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Saranac Wild Hop Pils - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Wild Hop PilsSaranac Wild Hop Pils

Educational use only; do not reuse.

64 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 305
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 3
Gots: 58 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ale207 on 05-02-2013

This unique pilsener is the first to use the Belma hops, discovered growing wild on a farm in the Yakima Valley. Crisp. Refreshing. One of a kind.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 305
Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a wine glass. I had this last year, and I remember it as being magnificent, so let's see if this is as good as I remember.

LOOK: Clear bright yellow with a finger and a half of fluffy white head that leaves streaks of lacing.

SMELL: Apple, pear, lemon, orange, yeast, honey, and clover. Smells like a cross between a typical pilsner and an IPA. Very fresh, fruity, and inviting.

TASTE: Oh yes, this is as good as I remember! Sweet tangerines and melons upfront, biscuit and honey malt in the middle, and then finishes with green apple, lemon zest, white grapefruit, pear, clover, and grass.

FEEL: Medium-light body, medium carbonation, and slightly creamy on the finish.

OVERALL: This beer is ridiculously good. This is the beer that got me into craft pilsners after assuming all pilsners were skunky and gross. I would highly recommend this is to any beer drinker!

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: slight haze; medium gold in color; 1+ finger ivory head that receded to a thin film; OK lacing;

S: floral and bready; a little orange in the background;

T: a little tropical fruit/citrus up front; a little jam like sweetness at mid-palate; finish has a mild, but harsh bitterness;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: didn't enjoy the flavor; nothing about this screamed pilsner;

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Saranac Wild Hop Pils
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BB Oct 31,2014 0834 0247" (3 days past "best by")
$1.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

An interesting beer, no doubt: "The first to use the Belma hops, discovered growing wild on a farm in the Yakima Vallley". It's slightly hazy in the glass, perhaps from dry-hopping, and topped by a fluffy head of bright white. The head retention is quite good, as is the lacing left behind. In the nose it's a touch minty, softly grassy, delicately floral, and subtly fruity (apple) over a straightforward, grainy, golden malt base. The same hop components remain in the flavor with the almost spearmint like minty-ness stepping forward. It's not very bitter and therefore the malt seems quite solid and somewhat sweetish, yet it remains balanced overall. However, the two components don't really seem to mesh well. The hops appear, backed by the malt, and it pretty much stays that way until the swallow where the bitterness comes up a bit, as do the more grassy flavors of the hops. On the other hand, a little less malt would leave the beer lacking overall. It remains interesting, enjoyable, and refreshing. Worth trying!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a medium white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, light caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild malt sweetness followed by some breadiness from flavors of grain and lager yeast. The hops presence is mild but good for the style and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent poundable beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Gmann
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw color with some golden highlights. The white head is short and dense; settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a grassy hop aroma with some metallic notes. Smells like a pils. A little bit of a fruity note.

The taste is of a biscuity malt; fairly dry. The hop flavor is grassy just like in the aroma. Again there is a metallic and fruity note.

Light to moderate feel with airy carbonation. Slightly bitter on the palate and finishes fairly dry. Drinks pretty clean and crisp.

A decent pils. I would like to see it a touch drier and perhaps a touch more grassy but the flavors are on point for the style.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"This unique pilsener is the first to use the Belma hops, discovered growing wild on a farm in the Yakima Valley. Crisp. Refreshing. One of a kind." Brewed in the style of a German Pilsner, available as a summer seasonal offering, available in 12 oz. bottles and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a fizzy frothed head of a pale gold white color over a golden yellow body with a mild haziness and plentiful spritely carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Cracker and grain malt build with a moderate acidity and a light sweetness. The hop profile is fruity, lemony and grassy with a medium perceived bitterness for a unique blending of hop notes. Potency is mellow. 3.75

(Taste) Dry cracker malt with a low sweetness and a slightly tart acidity. Finishes with a fruity, herbal and citrusy hop with a very mild bitterness. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is soft, chewy, moderately dry. Carbonation generates a medium level of bubbles for a moderately crisp mouthfeel. Body is shy of medium for the style, light/medium overall. Balance is evenly bitter and acidic to sweet. Alcohol presence is very low, there are no off characters to note. 4

(Overall) I'm fairly impressed by the hop profile which generates a subtle, but very flavorful arrangement of pleasing hop notes to make a fairly enjoyable and unique Pilsner. Perhaps my greatest complaint would be the body of this beer, which falls just a touch shy of expectations, and may be perceived as a bit too thin and watery for some. With a bit more body and a slightly amplified hop flavor, this could become a much more revered and appreciated name amongst the Pilsner beers. 3.5

Matt Brewing Company's
Saranac Our Wild Hop Pils

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Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours a clear medium deep gold with a nice thick white head. The head settles down leaving some soapy lacing. The aroma is just the slightest hint of noble hope and the taste is also barely there. Nice weight and feel to the body. Wish this was more flavorful because everything else about it is well-done.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single from Trader Joe's and a rarity in San Diego as for brewer. Liking the concept of hoppy pilsners amongst all the ABV wars but still approaching with a bit of trepidation for sure. Poured into a globe glass, the Wild Hop pours a clear light golden with a thin cap of off white foam.

