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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

648 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 648
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 7.95%
Wants: 699
Gots: 41 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 05-24-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 648 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -11.7%

t0rin0, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.16/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and onion and garlic hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -11.7%

djrn2, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge, huge, HUGE thanks to mday for this. After multiple unanswered ISOs, this gets delivered to my doorstep announced. Glad I got to experience at least part of your California trip.

Pours a moderate yellow-orange color with a white head and some pretty good lacing. Nose brings forward some really nice tropical, floral, and citrus notes. It seems like they've crammed every single hop variety into this one and then balanced them all out perfectly. The taste is similar with some really well defined hop notes. I got the most out of the tropical hops, though Amyliz4 got more from others. This is just stupendously well done with a beautiful balance between bitterness and drinkability. This is probably the best APA that I have ever had. Thanks again, Mike--I really owe you one.

Thorpe429, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

zestar, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.7%

acurtis, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Texasfan549, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

o it began. Hobo tasting No. 7 commenced at Ingles on an overcast and slightly damp day. It was an impromptu event that really was not solidified until a couple hours before, but none the less went off without a hitch. As me and Calton chilled for a good hour enjoying some of the finer craft offerings in our multitude of glassware and bottles and growlers, one could only wonder how much better it could have gotten, enjoyed during a hell of a good time on 04/21/2011.

The first offering of the day the monster growler was opened up to get the ball rolling. This was not an easy feat to track this one down but boy was it worth it. Pouring out a wonderfully light golden amber color, the cloudy body produced a head that was nearly three inches in height over the top of the bottle and easily coated the entire glass with sticky and gooey lacing that left webbing long after we had finished.

The first notes that are picked up from the aroma are super bright citrus hops. Light lemon layered on top of pineapple and grapefruit, but very bright, light and clean. A burst of freshness through the air that was only slightly cut by light grains as it warmed. To call this a sessionable beer is an understatement. So clean, fresh, and easy going we had a hard time not going for pint after pint. Just a quick hit of hops on the first sip that open up the palate and cleanse the senses for a ripe display of fresh fruit and light grains that then wash over you. Fresh and perfectly carbonated it was an effortless offering as the lemon and pineapple flavor melts into a sea of grapefruit and dry finish that begs you to take another sip almost as soon as you finished the last one.

Overall one of the best, most drinkable IPA’s I have ever come across. This was just nuts. I would like to see someone do better than this, incredible light offering that seems it was made to be shared!

mikesgroove, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

kjkinsey, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Toronado SD

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden color with a drop of orange for a little variety. A nice fluffy white head and solid lacing.

S: This is what you expect from an Alpine beer: tons and tons of hops. Lots of grapefruit and some tropical fruit notes along with plenty of pine, too. If there's a malt scent in there, I couldn't find it.

T: The hops continue to dominate on the palate. A very nice resinous bitterness along with tons of fruit character. Grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and lots of pine.

M: The body is a bit on the light side, but this works just fine for a pale ale. A good amount of carbonation, and a real crisp finish.

D: This is one of my new Alpine favorites. So brutally hoppy, but so easy to drink (helped along by a moderate ABV).

womencantsail, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +10.4%

spycow, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +10.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris for sharing the birthday beer...

Mini pint poured to the brim, 6-8 oz. Bright gold with a touch of orange, rapid carb trails visible. Copious lace all around the edges, constant layer of foam present for the whole glass.

Pine and fruity citrus, though somehow slightly mellow, possibly from being a week old growler, who knows... Orange and floral notes are there and compliment the flavor nicely.

Tastes like a west coast iteration of an APA certainly, citrus and bitter resiny hops dominate a meek pale malt backbone that lends a wee bit of sweetness, though the finish is dry, resiny bitterness all the way. Light feel with maximum hop delivery. Would easily drink a couple pints of this schtuff, though it's not as unique as some of Alpine's other beers.

emerge077, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler from ArthurPendragon. Thanks, old friend. The beer is a hazy, glowing yellow peach color. An inch of sudsy, frothy foam tops the body and retains nicely for the duration of the glass, which was admittedly brief. The first whiff displays huge tropical fruit and citrus hop aromas. Pineapple, papaya, a plethora of words that begin with P. Also mango maybe, which begins with M. Malt character is faint, possibly even imaginary. The taste is explosively hoppy yet quite dry and nuanced, with a light biscuit malt foundation barely perceptible beneath the hops. The hop flavors range from tropical fruit to fresh pine needles to juicy citrus. The body is light, but this has a ton of flavor. It finishes with a silky smoothness, only moderately bitter really, and with incredible balance. This is exceptional. Superlatives and Alpine seem to go hand in hand.

largadeer, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

SocalKicks, May 31, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for the hookup. I've been looking to try this one for a while, and Arthur came through. Served in a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that eventually settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and splotchy lace. Lightly hazed transparent golden body.

S - Lemon zest, dankness, oranges, hint of pine, a little bit of perfume and cat pee, and a sugary malt bill in the periphery.

T - The taste is an initial burst of fresh citrus zest, ripe grapefruits and oranges, and delicious hop goodness. The finish is doughy with a bit of yeast character, and the total package isn't as sweet as the nose implies. Not much bitterness at all, which is a plus for a session ale.

M - Crisp carbonation that is active but not very harsh. Medium-light body, smooth texture, and a lightly dry finish.

D - As Jason would say, this is "absolutely crushable"! Another winner from Alpine!

MasterSki, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer served in a Russian River wine glass. Beer is yellow / light amber and clear with a nice white head with some retention, carbonation moderate to low, looks excellent.

