Hop Monster | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

very good
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of garthwaite
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle sample courtesy of ppoitras. Pours a glowing, murky yellow with no head to speak of. Huge citrusy aroma of lemon, lime, & orange with an almost equally large dose of piney hops. Initial flavors of pale malts with a big oily hop bite and assertive bitterness. Quite a unique array of flavors fill the mouth - I'm picking up sugary tropical fruit, juicy hop oil, pine needle, grapefruit, lemon, & grape. Syrupy & almost medicinal in the mouth with a pronounced apple ciderish finish. To me this is a sweet, sour, hoppy jumble that while exceptionally unique was just too damn muddled, fruity, & sweet to fit my palate.

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Photo of MediocreatBest
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

golden orange hue with a creamy with a white head that disapates quickly. piny hop smell hits the nose but without the spicy kidna smell i expected. oddly smells like wet paint, i didn' notice the smell on my first one, but after it became a taste i expected i could smell it when it came time to reviewing. the wet paint taste comes through first with a grafruit juiceyness. intense hop taste without the bitterness you would expect for something with so many hops. it has more of a juice mouth feel and taste then most other IPAs that have taht grapfruit taste to them. i wouldn't really want more then one a night of tehse, but it is something i could drink regularly. it is certainly a one of kind brew as far as i am concerned, and once you move past the akwardness of that wet paint taste you can really enjoy it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blonde, she is, cloudy, too, with a prodigious head, fluffy and white...looks nice!
Aroma, hops aplenty! Piney, spicy, fruity, oily hops...let's stick my sniffer back in the suds and see if I can't glean some more....hops are in full attendance, but it's all sweetness, and no bitter, none, nosirree! Pineapple is the largest flavor in attendance. Green apples show, too.
Taste: woo, sweet, woo, fruity! BeerBoy told me it would be this way, but you never know for real until you taste for yourself! Light bodied, just, barely, enough malt, bursting with sweet, sweet succor, only traces of bitterness. Almost too much for me, which must be way past plenty for many...quite a unique creation, but goes overboard in some areas, is too cloying with the sweet fruit, now, I swear bananas are getting through the gates, too, for Heaven's Sake,...bursting with flavor, but a little too much of one kind, I think.
If there were more malt, maybe, this would sit better on my palate.
Kind of soapy, too, these hops, wonder which ones...
anyway, neat little brew, can't see myself drinking too many of these, but there you go, that's the wonderful world of craft-brewing, coming up with crazy-ass shit and trying it out...why the hell not, eh?

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.44/5  rDev +17.8%
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 beerluvr
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
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 wyllder
2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a light, cloudy amber with little to no head.

Has a very distinctive, fruity nose, with grapefruit and apricot greeting you when you smell it. This is probably one of the best smelling beers I've ever had, it's almost like smelling a nice perfume.

First hit on the palate is a rush of hop bitterness that slowly fills out with grapefruit & apricot flavors. The grapefruit and apricot turn into an orange peel aftertaste as they move to the back of the palate. As you progress through the bottle, the hoppiness takes backseat and the fruitiness tends to overwhelm the palate.

Most frustratingly for me, the orange peel aftertaste actually settles in the back of the throat like a bad cough medicine and is quite unpleasant. By about 2/3 of the way through my 12oz bottle, it became a battle to actually finish it.

This isn't necessarily a bad beer, just much fruitier than I prefer in an IPA and possessing an aftertaste that sat really poorly with me. I can see why some people might like or even love it, but it's not for me and came really close to meeting the sink drain.


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Photo of taez555
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a white head with a translucent, slight chill hazed, orange body.

The nose was pure grapefruit juice. Sharp spice and even some gum. For the most part though, pure juice smell. No peel, but juice.

The taste was sort of the same. Medium boded and very sugary sweet. Hops, hops and more hops. A nice full malt sweetness followed by a hot pepper, without the burn, sort of taste. Pepper, citrus peel, citrus juice, grapefruit, even some traces of apples. It starts very soft and even hoppy then proceeds through a big spice hop burst then ends with a hot pepper(minus the burn) and citrus taste. Almost like juicy fruit near the end. The overall bitterness is middle of the road. It just sits nicely in the mix.

