Weird yet interesting
A Review of Elder Betty by Magic Hat Brewing Co.
Posted on 9/8/2012 by Chops
Sometimes we use the term ''interesting'' to denote feelings of indifferent confusion. The situation isn't necessarily bad or good, it's just... interesting. This was the feeling I got when I tried Magic Hat's Elder Betty, an elderberry weiss beer. I'm all for new and exciting beer concoctions, but breweries roll the dice every time they try something totally new. This is the first time I have ever tasted a beer brewed with elderberries and it took several sips to get past the initial weirdness.
In the glass, this beer has a hazy orange coloration. It comes with a creamy white head that has decent retention. On the nose, a strong fruity citrus aroma dominates and is dusted with some mild spicy notes. There isn't much else to go on and I couldn't exactly pinpoint what the elderberries were adding. Nothing left to do but dive in for that first sip.
Hmm, interesting. I couldn't get a good grasp on the flavor at first, so I had to turn my attention to the mouthfeel. It's decently smooth with a little bit of graininess. I also found a bready quality that adds a little thickness to the vibe. It's definitely an easy drinking beer with lots of refreshing qualities, so that's good. The flavor is where things start to get weird. There is a strange mix of orange citrus, tart berries, and sweet fruit juice. It drinks more like a juice box or a wine cooler than a beer. The finish is sweet and airy, leaving a minimal aftertaste. The hop profile was nowhere to be found, so don't even bother looking for it.
Overall, Magic Hat's Elder Betty is weird yet interesting. I wouldn't call it a bad beer, I just found very little beery about it. It's by no means disgusting and I would happily drink some more as a refreshing fruity option. So, I don't know. I guess I can recommend Elder Betty to novices and non-beer drinkers, but any seasoned fans looking for quality will find this beer to be disappointing. It's not a good wheat beer, so best to drop any stylistic expectations. I would just enjoy it as a summer time drink, not a summer time beer.