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O'Brien's IPA - Alpine Beer Company

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O'Brien's IPA
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

129 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 7.5%
Wants: 84
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sfoley333 on 01-10-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by Stoneman78:
Photo of Stoneman78
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at O'Brien's Pub 14th Anniversary Barrel-Aged beer night 1/15.
A- Pours a clear strong orange hue, thin layer of white head sustains, creamy lacing on the glass
S- Pure hops up front, mostly grassy with a touch of pine, crisp and fresh with a touch of malt in the background
T- Initial taste is delicious, grassy hops with a very 'green' and fresh taste, citrus and pine peek thought with a touch of chalk, delicious!
M- Medium-bodied, oily texture coats the tongue, mild carbonation
D- My second experience with this absolutely stellar single IPA, i love the hop profile and balance, very drinkable with low alcohol presence, I have heard this is a Blind Pig clone which I would love to evaluate in the future, here's to hoping this proliferates and perhaps gets bottled!

More User Reviews:
Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at, wait for it... O'Brien's. Pours clear gold with a short, off-white head. Crisp aroma of grapefruit, pine, pepper, and perfume. Creamy, yet light mouthfeel. Hops and resin up front, but not overwhelming. More of a pink grapefruit sweetness in terms of citrus mixed well with the biscuit maltiness. Bitter and clean finish. Loved it.

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Alpine Beer Company
Alpine, CA

Golden and orange in color with a thick, pillowy off-white head and eventually leaves spiderwebs of lace all the way down the glass. Gorgeous.

Pungent tropical, floral, and citrus aromas with lots of grapefruit and orange scents leading the way.

Moderately bitter and lots of tropical and citrus flavors throughout. Incredibly drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel with ample carbonation, but incredibly crisp and amazingly drinkable.

Another fine IPA from Alpine. I equate this to Russian River's IPA. It's not one anyone ever talks about, is only available on tap, and is just shy of world class. That being said, this is an awesome IPA!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.94/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's. Darker copper pour, average head, lacing below average. Aroma was as expected, hoppy, floral, leaning grapefruit.

Taste, a good ipa, yet underwhelming for being made from Alpine. Bitterness heavier than the hopping, alcohol seemed higher than 6% in this one, was tasting it. Mild sweetness, nothing of note to the malt flavor, approaching balance, but still leans hoppy. Vegetal at times. Acidic even.

Still better than most new ipa's I try these days.

Photo of mikey711
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Smokepot23 for the growler of this treat!

A: Nice transparent firey oranges with pleanty of carbonation rushing from the bottom of the glass. The head pours about an inch and a half thick of fluffy white goodness and leaves very nice gobs of lace as is fades.

S: The first whiff provided an array of tropical fruit notes like mango, peach, pineapple. The second whiff was more piney and sticky smelling with some floral notes and bitter grapefruit in the background. Very much

T: Sticky resinous pine and bitter grapefruit are the most prominent flavors with hints of citrus coming through in the end. It also has a nice clear herbal finish.

M: Light and refreshing with a good lingering bitter note. It be a little bit smoother

D: This is a great day time/ all day drinking beer. Overall I am very happy to have had the opportunity to try this treat from Alpine

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Pours a clear golden color. Nice head and nice lacing.

Aroma is very nice and hoppy. Very similar to Pliny the Elder. Citrusy and Piney

Taste is also very similar to Pliny the Elder. Almost identical. Maybe a little bit of Blind Pig thrown in. Citrusy and piney hops. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is dry and has good carb.

Overall a very tasty IPA. Easy to drink

Photo of nickd717
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler shared thanks to Arbitrator.

Awesome appearance. Brilliant mostly clear copper color with a lasting two-finger white head and great lacing.

Huge citrusy, piney, and resinous hope aroma with sweet malt and fresh cereal grains.

Sweet pale malt base, a little sweeter than most Alpine IPAs in a good way. Really tastes like wort in a way, and I like it. Also huge ripe grapefruit flesh and peel, resins, and pine needles.

Brutal resins attack your palate despite the fact that the body is only medium. Dry and bitter.

Really really awesome overall. Not surprising.

Photo of MiScusi
4.76/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler picked up 4 days ago.

A- Burnt orange/red, very clear, with a slightly off white fluffy head that builds up. Spot on for my favorite color for an IPA.

S- Smell is mostly citrusy hops with a malt sweetness. A really fresh smell to it, as expected being from a tap at the brewery.

