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 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 mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Part of the Magic Hat summer sampler twelve pack. Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours two fingers of fluffy off-white head on top of a murky lemon-orange colored body. Steady streams of thin bubbles rushing to the top.

S - Smell is of bubblegum malts, cloves, grapes, and some must. No actual "berry" aroma, but more of a grape juice concentrate sort of smell in it's place. Some banana bread qualities to it, also. A fairly underwhelming aroma.

T - Generic, fruity bubblegum malt taste, which I am not likened to. Some kind of grape juice concentrate / artificial fruit roll-up type taste going on as well, which I suppose is the elderberry. Again, somewhat of a banana bread like quality to it's taste.

M - Feel is crisp, clean, malty, and dry. An ideal ending.

Overall, a painfully average beer, probably my least favorite out of the four beers in the mixed twelve pack. The elderberry presence does make things more interesting however, for this is a style I'm not usually accustomed to. An easy sipping summer refresher. One that would go over well with BBQ on a hot day, & would possibly satisfy those who are new to craft beers.

Magic Hat Elder Betty ---3/5.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- goldish-orange in color With a bit of a haze, small head, no lacing.

S- Berries, grains, wheat, very fruity.

T- Wheat and artificial berries. A bit of yeast and light hop bitterness at the end.

M- smooth and light bodied, medium carbonation,

O- I can see the intent with this one, but the berry taste came across artificial to me. Wouldn't be bad on a hot summer day but I can think of better options.

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Photo of Sludgeman
2.69/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a pint glass.

I've had the pleasure (or maybe I should say that I have made the unfortunate decision) to have multiple types of Magic Hat beers over the past few days. Does Magic Hat use the same base beer for everything they brew? It has certainly tasted like that. This beer is not the worst I have had though. It is refreshing, but it is no comparison to other wheat/hefe beers.

A - Pours a slight cloudy golden color. Cloudiness is not the same like a standard hefe. There was no sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A pale white rocky 1-finger head that quickly dissapates. Well carbonated. No lacing.

S - Some fruitness (I suppose it is elderbeery). No estery, banana or clove like aromas.

T - An adjunct flavor. A faint sweetness/fruitiness or maybe I am imaging it since I know the beer uses elderberries. Low hoppiness.

MF - Light bodied with a med-high carbonation.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.44/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Let's make haste... slowly"

A: Pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with 2 fingers of head that quickly fades to nothing

S: Elderberries rule the nose, along with a twang of wheat and other fruits

T: Follows the nose, along with the usual suspect of the MH yeast. The yeast overpowers the berries somewhat, taking away from the overall elderberry experience. Still get the wheat and fruitiness, though again slightly dampened by the yeast

M: Light-moderate bodied with moderate tight carbonation

O: If only MH would switch up their yeast, I think they would get much more praise. It either dominates or makes a presence in ALL of their beers and changes some of their could-be greats into mediocre beers... sigh

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Photo of CHickman
3.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy orange gold color with a 1 finger off white head that faded quickly and left a soapy layer on top and decent spotty lacing on the sides.

Smells of sweet berries like blueberry (elderberry I guess), grains, yeast funk, caramel, grass, wheat and malt; pretty basic nose, but still enjoyable as the berries smelt nice.

Tastes like it smells, sweet up front with berries like blueberry and I guess elderberry, grains, yeast funk, grapes, herbs, caramel, grass, wheat and malt; like the nose, the flavor is basic, but this to me is a nice summer beer. Some of the other Magic Hat experiments with fruit have been sub par, but this one was decent; while it’s not exciting, it is easy to throw back rather quickly.

Mouthfeel is light and on the crisp side, with mild carbonation, a medium grainy body and a semi-dry and slightly funky aftertaste. Overall it was decent and I’d have it again. Middle of the road beer.

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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 BucannonXC5
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: BevMo in Mission Valley North (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $15.99 for a Summer Scene variety 12-pack
Purchased: July 26, 2013
Consumed: July 29, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey orange hazy color with two fingers of off-white head. Minimal wet spots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled blueberry, grape, faint bubblegum, cherry, kiwi, honey, apple and faint banana. Basically fruity notes is what I’m saying.

Taste wasn’t quite a variety as the smell, but still flavorful. Got grape juice, blueberry, faint cotton candy, sour cherry, apple and tropical notes.

Light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. Clean, crisp and refreshing.

A nice beer for the summer. Beer Advocate has it as a Hefeweizen and Rate Beer has it as a wheat ale. I think it is somewhere in between. Definitely a summer beer. I’d have it again though.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - a slight haze to the strawberry golden brew. The head billows up quick but has no staying power. It is down to a partial cover within the minute.

Aroma - an initial burst of berry sweetness, but it fades pretty fast. Faint grain and berryish after setup. I don't know what elderberry smells like - this is slightly raspberryish to me.

Taste - a weakish grain supporting the light fruit flavor. It still reminds me of raspberry but has a more tart edge to it. Overall, a pretty thin flavor profile. Ends clean with elements of both sweetness and dryness.

Mouthfeel - clean, very carbonated, medium to light feel. Pretty refreshing for the style.

Overall - it's not a very complex beer but I did enjoy it and could see knocking a few back by the pool.

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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.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark blonde and cloudy. Soppy foam too is small.

Tangy berry scent crossed with spicy wheat and light citrus. Not picking up any clove. Kind of fruity with elderberry and not a whole lot else.

Drinks with a lighter elderberry presence. Some tangy wheat and yeast esters that seem mostly nutty. Faint banana tries to come through. Citrus is a little bit of orange peel that reveals itself alongside finishing dryness and some herbal hops and bitterness. Not exactly to style.

Too thin and too peppy. Not very rich.

They should change this back to a pale wheat. It would score a little higher.

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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 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 micromaniac129
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer you'd give your wife at some outdoor barbecue.
And this particular beer tastes more like a grape taffy then a beer.
How many sips does it take to get to the bottom of an Elder Betty beer.... the world may never know.
Like every other fruit beer. Its clear golden with a tiny white soda head.
Aroma grape toosie pops.
Taste grape soda malt beverage.
And so on, and so on...

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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 Cylinsier
3.36/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz

Pours a hazy golden color with a bit of white lacing.

Smells of mild fruity barley malts.

Tastes of mild barley and hints of berry fruitiness with a whisper of dry hop.

Medium body with tingles of carbonation on the tongue.

A pretty enjoyable lighter beer, pairs okay with food and quenches thirst. There is no detectable wheat though, so it's strange that it is a hefe. Tastes nothing like that.

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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.

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Photo of gordavidson
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 rangerred
2.89/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a half finger head that fades pretty quickly. No lacing at all.

Smell has a slight berry fruitiness along with a little clove and banana.

The elderberry is apparent right off the bat but it has an almost artificial taste. Kind of sweet and syrupy. There is some typical wheat spice behind that leading to a slightly sticky finish. Mouthfeel is average.

Overall this beer just doesn't do it for me. The fruit flavor is too artificial and really everything else is just average.

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

A. Hazy, opaque, deep gold/orange color. Average head with some lacing.

S. Very strong scent, kind of orange with a soapiness to it.

T. It has a very strong jolly rancher, grape and cherry taste to it. Honey is adding a strong sweet taste to it. There's a mild grassy taste toward the end.

M. Tingly yet smooth. Refreshing.

O. The sweetness is a bit too much. This seems like a beer that could do with being aged a bit.

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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 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 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;

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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 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.

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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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