Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

1,250 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,250
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 7.87%
Wants: 751
Gots: 120 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.25% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 05-24-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,250 | Reviews: 186
Reviews by MrVonzipper:
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer!
Pale clear golden. Fizzy short white head. Low retention and lace. 

Huge bright fresh nose. Bright citrus. A touch floral. Very nice. 

Flavor is very nice for a pale ale. Big crisp flavor. Nice floral and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is very nice and light bodied with pretty high crisp carbonation.

Overall this is an amazing bright, clean, well balanced fresh pale ale. I love Zombie Dust, but this is even better!

More User Reviews:
Photo of MasterSki
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for the hookup. I've been looking to try this one for a while, and Arthur came through. Served in a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that eventually settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and splotchy lace. Lightly hazed transparent golden body.

S - Lemon zest, dankness, oranges, hint of pine, a little bit of perfume and cat pee, and a sugary malt bill in the periphery.

T - The taste is an initial burst of fresh citrus zest, ripe grapefruits and oranges, and delicious hop goodness. The finish is doughy with a bit of yeast character, and the total package isn't as sweet as the nose implies. Not much bitterness at all, which is a plus for a session ale.

M - Crisp carbonation that is active but not very harsh. Medium-light body, smooth texture, and a lightly dry finish.

D - As Jason would say, this is "absolutely crushable"! Another winner from Alpine!

Photo of RAlmeida77
3.52/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my type of pale. I'm used to the big citrus bombs here on the east coast and this was very piney to me. Nicely balanced but just not my flavor in terms of hops.

Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz growler acquired at Alpine two days ago. Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof given the brewery and high ratings. Price was somewhere around $20.00 for the growler.

Served after a warming period after its removal from the refrigerator; I like my hoppy beers cold but this one was a bit too cold. Poured into the glass from straight above because the weight of the growler prevented me from safely side-pouring. Retention will probably be a bit more pronounced than usual.

Let me note that I'm reviewing this as a pale ale, because that's what it is according to Alpine's blog. From the blog post dated 12/04/12:

"Today is the release of the world’s most celebrated beer “Hoppy Birthday.” Available for growler fills and on draught in the pub. This is technically a Pale Ale, but we make it like an IPA, with lots of hoppy goodness from hops like Citra and Nelson. 5.25% abv"

Not an IPA, but brewed like one. Don't shoot the messenger.

Paired with hard pretzels from Costco (all my money goes to beer, okay?).

A: Pours a four finger fluffy frothy beige colour head of great cream, good thickness, soft texture, and great retention (~6 minutes). Body colour is a pale transparent yellow-gold. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. The appearance is a bit lighter than I'd like for the style, but the head makes up for it. I'm excited to try this.

Sm: Nectary hops: citrus, grapefruit, some oily hop lacing, and above all floral character. Quite fresh, refreshing, and inviting. Very pleasant and clean. An above average strength aroma; mild in strength. Some lemongrass. Pale malts.

T: Nectary floral quality. Some unexpected bitterness just on the climax, but it's very quickly disguised by a marvelous floral hop character with tinges of light fruit esters - certainly a hint of lemon. Lemongrass constitutes a large part of the finish, though it's very clean and filtered; a witbier this is not. Some oily hop notes weave throughout the structure, emerging most notably just before the climax before dipping back down again. Very fresh and clean, aiding its refreshing character. No yeasty notes here, nor any alcohol. Pale malts lend body without intruding on the hop build, yet still the malts balance the hops without ever letting the flavour get too sweet. Grapefruit right on the climax, then it bleeds through the finish and remains through the aftertaste. I do get some subtle blood orange as a buried note, but now that I notice it it's there on the climax as well; very subtly executed. That's impressive. The balance is impeccable. Pine in the second act is also subtly done; I'm noticing more and more complexity as I search the flavour profile for new notes to latch onto - and there are plenty. Grassy sure, but the grains are all clean here, giving it a crisp body. What began as a seemingly simple brew is quickly revealing to me my own inability to intially detect its subtle qualities. God, that's refreshing. Some tangerine buried in the second act. Masterfully put together.

It's worth noting that the bitterness isn't fully concealed, which is a minor gripe but an important one.