T- starts sweet real quickly and then fades into a moderately bitter citrus, slightly berry-ish finish. The delayed aftertaste is very interesting- it's like citrus, but caramel combining with it to make something juicy sweet. It's nice.

M/D- not only is this IPA easy to drink, it packs a nice punch. Light body yet still really hoppy. There's just nothing like a good West Coast IPA (which most east coast breweries unfortunately just can't grasp).

Easily one of my favorite IPA's- but no surprise b/c Alpine knows what it takes to make a good one. Similar hop qualities in this to Pure Hoppiness but lighter and more of a malt sweetness ot it.

Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask via hand pump @ O'Briens Pub (San Diego) on 11/13/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy copper, with a 1/2 finger of foamy brite-white head. This stays pretty frothy, leaving some thick soapy lacing behind. The aroma is just LOADED with floral hops, pine, some more moderate smelling spice, and bitter grapefruit notes. There is a layer of grainy sweetness that floats under the hops but this is overall very bitter in the nose.

The taste also brings the hops full steam ahead, being very bitter with pine and citrus, along with some more mellow herbal accents as well. There is some sweeter bready malt character in the back but then this ends with a bitter pithy feel in the finish, which really hangs around for a while. Feels like I'm chewing on hop cones. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mellow and bubbly carbonation that accentuates the more herbal qualities of this. I'm not necessarily sure that the cask feel works here, as a bit more firmness could have been used to handle the extra bitter taste and this is showing a bit more alcohol than I would have expected for only a 6% IPA.

I just couldn't get into this one as much as I would have liked. Just a lot of unrestrained hop activity going on here (some sweeter citrus flavors would have been welcome) and the cask conditioning didn't do it any favors. This is a good one for the hop heads but I just wasn't feeling it.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a wonderful, wonderful IPA. I was really blown away by how good this one really was. A huge thanks goes out to my kind friend for finally getting me this one, I had waiting what seemed like a lifetime to land it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was enjoyed on Memorial Day 5/31/2010.

Big pour, nice light orange amber in color with great clarity that really let me see tons of carbonation bubbles streaming in from the top of the glass. Rich lacing coming down the sides and a huge, three finger deep head of white foam capped it all off wonderfully. I really could have asked for this one to look any better then it did.

Aroma is pungent orange, rich and sweet notes mixed in as well, but a huge and amazingly fresh aroma of citrus coming off of this one. Lemon zest, touches of tropical fruits and a really just superior smell that lighten up the entire room. Letting it warm really brought out the best in it as each sip seemed to be absolutely sparkling flavor and a huge, rich profile that did not disappoint. As I take each sip I am reminded of just how good a good IPA can be. Simply remarkable balance and a soft, yet very well structured flavor. Orange, tropical fruit, mangoes, grapefruit and touches of light buttery notes all collide to really put on quite a nice show I have to admit. Amazing drinkability as I would be able to put down this entire growler without batting an eye.

Overall one of the best I have ever had. Lives up to every ounce of its reputation. I would love to have it on tap all day every day. Just a stunningly good example of the style.

Photo of Dijeriduster
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at O'Briens at the tail end of SDBW. Stunning from the cask.

A - Very hazy from the cask with a slight amber tint to the golden wonder. Good head from the cask, though a little foamy vs. thick and creamy.

S - HOPPY. Especially on cask the floral and citrus notes come thru strong. Doesn't smell sweet like Alpine's other IPA's (Nelson, Duet Pure Hop)

T - Devine. I look for a little more bitterness in an IPA and this delivers like the other Alpine IPA's don't. Strong bitter Cascade? hops come thru first followed by a well rounded floral and citrus finish.

M - I don't know if I would even bother getting this on tap vs the cask. Mouthfeel was superb - just enough carbonation to support the hops and malt without deadning the senses. Def a gem on the O'Brien's beer engine.

D - High. Think of a hoppier Sierra Nevada Pale. Great after a long day of work, remaining very refreshing vs some maltier IPA's.

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.6/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drove down to Alpine on a heavenly sunny day, but Raul was greeted with extremely dearth results: Nelson is tapped and all IPA bottles are sold out. Wowieee! But Raul is not one to fret, so he jumped his ass on a limited O'Briens IPA.

I think Cyrano de Bergerac could be the only one to lift anything out of the nose from this thang. Little to small hints of citrus, taste is ok, but still somewhat flat on the tongue. Not Laura Flynn Boyle "flat," but it could definitely use a wonder bra.

I wouldn't venture with this one again.

Photo of largadeer
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Bright amber in color with absolutely brilliant clarity. Pours with a tall eggshell-colored head that leaves sheets of lace behind as it (quickly) disappears from my glass. Awesome.

