1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster - Sand Creek Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lilja's Hop Nest MonsterLilja's Hop Nest Monster

Educational use only; do not reuse.

188 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 16.12%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 01-14-2009

Nest is NOT a typo.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iSip
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was in Southern Minnesota for work and discovered a 6 pack of Liljas Hop Ness Monster in the local liquor store. Wonderful packaging, which included the story of the Hop Ness Monster, and the challenge of locating where this beer was brewed. But on to the beer itself. Nice color and head with a pleasant aroma. The flavor starts with a light malt base with a fine layer of hop on top. The taste goes a touch bitter by the end. Not a bad beer, but not the monster IPA as advertized.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a hazy orangeish-golden body with a thick lumpy off-white head and a gentle carbonation.
S- The green piney hops have a cinnamon hint to them with a soft minty quality. There is a faint musty diaceytal butter note to the finish.
T- The dry pungent bitey hops have a cream flavor to follow them. The hops are aggressive and a bit harsh without having much hop flavor to them. There is a slight sweetness underneath that comes through when the beer opens up and some faint toasted malt that comes with them. The finish is more bitter pungent hops bite that lingers a moment.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.
D- The hops are soft in aroma and flavor but full in bitterness. It made this beer a bit tough to get through but the malt offered a little support to the bitterness.

Photo of gatornation
2.71/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this ipa pours a yellow mostly clear color with a i finger white head,,,smell was biscuit ,malts slight floral hop aroma some adjunct smells ..taste was that of a slightly bitter adjunct lager,it had some hop bite with slight malts..it was well carbonated but really tasted like a budweiser ..while that not bad it is if it says its an ipa..not recommended..if you are looking for an ipa

Photo of CPeterson
2.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A -- A hazy golden ale which produced a good head that vanishes quickly, leaving a resinous lacing.

S -- Smells slightly acidic / citric, a touch of sour apple, and some light caramel notes.

T -- Bitter all the way through. A mild sweetness attempts to make an appearance through the middle and falls flat. Out of balance.

M -- Twangy and drying. Outrightly astringent. Nice carbonation, but the use of hops makes it heavy on the palate.

D -- I may consider trying this again in order to see the consistency of the brewer, but it wouldn't make it into regular rotation.

Photo of dirtylou
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single - i should know better than to purchase crappy sand creek products but the label got me

appearance: very busy label with a "cheddar curtain" reference - pour is pretty nice - kind of a dull copper body but a real nice foamy white cap and full retention

smell: pretty light, bready, lemon, light hops

taste: nice and oily but with a dull hop profile - light bitterness, lemon, dough, lacks a refined definition or direction

mouthfeel: oily, medium

drinkability: good

Photo of Lillenk
3.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Very light color for an ipa. Lots of white head.

Not too much on the nose as all. A lite hops smells with some citrus.

Taste is pretty good. A little lighter bodied than expected but some good hops with not too much lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel was light and crisp. Drinkability was up there because it was so light.

Photo of cokes
2.81/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden straw with a decent rise of white suds. They quickly sink towards the surface, but then stick around, lacing well.
The nose is fairly closed, but brings lemon oil, peppercorns, and a floured breadiness.
Taste follows suit. Bready upfront and throughout, dusted heavily with flour. There are minor flourishes of pear-like sweetness. Hops bring some lemon traits, but overall flavor is underdeveloped. Though there is a substancial peppery, dry hay, talc-like bitterness.
Medium bodied, with a rushing carbonation up front that wanes as it goes. The briskness of the CO2 actually plays well against the sharp bitterness, and this suffers as it fades away.
The acute dryness makes this rapidly drinkable, as one is thirstier for having taken a sip.
This could use some work.

Photo of Bighuge
3.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy sun yellow with a bunch of particulates hanging in suspension. Decent crop of frothy white head. Aroma is a little grassy and herbal, but mostly stale, dusty malt feel to it. Interesting flavor to say the least. Lemony feel to it but more of a lemony custard sweet flavor rather than bitter or citrusy. Although I do get some bitterness on the aftertaste. Base malts are doughy sweet, but not too sweet. Moderate carbonation with a medium to medium-full body. Drinkable beer and flavorful, even if not in an IPA kind of a way.

