Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Pilsner - German
Ranked #6
Ranked #3,285
4.13 | pDev: 8.23%
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
Notes: Mary was Edward's mother and our great-grandmother. A German-style pilsner brewed with our well water, American 2-row malt, our favorite German hops, classic German lager yeast.
Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 629 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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AElfwine_Nerevar from Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned: 04/20/21

L: Pours a pale straw color with good clarity. A plethora of carbonation streamers rise from the bottom of the glass. A gentle pour results in two fingers of fluffy, white head with excellent retention. As the beer goes down....

S: Fresh cut grass mixing with bready malt and a hint of earthy spice.

T: The palate presents bready malt character exhibiting a restrained sweetness, fresh cut grass, floral notes, and light notes of earthy spice on the backend and finish. Decent amount of bitterness on this one.

F: Light bodied with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth with a light dryness on the finish.

O: Amazing American take on a classic German style. Highly recommended.

May 30, 2021
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Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

4.61/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Canned 4/20/21, drank 05/10/21. This one has been “extended lagering” according the HF website

L- Golden, and slightly hazy. Nice head

S - Bready, spicy, and a slight sweetness

T - Much like the aromas, bready and sweet, extremely flavorful for a pilsner

F - smooth, and clean

O - Pilsners don’t get much love but this one deserves it. People talk about Suarez pils, and while they’re good...if your looking for the best...get yourself a Mary. The best pils I’ve ever had

May 11, 2021
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Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Crystal clear golden with a thick foamy head and good lacing.

S: Clean, sweet bready malt, spicy hops, and lager yeast.

T: Moderate bitterness, very good hop flavor, spicy and floral. Malt flavor is subtle but bready with a touch of sweetness. Nice clean fermentation, very classic lager notes.

F: Light bodied, very crisp.

Overall: A very tasty pilsner, very tasty indeed. Everything about it is perfectly balanced, full flavored, and clean. I highly recommend this beer to anyone looking for a rare lager treat.

Sep 03, 2020
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 7/14/20
Consumed 8/17/20

Pilsners are getting trendy again and I was super happy to have the chance to get a 4 pack of this while in Chicago. Trumper Pils just won a big Pilsner taste competition put on by Beer Temple, and I wish this one could have been entered to see how it would fair. Drinking it, I’m liking it, but it’s not at the top for me. It has a nice light flavor and feel with the right amount of sweetness for a pils. Some can be too sweet I think. The smell is subdued compared to others I’ve had. I wish I could pick out more in it. The taste lingers very nicely which I like. Worth picking up again, and I’d love a blind taste test comparison for myself sometime.

Aug 18, 2020
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metter98 from New York

4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Gold Star Beer Counter, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a faint amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of grassy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has strong flavors of grassy hops along with bits of floral hops and a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This pilsener is all about the hops. I really liked all of the grassiness in the smell and taste.

Serving type: on-tap

Feb 11, 2020
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njcraftguy from New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Quite simply the best Pilsner I've had. It won't Wow you initially but its just so well done. Super crisp n clean. Superbly balanced and drink able. I get cans whenever possible and enjoy every one.

Jan 04, 2020
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Gatch from Rhode Island

4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Happy to find this available when I finally visited the brewery during a weekend camping trip in the NEK. Filled a 750ml growler but honestly wish I brought a 2L bottle. I’m loving the rebirth of quality lagers in the American craft beer movement. So when HF regularly brews these styles, we’re lucky as consumers. I’ve had lots of good Pilsners lately, but as expected, this is on another level. I really can’t imagine a beer of this style being better in Europe. So clean, so crisp, so refreshing, so damn satisfying. The balance is just incredible; properly hopped, malt bill is deliciously fruity yet grainy and barny, and the carbonation is perfect. Wow!

Aug 28, 2019
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Tilley4 from Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really glad to be able to give this a shot at a local bottle share. I was not at all disappointed. What an eminently drinkable pilsner this is... hits all the right notes and hits them perfectly. Absolutely a stellar effort... it's crisp and clean and extremely well brewed...

Aug 14, 2019
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John_M from Oregon

3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Many thanks to Derek for sending me a can of this.

The beer pours a golden amber color with pretty decent heaf retention and lacing. On the nose, I get some light honey and burnt toast. Maybe get a hint of grassy hops as well.
On the palate, I get more of the same. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this light weight pils. Mouthfeel is Ok. There's enough hoppy bitterness on the finish to keep this beer crisp and fairly refreshing. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, so I guess drinkability is pretty decent.

Shrug. A decent, easy to appreciate pils from HF, but this is not one of their stronger efforts. There are a lot of really good pils on the East Coast, and frankly this isn't one of them. Given the other options available, this isn't a beer I would ever order again. I get the impression that lagers aren't what HF does well.

