Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

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: 421 | Ratings: 2,577
Photo of DrunkAl
3.22/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Green Flash Bomber. Best by 3/18/16. Guessing that means it’s a month old. Just showed up in Chicago 4 days ago. So decently fresh. Pour is golden orange. Aroma is hops. Not hoppy. Straight hops. On the super dank pine end of the spectrum. Taste is intensely bitter hops. It really tastes like licking the inside of a picked off the vine fresh hops. A lupulin smoothie. Completely out of balance and lacking any malt. Too much hops for such a light beer. This thing is a damn lupulin smoothie.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another fantastic offering from Alpine. This one doesn't have as much fruity hop notes on the nose as some of their other offerings, but this one is extremely easy to drink. I could put down like 10 on these on a hot day.

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Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/18/2016. Green Flash bottling. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of bright citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, lemon/orange peel, pine, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero bitter astringency after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, crisp, and resinous/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5.25%. Overall this is an awesome pale ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a two-finger white foamy head. Decent amount of spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is piney hops, grapefruit peel, and tangerine.

T - The taste starts with a blast of piney hops. Some sweet malts and grapefruit appear mid palate. The finish has a lingering hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium/high carbnation. The mouthfeel is crisp though a bit watery.

O - This is a very nice West Coast session ipa. Definetly worth checking out.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Crystal clear deep golden color with a bright white head that leaves good lacing. The smell is pine mostly with some citrus and malt sweetness. Nice citrusy taste with a balanced sweetness and a bitter piney finish. Another well made beer from Alpine.

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Photo of zonker17
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden in color with a 1 finger head. Citrusy nose with some sweetness. Great balance of malt and hops with some extended bitterness on the finish. Light mouthfeel for the level of sweet and not overly sweet. I can see why this beer is so well loved.

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Photo of Pencible
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like passion fruit and pineapple, with some grapefruit and mango.
T: It tasted like grapefruit and bitter resin, with some sweet pineapple and honey malt. It had a long and clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a fantastic IPA with ideal scent and bold taste. The body was ok, and the finish was very bitter, so it was better to sip. Worth savoring anyway. Highly recommended.

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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 emyers
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Best by date 3/18/16. Green Flash produced.

Pours a hazy gold color with a one inch fluffy white head.

Aroma is loaded with juicy citrus and tropical fruit. A little bit of herbal spice under the initial burst of citrus. Phenomenal hop profile, no real malt presence to speak of.

Taste is a substantial step back from the aroma in terms of depth. The hop profile goes more in the herbal/earthy direction compared to the smell.Overall it seems a bit watered down. There is much more malt noticeable here as well. Finish has a healthy dose of bittering hops. Clean flavor profile, but a bit lighter than I would like, especially after the nose.

Mouthfeel is light, clan, and crisp with a dry finish. Very refreshing.

I get that this is a session IPA, but after that phenomenal aroma I would have loved just a bit more in the flavor profile. Still a great beer as far as session IPAs go.

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Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber
Whole Foods - Willowbrook

Hoppy Birthday glows bright golden. Polished from top to bottom like a gold chain. A couple streams of carbonation burst to the surface every few seconds. A shallow head, of about half a finger in height, forms on the pour. It's clean white and tacky along the sides of the glass.The bubbles keep the crown firmly in place.

The nose is that of, well hops but let me start by saying the malt base is 100% fresh out the oven biscuits. The hop profile is dank and tropical. Forest floor and oozy pine sap kick it off and don't fade a bit. The tropical notes pop up in the middle with mango mostly. There is some of that dried apricot leathery-ness that I enjoy so much. This is a saliva inducing beer.

Now that's the west coast that I've come to love over the years. A big hit of sticky, resinous pine sap starts thigs off, and frankly I'd be OK with simply that. The sap just keeps going and going, it's big, bad, and bold. The malt base is simple and straightforward, clean, again with the biscuit. Mild tobacco leaf hoppy in the middle with the aforementioned dried apricot and juicy mango popping up on the backend. This beer is delicious.

The weight is moderate but it has a full, plush feel. The bitterness is big upfront but just continues to grow and grow. Hoppy Birthday is a for real tastebud scorcher. The dry finish only accentuates that kick in the tongue hoppiness. That same dryness keeps me drinking fast.

How so much packed into this 5.25% beer is beyond me. I feel the descriptor gets overused but Hoppy Birthday is one dank beer. It's super piney, earthy, leathery, bitter and juicy. It's a crazy good, old school West Coast IPA. Give me this anyday over all the citra bombs on the market. When it comes to hops, Alpine has had it figured out for years.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Green Flash bottled version. Clear orange color with slightly off-white head. Aroma is really intense for such a low ABV beer. Definitely west coast style hop profile with lots of pine, grapefruit and herbal / woody notes. Starts bitter up-front and gets even more bitter towards the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. Slight malt, but mainly it's just about the hops. Grapefruit and orange pith come to mind, with the same abrasive, harsh bitterness. Body is medium with good carbonation. Overall this is a well made beer but doesn't really stand up with anything. Classic hop profile and a lot of bitterness, which lowers the drinkability factor for me.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Pours a hazy golden amber color with very little head. Lots of lacing. Hoppy aroma of citrus, pine and floral hops. Slightly sweet. The taste is bitter piney and resinous hops. Floral and grassy hops towards the end with some light caramel malts. Bitter piney and resinous hop finish. Very bitter brew with a light mouthfeel but very, very dry. Very little alcohol presence but the super bitterness makes it not overly sessionable. Still it works very well. Overall, great hoppy brew as advertised.

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Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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 -11.4%
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 -4.7%
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 -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 DannyBigs
3.01/5  rDev -29.7%
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 -12.4%
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 -8.4%
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 -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 MaltLickyWithTheCandy
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
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 +4.2%
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 +0.5%
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%
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 -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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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
95 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.