The aroma is grinding and hops. It is strong and awesome, CTZ hops if I am not mistaken.

Beer is light in body, very hoppy, the malt lead off is nearly non-existent. It is very nice, bitterness is about 60 IBU thereabouts, great finish, overall a superb beer. I'd have it again, and again.

drabmuh, May 16, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Super psyched to try this beer. I was able to get this to celebrate my wife's 30th birthday while the beer is rated #30 on the top hundred. Poured from the growler into a goblet on the day it showed up.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a half finger of fluffy off white head. The head sticks around pretty well and leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smell: This could be the best smelling pale ale I've ever run across. Tons of pine and citrus in the hop profile. The hops don't leave room for much else, but they're spectacular. There also seems to be a slight peppery note.

Taste: Almost lives up to the smell. There is more balance here, which isn't a bad thing. Still getting a ton of citrus peel and pine needle bitterness. There is a nice, light bready malt that backs up the hops. The peppery note is here too, but not as much as it was in the smell.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the light side of medium with light, fluffy carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: This is a fantastic pale ale. If I was able, I would have given this a 4.75 overall. About the best smelling beer I've ever run into. Did not disappoint at all.

oline73, Sep 06, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 10/02/11 notes. HUGE thanks to Nugganooch for sending me a growler of this; thanks Dane! This has been a huge want of mine for a while but I always seemed to miss having it, so very pumped for it. Poured from a growler into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a clear orange amber color with two fingers of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some nice lacing left on the glass and an inch of retention throughout drinking. Nice looking IPA.

s - Smells of oranges, citrus hops, fruity malts, pine hops, and tropical fruits. Very hoppy and very fresh, a wonderful smelling IPA.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, oranges, fruity malts, and tropical fruitys. More pine hops than the nose and a very light bitterness, but not a lot. Again, very hoppy and great.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. A little bitterness in the taste but super easy to drink thanks to the low ABV. Could have taken down the whole growler by myself.

o - Overall I thought this was an amazing IPA; another fantastic beer from Alpine and one of the best single IPA's I've had. Very hoppy and fruity and I felt like I could have drank the whole 64 oz. growler myself. Would love to have it again and would drink this all the time if I lived by Alpine.

mdfb79, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.98/5  rDev -12.1%
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+

kojevergas, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

imperialking, May 31, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared with 321Jeff and Huhzubendah. Thanks JohnDoe8 for hooking us up!

Pour is a hazy, glowing pale golden with a dense, retentive stark white head. Thick rings of clumpy lacing.

Aroma is much more of an IPA than APA (though I won't hold it against it in the rating). Reminds me a lot of Sculpin. Fresh tropical fruits, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and mild caramel malt.

Medium-thick body with soft carbonation and a pleasant lingering dry hoppy finish. Sweet and juicy ripe tropical fruits dominate from the start and dominate throughout. Amazing. Again, maybe not a great APA per style, but an incredible beer regardless. This growler was ~2-3 weeks old; fresh this would have to be near perfect

yourefragile, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

drewone, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of stakem
4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super big thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for hooking me up with this surprise growler as an extra in our most recent box exchange. Really Brett, you are the man. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a perfectly clear color of golden. A rich finger of white creamy head sits atop and slowly fades leaving an entire white wall of lace sticking to the glass. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain a thin film across the top. A light swirl revives a finger of yellow stained head back to the surface.

The aroma of this brew is ridiculous. It is an assault of hoppiness inside the nostrils. Big dank hop aspect has an herbaceous feel that leans towards pulp, pine, lemony citrus, more fruit and floral quality. There is a bit of catty elements at times and a bit of cheese when the glass is swirled. Not saying the cheese is a bad thing, it is just a unique phenomenon that ive run across before with brews that have a big dank aroma. Despite all the herbal components going on in this aroma, some smells still bring out that fruity and floral aspect that makes you think for a second that this might be a sweet brew.

The taste is just as herbal as you might think based off of the aroma. It is weedy with some catty notes and a bit of pine. There are rindy and pulp elements of fruit that are more citrus and almost lemony. A fine toasty grain character is hiding under the hops but it provides no sweetness, instead its a toasty backing that the hops take hold of and bring out lots of herbal flavoring. The aftertaste is a bit grassy and hints towards a slight tingle and warmth of alcohol that mix with lemon and pine to create a soothing almost menthol-like finish.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a grossly exaggerated example of an over-hopped pale ale (in a good way!) The modest level of carbonation gives way to a light body that at times is watery in a way that does not distract from the experience but increases it's overall drink-ability. I am pretty sure if this was made available to me on a regular basis I would pound it. The depth of flavor encapsulated here is impressive, I thoroughly enjoyed how much hop flavor it had without being excessively bitter for an APA. Very well done yet again Alpine and thank you a ton for sharing this Brett!

stakem, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Alpine Pub while I waited for the ExPo line to move (it didn't move much as I drank my pint). On to the beer:

It's got a goldenrod color with a few visible bubbles running through the body. A little bit of lace does cling around as the beer's level drops. The nose is what it's all about, hops! Melons and canteloupe and pine, oh my!

No question that Hoppy Birthday is hop forward. And it's emphasized. In fact, you can hardly find the malt. Echoes of melons, crisp pine, gentle passionfruit, and orange provide a highlight reel to the palate. The very dry and bitter finish knocked a little wind out of me though.

While I did like this Alpine offering and can understand what all the fuss is about, I personally would have prefered a finish that wasn't so dry. Not that I'd refuse this beer if you bought me a round...

DoubleJ, Jan 28, 2012
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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 648 ratings.