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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

200 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 200
Hads: 1,548
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 734
Gots: 164 | 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.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 200 | Hads: 1,548
Photo of AleWatcher
2.79/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared a growler with some Ba's at my house before DarkLordDay.
Served in a tulip pint.

It's a nice color, like a pretty standard pale ale/IPA. The bee is pretty hazy yellowish gold with a thick white head. Great retention... Good lacing.
So it looks great... Aaaand now we fall apart... Why does this smell like garlic? Oh, summit hops you say? Well I'm not a fan. They ruin this beer the summit hops. The other aromas are great- hiding under the garlic are intense notes of grapefruit and even pineapple. Light malt profile... This beer would be exceptional if it weren't for the garlic.

The body is medium-light with great carbonation and a decent bitter bite... The flavor would be very nice if it weren't for the summit!

Overall-- I'll pass on this one next time. Glad to have tried it!
4.5/3/2/4/3 (810 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.98/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler out at ol' 'Watcher's joint on a night that lead to my demise. I got about 2.5 tasters full of the stuff. I can't say that it was really a crowd favorite amongst the tasting group.

Appearance
This stuff has a nice color, as so often Alpine ales seem to have. Its a semi hazy honey yellow, crowned with a dense, sticky head.

Aroma
I'm not really a fan of Summit hops, and this stuff brings the Summit to its peak. Green onion, dense overgrowth, the banks of a summer creek and dashes of orange, pineapple and grapefruit.

Taste
The oniony stuff is strong. Someone kept saying this stuff was like liver and onions. Who ever it was was partly correct. Lots of greenery and wild flowers with lots of chive and green onion. Some pine and citrus come around too.

Mouthfeel
Not very dry, this beer is fairly smooth with a lighter body and a decent enough finish. I'd say this one has the structure for drinkablility down.

Overall
As I texted to Ryan011235 that I was drinking this my auto correct took over and I sent "Choppy Birthday". I stand by that moniker, I think its more accurate. I'm not sure why this one is rated so high... Oh yeah! Its a new Alpine tap only! Duh! (1,185 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.49/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in 12oz goblet, this was a very nice beer, but not one that stood out from the field of 41 other hoppy pale ales. I will bang again, but it's not a transcendental experience. (181 characters)

Photo of RAlmeida77
3.52/5  rDev -20.7%
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. (164 characters)

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.55/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a very smooth or balanced beer. Hits with strong grapefruit flavor which almost immediately blends into an okay bitter finish/aftertaste. Definitely isn't a bad beer, but based in this one, it's certainly not something I'd search out. (239 characters)

Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.56/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Chicago

A: Dark gold and clear
S: Malty, light pine, bready
T: Bready, light caramel malt backbone, melon, grapefruit bitterness, some pine (150 characters)

Photo of Hendrick24
3.64/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Thin white head with good retention and lacing. Clear light golden color. Nose is subtle cirtus hops. Taste is bready, slightly bitter, non-descript hops, pretty good balance. A bit thin mouthfeel but within expectations for the style.

Pretty good but nothing like the quality of Alpine beers I've had from the original Alpine brewery. (346 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a clear, darker straw-gold color with minimal white head and a bit of lacing. The aroma isn't too powerful, but is slightly spicy with some bitterness in there. It is light-bodied with generally light carbonation. Taste-wise it is slightly bitter with some citrus and somewhat astringent pine. The aftertaste is bitter and somewhat yeasty too. Personally I thought this tasted really good at first, but I tired of it rather quickly. Seemed to be a bit too much yeast in it, and I suppose it didn't impress me overall. Not a bad beer, but it pales (pun, haha) to Alpine's other similar offerings. (634 characters)

Photo of thebigredone
3.74/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

High hopes for this based on the ratings over time.

Taste was mid-tier IPA, solid but not nothing game changing. No distinguishing hop characteristics, seems to be a mix of the usual, pine, a touch of citrus, etc.

Feel is a bit thick on the palate, not exactly refreshing.

Overall, this a solid, but unspectacular beer. Learning it was an APA helped the score a bit, but definitely not something I would seek out again. (425 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.77/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had a pint of this one from the tap at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth. It was on the newly tapped list.

The beer is a chill hazed dark yellow with a skim of off white foam.

It has an aroma of citrus and malts.

I tis nicely bitter with a touch of sour. There is citrus (grapefruit and tangerine), grains and plum.

The mouth is decent.

All-in-all a decent beer that didn’t live up to the hype (at least for me)… (424 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.81/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Legit.. Tropical fruity hops with a big bitterness that is unapologetic... Light pale malt.. piney hops that sometime go a bit catty Dangerously drinkable. (155 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.81/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I thought this was an ipa or double ipa. It drinks like one flavor wise. I am having a hard time with the flavors in this beer. Piney and hop resiny. Earthy. Very happy.

