Apr 30, 2012

Magic Hat Elder Betty

Magic Hat Elder Betty photo

I can’t say that I’ve every tried an elderberry before. A quick Wikipedia perusal lets me know that if you ingest enough of the leaves, stems and branches a dangerous level of cyanide could potentially build up in your system. The berries, however, appear to be safe to eat. At least that’s what the Internets tells me.

So what does that mean for this wheat ale from Vermont’s Magic Hat? Will I put my own life in jeopardy by cracking open a bottle of Elder Betty (5.5% ABV, 13 IBU) and drinking it? Luckily, no. The beer will not only not kill you, but it tastes pretty darn good too.


Elder Betty pours a hazy amber with a one-finger, white head that faded to patchy islands on the surface.


I definitely pick up the wheat base to this brew and I’m going to assume that the fruity, berry character is the elderberry — having had no experience with the berry in the past. There’s a bready malt component, as well as some grain in the mix.


Bread, wheat, a light sweetness and earthy berries fill the mouth nicely with a clean, refreshing character. There’s a touch of fruit tartness in the back end that lingers subtly in the finish with a hint of grassy hops. The carbonation is light, but crisp.


This is one of the more interesting wheat-based brews I’ve come across. The inclusion of the elderberry is a nice touch and presents the drinker with a beer that’s got a unique flavor profile, while still maintaining its base personality. The beer is easy drinking and refreshing.


This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

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