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Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale - Sand Creek Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale AleLilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

32 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 47
Avg: 3.28
pDev: 16.46%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) | 5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cokes on 11-07-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 47
Photo of SerialHiker
1.36/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color…Fairly transparent, there is some bubble action going on in the middle…thin layer of head formed, but didn’t stick around…looks rather watery…(2.75/5)

Smell: Huge bitter aroma as soon as I popped the cap off the bottle…bitter, like skunky bitter…very bitter smell, like a Old Milwaukee or something…not something I’m used to or would generally accept as appetizing…there is some faint citrus notes, but overall, I can’t get passed how skunked this smells…I’m hoping that’s just the case here and this isn’t their normal product…(0/5)

Taste: Skunky bready malts and crazy bitter citrus hops…(0/5)

Mouthfeel: Light body, medium carbonation…the best part of the beer…(3/5)

Overall: I never thought I’d actually have a “get the spoon I need to scrap my tongue” rating, but this is it…maybe it’s old and skunked and the store shoulda I poured it, wrote this review and subsequently poured it out for another, I’m not even sure how they classify this as an “American” pale ale…I’m not gonna sit around and watch football and drink this…if you see this on the shelf, do others a favor and “accidently” throw it on the ground…gross! (0/5)

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Photo of OlRasputin989
2.56/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into nonic pint...

A: pours pale golden with a huge white frothy head that leaves thick globs of lacing

S: a spicy, grassy, lemon peel and saltine cracker aroma

T: has a honeyed cracker malt upfront that is quickly overshadowed by a blast of spicy, grassy, lemon peel hops, finishing with the same crackery malt, minus the honey sweetness, and ridiculousyly bitter finish. Very unbalanced and the hop flavors themselves are not that hot.

M: a medium body with a fizzy carbonation, astringent and dry finish

Overall, this beer is overly hoppy. Or is it lacking malt? either way it lacks balance, which I have encountered with other lilja's brews. I think I've sampled enough of this brewery to konw to stay away. Glad I only bought one 12 oz bottle of this one.

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Photo of Brunite
2.83/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer at Woodman's for $ 4.99...a no-brainer to try at less than a buck a bottle when all the other beers from this brewed were priced in the 8-9.00 range.

A- Poured into pint glass. A pale straw yellow, decent frothy head, clings to glass decently.

S - Pretty much all mild malt. Very bready. Not much hoppiness.

T - Taste is a mild malt front, similar to the scent. A very "bread dough" flavor is noticed. Slight hop bitterness. Dry finish.

M - Light to medium. Decent balance.

D - Moderately drinkable. More than one or two and you might get a little tired pf the dry, bready, husky flavor....but fine for wetting your thirst. Certainly offers more than any macro. An average beer.

Update: 5/19

Last of these. Hmmmm. More bitterness than I recall. Pretty cat pissy/skunky. Meh. Lowered my score. Very bleh.

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Photo of schoolboy
2.86/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm. This was one of those odd brews where the more you drank the less you wanted to. It's an odd pale yellow with a good head that smells bad. The taste matches, with a soapy, metallic eeuck.

I'm not sure what the aim was on this one or if I just got a really bogus bottle, but I hope that I won't be giving this a second chance. I wonder if anybody will notice me pouring this on the flowers.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.91/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Is it just me, or does "pulling boat" sound like a euphemism for something cruder? Regardless, this stuff pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises very light lemon peel, lightly-buttery biscuit, and some vague sense of what may or may not be grass or something similar. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the grass is a certified reality, carrying with it some blunt and meaningless bitterness that doesn't meld with anything. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a mediocre pale ale, one that tries to aspire to things that it just can't achieve.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.91/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another from the Lilja's four. Not thrilled with this one. My notes:

Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale, An American Pale Ale. SVEA. (What's that mean?)

Clouded, pale amber coloration, adequate, 1/2 " rocky, white head.

Aroma: Fairly faint. A little skunked, oddly enough. Lemony. Eh...

Taste: Fairly smooth and somewhat creamy, nice, lightly hoppy. Zesty, citric fruit, nicely hoppy, but, a bit blase. Yeah, drinkable, hoppy enough, but nothing to talk about. Huh. Hmmm. Hyeah.

Sorry, nothing to see, or say, here.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank just a single bottle after a long hike in Gov. Dodge State Park (WI). Kind of a skunky odor, with metallic hops on the tail-end of the nose. Taste is refreshing, but what wouldn't be after a long hike? Hoppy, metallic, crisp malts. Nothing special but not entirely bad. Drinkable on a hot day like that one.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.02/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
No date or info.

A - Crystal clear golden yellow in color, a two-finger off-white head floats gently on top leaving patchy, thick lace all over the glass.

S - Buttery diactyl and faded citrus hops seem like reflections of their former selves. Pale malt backing, but this beer doesn't really have much going on at all.

T - The hops pull through a bit more but it's still pretty low. Citric notes and mild spice barely covers the malty backbone but it's a large improvement over the aroma.

M - A touch on the bitter side and lightly dry, this pale has a medium-light body and crisp, refreshing finish.