Mf: Slightly undercarbonated, which I partly attribute to the growler. It does lend the beer a refreshing feel absent of the sharp bite of many complex IPAs (not that I'm alleging that this is an IPA). Smooth and wet, as it should be. Nectary. Not creamy, but then that wouldn't suit it. Thickness is perfect. Complements the flavour profile quite well. Perhaps it could be a bit more crisp and luscious. Good - if understated - presence on the palate. Delightfully buttery - an attribute that really does well alongside the nectary feel. Rather soft, aiding its drinkable refreshing quality. Remarkable.

Dr: The ABV is nowhere to be found, but then I didn't expect it to be. A delightfully drinkable pale ale that is amongst the best I've had. Would pair well with damn near any food. I'll have no issues finishing this growler, but I will regret it there's no more. I never heard any hype around this one, but I think it's a delightful pale ale. Certainly incredibly refreshing. They pack a remarkable amount of flavour into it while maintaining balance and keeping ABV low; that's incredibly difficult to accomplish. Another home run from Alpine. I'd recommend this to friends. A fantastic session beer (if you're not a 4% or less panzy, that is).

High B+

Photo of artoolemomo
4.21/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Received with only a small amount of head, basically a sliver. I'm guessing the head was a pure cotton white. Very similar to Nelson as far as appearance goes. The body is a pale amber that looks a dull amber when held up to the light. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Also very fruity like Nelson. Citrus of orange and lemon. Some peach, almost cherry. Light notes of honey and caramel. Some mustiness that tends toward armpit and dirty socks.

Taste- Much more mellow than Nelson on the fruit notes but seems to have more of a traditional IPA backbone- much more pine and resin. Not quite as complex as Nelson but no one expects an APA to be complex though it drinks more like a lighter IPA. Lots of matchstick, some grapefruit. A bit of orange and lemon on the front. A very good pale ale but I'm not seeing the 4.55 rating at the moment. Some of the mustiness (armpit, sweat) expressed on the nose. Definitely more traditional bitterness than the Nelson which is odd for an APA versus and IPA. This beer makes me wish for the caramel and malt of Nelson and shows why that beer is ranked so high. This is a bit cold so I do need to reserve judgment until it warms up. Some caramel and biscuit starts to show through which gives this beer some much needed complexity. Has improved quite a bite as it's opened up. Much more balance and integration. I don't expect APAs to press the boundaries of great but this one is. Really good to great but closer to really good. Bright citrus starts to shine. Some grapefruit, lemon and orange peel.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. I don't know if I noticed it last time but these Alpine beers seem to have a lot of zip. Usually that would be a big negative but somehow it works.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and surprisingly robust and complex for an APA. Six bucks seems a bit extravagant for a pint of APA but this is probably the best APA I've ever had. Makes me wonder what Zombie Dust is like.

Overall- Didn't impress at first but turns out to be a more than solid beer. Between really good and great. A must try for APA fans.

Photo of dynajack1
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Been waiting a long time to try my first Alpine beer. On tap at the Ale House Amesbury and this baby didn't disappoint. More than lives up to its lofty rating. Hoping to see more of this around. Thanks Green Flash!

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, golden pale with a dense white head. Thick rings of clumpy lacing.

S - Starts of quite grainy followed by a fresh citrus balance of oranges and some tropical fruit notes.

T - An explosion of hops with sweet citrus and tropical fruits. Very hop-forward APA, but exceptionally well balanced with its malt backbone.

M - Medium bodied, bitter, but nice clean finish.

O - Definitely the best APA I've had to date. Can't wait to try Zombie Dust and compare the two. I'm not a huge fan of APA's but I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of Beerswag
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap Lowbrough sacramento, ca
Pours hazy gold with hints of bright orange. Smells fruity, apricot, dank, sour-deisel. Taste is pine citrus, resin, graipfruit rind, apricot, bitter. (Not the typical floral, balanced APA, more of a "hop-head" APA with hops in the forfront and very pertinant, compare to the medium malt profile expressed in traditional Apa's)Mouthfeel is light-medium, dry, crisp, creamy, bitey. Overall a pleasure of an APA. Packed with flavor most complex pale ale to date for me.would go nice with black pepper/ spiced rubbed meats, sausages, bbq, fowl recommended.

Photo of ehammond1
4.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On Tap

O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Hazy golden orange and yellow. Thin white head. Some lacing, but not as much as I was expecting.

This beer smells like hop heaven. It's an absolutely, unmatched, perfect smelling pale. The hop aroma on this is massive--orange, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine--WOW!

Taste falls in line right behind the nose. Bitter enough, but the bitterness never gets in the way of the terrifically pungent citrus and pine flavors biting and wrestling with the tongue--just delicious!

