Saranac Wild Hop Pils | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

64 Reviews
Saranac Wild Hop PilsSaranac Wild Hop Pils

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by ale207 on 05-02-2013

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 307
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 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 JednoPivoProsim
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. BB OCT 31, 2014.

Appearance: Pours a golden pilsener body with a relatively thin white head. Crisp and clear, decent carbonation.

Smell: Bright citrusy tropical hop aroma with a touch of pale pilsner malt. Very nice!

Taste: Nice crisp pilsner taste. The wild Belma hops are light and fruity flavored, yet still provide a nice crisp bite. Great taste!

Mouthfeel: Appropriately full bodied yet not too heavy. Nice carbonation.

Overall: A great little pilsner. Great appearance, aroma, taste and at a great price too, especially for this "experimental" beer. It has been a long time since I have had anything from Saranac, but I used to love the lagers they put out. I will seek out more!

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Photo of utopiajane
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a true gold with pristine clarity. A flourish of bubbles that settles to a steady wafting of pilsner bubbles to the top. Lush and beautiful head of off white foam. This beer is a beauty in the glass. The nose is lovely clean lightly sweet grain. It has a mysterious lightly fruity scent. It's some kind of berries. Maybe blackberry. For a beer tht has the hops in the name you would think it would be very hop forward but no. This is all authentic pils style scents except for that exciting bit of exotic fruit. Little bit of grass in the background. Drinks like a dream. A nice lightly grainy malt that's dry and crisp. Perfect carbonation and that fruit! So subtle so tantalizing. This beer is crisp clean and refreshing and finishes with a bit of herbal grass and just a mild little hint of hop bitter.

Love it! I could not wait to buy this beer again this year.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden pale fizzy beer with big fluffy white head fine speckled lacing evenly dispersed down the sides of my glass. Aroma light Belma hops grassy citrus biscuit malt simple combo but very tasty. Flavor well made beer using a new hop variety found growing wild in the Yakima Valley. Unique bite of citrus and ample bitterness light biscuit malt sweetness crisp refreshing drinking beer. Mouthfeel is even keeled on the palate finishes crisp and dry light bodied ample carbonation keeps each sip rolling. Overall a tasty summer beer I hope to see it available in six packs.

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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 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 fx20736
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought as part of a mixed 12 pack from Beers of the World on 5/23/14. Poured into aa Pilsener glass at fridge temp.

appearance: rich gold with an ivory white head, nice lacing.

smell: a tad sweet for a pils but a nice balance of spicy noble hops atop bready malt.

taste: pale malt, spicy hops, soild representative of the style.

mouthfeel: good.

overall: great beer for the price, a keeper.

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Photo of stella77artois
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass. Part of Saranac's Beers of Summer Sampler.

A - Pours a golden yellow, with a good sized head which stuck around for a while. Small amount of residuals left behind. Lot'd of carbonation rising, noticeable for entire duration of consumption.

S - A small amount of quality hops. Not overpowering, but quite noticeable. Small amount of malt, and a touch of grass.

T - It's a pretty good beer. I like lagers and pilseners, and am always looking to try quality new ones. This fit that bill. Has the crisp and drinkable qualities of a lager, with the hop taste of an ale. Could also taste some malt behind the hops. Hops especially noticed in the aftertaste. Not overpowering in the hops, but good and noticeable.

F - Certainly a sessionable beer. Crisp and resfreshing, doesn't leave any dryness. Could easily have several of these on the golf course or any beer session.

O - This is a pretty good beer. Saranac is a decent brewery which has it's good beers and it's so-so beers, and this is one of the better ones I've tried. A great summer beer that isn;t gimmicky. Extremely sessionable, yet still packs a lot of great flavor. I hope Saranac will someday distribute this in 6'ers or 12'ers, as I've never seen them before. Highly recommend this beer for any fans of quality, flavorful lagers and/or pilseners.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased as part of the Saranac summer pack.

Clear golden yellow, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Fairly hoppy aroma for a Saranac beer, this new hop smells pretty nice. Fairly grassy, with some citrus fruitiness.

The taste is similar. Nice crisp hop bite up front, some nice pine and grass, and ends with citrus fruitiness, and some light maltiness.

Light bodied, crisp, smooth mouthfeel, decently high carbonation. Very, very drinkable.

One of Saranac's best beers, this is a success.

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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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Photo of Carolvs
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pale yellow with layered lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell - Strong scent of fruit and hops.

Taste - Mild notes of citrus and hops.

Mouthfeel - Light and not lingering.

Overall - Fantastic, crisp, summer refresher. In my opinion way underrated in this forum.

