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Alpine Ale - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Alpine AleAlpine Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

135 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 135
Hads: 467
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 21.25%
Wants: 24
Gots: 43 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2003

An Extra Pale Ale with a balanced malt and hop flavor. Moderate additions of Pacific Northwest Cascade and Centennial hops for a tangy, citrus flavor to complement the mild Carmel malt taste
Draft & 22 oz bottles.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 135 | Hads: 467
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good drinking beer, sessionable and moderately hoppy.
Looks-unfiltered dark yellow, with a lsting one-eighth of an inch of white head, very lacey.
Aroma-a little hoppy, a little funky.
Carbonation is right here. A tad toasty an citrus, but short of the citrus of Great Lakes Burning River, the benchmark for me for ehe style.
Thanks Steven Rich for bringing back from the Brewers' conference.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.32/5  rDev -64%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a super clear pale orange color with a small 1 inch white head that fades to a small cap. Spotty ring lacing on the drink down. Smell is of herbal hops and dirty socks. I think there is something seriously wrong with this bottle. Taste is of bitter herbal hops and a musty funky nastiness. Beyond awful. Surprisingly well carbonated with a crisp and clean feel. Ok, there has to be something very very wrong with this particular bottle. I had my wife confirm to make sure my nose/palate weren't off. First thing she said: "Smells like dirty gym socks". Disappointing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

these guys show up to colorado highly acclaimed, with some beer on at falling rock. i have no idea if this means we are going to start seeing their beer in stores and stuff, but i was awfully excited to stumble into three of them here. this one is my least favorite of the three i had, and by a mile, in fact, i was almost disappointed with it, given all the hype and all around alpine, but it remains a sold pale ale, and perhaps my expectations were too high. golden and clear in a pint glass, lots of bubbles rising but not much head. the nose here is very very balanced, with hully husky grain freshness on the pale barley malt, and a moderate but fairly traditional american hopping, northwest varietals i assume. the flavor is exactly true to the nose, and while it all tastes quite good, its not nearly distinct enough to come from the famous alpine, who has so many hoppy beers in all the top beer lists and all of that. its almost filling, despite the only medium body and exuberant carbonation, its not as sessionable to me as some, although the abv suggests it should be. its well made beer no doubt, but not even close to the two ipas i had in the same session.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extra pale and with a sharp and citrusy balance, Alpine's flagship IPA is lighter on the palate than more classic versions and is friendly with food, drinkable enough to quench the thirst, yet characterful enough to garner praise from the most dedicated craft beer enthusiast in a stand-alone session.

Light of copper and amber, its honey hues capture a modest haze while casting forth a creamy short foam stance. While its scent is tightly woven of light biscuit and citrus, its taste is smooth and elegant with off-caramel, nutty, toasty malt flavor.

With the middle opening up, the sweeter side of balance is caught somewhere between honey and caramel but with a creamy nougat center with biscuit and apricot; giving the taste a marzen-like softness. As the hops rise to balance the sweetness, it brings its own citrusy character. Pink grapefruit, slightly under-ripened orange and a light herbal taste develops into a sprucy and lightly resinous bittering.

Remaining even-keel in balance, the beer's medium-light body is playfully starchy, creamy and supple in sweetness. Though trending dry and refreshing, the hops offer a slight shadow over the malts with its acute and moderate bitterness in finish. Trailing with soft pine resins and citrus peel, the aftertaste shows a confident hop tilt.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy orange with a nice head. Aroma was of citrus hops and a bit of pale malt. The taste was quite similar, with citrus hops as well as generic citrus flavor. Moderate mouthfeel with good carbonation. All around, a very drinkable and very, very well-made pale ale. When it comes to Alpine and hops, I'd expect nothing less.

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Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear golden-amber with a dense layer of foam upon it. The torrent of rising carbonation is keeping the head going for longer than it's going to take me to finish this glass. A great looking beer for sure.

Smell: An even mix of zesty citrus hops and dry bready malts. Undertones of butterscotch or toffee. Clean and nicely balanced without being too one-dimensional.

Taste & mouthfeel: Semi-dry biscuit-like malts appear first, followed by a slight buttery slickness and finally fruity, oily hops (orange and lemon). Medium-bodied with a full flavor that doesn't linger on the palate too long. The finish is almost dry, but for a hint of caramel beneath the mild hop bitterness. This strikes me as an APA with an English influence.

