Lilja's Hop Nest Monster | Sand Creek Brewing Company

Lilja's Hop Nest MonsterLilja's Hop Nest Monster
Liked This Beer
3.34 w/ 192 ratings
Lilja's Hop Nest MonsterLilja's Hop Nest Monster

Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nest is NOT a typo.

Added by feloniousmonk on 01-14-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 105
Photo of dudemuskie
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
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....

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Photo of chaz01
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of jmich24
2.83/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of jsh420
3.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours semi cloudy yellow orange with a 2 finger head that left spotted lacing

smells of some fruity hops but malts for the most part

taste is good - reminds me of a stronger snpa - richer sweeter carmel/crystal malts and fruity hops - i would rate this higher if it were a pale ale but ipa is stretch

mouthfeel is light crisp and creamy

drinkability - very good session beer although the abv is unknown

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light copper with pretty good bubbling. Theres a nice film o' foam and some Brussel's lacing stuck to my glass, a good sign.

The aroma is a crisp orange and grapefruit peel citrus. Not much malt noticed in the smell though.

Lots of crisp grassy malts topple the tongue first. Then the bitter oarnge peel and a few other citric hop flavors dominate the flavor profile. The finish has a more pronounced malt compared to the front and middle of the palate. This is a bitter beer overall, but not a hop bomb by any means. This is a bitter session beer. Hop flavors from start to finish with just a little balancing malt.

Pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of tempest
3.16/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Keith for sharing this. There was a doughy malt background behind standard citrus and pine hops. While this beer is technically fine (no flaws), it's also fairly unremarkable. The hops aren't very big for an IPA, this comes off more like a thick pale ale.

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Photo of meatyard
3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, pale, golden/yellow with a dense, 2 to 3-finger, white head that has good retention and lacing. Seems too light in color for an IPA but not too big a deal.
The smell is grassy and orange hops with a light, sweet malt following.
This beer starts to fall apart with the taste for me. It starts off bitter, stays bitter while providing some minor malt flavor.
Mouthfeel is thin but improves some as it warms, finishes dry.
Not particularly drinkable as an IPA. As it warms, over normal IPA temps, the malts come forward more in aroma & taste but not the hops. Who knows when this was bottled, Another case of a hop style beer possibly losing score value due to being past it's prime without any indication of bottle date. To me, this beer has some good qualities but taste & aroma need some tweaking. I'm glad to see another Wisconsin beer show up in Philly, though I hope their other beers are better.

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Photo of pacothrash
1.85/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This is one of the worst beers I have ever had. It poured a piss yellow color and has a frothy very light head. I should have not paid the $8.99 price for 6 of these beers. I cannot compare this beer to any other IPA's I have every had. I enjoy a good American IPA and this does not cut it. I think I will have a Clipper City Heavy Sea's IPA after cleaning my palate with some water.

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Photo of saccro
3.42/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - nice lasting foam. white. dense. Melted butter color. Tons of suspended sediment.

S - grassy. sweet malt in the background. Slight balance towards hops. a little orange citrus.

T - sweet at first with some bitterness. followed by strong harsh aftertaste of bitterness. Flavor is pretty balance with sweet malt and hops.

M - very carbonated. medium bodied.

D - not bad. a little harsh with the bitterness. The sediment is a bit of a turn off.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A single 12 ounce bottle picked up at the Beer Stop for $1.75. Poured into my nonic pint glass. Hop Nest appears a hazy muted peach color with about a finger of off white foam. The head leaves a size-able lace on the inside of my glass. Nose and flavors consist of pine, bready malt, some caramel, grass, lemon. Decent medium+ body with adequate carbonation. Pretty tasty, but - "hop nest monster"? Really? That is certainly a myth in this case...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny."

--John Oliver Hobbes

Polished 24-karat gold with sunshine colored highlights. A vigorous pour produced four full fingers of eggshell colored foam that has a mousse-like texture. The lid melts in attractive fashion and is leaving the glass festooned with a generous amount of delicate lace.

The nose is more Imperial pils than American IPA, thanks to a musky-earthy grassiness reminiscent of Saaz and its ilk. One source says that Amarillo hops are in use. It's odd that their typical orange zestiness isn't apparent. Warming makes things more pungent and more pleasing.