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
2.77/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Amazing creamy white head and excellent lacing. The beer is colored straw golden. Strangely lighter than most IPA's.

S: At first piney floral and citrusy hops... after a few minutes the smell becomes much more bitter and sharp.

T: The first taste of this beer was wonderful but after sitting for a few minutes the hops loose their depth and character. Like the smell, the taste becomes unpleasant and sharply bitter, perhaps chemically :(

M/D: feels all-right in the mouth, but I can't get over how the flavor changed so drastically... Bad bottle??

Photo of Soonami
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster is a beer I've never heard of or seen before, but a single was available at my local bottle shop, so I gave it a shot.

The beer is surprisingly pale, a hazy straw color that you would expect for find in a pilsner. The white head was frothy and irregular with really nice cling, supported by a nice stream of bubbles. The aroma was grassy and earthy more like German noble or Continental hops than American C-hops typical in IPA's with a good bit of bready malt presence, as well a the DMS aroma (canned corn, generally considered a fault, but I personally like it). On the tongue, it is surprisingly bitter, more so than I had expected. The bitterness is not in the typical pine or grapefruit (although I get some of this) it is very herbal, like bitter melon or kale. The finish is pretty sweet, which I do not normally like, but I attribute as an artifact due to the high bitterness. Though sweet, the beer is not too thick and has a pleasant, light body.

I think that this is enjoyable beer that doesn't quite fit the American Pale/IPA style. It's a bit too bitter, not enough hop flavor and aroma, sweet in the finish, however, it was a pleasure to drink and I happily drank the entire bottle's worth

Photo of ZAP
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a light golden...creamy white head

S-Grassy hop aroma...more floral than fruity but nothing real impressive..a bit of doughy malt

T-Pretty strong grapefruit rind bitterness...piney..at first it seemed to be .lacking malt backbone and appeared one sided with too much pure bitterness. But after having a couple more the malt seems to standup just fine...doughy notes complement.

M-Medium bodied...ample carbonation.

D-A little too one sided and first but closes off as a nice drinkable IPA leaning into DIPA area.

Photo of Morey
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Ipa pours a pale yellow-orange color and has an ever so slight haze to it. Lots of bubbles from carbonation and really impressive head retention.

The aroma is on the mild side for an Ipa, but there's a pretty good mix of grassy hops and sweet malts in the nose.

Taste is bitey and bitter up front and then the malts come in, but the bitterness lingers on the back end for a hoppy finish.

Good medium mouthfeel with a nice carbonation level. I thought that this one was going to be overcarbonated, but it's really not.

I could easily drink a sixer of this Ipa, although I'm not sure of the ABV?

Morey's Bottom Line: A nice Ipa. My only criticism is that it's rather one dimensional. Nothing really jumps out at you. Reminds me a bit of Weyerbacher's Fresh Hop Ale.

Photo of Cresant
4.42/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was clear pale yellow with a creamy white head. The tall head left significant lacing.

Smell was citrusy, spicy, and sweet. There was a nice grassy hops aroma.

Taste exceeded expectations. There was a nice grassy bitterness that lingered a long time. Sweet but more than enough bitterness. Tropical fruit and apricots. Citrus rind bitterness. Super tasty.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with adequate carbonation.

Photo of silentjay
2.44/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

picked up a single of this on a recent trip to Michigan as this is nothing I've seen nor heard of in Massachusetts.

A quick note about the bottle: terrible, terrible label design, layout, artwork and fonts used. Way too much going on and it becomes a jumbled mess.

pours a rather clear bright yellowish copper with a dense off-white head that retains well, but leaves little lacing on the glass.

very pungent with bready malts and earthy, herbal hops dominating the nose. also a dank marijuana smell contributes a bit of the earthiness in the nose. almost reminds me of an english bitter with a bit more earthy hops added in the aroma.

taste is a bit more what I expected, but only by a bit. biscuity and white-bread tasting malts are apparent throughout though the herbal, earthy hops come through and are accompanied by a hint of piney and grassy hops as well as some bitter citrus rind.