Medium bodied.

The perfect pale ale. It's astounding that so much hop flavor, aroma, and character is packed in to this sessionable, pitcherable, gulpable 5.25% pale ale.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a golden color, plenty of clarity, white head, decent, nice, dissipates in an average amount of time. Good hoppy aroma, nothing like some of the other Alpine dry hopping (Expo, Duet, Nelson) but damn good nonetheless and better than 98% of apa's out there. Props for not being afraid to use Summits.

Barely a malt presence, lots of hopping, very easy to drink. Lemon forward, was not expecting that, although nice to use a descriptor other than grapefruit or pine for once with something hoppy. Good carbonation, not a lot of complexity out of this one, but all my favorite pale's save SNPA are pretty straightforward, and that's a good thing in this reviewer's book. Bitterness held in check.

A very good beer, wouldn't say its deserving to be in the top 100, but the way the brhos changed the list, rare and one time new releases are bound to jump into the list at the expense of more time tested and available stuff. I'd put it midway through my top 10 pales.

Photo of MrMoose916
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served on tap at Final Gravity Taproom.

A: Super hazy golden standard APA, IPA color. The white head dissipated pretty quickly.

S: Tons of fresh hops, grapefruit skin, pine, with a really nice malt backbone.

T: Wow this screams IPA rather than APA, nice hop bitterness up front, followed by more hop flavors and citrus and then balances out with a smooth malt sweetness. Very well balanced.

M: I felt it was very light with a perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Delicious, very well balanced, even though is says APA, this is an IPA to me. Love the hop blast up front and how it finished with that smooth malt sweetness. Wish I could get this in bottles.

Photo of nickd717
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh growler shared by largadeer. HOP PUNS FOR THE WIN HELL YES!!!

Pours clear copper with a great lacey white head. Looks incredible.

Aroma is typical amazing Alpine: citrusy, floral, and herbal hops, as well as just a hint of sweet malt.

Flavor is amazing for a pale ale (or really more of an IPA). Citrusy - tangerine and grapefruit - with an excellent tropical fruit note and some herbal qualities. Just a little sweet malt in the background.

Medium-bodied with great hop resins.

Overall, just incredible. This is what every pale ale should aspire to. I could session the hell out of this if the ABV were under 4.00% and I were legally allowed to do so by British law.

Photo of MiScusi
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this on tap more times than I can count on my hands and toes. The color is golden, slightly bronzed, and always carries a nice frothy airy white head. The smell to me is more of a green, earthy smell, with only a tiny bit of citrus hiding in the background. The hop flavor over the palate is spicy, slightly juicy, again just a touch of fruit or citrus. This is not a sweet/bright/citrusy/tropical beer. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side as to be expected. Being a somewhat small-batch beer, it varies a bit from time to time but it's usually a must get anytime we see it.

Photo of Erikberglund
4.91/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So piney and dank an amazing American Pale Ale.

Photo of HalfFull
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a freshly filled growler, showing a clear golden straw in color with an inch or so of milky white foam. Strong retention and artsy lacing follow.

Mmmm hops, sweet bitter hops. Lots of fruity hops with a touch of pine. Very enticing and quite like the IPA's from Alpine but a tad more towards the sweetness than bitterness side of the equation.

Flavor follows in an IPA Light kind of sense with a notable hop presence throughout, a citric flavor with a perky carbonation and a light grainy feel. A bit of warming suits this beer well as an initially thin feel becomes fuller and more robust. Finishes with a bit of hop infused orange malt tones, offering a smooth feel. Drink is solid but held in check by the one sided approach for a Pale Ale, quite dry and hoppy and perhaps out of balance, yet give me another..

Photo of Jwburns75
4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My first Alpine brew - super hoppy, lots of dank, tropical flavors. Delicious!

Photo of thagr81us
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to mikesgroove for sharing this one at an impromptu Hobo Tasting #7 which turned out to be a good time in an Ingles parking lot out of the trunk of my Audi with my AR-15 in-check to keep the haters out! Served from growler into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and a very subtle roastiness. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew just plain excellent in all aspects. I have been wanting to try this one for QUITE some time and glad that I finally was able to. The nose on this one was nothing short of excellent. The flavor, well balanced and excellent in all aspects. If you haven't gotten your hands on this one before it is definitely worth seeking out. You won't regret it!

