Elder Betty | Magic Hat Brewing Company

169 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 1,145
Photo of Daktyls
3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy amber color from a regular 12 oz bottle with a small patch of lacing in the middle, with bubbles continually rising from the bottom.

S: Smells lightly of straw with a hint of elder berries. Usual notes of wheat beers are present as well.

T: The taste is pretty much the same as the smell, though as other reviewers are noted, the elder berries are a little bit more pronounced producing a slightly tart taste at the finish.

M: Light bodied beer, with a medium amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, pretty tasty, this is going to make an excellent summer beer, I'll have to remember to pick up a case or two while they are still available.

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Photo of Shaw
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle supplied by the brewery.

A medium golden in color with a very short head that quickly reduces to just wisps of foam in my glass.

Fruity aroma, that must be from the elderberries.

The taste is heavy on berry, but not overpowering. There's still some malt sweetness and a bit of hops. I don't really notice much of a wheat characteristic, but that's not a big deal.

Body is crisp, thanks to lots of carbonation.

Overall a pretty good brew. Think of it as a fruit beer rather than a wheat ale.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of seedyone
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

05/22/13 At Rattle N Hum, NYC. On tap. Very refreshing. The hint of berry is a nice touch. Light bodied wheat with a balanced flavor. We could become good friends. I might track it down in bottles to see if it holds it's smoothness.

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Photo of Caveworm
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company, an elderberry infused wheat brew made for summer. Poured from the bottle into a glass, ol' Betty's got a very thick and creamy head for a wheat brew. The thickest I've seen in my experiences of this style of brew. Lacing is very good. You've got your typical unfiltered haze in the body, a medium-light amber.

Smells like the elderberry mentioned on the label, along with some of the classic wheat bier attributes like banana and clove making brief cameos. No lingering anything.


Overall a nicely earned 3.5 for Elder Betty, quite a fitting selection for this brewer's summer sampler pack. This is probably the most crisp wheat style of beer, be it hefewiezen, witbier, or what have you, that I've ever consumed in recent memory! I highly recommend this for a thirst quencher for the dog days of summer. Especially here in humid-ass Ohio hahaha. I shall CERTAINLY acquire this brew again from my local craft retailer!!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Lavonnq
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good overall. I enjoyed the taste and the overall characteristics of this brew. I liked the elder berry taste and other hints of berries. I was also picking up a hint of banana. I wish it was more bread tasting. Overall it was decent beer. I'd say it's worth a try.

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Photo of MatthewWilde
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Quite hazy, pale yellow-orange, nice internal carbonation, pours a small foamy white head that is surprisingly intrepid

S: Heavy dried fruit, citrus fruits, floral, tropical fruits, very strong aroma, sweet and refreshing

T: Mirrors the nose, fruity, floral, nice sweet and bitter balance, tropical undertones, even banana, delicious

M: Very smooth, melts in your mouth, quite light on the palate, delicate fruity aftertaste, not too lingering

O: For a mere non-scarce seasonal, this is definitely one to try, great fruit flavors and aromas, nice look

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, nice label...never really been wowed by MH...let's see if this changes things...into a 16oz pint glass

Appearance: Somewhat hazy dark straw gold w/hints of orange...nice white cap with decent retention.

Smell: Really pleasantly fruity. This sounds stupid, but it reminds me strongly of a fruity pancake syrup I remember having years ago at somewhere like Ihop...boysenberry, perhaps? Sweet, maple, and berry-fruity, with a touch of wheat tartness w/swirling. Odd, but nice.

Taste: Nice grainy malt/wheat backbone, but with none of the traditional yeast-derived German hefeweizen flavors...mild wheat tartness, however. Nice fruity/berry flavors...I can't say it tastes like elderberries because I have no idea what they taste like, but this is nice. Medium bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, nice feel

Overall: One of the better beers I've had from MH by far...this would be a nice summer brew now and again. Not something I'd buy regularly, but definitely an interesting/worthwhile take on the 'fruity summer beer' theme.


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Photo of shand
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Even though Wacko was my intro to craft beer, even I could tell that it needed to be retired. Enter Elder Betty, a wheat ale brewed with Elderberries. And it's good! Far better than Wacko, at the very least. It pours a hazy golden color with a small head. The aroma is very strong on the fruit, with a touch of wheat perceivable. The taste offers a nice, refreshing, slightly tart kick of berries with just the smallest amount of wheat in the back. The mouthfeel and drinkability are both great for an easy-drinking summer brew. A great summer thirst quencher that blows Wacko out of the park, even with my soft spot for it.

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Photo of scotorum
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Lawson's tulip.

a: Clear dark gold with a half finger thick head which receded to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.'

s: Mild fruit cup.

t: Mild berry flavor over a light cracker malt base.

m: Light to medium, good body.

o: A refreshing summer brew with just enough subtle dark berry flavor while still letting you know it's beer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.64/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Straw color with a healthy, smooth, white head. Very good retention leaving a nice layer of lace.

S - Bready malt along with some banana. Hints of berry (blueberry and blackberry), not overly aggressive or artificial aroma. Hints of lemon. I go back and forth from enjoying it as a summer beer and not being all that into it. Somewhat reminiscent of a blueberry/lemon muffin.

T - Slightly more tart than the nose suggested (lemon and some berry tartness). Berry flavor is definitely present, it's not artificial but also not bursting with a fresh berry taste or a jam flavor. Solid bready malt flavor provides a good backbone but not too much sweetness.

M - Light to medium body. Pretty carbonated. Crisp with a slightly dry finish.

D - Pretty easy drinking beer. I kept going back and forth from really enjoying this beer to being ambivalent. It hits the marks for an easy summer drinker though.

