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

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Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale AleLilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale
47 Ratings
Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale AleLilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 11-07-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of donniecuffs
4.38/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

My buddy got this in his first shipment for beers-of-the-month/world club, and decided to share. Poured a filtered golden color into an American pint glass, with an impressive two fingers of bright white head. The smell was a crisp pleasant mix of macintosh apple, pear, subtle citrus, grass, and floral hops. Wasn't expecting this to be a bitter/hoppy -tasting pale ale, but I respect the guys who buck the trend. Anyway, the taste confirmed the anticipated fruitiness, with an initial pear/apple/grassiness dissolving to maltiness and then finishing on a crisp dry apple note. Very dry, very refreshing. Thin bodied, but decent carb presence. Excellent session beer.

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Photo of wallrock
4/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.97/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Clear amber color with a large off-white head. The aroma is malty and a little roasty, which is unexpected in a pale ale, but I like it. Flavor is never really sweet; it starts off bitter and gets more bitter. Biscuity malt with apricots at first, until a piney hop flavor enters in in the middle. Finishes bitter with flavorful hops. Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect. This beer is quite refreshing. A well crafted pale ale.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.86/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a perfect.

Pours a honey, dark straw with an immense head that stays to the point that it recedes to a chimney in the middle of the glass, breathtaking presentation.

Aroma is of heavily boiled malt with a light rider of cracker and doughy breadiness. Tannic aromas from the water most likely with a smallish rider of floral hop.

Flavor opens with toasted bread, slightly nutty and crunchy. Middle yields to bitter hops that are slightly resinous and oily. Finishes bitter and dry, but clean. A very clean and perfect to style flavor, surprising that there could be this much malt (long boil), with no discernible diacetyl. Flavor is chewy and full of bready goodness, could use a tiny bit more fruitniness from the hop addition, but not much.

Mouthfeel is medium, and could be a bit thicker, but this is not an IPA, so this is a given. Carbonation is perfect, soft and full, lush bubbles.

I could drink these all day, a great light bodied sessionable Pale. Scores very well because of the presentation, but screams English Pale with the tannic mineral flavor. Must be the Wisco water.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this brew at my local deli and have been wanting to for a while now. Now it's time to sip on this interesting sounding name beer.

Appearance: Poured a clear, foggy brown with a fading sunset looking color. The lace seemed to stick around like the gum thats been stuck on my shoe for over 3 weeks.

Smell: similar to its cousin, the Hop-ness monster, but has its own agenda. Citrusy with a hint of strong malt flavoring.

Taste: Goes down clean with plenty of secrets left for the curious to discover. Very Toasty and sweet at the same time make this beer something to be desired by those looking. hops are very appearant.

Mouthfeel: The citrus flavoring sticks around and disappears quietly. Somewhat dry and the carbonation is perfect in balance with the other characters of hops.

Drinkability: Very clean, but a beer that gives you something different and a bit tantalizing. a beer I would definitely would want to have again.

Cheers all!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.8/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Clear amber color with a large off-white head. The aroma is malty and a little roasty, which is unexpected in a pale ale, but I like it. Flavor is never really sweet; it starts off bitter and gets more bitter. Biscuity malt with apricots at first, until a piney hop flavor enters in in the middle. Finishes bitter with flavorful hops. Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect. This beer is quite refreshing. A well crafted pale ale.

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Photo of dfried
3.77/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy dark straw colored body, a bit orangish, with a foamy off white head that stuck around as a cap for a while. Some yeasting chunks floating around. The aroma first hit me as a pungent perfumy, floral burst, but after that a lot of citrus notes came right behind it, along with some musty resinous notes. Some balancing sweet malt detectable too. The taste is still hoppy but way more balanced than the aroma led on. Same as in the aroma, the hops were floral upfront, leading to a more citrus aftertaste. A pretty nondescript sweet pale malt backbone, a touch biscuity, but it had relatively low carbonation witch made it quite smooth and easy on the palate.

Overall: some interesting layering of the hop flavors, and I liked the low carbonation. It was like an English style malt and body pale ale, but with American style hops. Not bad, middle of the road beer.

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Photo of nsmartell
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up this beer as part of a pick-your-six from a liquor store off the freeway halfway between Madison and Wisconsin Rapids. I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Nice amber color with a slightly off-white head.

Smell: Malty and a little sweet.

Taste: A little bitter and has hints of pine.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this beer. I haven't found a new pale ale I've liked in some time, but I would definitely recommend this one.

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Photo of Redrover
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
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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Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
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 +10.4%
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 Brenden
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
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 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 turntable1973
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of OKCNittany
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of hoptician
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of giblet
3.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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 mvanaskie13
3.46/5  rDev +6.1%
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 cokes
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
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 tempest
3.36/5  rDev +3.1%
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 CPeterson
3.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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 Tballz420
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
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 Zaradog
3.26/5  rDev 0%
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.

 1,402 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of enelson
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%

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Lilja's Pulling Boat Pale Ale from Sand Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.26 out of 5 with 47 ratings
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