Hop Monster | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

Hop MonsterHop Monster
Liked This Beer
3.78 w/ 160 ratings
Hop MonsterHop Monster

Brewed by:
Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 10-30-2002

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Ratings: 160 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of TheDodge
4.82/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel like I should probably preface any comments I have about this brew by saying that this is my first attempt at reviewing a beer, I can't tell one kind of hop from another, et cetera. What I can say is that I've sampled a number of great beers, many of which have been reviewed on this site, and I haven't been surprised by anything in the way that this particular beer did.

So the guitarist for my band says, "We've got a new guy coming over, head over next door to pick up a couple of six packs and I'll wait here for the others to arrive. Go for the good stuff, here's a couple bucks."

Of course, I'm only too happy to oblige. I head next door to this kinda crappy-looking package store on Highland Ave, and they've got a few of the beers I really like, Hopdevil, Ipswich, a couple of Averys alongside the usual offerings from Miller and Budweiser. I have instructions to make sure that one of the six packs I get is "He'brew Messiah Bold," but they're out, and I just had Hopdevil the other night. I remember our lead singer saying how he likes the Magic Hat Number 9, and there it is. So for my next pick I want to go for something really interesting, and oh, what's this? I've never heard of these guys. Paper City? Holyoke? Isn't that whole town a mall?

Well I get everything up to our place and, once it's time to break out the beer, I head straight for the Paper City stuff, being that it's the "unknown quantity". Well, dang. I'm speechless. I know enough about beer tasting to tell something that's "hoppy" in character from something that's "malty", and sweet jeezis, is this hoppy! There's a lot of nuances to notice about it but the overall effect is not the faintest bit subtle. I would describe the flavor as intense, spicy, and... can it be citrusy and piney all at the same time? It's pungent, astringent, bitter and all-around just bloody huge. I think I might like this a little better than even the Stone Ruination. It's confusing, but man is it good. Hints of ginger? Horseradish? I don't know what the heck is going on, but I'm impressed.

Oh and a word of caution: this stuff is pretty strong. It doesn't say what the ABV is on the bottle, but be careful, it's up into Belgian territory.

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Photo of whiskaudio
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of Ecxeeder616
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Resplendent golden amber with the barest suggestion of apricot... that murks up significantly when the final few ounces are added. The creamyfirm ivory head is large and stately, looking and acting like only a beer with a boatload of hops can. Sheets and rings of fine sticky lace coat the inside of the pint glass and will, no doubt, remain until the last dog's hung and the rope's cut. A melted mesa of foam remains in the center of the glass, but isn't able to keep the hoptastic aroma from perfuming the air.

The nose is powerfully aromatic, but there's more going on than the typical citric fruitiness of American hops. Those aromas are present, but they're deepened by a hop variety that I haven't run across much and am struggling to describe (edit: the hop bill consists of Magnum and Santiam). Blonde Hop Monster smells more apple and pear-like than most IPAs/DIPAs. Thankfully, I don't appreciate any of the heavy caramel overtones or the rampant alcohol that are sometimes present in beer of this style.

This is a nice little DIPA, if such a thing is stylistically possible. It's nice to drink a big, hoppy beer that isn't caramel malt-intensive for once. The flavor profile consists of sweet pear syrup (the dominant flavor by far) with elements of apple, bitter grapefruit zest and candied pine sap. BHM is impressively distinctive and I like it very much.

The body is full and borders on viscous, but it's in no way thick or heavy. Actually, this is a perfect sipping beer that doesn't mind if you gulp it on occasion. The finish is long, lingering and hop fruity, lightly coating the mouth with a promise of what's to come with the next mouthful. Does this beer contain alcohol? It's entirely unnoticed except for the pleasant muzziness that is seeping into my brain. I'd better do less gulping and more sipping.

I like Blonde Hop Monster a lot. It's a DIPA for those of us who like the malt to shut up and stay out of sight. An interesting hop bill only adds to its allure. Great flavor and a first-rate mouthfeel don't hurt either. It's a damn shame that it isn't more widely available. Thanks to wyllder for the extra. Great choice.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.49/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

By far Paper City's best offering. I've seen this one the shelves but have not been interested. Too bad for me. This beer is outstanding! What I've found in most Double IPA's is too much alcohol, too much spicy hops, and very little drinakbilty. This one, for me at least, breaks that mold.