For a pale ale this is way hopped up. It tastes stronger than it is. Somewhat bitter. Somewhat sticky. Ends fairly clean. Great for a pale ale, but very odd. (328 characters)

Photo of gory4d
3.81/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark golden with a white head. Smells piney. Tastes much the same, with a faint nutty maltiness way at the back. It's fairly meaty for a beer this low in alcohol. Drinkability suffers a tad from the unremitting hops, but it's a solid beer. (245 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Glowing gold with a creamy white head that leaves lots of lacing as it recedes.
S - Pungent, fresh hop aromas of pine resin, grapefruit, and a bit of cat pee, with a mild malt backbone.
T - Crisp toasted malt provides the foundation for more pungent hop flavors of pine resin, grapefruit, orange peel, and mango. Nicely tropical and "juicy".
M - Slightly sticky, with a medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, sessionable even.
O - A really nice APA, expertly hopped and infinitely drinkable. (555 characters)

Photo of MLDucky
3.91/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Green Flash version. The nose and flavor was more hop forward than the Duet drank side by side. More balanced, not as much bitterness. As it warmed the hope profile came through more and it became more pleasant. (214 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32 oz. growler poured into a snifter. Clear deep orange body. Nice white head. Grapefruit hop aroma. Caramel malt. Taste is just like the nose. Aggressive grapefruit up front. Hefty caramel malt behind it. Not sweet, more bready and toasty. Strong bitterness in the back end. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Straightforward and very tasty. (352 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Flying Saucer

Clear golden orange with a fluffy finger of head that sticks around.

Pineapple, peach, and a little dankness.

Fairly pronounced bitterness and some light bready malt flavor breaks in. A little piney and tropical fruity.

Super solid. (260 characters)

Photo of BigGold
3.96/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had poured from growler into clear plastic (poolside) water cup, and then into nonic pint. On first tasting, assumed this beer to be a traditional IPA, but pleased to learn it is actually a very sessionable hoppy APA. (218 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber fizzy brew with a decent foam in the pint shaker. On tap at Toma Sol in MIssion Hills. Richly hopped with a spritzy mouthfeel and friendly malty taste.

Hot and tangy on the tongue. Warm and toasty. Wonderful hoppy aromatics with a clean fruity taste and a bitter finish.

I know some are unhappy about the recent agreement to brew at the Green Flash facility, but in the last five years I have never seen Alpine on tap or in stores. Now I am suddenly seeing Alpine a lot of places, and the three I have tried are remarkably good. I don't see a loser here, unless people buy less Green Flash because there are better alternatives! (636 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -10.6%
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+ (4,513 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Growler at Woodshop 7. Not exactly mega fresh since this hasn’t been brewed in awhile, but CP filled and immediately fridged by a Woodshop attendee (amtran maybe). Clear to chill haze golden pour. Spotty white foam. Nose is big mango and tangelo. Taste is tangy, nutty, rich, fresh and chewy butterscotch. Heavy, rich, quenching, elusive butterscotch quality only found in select West Coast IPAs like Port Wipeout, Alesmith IPA, Alpine Duet. Very yummy. Amazing palate. Very bitter through the long finish. Still holding up- will be a knockout fresh on tap. 7/23/2012 7/4/8/5/15=3.9 (584 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.02/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32oz crowler bought a DeCicco's.

Mango and mandarins in the aroma. Nice retention in the glass, a lazy orange colored body. Has a nice lingering bitterness in the finish. (185 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick bubbled but thin head. Plenty of blanket lace on the glass. Cloudy dark amber color.

Semi-earthy with floral hop aroma.

Lots of biting pine and nearly astrigently dry malt. High carbonation but low richness. Chewy finish. Long lasting aftertaste of straight up bitterness. (282 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.02/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color, with 1/2" of eggshell white head which has nice retention and lacing. Excellent looking APA.

Smell: Good caramel malt base apparent, with a boatload of citrus and pine bitterness following.

Taste: Caramel malts, citrus and a fair amount of pine. A lingering finish that is not super clean. Extremely hoppy pale ale that definitely pushes the boundaries of the style.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Good. Overall, really enjoyed this beer from Alpine. Very tasty with an abundance of hop flavor. (572 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.04/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very flavorful pale.
Had plenty of hop aroma in the nose, I got citrus and some grapefruit.
The taste was very good perhaps a bit lean.
Finished with a slightly course bitterness.
Very good and welcome to the sepa area. (221 characters)

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.