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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

647 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 647
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 699
Gots: 40 | 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: 647 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shelby415
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

shelby415, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of nickd717
4.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh growler shared by largadeer. HOP PUNS FOR THE WIN HELL YES!!!

Pours clear copper with a great lacey white head. Looks incredible.

Aroma is typical amazing Alpine: citrusy, floral, and herbal hops, as well as just a hint of sweet malt.

Flavor is amazing for a pale ale (or really more of an IPA). Citrusy - tangerine and grapefruit - with an excellent tropical fruit note and some herbal qualities. Just a little sweet malt in the background.

Medium-bodied with great hop resins.

Overall, just incredible. This is what every pale ale should aspire to. I could session the hell out of this if the ABV were under 4.00% and I were legally allowed to do so by British law.

nickd717, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super clean golden amber with a large white head that lingers. Looks fantastic. Stronger hops come off the nose than expected, pine and resin, maybe a touch of lemon. So far so great. This beer is more straight forward bitter than any APA I've ever had. Really smooth, with a more generic hop bitterness than the nose implies. Thicker than expected in the mouth, in a very pleasing way, with solid carbonation. They did a great job disguising a 5.25% ABV beer in the mouthfeel as something bigger. To me, that is an impressive feat. Aggressive bittering hops limit the drinkability slightly as an APA, but yet it otherwise presents itself as a 6-7% ABV beer, increasing the drinkability quite a bit with its lower ABV. Really, one of the best 2-3 APA's I have ever had.

seeswo, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of Smarty_Pints
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Smarty_Pints, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Kurmaraja, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of Arbitrator
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled growler into a glass. Yeah, I killed it alone, shut up, Roger.

Thanks to Chris (largadeer) and Ted (chswimmer) for grabbing it for me.

A: Pours a clear, golden-tinged peach body that is capped by 2" of fluffy, off-white head. Retention is great, and the beer deposits tons of sticky, white lace down the sides of the glass. Great look for a pale ale.

S: Tropical citrus all the way. They took pains to refrigerate this growler for the 5 days before I got it, and the aromatics really show. Fresh-cut pineapple, passionfruit, jackfruit, mango, grapefruit, tangerine. I could go on and on listing tropical fruits that only my girlfriend actually eats. There's a small touch of pine as well.

T: It has a light biscuit malt presence, just enough to give it some body to offset the huge hop flavors. As noted in the nose, it's tropical citrus all the way. It's not very bitter at all; a nearly clean flavor, in fact. Some small pine flavors are noted, but they barely offset the residual biscuit malt, and absolutely pale (ha!) in comparison to the citrus varieties.

M: Light-bodied. It's not crisp, but it has enough cleansing carbonation that the next sip (and many dozens after) are as fresh as the first. The right balance of residual sugar to offset the hop flavors and prevent this from tasting like watery hop juice.

D: I killed a growler. 'Nuff said.

Is there a better pale ale out there?

Arbitrator, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of Brew33
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Brew33, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Spycow, I think, for the share.

A - It pours a hazy orange-golden hue, and is capped with a big tan head that looks like pancake batter. Lots of lacing ensues.

S - Jeez this is good. It is very reminiscent of the 4-day-old Pliny shared by nerd the other day, except lemon-forward where Pliny proffered tropical and dank. The nose is just pure hoppiness; there is pale malt and pristine minerality somewhere under the hops, but who woud bother looking for it? Anyhow, lemon zest, verbena, lemongrass, tangerine, and hazy cannabis are hugely implied in the aroma.

T - This is one of the best hop-centric beers I've had; the taste is truly world-class. A pristine minerality is suggested by the pale malt base, and it is the basis for extraordinary depth of hop flavor. Lemon-centric notes lead the way but are nearly equaled by a melange of tangerine, mango, and grapefruit. The more I drink of this, the more it seems that the flavor begins as lemon and actively morphs through tangerine and mango phases, ending in a bitter grapefruit astringency. Quite mouth-watering.

M - Lighter than medium by a tad, and plentifully carbonated.

O - Fantastic stuff; this is what APA, and hop-centric, should aspire to be.

ktrillionaire, May 07, 2011
Photo of notchucknorris
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronados

A: Golden color with a 1/2 inch cream colored head.

S: I don't even think I can begin to put the smell into words. It's absolutely amazing and the best smelling pale ale I've ever come across. Huge candied grapefruit, mango and citrus hops with a little honey as well. Perfect.