Notes: Great stuff, this one exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shimmering harvest gold with a dash of juicy orange. A few steady streams of bubbles make their way though a sparse cloud of fine particulates to join the wonderful looking alabaster head... that is one of the thickest, creamiest and stickiest that I've seen on an APA in quite some time. An impressive array of lace makes the score an easy call.

There are few things in this world as deliciously aromatic as Cascade and Centennial hops when utilized by talented brewers. Kudos to Alpine for giving this ale a tremendously bright, tremendously hoppy nose that is full to bursting with sweet, snappy citrus zest.

The flavor is excellent as well, even if it commits two (minor, borderline nitpicky) sins. First of all, there's a tad too much caramel malt flavor for me. I like APAs that use nothing but pale malt so that the glory of the hops can be displayed to maximum effect. Second, there isn't quite enough resiny hoppiness. Yes, I'm well aware that this beer isn't meant to be to be an IPA.

As far as the brewery's claim of balance, I'd say that they're correct in that assertion. It might favor hops a bit, but that's all to the better. Sweet grapefruit and orange are the dominant hop-derived flavors with a trace amount of resiny pine noted on the finish. This is a hophead's session beer if I've tasted one.

The body/mouthfeel is medium to slightly more full for the style thanks to the rounded edges smoothness of the malt. While it doesn't quite reach IPA territory, it is bigger than the average pale ale. An understated amount of carbonation keeps things moving along without making a nuisance of itself.

I can't believe it took me this long to drink another Alpine beer after tasting the magnificence that is Pure Hoppiness. Alpine Ale is disappearing shockingly quickly and is one of the more compulsively drinkable APAs in recent memory. Even though the taste scores are identical, I do believe I prefer this beer to Stone Pale Ale and to AleSmith X (among the San Diego County contingent). High praise indeed.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks for the cool extra in the recent math bif. another alpine i had never had an was thrilled to be able to knock off the list. served cold and poured into two pint glasses, this one was consumed on 09/11/2010.

really nice pour with a bright golden body and a really nice head of white that reaches about two fingers up the glass before settling back down and producing a light amount of lace on the side of the glass.

aroma is sweet up front with light touches of floral hops that seem to be muted, with only a light citrus touch that comes to the surface. flavor mirrors this as well as the sweet malty base seems to dominate and even provide a bit of a light fruit touch to an otherwise nominal flavor. light dry finish with a touch of bitterness.

overall it was ok, but really was not terribly crazy about this one. i have had much better from alpine.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Alpine Ale pours a clear, light golden color with a thin white foam.

S: The aroma is citrus hops and sweet, bready malt. I was expecting a bit more from an Alpine beer, but it's alright.

T: The taste is quite balanced. The beer has nice citrus and pine hop components, and a sweet malt character that takes over dominates most of the sip. The finish is crisp and bitter.

M: The body is medium and there is a moderate level of carbonation. Definitely fitting for the beer.

D: This is pretty much what I expect from a pale ale. A nice malt component and some hops to balance things out without being overly bitter. A solid beer, but it's a bit pricey for an APA bomber.

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Photo of mactrail
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a regular amber color with a sub-par head in the Duvel tulip. Spritzy enough on the tongue. Light bodied with a slightly soapy mouthfeel.

Some flavors of dark biscuits and an aroma of those cheap creme sandwich cookies. A fragrant hint of malt followed by some hoppy bitterness. Flavor just flattens out. Bitter aftertaste without much else.

It's hard to find much fault with this, but overall it's a plain and not very pleasing quaff. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bine & Vine on Adams Ave.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Purchased at Alpine Brewery a few days ago. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I'm loving Alpine more and more.

Served after a period of rest once removed from the refrigerator. Poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with hard pretzels.

A: Pours a four finger head of smooth rolling foam, nice cream, great thickness, and great retention. Good lacing. Colour is a clear vibrant yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pale malts, caramel, munich malts, background floral hopping, hints of yeast, and full barley. An average strength aroma.

T: Clean pale and munich malts. Full bodied barley. Some underlying cream. I like the creamy finish. Straw. It's quite nicely balanced, albeit simple. True to its label, it's not too sweet or too bitter. Clean, fresh, and refreshing. It's indeed a solid everyday beer, with more complexity than you'd expect from a beer in the style. I can't see anyone not liking this. Would be a great introduction to beer for anyone who claims not to like it. This is about as palatable as a beer can get. Naturally, it's neither complex nor subtle - but the mastery is in the balance. Surprisingly well layered for a Pale Ale. I'm impressed. Still, it's not fantastic. No yeast or alcohol comes through. It's not pushing any boundaries, but what it does, it does very well.

