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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

384 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 384
Hads: 2,373
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 20.7%
Wants: 672
Gots: 343 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 5.25% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 05-24-2010

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
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 384 | Hads: 2,373
Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks the part, with a huge but slightly forced white frothy head that leaves behind a sticky lacing. Crystal clear light orange appearance.

Nose begins piney and falls away to malty, which actually bodes well based on my major complaint in sessions, which is a lack of balance and depth. Maybe we're on to something here.

Taste starts out just a touch grassy, a touch of caramel and a severe bitterness that wraps around all. Upon exit we have a return of grassy but earthy and piney join in.

Feels a little thin, but I guess that was to be suspected. Tongue is buried in bitter aftertaste but nothing else.

I certainly like this more than most any other session, but I still would rather stick to full octane IPAs and enjoy styles that do not have to rely on mods to achieve low alcohol.

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Photo of brewskis
3.79/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is Green Flash's version. Poured out of a bottle with a Green Flash logo on the actual bottle, but Alpine on the label.

Pours a clear golden color with a two finger white head.

Aroma is of dankness, pine resin, grapefruit peel, orange, and floral from the hops. There is a dry cracker malt and very slight bready sweetness in there to balance the citrus and pine from the hops.

Taste is quite bitter. Get lots of pine resin bitterness up front and into the finish. Between that the cracker malt and very slight sweetness play with some citrus (grapefruit and orange) notes from the hops. Very dry beer.

Light medium body. Nicely carbonated and clean.

Overall, this is a solid beer, especially by GF standards. However, this is definitely not as good as the original Alpine version. It lacks the depth and complexity from the hops that the original provided.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Headkeepers in Greensburg pa. Very underwhelming. Some pine and floral notes. No citrus and hops were somewhat muted in the nose. Taste had moderate bitter finish as well. Was hoping for more.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -7%
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 DannyBigs
3.01/5  rDev -30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this on tap back in the days when it was only Alpine and not done on Green Flash premises nor in a Green Flash bottle. But I do like that Alpine is starting to get around. The trio that is making the rounds consists of Duet, Nelson, Hoppy Birthday. If you haven't seen them yet, they'll be around soon enough.

I was able to buy this one at my local craft beer shop in LA and was stoked! Nelson is my personal favorite beer and everything Alpine does is top notch. That being said, after trying this (in a Green Flash bottle), I was severely disappointed. Aroma was way off, almost skunky. The taste tailed right off the aroma. Not what I remember from having it on tap just a year ago when it smelled fresh and hoppy and tasted great. It used to be a pale ale, now marketed as a session ipa because that's a big thing these days. The Green Flash version is a pure fail compared to what it can and should be.

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Photo of AllDayIPA23
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from Green Flash bomber into an IPA glass.

Pours very gold and translucent. 3 finger, white head. Strong carbonation is visible

Nose full of citrus fruit and piney hops. Very strong scent

Taste goes along completely with the nose. Piney/resinous hops are present. Small amount of malt. Quite bitter.

Medium light body, with strong carbonation.

Overall, a solid session IPA.

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Photo of zimm421
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear bright orange with a fluffy white head. The nose is dank, fruity and has a good malt presence that comes through as biscuits. The taste starts out very malty, with decent citrus and pine coming through, but nothing really jumps out as the dominant flavor. Overall, it's a very drinkable good beer but not something that blows me away.

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Photo of Kevuas
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
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 MaltLickyWithTheCandy
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First smell was citrus and pine. Easily drinkable and makes for one of the better options with low ABV pale ales. Doesn't sacrifice taste for lower ABV like many other "session" pale ales out there. Comparable to firestone walker's easy jack

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Description: Golden color with white head and lacing. This is a really effervescent beer with a balance aroma of pine, fruit and floral. Taste was similar to the smell with an added bit of dankness before a bitter finish that lingered on the tongue a bit; not the clean, dry finish of some IPAs. The feel was quite carbonated although that feel quickly dissipates. As can expected from a session ale, alcohol wasn't really noticeable.

Suggested food pairing: Something with mango...maybe mango salsa on top of enchiladas

If you like this beer then you should also try: Sip of Sunshine

Ideal time to drink this beer: First beer of the night at a Friday happy hour. You're ready to get after it and want to get the party started, but diving in to a significantly higher ABV beer might portend a long, hazy, drunken evening. Such an evening may rob you of your Saturday and leave you questioning your life choices.

