Lilja's Hop Nest Monster | Sand Creek Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 192
Photo of outdoorbrewer
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured lively into an 18 oz. Hourglass leaving the lees in the bottle (yes I downed it) which created well formed beer settling a rocky, creamy off-white head that lasts awhile with good lacing. Orange amber hue that's a little cloudy. Figure I'll get some more and leave a few in the back of the fridge so they clear up some weeks then check. Aroma blended the light to moderate malty cookie grain profile with the Amarillo in a big time presence. Esters some apple/pear lemon/lime generally there though pleasing. Light tart/sweet flavor. Nice malt background seems like the character you get from British malts. Light to moderate bitterness would be at fault with an IPA. I like this beer for what it is. A nice drinking ale.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome bottle art. Picked up at 101 Bottles in Kent.

Appearance - A volcano of frumpy and frothy head. Whipped and scoopable on your fingers. Does not lace to the glass hardly at all. The beer itself is a sickly pale green. It looks poisonous, even venomous, in a way.

Smell - A slightly sour apple smell. A light citrus zest that is also full of hops. Quite fruity overall.

Taste - A nice burn all-throughout. Light hops with a bit of lemon juice in the background. I get some sort of odd unsweetened cotton candy taste also. Heavy in apple.

Mouthfeel and Overall - Very dry in its entirety. Low carbonation. A bit of sweetness in the end adds a different tone. This IPA has something a bit special about it, although it is hard to put my finger on. I liked this quite a bit.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.58/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A crystal clarity pumpkin orange coloring shows a light and lazy rise of effervesce. The head is frumpy and rocky of light cream coloring, standing an initial finger high. Retention was fair, as was the lacing.

S: Lemon weed best describes this, really light in strength despite its name. Lightly dried vegetation, dried citrus peel. Really disappointing in light of its name, what a farce.

T: Watery toasted grains, dried flowery citrus is quick to hit and go before returning to a weak finish. A bit more distinguishable then their argosy, but really isn’t saying to much. Dried grapefruit shows a quick flash at punch out. The strength is coarse but again as with their argosy, a wreck and like chewing raw citrus weeds. A ton of hops alone doesn’t make for a good beer, neither a snappy name.

M: The mouthful is medium, dry toasted malt with a touch of heat coming from the alcohol and warming citrus. Dried grass comes as well on the swallow.

O: Overall another bitter disorganized beer by sandcreek that is trying to be the big bully on the block in the ipa department, but needs to step back and learn some class and refinement. Its evident that they know neither so just opted for the most blunt and offensive amount of hops which im sure is someones thing. No complexity, uninteresting flavor, boring, and a hold off by purchase unless you just like to be insulted.

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Photo of PilsPony17
2.82/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Belgian tulip.

A: A dark gold, wheat colored brew with fairly decent head. Head retention is quite good and kept up until the finish. Carbonation on the medium side of things. Unfiltered (didn't notice at first until the end) which makes this feel very promising.

S: Not too aromatic. Has a very subtle grassy aroma with a little bit of hop presence behind it.

T: Hops are right up front on the palate with a slight biscuity flavor to it. Very lemony and sharp. Hops dominate most of the taste even after the finish.

M: Smooth mouth feel and nice level of carbonation makes it a very quaffable brew.

Overall: It's a fairly average IPA. The presentation and mouthfeel of this brew is on par with what I'm looking for, but the hops dominate way too much and seems to be lacking a more malt background in that area. Aroma of the brew was less than impressive. Drinkable, but I've had better.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
2.74/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass...

A: pours a slightly hazy shade lighter than amber with a large off white rocky head that leaves lots of webbed lacing

S: aroma of lemon, orange peel, grass, and pale biscuity malt. hops aromas are much lighter than i had expected. very subdued and lacking complexity

T: a tad better than the aroma. has a sweet honey toast malt flavor with a much stronger hop presence than the nose implies. hop flavors are grass, orange peel, lemon peel, and pine sap. has a long finish of very bitter hops and biscuit-flavored malt

M: light-medium body with a medium carbonation and a resinous, very dry finish.