Smell: Huge resin and pine hop aroma right off the bat, signature Alpine. More attentive inhaling reveals hints of lemon peel, mint and faint tropical fruit. Malt aromas are pretty much absent. The aroma on this stuff is intoxicating.

Taste & mouthfeel: Grapefruit, pine needles and tobacco up front. I have no idea how these guys pack so much hop flavor into their beers while still maintaining perfect balance. A dry, somewhat crackery malt foundation supports the hops beautifully, while lending no perceptible sweetness; this beer is all about the incredible hop flavor. Resiny bitterness comes through strong in the finish, without ever overwhelming the hop flavor. This is a near perfect IPA, I'd be hard pressed to fault it.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Stone Bistro on 6/29. Review from notes.

a - bright golden amber color, one-inch white head with great retention and lacing, quite clear with only minimal suspended sediment

s - big citrus and tropical fruit dominated aroma, lots of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange, mango and some pineapple, really jumps out of the glass, lighter pine resin notes with an even lighter grainy malt aroma

t - like the aroma, the taste is dominated by citrus and tropical fruits, lots of fresh grapefruit and lemon with lighter mango and pineapple flavors, the pine is more pronounced on the palate than in the aroma with heavy doses of hop oil attacking the palate, there is a light maltiness underneath the hops that give it just enough backbone, alcohol is not very noticeable at all

m - medium-bodied with slightly higher than moderate carbonation, very dry, crisp finish, light alcohol warming

d - incredibly drinkable stuff, the hops are intense but they don't wear out the palate as fast as many IPAs, alcohol is dangerously hidden, flavors are so fresh and intense that you want to keep drinking

I've been wanting to try this one for awhile now, and it just so happens that I got to have it at Stone instead of O'Brien's. This is one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever tried, and it reminds me a lot of Blind Pig and RR IPA, two of my long-standing favorites. It would be great to see Alpine put this in bottles at some point. I don't know that anyone other than RR can compete with Alpine when it comes to IPAs.

Photo of iadler
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5 oz sampler at the brewery.

A- Pours a translucent gold with a one finger head that leaves some nice lines of lacing.

S- Freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit, some orange, biscuit malt, pine, floral notes and faint tropical hops.

T- Lots of fresh grapefruit and orange followed by floral hops, underripe pineapple and mango, pine, peppery spice and some bready malt.

M- Medium carbonation and a nice crisp body. Refreshing and easy to drink.

O- Another good ipa from a brewery that has really impressed me with their line of ipas.

Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz growler into multiple pints. Thanks to HeatherAnn, Jay, Wil, and Chris for the assist. Extra special thanks to errantnight for this latest installment in our never ending trade!

A: Pours a bright orange with just the slightest bit of haze. A monster four finger head of light orange meringue settled on top of our glasses and left a gorgeous and sticky mess down the inside. Carbonation was ample.

S: Very sticky citrus aromas here. Orange, tangerine, and a bit of lemon rind. While it warmed some tropical fruit aromas crept out and displaced the citrus just a bit.

T: Just like above with some pine flavors emerging as it warmed. A glorious layering of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine.

M: Some sweet fruit and malt kept in check by some textbook west coast bitterness. Just oily and sticky enough but in no way a palate wrecker.

O: Remarkably easy to crush due, no doubt, to how well balanced this was. This had all the right aromas and flavors coupled with just the right amount of heft.

Photo of rand
4.57/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler to pint

A: O'Brien's IPA pours a surprisingly deep copper in color, perfectly clear, and forms a fluffy, cavernous head. Patches of lacing are left all over the pint glass.

S: Wet floral hops jump to the front of the bouquet - grapefruit-citrus-y with a touch of buttery tropical tones, but this is a lot more subtle than Alpine's typical IPA hop profile. The malt and yeast aspects are more dry and cracker-like than bready (again, in comparison to Alpine's big IPA's), which blend nicely with the relatively subdued hop notes.

T: The flavor profile unravels all at once, with fresh, lightly bitter hops bouncing off honey-sweet malts. There's the characteristically Alpine tropical note that, although doesn't dominate the palate, become the profile's most distinctive feature. Some resinous dryness carries towards the finish, pushing back the honey-sweet malt-backbone. This back-and-forth carries to a balanced and clean finish.

M: Medium bodied, but the depth and breadth of flavors makes the beer feel heavier than it is. Nice scrubbing carbonation keeps the palate clean between sips.

