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Elder Betty | Magic Hat Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
77
okay
169 Reviews
THE BROS
71
okay
Read the review
Elder BettyElder Betty
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States | website

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
Reviews:
169
Ratings:
1,143
Avg:
3.35
pDev:
16.12%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
182
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 1,143
Photo of ummswimmin
4.12/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having a new beer to get me through the work of a hard project. Hope it won't affect the results.

I poured this into a fluted style glass. I got about two fingers of light foam that goes down really quickly. The coloring is brownish-yellow and pretty clear with tons of bubbles coming up from the bottom.

I really like the light berry smell coming off the bottom. I could only presume that I'm picking the elder berry. I also get some light flowery hops.

The flavor is pretty sweet, like crunch berries. It works well for a warm evening. This is pretty simple and clean.

If my mother smelled like elder berries (requisite Monty Python reference), then I wouldn't really complain. I like the berry presence in this beer.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.94/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Medium yellow. Hazy. Thin white head that quickly dissipates. Looks like a weiss, but no hint of the elderberry influence.

Smell - Sweet pale malt with a hint of berriness. Not entirely sure what elderberries smell like, but the berry scent here is sweet and faux-blueberry-ish.

Taste - Sweet pale malt, a hint of clove and a hint of berry. Not offensive, but not impressive. Still don't know what an elderberry is supposed to taste like.

Mouthfeel - Light.

Overall - I don't dislike this, but I can't see going to it again. And I didn't get much elderberry. Maybe that's the fault of the fruit, but then why make a beer featuring it?

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Photo of biegaman
3.47/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Elder Betty might as well be called 'Ugly Betty'. The elderberries have only lightly pigmented the beer while still making it considerably murky. They also may or may not be responsible for the pitiful head retention. Whatever is to blame, it's flat and drab. Bottom line: you wouldn't sell a lot of magazines with this on the cover.

Know, however, that if ever you come across a fruit beer that is boldly emblazoned the colour of that fruit something (i.e., extract, artificial colour) was most likely added to achieve that embellishment. You'd also be surprised how little most fruits will contribute to a beer's aroma. Here the scent of berries is sweet and pleasant, but expectedly faint.

The elderberry flavour is better appreciated on the palate, most of all for its tartness. Backed by a crew of deceivingly spritzy bubbles, the acidic tartness of over-ripe berries cuts like surgery but leaves little deposits of sweetness in its wake. It's all quite refreshing and, in a manner, universally appealing - who doesn't love the taste of sweet fruit?

The base of bready pale malt, for its part, plays the role of wallflower (which it's probably better off doing). There's little by way of grain to bog the beer down and make things feel heavier, more filling than they should. "A golden haze for summer daze" is a slogan that's spelling may be off but otherwise couldn't be more correct. It's light-bodied and agreeable.

Elder Betty is fruit beer au naturel, baby. As such it fails to arouse the same way that intensely or artificially sweetened fruit beers do. By the same token, however, it is a beer for which I have more respect. There's no makeup or push-up bras or airbrushing here, just a simple, humble, affable fruit beer made by a serviceable brewery.

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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 candytunes
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

since I drank it from a bottle i can only judge the bottle design I really like magic hat bottle designs. especially their spiral cap design. makes you feel like youre drinking a true micro-brew

Smells fruity like elderberry.

Tastes fruity a little sour but good. kind of refreshing.

Its a lighter beer.

I dont drink it all the time but if im in the mood for something light, fruity and different, it hits the spot.

Ill keep buying it.

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Photo of Kooz
2.35/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Very slightly cloudy with very little head which dissipates quickly. It's a pale orange color, and not terribly impressive looking.

Smells of wheat and something else, something slightly sweet. Maybe this is what elderberries smell like?

Tastes a bit like cough syrup in the aftertaste. It's bitter and isn't sitting well on my palate. I was expecting something slightly sweet, this tastes almost ashy and tart.

Very little body to this beer. It's a bit too watery and has a bit too much bite.

I am not impressed with this beer. I expected a lot more from this. Disappointing.

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Photo of Tobe
2.8/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light amber color with an off white head. The head poured full but quickly dissipated.

Light aroma of elderberries fills the nose upon first inspection. There is a fainter aroma of grass and spice. The flavor is light and crisp. Fruitiness on the palate finishing with a little pepper. It coats the mouth nicely but doesn't overpower. This very well may be the best beer that Magic Hat has released in quite some time.

*After a couple ElderBetty it tends to coat your palete with an undesirable sweetness.*

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

12oz bottle
Served in a weizen glass

A - It is cloudy with an orange hue and gold highlights. It has a couple inches of off white head.

S - There is a fruit aroma that I'm assuming to be elderberry. It's been a long time since I had elderberry pie which is the only experience that I've had with elderberries.

T - It has lots of beery flavor. That is all I taste.

M - Medium with a lot of carbonation.