Overall, this beer seems to be headed in the right direction, but i'm not digging the choice of hops. They lack the grapefruity, piney, and danky weed hop characteristics I look for in world class AIPAs. That being said, I found the long hoppy finish to be displeasing. Most likely would not purchase again, unless out of options. And by options I mean Bud, Miller or Coors. Ya, thats not gonna happen. Cheers!

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Photo of farrago
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two plus finger of bone white head, thick coating of delicate microfoam with excellent retention, more cratering than dimpling, sticky lacing stains the glass walls almost completely. Somewhat dark golden color that flirts with amber, no visible bubbles but there are some floaties in there. Broadly arrayed nose, curious lactic notes alongside an otherwise conservative orange, lemon citrus, pine cone, dried flowers base and a smattering of apricot, peach, yellow apple scents, small amount of brown sugar and caramel makes for a soft landing. Medium-bodied, the gentle and mostly fluffy carbonation acts as a counterbalance to grass, hay, herb elements. Touch of pepperiness enlivens the middle while the apricot, peach, pear, apple fruit swell to fill in most blanks. Dries through the finish. No one element leaps out at you but it coheres as a basic “fastball down the middle” IPA that is drinkable, if not memorable. [Note that the bottle says brewed by Pangaea Brewing Company, not Sand Creek Brewing Company although it may be contract produced at the latter, dunno.]

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Photo of xnicknj
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks to phan869

Pours a somewhat pale golden color with some haze, thin white head retains with film and leaves layers of lacing on the glass.

Decent helping of hops in the nose, some bready malt backbone as well with some caramel lacing. Slight sweetness, but more on the hoppy side of things.

Bitter and floral up front followed by some citrusy notes. Hints of grapefruit and orange. Thick bread crusty malts with some sweetness and caramel. Finishes a bit hoppy and dry.

Medium body, nice carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue. Eh, this wasn't bad but it took me forever to finish as I pretty much kept forgetting that I was even drinking it during dinner (and it was my first beer of the evening as well).

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale body, small head. Taste and smell have a grainy malt component not really wanted/ expected in the style. Certainly delivers hop bitterness if that's what you are looking for, but not a very well rounded experience. The grassy-grainy malt of euro lager is certainly unexpected for the style. The hop are large, but not overpowering. A decent IPA, flirting with the DIPA range of bitterness and strength.

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Photo of BasementBer
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light straw translucent color. Good lacing, good bone-white head retention. Little to no carbonation.

S: Grainy, some bitterness from the hops in aroma, but mostly grain and husk.

T: Has a decent pale malt body, but its swept away by the somewhat overpowering hops. A good bitter, but not the citrus i prefer in the style.

M: Bitter resin on the tongue and pockets of the mouth are enjoyable.

D: Its an ok IPA, id prefer a bit more variation than one or two different hops and the same pale malt to be sparking my interest.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.33/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer pours a beautiful medium golden color. Moderate carbonation visible through the glass. Excellent head retention; after several minutes, there's still at least a finger of off-white head left. Wispy lacing, like cumulus clouds dotting the sky on a summer's day.

Smell: Very floral. Some mild bitterness. Grapefruit leaning towards clementine citrus tones. Maybe a little spice somewhere in there for good measure.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is tangy at first, the citrus-type flavor shining through on impact. As the carbonation begins to bubble, a very hefty and beautiful malt character is unveiled. Moderate bitterness balanced with just the right amount of sweetness...a win win! Aftertaste is hops, but not overpowering. Darn-near perfect.

Overall: Really good for the style, very drinkable, and relatively inexpensive.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$1.80 for a 12oz single at Jack's.

