Mary | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Average: 4.11 | pDev: 8.27%

Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 594

German Pilsner | 5.60% ABV

Wants   Gots 

Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Notes: Rotating availibility. 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.
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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 594
Photo of John_M
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

The beer pours a golden amber color with pretty decent heaf retention and lacing. On the nose, I 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.

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Photo of jrc1093
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of digboy
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
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)

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Photo of brewme
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of csmrx7
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.54/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of Vidblain
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of jhartley
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
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...

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Photo of WunderLlama
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Armsby Abbey

Pint glass, golden yellow, some carbonation, one finger white foam cap

Aroma of malt, grains

Taste is malt, grains, bit of as hop twist at the finish

Good beer

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Photo of M_chav
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vegetal-like. Getting some grounds, earthy qualities a little dust and soil. Love it, tastes like a bunch of imperfections and definitely infinite red but it adds some serious depth to a style that is overly filtered imo, love this beer. So soft and crushable yet full of flavor and a mild amount of hops to keep you guessing. Awesome

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Photo of mnj21655
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very pale straw yellow with a touch of haze and a finger of white head. Aroma is classic pils: toasted, crackery malt, light honey, a touch of sulfur, and a light flowery and herbal hop note. Taste hits the same notes as the aroma. Has more floral hops than the aroma and has a moderate bitterness in th finish. The focus of this beer is the pils malt and the mostly clean but lightly sulfurous lager yeast character. The aroma has a bit less hop character than a perfect pils but the taste is. Loser to what I'd expect. Medium-light body and medium+ carbonation. In my book this is a pretty great pilsner, it hits the classic notes that I look for in the style and is very drinkable.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 12oz can

It is a slightly foggy yellow gold. Large pillowy white head.

It smells like grains and floraly citrus with a touch of skunky Euro lager aroma.

It tastes like lemongrass, wheat grain, and flowery hops. Nice bite of bitterness in the end.

A touch heavy on body, and not real crisp, but the carbonation seems right.

It doesn't seem to be a textbook Pilsner in appearance or feel, but it smells and tastes like one. Very good beer.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can poured into shaker pint.

A: Small creamy head that settles to a film. Body is a slightly hazy yellow burnished gold.

S: soft honeyed flowers, a lot of doughy breads, some soft hops. Beautiful bready smells.

T: nice hoppy floral bitterness gives way to a solid bready doughy grainy taste that is easy to enjoy.

M: Decent carbonation but still a bready medium body with a lite finish.

O: This is a nice Pilsner lots more doughy malts than you'd see out of other pilsners. Very soft feel just pretty well done.

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Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz can into a Barrel Theory stemmed glass. beautiful sparkly golden pour with tons of white head. smells of lemon, light grass and even lighter hops. taste is similar. very clean and slight maltiness. beyond refreshing. mouthfeel is wonderful. not thick but not thin. not too bubbly. beyond easy drinking but does not sacrifice flavor whatsoever. i would reach for a can of this every day if i had the supply.

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Photo of Brad007
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml nearly exploded in my face. Purchased on 7/7/17. Pours a bright whitish gold hue with a thick frothy head into my glass. Sweet and fluffly upfront with a modest hop presence. Sweet, chewy 2 row malt with a decent touch of bitterness. Somewhat doughy in the finish. Clean. Crisp. Well worth the purchase. Check it out.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pilsener glass. The appearance was a semi-hazy medium burnt orange color with a thin white head that quickly dissipated. The smell started with some sweet grassy hops, light sweet bready malt, subtle lemon. The taste copied the smell and added in a nice light spice to blend nicely. Aftertaste copies the same flavor. Quick sweet finish. On the palate, this one was light bodied with a spectacular sessionability about it. Carbonation rides fairly light. Overall, I’d say this was a really nice German pilsener, I’d have this again.

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Mary from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 594 ratings