T: Somehow, the taste is just as good as the smell. A hint of mango and then a big hit of citrus and slightly piney hops. Some caramel malts balance the hops before they can get too bitter and the finish has just a touch of pine hop resin. A picture perfect pale ale. Must get more.

notchucknorris, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of jampics2
5/5  rDev +10.4%

jampics2, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

CuriousMonk, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of Zbeetleman
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Zbeetleman, May 15, 2013
Photo of 2beerdogs
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

2beerdogs, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of Adamostella
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Adamostella, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Phelps
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Alpine brewpub alongside a pulled pork sandwich that was crazy good.

Pale golden orange with the slightest hint of haze. A foamy one-finger head of off-white bubbles becomes a silky top layer and leaves gobby walls of lace.

Incredible nose. Dank and sticky, with fresh-cut grass. Notes of floral honey and white crackers also emerge. So bright and impressive for a pale ale.

The hops are even more dank in the flavor, leading with bright sticky weed before pithy citrus peel and grass swoop in. The finish, however, is kind of weak — there’s no snap. Medium bitterness. Not much malt backbone at all, maybe some pale cracker malt.

Prickly medium carbonation inside a medium-light body. Very mild fizziness, slight dryness. An ale this big in flavor should have a bigger body and be harder to quaff, so it’s incredible the brewers have managed to keep it so light on the palate and drinkable.

What an outstanding pale. Despite its BIG hoppy flavor, the brew retains drinkability. Good to the last drop, yo.

Phelps, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of dfhhead25
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

dfhhead25, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

JRod1969, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint at the Alpine Pub.

A - Golden with a slight orange hue to it. A 0.5 inch white head forms that is nice and frothy and has some stickiness to it.

S - Starts of quite grainy followed by a fresh citrus balance of oranges and some tropical fruit notes.

T & M - Starts with a clean grainy malt flavor and some fresh baked bread notes. Slight malt sweetness is also present. This is then quickly balanced by some fresh citrus and grassy hop notes. There is some orange and slight lemon zest to it with some mild red grapefruit notes as well. Both malt and hop profiles are extremely balanced. The body is light and refreshing and with the 5% ABV becomes a very drinkable beer.

O - This is another near perfect example from the folks at ALpine. IMO they consistently mark the standard for West Coast hoppy ales. Delicious and well crafted flavors that play perfectly with each other.

JoEBoBpr, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of portia99
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

portia99, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of jaasen64
4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

64oz growler poured into Surly stein (0.5L pour). Thanks Tom (airfoil) for this one!

A- Pours a slightly brownish translucent golden with about two fingers of white foamy head that has good retention and slowly recedes to a thin layer leaving foamy lacing along the sides. Nice consistent rising carbonation.

S- Floral hops, pine, a bit of grapefruit, grains, bready malts. Definitely fairly hoppy but a nice balance with the malts.

T- Floral hops with a little bit of bitterness, mango, a bit of pine, some grains, finishes with some bready malts, and a light lemony bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, very high drinkability, nice carbonation.

O- This was a damn good APA, one of the best I've had but definitely not the best and slightly overrated in my opinion. Nice balance, decent amount of flavor, and very high drinkability, but I still prefer some of Alpine's other offerings (Duet is still my favorite). I would drink this again, but I wouldn't go out of my way obtaining it.

jaasen64, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of HalfFull
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
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..

HalfFull, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of WeisGuy
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler from Ultraman9000 - thanks, Martin!

Pours a slightly hazy, bright amber color with a two-finger, frothy white head. Head retention is very good, as is lacing. Tropical fruit and citrus really shine in the nose, with pineapple, tangerine and mango notes coming through. There's a nice cracker and caramel malt aroma underneath the hops. The taste is much the same, with pineapple, mango and tangering fruit flavors melding nicely with a substantial cracker malt with a slight caramel sweetness. Alcohol is unnoticeable. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Drinkability is off-the-charts here - this really hits everything I look for in a sessionable beer. The flavors are refreshing and interesting with a very nice balance, though, obviously, this leans to the hoppy side. Overall, another incredible hoppy beer from Alpine. Every time I try something new from this brewery, I am more and more impressed. This might nudge Alpine slightly ahead of Russian River as my favorite brewer for hoppy beers.

WeisGuy, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
2.73/5  rDev -39.7%
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

AleWatcher, May 04, 2011
Photo of djaeon
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

djaeon, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of CoolEthan
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

CoolEthan, Jun 02, 2013
Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 647 ratings.