Jun 29, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Canned on 3/4/19

Pours a mostly clear, slightly cloudy deep gold topped with a few fingers of soft bone-white froth; good head retention results in a thin cap of foam and layers of thin, mostly speckled lacing.

Aroma bursts deep earthy tones, clean mineral/malty tones, hay, bits of dried grass and herbal hops; faint honeysuckle toward the finish adds a delicate sweetness to the mix.

Taste brings ample rye spice and doughy black bread crust to the mix, accompanying hay, honeysuckle with an herbal touch, and dried fresh grass as the profile embraces its heartier tones without ever overwhelming.

Mouthfeel brings a lighter body with ample carbonation spread nicely across the palate; faintly creamy at times; very refreshing and mostly clean, save for a slight but dense and gritty herbal bitterness appearing on the mid-palate and fading with the finish that can become excessive at times.

Really enjoyable take on a German pilsner that bursts from the glass and embraces its varied character nicely; some definite weight to the profile here, but that doesn’t make it any less drinkable.

Mar 20, 2019
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digboy from New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear light gold color with a one finger dense bright white head.

Aroma is lightly toasted grain, a little sweet. Very pleasant.

Taste is so very clean with a lightly sweet malt with a toasted edge to it permeating the flavor profile from start to finish.

Feel is crisp and light, not sticky, moderately effervescent.

I am not a pilsner guy but was so impressed with this when I went up to HF a few months ago. There is zero offensiveness to this beer. Even a grizzled IPA guy like me can appreciate a great beer here. The flavors are intricate and pleasing. This is a superb job all around.

Feb 03, 2019
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. can served in my Spigelau pilsner glass. Perfect pour - a lovely sunny gold with a fluffy, two inch, bright white head. Copious tiny bubbles are present effervescing in-solution and adhering to the walls of the glass. As the head recedes, delicate lacework forms and frames the shoulders. Nose is clean - light floral/grassy notes. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of a hint of cereal grain towards the back and a kiss of medicinal bitterness. Mouthfeel is light in body with a lively carbonation. Overall, believe the hype - one of the most memorable German Pilsners I've had since my trip to Germany.

Nov 16, 2018
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superspak from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a BIF from TheDoctor. 12 ounce can into lager glass, canned on 8/6/2018. Pours lightly hazy pale golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big lemon, orange, citrus peel/zest, peppercorn, pine, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of pale malt and citrus/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, orange, citrus peel/zest, peppercorn, pine, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine, citrus peel/rind, herbal, floral, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of lemon, orange, citrus peel/rind, peppercorn, pine, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of pale malt and citrus/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and no lingering hop astringency after the finish. Moderately crisp/clean finishing. Perfectly clean on lager flavors, with zero yeast notes presence. Moderate increasing dryness from bitterness and carbonation. Medium-plus carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky, and lightly resinous/rindy balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 4.6%. Overall this is an outstanding German pilsner! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of pale malt and citrus/earthy hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, clean, and refreshing to drink with the moderately bitter/resinous/drying finish. Very flavorful and not watery for the ABV. Felt just a tad too aggressively bitter/hoppy I thought, but still ending nicely crisp/clean as it should be. Perfectly balanced clean pils malts and citrusy/earthy noble hop complexity. A highly enjoyable offering, and outstanding style example as expected.

Oct 13, 2018
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Can
Canned: Aug-6-2018

Pours a very pale straw, mostly clear
with a persistent white head. Very good retention; big globs of lacing. (4.25)

Light cereal aroma with some lemon zest and grass very faint almost minty hop to balance it out. (4)

Simple, clean and dry. Whit bread crust and lemongrass with a mineraly and lightly herbal finish. (4.25)

Light body with active carbonation and a clean finish that has just enough residual flavor to make you want another sip. (4.25)

This is a very nice Pilsner that manages to do what truly excellent lagers do. That is, it is able to be crazily simple and drinkable yet very complex with many different subtle flavors. It is not a wow-you beer right off the bat, but in sitting and taking the time to drink it I realized just how lovely and balanced and restrained it was and I honestly feel like there was perpetually lingering malt/hop flavor in my mouth between sips. At a glance, it is a solid representation of the style; taken as a sum of its parts I bumped the overall up .25 as it is just right and able to be big and small at once. I'm very glad I have others that I can drink without thinking about it. (4.25)

Sep 16, 2018
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brewme from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single can given to me by fellow Pats tailgater. Have heard of, but never tried a Hill Farmstead brew before, so excited to try this. Not my usual style, but this was a tasty brew.

Sep 10, 2018
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear with a pale straw color. Moderate head with a few streaks of lace.

Crisp, clean aroma of very pale malt and grainy unmalted barley. I get a little bit of corn to the nose.

