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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

201 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 201
Hads: 1,559
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 734
Gots: 165 | 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: 201 | Hads: 1,559
Photo of Chizoad
4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow with a thin cap of foam.

Excellent citrus nose and highly lemony. I had just had the Duet before this one, and the fruitiness of that beer may have influenced my perception of the hops in this one.

Very nice taste and well balanced. Some slight hemp-like flavor that seeps through after the hops dissipate.

Perfect mouthfeel for an APA. Light, crisp, no lingering bitterness, refreshing as all hell.

Very good beer that I would love to have again. (464 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, this happened. Thanks Miller! Growler shared with a few people the day it landed from San Diego.

Good clarity, light amber color, good head and retention. Aroma is weed and pine mostly, right on. Tastes clean and bitter... and clear. Nothing is overpowering about this beer and it drinks very very easy. Finishes dry and feels crisp with ample carbonation in spite of the serving type.

4.25/5 (398 characters)

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at my local whole foods. Smells great, first sip was amazing. As it warmed perhaps not amazing, but still very good. The best from Alpine I have had, this one was draft, the others in bottles. (203 characters)

Photo of HobbNobber
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Picked up,a bomber of this brew at the brewery in Alpine while passing through from San Diego to Yuma. Nice IPA. Great hop aroma. Nice lacing. Solid beer. (158 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to afksports for sharing the growler!

Enjoyed this at least an hour after its initial opening, still had enough carbonation & plenty of head. Strong piney aroma, very full & complex. Taste is hoppy and fresh, nice clean finish.

Hoppy Bday lands safely in second place amongst APAs, thanks to the sublime Zombie Dust. Wish I could get this regularly. (358 characters)

Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

super clean, filtered and lovely white lace. great example of a pale ale appearance. the smell is hoppy but muted, even with the head strong as it is. taste is hoppy with water pine and citrus and toast. the taste finishes clean and drying, and is seriously well balanced. sierra Nevada still wins in my book, but if i could ha e this all the time It would be serious competition. happy super bowl, hoppy. birthday. thanks Martin for the hookup. seriously enjoyable. great beer cheers and go pats! (497 characters)

Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice medium orange. Fairly cloudy. Nice big white head. Lots of fine foam, which leaves a whole bunch of lacing behind. Aroma is orange, tangerine and pineapple. Lots of nice hop flavor bouncing around. I'm not getting any malt character, really. Smells like a nice clean yeast. A touch of mineral water flavor. Lots of hop flavor in the taste. Very dry. Just a hint of biscuity malt. Medium bitter. The dryness amps up that bitterness some in the finish and I'm getting some solid grapefruit pith and pine resin. Tasty stuff. Very refreshing. Not quite as bright as some hoppy pales/session IPAs. Mouthfeel is light. Prickly carbonation. Good hop bite. (661 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From 500mL swingtop growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/20/12
*From notes

-- A big, epic thanks goes out to billab914 for hand filling a small growler for me to enjoy, as I couldn't make our tasting. A very generous gesture from a good friend and a classy Beer Advocate. Cheers, Bill! --

A: Clean 24k gold. A soft pour yields a minimal head and lacing, which I wholly credit to this being hand filled the night before.

S: Really wonderful stuff. A big wave of juicy West Coast hops put a vice grip my nostrils. It really comes off like one of the big boys, ala a true Left Coast American IPA.

T: Bready malt plays a firm role in the development of the overall profile here. This beer is so well balanced, as the luscious hop character really finds a foot hold and never lets go. A long, tropical finish with bite.

M: Again, I must reference the fact that this wasn't served under the most strict of circumstances. It's a tad bit flat and flabby. There's still a mild amount of carbonation, but it's not prevalent. On the plus side, the texture is nice.

O: What a killer APA. They don't make many like this: a low ABV hop fest. Though I still find 3F's Zombie Dust a better entry (and one of my all-time fav's), this is certainly no slouch. One of the most flavorful beers under 5.5%. Worth seeking out, and heartily recommended. (1,334 characters)

Photo of Zonk
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On Tap at Beer Culture. Poured a nice copper color. Nose is more on the piney side, Very hoppy for an APA with some grapefruit to go along with the pine. A bit resinous in feel for an APA. (192 characters)

Photo of Zach136
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Crystal clear yellow, off white head with great lacing.

Aroma: Medium+ intensity stone and tropical notes. I get peach more than anything else.

Taste/mouthfeel: More citrus peel hop flavor, medium+ bitterness. (223 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I used to drink this beer back in the day when it was first released. Back then, this was cutting edge stuff. The smell is wonderful and the feel is great. With the release of so many new APAs, this definitely needs an overhaul...however, it is still in the top tier for APAs.

I like a little more umph in my beer...I have a higher tolerance :(

Marked up for originality and for being a prototypical APA. (411 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a golden orange with yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left good lacing sticking to the glass. the aromas were just like most of other IPA's consisting of a great hop profile, pine, grass, citrus grapefruit, slight pineappple, and some good malt prssence. Upfront the hops and pine flavors were the stara with citrus grapefruit and slight pineapple co-stars. even though it was pretty hoppy the malts did come thru to balance out the hop bomb which was is really a pale ale;great job. the brew was light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a nice slight sweet but bitter hop crisp finish. it drank very good and IMO can become a epic session beer chiilin in the hot socal summer sun. (731 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: medium sunny color, near white finger of head, nice lace.