Overall: 4.5 (This beer is very good and I would definitely drink it again) Usually when I see the word 'session' on a bottle of beer, I turn my nose up at it in a disparaging manner. However, after drinking this beer I may have to rethink that. My gripe with session ales is that they're kind of 'blah' although this was anything but. Full of flavor and well balanced, this is a beer I could really drink for a 'session', as in all day long... The low ABV could make this an everyday kind of beer for me. Give yourself a present of this beer and you'll have a hoppy birthday for sure! [Too corny of an ending? Probably. Whatever - I'm going with it.]

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Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle - Best by 18 March 16:

Pours golden with a thick foamy head that settles to a lasting thin head. Web-like lacing sticks down the glass.

The smell is of powerful hops - citric, resin/pine with floral/perfumey spice.

The taste - plenty of hop goodness here - citric/piney/floral. Just enough cracker-like malt to keep the hops together and to keep it smooth. It has a refreshingly dry finish.

A very enjoyable hop-forward brew!

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Photo of Evilyak
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yeah. I could totally get used to this one.

Effervescent amber with a white head. A little wet lacing.

Smell and taste are pine and citrus - oranges, really.

Well carbonated. Clean.

Really tasty. Hits on more than one note. A++ would buy again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -7%
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 -7%
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 Czarkazm
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Green Flash bottle, but brewed and bottled by Alpine with a best before March 18, 2016. Clear, light amber body with a snowy white head. Pleasant aroma with lots of citrus, canned peaches, mango, blueberry, papaya, white grape comes in faintly, pale crackery malt, and some pineapple. In the flavor, you get hit with bitterness followed by a dry biscuity sweetness. Grapefruit rind, pine, tropical juice, mango fruit leather, orange pith, lemon zest, and lots of resin bitterness. This is a session IPA with full flavor and a nice slap of bitterness.

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Photo of tzieser
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a Green Flash emblazoned bottle into a standard pint glass. Best by 3/15/16

L: Light copper in color with a thick, bone-white head that slowly settles into a thin lacing. Great looking beer.

S: You can smell the hops as soon as you open the bottle. Big citrus hop notes (lemon, orange peel, grapefuit) with hints of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple).

T: Simular to the aroma, tons of citrus hop flavors (grapefruit especially) with background notes of tropical fruit (mango). Very little malt sweetness. Pine bitterness. Clean, dry finish. Quite amazing for a session IPA, this has the body and hop flavors of a big IPA. Well done!

F: Clean, crisp and dry. Very quenching.

O: Quite an incredible beer and one that is worth the hype. Certainly too expensive for my tastes ($8 a bottle) but it is definitely worth trying once. Highly recommended.

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Photo of CotterEU
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great beer. Not exactly like I remembered from the Alpine Brewery Taproom, but a beautiful beer. Nice and clear with good head retention especially for a session IPA. Smell was tropical with citrus peel. Nice bitter piney finish more than over the top tropical. Solid.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In review is the Alpine version of this beer.

A - Medium orange to dark orange copper pour with a white frothy head that stays pretty thick across the top without dying down.

S - Dank tropical fruit with biscuity malt, the hops take the front seat. Orange, mango, pineapple.

T - Resiny citrus rind: juicy red grapefruit, spicy oranges, mango, tangerine with a nice long, peppery juicy finish.

M - Full medium body with light carbonation, semi-dry finish, and coats the mouth with dank, resiny, spicy tropical fruit.

O - I haven't had the Alpine Brewery version but this is pretty darn good.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A pretty decent looking glass of beer comes out of a 22 ounce bomber from the guys at Alpine; great color, smaller but decent head, not much if any lacing to speak of left behind. A pretty good taste but it seems to one dimensional leaning towards the grapefruity citrus, without much else going on. If that's what you want you'll love Hoppy Birthday.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -7%
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 arizcards
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at TW Arrowhead last weekend for $7.99. Best by 3/18/16. Brewed and bottled by Green Flash.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head that is leaving lacing.

Nose is heaven, lots of fresh citrus just bursting out of the bottle.

Taste is awesome, fresh grapefruit, orange, and pine combine excellently with pale malts leading to a fresh citrus and bitter finish that is clean and not lingering.

Feel is light to medium bodied finishing clean.

