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.

221 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 221
Hads: 1,642
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 21.32%
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: 221 | Hads: 1,642
Photo of justintcoons
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

32 oz Crowler purchased at The Iron Abbey in Horsham, PA.
Poured into a tulip pint.

Light gold with 1 finger of creamy head. Good clarity with moderate carbonation.

Honey, white grape, vanilla, candy sugar, papaya, and pineapple.

White grape, pineapple, papaya, mango, and pine. Smooth malt backbone of honey, candy sugar, and a touch of vanilla.

Medium bodied, juicy, oily, and crisp with a medium-light bitterness.

Phenomenal Pale Ale! Juicy as all Hell!

 501 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

 678 characters

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.55/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a very smooth or balanced beer. Hits with strong grapefruit flavor which almost immediately blends into an okay bitter finish/aftertaste. Definitely isn't a bad beer, but based in this one, it's certainly not something I'd search out.

 239 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Solid looking draft beer (on tap at BBD's in Rocky Point, NY) with hazy dark gold color and a creamy 2 finger tan head that faded very slowly and left excellent foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells and tastes of fresh juicy citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange, piney hops, pineapple, graham cracker, lightly toasted grains, biscuit, caramel, floral hops, light spices and more hops. Wow, the hops are aggressive but perfectly sweet and this brew is perfectly balanced. Not much more to say except that it is excellent.

Mouthfeel was creamy, smooth and almost buttery with very mild carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste that trails off with a combo of malty sweetness and fresh juicy hops. Well crafted, this was extremely easy to drink and lived up to the hype and ratings.

 797 characters

Photo of rawfish
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lighter shade of amber/gold with good clarity, forms a small white half finger head with minimal retention. As you drink the lacing forms impressive rings that drop down into beautiful sheets of lace, stunning.

Pine forward, delicate and floral with some tropical notes of melons and dried mangoes. Pale malt well hidden under the hop presence.

Pale malts are a touch bready and there's some coarse grains here that come out in the drink. Hops are both floral and resinous with tropical notes of pineapple and mangoes while there's a bitter follow through that never seems to release.

Well carbonated with an average body. Very crisp and dries pretty well.

The best APA I've ever had thus far, it'll give IPAs a run for their hops to be sure. Just another wonderful example of what Alpine can do with hops, they've crammed so much craftsmanship into a beer under 5.5% alcohol.

 889 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 seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 777 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
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?

 1,411 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +7%
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.

 1,223 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 WeisGuy
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

 1,037 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75


A- pours a slightly hazy bright golden color with a small foamy white head that reduces to a small film on top

S- huge danky hop aroma with aroma of fresh leafy hops, pine needles, citrus peel, hemp, the freshest hop aroma I've experienced from a pale ale

T- fresh and clean hoppy showcase, notes of fresh leaves and fresh cut grass, some floral notes, the finish is dry and slightly spicy

M- medium-light body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish

O- so fresh, hoppy and clean, the best pale ale I've ever had

 554 characters

Photo of jvillefan
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

200th Review!!

A: A deep golden orange color with an ivory white head that hangs around for a long time.

S: Dank hops. If you have had an Alpine IPA before you know what I'm talking about. Very very hoppy especially for an APA. There are caramel notes in the background as well.

T: A near perfect blend of caramel and toffee with pine and dank hops. The malt characters eventually give way to the hops on the finish.

M: Nice body. It is a little heavy for an APA but very smooth and sessionable. Great carbonation.

O: Amazing APA. One of the best ones out there. Worth the 2 hour drive to get.

 598 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

 984 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 ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pint poured in a shaker glass at Nob Hill Bar and Grill.

Good looking beer with a bright copper color. Smells dank, floral and citrusy. That quintessential west coast aroma with a big pineyness as well. The flavor is along the same lines, dank, piney and finishing a bit weed-like. The malt lends sweetness and a bit of a biscuity feel.

It's light feeling at times and at other feels both full and filling. There are moments where it feels a bit watered-down like many a light-bodied hop heavy brew feel, but it's not bothersome here.

 538 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 JoEBoBpr
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 900 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%

Type: Growler
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company Pub in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $12.82
Purchased: Oct. 24, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 24, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey, orange, semi-hazy color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white head. Slow stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Below average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average spider web retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.88)

Smelled a ton of pleasant hops, reminding me instantly of an IPA. Got Citra hops, floral hops, grapefruit, orange, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, caramel, tropical hops, orange pulp, mango, pineapple and slight earthy rye hops. Best initial Alpine comparison is a Nelson. (Smell - 4.63)

Tasted a lot like the nose, although I don’t think quite as good. Got Citra hops, floral hops, bitter grapefruit rind, orange pulp, caramel, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, tropical hops, mainly pineapple and mango, and New Zealand hops. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter citrusy finish. (Feel - 4.38)

Just a fantastic pale ale and I feel like I kind of underrated it. Glad I still have ¾ of a growler left. (Overall - 4.50)

4.48 | 99 | A

 1,227 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 jacewg
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time reviewing this beer. Summer 2014 in San Francisco I had what (I think) was the Alpine brewed version. From memory, it was one of the best beers of my life. Let's see how the Green Flash stacks up.

Appearance: Pours a light honey orange. Sort of apricot in color. Hazy but not turbid or milky. Half finger head lingers around. Thick lacing.

Aroma: Super lush hop aromatics. Hits on notes of tropical fruit, sweet citrus, mango, floral. Nose seems to bring something different with each whiff. Slight hints of savory onion/garlic notes but pretty faint. Sweet, pale balancing malt.

Flavor: Again. Completely hop saturated. Remarkably drinkable for everything going on. Palate is a hop assault with bright citrus, citrus peel, tropical fruit, pine, floral, and a touch of onion. I've heard this uses 7 or 8 different hop varieties and the flavor sort of bares that out. Massive hop complexity. Dry and pretty crisp with just enough pale, sweet malt to pull everything together.

Feel: Mouthfeel is outstanding. Wonderful anchoring bitterness that never quite wrecks the palate but lingers pleasantly on the finish. Beers leans quite dry overall with a sort of crispness. Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. For the level of hop assault, something I could drink 2 or 3 of in a sitting with no problem.

Overall: This is an exceptional pale ale. I'm not even going to try to reconcile this to any drunken memories I have of what I drank last summer. This could likely use some slight tweaks, but Green Flash seems to have gotten it largely right.

 1,567 characters

Photo of GJ40
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled on tap at Ale Arsenal. Beautiful golden color with some haze and great lacing. Fantastic aroma with loads of tropical fruit and citrus. Flavors follows with outstanding hop complexity, moderate bitterness and a foundation of toasted malt. A creamy texture and a perfect carbonation. A flavorful and refreshing beer that's perfect for a sunny CA day.

 357 characters

Photo of Phelps
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

 1,032 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
2.79/5  rDev -36.7%
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!

 810 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.04/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very intense hop bitterness. Mostly heavy pine. I'm wondering if the GF acquisition has eliminated some of the citrus characteristics others have mentioned.

 156 characters

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.