As the name indicate, it is a Blonde Hop Monster, not you typical DIPA, but I already stated that, not much on top. In fact, it's not really glowing at all. Oh, but looks can be deceiving. Huge, I mean huge hops, not too dry either, very well balanced. This carries over on the tongue, lovely hops and tropical fruits.

This beer has serious balls. By far the most well balanced DIPA I've had. Drinkability is off the charts. Why can't all Paper City products be as good as this??!?!?

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Photo of snilsen13
4.49/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer a lot. It pours easy, managable whithe bubbly head and is transluscen - looks like a good ale. It's smell is exceptional, strong hoppy aroma that is piney and fresh, sweet and dense, and very reminiscent to that of fresh flowers of an infamous cousin to the hop plant. [edit: either you get it or you don't and if you don't I could see some people missing the point]. The taste is essentiallly a big whop of hops, that intitially feels over-the-top, but has only a mild aftertaste that quickly disappates. The alcohol level is entirely masked and the beer offers a refreshing like a good IPA. My thirst quenches just thinking of this masterpiece.

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Photo of edchicma
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice cloudy medium gold with small head and light lacing. Smell is extremely nice...fruity and hoppy. Taste is excellent...extreme hops that linger, but do not beat up on you. Nice full mouthfeel that invites you to sip again. Not sure about alcohol contenet, but you certainly know it's there. Extremely drinkable as long as you don't guzzle. Best brew from Paper City that I have tried.

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Photo of xxxxxx
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of PatandDavid
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was all about the citrus...from the color, to the aroma, to the taste, it really brought it all on. Color was cloudy goldenrod, and it came with a bold citrus aroma. Slight head. Taste was 100% puer grapefruit, even in the texture (malt, what malt? yeah it was in there as a supporting player but hidden). Still smooth, and drinkability was not held up by all that fruit. Nice change.

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Photo of trumick
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Carmen for Xmas, thanks again.

Pours a hazy orange color with a thin head that disapates quickly and leaves nice lacing.

Scent is of yeast, piney hops, sweet malts, grapefruit, and spice.

Taste is quite nice it follows the nose with the sweet malts coating the entire palate then the citrus piney flavor of the hops is intense, but not at all overwhelming. I would have to say that the hop flavor is one of the best I've ever experienced.It kind of reminds me of the Arcadia IPA here in Mi. A very nice balance here. The sweetness of the malts is present in the finish along with the hops. I wouldn't call it a dry finish, but clean. The hops are there forever, all I get now is grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is awsome, smooth, medium bodied, and highly carbinated which is perfect for this beer.

This is a very drinkable beer, and at 8.5 abv that could be a bad thing. However, I would definately drink a bunch of these, and fortunately Carmen sent me two of these Monsters.

This is a good beer. I would love to sample more of the Paper City Brews. This one has a very good balance.


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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Redbones BBQ. The beer menu lists it as Blond Hop Monster.

My first taste of Paper City, and I was not disappointed. This is gooooooooooood. Golden amber from the tap, with a strong hoppy aroma with some grapefruit and citrus in the nose as well. Beers that smell like this remind me how much I truly love hops. Mouthfeel is smooth, clean, and has a great hop kick to bite you at the end. Hops dominate, but not to the point where the citrus fruits and grassy pine flavors do not stand out as well. Those who enjoy complex, hoppy, well balanced ales should definitely give this a shot. A tasty brew indeed.

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Photo of markman
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paper City Hop Monster:

Freakin’ beautiful. Apricots, orange, hops every where…I’m getting ahead of myself. Nose is raw hops and a hint of mandarin orange. Taste is full bodied apricot, without being fruity, with a touch or orange zest to round it out. But don’t think for a minute that this is a fruit beer ‘cause the hops just hammer away. And the finish is a raw hop bite that leaves you wanting another sip…it’s amazing to me the flavors they manage to pull out here. A great freakin’ brew. But, not for everyone…hopheads only need apply.


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Photo of tavernjef
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky lemon gold body, spongy fluffed up white cap, resides slowly to a thin broken skim and a bubbly collar. Lacing in strings.

Aroma is raw and in your face with a nice display of citrusy fruits of, peach, apricot, tangerine, and nectarine pulp and pits, sugary, with a super smoothly rendered spruce fir pine floating wthin each wiff.