O - A very standard pale ale, the nose is almost missing completely but the taste tries to make up for it. Maybe it's old, but it's got no bottle date and doesn't seem too far gone if it is. More hops to counteract the malt. Refreshing regardless.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.08/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy pale amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes slowly into minimal lacing. This beer looks alright. It might be a little too cloudy, but that doesn't detract much. The aroma is of a generic malty sweetness that seems to be found in a lot of lesser quality beers, and it is boring. There are also hints of flower and grapefruit. I'm not a fan of this aroma, but it isn't truly bad. The taste is like the aroma. It has the same generic maltiness, and only faint hints of hops. Again, like the aroma it isn't bad, but it isn't good either. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer, and there isn't a whole lot more that it brings to me mind.

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Photo of kickapoodude
3.22/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thie beer has the look of a winner with a dark and thick straw colored head and a nice brown leather color. Highly carbonated out of the tap or bottle. The nose hits of the subtle hoppiness (for a pale). There is cracked pepper, some apricot, and earthyness to this pale. Extremely drinkable, but it leaves me wanting more. A thirsty man's pale ale.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Code on bottom of bottle, but I don't know what it means.

Pours a completely hazed lite golden-yellow. A white head leaves absolute growth-rings around the glass, bumping up the appearance a point or two. Smell is husky and mildly sugary and hoppy. I taste some detritus yeast, and citrusy, almost sour hops. The malts are very "farmish", kinda corny almost, like an "adjunct" pale ale. Do I sense some residual sugars? Finishes sorta tart and bitter, feel is carbonated. I'm glad I tried this one, but I probably would imbibe something else, given the opportunity.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy mild gold with a nice rising head and a bit of lacing.
Smells is bitter and hoppy. Lots of grass and some wheat. There's a bit of citrus but not what I'd expect from an APA.
The taste matches the smell. A lingering hay note, somewhat dry with just a bit of malt in the finish.
Feels a bit thin, slightly watery with a fine carbonation.
Easy enough to drink. I'd like one on a hot day after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of WJVII
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured a nice yellow cloudy color with an off white head that was about 1/4 inches leaving little lacing. The smell was faint with light hints of floral hops and some slight malt balance. The taste was very light, not much bitterness for a pale ale. There was some mossy flavor and light malt balance but was very thin. I had 3 pints with dinner, but the brew didn't hold its own with the food, was closer to a light beer. Was worth a try and was by no means a bad brew, but not that great for the style.

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Photo of Zaradog
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Visual: Wow… It looks like someone back-washed into my cup! I have never seen this many protein floaters. The head was a three finger frothy uneven head. I’ve never seen either of these in a beer before… not sure what to make of it.

Aroma: Toasted bready smell. I also pick up some metallic odor, which isn’t strong enough to be off-putting, but is inappropriate.

Taste: Malty front that fades as a rather potent bitter note wells up. I was actually afraid it was going to get more bitter than I can enjoy… but then rather quickly it fades off. There is definitely a bit of breadiness to the taste as well. There is some other taste here, that’s good but I can’t place my finger on it… Piney maybe?

Mouth Feel: A bit too fizzy in my opinion. Proper wetness though.

Drink-ability: I know many like Wheat beers in the summer. I just don’t care for them, but something about the cool cuttingly crisp flavor of this makes me think it would be great after mowing the yard. That said, I am left wondering if the wetness of the mouthfeel and the bitter finish would cause too much palate fatigue to drink more than 1 or 2 of these.

Impressions: Visually interesting, tastes pretty good really. Smell is fading to more and more of a metallic odor. And yet, my final opinion is that it is decent. It isn’t taking over the spot of my 4 or 5 favorite Pale Ales, but isn’t bad either.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kind of a muted caramel candy color, very hazy. Small-to-non-existant white head. Sweet malt nose with some piney hop tones as well. Light caramel malt front, light floral/pine hop finish. Lemon peel. Kinda has a peppery spiciness to it as well. Thin bodied, kind of dry. Eh

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Photo of CPeterson
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A -- A straw yellow brew that pours into a nice head leaving a broken froth.

S -- A heady malt aroma backed by a punch of grassy, floral hops.

T -- A nice balance of malt with a good amount of bittering hops that play off of each other well. Earthy tones and grassy notes with a dull sweetness.

M -- Full bodied in front and a little thin in the finish. Somewhat odd. Bitterness lingers a while.

D -- Overall, solid for the style even if a little bitter. Worth trying.

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Photo of tempest
3.36/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from Princeton's for $1.70. This is a delicate beer, and frankly, light for the style. It might make a fine blond ale. The malt is soft and very bready, like a loaf of white italian, with a brown crust finish. The hops are even milder with a touch of pineapple juice over biting grapefruit. The website tells me there are 44 IBUs, but man this feels like 30 or so. This beer needs a richer character. The basics are good, but the taste is almost watery compared to most pale ales.

