Hillas | Macedonian Thrace Brewery

23 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Macedonian Thrace Brewery

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rowew on 05-05-2005

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 58
Photo of barnzy78
3.19/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle, served at Greek Islands restaurant in Lombard, IL. I have never seen this beer anywhere at all.
A - pale golden body with nice clarity and a soft white head
S - pale malt, grassy hops, typical pale lager aroma
T - mild flavors of cereal grain, spicy and grassy hops, yeast, quite sweet overall flavor
M - lighter body, moderate carbonation, finishes clean and a bit dry
O - pretty typical [Euro] pale lager. About as exected and average for the style.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.16/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a fairly clear golden color. The head is pretty frothy. Nice carbonation. Nose is somewhat skunky. Somewhat foul smelling. The taste is a whole lot better than the nose. It has a crisp feel to it. Slight sweet flavor.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sampled about 3 weeks ago. Bought a single bottle to try. 330ml (11.2 ounce) bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "MYTHOS" pilsner glass.

Pours a straw-yellow in color with a fizzy head. Some lacing was seen when sipped. Aroma is of grassy grains for the most part. Tasty pretty much follows the nose. Lighter side of medium-bodied with good carbonation. Overall, it was drinkable though nothing super exciting.

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Photo of stevoj
2.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Slightly better than average pale lager to accompany Greek food. Mostly cereal presence in the aroma and taste, pale golden in color with thin white head.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.82/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I think I'm the only one in my vicinity that's not having this at a nearby Greek restaurant. Regardless, this stuff pours a clear straw topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises toasted cereal grains and light moss and tobacco notes. The taste sweetens the grains, dumps the greens (thankfully), and drops in a bit of hard water. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a very fluid feel. Overall, this is a thoroughly underwhelming little beer, one that refuses to even try to distinguish itself from the usual "Euro pale lager" fare.

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Photo of matjack85
3.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I ordered this beer with my dinner at the Greek Village Restaurant in Schaumburg, IL. It was the only beer on their list I hadn't tried before. 300ml brown bottle served in an undersized Miller Light glass. No freshness date.

The beer poured a clear pale yellow color with a 1-finger white head and hundreds of tiny carbonation bubbles racing to the top. Retention was less than a minute and there were only a few spots of lacing left on the glass. (I wonder if this was due to restaurant dishwater soap residue on the glass as most reviewers said their head retention was good with lots of lacing.)

Typical Euro pale lager smell. Some grain, some grass, and a pleasant noble hop aroma.

Better taste than most Euro lagers. Has a pilsner malt flavor balanced with mild noble hop bitterness. Borders on sweet, but the sweetness is subtle rather than overbearing.

Clean and light with moderate carbonation.

A nice easy drinker with no offensive tastes or odors. Very sessionable, but not at $5.50 per glass restaurant prices.

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Photo of Treebs
2.67/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle served into a mini-pint. Had at a Greek restaurant in down town Chicago.

A: Pours a clear yellow color with a pure white head forming on the pour. The head has great retention and sticks around for quite sometime. It recedes slowly leaving behind some sopay lace.

S: Mineral water, some grain and noble hops.

T: Same with some pale malt, cereal grain and surprisingly fresh noble hop character.

M: Highly drinkable with a light body. Medium carbonation.

O: Decent enough Euro pale lager, but still not that great.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1038th Review on BA
Bottle to Pilsner
11.2 oz

This was a white elephant from my boss at Xmas. Part of a Cost Plus World Market Beers of the World

App- More of a lighter yellow with a bit of gold in the glass. A semi puffy 1 finger head with some good retention and lace where there.

Smell- A nice mix of a little bitter with some sweeter malts. It was an interestinga aromatic as the lager yeast was well hidden this benefited from that.

Taste- Again, the lager yeast was hidden to me and didnt have that usual skunky flavor but was a bit sweet with a nice little tinge of bitter and a bit of wheat for some reason. A little pepper I found complimentary in the flavor layers.

Mouth- A bit light bodied and medium carbed. Very clean and crisp. Needed a bit more body for me.

Taste- Better than average but not by much. One of the few Greek beers I have seen besides Mythos. Cheers to new countries importing some pretty good beer.

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Photo of Duff27
3.83/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Inch white head on a 3 SRM colored body. Above average head retention and some lainh.

Grassy smelling, grainy.

Pretty clean tasting. Crisp. Not overly sweet and some faint hop bitterness.

Lower carbonation for the style. Medium mouthfeel.