Flavors are fruitastic! Incredibly easy tropical citrus pulp-like acids rendering those listed in the aroma with bits of grapefruit coming through in the finish.. Very nice frothy feel. Delicate soft pine, sweet pale malts, sugary, juicy, just lovely. The hop profile is quite unique on this one.

Feel is amazingly smooth and juicy thick of hop oils, medium to full bodied, lightly drying and tame bitterness in the finish with left over tropical fruit pulp sitting on the tongue.

Oh so smooth and delicious, the calm bite makes for some very easy drinking and the flavors continue to keep it fun and interesting. Although I can't see drinking a whole lot of these due to its pulpy, yet appealing texture and higher ABV, but man it sure is worth trying one glass of this tropical nectar. A juicy thanks goes out to Jason for the chance to try it!

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Poured a big head which collapsed to 1/2" but in so doing kind of left a merengue-like floater of head floating in the middle top. Hazy gold and tan color. Taste is a little sweet and very rich with big bold hops. I'd call it oppulent. It's really only a monster if you're afraid of hops hiding under your bed when you turn out the light. Otherwise it's just the friendly hop fairy.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Redbones (listed as Paper City Blonde Hop Monster on the menu).

This beer poured a hazy, amber color with white foam that left lace on the glass. The smell was a strong floral hops aroma with some citrus thrown in. The taste was dominated by fruity hops (floral and bitter) with some sweet and tangy malt to balance. The mouthfeel was smooth with a dry finish and a slightly astringent aftertaste. The body was medium. this was a nicely drinkable ale.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very sticky and white head settling over hazy golden/light amber liquid. Nice flowery grapefruit hop nose riding over a sweet smelling malt base. Taste is a very sweet malty foundation thats soon overridden by massive hoppy bitterness. The bitterness is tasted and felt on the palate after swallowing. Very aggressive hopping! Finishes quintessentially bittersweet with slight alcohol warmth felt in the throat long after swallowing. Very good stuff!
Thanks to ppoitras (Pete) for the bottle.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 pack of 12oz. brown bottles, no freshness date. Pours a golden amber with a thick frothy off-white head that settles into a nice layer of bubbles.
Thick malt aroma, caramel and fruity notes of dates and grapes. The large malt character almost masks the hop aroma that is spicy and grassy.
Very thick and syrupy on the palate. Big malt flavor of caramel malts, a sweet fruitiness of prunes really comes through. The middle is a bit spicy and the hop bitterness does not come into play until the finish. A pretty fine finish I might add very bitter with a pine like dryness.
This brew has tons of malt and a huge hop finish to balance it. I put down my first rather quickly and I can already feel the ABV. I enjoyed this IIPA.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a murky looking orange glow/scarlet red thing going on. The head is bubbly, but minimal. Lace is intricate. The aroma is great. It's raw, resinous, piney and cannabis-like. It's even got a litttle caramel malt underneath the hop field paradise. My first thought upon sipping was, "Wow, an IIPA with some great malt character." Upon further sips, the malt character diminishes quite a bit and this does become the "Hop Monster." The malts lay some sweet, toffee-like background music. But the hops are forceful. And enjoyable. Blunt and edgey. Bitter and raw. Resinous and pungent. There's even a bit of an alcohol burn. Wonder what the a/v is here. All in all, this is a little caustic, but what the hell: It's good.

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Photo of hero27
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

One of the plethora of beers that IBUnit63 sent me in LNBA BIF, thanks again!

Pours an extremely hazy, rusty orange..sticky foam resides on top & clings to the sides of the glass.
Hoppy aroma of fresh apricots, pineapple, & lemon..pale malts linger in the background.
Apricot-infused bitterness ensues from the first sip..a menagerie of citrus flavors clash together, mixed with the hearty taste of pine resin..biscuity, pale malt sweetness holds things together well.

8.5%? hell, I could drink this all day..an extremely refreshing brew, especially considering it's classified as an imperial ipa..

