Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Mary | Hill Farmstead Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
60 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by yourefragile on 01-13-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 474
Photo of JimsArcade
2.74/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

On tap poured into a goblet. Straw color but with no head after the pour. Crisp aroma as expected but there is a fruity aroma in there I wasn't expecting. As I drink, I can taste that off-aroma in the beer as well . It doesn't taste as crisp as a German pilsner should. It's just an average pilsner at best.

HF makes some of the best ales I've ever had, but this is my first lager from them and it is definitely a let-down. It feels like they need to refine their lagering to prevent the occurance of these off-flavors and aromas that should not be in a beer like this.

 570 characters

Photo of nerdboy19
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Look : Cloudy golden-yellow color with white foamy head - 4/5
Smell : Noble hop's herbal, grass like aroma. Little bit of citrus and cracker like malty sweetness. - 3.5/5
Mouthfeel : Light bodied, high carbonation, perfect. - 5/5
Flavor : Malt, biscuits, buns, hops, little bitterness, well balanced. - 3.5/5
Overall : Very well made pilsener and I was impressed. Sad thing is that I don't really prefer pilsener to other styles like IPA / stouts / sour. - 3.5/5

 462 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Slight haze to it. Mostly clear yellow. Not much head on a vigorous pour. Thin collar after a bit.

Smell - Smells like a pilsner. Slightly hoppy. Earthy hop. Grainy pale malt.

Taste - Quite a bit hoppier. Earthy and a little grassy. Grainy malts. Follows the nose with much more intense hop flavor. Bitter throughout the back end.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Grainy finish. Intensely bitter, at least it seems to me. Pleasantly dry.

Overall - It's good for a pilsner. Something I could drink a lot of, but not earth shattering like other HF beers.

 607 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Monk’s cafe, Philly. Pours deep golden with fluffy, white head. Aroma is of biscuit malt, grain and some hops. Body is medium and crisp. Grassy hops, grain and pale malt nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long, bready. Very good Summer brew.

 264 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hill Farmstead Brewery "Mary"
on tap @ Falanigan's Boathouse, Conshohocken, PA on 26 February 2016

Appearance: Hazy yellow gold body beneath a short head of white that drops shortly but leaves some nice spots and streaks of lace as it goes. (Possible dirty bar glass?).

Aroma: Moderate aroma of soft grainy malt, mild apple-like fruitiness, and floral, grassy, and spicy hops.

Flavor: The hop character is fuller than the aroma indicates, but not as spicy... instead it's more raspy, grassy, and only mildly floral. The hops are moslty behind the malt in the aroma, but more on top of it in the flavor. A stiff bitterness balances it, and it finishes dry with lingering grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body with a gentle bristle on the tongue due to a median carbonation.

Overal: Pilsner, plain and simple. Not bad, but hardly exciting either. Kind of a cross between a German pilsner and a Czech Pils, but also quite "American" at the same time.

 961 characters

Photo of BranfordBound
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had at the Hill Farmstead brewery on Saturday, 9/26, poured into a wine glass. Pours a somewhat clearer gold color with hints of haze. Some nice pilsner malt on the nose, not really hoppy at all. Starts the flavor with a nice doughy sweetness, some grassy notes in the middle, finishes bitter and dry with some graininess. Feels very light and has a lot of carbonation, easy to drink. Overall not too impressed with this considering the other options here, but a solid American Pilsner nonetheless.

 498 characters

Photo of thebeers
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy pale yellow with a finger of white head. Lightly fruity aroma, that carries over to the taste. Just a touch of floral hops up front and bittering hops in the aftertaste. Almost like a Berliner Weisse without the tart or sour. Light bodied. Tasty, but fruitier and less crisp than I expect from the style.

 313 characters

Photo of kculrich
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler filled 09/03/15 into a cool pilsner glass. Mostly clear, straw colored, a foamy white head that abides, lots of sticky lace. S: yeasty, floral and dank. T: Follows the nose, with bitter herbs and sweet bread dough. F: Moderate carbonation, some mineral tang, heavier than expected from a pils, not in a bad way, just in a I-guess-I-won't-be drinking-more-than-maybe-four-of-these sort of way. O: A competent pils, not their finest offering but definitely tasty.

 476 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lark, pours crystal clear gold color with a 1 finger bright white head that faded average time and left basically zero lacing.

We've got ourselves a hoppy pilsner here with the nice mix of toasted grains, graham cracker, light caramel, zesty citrus hops, peppery spices, sweet fruit like rotting pear or green apple, grapes, champagne and a mix of fruit. Enough malt backbone to balance the hops and make it easy drinking. Nose was basic but had more fruit and hoppy aspects than usual, but still smelled as I expected it to. Nice session beer, but perhaps a bit over-hyped since it's from Hill Farmstead.

