Hop Variety: Merkur, Amarillo, Cascade
Degrees Plato: 17
International Bittering Units (IBUs): 77
Yeast Strain: Wyeast 1272 (American Ale 2)
Post-boil Hopped: Yes
Dry Hopped: no
Calories per 12/oz. bottle: 222
Just west of the prime meridian, between the 57 & 58 parallels, lies the ancient Scottish lake known as Loch Ness. Nestled within the picturesque Highlands of Scotland, the loch is the largest freshwater lake in Great Britain. This rugged and mysterious land between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean is known as Scotland’s Great Glen. The glen was formed in fury and ferment millions of years ago during an age when violent earthquakes tore deep fissures in the surface of the primordial earth. It was a savage and chaotic age, when giant beastly brutes ruled the land, sea and sky. Much later, when the earth finally cooled, great glacial ice ebbed and flowed in a slow cycle of mayhem and destruction. The primal terra was insulted again and again, the massive sheets of ice cutting deeper into the sleeping earth. When it was over, millions of years later, and the last of the glacial ice was no more, a great and mystical loch was born.
If there were ever a beer that so quintessentially captures the spirit of the primordial past on planet Earth, it has to be the Hop Nest Monster. Bursting with the aroma of the American Amarillo hop, like the eruption of a great and tempestuous volcano, the Monster makes a bold and intimidating impression even before it reaches the palate. As an all-malt American IPA, over an entire pound per barrel of fragrant and floral Amarillo hops are added to the brew kettle during the final minutes of the boil. This process is known as late-kettle hopping.
When brewing the Hop Nest Monster, we make a final addition of Amarillo hops after the kettle boil is finished and the beer is ready to be force-cooled. This post-boil hopping process preserves the highly volatile flavor compounds and essential oils virtually lost during the long, violent kettle boil. These highly-valued hop oils are extracted and forced into solution, imparting the specific flavor unique to this highly-coveted and proprietary Amarillo hop. While this method of hopping does not contribute greatly to the overall bitterness level of the beer (isomerized soft-resin alpha acids formed during the kettle boil), it is largely responsible for the Monster’s mighty citrus aroma and hoppy floral flavor-profile so highly esteemed by a growing number of American IPA connoisseurs - Yes, that means you, Mr. Hop Head!!! So, while we know where the Hop Nest Monster gets its signature character, we still don’t know what kind of character is reportedly swimming around in the cold, deep, murky waters of that mysterious lake known as Loch Ness.
Speculation abounds concerning the exact nature of Nessie. For decades experts in the field of cryptozoology have put forth compelling theories about what kind of creature could be living and reproducing in the waters of this landlocked lake. Some think the monster is a giant eel, yet others insist that Nessie is a reptile-amphibian, perhaps a plesiosaur, an evolutionary throwback to the Paleozoic era. More esoteric thinkers believe that the beastie is the magickal conjuration of self-styled Thelemic magus and English brewing heir, Aleister Crowley - the origional “Mr. Alarming”. Crowley’s former manor, Boleskine House, overlooks the misty waters on the southeastern shore of the loch. However, a more rational theory suggests that Nessie is really the discombobulated delusions of bibulous, late-night pub-crawlers drinking prodigious quantities of Lilja’s Hop Nest Monster IPA. Could be. However, we’ll let you decide...Just stay out of the water!
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