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster tastes like an IPA... to which one or more of the German/Czech nobles were added. Classic Saaz flavor. It's also pretty hoppy-bitter, so this must be a fairly fresh bottle. Some sort of dating would still be nice (for all craft beer).

It looks and smells and tastes like nothing darker than pale malt is present. That allows the focus to be where the focus should be in an IPA. Hop flavor is clean and pithy and biting. It's mostly white grapefruit pith, with bitter grasses and lemon zest close behind. I'd love to know the hop bill.

The mouthful is more APA than IPA. On second thought, a more full creaminess would require more malt, and that would not be a good thing. Actually, it's fine the way it is. Sparkly carbonation adds just the right amount of mouth energy.

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster isn't as good as Sand Creek's best beer (Wild Ride IPA), but it's a wonderful effort in its own right. It you like the European hops as much as the American ones, give this one a go... and satiate your inner hop monster.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a faint yellow and mirky with good sticky lace and small head. First impression is it looks like a Hefe? Scent was a light orange, maybe a little grapefruit also a little metallic.

Mouth was full and creamy with a quick wash and slight raisin aftertaste.

Creamy made the impression, a little on the creme ale side, so I may be wrong, but a cooked corn and butterscotch note were primary tastes. Hops bitter took the center stage but not much else.

It's different. It's worth a try. Hops sting is the real bonus. Not much else.

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Photo of BMoney575
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 2-13-10

Pours a hazy orange/yellow color, with a thin white head and even thinner lacing.

Smell is all hops, slightly earthy and citrusy. Very fresh smelling, and quite enjoyable.

Taste is exactly like the smell, a decent malt character backed up by big hop flavors. Fruity and grassy with a bitter kick in the finish.

Mouthfeel is what you'd expect for the style, creamy but still light, with a carbonation to keep the hops tart.

Drinkability is very good, if you're in the mood for hoppy and bitter.

Overall, a great IPA that I'll definitely be trying again.

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Photo of jampics2
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle that was either an extra or a left-behind. Nice pour into a pint glass reveals a yellow-orange cloudy beer with a small white head that does stick across the middle as well as the edges.

Smells OK. Sweet malt, mild hops, just not anything more than average and nothing too pronounced.

Taste is much better that the smell lead me to think. This bottle tastes like it may be a little old (Freshness date your bottles, please!) but there is a nice brightness to the malt/yeast/hops combo that makes me like it. Bitterness is moderate, but this has a nice fruit hint and does an upbeat dance across my tastebuds.

Mouthfeel is ok. Tastes a little watery in the finish, and that makes the carb feel prickly. But this is almost there.

Drinkability is slightly better than your average American IPA. This is a decent beer, but could use a bit more aroma and showcasing of the hops.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.68/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass on 11/12/09

A - Pale yellow/gold in color. Pours a one finger head that holds at first but eventually dissipates to a thin layer which lasts throughout. Sporadic, yet solid rings of lace.

S - Over-ripe citrus: orange & lemon. Reminds me of pine-sol, having a soapy aroma to it. Hints of pine & floral hops. Slightly dry malt undertones.

T - Very similar to the nose. Hops are definitely present here, mostly orange, grapefruit & lemon. Some hints of a piney bitterness, too. Toasted bread & biscuit in there. Like the nose, it's kind of soapy.

M - Medium bodied with carbonation that seems appropriate. Finishes dry with some residual flavors lingering.

D - While this beer is far from enticing & isn't particularly good in my opinion, it is drinkable. To that end, I won't be drinking it again unless someone gave me one, or maybe if it were on draft. Maybe.

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Photo of weeare138
2.51/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to TomDecapolis...
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white head that fades into a mild cap. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cracked grain and a bit of a bland clay like aroma.
Taste...ok, talk about bland. Just not a whole lot going on in this other than the yeast.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, yeasty overkill, and grassy bitterness. I don't like it. Sorry.

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Photo of BigMike
2.92/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I reviewed this a few weeks ago but it disappeared.

Pours a light golden yellow with a thin white two finger head.

Smell was floral with a light amount of citrus.

This one tasted a bit "off" to me. Light floral and citrus and a bit skunky for lack of a better word.

This is not one i would want to drink again or one that i would recommend.