What a bizarre IPA. Sugary sweet, hot peppers and lots of grapefruit juice. An odd IPA, but in a way, very cool.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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 bigbeerdrinka
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light amber to golden yellow color. A nice decently thick white head forms about an inch thick. The head nicely laces the glass.

Smell: For something labeled Hop Monster this beer's smell is nothing but unique. What clearly smells to be a tart grapefruit-like juicy and tangy smell complete inhibits my nostrils. More sweet aromas are present with little or no scent of apparant bitterness.

Taste: Initially this beer is quite sweet with a fruity taste which explodes in my mouth halfway through. Though this beer is not sour, it is tart and going down, brings out such flavors as fruit, minor alcohol, and something which i cannot quite figure out. All of these flavors linger on the palate until another sip is taken and the explosion occurs again.

Mouthfeel: This beer has minimal carbonation and is not very thick at all. Overall it goes down quite quickly but the pungent sweetness is almost too much, but at the same time is just quite amazing.

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Photo of mschofield
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
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 BeerResearcher
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a chill hazed gold with a fast fading white head and very little lace.
It has an odd sour buttermilk aroma, followed by a big floral hop smell.
The malt is buried by the candy sugary flavor.
The taste is overwhelmingly pink grapefruit with sugar.
A lemon sourball taste emerges.
A shot of alcohol peaks through.
Nice effort, but a bit too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Redbones,10.5 oz serving came in a full pint glass, that's what I'm talkin' about!
White,fluffy head sat atop a pint of golden hop nectar.
Very pungent,sweet,fresh,juicy hops in the nostrils.
Almost candi-like,with crazy fruit action going on,not at all a shy brew.
Big hop flavor and sweet. Very little malt,might be brewed with candi sugar and lots of late added whole leaf hops.
Very smooth bitterness, mostly just juicy hops,a myriad of fruits,and residual sugars. Alcohol warming as it goes down,nice, not too hot.
Medium bodied and not very crisp. A different take on the IIPA, very good but not extremely drinkable. Just too sweet,dry it up some and maybe some more bittering hops.

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Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$8.95 a six pack @ Charles Street Liquors, Boston, MA:


Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Decent foaming action, thin white lacing leaves a modest trail down the glass. The hazy golden hue shows some carbonation.

Smell: Big aroma of warm ripe tropical fruit, tree bark, pine needles and a faint fusel alcohol. Very aromatic in almost a pungent kind of way.

Taste: Very juicy, a tab pungent and puckering with lots of piney, tobacco-like, grapefruit rind and tree bark hop flavor and bitterness. A decent malt base with ample pale malt sweetness, almost sugary. Fuming alcohol in the end shows off the strength. The finish dries up quick with a long drawn out scathing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and slick on the tongue, the slickness increases with a bold body showing after the carbonation drops out.

Notes: This is a rude Imperial IPA, it smacks the palate around until it can’t take anymore. Each sip is more blissful abuse … brews in the raw like this I learn to enjoy even though they don’t hold back.

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Photo of necoadam
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hop monster is right. Poured out a light orange color with some decent amount of carbonation that lasts all the way through. Smell was quite sweet. Very piney with some light fruit and lots of hops. Taste was interesting. Huge sweetness upfront with some malts in the middle that then blends with a ton of hops that last all the way through. Hops are quite sharp at the aftertaste. Not a bad beer. It starts out a little too sweet, but that's my only complaint.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This hazy golden-green beer may not have been given sufficient time to settle in the cask. The head retention was good, and it left a fair amount of lace on the glass. The aromas were dominated by intense citrus notes. As were the flavors of this hop monster. There was little balance, it was an uberhopped brew. Beginning with more floral hop notes and eventually becoming a grapefruit sour fest. There was little malt character to speak of, the only balance coming from somewhat woody notes - oak maybe. It's a fun drink, very full bodied but tastes too much like a tart breakfast juice for me to enjoy much in the evenings. Maybe it would pair well with some pancakes and bacon...