I can't complain about the carbonation or body. almost medium bodied with an ample amount of prickly carbonation that works well to accentuate the good aspects of this beer.

not a great drinking beer for me. an odd blend of aromas and flavors seem to fight rather than work together. astringency is there throughout, though I'm not sure if its from the alcohol content or the combination of flavors.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.78/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into my SA perfect pint.

Pours a slightly orange, mostly honey yellow color with some hop haze and a big fluffy head. very pale for and IPA, very nice head retention. Smells a bit on the light side, some mild floral components, a touch of breadyness. Flavor is spot on for this ipa. really has a nice balance without going over the top. transition between bitter and malty is nice. taste is floral, with a tinge of lemon peel. mouthfeel is perfect, carbonation lasts for 45 minutes through the session, great semi dry finish. Drinkability is spot on too, great session beer for sure.

Photo of Tone
3.74/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, slight pine, and floral hops. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean with an average carbonation level. There is a noticeably high bitterness level. Tastes of floral hops, citrus hops, sweet malt, and a hint of pine. Overall, not too complex, but great appearance, and good blend.

Photo of Bendurgin
2.71/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this from a generous mid-west BA. Poured in into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden honey color with a fluffy white head about the size of one finger. Good head retention. Initially it smells pretty good. Lots of citrus aromas. It really reminds me of Tropicana pineapple orange juice. After a couple whiffs I'm still trying to find some hops and eventually I find a trace of grassy hops. Unfortunately, I really had to reach for them. Tastes like it smells; citrus flavor, mostly pineapple orange juice. A little bit of hop bittering, but not as much as I'd expected. The juiciness eventually because a little sickeningly sweet. After a couple sips I felt like this was more of a fruit juice than a beer. I like fruit juice, but I wanted a beer. Fair enough mouth feel, the carbonation was good but I felt like this was heavy. Really thick and syrupy. It took me a while to drink this. Probably because it was so sweet. I generally like a good juicy IPA but this was too much. I think I would have found it more refreshing had it been a little less sweet and had a little bit more of a lighter body.

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear gold, with at least 2 fingers of rich and foamy bright-white head. Retains with a thin yet creamy layer of froth that flares up quite robustly and coats the sides of the glass with some sticky patchy lacing. The aroma is floral and earthy, with some herbal accents, bitter grapefruit, and gentle spice coming out as well. Bready notes and some lighter caramel mix in with the hops, giving this a danky smelling tang in the back of the nostrils.

The taste is aggressive with hops, as resins, spice, earthy green citrus, and gritty bitter citrus rind all being very assertive and lingering strongly on the palate with an intense dry feel. The malts feel more on the Paler side here, blending with the fruitier aspects of the citrus flavors to help provide some balancing sweetness. The moutfeel is meduim bodied, with a slick and creamy texture in the mouth, keeping this easier feeling than it probably should be. Some light alcohol is present but it's less tasted than it does help strengthen the bitterness of the hops.

Well there were certainly no shortage of hops in this, even if their character was a bit all over the place at times. The aggressiveness got a little out of hand but there was just enough balance here to keep things in check and the easy body on this kept the drinkibility up for the most part.

Photo of brentk56
3.81/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a massive head that just sits there and does a nice job on that lace front, when asked

Smell: Biscuity malt and piney hops interplay with one another (not the greatest aromatic combination)

Taste: Biscuity malt, up front, that grows even sweeter before the pine, pith and bitter grassy flavors (vaguely Germanic) enter the fray; after the swallow, the bitter flavors continue to develop, though the malt bill never backs down

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly a different sort of a beer for the style and not all to my liking, but still a worthwhile effort

Thanks, brewandbbq, for the opportunity

Photo of mikey711
3.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to beersis81 for the extra!

A: Bright yellow/goldish color with great transparency, tons of rising carbonation and a nice fluffy white head that leaves really great lacing. Head retention is very good as well. The only flaw was the pour had a bit too much carbonation otherwise this is very asthetically appealing

S: Very grassy and herbal, smells mostly like german hops. No citrus but there is some floralness and pine. Also a little bit of caramel is present in the background.