Probably the most sessionable IPA I've come across - 6.2% is pushing it, but this is basically a pale ale with IPA flavor. I can't think of an IPA in a 6-pack that even comes close to this.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler of this from Alpine in mid August 2009, finally sitting down to review from my notes. Pours a beautiful orange-apricot color with a white head and a nose that overwhelms the nostrils with citrus and tropical fruits. While the taste isn't over-the-top hoppy, they're just right and showcase the tropical flavors of the nose. The mouthfeel is just about right, and the smell/flavor combo lead to unparalleled drinkability--one of the best IPA's I had on a long trip.

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ ... O'Brien's!

Awesome. Right up there with most of the Russian River IPA's and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid in the genre of refreshing, hoppy but not over the top West Coast IPA's.

Tremendous body, aroma, taste, everything. Very little to complain about, might be a bit more punchy but the overall effect is ridiculous in terms of hop flavor, aroma and refreshment.

Photo of hopdog
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from Growler.

Poured a medium to deeper amberish color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of pine, floral, toasty, more pine, and some citrus. Tastes of pine, floral, toasted caramel, and light citrus. Yet another solid West Coast IPA!

Notes from 9/27/08

Photo of AleWatcher
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler into tulip pint.
Thanks to BdoubleEdoubleRUN for the growler-- I love Alpine, and especially their IPAs... Can't wait to try this one.

Orange colored body with a 2 fingers of white head. Nice thick rings of lacing and strong retention.

Smells of virtually no malt, but rather all hops; some piney notes mingle with the citrus and tropical fruits.
The flavor is just as the nose prepared me for. Very nicely bittered. Pretty dry finish.

Feels a bit thin. Well-carbonated. Oily hop residue left on my teeth after each sip.

Overall-- this is a pretty nice ipa. Quite drinkable-- although I'd prefer a bit more body, this actually drinks even easier due to the thinness-- and I'm taking on the entire growler solo, so I can safely call this "pretty sessionable."

Photo of Nugganooch
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at PizzaPort – Cbad
*Notes from 12/02/11 –> slacker

A: O’Briens IPA pours a sort of garnished clear amber color. Brassy almost with a one finger pure white whip atop and just sheets of lace down my glass.

S: Smells of sweet grapefruit. Like candied citrus peels followed by some light pine and wafts of caramel pale malts.

T: Just so tasty and well balanced. Sticky citrus, pine and hempy herb hop notes with a really nice puckering bitterness overall. Touch of bready cracker malt base. Nothing off the scales but just everything I look for in an IPA. So refreshing and delicious.

M: Super dry and light bodied. Some sticky resins linger on the tongue. Crisp in the finish.

D: This may possibly be my favorite single IPA. Great hop bitterness with lots of citrus and hemp flavors. Subtle but present pale malt backing brings great balance overall. Light dry and crisp. Again nothing off the charts but on point as far as the style goes. Just so refreshing.

Highly recommended!

Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado SD

A: The pour is golden in color with a fluffy white head on tap which leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S: The nose is all grapefruit and pine with maybe just an inkling of malt coming through.

T: The flavor is what you expect from the nose. Lots of bitter grapefruit and piney hops with just a touch of malt sweetness.

M: The body is medium with a crisp carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: This is pretty much what you expect from an Alpine brewed IPA. Great hop flavors and aromas.

Photo of sfoley333
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at Churchills in San Marcos into an English pint glass. Poured a golden copper color with a finger size white head. The aroma was a mix of citrus, pine, and slight sweet malt scent. Taste was well balanced between grapefruit pine hoppiness and a well formed malt biscuit body. Mouthfeel was medium body with good carbonation and mild alcohol feel. This is a great drinking IPA thats well balanced between hop, bitterness, and malt body.

Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Dyan yesterday. Probably would have appreciated this a bit more if I hadn't had the Bad Boy first. In any event...

O'brien's pours an orange copper color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer has an exceptionally pronounced orange citrus aroma that is intense (in a very good way). There's also a hint of pine, but the citrus character really dominates in this beer. Flavors replicate the nose, and right off the bat I'm impressed by how light on the palate this IPA is. There is consdierable flavor, but the bitterness is dialed down somewhat, and the alcohol is not the least bit noticeable. The beer finishes with some noticeable bitterness, but I'm amazed by how well balanced this beer is. The beer is also quite dry, very much in the West Coast style, and drinkability is just excellent.

Another flat out excellent IPA from these guys. I'm starting to expect it whenever I see the Alpine label.

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O'Brien's IPA from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.