Smell of a good dose of noble hops, touch of lemony Saaz perhaps though also a bit soapy at times. More citrus and spice with warming is quite pleasant.

Taste is a bit dry however, of perhaps overdone or singular in nature malt breakdown. Not very characteristic for a pils yet not bad either. Feel is decent and full given the hop presence. As such this drinks more like a light Belgian Pale than a German Pils. Still it struggles with a very short finish. Still I'd buy it again, an interesting offering.

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Photo of tbeckett
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Got this bottle at the Sunoco in Lake Placid.

A - Pours very light golden colour. Bright with good carbonation. One finger of soapy white head. Spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Grassy, honey, corn, grain.

T - Honey, grain, sweet corn. Not much 'hop' profile to be found.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a sweet honey finish.

O/D - Definitely not my cuppa. The hop profile is definitely not prevalent and it ends up being closer to a European adjunct lager. Not worth the time.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear & golden color with a fizzy and foamy white head that retains nicely, leaving some lacing behind. Flowery hop aroma with a hint of grassy notes. Fruity and crisp flavor with some berry notes, floral notes kick in before giving way to a bready malt backbone. Medium body with moderate carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish. Nice flavorful pilsner with high drinkability

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Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can was poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: A two finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a golden straw yellow with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Bready and sweet pilsner malts followed by lager yeast and spicy, herbal, grassy hops.

Taste: These wild Belma hops are nice. I could see these hops used more in the future. Nice malt backbone too to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Clean, crisp, light bodied, refreshing, a little dry, a little chewy, and medium to high carbonation.

Overall: Nice pilsner. I'll take another.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%

Best by 10/31/14.

Pours a clear gold with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and apple juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable, but the hop presence in this one is pretty subtle and doesn't remind me of a typical pilsner.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Appearance: Honey gold with a decent head that disappears quickly. Moderate lacing, very little carbonation.

Smell: Grains, spice, herb.

Taste: Grains, malt, spicy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate hop bitterness.

The Verdict: Surprisingly good. The wild hops give it a nice flavor and a hint of complexity. Good session beer at a good price.

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Photo of droomyster
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours a golden body with a small white head with good retention and a bit of lacing. Aromas are sweet and practically epitomize the word "grassy." I get a light citrusy note as well. Taste is very balanced between English muffin-like malts and grassy hops with an orange peel prickle. Grains linger long on the finish. I like this a lot. Very solid.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

A bottle of this from Trader Joe’s set me back a whopping $.85!
This pours a light golden in color.
There's an aroma of a fruity, almost floral hopping, with some melon characteristics that come through.
The flavor snaps with a pleasing hop profile that demonstrates more of the melon flavors. Not bad and a steal for the price.

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Photo of argock
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%

Consumed directly from the can at Camp Treetops Friends' Weekend 2014 in Lake Placid, NY.

A: I poured an ounce or so into a plastic punch glass and it is a bright, golden beer with a short cap of white head. (3.5)

S: Aroma from the glass is flowery with some melon and light citrus notes. Maltiness is bready but pretty light with a little bit of corn. (3.25)

T: Flavor is straightforward on the malt side with light breadiness and a bit of cracker. The hops side is a little more interesting with very bright floral notes, a bit of honeydew melon, and grassy character. All pretty light but refreshing. Light-moderate bitterness. Clean without much if any yeast character and no alcohol. (3.5)

M: Clean and crisp with light body as a pils should be. Carbonation was medium-high with good scrubbing quality. Pleasant floral hops aftertaste without astringency. (3.75)

O: I enjoyed this beer although I kept going back to Adirondack Lager for its bready, more classic noble hoppiness -- more refreshing and flavorful at once. Wild Hop Pils is pretty good, but there are many better Bohemian and German pils out there. This one treads the line between the two although tends more to the German side.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

My local, frequent in-person trade, tone77, recently dropped this off for me in his latest batch of beer in support of The CANQuest ™. I am always anxious to see what he has for me when he stops by!
From the CAN: “A Family Brewery Since 1888”; “This unique pilsener is the first to use the Belma hops, discovered growing wild on a farm in the Yakima Valley. Crisp. Refreshing. One of a kind.”; “Like this? Try this: Adirondack Lager”.
I just love the sound of a good Crack! in the morning. Leave it to Saranac to brighten the day with something wild. I celebrated with an inverted Glug and then sat back and watched the pseudo-cascade. It developed into two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, bone-white head with great retention. Color was solid-Gold (SRM = 5) with NE-quality clarity. Of course, this acted as the clarion call for Midas, Mammon and Croesus to show up and begin squabbling amongst themselves for a taste. I CAN hardly put up with it any more. Nose had an earthy, peppery bite and I was inspired to ask my neighbor to plant peppers next year. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very earthy, like something freshly harvested. Wet-hopped, perhaps? It also had a cereal-like maltiness, so I would put it as a German-style Pils. Finish was crisp and dry and would make an excellent addition to the cooler on a hot, humid Summer’s day.

