Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

186 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 186
Hads: 1,461
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 2.92%
Wants: 732
Gots: 150 | 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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Reviews: 186 | Hads: 1,461
Photo of More_betterness
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Amazing Grapes in Rancho Santa Margarita. So excited to see this on tap outside of actually going to Alpine.

A: Hazy golden amber with a wispy head that recedes quickly. Moderate lacing.

A: Holy crap.. Zesty orange, sweet tangerine, and pine. A backbone of malt emerges as it warms. HUGE hop aroma for an APA.

T: Bitter orange rind and sweet tropical fruits. Crackery malt takes up the rear. So much flavor in respect to the ABV.

M: Soft and thin mouthfeel leads to ridiculous drinkability, and a dry finish accentuates the potent hop character. Masterful.

O: Damn near perfect for the style. Insanely crushable yet abundantly flavorful, seems like this was the 'session ipa' before the style was coined. Beautiful beer, and I can't wait to have it again. (771 characters)

Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint from tap at Dive Bar in NYC.

A: Hazy golden yellow with hints of orange. 2 finger head fades to a strong and consistent lacing.

S: Tropical fruits galore. Pineapple, mango and citrus dominate. Slight pine and caramel at the end.

T: More on the piney, earthy side than the aroma. Still plenty of tropical flavors coming in. Nice caramel biscuit backbone.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Adequate bitterness.

O: definitely one of the better APA's available. Hope to see this more often in NYC. Damn good! (518 characters)

Photo of seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super clean golden amber with a large white head that lingers. Looks fantastic. Stronger hops come off the nose than expected, pine and resin, maybe a touch of lemon. So far so great. This beer is more straight forward bitter than any APA I've ever had. Really smooth, with a more generic hop bitterness than the nose implies. Thicker than expected in the mouth, in a very pleasing way, with solid carbonation. They did a great job disguising a 5.25% ABV beer in the mouthfeel as something bigger. To me, that is an impressive feat. Aggressive bittering hops limit the drinkability slightly as an APA, but yet it otherwise presents itself as a 6-7% ABV beer, increasing the drinkability quite a bit with its lower ABV. Really, one of the best 2-3 APA's I have ever had. (777 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A big thank you to johndoe8 for sharing the west coast san diego beer week wealth!

Appearance: Perfectly transparent and a slight shade more yellow than a goldfish body. Crown is 2 fingers, slightly off white (hop oil / buttery color), shows good retention and loads of lace!

Smell: Very piny with a bit of grapefruit pith and tangerine over a hint of pale sweet malt.

Taste: Lots of tropical notes up front...pineapple, mango, and tangerine. Soon followed by a bit of resin and a mildly hoppy finish. Very low on the bitterness....citra hops perhaps.

Mouthfeel: A touch chewy for a medium bodied brew but slightly undercarbonated for my liking.

Drinkability: The 2L growler to the head was no problem. This one is extremely drinkable.

What a great American Pale Ale! (774 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip. Thanks readbaron, I'm glad it arrived safely.

Appearance: Clearly filtered, Hoppy Birthday has a transparent copper orange color with visible resplendent carbonation rising from the bottom to refresh its creamy white head. The head loiters and leaves a good splattering of lace on the glass.

Smell: This has a monster hop aroma. Lots of floral notes, mango, orange rind, and pineapple.

Taste: Up front the sweet pale malt sets the table for the hops. The hop profile is pretty amazing overall. Lots of mango, grapefruit, and pineapple give this a great, well rounded bitterness. Being a lighter beer, this is something I could easily drink all day during the summer.

Mouthfeel: This has a nice, smooth carbonation that really helps to keep the beer clean. I like when there is no unpleasantness lingering - the bubbles lift up and carry away any residue so each sip starts out with a refreshed palate.