T: Not the mega citrus bomb that I usuall go for but the floral and herbal quality are actually quite nice. a good amount of pine is present but it has a slight astringent quality to it. A bit of sweetness is present as well too

M: Slightly rough around the edges with a bit of astringency.

D: I wouldnt want to have this on a regular basis but it was a nice change up from my usual IPA habits

Photo of lholub
3.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a shaker.

A: Amber body with a small head lingers. Fair amount of carbonation
S: Slightly hoppy, no flavors really pop.
T: Hint of grapefruit.
M: Smooth mothful, rather froathy
D: Easy to drink for an IPA but nothing exceptional, would have again if better options didn't present themselves.

Photo of dudemuskie
3.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at a mix-a-sixer shelf at an Ashland, Ohio Buehler's grocery store.

Appearance- Hazy straw with faded orange highlights. Tight, almost creamy off white head grows to about 1.5 fingers, then slowly fades to a lingering half finger. Some light sediment in bottle.

Aroma- Big pine and citrus hop aromatics mingle with light toasty/biscuity malt and a hint of burnt sugar. A kiss of yeast and a touch of apricot fruitiness soften the nose a little. Nice complex aroma without being too overwhelming.

Flavor- Mellow sweet maltiness leads quickly to an intense hop bitterness that fills the mouth. Piney, herbal, resinous, and slightly citrusy hop notes explode into the middle and tail end of the brew. Some dark/burnt sugar flavors and warming alcohol provide a little balance for the onslaught of hoptasticness. Tongue coating, almost pungent hop bitterness that lingers through the finish and for quite some time after I finish the beer- aggressive, and I kinda like it!

Mouthfeel- Moderate CO2, very hop-centric with a little balancing malt complexity. Medium body, but mouthfeel definitely enhanced by mouthcoating hop pungency. Low residual sugar. Slightly warming alcohol.

Overall- Definitely an aggressive brew! Loads of hops with just enough balancing malt to keep it from being undrinkable. Drinkability takes a bit of a hit with this brew because of its aggressive nature, but sometimes punishment can be fun?! Pungent, lingering finish would make this beer an excellent contrasting pair for a big funky cheese, anything spicy as hell, or a big fat slice of spicy carrot cake with gooey cream cheese icing....

Photo of chaz01
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasting size portion at a local beer tasting event. Served in a plastic cup.

A: Pale amber in color, cloudy, with a small creamy head.

S: Piney hop aroma.

T: Little bit of a piney hop flavor with caramel malts. Not as hoppy as the name of the beer would indicate, but it does finish with a mild pleasant bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation levels.

D: Reminded more of a pale ale compared to an IPA. Of the beers I tasted from the brewery, this one was the most enjoyable.

Photo of jmich24
2.83/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: Light gold with orange hues. One finger head stays around for the entire glass. Nice carbonation from etched glass. Nice lacing
S: Grainy nose with light grassy hop smell.
T: Slightly sweet maltiness. Some hop bitterness more floral than anything, some pine.
M: Crisp, high carbonation, light/medium mouth feel.
D: Drinkability is fine. Just nothing outstanding going on here.

This is just not that good. Everything here is just average in terms of IPAs (My favorite Style) Will not purchase again or take a suggestion from the guy at the beer store.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Pours clear gold with plenty of frothy carbonation. A one inch head of rocky foam settled nicely to reveal ringed lacing throughout the glass and a solid skim coat.

Aromatics lead off with grassy hops, faint malt, and crackery husks. Hopping is subdued and is limited to notes of cut grass and hints of celery and lemon.

Medium bodied with a crisp, tackish edge. The mouthfeel is lively with a good dose of carbonation.

Bitter and drying right up front on the palate, with lemony, herbal hops stepping forward. Grassy and peppery with barely a trace of husky malt.

Finishes with a lingering, bone-dry character, spicy hops, and a bit of warmth.

A very different approach to the hops in this one. Subdued and spicy and similar to a Belgian IPA in that regard.

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster from Sand Creek Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.