Mf: Light, lively, wet, and smooth. Suits the flavours very well. Clean and refreshing. Perfect thickness. Angelically soft. Ideal for the style. Lightly buttery. Creamy on the end of the third act and in the finish - which I love.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable and enjoyable. I like it more and more the more I drink. It's practically perfect for the style. Rarely does such simplicity yield such good results. Alpine didn't get showy with it; there's a ballsiness to sticking to basics. I'd definitely get this again, ideally on draft. There's nothing new here, but it's just so damn good within the style. Anyone would love this beer. I can't think of a better Pale Ale.

High A-

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Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Alpine.

Appearance: Clear amber with a small and short-lived head. No lacing.

Aroma: mild light malt with a hint of honey.

Flavor: sweet up front and only mild bitterness later on. A hint of honey. The flavor builds over time peaking in the finish. Very malty for APA style.

Feel: Light-medium body with near medium carbonation.

O: a mild but tasty and enjoyable APA.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 04/22/11 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very transparent golden yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, fruity malts, and pine hops. More hops than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, fruity malts, caramel malts, pine hops.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a very nice APA, with a lot of hops. Would have it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is clear and golden colored with an inch of pure white head that leaves a significant amount of sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma is malt forward, with a bit of hops and citrus. It actually smells like a lager. Good flavor, dominated by a slightly sweet malt bill. A light helping of bitter hops presents itself near the finish. Light bodied and pretty easy to drink. Overall, this was a decent beer, but nowhere near the quality of my favorite beers from Alpine. Light and refreshing with a nice, simple flavor. Worth a try.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The label admonished me to "Drink Alpine Ale or Go to Bed!"

I got two-plus fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention when poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Color was a deep golden-yellow, not quite amber, with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both citrusy and slightly sweet at once. Mouthfeel was medium with a Goldilocks-like taste - not too bitter, not too sweet, just right, at least according to the label. I am less of an APA drinker than I am an IPA fan, but there was nothing wrong with this beer, per se. It was just a bit too mild for my taste. Finish continued the now-epic battle between sweet and bitter. It was too early to go to bed.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Simple pimple. No obvious bottle dating.

A golden amber, almost brass but hint of orange color to the body. Really sparkling clear. Some fast rising carbonation to go with it also. Head is a real nice strong and bright white fluffy three finger simple head. Big retention, and nice cap with island and peaked valley clumps for the top.

Bouquet is an interesting mix. Soft grains, faint sweetness of toast and powder. Very musty though, with a minimal hop somewhat floral presence. Unique, but somewhat off putting.

Palate comes really nicely. Big sense of controlled malt, and the sweetness hints towards fruity ester and perfect balance of crackling and chewy toasty malt. Hints of toasted bread and white sugar but not overly sweet, with a hint of caramel. Big bakery dry finish too with much of the sweetness coming. VEry controlled but also noticeable bitterness on the finish and hinting of fruit grapefruit, orange and citrus, with a slight cookie biscuit.

A real interesting pale ale, very enjoyable, from a great brewery.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep orange and a little hazy. Nice white head on a vigorous pour. Lacing clings inside the glass. A layer of foam never fully settles.

Smell - Nutty and caramel malt. Sharp hop aroma. Grapefruit and lemon. Lemon gives it an acidic aroma.

Taste - Hop flavor is grassy and lemony. Lends a hint of tang. Toasty malts. Bready, a little nutty, and caramel sweetness. Finishes with minimal bitterness, but a lingering grassy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel - Very drinkable. Not a hop bomb by any means. Medium carbonation.

Overall - There isn't much a wow factor to this beer, but it is really nice. Drinkable and flavorful.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All this typing has made my thirsty. And with the additional typing that I will do for this review, I am sure that it will make the beer even more refreshing. 22 ounce bottle bought at Holday Wine Cellar, on to the beer:

A pale, washed out orange in color that is translucent and bubbly in the bosy. The head is rich (an inch thick) and letting the lace fly. Nose is subtle. It has the good and a little that could be dropped from the arsenal; honey biscuit malt, notes of orange, also a veggie note that hits a wrong chord.

While the overall flavor is relatively light, the beer is refreshing and easy to drink. First comes a gentle wave of clean pine. Out from the base comes that honey biscuit malt to sweeten the bill. With the success Alpine has with their IPA's, one would expect a more juicy, tasty hop bill, but in Alpine Ale it never comes. Feels light bodied and quite clean in the mouth with refreshing carbonation.

