Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

222 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 222
Hads: 1,643
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 728
Gots: 182 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 222 | Hads: 1,643
Photo of metter98
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
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%
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%
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%
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 -1.8%
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 -1.8%
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 -1.8%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 HattedClassic
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice white foamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a clear pale amber; bearing a strong resemblance to light copper. The overall appearance is fairly attractive and good-looking; giving off a nice preview of what to expect from the beer's body.

The beer smell is good with a strong hoppy note to it. The hop bitterness comes off a nice pine note with a slight resin quality to it. The malt is fairly overpowered but is strong enough to give a slight sweet honey note.

The beer taste is much better than the smell. Even though it's fairly simple, the notes are strong enough to present a good experience. The hop bitterness from the smell is definitely present in the taste with the same pine and resin notes with the pine being the strongest. The malt is also slightly stronger, so the honey sweetness is more present and takes a little bit of the edge from the hops.

The feel is pretty good. It's a light bodied beer that is smooth with a dry finish.

Overall, a pretty good beer worth getting that can cut through grease without leaving your mouth too dry. Recommend.

 1,104 characters

Photo of Mikecap
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from growler into tulip. Pours a dark gold or light orange with a fairly bubbly white head. The smell is much fainter then I had expected and really had to stick my nose in it, pun intended. Smells sweet citrus and almost musty. The taste far over powers the smell, there is a floral bite with a tangy citrus. Good cabonation with a fairly dry sticky finish. Great beer, absolutely perfect sitting out enjoying the outdoors.

 433 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two plus fingers worth of light airy lush khaki colored froth comprised of lots and lots of big chunky bubbles... Nice retention that really begins to hold around one fingers worth... Turns a bit richer and creamier as it settles a bit... Lots of carbonation some of which clings to the glass and some of which rises sporadically at a modest to slightly quick pace... The color is a somewhat vibrant light copperish amber... A thin film and some lacing clings to the sides of the glass... The aroma is all hops all the time... Glorious hop resins... Fresh hops... Just lots and lots of hops... Mostly piney with some citrus mixed in... There is little or no malt to be found... Dank and hoppy... Lemon zest... Earthy hops... Orange zest... Piney hops... A very light biscuity malt layer is buried beneath the surface... The mouthfeel is medium bodied... Rather sturdy... Mostly dry throughout turning a bit drier on the finish... This is an outstanding American Pale Ale and a very welcome introduction to Alpine... If someone wanted to know what hops tasted like, this is the beer that I might point them to... Lots a goodness in a very subtle <6% ABV... Love it...

 1,189 characters

Photo of rkarimi
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At 5.25%, this is essentially a session ipa. If you want to classify as such, this is probably the top of the class. Regardless, this is a great hoppy beer.

 156 characters

Photo of Josh012012
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a growler of this one. I had not read much about the beer before I tried it and based on the taste I thought it was an imperial IPA. I was shocked to see the ABV.

 167 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 541 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Starts with nice citrus flavor, followed by earthy spice notes, a tad bit of wheat, well balanced. Can tell it is an APA as it is missing just a touch of hops in the finish. Rather crisp and dry.

 197 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the growler (cost: $14.99 at Westmere) into a Piraat tulip. Body is clear, coppery-orange with a small whitish head on top, which recedes to leave decent splotches of lace.

S: Mostly pine and pine needles, with some underlying dankness and a touch of tropical fruity hops and even rye spiciness. Nice nose.

T: Piney hops dominate the flavor profile, but there's a lot going on - pine and pine needles linger on the aftertaste and leave the prominent impression as a result, but underneath there's a nice malt foundation of caramel malt. It is, however, quickly beaten into submission by a tropical fruit salad of hops (mango and pineapple), and then the pine, grass and pine needles. A touch of citrus peel is there on the finish as well.

M: Good creamy feel to it; call it medium in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: A tasty beverage, though it's so big in the piney hops that in many ways it's more like an IPA.

 930 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear, deep golden yellow in color. Forms a small to moderate sized white head that reduces down to a fairly thick and bubbly surface coating. Leaves some moderate lacing on the way down.

S: Aroma is predominantly of Citra and citrus hops mixed with toasty grains and a weedy dankness.

T: lighter bodied, but still full flavored. Toasty grains and citrus, slightly earthy, and a mild herbal quality. Not dry, but not sweet either. Medium finish.

M: On the the lighter side. Medium carbonation. Mild bitterness

O: This is a very fine beer. Very well balanced, great flavors, hoppy, yet not at all overdone. Quite drinkable. Glad to hav tried it.

 653 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th review.

On tap at O'Brien's. Pint glass.

A: Pours clear light golden with a half finger of snow white head which disappears pretty quickly. Not much lacing.

S: Rich but subtle pine, pepper and spice, citrus, some tangerine.

T: Lots of hops, bright blood orange, mild pine and grapefruit peel, finishing mildly bitter.

M: Medium body and lightly carbed.

O: Light, refreshing, and lots of flavor in this very drinkable pale ale. Hoppy but not a hop bomb. Another light but flavorful ale from Alpine.

 509 characters

Photo of FranklinPaine
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a growler. This is a very assertive and flavorful "session" IPA! I love the bitterness that is almost astringent but has a fresh, citrusy, piney, and toasty flavor that makes it very drinkable. The mouthfeel is clean with tight carbonation. It has a super clean bitter finish that refreshes the palate and begs for more. A great session IPA. Another great recommendation from CW at City Growler!

 409 characters

Photo of TooGood
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden with 1 inch foamy head, leaves terrific lacing on the glass.
Smells of pineapple and lighter citrus.
Tastes lightly citrusy with a decent bitter finish an no aftertaste.
This is a terrific beer.

 215 characters

Photo of Budlum
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy shade of golden yellow topped with a creamy white head that left lacing all down the glass. The nose is vibrant and loaded with citrus, but a bit muted. The flavors are amazing, fresh resinous delicious hops with a background sweetness and black pepper. Awesome. The feel is spot on and lively to match this amazing palate.

 341 characters

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.