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 UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%

Best by 10/31/14.

Pours a clear gold with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and apple juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable, but the hop presence in this one is pretty subtle and doesn't remind me of a typical pilsner.

Serving type: bottle.

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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 metter98
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy and grassy hops are present in the nose along with notes of melons.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but I don't get any grassy hops—only flavors of oranges and melons. A slight amount of bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this to be a very nice offering from Saranac that goes down easily but is very tasty. The use of the Belma hops added pleasant citrusy aromas and flavors. These make it more like an IPA than a pilsner, so I would have labeled this as a "Wild Hop IPL".

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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 chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle Saranac Wild Hop Pils.

Pours clear, dark golden with a sudsy head that has decent retention. Somewhat low visible carbonation for style.

Aroma: fairly balanced mix of malts and wild hops.
Flavor: more hop dominated, as expected for style.

Feel: near medium body with lively carbonation.

O: an interesting beer worth trying for the rare Belman hops.

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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 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 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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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 smakawhat
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Libbey style pilsner glass.

Crystal clear, and deep brass bodied yellow to bronze body color off the pour. Lots of fine carbonation, and a head that is fluffy white, thin, with about three fingers tall, and settles at a simple pace going down. Decent looking for a pils.

Aroma is very buried. Faint hints of herbality, hints toward classic spice, but not much else going on. There's a bit of simple doughy pils like malt backbone, and the bready sweetness that comes with it. But for the most part pretty quiet, if ok.

Palate comes a bit slammed down, and uneventful. Mild notes of herbal hops, but with a drying paper mache pasty quality. Body is slightly wet, but with virtually no classic pils or hop angle in the flavor department. Really not much going on here.

It's inoffensive, but doesn't give the pils angle justice. Looks and aroma brings some goods, but the package doesn't deliver.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stemmed pilsner glass, the beer is a crystal clear, straw yellow coloring with a frothy, clingy, bright white head and champagne amounts of carbonation bubbling. Toasted grains and floral highlights fill the nose, with hints of resiny hops. Flavors are tangy sweet, with a honey and floral backbone and resiny overlay. Roasty and sweet aftertaste, with a dry feel at the end. Great clinging lace as you drink. The beer is kept light and frothy by the carbonation. Clean and effervescent finish. Interesting take on the style, and rather tasty.

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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 Stinkypuss
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden color with fine clarity. The foamy white head sticks around forever it seems, and for sure looks inviting. Underneath the veil of froth the aroma is bright and hoppy with some toasted bread. In the taste, citrus and some dirtier, earthier aspects. Has a light spiciness to the hops as well. The body is light and decently carbonated, and the finish has a clean citrus to it. Overall, Matt Brewing knows how to make easy drinking beers and this is no exception. A nice option if you're looking into Pilsner.

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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 puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on May 3, 2013 from the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer Pack (2013).

The pour is pale yellow with a long lasting, foamy white head and active carbonation.

The aroma greets me with the pale malts, grains and biscuit of a decent German Pilsener followed abruptly by a clean, hop sensation that even has a kind of vague fruitiness.

The body is light.

The hops can be found more clearly in the taste after I get that quick grain note. Low bitterness and highly drinkable warm weather beer. I thought it was pretty good.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pristine clarity with a corn-orange coloring that shows a quick rate of macro-carbonation. Dirty sea-shell white head is milky thin with a rather short rate of retention. Small whispy eye lash streaks for lacing.

S: Nice soft scent of fresh lemon, lightly dry pilsner grains with a soft flowery wiff of spicy saaz hops. Lightly dry hay and citrus.

T: Some bright citrusy hops, wet, with a soft dry pilsner backing. Light dry orange peel, lemon hay, with some hints of semi-dry grapefruit and nobel hops. Things finish out with a dry, warmth of spicy hop flowers.

M: a mid-range of carbonation with a decent amount of depth. Slippery texture, spicy warmth of citrus hops on the hold.

O: Overall good drinkability, softly balanced making for prime session material. Won't blow you out hop wise but is more subtle and traditional finishing out with a spicy bite perfect for that warm summer day in the backyard. The hops seem to get more appreciable deeper into the drink.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Ah good just found this a few days ago and it was bottled fresh! Into a pint glass.

A - Nice 1/2 inch rockin head that takes some time to dissipate. Color is an expected bright golden yellow with carbonation fed bubbles. Great lacing.
S - Smell is not that hoppy or pilsner like it's more sweet like a Helles lager which I guess is the BA description of it. I taste.
T - Well it does have a sort of grassy taste to it not sure if it's hops but I guess it's not bad. Mostly vegital and sweet corn. Not any metal or sulfur taste so it's better than BMC.
M - Light to medium drinkable I guess...

