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Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
428 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
428
Ratings:
2,611
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
20.79%
 
 
Wants:
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Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
ruth is, everyone has a birthday. And when you want to celebrate, this Session IPA is a gift to the senses. Made with 6 different hops, this bold brew is refreshing enough to enjoy again and again. Now, make a wish and blow out the candles. But don’t tell anyone, or your wish won’t come true.

69 IBUs

Added by HopHead84 on 05-24-2010

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Reviews: 428 | Ratings: 2,611
Photo of Beejay
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow, with a touch on tangerine. A very full white head on top, that develops a few craters, but seems to have some real staying power.

S: Big pine and citrus, with notes of grapefruit and orange peel

T: Lemon peel, orange zest, and resinous pine! They are some hops in this thing! Good amount of bitterness, with a long linger.

M: Medium light in body, with medium high carbonation. Very assertive feeling with a long lingering bitterness.

O: This is one hoppy beer! Tasty, very hop forward with loads of citrus and pine! I wish there was a little more complexity, but I guess I can settle for huge amounts of hops!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
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+

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Photo of Mdog
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold, filled with particles, good head.

Smell: Danky then some citrus/grapefruit rind.

Taste: Assertively bitter/hoppy, dank/vegetal mixed with citrus rind bitterness. Moderate body.

Overall: Glad to try another Alpine beer here in MN. I'm not the biggest danky hop fan but this beer had enough citrus and malt body to compose a good beer. Probably would be better in 12oz format instead of bombers.

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Photo of tarheels86
3.98/5  rDev -7%
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

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Photo of -Rick
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: an orange/yellow color, with a nice white head that stuck around for a while
S: fruity, some grapefruit, mango, orange peel
T: less fruity than the smell, but still present. Aftertaste is a bit bitter
F: light with some nice carbonation
O: I had this right after having a Duet. A lighter and more tropic flavor. IMO, far superior to Duet, though I do not know that I would seek this one out again.

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Photo of Kevuas
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hoppy Birthday is labeled as a "Session India Pale Ale", although the alcohol content is on the high end of what most consider a session ale at 5.25%. The beer pours a deep gold color with plenty of foam retention. Made with six different hops and registering at 69 IBUs, the beer smells and tastes exactly how you would expect a beer made with that many hop strains to. There are grapefruit, mango, and floral aromas. Notably, a pine taste pervades the palate toward the end of the sip, and lingers on a bit afterward. This pine linger is by no means a undesirable characteristic, but full of flavor, and complements the front hop flavors nicely. Hoppy Birthday finishes dry and is well-balanced.

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Photo of do_ob
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Light golden on the pour, and settles a vibrant, medium golden in the glass. Great carbonation, great clarity, and topped off with about a finger of white, sticky foam. Modest aroma of light tropical fruit, dank pine, hops, and some light biscuity malt. The taste follows right along. This beer has some fruity highlights, but overall is more dank and pine/hop forward. A little onion on the taste as it warmed up. Very easy drinking, albeit a little more watery than I was hoping for. Still a great sessionable IPA.

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Photo of Cfred371
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer says best by June 10th, 2016, which is maddening considering it is December. This is a 12 ounce bottle, bottled and brewed by Green Flash

Look: the beer pours a clear Amber/dark yellow color, white lacing and some white head. Carbonation bubbles are there, but not super prevalent.

Smell: I initially got some mango, and after a swirl, some dank smells from the hops. I am not good at smelling the malt evidently. The dankness dominates.

Taste: The taste is similar to the nose: you get some tropical fruit briefly, followed by a fair amount of resin flavors.

Feel: I thought this was pretty dry and bitter, and a thin mouthfeel. Not amazing

Overall: If people complain about the GF versions of Alpine's brews, the Aloine version of Hoppy Birthday must be unreal. This is a good beer, albeit a bit thinner and less juicy than I prefer. As the beer warms, the beer becomes more tropical and a little less bitter.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus hops along with some pine.

Tastes of the bright hops with a small malt base. Hops lead off with plenty of citrus and pine. Malts add a touch of caramel sweetness, but not much. A bit of tropical fruits are present in the middle. Finishes with an herbal, almost spring onion type hop flavor and some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good, hopped up pale.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, best by date March 18, 2016 printed on the label. My first beer from Alpine Beer Company, though apparently my version is brewed by Green Flash. 'Green Flash' etched into the glass bottle, though the label says brewed and bottled by Alpine Beer Company, San Diego, California.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a nice golden orange body, typical of an IPA, with a finger of good frothy fluffy white head that leaves excellent spotty lacing.

S - Huge herbal hop nose. Dank and delicious smelling. Floral, fruity, & citrusy. Smells like straight up West Coast IPA goodness all around, which is impressive considering the lower abv. Fresh, soapy, & floral.

T - Taste follows the nose: very fresh, fruity, herbal, floral, & dank, especially at such a moderately low abv. Piney, herbal, earthy, & citrusy.

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, & creamy. Very easy-drinking stuff, light-bodied, and sessionable.

