Elder Betty | Magic Hat Brewing Company

Elder BettyElder Betty
BA SCORE
3.3/5
1,160 Ratings
Elder BettyElder Betty
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
magichat.net

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
176
Ratings:
1,160
pDev:
16.67%
Bros Score:
3.08
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
192
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,160 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
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 Rifugium
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First had: Philly Beer Scene Tasting panel with Matt Falco at Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

I was privileged enough to be on the tasting panel for PBS Magazine, along with Bill Covaleski of Victory and Greg Ramirez of Exton Beverage. This was one of 21 beers we sampled during the session.

I'm typically not impressed with much that MH has to offer, and this was really no exception. Poured a hazy orange-yellow with a small white head that receded to a wispy layer of bubbles. Aroma of grains and sweet berries, sugary malts, sweet candy. More of the same in the taste, elderberries (there's a Monty Python joke in there somewhere), sweet bready malts, grains, mildly wheaty and acidic. Definitely more sweet than tart as far as any fruitiness goes. On the lighter end of medium-bodied and a bit stale in the aftertaste. Not too bad overall, but just not my thing.

 878 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of nathanmiller
3.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mendvicdog
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smcolw
3.52/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

 419 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.02/5  rDev -8.5%
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 woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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 Jason
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 481 characters

Photo of Zaphog
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of dfhhead25
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

 469 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of krome
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I just had a world class German hefeweizen, why on earth am I drinking this now? Pours nicely into the same weissbier glass, glowing hazed golden orange hue with a bright white head, much less texture going on than the German counterpart. Fine even lacing formed looks nice, into the aroma: Tart berries, they say elderberry, I wouldn't know that one in particular but some fruity tartness that resembles berries. Think head to head competition with Leinenkugel's "fruity pebbles" beer. A bit cloying in my first sip a strong sense of berry extract comes down the palate, with some lifeless watery notes and hints of grassy/grains colliding with elderberry extract. I will let my wife finish off the rest of these, she enjoyed one straight from the bottle last night. In all of the years in trying Magic Hat beers, I've never seen marketing this bad, the weird looking Elder Betty on the tree doesn't make me want go see jambands perform. "Golden Haze for Summer's Daze" ha-ha-ha (smoker's cough following). Outside of marketing the American yeast used in the beer makes the wheat component pretty lifeless and one dimensional, the yeast is chalky/doughy no spice no esters just effin boring. Mouthfeel I will repeat finishes cloying like I neither need to eat something or brush my teeth to get these flavors off my palate. Carbonation no complaints really, just a huge blunder of a summer beer release. Give me a good German Helles any day, that's not normal anymore in the craft brewing trends. Overall if you have to try do so within the confines of a 12 pack summer sampler when they're released.

 1,601 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.32/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - pours orange with a fizzy, white head that fades to nothing quickly

S - sweet, tart, raspberries, blackberries

T - tart, faint raspberries, juice-like

M - very crisp, a bit over carbonated, light bodied

This is a rather disappointing beer. It comes across like fruit juice rather than a fruity hefeweizen. It's tart and sweet and has no elements of a traditional hefeweizen. I'll pass next time.

 403 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of chippo33
1.25/5  rDev -62.1%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 1,160 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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