A very tasty offering from Paper City Brewery.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.31/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

That's my picture of the beer to the right of this. I poured it out of that very bottle.
The beer pours a hazy orange-gold color, topped with a thin misting of head. The head actually seems to pick up as you drink, finishing with about 1/8" of creamy white foam. I've never had that happen before. Unprecedented retention, with active streamers of carbonation quickly rising to feed to head.
The aroma is initially very well balanced, particularly for being such a huge beer. Big malt is balanced with equally big hops. A nice toasty character to the malt, with a touch of caramel. A resinous hopping takes over as the beer warms, with a pungent citric/piney aroma. Some phenolic esters hiding under the hops, with some green apple, pear, and apricot. Very light grain. A moderate grapefruity quality to the hops, with a floral feel. Wether from the hops, esters, or a combination, I'm not sure. Very light alcohol peeping through towards the end.
The flavor is big, very big. Huge malts start up the beer, with a big, thick mouthfeel. Some caramel and toasted malt, quickly swallowed by an agressive hop attack. Big piney hopping enters the picture, somewhat oily, mingling with some estery fruitiness in the middle. The hops gain in stature, taking on a big, resinous citric quality, nearly drowning out the malt, and finishing the beer with a big explosive bitterness. Some grapefruit towards the end, with hints of apple and apricot hiding under the hops in the middle. A bit of under-ripened peach. Some alcohol is apparent in the finish as the beer warms up, with an oily hoppiness becoming more and more apparent. The malt comes through more, balancing out the massive hoppiness nicely.
I'd say this is somewhere in imperial IPA territory. The beer is really huge, with better balance than most imperial IPAs, in my opinion. The malts are more complex and come through a bit more, so it's not just a hop tea. Nice and complex, with plenty of layers to both the hops and malts. Excellent.

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Photo of mschofield
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy opaque orange-amber topped with a one finger white head, leaves webs of lacing.
Very fruity aroma, grape, apricot, and although it doesn't sound good - orange juice concentrate.
Robust citrus taste - mainly orange, some grapefruit, malty enough to come close to balancing the hops considering the style. Wood note, spicy and nicely bitter.
Medium bodied. The AOBF had all sorts of great beers from all over, but I kept going back to this local again and again.

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Photo of marburg
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Soupy fog haze and a moderate head. And it gets interesting from there. Piney hop salad with small, marinated tangerines and apricots. A puzzling hop flavor dominates the whole brew. It's clearly very bitter, very hoppy. But this doesn't strike me as having a terribly "over the top" hop presence. Oily hoppiness really kicks in at the finish, inspiring traditional "grapefruit" comparisons. But on the whole, this strikes more of bitter greens than your normal overly hopped IPA. Syrupy canned fruit and hops are the accents and the finishing touches. Very drinkable, very interesting. Definitely better than most Americanized beers in that it's more creative than extreme.

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Photo of BierReise
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle Super hazed golden body with a thick rocky merenge like head which retains well. Big citrus pine hop aroma with notes of peaches and oranges. Body is full and sticks to your mouth. Flavor is big also with a sweet peach like flavor wrapped around citrus and malt. Overall this is one damn fine IPA which seems close to a Double/Imperial. Nice!

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Photo of AlexJ
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Warriorsoul for the trade.

A smooth pour into my trusty Delirium goblet unveils a bright, honey amber elixer with a fluffy 2 finger head that stays well for a high ABV beer.

Gorgeous nose on this beer. It shouts out grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, sticky pine cones, skunky marijuana buds, and light fruit notes. It has a solid, scorched caramel sweetness providing balance. I've had this many times while living in CT, but I don't ever remember this beer smelling so good.

This beer comes on strong. A hint of caramel and toffee malt in the front is pulverized by an onslaught of honey-drenched grapefruit peels, candied lemon zest, and oozing pine sap. There's a nice malt backbone to support all the hops. Alcohol is noticable in the finish. This really tastes a bit different from last year's vinatge. It's not as sweet as it used to be and hoppier. I think they have definately altered the recipe from last year.

Body is big and chewy, with a smooth texture and a BIG and long hop finish. Drinkability suffers a bit due to the alcoholic heat. This may be one of those IIPA's that benefits from a few months of storage to mellow out the rough edges.

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Photo of Brad007
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nice yellowish-blond color with a small flicker of head into my glass. Color is decent.

Grapefruit notes from the hops dominate upfront, followed closely by a bit of sweet malt. Yep, this is certainly hoppy.

Once again, lots of grapefruit character followed by a bitterness that's just right, warming the throat with mint-like flavors as well. Purely a hop monster.

Dries the mouth and leaves a residual grapefruit taste in the mouth. Certainly lives up to the name.

A decent imperial IPA that seems to be true to the meaning. It's not exactly balanced but still better than some other examples I've sampled.

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Hop Monster from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Beer rating: 61.3% out of 100 with 160 ratings
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