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Photo of beergeek279
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a filmy white head. The smell is a somewhat minty/citrus hop. The taste is a fairly grassy hop with a bit of citrus taste, and a bit of malt that seems a bit muddled. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, probably wouldn't have too many more.

Thanks to UnionMade for the bottle. Just not particularly impressed with this one, as it just doesn't seem to be within that IPA balance that the greats have. It's a pleasure to give it a try, but this wouldn't be one I'd go out of my way to get.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a murky dark orange colour with a fluffy white head of foam. The aromas are a bit rough, hoppy, alcoholic, and reminsicent of the DFH 90 minute IPA. The taste is similar to the aromas and packs quite a wallop! A bunch of bitter hops up front, with some intense malts in the middle, and some booziness in the finish! The mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry as a bone and the drinkability is top notch. Nice!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
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 Stopper
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a cloudy apricot color, with a very thin white head. The aroma is a bright, slightly citrusy hoppiness on a sweet background. The taste is immediately very spicy and a bit astringent, like chewing on grass, with a mouthfeel that is nice, if a bit thinner than I expected. There is a very slight sweetness under these hops, but definitely sublte enough to leave no doubt that the hops are running this show. The finish just brings more of the same spice and astringency, but the sweetness fades leaving the hops even more exposed. This bitterness is really very drying, inviting me back to where I started the vicious cycle.

This is definitely a hop monster. I enjoy the spicy accent of the hops, which I rarely perceive so early in the flavor profile of a beer, but for me the overall hop quality is a bit more dry and astringent than ideal. I guess I should have expected this when the bottle told me it had an unreasonable amount of hops.

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Photo of marburg
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
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 nixhecks
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy golden orange color with a good sized, white-sand colored head. Aroma was sweet and citrusy, with a tell-tale smell of sweet candy-like alcohol. By the first sip the head had dissapated to a film, showing no signs of giving up more than it already had. This was a very smooth IPA for a name like hop monster. To start it was very sweet and fruity, kind of apple-ish. The finish was a bit bitter, but nothing like I expected. Although maybe not largely drinkable, this was an excellent IPA with all the characteristics any hop-head would be seeking. Nicely done, this brewery has definetely attracted my attention.

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Photo of jazzmac
2.96/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy amber color with a nice foamy head. Hops are overpowering on first smell. The beer slams into your palate on the first sip with overwhelming hops. There is not much body here to back up the hops and alcohol. Very disappointed as I love every beer this brewery makes, it felt like hops for hops sake without thought to balancing the flavor.

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Photo of far333
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Apricot color with a beige bubbly foamy head. There are large particles suspended in the beer. The aroma is honey and light hops, and masks the huge flavor lying beneath. The flavor kicks you in the teeth all at once. Big flavors of bitter hops, with a slight piney aftertaste and a bitter orange peel finish. Mouthfeel is tingly. An alcoholic flourish lingers afterward. This beer can stand up to all of the big big Imperial IPA's out there, however, like those big IIPA's, I feel that the flavor is overtaken and ruined by the strong alcohol power.

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Photo of Jdiddy
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a bit let down by this. It's not bad but it is not spectacular either. Suprisingly, the scent is not very hoppy. I prefer the scent of a 90 IPA from Dogfish. It does hide the alcohol well but the taste is just ok. It has that bitter (cellar/dirt-like) aftertase that some very hopped beers have. That shows me that something was not done right. The beer is ok until the aftertaste. A bit musty. I am all for hops (the hoppier the better!) but it has to be balanced right and this isn't. I would not rush to buy this again.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The hop monster served from the bottle appears a hazy amber/orange, with a fairly foamy white head. Aroma is fairly sweet and the hop aroma is actually fairly subdued, or at least balanced with enough malt that it isn't scary to inhale. First sip was like sucking on a mouthful of hop flowers, reach out and grab you hop bitterness. The palate quickly adjusts and the beer also mellows a bit as it warms a bit, the malt character becomes more evident. You briefly taste a nice caramel malt sweetness, then a vicious citrus tang on the back of the tongue kicks in as an aftertaste. Wow, hop monster indeed, probably the best brew I've tried from Paper City. Would love to try some on draft...

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Hop Monster from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
3.77 out of 5 based on 160 ratings.
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