Not a bad beer from Greece! Would take one of these over a BMC product if given choice.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat pale straw color. Very clear, with a bit of visible carbonation. Nice white head is fairly thick, and has moderate retention, turning to a bit of a film and leaving some lacing.

Smell: Aroma of grains and some grasses, with a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Grains, grasses, and some honey. Just a bit of spice from hops towards the finish. A bit one-dimensional. A somewhat bitter aftertaste builds up after a while.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth - a bit creamy even - with just a bit of graininess. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy to drink and generally pleasant.

A decent Euro lager - nothing special, but quite better than many alternatives

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Photo of cudmud
2.14/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Very clear yellow color. Thick white head of two fingers of foam. No lace; perhaps there is soap residue due to the restaurant dishwashing. Steady stream of bubbles.

Smell: Very Metallic with a slight hint of hops.

Taste: Again, metallic. It tastes of testing a 9 volt battery with your tongue. A slight hint of hops in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin

Drinkability: Avoid.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.51/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, great label,

A: Pours gold with a firm white head, good retention, some lace.

S: Sweet pils style malt, Helles like.

T: Sweet malt again, very bready. Good noble hop flavour, grassy.

M: Light-bodied, smooth and crisp, a clean brew.

D: A good EPL that probably benefits from the brown glass on import. Definitely one of the better brews I've had in this style.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.13/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint.

One finger white head. Dies down to a cap of foam on top. Pale straw/golden color. Very clear in color with bubbles rushing to the top. Some decent lacing, and the retention is quite good.

Smells of fruity lager yeast and some grainy malts. Pretty clean and straight forward lager fragrance.

Grainy malts, strawberry fruity esters, and a slight hop bitterness.

Well carbonated, low end of medium bodied, a clean refreshing bite on the end.

All around a solid lager. Hats off to the Greeks for this one. I wasn't really sure what to expect going into this.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a coupla these at the Pegasus restaurant in the Greektown neighborhood in Chicago. Nice place. I asked for their best Greek beer (when in Rome... right?) and this is what I was served.

A - Pale yellow, standard lager color. A crisp white cap dissolves quickly, and little lace is left on the 6 or 8 oz glass that I was given. Have you guys ever noticed that almost all "ethnic" restaurants, whether they are Indian, Asian, Greek, etc. all give you a glass with your beer that is smaller in volume than the bottle of beer you ordered? American, British, German, Belgian, and Irish-style pubs all give you a massive glass to hold your big beer, but it seems like any restaurant with origins in Asia or the Mediterranean want you to pour your 12 oz beer in two servings. What gives? (sorry for the rant)

S - Gentle grain and a wisp of honey that sets it apart from most "basic" lagers.

T - On the sweet side for the style, but that helps it stand out a bit. Although it is pretty basic.

M - Crisp, light, refreshing. Pairs well with the Dolmades dish that I ordered, and with the Spanakopita that I finished for my wife.

D - A good, but very simple lager. Every country in a warm climate has its own iteration of a refreshing pale lager, and this is no different. A step above BMC for sure, but it isn't anything special.

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Photo of MillRat
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Been drinking this for about a year now at Costa's restaurant in Chicago's Greektown. I figure that says something, because it wasn't so spectacular or dreadful that I felt particularly inspired to review it, but here goes:

Pours a rich golden yellow with a pure white head that lingers with a few traces of lace. Aroma is mainly clean malt with a bit of grassy hops in the background. The flavor is true to the aroma, with a truly nice malt flavor that does not trespass into the sweet side of the spectrum, gently balanced by an unobtrusive hop bitterness.

Gentle carbonation keeps this beer refreshing and the palate clean, making this beer seem a little lighter than it really is. This is a true "lawnmower" beer, refreshing, sessionable, interesting enough to make a keep your attention after the first 3 or 4, but not so complex that you run over the roses with the brush hog in a moment of fermented ecstasy.

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Photo of semihobo
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on paper 12/14/08. Ordered at Santorini, in Chicago's Greektown.

"Code Date 06 06 09" so still fresh, 11.2 oz bottle, 5.0% ABV.

Good snow white head, leaves puddle of lace. Darker gold color.

Mild clean nose with bananas.

Sweet, clean, more banana. Moderate hop bittering toward the finish, equally grassy and minty. A bit of cereal grain.

Farly gentle carbonation, light feel, more so than typical for the style but it's effective.

