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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

635 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 635
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 692
Gots: 39 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 05-24-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 635 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jaasen64:
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -9.9%

64oz growler poured into Surly stein (0.5L pour). Thanks Tom (airfoil) for this one!

A- Pours a slightly brownish translucent golden with about two fingers of white foamy head that has good retention and slowly recedes to a thin layer leaving foamy lacing along the sides. Nice consistent rising carbonation.

S- Floral hops, pine, a bit of grapefruit, grains, bready malts. Definitely fairly hoppy but a nice balance with the malts.

T- Floral hops with a little bit of bitterness, mango, a bit of pine, some grains, finishes with some bready malts, and a light lemony bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, very high drinkability, nice carbonation.

O- This was a damn good APA, one of the best I've had but definitely not the best and slightly overrated in my opinion. Nice balance, decent amount of flavor, and very high drinkability, but I still prefer some of Alpine's other offerings (Duet is still my favorite). I would drink this again, but I wouldn't go out of my way obtaining it.

12-27-2012 22:59:20 | More by jaasen64
More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.98/5  rDev -12.1%

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+

12-18-2012 04:44:59 | More by kojevergas
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo

Oregon

4.21/5  rDev -7.1%

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.

12-16-2013 02:19:00 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

4.4/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

02-06-2012 14:46:42 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of jp7161
jp7161

California

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

04-08-2012 00:15:08 | More by jp7161
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

12-16-2012 19:50:04 | More by warnerry
Photo of Callmecoon
Callmecoon

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

08-26-2012 21:23:04 | More by Callmecoon
Photo of Beerswag
Beerswag

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

06-10-2014 20:10:03 | More by Beerswag
Photo of GarrettB714
GarrettB714

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

02-21-2012 21:25:49 | More by GarrettB714
Photo of Altenor
Altenor

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

09-27-2012 07:19:41 | More by Altenor
Photo of MNMike
MNMike

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

08-08-2014 20:56:50 | More by MNMike
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

12-22-2013 02:31:32 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

07-26-2011 22:00:38 | More by ehammond1
Photo of sourdog
sourdog

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

06-11-2014 01:43:55 | More by sourdog
Photo of TKEbeerman
TKEbeerman

Florida

4/5  rDev -11.7%

12-29-2011 01:57:14 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of KyleMA
KyleMA

California

5/5  rDev +10.4%

06-27-2012 22:44:40 | More by KyleMA
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.33/5  rDev -4.4%

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.

06-02-2011 22:54:25 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of iSrALE
iSrALE

Mexico

5/5  rDev +10.4%

12-18-2011 04:16:54 | More by iSrALE
Photo of 01001111
01001111

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

06-23-2014 01:24:08 | More by 01001111
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

11-05-2013 16:25:45 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of kevwcamp
kevwcamp

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

06-15-2014 18:23:36 | More by kevwcamp
Photo of MrMoose916
MrMoose916

California

4.56/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

06-19-2014 00:45:32 | More by MrMoose916
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -11.7%

06-09-2013 14:37:37 | More by acurtis
Photo of 4nimal
4nimal

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

08-12-2014 22:23:40 | More by 4nimal
Photo of ste5venla
ste5venla

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

08-12-2013 01:58:26 | More by ste5venla
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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.