The taste mimics the smell except with a better hop presence. Again, I pick up some graininess to the predominantly pale malt flavor up front. The hop is appropriately moderate in the level of bitterness.

Sep 08, 2018
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csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can Hill Farmstead do anyyhing wrong? Why not try a traditional lager... Really high quality and stands up to anything I have had from Germany and surpasses every NA attempt.

Aug 28, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

it should come as no surprise that another hill farmstead beer is amazing, but the degree to which this is incredible is really high, like, even head turning, which is odd from a brewery who doesnt miss, but that a basic german pils like this can be so profound is pretty special i think. they must either have a small pilot system where they can perfect a beer like this through constant tweaks and test batches, or they have a near superpower gift to just get it this right the first time, impressive either way. the beer is a raw pils type, a keller type, not as filtered and clear looking as many of the imports, but with a ton of yeast and hop character to it in the nose and flavor, enough to be distinct even while being fully traditional still. there is a wonderful softness and minerality to this, clean but round and interesting, like the water its made with has a flavor, i love it. the pils malt is european but really fresh, the hops are grassy and spicy and noble, also fresher than they ever are in the imports, and the fermentation seems absurdly patient and professional, just a light bready lager yeast complexion, and then rushing carbonation to make it refreshing and crushable. this is elite level pilsener, as good as it gets for me, raw yet refined, amazingly well done, and frankly as good as anything i have ever had from thee guys! near perfect beer.

Aug 09, 2018
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.54/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jhavs for this one. 12oz can poured into shaker pint. Poured a lightly hazy bright yellow color with about an inch of white head that had decent retention and lacing.

The aroma had nice grain and floral hops.

Very similar on the tongue, with a touch of bitterness on the back end.

The body was smooth and even, with a crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability was very good, i could see knocking off a couple these at a sitting. Overall, a very nice example of the style. Worth your time if you have the chance.

May 01, 2018
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Vidblain from Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've had a bone to pick with pilsners for a few years now, particularly given the prevailing trend to hop them to death and back - thankfully, Hill Farmstead received my psychic plea and did NOT do the same with Mary. It's light, fresh, crisp, and quite refreshing. There is a hop presence, but it's not overwhelming, and it does not bother me like it does in Founders Pils or other similar beers.

Eminently crushable. Excellent lawnmower beer.

Apr 23, 2018
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

very crisp and clean, grainy malts, slightly spicy/herbal and some nice grassy hops. some biscuity and slightly sweet almost honey malts. light bodied and solid carbonation, goes down very easy. would love to have a bunch of this in the fridge for any hot summer day!

Apr 03, 2018
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Disclaimer: fanboy coming through, and to make things worse I try to rate by style. This being said - Mary is a damn tasty beer and a hell of a Pilsener. 64 oz. growler filled on Saturday, enjoyed on Wednesday.

Golden pour with a big 'ole frothy head that lasts for the entire glass. Creamy bitterness personified. Sparkling clarity in the body.

Aroma is bready, doughy and floral: toasted white bread, cracker, spicy and floral hops. Pronounced and aromatic; clean and well-defined. Toasted malt is front and center, herbal grassiness on the backend.

Taste is doughy cracker, toasted bread, slightly sweet biscuit, grassy and spicy hops with a kiss of lemon.

Clean, like a puppy after a bath. Crisp like an arctic wolf pup after an ice bath. Drinkable as all hell. Outstanding beer.

Nov 02, 2017
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a clear golden color pilsner with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of clean cereal notes with light dry hoppy notes. Taste is a nice easy drinking mix of clean cereal notes with some light leafy hops notes with well-balanced level of residual sugar notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. I loved the clean cereal notes and the well-balanced level of residual sugar.

Oct 23, 2017
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jhartley from Florida

3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a JK Snorkel snifter.

Appearance: Golden sunshine colored body with some sediment in suspension. Tiny islands of lacing left on the glass like frozen crests of waves.

Aroma: Cracker malts and small hints of lemon.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Lemony and with some grains with a light mouthfeel.

Overall: A really lovely tasting beer and definitely not one of my favorite styles, but a great beer nonetheless. Would I drink more? Oh, Hell yes! Should you? Oh Hell yes!

Oct 23, 2017
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Greywulfken from New York

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pale gold body with a faint haze and tiny streaming bubbles under a coupla fingers of white head... Head persists as a slim cap and dropped some lace down the glass... Chewy grains and doughy crackers meet floral citrus and herbal grasses - a nice, almost rustic brew... Light but hearty, a little bit of yeasty musk, mild bitterness... Not a style I'm anywhere near expert with, but I suspect is a little bit off-point for the style; however, just as a beer, I really dug it...

Oct 07, 2017
Mary from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 629 ratings