Aroma: grapefruit and citrus, pine resins, light cracker malts, floral.

Taste: grapefruit, pineapple, citrus, pale malt sweetness, pine notes.

Mouthfeel: light, crisp medium carbonation, refreshing.

Overall: ridiculously easy to drink and some serious hoppiness! (336 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of tropical fruits are present in the nose—mangos seem to stand out in particular. Some hints of grapefruit are also noticeable.
T: The taste has complex flavors of grapefruit, mangos, and dank pine, the latter of which is most prominent in the finish and lingers through the aftertaste, although as the beer warms up the mango flavors become stronger. The hops contribute a moderate amount of bitterness. Slight hints of underlying caramel malts are noticeable.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. No crispness is perceptible—it's almost a little smooth in nature.
O: What I found to really stand out in this beer is the complexity of different types of hop flavors imparted into the taste. It packs in as much hop aromas and flavors as you might expect from a Double IPA but it's only an APA.

Serving type: growler (1,140 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (974 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
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.. (845 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank on tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a pint glass

Hazy, golden amber appearance. The beer was topped by a small, creamy, off-white crown that slowly dropped to a resilient cap of froth. A patchy ring of drippy lacing coated the top inch of the glass.

The aroma was really fruity and bright. Tropical fruits came through strong. Loads of mango, guava and passionfruit. Fairly sweet. There was a dank, marijuana-like quality as well. Somewhat citrusy. Orange zest was apparent. As the beer sat, the tropical notes subsided and the citrus intensified.

The flavor profile was solid, but not quite as smooth or as exotic as the aroma. Tropical fruits were noticeable on the front end. Pineapple and passionfruit dominated. Citrus notes appeared in the center. Orange rind was detectible. Lemony on the back end. The finish was pithy, dry and bitter with strong notes of white grapefruit and pine sap.

Impressive mouthfeel. The liquid was fuller bodied for the style and contained an ultra fine, moderate effervescence. Super soft and fluffy on the palate.

Hoppy Birthday is an immensely flavorful and complex American pale ale that truly pushes the limits of the style. Now that Alpine beers are available in the greater Boston-area, I am looking forward to trying more of their offerings. (1,303 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear pour the color of pancake syrup. This beer's got massive head. Bitches love head. Fluffy and cratered like an ice cream float.

Smells grassy with a shot of grapefruit. Definitely San Diego style. Taste hits you with a dry, full bitterness at first but after your tastebuds are shot you can start to get all the hop flavor. Lots of grassy grapefruit and citrus peel. Reminds me of making a hop tea. It's like they boiled this thing, took all the hops they used and squeezed out all the wort from them and fermented that instead. A tiny bit of toasty caramel to relieve your tongue. Low to moderate carbonation makes you think the beer is a little thicker than it actually is. (681 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Tap and Growler the other day.

The beer pour a light copper amber color with considerable lacing and very good head retetion. This beer looks great. On the nose, there's a huge aroma of dank earth, dry citrus and light tropical fruit. This beer smells like a hop bomb. On the palate, it's all that, and is literally almost too much of a good thing (that's how bitter this beer is). Mouthfeel is fairly light otherwise as one would expect, given the abv.), and the finish is long, dry, clean and bracingly bitter. Alcohol is just about indetectable.

Impressive pale ale, no doubt, though I wouldn't mind a bit more malt in the flavor profile to counter the huge amount of bitterness in this beer. (720 characters)

Photo of jcflorian
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap in Albany this past Saturday. I am normally much more of an imperial IPA guy, but this really was a very solid refreshing beer in every way. Great aroma, nice light floral hoppiness. Winner I would buy again with no hesitations (239 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a golden straw yellow/orange, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells really dry, grassy, and bitter, with some dry, bitter grapefruit, perfume, grass, and a little bit of lemon.

This honestly reminds me of a slightly stronger Carton Boat, in how dry and bitter this is. Lots of grass, perfume, a slight amount of grapefruit, and a really long bitter lingering finish.

This is medium bodied, with a strong amount of carbonation, and a really crisp, dry mouthfeel.

I can see why this one is so popular, so tasty and so drinkable. (604 characters)

Photo of NizzleEGizzle
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a thick white head, color is a polished bronze, the beer is super cloudy. At first a nose of tart grapefruit dominates, and grapefruit comes through on the tongue, suppressed by strong bitterness. As the beer warmed bitterness gave way to faint red fruit, raspberries and a little strawberry. Grapefruit still dominates on the nose, and the beer is still too carbonated to crush, but a deliciously drinkable and relatively complex treat. (448 characters)

Photo of Mikecap
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear golden with some haze and a small white head with delicate lacing.

Aroma: Nice and citrusy, grapefruit, grass and pine

Taste: Like the nose with crisp sweetness and some nice hop bitterness, lots of grapefruit, some resiny character

Mouthfeel: Perfect crispness with moderate carbonation and great drinkability.

Overall: One of the best APAs I've had. Really easy drinking but with enough character to make it really good (443 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of Tele
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: 4.25 Cloudy orange gold with a one inch off white head.

S: 4.25 Bready and hoppy with tropical fruits and some dank.

T: 4.5 Similar to the nose with some more breadlines and a bitter/dry finish.

M: 4.5 Nice body with good carbonation. The dryness makes this beer quite refreshing.

O: 4.25 Lots if flavor, especially for a pale ale. Almost up there with Alpine’s IPAs. (380 characters)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.