Elder Betty | Magic Hat Brewing Company

171 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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 171 | Ratings: 1,147
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.36/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Amber color with mild amount of carbonation. The smell of berries was noticable from afar,very strong berry wheat aroma. Taste followed aroma ending with wheat and mild hops. It may not be a great brew but it was unusuall and I enjoyed more than I expected to and would have it again

 284 characters

Photo of Elvis_on_Bass
2.09/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I think this is one of those beers that is better from the tap. The aroma that I got was more of just alcohol and some malt, which wasn't really that pleasant. The color and the head are as expected, but the flavor fell very short. I couldn't really tell what I was drinking as everything was muted flavor-wise. I'd skip this one in the future unless I was in the taproom.

 372 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.02/5  rDev +20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma, sour fruit: raspberry, BlackBerry. I’m not familiar with elderberry bourbon guessing that’s what I’m smelling. App: cloudy yellow, Small white head. Taste: airy, sweet and sour, plum,wheat. Not pasty at all for a wheat beer. Feel: above average carbonation, Very nice. Yea, magic hat.

 314 characters

Photo of stevoj
2.89/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very light weight summer wheat beer, sweetened with elderberries. Nice hazy golden color, but not much in the mouthfeel or palate. Sweet and refreshing, but nothing memorable

 174 characters

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.

 1,139 characters

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.

 434 characters

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.

 233 characters

Photo of bmeehan
4.25/5  rDev +26.9%

Elder Betty is my favorite fruit beer I've ever had. It's not like other fruit beers, where you think you're just drinking cider; there's enough of an aftertaste that reminds you that it's beer to know it isn't cider, and it's not overpowering with one fruit. I love it.

 271 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%

Pours a straw yellow with no head at all, no lacing, decent amount of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass but they disappear the moment they reach the top.

Smell is a sweet malt front with hints of fruit dancing about, can't quite make out what specific fruit but I'll go out on a limb and say elderberry (although I've never eaten one on its own).

Taste is essentially a fruity malty beer, the sweet malt and the light fruit aspects dominate, no real hop balance, decent carbonation in the mouth with a light tart finish (nothing puckering though).

I actually like this more than I probably should, it goes down wicked easy and is very thirst quenching, probably better for a hot summer day where I could pound a couple of these like nothing.

 754 characters

Photo of bgillespie
3.31/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark orange , thin off white lacing.

Smell: Very sweet, berry

Taste: A lot of berries, a little tartness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light.

Overall: Not a bad summer beer. It is pretty sweet. I would have it again.

 249 characters

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.

 1,217 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

The CANQuest ™ leads to unscrupulousness at times and last night was one of them. Several of us had just been to a really rockin' show and we decided to hit up the newly renovated Horse Inn a few blocks away. Their new claim to fame under new ownership is having an unbeatable CAN selection. When you say that to me, I become deeply dubious, so I was anxious to see just what they had to offer, not expecting to find anything new. Lo and behold! I did not know that Magic Hat was CANning this beer, but I am not a huge fan of field reviews, either. Here in PA, beer may be purchased for takeaway at a bar, but not as a single. I asked anyway and Score-O! I know, I am going straight to Hell for all of this.

From the CAN: "A Golden Haze for Summer's Daze".

The Crack! showed that even Magic Hat is not holding back when it comes to brimful CANs. Knowing now why many of them do it, I am curious as to why they all do not fill their CANs this way. I got in an inverted Glug and then sat back to watch as the pseudo-cascade took place. The three fingers of dense, rocky, yellowish-white head was like meringue atop a pie! I kid you not, that was some of the thickest, densest head that I have enCANtered in a long time. It took forever to settle, also. Color was a cloudy (not hazy, sorry) Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7). Nose smelled like berries, but I would have guessed blueberries or the like because I just do not have much experience with elderberries. Lacing began to appear as the head fell. Mouthfeel was soft and medium. I liked the way the tartness of the wheat and the sweetness of the berries interacted to create a nice balance. I really felt like I was drinking liquid blueberry pie. Finish was semi-dry since the berries were not bringing that much sweetness to it. Once again, a good Summer beer.

 1,817 characters

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 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 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.

 614 characters

Photo of JohnLasher92
3.86/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light shade of amber. Very mild foam. This beer is well carbonated and bubbles like a champagne. I don't typically like fruit beers and didn't think I would like this one because Elder Berry is usually too tart for me. It was the perfect amount of tartness to make this beer taste like an ale with a cider-like touch to it. I would definitely enjoy a session with a six pack of this sometime, preferably on the beach.

 425 characters

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.

 376 characters

Photo of jbraico
2.95/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

At first when I smelt this beer I thought I was going to enjoy it. I liked the blueberry smell it gave off personally, but with every sip the taste kind of went south. This is more of a summer outdoor beer (beach, picnic,etc...). Not the worst thing I have

 256 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.27/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: cloudy; copper colored; 1 finger pillowy white head that receded slowly; moderate lacing;

S: wheat, yeast, strawberries;

T: wheat, yeast; ripe blueberries; a bit of tartness from mid-palate to finish;

M: light bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: refreshing and easy to drink;

 279 characters

Photo of wsmith1625
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 6 pack and poured into a pint glass. Hazy golden color with barely a 1 finger head. Smell was definitely fruity, I'm guessing of elder berries. Taste was crisp and fruity, but not sweet or syrupy. Very refreshing with a nice mouthfeel and pleasant aftertaste. Definitely a refreshing summer brew. I will definitely try this a few more times this summer.

 362 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a mixed six from Magic Hat, had not actually had any of their beers but had not heard good things. Pretty good looking beer, reasonably hazy , decent head that grabbed the glass. Not much to the nose but a decent taste. No idea what an elderberry even is but decent tasting beer. Nothing great but a good beer that is worth enjoying.

 343 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Elder Betty brewed by Magic Hat Brewing Company. This brew pours out a cloudy amber color with a small white head. Going to say this brew is unfiltered. Elder Betty has an ABV of 5.5%. The smell is rich with spices and some grains and fruit. The taste is great smooth and rich with spices and berries. Elder Betty goes down smooth with no bad aftertaste. There is nothing bad to say about this brew. This brew starts off smooth with a clean finish. I like how this brew has more flavor than most brews on the market. This brew was more than what I was expecting. I would buy this Elder Betty again I'm giving this brew a 4.50 out of 5.

 635 characters

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!!

 979 characters

Photo of allengarvin
2.82/5  rDev -15.8%
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 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.

 272 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 1,147 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.