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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

238 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 238
Hads: 1,713
Avg: 4.4
pDev: 20.91%
Wants: 719
Gots: 201 | FT: 1
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 (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 238 | Hads: 1,713
Photo of MrMoose916
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served on tap at Final Gravity Taproom.

A: Super hazy golden standard APA, IPA color. The white head dissipated pretty quickly.

S: Tons of fresh hops, grapefruit skin, pine, with a really nice malt backbone.

T: Wow this screams IPA rather than APA, nice hop bitterness up front, followed by more hop flavors and citrus and then balances out with a smooth malt sweetness. Very well balanced.

M: I felt it was very light with a perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Delicious, very well balanced, even though is says APA, this is an IPA to me. Love the hop blast up front and how it finished with that smooth malt sweetness. Wish I could get this in bottles.

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at a pizza port. Pint.

A: Liquid gold opaque. A thing of beauty. Full and opaque. Thin head but looks lovely in the light.

S: Comes in very subtle. Grapefruit citrus with a honey sweetness.

T: Perfection. I've had this on cask before and didn't enjoy it as much. On tap amazing. Heavy grapefruit pez candy-esque with honey coming in. Hoppy but well rounded and not abrasive.

M: Holds the sweetness and citrus character beautifully start to finish this has the best mouthfeel an apa can have.

O: Impressive but then again its alpine. This is a real treat. I should rate this higher because for its style its world class pale ales just aren't one of my favorite styles and they made an outstanding one.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Amazing Grapes in Rancho Santa Margarita. So excited to see this on tap outside of actually going to Alpine.

A: Hazy golden amber with a wispy head that recedes quickly. Moderate lacing.

A: Holy crap.. Zesty orange, sweet tangerine, and pine. A backbone of malt emerges as it warms. HUGE hop aroma for an APA.

T: Bitter orange rind and sweet tropical fruits. Crackery malt takes up the rear. So much flavor in respect to the ABV.

M: Soft and thin mouthfeel leads to ridiculous drinkability, and a dry finish accentuates the potent hop character. Masterful.

O: Damn near perfect for the style. Insanely crushable yet abundantly flavorful, seems like this was the 'session ipa' before the style was coined. Beautiful beer, and I can't wait to have it again.

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Photo of spark3148857
4.56/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I walked, well almost ran, to City Beer Store when I saw they had tapped this. Pours somewhat hazy golden, slightly darker than straw with a fluffy one finger white head. Aroma is well balanced though amazingly hoppy for a 5.5% pale ale. What really sets it apart here is that super fresh hop aroma that is reminiscent of very fresh Pliny. Big piney dank hops overwhelm the senses. On the palate there is big grapefruit up front that turns into lots of piney dankness. Wow, this is dank as hell for a pale and also more bitter than I expected. Similar hop profile to Duet imho, just accentuated in different ways. A delight and lives up to the high expectations. World class west coast APA.

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Photo of Beerswag
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap Lowbrough sacramento, ca
Pours hazy gold with hints of bright orange. Smells fruity, apricot, dank, sour-deisel. Taste is pine citrus, resin, graipfruit rind, apricot, bitter. (Not the typical floral, balanced APA, more of a "hop-head" APA with hops in the forfront and very pertinant, compare to the medium malt profile expressed in traditional Apa's)Mouthfeel is light-medium, dry, crisp, creamy, bitey. Overall a pleasure of an APA. Packed with flavor most complex pale ale to date for me.would go nice with black pepper/ spiced rubbed meats, sausages, bbq, fowl recommended.

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Photo of Sm00thHoperator
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

God this pale ale has to be the best in the world. Forgot zombie dust go for this! So Cal residents only though so come on down and join the fun!

Sunset orange in color with tropical mango and pine aromas. Taste follows the nose with a velvet mouth feel.

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Photo of GJ40
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Obsidian
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an Alpine growler 05/24/14 (filled the same day). Absolutely the best American Pale Ale I have had, just a perfect balance of hoppy, sweet and bitter.

I am looking forward to the pending Green Flash treatment of this excellent ale, and to see how the ratings go once it sort of hits the masses. THIS is what the so called "session IPA's" should be, IMO.

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Photo of RachelZ
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Besides the great name this beer also has an incredible taste overall. With a pour of hazy yellow and a thin head. Aromas include hops, grapefruit and orange. The carbonation is medium and the flavor is very sweet with caramels and citrus. The aftertaste has a little bitterness.