Overall, a nice sessionable IPA. Very West Coast style. Lots of flavor packed into this one for such a moderate abv. Recommended.

Alpine Beer Company Hoppy Birthday -----4/5.

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Photo of Lazhal
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Green Flash version of this from a Crowler. Opened the same day as filled.

A lot of reports indicate the Alpine version is much better. Based on my experience, I agree with this assessment.

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Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from Light House Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a nice crystal clear golden copper colour. White head with coppery hints poured big thick and foamy with a meringue like topping then faded slowly to good covering with thick edging... barely any carbonation bubbles... lots of sticky lacing...

Aroma - Lots of juicy fruitiness (pears, grapefruits, oranges, limes), light sweet caramel malts, buttery, some bready notes, honey, citrus and grassy hops, light pine, quite floral, talcum powder traces, faint rubbery notes...

Taste - Tart fruits (grapefruit, oranges, limes), good peppery and citrus hop bitterness balanced by light caramel sweetness, chalky traces, light metallic notes, quite biscuity...

M&D - Smooth initially with a little sharpness underneath... medium bodied... extremely quaffable brew at 5.2%

Overall - An excellent straight up IPA... very quaffable. Recommended...

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pinocchio's.

Slightly hazy golden pour, small white head receded to a ringlet, leaving dots of lacing on the glass. Balanced aroma of fruity hops and sugary pale malts. Equally balanced taste, fruity hops, light ammonia, palt malt sweetness. Medium body, easily drinkable, and good overall for the style.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Fairly clear light golden color with a decent sized long lasting off white head. Light mineral water and bready maltiness with plenty of citrus pine and resin to counter. I could drink that all day even if it was my birthday.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Green Flash bottle.

My first Alpine and it's pretty good. Incredibly easy to drink with a nice dry finish. Lots of orange and grapefruit notes with moderate bitterness.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: nice medium orange hue with a little bit of haze and a finger of frothy ivory foam that leaves a nice lace on the glass as it dissipates. Attractive.

Smell: nicely hoppy aroma with a good earthy, piney and somewhat grapefruity character. Kind of like Duet's little cousin in a some ways. I like it.

Taste: earthy, piney hops with a somewhat dry malt background that lends itself to the earthy, bitter flavor. A good brew.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a surprisingly good creaminess for the style.

Overall: tasty and drinkable. What more do you need?

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Photo of AndrewMichael
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz capped bottle poured into a stemmed tulip style glass.
"Strong" session IPA at over 5% abv, but who's counting. If you're a "hophead", this is the type of session IPA you want, lots of different hop flavors and aromas in a hop forward, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of scotorum
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By 4/19/16. Assuming a six month spread after bottling (a very high estimate for the preservation of hop flavor) this one is three weeks old.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Lawson's stemmed tulip.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick white head which receded to thin even surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Moderate pine resin.

t: A funky pineyness followed by a pretty strong hop bite which lingered over a medium bready malt base. Dry finish with those persistent bitter notes.

m; Medium, quite smooth with good body and carbonation tingle.

o; A better West Coast style pale. Somewhat similar to a couple of Green Flash entries, whose name is now in raised letters on the Alpine bottle.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppy Birthday was a copper color with a good sized head. Nice fresh floral aroma. The taste was rather balanced, but strong, big malty backbone, with a good fresh hoppy flavor. Overall its a very solid APA.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear golden color with white head. Pine, citrus, and resin on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with a floral hop note.

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Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber, big off-white soapy head, settles to a thin ring with some big clumps of lace on the glass. Smell: floral, pine, whiff of grapefruit and orange, note of apricot. Taste: grapefruit, pretty rindy, slightly grainy pale backing, finishing resiny with more grapefruit. Body is quite successful given the low abv and amount of hops shoved in here; does really well for a session IPA. Overall it's good and well built, though the hop profile isn't terribly exciting.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light copper color with oodles of tiny carbonation bubbles erupting from within. A quarter inch of eggshell white rests on top. Moderate lacing. I smell light hoppy notes. There's a brief piney hop wallop. Light malt and honey notes are present in the fade. The mouth is very crisp and smooth.

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Photo of wedge
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best By: 20 APR 16

Mostly clear amber-tinged gold with a small, creamy head on top. Smells of fragrant, spicy-fresh hops: spruce, herbal earthiness, cannabis, and grapefruit peel. Pink grapefruit, lemon, bitter pine resin, grass, tea, and a bit of cereal sweetness. Medium-light, crisp, and bitter.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Green Flash Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours slightly hazy deep golden amber with a frothy light khaki head that settles to a nice layer and laces well.

S: Floral, citrus, grapefruit, hints of tangerine, and a touch of light caramel sweetness.

T: Lots of bright citrus, grapefruit, lemon, a little pine, and a touch of light malt.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, crisp, very drinkable.

O: Light and refreshing. For a session IPA it's not lacking in flavor, plenty of hoppy goodness.

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Photo of papat444
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
95 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.