Hop Monster | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

very good
138 Reviews
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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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 160
Photo of dherling
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured out a slightly cloudy golden amber color, crowned by a half inch white ehad that slowly thin filmed itself. The nose was fresh, green, floral, piney hops, and sweet malt. Some fruit notes include pineapple and grapfruit. The taste is spicy and flavorful, with bitter hops present. There's a good amount of malty sweetness, finishing sweet and bitter. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and somewhat slick on the tongue. Just a tad bitter for my taste, threw off the balance, but a decent brew.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into Bowtie glass
Bottle advertises this beer as a "big blonde beer with an unreasonable amount of hops". Let's see if it lives up to this billing

A - Pours a cloudy orange-yellow gradient with a small off white head. Lacing leaves concentric rings and that's about it.

S - A not so delicate blast of pleasant floral hops with a mild sweet malt backbone. Very hoppy and rather enticing, but alcohol is perhaps a bit too strong in smell.

T - The malt backbone of this beer allows it live up to its blonde billing, but certainly the hops are the most prominent attraction here. Malt is more prevalent in taste than smell however, leaving a nice sweet aftertaste to counteract the intensity of the hops.

M - Moderate carbonation engulfs the tongue and leaves behind a crisp and sweet aftertaste. There is also a slight alcoholic bite going on here.

D - Im not too sure on the ABV of this brew, but it seems a bit high this style. However, the combination of blonde and IPA attributes succeeds in creating an excellent mash-up that I would gladly enjoy again.

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Photo of mynie
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a solid double IPA, very, very hazy redgold with a head that's more than respectable for a beer with such much alcohol in it.

That's a monster smell (a derpa derpa doo!). Giant hops and big, chewy bread dough. Similar to other good double IPAs--Rouge's, for example, in its intense yeastiness, but it also manages a very nice molasses malt kick.

Tastes friggin' intense. Giant dry hops and bigger bread hops against a doughy yeastiness. The hops are wonderfully big, but there's not real complexities to them. Just bitterness. The end has a slightly aged taste that works well, blending molasses with the giant hops. Not quite has balanced as the smell would have led me to believe, but good nonetheless.

It's nice to see little breweries taking risks. It's nicer when those risks end up as successfully as this beer. It's even nicer when those risks end up being sold in Iowa!

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Photo of plaid75
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a finger and a half pillowy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong resiny hop and solid soft grain.

The taste consisted up strong upfront peppery and citrus hop notes with a solid doughy grain backbone. Some mild alcohol notes were detected.

The mouthfeel was full.

Overall a good and drinkable DIPA. Recommeded.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The smell is rich with hops and caramelized malt, leaning toward the sweet side. I picked up a little bit of citrus but no where near as much as you normally get in this style.

T: Up front, the taste hits you with an intense hops bitterness and an intense caramel sweetness at the same time. You get a little bit of booziness and alcohol warmth that you tend to get from a barley wine. It seemed to me that this beer is one of those Double IPA’s with a heavy English IPA/Barley Wine influence (like Lagunitas 12th Anniv. Shutdown). The hops end up remaining in a mildly bitter after-taste.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation and a clean & dry finish.

D: It’s tasty and not very filling. This one is as drinkable as any other within the style, but after a 12oz. bottle or two, you may want to slow down a bit.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a somewhat dark shade of yellow and gold with a small head. The head faded to a ring and left a minor amount of lace.

The smell is deep and strong, consisting mainly of honey and pine. The taste starts with a lot of pale malt and a bit of honey. Hops take over and dominate through the finish. Pine flavor is strong. The mouthfeel is medium.

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

Reddish-amber body with a thick, solid 2 fingers of yellowish-white head.

Nose is concentrated spicy, citrusy hops. Tantalizing!

Taste starts out with a tart citrus blast like a well done DIPA, but has a weird flavor creep in midway thru the sip. Herbal and vaguely medicinal. I think it is a hop variety that I am not familiar with. Solid sweet malt backbone. All flavors are fresh and intense, it is a brew of magnitude.

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy with a little tartness/tooth strippiness.

Drinkability is pretty good. The medicinal flavor rapidly goes away, leaving one enjoying a worthy and tasty DIPA.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy Orange/Dark Peach color, providing not much of a head and leaving behind hardly any lacing to speak of. Smell of sweet floral hops, grassy, grapefruit, caramel, citrus, tangerines. I was pretty caught by pleasant surprise by the taste. Much grapefruit to speak of with a solid malty backbone to balance things out a bit. Very grassy, a bit piney, a floral hop overload. Finishes off semi-dry with a lingering grapefruit bitterness that latches onto the palate forever. I would say this brew is like a souped-up Smuttynose IPA, with a malty component. I am pleasantly surprised, to say the least. Not to mention the Brewery is only about 40 minutes from my house. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety, with good caarbonation. I would condier this great beer to very drinkable. A definite pleasure.

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Photo of neonbrown82
2.41/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I never met a double IPA I didn't like until this one. This blonde was no different than many of the blonde sorority girls I see around here: looks good enough, but completely lacks appeal to the other senses.