Photo of Tbub18
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 4th Ave Pub in Brooklyn for Alpine/Green Flash tap takeover. This has been one of my wants for a while--really happy I had the chance to try it. The nose on this beer is wonderful--hops galore, florally, tropical fruits and some grass. Taste follows the nose--fruity hop bomb that could easily be an IPA. This beer is very well done--right up there with Zombie Dust in terms of world class APAs for me!

Photo of drone
3.06/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big piney head, quite hoppy for a pale.

Photo of OTB
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to bringing a growler home after missing out on the last few releases. First time with this brew.
Poured into my tulip the brew is a beautiful pale orange with a thick one inch bright white head that leaves curtains of webbing as I drink down. The nose is amazing, pure Citra hop aromas with white flowers and peaches, simply one of the best noses on any beer I've had. The flavor profile follows the nose with concentrated citrus, stone fruits some bitter hop bites and a beautiful glance of light biscuit. The mouth is crisp, dry, and cleanses the palate with perfect carbonation. By far the best pale ale I have ever had, another world class effort from my favorite brewery on the planet.

Photo of Treyliff
4.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Growler

A- pours a slightly hazy bright golden color with a small foamy white head that reduces to a small film on top

S- huge danky hop aroma with aroma of fresh leafy hops, pine needles, citrus peel, hemp, the freshest hop aroma I've experienced from a pale ale

T- fresh and clean hoppy showcase, notes of fresh leaves and fresh cut grass, some floral notes, the finish is dry and slightly spicy

M- medium-light body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish

O- so fresh, hoppy and clean, the best pale ale I've ever had

Photo of jamex
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the tap at Alpine Brewery. Poured a beautiful gold with a nice head.

S: The aroma was amazing. Pine, tangerine, some floral scents and tropical undertones. Like taking a deep breath in a uncharted pine forest while your girlfriend peels an orange about five feet away.

T: I partied like it was my birthday. Hop explosions laced with wonderful citrus and delightful floral notes.

M - Nicely carbonated and refreshing.

D - This was an all around delicious beer, like many of the Alpine beers. They really have hops down to a science. Congratulations on this lovely beer.

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris for sharing the birthday beer...

Mini pint poured to the brim, 6-8 oz. Bright gold with a touch of orange, rapid carb trails visible. Copious lace all around the edges, constant layer of foam present for the whole glass.

Pine and fruity citrus, though somehow slightly mellow, possibly from being a week old growler, who knows... Orange and floral notes are there and compliment the flavor nicely.

Tastes like a west coast iteration of an APA certainly, citrus and bitter resiny hops dominate a meek pale malt backbone that lends a wee bit of sweetness, though the finish is dry, resiny bitterness all the way. Light feel with maximum hop delivery. Would easily drink a couple pints of this schtuff, though it's not as unique as some of Alpine's other beers.

Photo of philbe311
4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two plus fingers worth of light airy lush khaki colored froth comprised of lots and lots of big chunky bubbles... Nice retention that really begins to hold around one fingers worth... Turns a bit richer and creamier as it settles a bit... Lots of carbonation some of which clings to the glass and some of which rises sporadically at a modest to slightly quick pace... The color is a somewhat vibrant light copperish amber... A thin film and some lacing clings to the sides of the glass... The aroma is all hops all the time... Glorious hop resins... Fresh hops... Just lots and lots of hops... Mostly piney with some citrus mixed in... There is little or no malt to be found... Dank and hoppy... Lemon zest... Earthy hops... Orange zest... Piney hops... A very light biscuity malt layer is buried beneath the surface... The mouthfeel is medium bodied... Rather sturdy... Mostly dry throughout turning a bit drier on the finish... This is an outstanding American Pale Ale and a very welcome introduction to Alpine... If someone wanted to know what hops tasted like, this is the beer that I might point them to... Lots a goodness in a very subtle <6% ABV... Love it...

Photo of spark3148857
4.56/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I walked, well almost ran, to City Beer Store when I saw they had tapped this. Pours somewhat hazy golden, slightly darker than straw with a fluffy one finger white head. Aroma is well balanced though amazingly hoppy for a 5.5% pale ale. What really sets it apart here is that super fresh hop aroma that is reminiscent of very fresh Pliny. Big piney dank hops overwhelm the senses. On the palate there is big grapefruit up front that turns into lots of piney dankness. Wow, this is dank as hell for a pale and also more bitter than I expected. Similar hop profile to Duet imho, just accentuated in different ways. A delight and lives up to the high expectations. World class west coast APA.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,250 ratings.