sweet smelling.

Taste: Starts off somewhat bland, but i get backnotes of the elderberrys which i find very pleasant. I wish there was more hops to balance out the sweetness of the berries.

Mouthfeel: lots of carbonation somewhat thin

Overall: I was definately interested in trying an elderberry hefe. Not the best fruit hefewiezen ive ever had. I suggest trying it, but not buying it.

 544 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
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 angrybabboon
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
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

Photo of zeff80
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 446 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received a slightly hazy yellow/orange brew with a foam white head. No real retention, but maybe a slight skim, no lace.

Wheat brew at it's most pedestrian. Grainy, with a level of sweetness and some musty yeast notes. I guess there is a hint of fruit aroma, but I have a hard time finding it.

Sweet wheat grain, some yeast and a little husk bitterness. Some berry in there somewhere, but very very mild. Light bitter grain in the finish.

A little more body than most of this type. Good carbonation.

Another dud from this brewer. Middle of the road, no thing to make you want to recommend or try again. Not hateful, just not worth chasing.

 644 characters

Photo of DirtyPenny
3.12/5  rDev -6.9%
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

Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 1,143 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!