Overall believe the hype, this is a solid flavorful IPA that drinks like a 7.0%abv brew. Definitely the best of the session IPA's i have had to date. Although i have no basis of comparison for this beer specifically, this rates up there with the bottles and draft i have had from Alpine directly.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4/5  rDev -7%
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 TheBrewo
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We open a bomber, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. It lights the room with a coppery, amber coloring that supports a sturdy two finger head of bubbling, creamy headiness the color of pancake batter. This retains well, leaving vertical chains of lacing in its wake. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be on the active side. The aroma is whopping, comprising notes of heavily tropical and nectary fruity hoppiness, lighter citric hop oil brushes, sugar loaded pineapple juice, lightly toasted and biscuity pale malts, very faint caramel graininess, dried papaya cubes, green bananas, tangerine flesh, freshly whipped buttercream, fresh honeycomb, bubblegum sugars, simple booziness, and bronze button metallics. The flavoring swirls with toasty pale grainy grit and dryness, gentle booziness, bright citric and piney hop zings, mineral clay, dusty ale yeastiness, freshly liberated tangerine juice, earthen tree barkiness and oiled wet mossiness, toasted honey sweetness, green bell pepper juice, kiwi skins, and the chemical sting of perfume. There is bright lingering bitterness of bitter citric and soapy hops, orange peel pith, unsweetened wafer cookies, and Irish soda bread. The body is full and the carbonation is medium, with decent prickle to the tongue. Each sip gives wonderful slurp and smack, with immense frothiness and creaminess as it crashes into each crevice of your oral cavity. It sloshes around like a syrup, but a syrup that has been aerated and infused to the brim with the softest bubbles. Somewhat like nitro, but yet simultaneously not at all. It makes your mouth water and sweat, but with sticky, binding drops of saliva. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks away easily, in large gulps if you allow it to.

Overall, the most interesting, curious, and memorable thing about this beer is its feel. As outlined above, it is massively heavy and thick for the style. This couples with unremitting waves of dense cream and froth, ensuring that the beer pounds into your palate with ferocity. The aroma also stands out with filling, robust tropical fruity hoppiness. This induces mouthwatering in the drinker that you would not believe. As with many a west coast IPA, the taste to follow leans towards the more bitter persuasion, defiantly deviating from the path. As a pale ale, and a session one at that, the flavoring evens out by about half way through your pint. This makes the second half a bit more “common”, if that’s the right word. It isn’t that it loses flavoring, per se, but rather you get accustomed to it, and there are no more surprises. While not our favorite of the Alpine stock, Hoppy Birthday is certainly a cause for celebration in and of itself.

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Photo of kevanb
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle, best by March 18, 2016, Alpine Label in a Green Flash bottle, poured into an Alpine Beer Co. pint glass.

The beer pours a lightly hazy copper color, plenty of clarity with just a light chill haze and a foamy white head, about 2 fingers high, loose bubbles with moderate retention and sticky lace. The aroma is pleasant, citrus rind, bitter hop spice, pine, resin, a bit of juicy fruits with some crusty malt, plenty of character for 5.25%, though it does have the typical "session" feel where it's annoyingly restrained. The flavors are nice, loads of hoppy bitterness, grapefruit peel, spice, loads of pine needle, resiny and sappy hop bite, certainly earthy with just a kiss of malt at the end, but plenty of lingering hops and bitterness, satisfying to the last second. The mouthfeel is good, crisp and assertive, full bodied, coating with a nice dry kick.

Verdict: A nice session IPA from Alpine, the aroma left me wanting more and boy did I get it flavorwise, bitter, assertive, crisp, earthy and resinous, definitely full bodied that lacks nothing. Really pleased to find this on the shelf in Chicago, so kudos to Green Flash for giving us the chance to sample Alpine's products without having to harass SoCal locals.

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Photo of cfalls
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - copper, slight haze, head mostly dissipates

S - mango, citrus, smarties, slightly buttery

T - not too malty or sweet, starts with grapefruit and a little onion, ends with a grassy piney bitterness

F - light bodied, above average carbonation, dry finish

O - I think "session IPA" is a better categorization than "APA", but either way, I will grab this whenever I see it. It tastes like a mixture of Stone Go To (onion/garlic) and MBC - Beer II (citrus, smarties without the sugar).

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
95 out of 100 based on 384 ratings.