Good example of the style, sweeter than usual but clean and not cloying. Could use more hops but otherwise a lovely surprise.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.39/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale banana peel gold, very little bubbles, andonly a thin ring of foam around the edge of glass. The aroma is a little light fruitiness. A little minerally. The taste is an astringent, bitter malt and mild hop mix. The flavor doesn't last very long. The palate is cleansing, and light. Pretty easy drinking.

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Photo of Kiwano
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

(first review so still working on all the terminology etc.)

Presentation: Had from a bottle at a Greek Restaurant

Appearance: Pours a light pale golden color. Not much of a head

Smell: Clean.

Taste: Pretty innocuous. Has a little bit of taste in the beginning but doesn't last very long. Not much bitterness and a little bit of hops.

Overall impression: A little disappointed. I thought it would have more flavor. It doesn't override any of the flavors of the greek food but doesn't exactly compliment them either.

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Photo of bditty187
2.73/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sickly, pale yellow/gold in hue; gross… fizzy white head, at the apex the there was almost two fingers of foam. Head retention was fair, the bubbles slowly faded to a soapy cap, half finger tall. Small, soapy cap lasted the entire consumption. There was minimal, spotty lacing. Average appearance.

The nose is clean with hints of grain, earth, hay and dust (?). Odd. Macro lager-like but without the adjuncts? The label claims “water, malt, hop, yeast.” Apparently there was very little malt or “hop” used. Hell, maybe they used only one hop. No false advertising here based on what I smell. The nose is way to faint and clean for me to say anything positive.

Amazingly bland palate, clean, weakly malty with no trace of hops. Not watery but not flavorful either. I am baffled with Hillas. It is so bland; lifeless. I tried it once before and it reminded me of Old Style but now it is even more flavorless then I remembered. Mass-produced boredom.

About medium in body, moderate-low carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well-enough.

In some ways the flavor and drinkability could be rated high. If neutrality and chugability are your thing then Hillas will rock your world. If you like flavor and depth, you’ll hate this beer. Props to Hillas – no green bottle. I never seen this beer until it arrived at Beertopia. Curiosity sparked me to try it – twice. No more, I swear. If it was cheaper, maybe. If I want a beer like this I’ll drink PBR.

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Photo of scarletfire79
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow. can't believe i haven't tried this sooner. this would have been oh so welcome in my fridge on those hot summer days we just got through. oh well. super refreshing all around drinkable brew. no offensive odors, not really much of a smell at all. just a general sweet hop smell. taste is super smooth and borders on the sweet side. goes down real real nice and leaves a pleasant grassy aftertaste. refreshing, perfect i'd imagine for any warm day. i could definitly see myself picking this up more often.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.73/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a four finger bubbly white head that fades to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Light clear amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Piney, grassy nose. Starts nearly balanced just on the hoppy side not finding any sweetness, simple lager, slight soapy aftertaste. $1.65 for a 330ml bottle from John's Market Tigard, Or. Best before July 7, 2006 and still okay.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I came across this one unexpectedly at the Greek festival in Santa Barbara this weekend. While I'm not a big lager fan, I did enjoy this one.

A - Pale straw body. A little cloudy. Pretty sizeable head!
S - Slightly sweet malty scent, but not too much here. If I missed anything in the scent department, it could be because there was a bunch of other scents from all the festival food clogging up my nose.
T - Pretty flavorful for a lager! Good malt and hops combo. The most assertive flavor I taste is a sort of sublte honey sweetness.
M - Light, but relative to the style there's a good deal of flavor rolling around my tongue.
D - The subtle flavor and smoothness makes this exceptionally drinkable.

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Photo of rowew
4.1/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.z fl oz bottle. Date code clearly stamped on the back (02/02/06). Ingredients listed on the back: Water, malt, hop, yeast.

Appearance: Pours a bright gold color with a perfect head. Head fades slowly, but leaves a nice layer on the top.

Smell: Aroma is very crisp and clean. Nice maltiness with some hops in there to make it fairly well rounded.

Taste: Simple and clean - malty without being sweet. Enough hops to nicely balance the malts, but thats all. The malt is definitely what comes through here. Nice dry finish.

Overall impression: New on the shelfs here in Huntington Beach - apparently this is imported and distributed by a company located right here. I was surprised to see this wasn't in the database yet - must be brand new over here. This was a very drinkable beer - all the clean, crisp qualities American macros claim to have and none of the adjunct tastes. Very refreshing beer - this would go great with any greek cuisine!

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Hillas from Macedonian Thrace Brewery
3.31 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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