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Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a bit hazy but clears up for the most part, and a dark yellow-gold in color. The head begins over a finger tall and shows more impressive strength and resilience than is typical from this lineup. Particularly impressive is the cluster of intricately webbed lacing for the first couple of inches.
Immediately, earthy, dusty and doughy notes roll out of the aroma with a grassiness. Most of that drops back to give way to a strong note of orange peel.
The orange peel is strong on the palate, and this beer has some pith to it. Earth is there along with some herb and a spiciness into the middle with a grassy finish. Biscuit and lots of dry, crisp malt are prevalent.
The body verges on light but is nice and crisp, giving up just a little cleanness for more smoothness underneath.

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Photo of streetcommander
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in pilsner glass at 50F

Very very good beer. Delicate and well balanced with very impressive depth, ranging from gold malt to light toast to red meat, finished with skunk hoppiness. Strange back of the throat bitterness on finish. Different but well paired to the body. Highly carbonated, which I like.

Same hop profile that I believe Sam Adams reintroduced to the world with their Noble Pils a few years back. Roasted skunk hops, is what I refer to it as.

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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 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 Jason
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz can.

Clear golden hue, great lacing all around. Fresh cut grass, mild citrus, and wild flowers flaunt a hoppy nose. Deep crispness within a lighter bodied brew. Solid backbone of bready malt, on the dry side. Clean with a hint of alcohol, long lingering floral note and graininess.

Extremely well balanced with a pretty unique hoppiness though not too far off the deep end, simply just subtle which is all that is really needed in a highly drinkable pils.

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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 micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich golden color wit a thin small head gracing the top. A thick foamy collar is always present. Soft carbonation bubbles stream to the top.
Smells inviting with a sharp and tangy aroma Hops have a subtle bottle lemon juice scent.
The taste is refreshing and good but I didn't pick up much of the wild hop taste or hops in general.
Finishes dry and sharp or tangy.
A good beer with no faults other then needing more hops.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

brewed with the newly discovered belma hops, I like this pilsener that has a lot more hop flavor than most of these do. its got an enticing pale yellow color, but the head falls down a bit, struggles to maintain itself. the nose is hoppy for the style, lots of darker fruits amongst the mold bitterness, and very unique complexion. the pilsener malts appear german to me, light and dusty, with that cornbread sort of sweetness, but much more delicate. the flavor is just like the nose, with the hops actually taking a bit of a back seat to the grains, although the hops are very interesting and new to my palate. I get an almost blackberry flavor in the finish, u really like this in the summer mix. ultra light in body, and impressively clean in the finish, but still bringing a lot of flavor. this is really nice in the summer, a beer I will happily return to when it is around. maybe the surprise of this years beers of summer.

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Photo of Kendo
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Based on the code, I believe this one was canned in early March. Consumed on April 27, 2014.

A: Poured from the can (part of the "Can-Do" mixed 12-pack) into a pilsner glass. Body is clear golden with a 2-finger foamy white head. Some foamy lace on the glass.

S: Modest cereal grain and straw with a touch of fruity hops.

T: Not a lot going on, hop-wise, for a beer that includes the word "hop" in its name. OTOH, the can does indicate that it's just 28 IBUs, and given the style, that shouldn't bee too surprising. Modest grainy foundation is followed by a touch of citrusy fruit. Bitterness does show up, albeit really only in the lingering aftertaste, and there it's a bit minerally. Tastes like a Saranac beer; I find there's a commonality to all their beers, and it's here, even though this is a lager and not an ale (presumably they're using different yeast strains). Would like to drink this side-by-side with their ADK Lager just to see the similarities/differences, because by memory, I think this is pretty similar to that offering.. ..

M: Good creaminess to the feel. Body is light in heft, but not weak or thin.

O: Solid - more as a generic "lager" than as a pilsner, however. Would be a decent summer quaffer, especially given the cans and the modest (5.2%) ABV.

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Photo of scotorum
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"BB 1/31/14." BB in this case has to do with bottling date? Since I bought this in a twelvepack last week and some of the six beers in it have only recently been posted on BA.

a: Clear dark gold with a finger thick white head which receded to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Nada

t: Medium light malt base with a little hop bitterness for balance (26 IBUs). Dry finish.

m: Moderate, exceptional body.

o: Whether a more traditional pilsner or a good lager, a fine summer refresher with more substance to it than most pilsners and some lagers today. Given the name, however, hopheads will be disappointed unless they see the IBUs ahead of time on the bottle neck.

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Photo of plaid75
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a light brass hue with a one finger foamy head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured herbal hops and a light pale grain.

The taste consisted of a vibrant herbal hop with some grassy notes atop a crisp planer malt. Slight residual sweetness detected.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty easy drinking pils. Enjoyable.

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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 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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Saranac Wild Hop Pils from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 307 ratings.
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