Overall: This is pretty damn good. There are four pale ales I find worth my time, every time. Zombie Dust edges out Hoppy birthday on my personal favorite list, with Daisy Cutter and Alpha King tied for a distant third. That is splitting hairs, though, this is another win for Alpine. You can trust them to do right by the hop gods. (1,276 characters)

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. (660 characters)

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a trade friend...fresh growler from Alpine Tap takeover...smell is ridiculous! Tastes right up there with smell and has lots of citrus...little resin on finish. (167 characters)

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lots of tropical fruit in the smell. Super flavorful yet light and delicate. This is right up there with Nelson. This is probably the best tasting lighter alcohol beer I've ever tasted. (188 characters)

Photo of unclejazz
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge pineapple and grapefruit nose with equally powerful flavor that matches the nose. So much flavor in such a modest ABV. Heavy bitter finish that matches the rest. Medium body and on the same level as ZD, Edward, etc...
Cheers! (230 characters)

Photo of slayer3604
4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

THIS is a great little beer...Not the biggest on the block, not the gnarliest but very clean, and well balanced.
Pours a golden haze with a white head with some nice lacing and tiny ropes of co2 rising to the top. Smells like STRAIT UP tropics....mango, pineapple, pommegranite???? So many awesome bright fruit smells along with a sweet piney aroma. Tastes light and maybe even a little too much so...for a beer of this size, there is a LOT going on in it. I'd put Nelson over this one but thats just MHO. ALSO I could drink this for days. (539 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at tha Joint - Alpine, itself.

Did it again. Alpine all up in it and they did it again. Close, but so far. Raul lives close, but yet so far!

Nothing but clean. All kinds of clean. Your sister after some pert plus kind of clean. This almost shouldn't happen; it's too good!

Now, Zombie this isn't, but lets be real; like your girlfriend in high school whom "stuffed" herself, Zombie is trying to deceive us also. (You're not a Pale Ale, Zombie!) Anyway...

Just sexy. So smooth, so smooth! And sexy. Ruff ruff! (520 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

683rd Review on BA
Growler to Flute

App- A vibrant little orange color with a small one finger head and lace all over the glass. For a APA such a rich color.

Smell- Like Emeril says, BAM! Aromatics all over the place with this beer. Hoppy, fruity, lush, crisp.

Taste- WOW! This was seriously good. I'm not normally an APA fan but this was so far above any other APA I was taken aback. Lush, fruity, hoppy but not bitter. Just so damn good.

Mouth- A medium body that borders on light, a carbonation level of medium that almost hit a high note for me.

Drink- Simply put DAMN! I want to drive down to Alpine and get another couple growlers after A generous BA had this at Clusterfork #6 (689 characters)

Photo of M_J_Z
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on draft in July 2015 at The Brass Tap in Winter Park/Orlando, FL.

I'm very impressed with this beer. It possesses a lot of balance; a great color, an appropriate PA/IPA aroma and an excellent mouthfeel/aftertaste (slight bitterness in the AT without being malty). Really glad I got to try this one (Alpine seems to be making its way to FL now; perhaps because of the Green Flash connection?).

I somehow gave this only 4.25 stars, overall, on Untappd but am rating it higher here. I think it deserves the extra .25 boost. It's very good and I highly recommend trying this if you're able to. (603 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Crystal clear golden orange body. Massive white head. Excellent retention and substantial lacing.

S: Tropical aromas dominate. Grapefruit, orange, mango, maybe some tangerine in there as well. Underlying notes of freshly cut grass.

T: Profound grapefruit, light bready malts, floral hops, orange, mango.

M: Light to medium bodied. Assertive carbonation, moderate bitterness, nice crisp bite in the finish. Epitome of "sessionable."

O: This is right there with Zombie Dust as far as pale ales go. I keep forgetting how low of an ABV this is and I'd think it was a massive IPA based upon the hops if I didn't know better. (626 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Alex by way of ArthurPendragon!

A - Pours golden yellow, white frothy head, large bubbles remain here and there, some spotty lacing, and a thin cap on top.