Notes: Nice berry flavor that isn't artificial tasting. Not that is like some sours with tons of fruit flavor but it does the trick. Good balance with tartness. I kept being reminded of blueberry lemon muffins or a berry pie of some kind, but not in a "this is really sweet way." Good summer beer but not great.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had Elder Betty in a nonic pint.

Appearance- Very hazy body in the glass, it has some amber patches around the edges of the glass with a dark marigold hue. The head is a white film that just covers the beer.

Smell- I actually can smell some juicy blackberry and a general berry fruitiness. I also get a honey-sweet malt flavor. I suppose there is some spice and earthiness here too, but I had to really get my nose down in this stuff to find it. Nice touch with the berry flavor.

Taste- I am surprised by the bitterness that hits first. I also catch the berry flavors with the bitterness. Just like that, those flavors fade and are replaced by a wheaty, phenolic flavor. The follow through does not really expand on what has already happen or change in anyway. It just kind of, drops off.

So, more of the berry should follow through, and some kind of hop presence would be nice. The yeast has really taken over for most of this drink. Maybe since this is a Hefe, that is what the brewers wanted?

Mouth feel- The beer is more of a medium body, but does not stick, or have any lift. This beer just slides over the tongue. This would be unfortunate if the beer was more complex. As it is, it fits the conventional nature of the palate.

Overall- Elder Betty surprised me when I took the first couple whiffs. The juicy dark berry scents were promising. However, the flavors fall off on the tongue. The berry is short lived and the phenols over stay their welcome.

As a light and refreshing beer, I can't be too upset with it. I'd have it again, but I wouldn't be excited to .

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Photo of Pegasus
3.61/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Slightly pale golden orange in color, with a massive, dense white head, with excellent retention. Minor sediment is present. Slight, slow-rising carbonation is present. Elegant, complex lacing resembles river stones in mortar.

Aroma: Rich, modestly sweet elderberry notes dominates thee aromaa, complimented by classic wheat malt.

Taste: The taste begins with mildly sweet elderberries, hard to describe, like a wild dew berry with less sweetness, but more fruit flavors. A classic wheat malt base presents well, and compliments, rather than clashing with the dominating elderberries. I have had a number of fruit and what ales, this one rivals all in both subtlety and complexity. Finishes with long, lingering elderberry notes and a bit of earthy wheat malt.

Mouth feel: Soft, smooth and full, very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A quite interesting and drinkable example, one which I would be happy to have again. An imperial version of Elder Betty would be quite compelling - hint, hint, Magic Hat.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of Antikythera
3.61/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a: heavy and golden.

s: berries and wheat. I don't know what elderberries taste or smell like, so all these elderberry drinks just strike me as generic berry.

t: a nice flavourful wheat beer with a very slight bit of tartness from the berry. Nothing fancy but nothing objectionable either, very easy drinking.

m: surprisingly heavy for a wheat beer. Nice and chewy.

o: this could be a regular summer drink for me. Not bad at all.

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Photo of nick76
3.61/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
3.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw color with small head that fades quickly. No lacing at all.

Smell: Subtle berry and light wheat

Taste has the same. A sour tart berry flavor (never tried Elderberries). Light wheat and tangy finish. Not much hop. Very light subtle flavors.

Mouthfeel is thin and crisp. Refreshing and the tart note is very pleasant. Light carbonation.

This beer grew on me as it warmed up but I like fruit beer more than the average person I think. I like this one from Magic Hat.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.57/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of jifigz
3.57/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

This beer pours a nice light orange color with a head that is extremely minimal. It looks very carbonated and is very bubbly. There is a slight haze to the beer. The berries are very evident in the aroma. It is fruit sweet with a hint of alcohol in the nose as well. The aroma is mainly dominated by the fruit smell which I don't usually find all that appealing in beer, but this smells pretty good. The flavor is, as the smell is, very fruit driven. It starts out sweet and finishes with just a hint of bitterness for a balance somewhat, but it is still quite sweet. This actually tastes fairly good for a fruit beer. It is very smooth in the mouth and the flavor is a pretty good thirst quencher for summer. The MF is a lighter, thin bodied brew.

I usually don't care for fruit beers, or Magic Hat for that matter, but I totally thought that this was pretty good stuff. I would most certainly drink this again but I doubt that I would ever want a whole case of it. My brother bought this mix pack and left it at my house, so I will certainly drink it for free.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a hazy straw with a nice fluffy white head that dissipates fairly quickly but leaves some lacing on the glass. Smells of berries and sweet grain, very balanced. Tastes of barley and blueberry, very pleasant. Beer is balanced for its light body, with great carbonation and nice finish. Overall, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of gibsonflip
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The label of the bottle enticed me as I was casually strolling through the supermarket with my love. I was asking what beer to get when suddenly a bright flash of bold contrasting colors attracts the peripheral vision of my spectrum. Alas, I turn my body to see the majestic elder betty staring at me with her magic eyes, drawing me in. Suddenly I find my arm moving itself without even a thought. Elder Betty knows what she wants. She wants my mouth on her, sucking down her juices. Elder Betty knows whats best! The ale is smooth and calms my inner soul. I pour it on my girlfriend's neck and lick it off. Well done Elder Betty, well done.

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Photo of smcolw
3.52/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy golden straw color with a 2 finger thick white head. Sticks around for a few minutes before becoming a thin film. Can see some carbonation but this beer is cloudy.

S: Lots of berry up front hard to get much from it other than that. Some wheat is present.

T: Much more berry than I had anticipated, even though it's girly I like it. Some wheat in the background little hop makes an appearance as well.

M: Fairly thick on the palate for a wheat ale. Pretty easy drinking. Average carbonation.

Overall I like all of the berry this beer brings to the table. Will admit its not "true to the style" but is enjoyable none the less.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

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Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 1,145 ratings.
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