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Photo of Brenden
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a clear, deep yellow that just gives the slightest hint of an orange tint in a certain light. The head pours about a finger and fades to a thick foam that leaves some firm patchy lacing behind.
This smells very much like a pils initially. There's a bit of a hops presence in there and it's clean and pretty raw with a natural earthiness. There's a faint malt as well.
The taste is like an APA with a citrus and flowery hops flavor, fairly strong but not typical of an IPA. Plenty of grapefruit and citrus rind with a little pine resin is in there with a light malt presence. Raw bitterness lingers in the finish.
There's a moderate crispness with a smooth finish in a medium body. Carbonation is light to moderate.

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Photo of Otesanek
2.78/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very hazy golden glowing orange, tiny 1/2" head settles to a light fog with a solid ring, lacing is ok. The smell is nice enough, mellow sweet malt and faintly citrusy hops, kinda like a lighter version of 90 minute. Deeper inhales bring out some bitter resinous pine notes. Flavor isn't very great, unbalanced in the direction of bitterness, rather harshly so. Holding it in my mouth I really only pick up some nondescript malt sweetness and intense pine hop bitterness. The finish is grapefruit pith. Mouthfeel is average, a little high on the carbonation side given the bitterness. The drinkablity is ok, not coating or cloying, finishes clean, but the out of whack bitterness hurts the repeat performance. I've wanted to use the phrase "hopness hot-mess" for a while now, it fits this beer. "Hop Nest, hop-ness, hot mess." It seems like the bulk of the hops went in for the long boil and the finishing hops were overlooked or under represented.

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Photo of buschbeer
2.87/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I reviewed this beer last week but it is not on here. So here we go again . . .

I poured into a pint glass to an inch of white head. It is yellow in color. This is a lot lighter than expected. The smell is of weak pine. It has a bitter taste but not in a good way. Overall, it is not a good IPA.


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Photo of movingtrain
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Couldn't find the brewery name on the bottle...but was interested in the beer title. At the bottom of the label it reads: "Bold, Brazen Beer Brewed Behind the Cheddar Curtain. A reference to Wisconsin, I'm assuming.

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a slightly cloudy straw color. Carbonation looks pretty active. Pours with a half finger head on top.

Smell is citrusy, oily, caramel, dried fruit, hops for sure.

Taste is pretty piney up front...very bitter. A bit of that homebrewed tinge to it...metallic. Pretty empty in the middle here. It' bitter all around...and the carbonation gives the beer a push over the tongue which detracts from the nice fruity flavors that usually come with a good IPA. It's bready...but that maltiness isn't really adding much sweetness to the brew.

Overall, a decent beer. Not too much to write home about, but worth trying, for sure.

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Photo of kegger22
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy, medium yellow with a moderate head that quickly faded to barely a skin. The aroma was that slightly skunked, lagerish smell. The taste was not skunky at all, though. It was not particularly malty, more citrus with a pine after taste. The feel was medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability was also good. Hop Nest Monster was a pleasant surprise as I was not familiar with the brewery and just taking a flier on this one. This was a better beer than the rating indicated, but it suffered from appearance and aroma scores

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Photo of bigreduw64
3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated October 15, 2009. Looking forward to a fresh IPA. They had some stats listed on a flyer with the beer and I was intrigued by a listing of 88 IBU's and no dry hopping.

Pours a nice hazy orange with steady carbonation. A small head that hangs around with a little lacing on the glass.

The smell is not good. It smells like spent grain, no hop presence is detectable. If you handed this to me and asked me to drink it based on smell, I may turn you down.

Taste is surprisingly good after the aroma. Very nice earthy hop notes with a drying bitterness on the tongue. The finish is enjoyable and lasts a good amount of time.

Overall I enjoyed this beer and would buy it again. May not be my first choice for an IPA, but I liked it anyways.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly hazy light gold. Sticky head and a good bit of lace.
Smell is quite mild, some caramel hops mix, mild citrus as in bitter grapefruit. Also a mild medicinal smell. Hard to place.
Taste is dry and slightly bitter. Just a hint of sweetness in the finish. There's a lingering bitterness as well, it kind of hangs in the back of the throat and makes you want to take another sip.
Feels rich and creamy and is pretty easy to drink.

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Lilja's Hop Nest Monster from Sand Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 23.4% out of 100 with 192 ratings
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