7.0% ABV, Hopped with Merkur, Amarillo, and Cascade; Degrees Plato: 17; 77 IBU, Fermented with Wyeast 1272 (American Ale 2), Post-boil Hopped with Amarillo, not dry hopped. Filtered. 222 kcal/12oz bottle.

Pours out to a lightly hazy pale golden, forming a peaking whipped bone white head with superior retention and solid sheets of lace. Moderately strong carbonation. Not terribly hoppy for an IPA, no doubt due to the lack of dry hopping. Quite pale for an IPA as well. The head is literally like meringue. Very thick, beautiful looking. The nose reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I doubt I could tell a difference. It's uncanny. The mouthfeel is sharp, bone-dry with a medium body. The taste is almost exactly like SN Pale Ale, but more bitter. Medium-strong bitterness. No perceptible off flavors.

Not really digging this beer. Too light bodied, not enough malt, too bitter, not enough hop flavor or aroma for an IPA. Look elsewhere for a good IPA.

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Photo of budgood1
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a straight up mostly clear gold colour with a snow white head supported by some decent carbonation. wispy lace. crackery malt aroma with a restrained grassy and herbal hop aroma. definitely does not smell like an IPA. taste is more of the same...biscuit and cracker malt profile...then some very grass and herb oriented spice driven hop flavours appear. it does finish on the dry and bitter side, lingering long on the taste buds. noble hops are present and apparently leaned upon heavily. really reminds me of how SA or BBC hops all there beers with heavy doses of euro hops. i was expecting another american style hop bomb but this isn't one of those. there is some alcohol present but it melts well into those spicy hops. sturdy body on this one...malts hold up the hop profile nicely without being a distraction. pretty easy going mouthfeel for a beer with spicy hops that can be seen as maybe grating on the tongue. drinkability is ok...needs to be paired with some funky cheese and crackers or some hot wings and other assorted pub snackers. sort of one dimensional otherwise.

overall...i could see this being a lip smacking thirst quencher in the summer time. as far as it being a "hop nest monster", is pretty spicy and bitter...but sort of an enigma as far as total enjoyment. this is the sort of IPA i would think sam adams would brew. enjoyable.

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Photo of baldycmu
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-lite golden straw color with a light white 1-finger head/ A bit of lacing
S-Light citrus aroma with not much else
T-a slight bit of hops, but a cereal bready flavor is there too
M- sharp carbonation with a syrupy feel

Overall not a bad beer, but it just feels different than a typical IPA. The bitterness and piney flavor are not really there.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.57/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Code on bottom of bottle, but I don't know what it means. Funny, wacky label art.

Pours a very clear, very lite golden yellow. A white head washes the glass with stick, bumping it up a notch. Smells real good, a lot of candy sweetness as well as some light toastedness. Taste is more bitter, some grapefruit and those candy hops coming into play. Feel is sort of winey and sharp, oily; leads on to more alcohol than is actually present (7.0%). Aftertaste is citrusy-sour. Decent attempt at an IPA. Unique. I would drink another..

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Photo of hattingc
3.91/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden colored and thick. Strong malt and floral hops. Strong taste of malt and a good finish. Need to love malt to like this brew.

Good beer to try to see if you like strong hop beer. Medium bodied, pretty soft. Not a bad IPA at all.

I had it in a bottle...

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Photo of brew3crew
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-golden yellow with white head and nice lacing
S-not really much here but a slight bit of hops
T-kind of tastes like a hoppy wheat beer. Pale malts in the foreground with kind of a wheat aftertaste...
M-medium body crisp and smooth
D-very drinkable considering abv...

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Photo of Tballz420
3.86/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden colored brew, pillowy white head, somewhat hazy. Good amount of lace. Nose is light malts and floral hops. Same with the taste, sweet malt front with 2-3 hop varieties, both floral and bittering. Just a touch of spice from the alcohol. Medium bodied, pretty soft. Not a bad IPA at all.