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Photo of cokes
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dull amber sporting a tight crown of ivory.
Fragrant of sawdust, bread crusts, and dried spruce.
It initiates with a matte maltiness. Sort of a vague fruitcake notions. Mild sugars with indistinct cranberry, pear, and apricot notes. The breadiness is easily found, but it's mostly bland through the clean, yeasty middle. Hops hit with flashes of citrus pith, dried grass, and mixed peppercorns. The late hop spice is a saving grace. Otherwise this is entirely mundane.
Medium bodied with a frantic carbonation that makes this appear thinner.
Seemingly novice in many ways, but not a total wash, as it is quite drinkable and there are no glaring flaws.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.46/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a case on discount at Bell's...

Poured into pint glass, presents with nice pale straw with a hint of copper, decent frothy head, clings well to glass.

Smell is mild malt, with a bready overtone and a mild touch of hops.

Taste is a clean malt front, similar to the scent it has a bready doughy flavor, but it goes well, finishes clean and dry with the bitterness of hops.

Mouthfeel is well done, perfect balance on the tongue and cheeks.

Quite drinkable, but the doughy bready flavors can be a bit much after a few.

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Photo of giblet
3.47/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a golden color into my glass. light steady carbonation. one half inch of head that settles quickly. smells of slight hop and light malts. taste is decent. good balance of hop and malt for a pale ale it is too light in the hop department for my taste. this is a good mild pale beer.

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of Brenden
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An opaque dark gold, this one forms a thick, creamy pure white head just short of a finger tall that stays and leaves some good lacing. Carbonation is active...an unfiltered pale ale? There are lots of little chunks floating around.
The aroma gives off some citrus on the sweeter end with a good malts backing against a bit of floral bitterness as well. It starts stronger than it finishes. There's a hint of a buttery note on the end.
It's difficult to describe the taste. Citrus, some herbal, leafy something, along with rind. The sweetness of the aroma fades out and malts are bready, but everything almost gets a little lost when a slight "brinyness," for lack of a better word, threatens the finish, but fortunately backs off.
The body is on the light side of medium with a crisp feel. Smoothness comes through evenly, even getting a little creamy. There's nothing wrong with the feel.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brassy orange with sunshine gold highlights. Several energetic streams of bubbles hurry up to a nice looking head of pale orange-tinted beige that displays most of the cap characteristics that I look for. It's lumpily rocky as it deflates, though I'm somewhat suprised to see no more than a few shreds of lace in its wake.

The aroma is more English Pale Ale or even Vienna Lager than it is APA. My nose is greeted by generously toasted malt mingled with earthy hops. It could be the use of non-citric hops that I'm reacting to, but the hop load isn't nearly as high as it should be. It isn't a bad nose, it's just that it isn't to-style; at least as I define this particular style.

Better on the palate, although not surpassingly so. There's still a solid, English pale ale-like, toasted crackeriness that holds down the bottom end. There are some pleasant hoppy top notes that I didn't expect after assessing the nose. The hop flavor is somewhat citric, but is herbal-earthy for the most part and makes me think that East Kent Goldings are the dominant, if not the sole, variety.

It should be obvious by the previous paragraph that I consider this beer to be a dead ringer for the English Pale Ale style. It's extremely well-balanced and is sessionable as a result. No chance of palate fatigue here. Sweet and bitter balance one another as well and their cooperative effort on the longish finish may be the best part of the entire flavor arc.

I don't have a lot to say about the body. It's solid for the style and is full enough to allow the beer to sit on the taste buds long enough for the drinker to enjoy the fruit of the brewer's labors. Even though the mouthfeel it isn't a standout, it is perfectly calibrated to the beer as a whole.

Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale is a more than respectable English Pale Ale from a little known brewery (at least to me) in West Central Wisconsin. All of the oars are pulling in the same direction and make for an enjoyable little beer that was a pleasure to drink. I look forward to seeing what else Sand Creek has to offer.

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Photo of Pencible
3.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a muddy straw color with pale yellow head. It had a pretty earthy smell of wheat, pine hops, and a bit of malt. It tasted like burnt honey, mellow pine and lemon hops, and slight malt for balance. It had a slight thickness with some carbonation, and a slightly dirty bitter aftertaste. Overall this wasn't bad, but it could have been cleaner, and it didn't have anything unique about it.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's

appearance: pours an amber/orange color with a rather sizable creamy white head and fluffy lacing

smell: clean and malty, strong fresh pine aromas, toasty and grainy, a touch of sweetness

taste: very clean, heavy on the toasted malts...the hops are buried, piney and spicy at the core. slightly citric, a pepper spice touch

mouthfeel: spicy and dry finish, lots of carbonation, medium bodied

drinkability: pretty drinkable

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Photo of Redrover
3.71/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown longneck with no freshness dating. Poured into a pint, the beer is a hazy bronze with a massive, thick and dense copper head. Incredible lacing. This one is a looker!

Citrus, malts and caramel apple nose.

The taste is nicely bitter with grapefruit, sweet malts and a bit of pine. About halfway through the beer a bit of metallic bite works its way in.

The mouth is smooth with low carbonation (perhaps it all went into the head..)

Nice session type pale ale. Enough complexity to keep you interested. If it the rest of the beer could live up to its killer looks, it would be world class!

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Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale from Sand Creek Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.