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Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a foamy 2 finger white head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving great foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of malt, wheat bread, butter, caramel, floral hops, brown sugar and piney hops; very nice balance and more aromatic than most pils.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, floral hops, tea leaf, piney hops and it has a grainy finish that is bready and almost clean. Starts off malty, then the hops wash over and add nice complexities that are way above normal for the style.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a medium body, average carbonation and a bready finish that's on the dry side and clean. Overall a very nice pils that is much hoppier than most pils and much more flavorful.

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Photo of CaliforniaJohnson
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Poured into a tulip glass
Best By date: Oct 17, 2014
Pour date: August 18, 2014

APPEARANCE: honey, golden yellow with great clarity. One inch white frothy head which settled quickly, but just enough retention to leave a little lacing on the walls of the glass.

SMELL: Tangerine, some graininess, not much to this one.

TASTE: Hop flavours don't really come through aromatically on the tongue as they do on the nose. The bitterness qualities are noticeable, making for a really crisp finish.

FEEL: thin, crisp, bubbly.

OVERALL: A great session beer and a very good buy. The label is awful in opinion.. If it weren't for the price I would have overlooked it.

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Photo of SoulFroosh
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
Has a light lager appearance, not so much of a pilsner.
Looks more like a PBR (that I pour regularly)
The taste follows on that note. Like a classic light lager, but with more of a hoppy bite and well crafted. Imagine Jesus turning water into wine, but intead of water, it's PBR, which he turns into Saranac Wild Hop Pils (that sounds like too much of a compliment)

I love the style and this beer, but I've had much better of this kind (ie PEAK's Fresh Cut)
Better yet, if you want a true pilsner, go with Urquell.

Overall, a very refreshing summer beer.

PS: I love my wife.

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle Saranac Wild Hop Pils.

Pours clear, dark golden with a sudsy head that has decent retention. Somewhat low visible carbonation for style.

Aroma: fairly balanced mix of malts and wild hops.
Flavor: more hop dominated, as expected for style.

Feel: near medium body with lively carbonation.

O: an interesting beer worth trying for the rare Belman hops.

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Photo of Beejay
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: Pale yellow, clear, and a nice white head on top.

S: Crisp with a lovely hop aroma. Light and floral with grapefruit overtones. Light malt aroma, but the hop definitely take the lead.

T: The hops are subtly, but nice. Slight tropical fruit, as well as grapefruit. The malt character is very subdued. With the clean finish, and slightly higher bitterness, this drinks like a water pale ale.

M: Thin, with very high carbonation. There is a little bit of linger in the finish from the hops.

O: Overall it is light, crispy and has a touch of zing. I appreciate that they are trying to showcase a new hop, but the hops upstage the style. Still a good beer, and would be great for hot days.

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Photo of JohnSand
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light and clear in color, decent head, good lacing. I was a little hesitant, having tried other pilseners that were over-hopped. This is a good pilsener, dry and moderately hoppy, slightly toasty, well balanced. A very good product, good for a summer day. I would drink it again.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Libbey style pilsner glass.

Crystal clear, and deep brass bodied yellow to bronze body color off the pour. Lots of fine carbonation, and a head that is fluffy white, thin, with about three fingers tall, and settles at a simple pace going down. Decent looking for a pils.

Aroma is very buried. Faint hints of herbality, hints toward classic spice, but not much else going on. There's a bit of simple doughy pils like malt backbone, and the bready sweetness that comes with it. But for the most part pretty quiet, if ok.

Palate comes a bit slammed down, and uneventful. Mild notes of herbal hops, but with a drying paper mache pasty quality. Body is slightly wet, but with virtually no classic pils or hop angle in the flavor department. Really not much going on here.

It's inoffensive, but doesn't give the pils angle justice. Looks and aroma brings some goods, but the package doesn't deliver.

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Photo of malvrich
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from brown bottle into a pilsner glass at home

A: A gentle pour yields a one finger head of whitish head which leaves pretty quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass, lasting intact at the end of the glass. Lovely straw to amber yellow color and a great degree of clarity.
Carbonation present in streams and is persistent.

S: Very nice with an earthy hop pungency. A bit strong for what it is but sharp and eye opening.

T: Follows the nose closely with this fat herbaceousness to the hops. Not very strong but definitely front & center. Citrusy springs to mind but mainly just uniquely tart. Malts are understated and clean, letting the hops shine through. A nice bit of crackers or pretzel on the finish. Lemony and refreshing.

M: Not much happening. Very light as expected with a really nice bubbly tingle. Bitter but subtle aftertaste. Leaves the mouth feeling clean with minimal stickiness.

O: As a lover of pilsners in general, I have to say I regard this one quite highly. Light and refreshing enough for the mower or the card table. Complex enough in flavor to keep me interested without any cloying sweetness or hopping me all about the head & shoulders.
The price is nice in my area as well, usually $8/6.
One of a handful of my current favorites!

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Saranac Wild Hop Pils from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.