S - Lemon-esk piney hoppy goodness, citrus, pine, slight dank. So so good...the hops is just straight forward, slightly dry, lots of cirtus.

T - Lemon-peel, citrus, pine, hops, bitterness. Straight forward but just well-done and excellent. Really hard to put into a review how good this really is...seriously, get some.

M - Light, crisp, refreshing, perfect carbonation, really f'n good.

D - Wow...just....wow. An awesome APA and right up there with RR Parking Violation. Drinks like an IPA without the ABV. Must get more and if you haven't had it yet, please get you some. A must-try. (766 characters)

Photo of Kshock
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Bright lighter brown color with good retention. Sticky lacing.

S- Citrus and piney hops are all over this beer. Tons of aroma hops, huge nose on this beer. The effervescence on this beer is tremendous.

T- very bitter up front with piney hops, some citrus flavors come through on the back. Residual bitterness is def there.

M- med to light body, drys very quickly, leaving some residual bitterness.

O- Double IPA with an ABV of a American Pale Ale. Awesome session beer for the IPA drinker. (497 characters)

Photo of rawfish
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lighter shade of amber/gold with good clarity, forms a small white half finger head with minimal retention. As you drink the lacing forms impressive rings that drop down into beautiful sheets of lace, stunning.

Pine forward, delicate and floral with some tropical notes of melons and dried mangoes. Pale malt well hidden under the hop presence.

Pale malts are a touch bready and there's some coarse grains here that come out in the drink. Hops are both floral and resinous with tropical notes of pineapple and mangoes while there's a bitter follow through that never seems to release.

Well carbonated with an average body. Very crisp and dries pretty well.

The best APA I've ever had thus far, it'll give IPAs a run for their hops to be sure. Just another wonderful example of what Alpine can do with hops, they've crammed so much craftsmanship into a beer under 5.5% alcohol. (889 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very amazing IPA, I'm glad it's starting to be made more. This has a lot of flavor up front, but thanks to the low ABV, is easily drinkable. Not quite as potent as its bigger badder brother (Bad Boy), but great in its own right. (232 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Solid looking draft beer (on tap at BBD's in Rocky Point, NY) with hazy dark gold color and a creamy 2 finger tan head that faded very slowly and left excellent foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells and tastes of fresh juicy citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange, piney hops, pineapple, graham cracker, lightly toasted grains, biscuit, caramel, floral hops, light spices and more hops. Wow, the hops are aggressive but perfectly sweet and this brew is perfectly balanced. Not much more to say except that it is excellent.

Mouthfeel was creamy, smooth and almost buttery with very mild carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste that trails off with a combo of malty sweetness and fresh juicy hops. Well crafted, this was extremely easy to drink and lived up to the hype and ratings. (797 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16oz nonic pint at HG.

A: Served a dark golden/medium amber with a greasy and soft off-white head that slowly faded into a fuzzy and lasting collar. Sticky sheets of lace were left down the glass.
S: Citrus hops on the nose with scents of bitter grapefruit and sweet tangerine among other things. There's a couple leafy notes in there as well as a kiss of bready malt. Smells crisp and light.
T: Follows the nose with a solid bitter punch of citrus juice balanced by a touch of bready and toasted malt in the finish. I get hint of onion and something herbal as well. Overall very balanced and extremely smooth and easy to drink, but still packs a nice hoppy bitter punch.
M: On the lighter side of a medium body, soft and smooth carbonation that adds the right amount of chew without any bubbly tingliness. Crisp and thirst quenching mouthfeel.
O: Exceptionally balanced, creamy, and smooth. A perfect amount of light crisp mouthfeel mixed with a clean hop punch. I could drink this all day. (992 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 38 Degrees Ale House in Alhambra, CA. Pint glass.

A- Clear, pale golden-copper body. One finger white head, above-average retention time; very nice lacing as well. Coats the glass in thick rings of lacing.