Overall not worth picking up again. In a way it's actual not a bad Pilsner/lager but I am not a big fan of the style in the least. Sorry.

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Photo of bylerteck
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Got this bottle at the Sunoco in Lake Placid.

A - Pours very light golden colour. Bright with good carbonation. One finger of soapy white head. Spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Grassy, honey, corn, grain.

T - Honey, grain, sweet corn. Not much 'hop' profile to be found.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a sweet honey finish.

O/D - Definitely not my cuppa. The hop profile is definitely not prevalent and it ends up being closer to a European adjunct lager. Not worth the time.

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Photo of Brad007
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a bright gold with a one-finger head into my glass. Love the new label design by the way. Lots of lacing on the glass.

Spicy with a nutmeg flair that adds an interesting contrast to the style. I'm not sure what the hops themselves are supposed to be like (Belma).

Taste is more refined with less of that nutty essence and more of a focus on piney, grassy notes from the hops.

Strongly resembles a belgian ipa in most aspects, especially the mouthfeel. Lingering spicy yeast and nutty notes from the hops make up the mouthfeel.

This shouldn't be classified as an American Wild Ale because it is a pilsner.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden color with a big beautiful foamy white head. Big bubbles pop in the head causing it to fade slowly over time with it eventually fading over about a three minute time period to leave some streaks of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is mainly of a biscuit and a toasted grainy malt smell. Mixed with these aromas are a bit of herbal smells and some floral notes.

Taste – The taste is much as would have been anticipated from the nose. The taste starts out with a toasted grain taste that is mixed with a little bit of a biscuit taste as well as some sweeter flavors of a honey and citrus flavor. Upfront there is also a bit of a grapefruit hop bringing just a small bite of bitter. The sweeter flavors dwindle as the taste moves on, with some floral and herbal hop flavors developing more toward the end. At the completion of the taste the combination of flavors leaves a rather pleasant, crisp, and moderately bitter taste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to slightly thinner side with a carbonation that is average to slightly above average. The feel of the beer is very appropriate for the style and matches well the crisp finish and moderate hop flavors of the brew.

Overall – The rather crisp and refreshing brew that is fantastic for a nice warm day. A very tasty summer day brew.

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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 KTCamm
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

One of my Saranac twelve beers of summer. Poured from bottle, pint glass.

Pours bright golden color, see through, some white foam on top. Light beer smell. Mild. Clean, crisp pils taste, modest hop build up, and then a quick finish. Light bite. Light bodied, yet noticeable flavor. Good beer for a summer mix pack.

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Photo of Gmann
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw color with some golden highlights. The white head is short and dense; settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a grassy hop aroma with some metallic notes. Smells like a pils. A little bit of a fruity note.

The taste is of a biscuity malt; fairly dry. The hop flavor is grassy just like in the aroma. Again there is a metallic and fruity note.

Light to moderate feel with airy carbonation. Slightly bitter on the palate and finishes fairly dry. Drinks pretty clean and crisp.

A decent pils. I would like to see it a touch drier and perhaps a touch more grassy but the flavors are on point for the style.

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Photo of argock
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%

Consumed directly from the can at Camp Treetops Friends' Weekend 2014 in Lake Placid, NY.

A: I poured an ounce or so into a plastic punch glass and it is a bright, golden beer with a short cap of white head. (3.5)

S: Aroma from the glass is flowery with some melon and light citrus notes. Maltiness is bready but pretty light with a little bit of corn. (3.25)

T: Flavor is straightforward on the malt side with light breadiness and a bit of cracker. The hops side is a little more interesting with very bright floral notes, a bit of honeydew melon, and grassy character. All pretty light but refreshing. Light-moderate bitterness. Clean without much if any yeast character and no alcohol. (3.5)

M: Clean and crisp with light body as a pils should be. Carbonation was medium-high with good scrubbing quality. Pleasant floral hops aftertaste without astringency. (3.75)

O: I enjoyed this beer although I kept going back to Adirondack Lager for its bready, more classic noble hoppiness -- more refreshing and flavorful at once. Wild Hop Pils is pretty good, but there are many better Bohemian and German pils out there. This one treads the line between the two although tends more to the German side.

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Photo of wedge
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold with a hefty head of big-bubbled foam. Smells fruity and floral with some lightly sweet toasted grain and a hint of grass. I definitely get that berry-like aroma that comes from Belma hops, though it's subtle. A little too much caramel breadiness in the flavor upfront (for a pilsner), but the strawberry, citrus, and melon quickly blends in, resulting in a fairly unique pale lager. It actually results in something closer to a Vienna lager with a hoppy twist. Light, but not without a certain creaminess before finishing crisp. Ignoring the "Pils" on the label, this is a fine, drinkable lager.

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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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