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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 307
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.

 526 characters

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.

 429 characters

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.

 979 characters

Photo of Omnium
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can > Pint Glass

A - Clear light straw yellow wit a finger of white fizzy head, no lacing.
S - Sweet floury basic kinda pils aroma, grainy, light citrus
T - Too sweet of a flavor, hops barely come through, lightly tart.
M - Clean and crisp is the upside here.
O - Refreshing when cold, disappointing warming up

 314 characters

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

Light fully clear gold colored beer. Aroma is sweet chewy grains, Vienna like malt, and crisp grass, floral, citrus, and a soft presence of strawberry ice cream. Taste is nicely grainy as well. Fruity berries, creamy malt, light lemon peel citrus as the bitterness hits. Not really a pilsner but definitely a refreshing lager with a unique hop profile.

 352 characters

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.

 517 characters

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.

 607 characters

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.

 674 characters

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".

 843 characters

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.

 395 characters

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.

 872 characters

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.

 282 characters

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.

 733 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.19/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

True gold color with a fat finger of white coarse foam. Audibly fizzing away, but drying up into crusty foam. All in all, retains okay.

Semi-dry grassy aromas with lager-y crispness and mashed grains. Somewhat husky, but not really promoting a lot of bitterness in the nose. Hop notes are miniature and slightly citrusy, but not really giving way to anything other than an herbal character. Lack of firmness takes away from a true pilsner nose.

Muddled flavors with some herbal hop, husky grain, and fermented muckiness. Cooked vegetable and mild sulfur spills forth on the tongue, and I realize that this has some serious corner-cutting going on. Still, there's some pleasant grassiness behind it all. The bitterness is fair-to-moderate in the opening and finishes decently. Carbonation keeps the excitement going, because the body is barely treading water.

Not worth going back to. Five more Saranac's to go in this mix pack.

 930 characters

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.

 1,281 characters

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.

 463 characters

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!

 730 characters

Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow color with moderate carbonation and moderate head. Usual suspects in aroma. Average appearance and aroma. Tastes better than it smells. It has more depth than you might suspect. Nice hop, floral, and lots of herbal notes. Finishes solid, no change.

 255 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours translucent straw with a fluffy white head. Smells of sweet grain and some fruit, a little citrus. Tastes of grain with some small fruit berries. Beer is light bodied carbonated correctly goes down easy. Overall, an above average beer.

 295 characters

Photo of KajII
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

[Suggested Glassware: Pilsener Glass]

The pour was a clear golden yellow with an average (1-2 finger) white soapy head that receded at a steady pace, down to a medium film and collar with fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a mild biscuit malt, grassy and floral hops and a light sweaty yeast with notes of citrus (lemon peel), topical fruit, dust and an slight odor of an adjunct.

The taste was lightly bitter and a tad malty with a touch of citrus early on, progressing quickly with a decent hop presence, a hint of fruit and a harsh citrus peel bitter finish. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, with the bitter fruity taste fading slowly off the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was light in body and dry in texture with a carbonation that just passed medium in intensity.

Overall I found this to be a pretty basic for a Pilsener, although it did posses just a hint of tropical fruitiness and slightly more of a hop presence than most beers of this style...

 1,016 characters

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From twelve ounce undated bottle, out of 2013 Summer Beers Collection.

An aroma that's floral and spicy. Pours deep golden yellow with decent white head. Head has poor retention. Spotty lacing to the glass. Taste is of a delicate hop and bready grains , a touch sour in the finish. Decent, but not delectable!

 310 characters

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.

 785 characters

Photo of vicg12
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite good. Pour was with little head, and it is definitely more orange than a true, blonde pilsner; leaves a really nice lace though. The belma hops, which I have had in a few beers, works surprising well with style. This is for sure my favorite belma hops beer. I hope they continue to make this beer, it is pretty different and also pretty good.

 348 characters

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.

 1,436 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with a Best Before Date of 10/31/13. Pours a translucent light golden color with a thin ring of head. Good amount of lacing.The aroma is floral hops with some malts, cereal and sweet bread. The taste is some floral hops upfront with some cut grass and malts. Sweet bread and cereal flavors followed by slightly bitter floral hops at the end. Bit of a soapy/perfume aftertaste. Light and crisp and light bodied. Easy drinker with a decent hop presence. Overall, solid beer to find in a mix pack that is perfect for summer.

 533 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Wild Hop Pils from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 307 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.