It won't make Alpine famous, but it will quench any thirst for those who want something that's light by San Diego standards.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from TexIndy, Thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a clear deep golden bordering on amber with a two finger off white head that sticks around for a bit before impaling itself to the sides of the glass. Smells of citrus and caramel mostly, slight hint of bread and dark dried fruit in there as well. Taste is more malt than hop. Bready and caramel malts up front mixed with a bit of grapefruit midway and a lingering sweet malt finish that is semi dry. Medium to thin body, Resinous almost creamy mouthfeel. Medium level of carbonation. I enjoyed this one a bit. Great session ale.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, suprised to see this show up in Orange County at Hi-Times,

A: Pours goldenrod/very light amber, with a solid white head and some nice lacing into an Imperial Pint glass.

S: To be honest, I'm not getting much, some faint hop notes, but challenged in this aspect.

T: The flavour comes back to redeem the beer. Nice complex malt notes, with a moderate West Coast hopping. Sweet pine, and some orange and lemon. Very similar to SNPA for my palate, good flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, soft carbonation, very smooth.

D: A pretty standard pale ale here, but a good one. Any fan of the classic APA will enjoy this beer IMO.

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Photo of liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Steve, shared with him and Sammy. 22oz into a tulip.

Pours a golden yellow, with some soapy white head. Decent retention, some floaties. Nose has some light citrus, some toasted malt and a general cracker. Taste has more toasty pale malts, an understated citrus quality to it and some hoppiness. Clean and effective. Mild lingering bitterness, and a crisp, clean finish. Great drinkability and super sessionable. An impressive pale overall, nails the style and I could drink this one for days.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a very nice head that sticks around aas aa cap and leaves some spotty lacing. Smells grainy, and perhaps even a bit soapy, but relatively clean otherwise with light citrusy hops and a bit of light breadiness. Definitely on the maltier side, but quite dry and a bit grainy as far as the taste goes. The hops taste earthier than they smelled and there is a small amount of lingering bitterness that cuts through the biscuity malt a bit. Fairly tasty, and quite dry while maintaining a bit of juiciness. Smooth and dry in the mouth with the slightest hint of graininess coming through. Very tasty and quite a nice session beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Thanks Arthur.

A: Dark golden orange with a small head.

S: Hop bouquet is reminiscent of noble hops, almost German pilsner-like. Notes of lemon and fresh cut grass are apparent. Some floral aromatics. Not a typical pale ale. Light caramel.

T: Flavor also has pilsner characteristics, with lemon and earth. Caramel malt is light. There's a hint of pepper-like spiciness. Bitterness is low, but there isn't much sweetness either. Not much fruit, maybe a little orange.

M: Dry, crisp, clean. Lower medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: An oddity for this brewery. Not bad, but an atypical pale ale that is destroyed by hoppy birthday (same category) and put to shame by their other fine hoppy offerings. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity, friend...reminds me more of a German Pils than a Pale Ale.

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Photo of weeare138
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to hopdog for sharing this...
Appears a light gold with a small white head and scattered lacing. Tiny carbonation and white lacing and a small collar.
Smell is of light citrusy hops with mixed malts. Not a whole lot jumping out.
Taste is about the same impact of the aroma. Some light citrus and grassy hops and a light malt backbone that seems to balance it out but doesn't really bring it into an upper echelon.
Mouthfeel is balanced but grainy. Medium bodied brew which I'm trying to analyze too much and not getting much inspiration.
Drinkability is ok. I probably wouldn't run to this one again. Maybe it's just me but this seemed very average, even for an American Pale Ale.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice enough American pale, drinkable, but not particularly exciting when put up against the amazing hoppy beers Alpine makes. Nearly clear light gold/orange colored body, with a good-sized white head, decent retention, and fairly strong lacing. The look is right on.

Aroma is very mild; some citrus hops and a bit of lightly sweet malt character; somewhat generic here. Taste is pretty much the same; it’s mild, with a much more restrained citrus flavor than an Alpine IPA. Hints of grapefruit, orange, and lemon. However, this is not an IPA-light. Pale, grainy malt with a modest sweetness and caramel flavor. Uncomplicated.

Body is medium light with solid carbonation, finish is clean and crisp. Again, easy drinking, refreshing, but not particularly memorable.

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Alpine Ale from Alpine Beer Company
83 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.