 620 characters

Photo of drtth
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh, on tap.

Served in a shaker pint, the beer is a nice bright yellow color with a 1/4" layer of white head.

The aroma is light and herbal with malt in the background.

The flavor has some nice malt but the hops pop in to dominate the show early on. So there's a bit of grassy lemony character starting early and going on for most of the light, dry finish.

The mouth feel is light side of medium and crisp with the persistent carbonation.

Overall I liked this beer but really thought it isn't any better than some of the locally produced Pils beers.

 564 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blackback.

Poured into a black logo HF stem glass, a pale, golden-yellow color with a huge puff of white head, which retained nicely and coated the glass with thick lacing. In the nose, grains, sugar, earth, farmland, light citrus. The taste largely reflected the aroma, toasted cereal grains, with a sugary pale malt sweetness, mid-palate bringing in lots of grass, earthiness, and light citrus and stone fruit. Pretty complex for a pils. Light-medium body, crisp and lightly bitter. I'm not a big pilsner fan, but this one was definitely one of the best I've had.

 576 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the brewery, the beer is a hazy, bright, corn yellow coloring with a fluffy, clingy, white head. Nose of lemon, cilantro, grass, evergreen, and subtle, bitter hops. Flavors are very bitter green grass and hops forward, with a cracker and toasted grain backbone. Extremely crisp and refreshing, the aftertaste is roasted and green. Crisp, clean finish. Very crisp, refreshing beer.

 397 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fresh out of the keg and into my growler only a few hours ago.

Pours a nice fluffy bubbly 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, nice lacing, a hazy but semi clear straw lemonade yellow color.

Nose has that nice cereal grain, straw malt, little hay, cracked wheat, quite toasty pilsner malt aroma, with light hints of a lemony aroma, grassy lemony slightly earthy hops in there as well.

Taste again brings those cereal grains, toasty pilsner malts, cracked wheat and straw as well, quite toasty and grainy, light fresh dough. Then hops cut in quickly, slight spicy and earthy, bit bitterness esp for a soft pilsner, lemony slightly citrus hops, and a little grassy and floral. Lager yeast brings a soft slight crispness, and juiciness in the middle. Finish is quite bitter as it gets fairly dry and crisp, long lingering hops that get quite spicy, perhaps a hint astringent as they destroy what was a soft crisp pilsner finish, lemony flavors linger, little grainy malt too.

Mouth is med lighter bodied, nice carb.

Overall not bad, I like the pilsner profile itself, nice straw grainy malts, little soft crisp lager profile. However, the hops seem to get a little overboard, more like American hops, maybe even Chinook like spicy level, or it seems that way as they seem to run away with the beer and leave the soft pilsner in the dust.

 1,342 characters

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not a pilsner fan, but no surprise that Hill Farmstead made one of the best pilsners, actually one of the best lagers, I have ever had. Super crisp and clean.

 158 characters

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A beer that is true to style and executed quite well.

The only unpleasant part about this beer experience was associated with a slightly skunky nose.

 151 characters

Photo of fitzy84
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Whetstone Station Restaurant in Brattleboro. The beer had a clear yellow appearance with visible carbonation and a huge head that dissipated a little bit over time. Aromas were more moderate than I expected, but still offered some floral, slightly metallic, hops that were quite appetizing. The beer's taste was sweet, refreshingly watery, and full of bready hops. Good carbonation and medium body to this beer. Overall, I enjoyed the appearance and taste-mouthfeel the most with this beer.

 501 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear light golden amber, with a half inch head, and a smaller level of lacing.

This one smells very clean, with light pilsner malt and some grassy hops.

It's not surprising that Hill Farmstead would nail a pilsner here. It's got some nice subtle flavors, a crisp grassy floral hoppiness, and some nice supporting malt, lil doughy, mostly crackery. It goes down quite easy- very suffig, as the Germans would say.

This is crisp and refreshing tasting, with a light, slightly thin body, and a moderate level of carbonation.

 585 characters

Photo of CNoj012
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very light shade of gold with a small white head and good carbonation. The smell is grains, malts and light earthy floral hops. Taste is much the same, but honestly it is not doing it for me. Feel is light with good carbonation. Overall a good beer, and worth noting pilsners are not ky favorite style, but I've certainly had better.

 351 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap at Prohibition Pig into a Becker nonic glass.

Straw lemon body color, and slightly cloudy, even a little lime green. Wonderful creamy bright and bleach white head, with one finger presented. Really strong retention and staying power, good lacing as it finishes.