O - It is a fruity wheat beer. It is good if that is what you like.

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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.

Cheers.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.47/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured deep golden and clear with a few rising bubbles and a decent, short lived head with ok lace.

Smell is a little berry like with some indistinct fruitiness also, some wheat and maybe some light citrus.

Taste is earthy and lightly malty, with a notable elderberry taste. It's not super complex but it's fairly tasty and quite drinkable.

Body is moderately fizzy and light bodied, would make a good lawnmower beer. Reminds me of #9 but with a different fruitiness.

It's not terrific but it's not bad either.

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

12oz bottle from Bessette's Canton NY for 1.79$

Appearance – Hazy amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains/wheat, berries, banana

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains/bread mixed with light citrus, hints of bananas, and something along the lines of blackberries. It ends with a slightly spicy berry aftertaste.

Overall – Well, it's better than I was expecting. The fruit flavour isn't cloying and the beer is fairly drinkable.. even for someone who isn't a fan of fruit beers like me.

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Photo of erosier
4.5/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a clean and clear golden yellow with a medium sized and fluffy white colored head that leaves nice lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet wheat malts, hints of elderberries, and some nice spices mixed in.
T: Tastes of sweet smooth wheat malts, a mix of cloves and spices and the perfect amount of elderberry to finish it off. It was very refreshing.
M: Smooth, light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation, light feeling, great sessionable beer.
D: Overall a great mix of feel and flavors, very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Josiah2729
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Light orange. Small head with no lacing.

Smell: Fruity light berries.

Taste: Light berry juice, light wheat flavor

Mouthfeel: Carbonation, light texture.

Overall: Disappointing, more like a wine cooler than a beer.

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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 tdm168
3.32/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. My wife and I both enjoy elderberries, so we figured this would be a fine choice for the summer.

Poured into a sampler glass. Deep golden-copper in colour, quite hazy, with a half inch head that dissipates into a thin ring. Decent looking wheat beer.

Nose is fruit - elderberry and currant, a bit of peach - the rest is quite faint, perhaps a bit of citrus and wheat malt.

Not a bad beer by any stretch. It's got a nice elderberry flavor, it's light and refreshing, goes down well. It's just...there isn't much else there. The malt base is quite weak, and the flavor is not very complex. The fizzy carbonation is not helping matters much. Don't get me wrong, on a hot summer's day this would be a refreshing treat, and I like it a great deal better than other Magic Hat brews, but it could have been so much more.

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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 Mora2000
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma has a nice blueberry and elderberry character, as well as some wheat. The beer smells fairly juicy overall. The flavor has some tart berry notes, as well as some wheat. The fruit seems a bit artificial and is very sweet. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Better than I expected, but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Cloudy yellow orange, nice carbonation and a two finger head.

S-Grapes, what I assume are elderberries and spice. The overpower the floral notes and it is not a good overpowering like with some IPAs.

T-Strange mesh of grapes and what I again assume are elder berries. Overly fruity. Some wheat. Not well balanced. Some tartness as well.

M-Light with a nice deal of carbonation.

O-The tartness is nice however the elderberry/grape notes overpower everything else and make this beer way to fruity. Possibly it can be used as a soft intro to sours for some people? Also the beer does not warm well.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.29/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: this beer pours a dark orange with a hint of haze. Start as a 2 finger foamy white head that dissipates into a thin layer of foamy white bubbles.

S: The smell is of mainly floral hops and grassy notes. Also has hints of coriander and honey to sweeten the finish.

T: Taste consists of coriander, grassy notes, and a little bit of citrus spice, kind of like an orange tang. Sweetness of the honey follows on the back end. Taste is like a light Saison!

M: Moderate carbonation is present at first, but then is hidden by the cloudy citric presence. A little lacing is there depending on what type of glass you choose.

O: All in all a very good beer for a nice breezy, summer day. Very drinkable with a lot of earthy flavor. One of Magic Hats better brews and if you love Saisons, you'll enjoy this beer!

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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.

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Photo of david131
2.44/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a hazy light orange liquid with a thin but creamy white head. Simple.

S- Uh... All I can smell is a very potent medicinal cough medicine. Not intriguing.

T- Medicinal berry flavor along with some bread. Not too potent or off-putting, but I wouldn't put it in the "good" category.

M- A creamy body with some nice carbonation. Probably the best thing the beer has going for it.

O- The medicinal flavor is not nearly as annoying as the aroma lead me to believe. That being said, it is still a very average beer.

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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 chefhatt
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a nice straw gold color body with a small fizzy white head that doesn't hang around for long. The smell is kinda fruity with some wheat notes lingerling around. The taste defently has a nice wheat/malt and fruit flavor balanced out real nice. The berry flavor is nice on the back of the tongue. The mouth feel is really nice and overall a nice and different take on a hefeweizn.

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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.

B

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Elder Betty from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.
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