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Photo of iSip
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was in Southern Minnesota for work and discovered a 6 pack of Liljas Hop Ness Monster in the local liquor store. Wonderful packaging, which included the story of the Hop Ness Monster, and the challenge of locating where this beer was brewed. But on to the beer itself. Nice color and head with a pleasant aroma. The flavor starts with a light malt base with a fine layer of hop on top. The taste goes a touch bitter by the end. Not a bad beer, but not the monster IPA as advertized.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a hazy orangeish-golden body with a thick lumpy off-white head and a gentle carbonation.
S- The green piney hops have a cinnamon hint to them with a soft minty quality. There is a faint musty diaceytal butter note to the finish.
T- The dry pungent bitey hops have a cream flavor to follow them. The hops are aggressive and a bit harsh without having much hop flavor to them. There is a slight sweetness underneath that comes through when the beer opens up and some faint toasted malt that comes with them. The finish is more bitter pungent hops bite that lingers a moment.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.
D- The hops are soft in aroma and flavor but full in bitterness. It made this beer a bit tough to get through but the malt offered a little support to the bitterness.

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Photo of gatornation
2.71/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this ipa pours a yellow mostly clear color with a i finger white head,,,smell was biscuit ,malts slight floral hop aroma some adjunct smells ..taste was that of a slightly bitter adjunct lager,it had some hop bite with slight was well carbonated but really tasted like a budweiser ..while that not bad it is if it says its an ipa..not recommended..if you are looking for an ipa

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Photo of CPeterson
2.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A -- A hazy golden ale which produced a good head that vanishes quickly, leaving a resinous lacing.

S -- Smells slightly acidic / citric, a touch of sour apple, and some light caramel notes.

T -- Bitter all the way through. A mild sweetness attempts to make an appearance through the middle and falls flat. Out of balance.

M -- Twangy and drying. Outrightly astringent. Nice carbonation, but the use of hops makes it heavy on the palate.

D -- I may consider trying this again in order to see the consistency of the brewer, but it wouldn't make it into regular rotation.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single - i should know better than to purchase crappy sand creek products but the label got me

appearance: very busy label with a "cheddar curtain" reference - pour is pretty nice - kind of a dull copper body but a real nice foamy white cap and full retention

smell: pretty light, bready, lemon, light hops

taste: nice and oily but with a dull hop profile - light bitterness, lemon, dough, lacks a refined definition or direction

mouthfeel: oily, medium

drinkability: good

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Photo of Lillenk
3.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Very light color for an ipa. Lots of white head.

Not too much on the nose as all. A lite hops smells with some citrus.

Taste is pretty good. A little lighter bodied than expected but some good hops with not too much lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel was light and crisp. Drinkability was up there because it was so light.

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Photo of cokes
2.81/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden straw with a decent rise of white suds. They quickly sink towards the surface, but then stick around, lacing well.
The nose is fairly closed, but brings lemon oil, peppercorns, and a floured breadiness.
Taste follows suit. Bready upfront and throughout, dusted heavily with flour. There are minor flourishes of pear-like sweetness. Hops bring some lemon traits, but overall flavor is underdeveloped. Though there is a substancial peppery, dry hay, talc-like bitterness.
Medium bodied, with a rushing carbonation up front that wanes as it goes. The briskness of the CO2 actually plays well against the sharp bitterness, and this suffers as it fades away.
The acute dryness makes this rapidly drinkable, as one is thirstier for having taken a sip.
This could use some work.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy sun yellow with a bunch of particulates hanging in suspension. Decent crop of frothy white head. Aroma is a little grassy and herbal, but mostly stale, dusty malt feel to it. Interesting flavor to say the least. Lemony feel to it but more of a lemony custard sweet flavor rather than bitter or citrusy. Although I do get some bitterness on the aftertaste. Base malts are doughy sweet, but not too sweet. Moderate carbonation with a medium to medium-full body. Drinkable beer and flavorful, even if not in an IPA kind of a way.

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Lilja's Hop Nest Monster from Sand Creek Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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