Bouquet is kind of closed. Slight clean mild herbality, but quite closed, not much malt aroma either.

First sip changes everything. Giant dough ball of bread in this mid palate classic chewy pils malt feel. Mild noble hop on aftertaste but lingers with oils. Slight herbs as well.

This stands up with many of the other great German pilsners I've had. If anything ironically it is a little too hop toned down on aroma and somewhat on taste how iroinic is that? Honestly don't change a thing.

 774 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler. Pour is a clear pale yellow with a tight white head and foamy lacing left behind. Nose is light grain note, a bit of peppery yeast and notes of lemon and grassy herbal hops. Taste has more grain bill, less peppery but still a hint of it. Hop presence is stronger, grassy and herbal with a moderate amount of sweetness and lemon but well attenuated. Medium to light body, slightly syrupy with a decent bit of carbonation and a very dry finish.

 458 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a growler after a beerventure with JLindros.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice barely hazy very light straw/lemon hue with a good two finger head that fades to leave nice spotty lacing and good clouding.

S - Mmmm...pilsner. Faint hay and cereal aromas with some nice toasty notes as well. Some faint grassy/earthy hop notes as well towards the finish.

T - Torn with this one. The cereal grains are there, along with toasty malts, some faint straw. There is some floral, grassy hops in the middle. The finish though is a bit on the spicy side and, as JLindros said, really kills that soft pilsner finish.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated with good crisp finish. Super drinkable.

O - Overall this was a good beer. That being said, I think the hops were too aggressive with this beer. A shame, hopefully he perfects this.

 842 characters

Photo of thebigredone
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An interesting take on a German Pilsener by Hill Farmstead.

Pours pale gold and a touch cloudy with a nice white head.

The smell is interesting, pale malts and sweetness dominate the nose.

Taste is unique - light citrus fruity hops, barely-there breadiness, with a touch of yeast. Delicious, but not the classic flavor profile for a Pilsener, until I looked up the other review I though maybe the growler was mislabeled.

Mouthfeel is good, light and very drinkable.

As always, Hill Farmstead does a masterful job of making light, delicate flavors work well in harmony together. However, my initial (and overall) impression is this is a very light APA rather than a German Pilsener, and I rated it as such.

 710 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at The Reservoir and full notes taken on May 23, 2015. Mary has flown under my radar in the past and intrigued me more than many other HF brews.

A- Uber pale golden body, seems just like base Pils grain, with a fluffy one finger cap. Fair head retention and a large ring drops big rings and sheets of lace.

S- Simple yet effective nose of spicy, herbal hops with Pils pale grains giving a cereal, bready and light sweetness underneath.

T- Opens up for me here as the nose was just a bit faint. Hops are strong, Id say medium-high for the style with spiciness, herbs, grass and a berry hint. Yeast bread and grainy, cereal pale Pils malts.

MF- Light bodied with a silky and fairly frothy consistency. Crisp and high end carbonation that is buffers by that texture. Just a tad bitter.

Germany outta Greensboro. Feels very authentic for an American made Pilsenser and definitely a good representation of a style that seems to trouble many.

 948 characters

Photo of Mesa512
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Nice and clear as is expected with any Pilsner. Pours a head that lingers for a good minute. Head is about 1 finger and is a nice creamy and fluffy white appearance
A: Pilsner malt bomb, little citrus, and little sweet aroma
T: Typical pilsner. Light and refreshing. Perfect for a summer day. Get a little cereal, bread notes
M: Very light. I wish there was a little more body to the beer. But still very drinkable

Overal: Great beer, very refreshing for hot summer day. Grab a growler while you still can.

 510 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 6/6/15, growler filled about 9 hours ago

A: Mostly clear, which is quite unusual for a fresh Hill Farmstead beer - pours with a medium sized, white head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves streaks and blobs of frothy lacing

S: It's a Pilsner, for sure - German Pils hops, grassy, leafy, lightly spicy - lager yeast - soft, pale malts - some light sweetness and hints of honey - clean overall

T: True to the style, with some obvious Hill Farmstead influence - lightly sweet, pale malts, with some light bread and hints of crackers - honey-like sweetness - German lager yeast, and German Pilsner hops - grassy, leafy hops - lightly earthy - lightly spicy with some pepper - finishes very clean

M: On the light side of medium, very smooth, clean, dry, spicy finish

O: From the German part of Vermont

This is very true to the style, with the magnificent cleanliness found in all Hill Farmstead beers. Even if you claim to not like Pilsners, drink this anyway.

 964 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mary from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.17 out of 5 based on 474 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!