S- Grapefruit, orange, lemon, stonefruit. Wow. This is a blast of aromatic hops, typical as per Alpine. Caramel and honey sweetness rounds the aromas out. Delicious blast of hop aromas makes me smile.

F- Very fruity; grapefruit, lemon, pine are the predominant hop flavours here.Nicely balanced out by a mild caramel sweetness, possibly honey as well. It's incredibly hoppy for an APA, yet is not unbalanced. The pine comes out more towards the end. The malt backbone isn't the strongest at first which allows the hops to shine, but as it warms up, it becomes more nicely balanced.

M- Medium bodied, soft, not bone-dry like other west-coast IPAs. Quenches the thirst that I had in a big way. Smooth, soft, moderately resinous but not too sticky. Finish is a nice balance of caramel, honey sweetness with a pine/citrus bitterness; it becomes more balanced towards the end which helps in giving me a second wind to finish the pint. Very nice, very drinkable and very enjoyable.

O- One of Alpine's better offerings. I like this almost just as much as Nelson, which is saying a lot. Plenty of hops, crushable at a low ABV, soft and moderately dry mouthfeel. It's fairly hard to find anything off about this beer- it drinks with the hop punch of an IPA, but with the drinkability of an APA.

Final score: 4.49 (1,527 characters)

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! (416 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super big thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for hooking me up with this surprise growler as an extra in our most recent box exchange. Really Brett, you are the man. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a perfectly clear color of golden. A rich finger of white creamy head sits atop and slowly fades leaving an entire white wall of lace sticking to the glass. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain a thin film across the top. A light swirl revives a finger of yellow stained head back to the surface.

The aroma of this brew is ridiculous. It is an assault of hoppiness inside the nostrils. Big dank hop aspect has an herbaceous feel that leans towards pulp, pine, lemony citrus, more fruit and floral quality. There is a bit of catty elements at times and a bit of cheese when the glass is swirled. Not saying the cheese is a bad thing, it is just a unique phenomenon that ive run across before with brews that have a big dank aroma. Despite all the herbal components going on in this aroma, some smells still bring out that fruity and floral aspect that makes you think for a second that this might be a sweet brew.

The taste is just as herbal as you might think based off of the aroma. It is weedy with some catty notes and a bit of pine. There are rindy and pulp elements of fruit that are more citrus and almost lemony. A fine toasty grain character is hiding under the hops but it provides no sweetness, instead its a toasty backing that the hops take hold of and bring out lots of herbal flavoring. The aftertaste is a bit grassy and hints towards a slight tingle and warmth of alcohol that mix with lemon and pine to create a soothing almost menthol-like finish.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a grossly exaggerated example of an over-hopped pale ale (in a good way!) The modest level of carbonation gives way to a light body that at times is watery in a way that does not distract from the experience but increases it's overall drink-ability. I am pretty sure if this was made available to me on a regular basis I would pound it. The depth of flavor encapsulated here is impressive, I thoroughly enjoyed how much hop flavor it had without being excessively bitter for an APA. Very well done yet again Alpine and thank you a ton for sharing this Brett! (2,309 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%

Type: Growler
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company Pub in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $12.82
Purchased: Oct. 24, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 24, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey, orange, semi-hazy color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white head. Slow stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Below average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average spider web retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.88)

Smelled a ton of pleasant hops, reminding me instantly of an IPA. Got Citra hops, floral hops, grapefruit, orange, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, caramel, tropical hops, orange pulp, mango, pineapple and slight earthy rye hops. Best initial Alpine comparison is a Nelson. (Smell - 4.63)

Tasted a lot like the nose, although I don’t think quite as good. Got Citra hops, floral hops, bitter grapefruit rind, orange pulp, caramel, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, tropical hops, mainly pineapple and mango, and New Zealand hops. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter citrusy finish. (Feel - 4.38)

Just a fantastic pale ale and I feel like I kind of underrated it. Glad I still have ¾ of a growler left. (Overall - 4.50)

4.48 | 99 | A (1,227 characters)

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. (585 characters)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.