The beer pours to a dull hazy peach color with a thin head. Could use more clarity, carbonation, and head. Doesn't look very blonde. More like a blonde who tried to dye her hair a different color but with fucked up, tragic results. I'm lenient in this category, however, as it doesn't look unappealing at all.

The smell has the first hint of DMS and a sweet pear cidery flavor with a failed attempt at balancing/covering it with hops. The hops have a very sharp grassy aroma.

The taste starts off with a strong sweetness with that same pear cider flavor. Still has a hint of DMS. The hops flavor seems like an afterthought, like all of the hops were added at the beginning of the boil except for the dry hop addition. Rough bitterness with only a feint wet grassy hops taste. The mouth dries out very quickly.

The body seems quite light with a tart sweetness followed by a rough bitterness. Not a good combo. After it dries out your palate, it leaves you with that flavor you get after vomiting. Now, you tell me just how appealing that sounds. Still want to give 'er the 'ole college try?

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
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 nicefix
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Wonderful orange amber color. Cloudy with a small one finger head which I had to aggressively pour to create. Nice lacing.

Smell - Big citrus hops punch. Smells great.

Taste - Citrus hop front with a nice malt kick in the middle and a bitter alcohol finish. Smells better than it tastes.

Mouthfeel - Silky on the palate, maybe medium body.

Drinkability - Pretty drinkable, but a high abv. So drink them slow. Overall, I liked this beer. Interesting. Worth buying a six pack.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

hazy light orange amber with half an inch of white head. leaves nice rings of lace.

great aroma. honey sweetness from the malt and a nice mix of fruity, light hop aromas: citrus, peaches, and apricots.

medium body with a medium carbonation and a slick, oily feel. complex hop flavors with notes of citrus rinds. finishes with a honey-apricot sweetness balancing out the oily hop bitterness. a touch of alcohol in the finish as well. i think the blonde IPA idea sounds and smells a little better than it tastes; the combination is slightly jarring and not hugely drinkable. but it's certainly a complex, interesting brew.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to PPoitras for the sample.
Pours a sort of golden honey color with a dull hwite foamy head.
Aroma of pine and evergreen sap with some light citrus fruit stand out. Faint hint of white pepper as it warmed a bit.
Flavors of acidic fruit and some alcohol to start but quickly shifts to a somewhat spicy hop note. Intriguing and very nice.
Mouthfeel is Not quite full-bodied but pretty think and full. Some gritty hop bittering, especially as it warms. Peppery feel is present.
Drinkability is very high. This was a very nice surprise, very solid effort and interesting spin on hop power.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.49/5  rDev +19.1%
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 wedge
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Radiant blonde color with a loose creamy head that slips down to a bubbly sheet. Thick, pungent tropical-fruity hops burst from the glass...actually its more of a complex combination of all kinds of hops on top of that. Juicy hop flavor with a solid malt sweetness that chases the hops down in the middle followed by some grain. Yeah, thats pretty different. Pretty heavy in the mouth - smooth with evidence of the 8.5%.

One word to describe this one is pungent. It gets points for creativity...very interesting choice of hops in an unrestrained DIPA.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - a rich amber/brown color. with plenty of carbonation, a thin smooth white head

S - what a smell, strong hops, almost to the point of have a piney/sprucey aroma, any other aromas are overpowered

T - wow, the hops are kicking my ass, the bitterness of this beer is great, truly an IBU lovers dream, damn bitter, as with the aroma, any secondary attributes are overwhelmed, with the exception of a slight honey sweetness

M - despite the bitterness, it is damn smooth, the slight sweetness provides a decent balance

D - high if you like IBU's, otherwise medium or even lower

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Photo of snilsen13
4.49/5  rDev +19.1%
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 NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange-marmalade body. Long lasting antique-white head. Walls of tiny-spotted lace. Pretty nice for a beer of 8.5%

Malty and honeyish, piney/spicy/minty hops, dried-apricot aroma.

Full bodied. Effervescent, very-fine-bubbled.

The flavor starts with hints of honey and a healthy dose of rock candy. Becomes bready. Then hoppy, peppery and minty with a piney side. Alcohol & dried apricot. Bold bitterness. Alcohol. Piney hops. Very drying alcohol. Fades back to dried apricot and a thin drizzle of honey. Perhaps some mild papaya. Lingering spice, probably due to both the hops and the alcohol.

Big. Very bold. The choice of hops is interesting (it's at least a change from citrus). Enjoy at cellar temperature to bring out the richness of the malt and balance the striking hops. Perhaps overdone, perhaps not, but the somewhat harsh alcohol clearly inhibits drinkability.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden orangey color with a nice foamy white one finger head that dissolves to a very small layer.
S: Aromas on this one are of grapefruit and some pine. Mostly citrus smells dominate the nose.
T/M: Fruity hop taste with a slight bready malt presence. Piney hops are spicy, oily and resiny. Creamy and smooth through the mouth. Velvety and silky through the mouth. Slight bitter aftertaste, but not a huge bitter bomb. Good tasting dipa.
D: Have had this before and it was absolutely terrible. Glad this one was much better as it's a ton more drinkable. Try it if you can.

