Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

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224 Reviews
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Reviews: 224
Hads: 1,653
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 725
Gots: 184 | 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: 224 | Hads: 1,653
Photo of beagle75
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at the Alpine pub.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass and many streams of bubbles rise eagerly in the column.

S: Citrus and pine hops of intermediate intensity barely exert dominance over toasted malt, without revealing the presence of any off-qualities. It is a very clean and hoppy smelling beer whose intensity is a little understated compared to the flavors.

T: Begins barely off-dry, with toast that stands out amidst a wave of brilliant herbaceous citrus and pine hop aromatics. Acidity is restrained into the middle, with earlier flavors of hops and malt mellowing somewhat. The finish is moderately bitter, with bright hop aromatics and toasty grain persisting with longevity and focus that is very rare and remarkable.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly sticky on the palate but ultimately smooth, with moderate carbonation.

D: This hop-forward pale ale is a tour-de-force, bringing a showcase of West Coast hop flavors into effortless balance with malt, acidity, and a texture that drinks more easily than water. Most comparable to Strand's excellent 24th St. pale ale, Hoppy Birthday is as sharp and presentable an American pale ale as any currently brewed.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Perhaps my favorite brewery...Alpine once again knocks one out of the park; Poured from a growler into an Alpine pint glass at roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

A: A crystal clear golden hue beer that supported a white frothy head and ample amounts of lacing.

S: Semi-sweet rye-like malt, pine, floral, and ester aromas.

T: A nice balance of sharp and sweet malt that helps balance out the multitude of hop flavors. Perhaps the most extremely rich APA I've ever had.

M: A light bodied brew that provides a slightly dry finish on the palate.

D: A perfect balance between light body and flavor; could of devoured the whole growler by myself.

Overall: Really couldn't ask for more in beer. Easy to drink, lots of flavor, and a style that most people can enjoy. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of jvillefan
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

200th Review!!

A: A deep golden orange color with an ivory white head that hangs around for a long time.

S: Dank hops. If you have had an Alpine IPA before you know what I'm talking about. Very very hoppy especially for an APA. There are caramel notes in the background as well.

T: A near perfect blend of caramel and toffee with pine and dank hops. The malt characters eventually give way to the hops on the finish.

M: Nice body. It is a little heavy for an APA but very smooth and sessionable. Great carbonation.

O: Amazing APA. One of the best ones out there. Worth the 2 hour drive to get.

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Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Alpine brewpub

I've heard so many great things about this brew, and couldn't wait to try it. I had this as a part of a flight during my visit to Alpine Beer Company on 11/12/11. Here goes. (from notes)

This poured a really nice orange/amber color, displaying excellent clarity and effervescence. It had minimal head (given that it was a 5 oz. pour) that left some really nice, sticky lacing. The aroma on this brew is insane! My first impression was "oh my god!"; my girlfriend thought i found a bug in my glass, haha. This one is so intensely tropical. I'm getting big peach, lemon, orange, and mango. So good, it's almost unreal. The taste just follows suit with the nose. Very heavy on the tropical citrus fruits, peach and orange taking the forefront. There is also a perfect hop bitterness that bites the tongue, which is very piney, but is mellowed out by a hint of malty sweetness. This leaves a really nice hop oiliness in your mouth. It really reminds me more of an IPA than a pale ale. Mouthfeel is light-bodied, and somewhat dry. Just how i like my pale ales. Overall, I am going to have to say this is my favorite pale ale I have had so far. I really wish I would have grabbed a growler of this, but I did get a mixed case of Nelson/Pure Hoppinness, so I can't complain. And there's always next time : ) Anyone seeking this out, do yourself a favor and go to extreme lengths to find it. It really is worth it. Cheers!

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Photo of xnicknj
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

growler from the brewery - thanks to poneill - long overdue review

Pours a semi-hazed golden yellow with a nice fluff of white head on top. Retains with a layer of film and leaves spots of lacing on the glass.

Strong explosive scents of juicy hops, tropical fruits with orange and pineapple. Bitterness with some tempered sweetness and lighter malt.

Crazy amounts of hops up front, wild juiciness and fruit. Pineapple, orange, and grapefruit all swirl around. Exceptionally bitter from the hops, but followed by a mild malt base. This tempers the bitter and sweet flavors as the beer finishes with bitter hops and a refreshing tingle.

Medium lighter body, decent carbonation, dry and refreshing while drinking. This is easily the best super hopped session ale I've had, and it easily surpasses stuff like SD County Session, GF Citra, and others. I wish I could have this all summer.

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Photo of NYC-IPAnAPA
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I don't understand what beer some of those really low reviewers were drinking, but it certainly wasn't what I had. I only regret not having had more. Had on tap at Streetcar Bistro in Portland, OR on June 26th. Delicious beer, very hoppy, almost drinks like an IPA rather than a pale.

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Photo of spark3148857
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
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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Photo of breadwinner
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

When this is on, it's the picture of a pale ale maxed out on hops, a little savory/dank, a little tropical. I honestly can't think of many hoppier pale ales. Don't know that the GF-version is quite on point, though.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

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Photo of seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of koopa
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of MrMoose916
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of unclejazz
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
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...

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Photo of slayer3604
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.5/5  rDev +2%
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!

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Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +2%
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

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Photo of M_J_Z
4.5/5  rDev +2%
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.

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

First time reviewing this beer. Summer 2014 in San Francisco I had what (I think) was the Alpine brewed version. From memory, it was one of the best beers of my life. Let's see how the Green Flash stacks up.

Appearance: Pours a light honey orange. Sort of apricot in color. Hazy but not turbid or milky. Half finger head lingers around. Thick lacing.

Aroma: Super lush hop aromatics. Hits on notes of tropical fruit, sweet citrus, mango, floral. Nose seems to bring something different with each whiff. Slight hints of savory onion/garlic notes but pretty faint. Sweet, pale balancing malt.

Flavor: Again. Completely hop saturated. Remarkably drinkable for everything going on. Palate is a hop assault with bright citrus, citrus peel, tropical fruit, pine, floral, and a touch of onion. I've heard this uses 7 or 8 different hop varieties and the flavor sort of bares that out. Massive hop complexity. Dry and pretty crisp with just enough pale, sweet malt to pull everything together.

Feel: Mouthfeel is outstanding. Wonderful anchoring bitterness that never quite wrecks the palate but lingers pleasantly on the finish. Beers leans quite dry overall with a sort of crispness. Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. For the level of hop assault, something I could drink 2 or 3 of in a sitting with no problem.

Overall: This is an exceptional pale ale. I'm not even going to try to reconcile this to any drunken memories I have of what I drank last summer. This could likely use some slight tweaks, but Green Flash seems to have gotten it largely right.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Kshock
4.5/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.