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Elder Betty | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 1,143
Photo of Schmidts
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Pours yellow Orange not much head. Smells of Berries and Lemon. Only a Little lacing. Not much exciting about this beer it is refreshing but does not go enough on any point. I was very disappointed.

 198 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko13
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium hazy gold, with about 4 finger width of foamy head that lingered for a few minutes. The overwhelming aroma to me is yeast, and that is reflected in the taste as well. I'm picking up mainly mild American beer bitterness, no elder or any other berry. A little banana aroma and finish with a slightly sour aftertaste.

Light carbonation, thinnish mouthfeel.

Overall kind of a disappointment. If I had to relate this to anything, it might be a brioche without the usual sweetness. Might use it for cooking, but probably not much else.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.02/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a golden orange hazy color, producdd a small white head, below average retention and it little lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of malted grain, nuts and berries. Light in body, smooth mouthfeel, there was a base of cereal grain, hits of berries and a slight bit of tartness.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Not a bad looking beer at all. One finger of head that leaves a nice, thicker residue on the surface. Musty brown/orange amber that looks quite sweet. This doesnt look like any Hefeweizen I've ever had before, so I am assuming that the darker amber colors are coming from the elderberries. Lacing is impressive, something I'm used to from a Hefe, but not from Magic Hat.

Smell - Smells like a fresh grapevine. Light notes of berries. I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I think these are the types of berries that I used to pick when I was younger. The smell brings back fond memories for me, so I am naturally drawn to the lighter smell of berries.

Taste - At first, Magic Hat once again lets me down in the taste department. I came into this beer review not expecting much, but the appearance and smell really got my hopes up that Magic Hat was going to redeem themselves for me. Sadly, this beer has no body to it whatsoever. The taste of elderberries is most prominent. A grapey, sugary, lightly fizzy beverage. These are most certainly the berries I used to pick when I was younger. As I continue drinking, the taste of elderberries become increasingly stronger. Soon, every drink tastes of sweet, freshly picked berries; almost like I'm a kid again - washing them under the sink faucet and sneaking a few tastes.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - I am very torn with this beer. I want to give it a bad rap, but it's overwhelming elderberry taste reminds me too much of my childhood days. Back then, I never thought I'd be having this berry in the form of a beer. My main complaint is that this beer has no body to it whatsoever. It is very watery, with the sweetness and viney grapey flavors being the only qualities that draw me in. Malt is non-existent, as is any form of hops. Carbonation is light, and I suppose there is a bit of bitterness that dances on the tongue if you let the beer sit long enough.

To be clear, I enjoy this beer strictly for the taste of the elderberries. It is well-balanced, but seriously lacking in the hops and malt departments.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vibrant label art drew me to buy this.

Traslucent orangey gold color. Skimpy white head leaves a few traces of foam but certainly not enough for a wheat based beer.

I get a minor whiff of clove underneath a thick layer of perfumey hand lotion.

Tastes like graham crackers and Captain Crunch Crunch Berries. Tastes "violet." Faint 'nana puddin' in there as well.

Not bad, not great. As good as most of the other wheat fruit combos out there.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some slightly sour berry aromas. Taste is much the same with bread and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of mineral-like bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable but nothing I would go after again.

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Photo of hman43
3.06/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It is hazy light amber in color. The head is almost non existent after the initial pour. It has aromas of bread, cinnamon, and wheat. The flavors of bread, berry, and sweet brown sugar with a dash of cinnamon dominate the flavor palate. It’s listed as a wheat ale, but it doesn’t resemble any wheat ale that I’ve had. If your looking for a unique taste, this one has it. If you are looking for a true wheat ale, this isn’t it.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.07/5  rDev -8.4%
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 Jason
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle w/ no freshness date.

LOOK: Hazed orange golden color, minimal lacing stays for a while.

SMELL: Berries, taffy, cracker-like graininess, nutty, chalky yeast

TASTE: Smooth, grainy, soft berry tones, faint tartness, very grassy, walnut skins, semi-dry finish

Not much to this brew at all. It is a wheat beer with a smattering amount of berry character. Not crisp and perhaps too much body for a "summer beer", either way it lands pretty lackluster on my palate.

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Photo of metter98
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is very hazy dark yellow in color and poured with a quarter finger high off white head that gradually died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of wheat in the nose along with hints of elderberries.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the flavor of elderberries is a bit more pronounced.
M: It feels a light- to medium-bodied bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn’t that difficult to drink but lacks any refreshing or thirst-quenching qualities.

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Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

 474 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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 yesyouam
3.09/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Elder Betty is a hazy golden ale with a thin white head that quickly turns into a thin splotch. It has a faint aroma of malt extract. It's a little fruity. In the mouth, it's medium-light bodied and smooth with a pretty clean finish. It's lightly flavored with some wheat, sweet malt and elderberries. There's a very slight bitterness that seems leafy. It's very light all around-- a little sweet and quite feminine.

 426 characters

Photo of MeowTom
3.1/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Foggy golden yellow with a huge head that goes away relatively quickly.

S- Wheaty with fruity and slight hop overtones.

T- Fruity(orange, raspberry, elderberry) with that strong wheat flavor.

M- Lightly carbonated and refreashing on a hot summer day after mowing the lawn.

O- Not the most out there with flavor beer, but a nice refreashing summer beer after you have been working outside all day.

 407 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.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.12/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a hazy light honey color with a faint glimpse of a white head that rings almost immediately

S - I can smell the fruit from a foot away. An extremely pleasant fruity, very berry-y aroma. One that is supported with a nice wheat backbone. Not too much of a "tastes like added fruit juice to beer" quality.

T - The taste backs that up, a very strong berry flavor with a a nice wheat/yeast foundation. Not much else to it.

M&D - not impressed, a bit fizzy, and the fruit isn't blended as well as some other fruit beers. A decent beer that I might try on tap.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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