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Photo of Longstaff
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wanted to update my review since I picked up a bottle to see if things have changed, and yes, they have. The over hopped, rubbery aromas and flavors are gone and now this is an enjoyable drink. Plenty of bitterness that is somewhat balanced, good hop aroma and flavor complement the bitterness. I would personally like to see a little more fruity hop aromas and flavors, but I guess you can't have everything.

10/03 Review - 2.45 Overall rating:
What did they do to the lovely tap version they made of Hop Monster? See my review here : http://beeradvocate.com/beer/rate_results/123/6889/latest/0/Longstaff/

This is nothing like it, and its just plain bad. Resinous hop character just overshadowed everything in this beer giving it a burnt rubber type aroma and taste. Tried on two seperate occasions, and each time had to dump it down the drain. Gave away the other 4 bottles to poor unsuspecting victims. When extreme beer goes bad.

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Photo of blackie
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a .5" white head that slowly recedes into the beer. The beer is slightly cloudy, and a light golden amber in color. A generous head is easily created by swirling the liquid.

smell: Sweet hops! The wonderful fresh, green, floral, piney hops smell great against the highly sweet malt. Fruity aromas are present, including pineapple, orange, and other tropical fruits. I am also picking up a "gin and juice" like smell, which is probably an indicator of the alcohol present.. Not bad at all, though it smells a little off at times, with a slightly artificial type aroma.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is a high light, and the body medium and somewhat slick on the tongue.

taste: Very strange. There is a large amount of spicy, flavorful, bitter hops present. On the other hand, there is a high level of sweetness from what I am guessing is a large amount of light malt. At least that is the only thing I know to attribute it to. High amounts of light malt taste strange to me. Not bad, just strange. There is a taste to it that reminds me of scuppernong wine. The finish is sweet and bitter. A strange take on the style, and one to try if given the chance, if only for its uniqueness.

drinkability: The bitterness is a limiting factor, but the beer is pretty drinkable. A genuinely good beer.

Obtained this bottle from ppoitras in BIF 24.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, golden colored pour with a decent head. The smell is very pungent. Lots of pine and spruce with some spice mixed in. Flavor is very full of citrus, pine, and spice. Believe the name, the Hop Monster beats up your palate and is not for the easy-drinking crew. If you like DIPA's that go straight for your palate, this is a good one for you. I have learned to embrace these beers in my young beer drinking career, and it is a quite enjoyable brew.

Funny little story to go along with this one: I bought a 6-pack of this at a package store in western MA on the way to my band's gig in Amherst. Without any description of the ABV on the bottle, I had no idea it was a DIPA. Judging by the pungent aroma and strong taste, I obviously had an idea that it was not your typical swill beer, but I also had no idea that the beer weighed in at just under 9%. I drank one before our band went on stage and drank another during our set. After our last song I was feeling pretty buzzed, but couldn't understand why 2 beers would do this to me. I proceeded to drink 2 more after our set and then topped it off with some of the "not-so-high" ABV beer that was being served. After checking the beer's stats on BA, I had a great explination to my friends as to why I don't remember any of the car-ride home.

P.S.- This beer was reviewed by me from the remaining 2 beers that I had left over from the six-pack, not by the four that I consumed on that night, so don't worry it is an honest review, haha.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy peach with a solid white head that falls to a table with some lacing. Smell is rather tame for a double IPA...the hops were somewhat subdued...some perfume floral notes. The taste however is a oily hoppy blend of alcohol and some surprising sweetness. Mouthfeel varies between thin and medium and keeps the palate interested. The sweetness and the overly peppery bitterness keep this from being a highly drinkable beer for me. This is also high-powered and not sessionable. Lots of character, unfortunately like Sybil, of the multiple personality disorder fame, and doesn't know quite what it wants to be.

Thanks to warriorsoul for this fine beer.

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Photo of OldSock
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance and Presentation – 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits. It pours a hazy golden orange beer with a creamy two finger head. Retention and lacing are both exceptional.

Smell – Mostly spicy and herbal hops a very different smell than most DIPAs that I have had. Slightly sweet malt background.

Taste – Rather strong alcohol flavor shows through the hops and malt. The hops are rather European/British, more herbal/grassy than the standard American citrus/pine mix. The malt is just sweetness, not much complexity. The bitterness is in check, if anything it’s a bit too far to the sweet side.

Mouthfeel – Light and thinish for a big beer. Relatively low carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – A bit cloying, but a passable beer that is drinkable to a point. Overall this is a so-so DIPA, thankfully it tries something different, but sadly it is not a beer that I would have again. Definately not Paper City’s best effort.

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Photo of TheDodge
4.82/5  rDev +27.9%
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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Hop Monster from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
3.77 out of 5 based on 160 ratings.
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