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Photo of TastefulNudity
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in the Alpine Beer pub (the closest thing I'll ever get to heaven) in a taster glass.

A: Golden with a nice white head sitting up top.

S: This is an APA?! Huge fresh hop aroma, small caramel backbone, clean and simple.

T: This was one of those moments of beer clarity. Fresh assault of hoppy flavor without being overly bitter or heavy. Light and crisp backbone keeps it all in check and finishes up the end.

M: I've been getting sick of the heavy mouthfeel of DIPAs and this was the perfect cure. Caramel backbone sweetened just enough without being overdone.

O: I tasted this beer knowing it had a score of 100 on BA. It still blew my mind, and it made me reconsider the style of American Pale Ales. There is still much I do not know. I haven't had it, but I'm assuming that this is the west coast Zombie Dust. A+

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Photo of zhanson88
4.02/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color, with 1/2" of eggshell white head which has nice retention and lacing. Excellent looking APA.

Smell: Good caramel malt base apparent, with a boatload of citrus and pine bitterness following.

Taste: Caramel malts, citrus and a fair amount of pine. A lingering finish that is not super clean. Extremely hoppy pale ale that definitely pushes the boundaries of the style.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Good. Overall, really enjoyed this beer from Alpine. Very tasty with an abundance of hop flavor.

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Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Golden straw color with a long lasting head and great lacing.

S - Everything one wants from an epic APA - fresh hop bomb with a hint of malty sweetness.

T - Incredibly well balanced. I really can't say enough about this beer. The bready malts gently wash over your tongue, then give way to the fresh hop explosion that finishes cleanly as you swallow. The lupulin finish lasts as long as you can wait until the next sip.

M - Alpine beers have some of the creamiest, smoothest mouthfeels of any brews, and this one is no different. In my opinion, the mouthfeel is what truly differentiates this APA from the competition.

O - Certainly the number one APA I've had the pleasure of trying. This should be the gold-standard of the style.

Big thanks to imyourhero21 and loweball727!

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Received with only a small amount of head, basically a sliver. I'm guessing the head was a pure cotton white. Very similar to Nelson as far as appearance goes. The body is a pale amber that looks a dull amber when held up to the light. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Also very fruity like Nelson. Citrus of orange and lemon. Some peach, almost cherry. Light notes of honey and caramel. Some mustiness that tends toward armpit and dirty socks.

Taste- Much more mellow than Nelson on the fruit notes but seems to have more of a traditional IPA backbone- much more pine and resin. Not quite as complex as Nelson but no one expects an APA to be complex though it drinks more like a lighter IPA. Lots of matchstick, some grapefruit. A bit of orange and lemon on the front. A very good pale ale but I'm not seeing the 4.55 rating at the moment. Some of the mustiness (armpit, sweat) expressed on the nose. Definitely more traditional bitterness than the Nelson which is odd for an APA versus and IPA. This beer makes me wish for the caramel and malt of Nelson and shows why that beer is ranked so high. This is a bit cold so I do need to reserve judgment until it warms up. Some caramel and biscuit starts to show through which gives this beer some much needed complexity. Has improved quite a bite as it's opened up. Much more balance and integration. I don't expect APAs to press the boundaries of great but this one is. Really good to great but closer to really good. Bright citrus starts to shine. Some grapefruit, lemon and orange peel.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. I don't know if I noticed it last time but these Alpine beers seem to have a lot of zip. Usually that would be a big negative but somehow it works.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and surprisingly robust and complex for an APA. Six bucks seems a bit extravagant for a pint of APA but this is probably the best APA I've ever had. Makes me wonder what Zombie Dust is like.

Overall- Didn't impress at first but turns out to be a more than solid beer. Between really good and great. A must try for APA fans.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A quick note after re-visiting this on tap here an Arizona.

This is slightly more bitter than the hoppy birthday I remember having at the pub. Also lacks a certain something in the flavor profile. I'm thankful for Green Flash helping in getting Alpine here in town, but sadly to say, if you want the most authentic Alpine experience, you are going to have to visit the pub.

With that said, my rating stays with the original Hoppy Birthday's I've had. A superb pale ale out of the brewery.

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Photo of Mikecap
4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear golden with some haze and a small white head with delicate lacing.

Aroma: Nice and citrusy, grapefruit, grass and pine

Taste: Like the nose with crisp sweetness and some nice hop bitterness, lots of grapefruit, some resiny character

Mouthfeel: Perfect crispness with moderate carbonation and great drinkability.

Overall: One of the best APAs I've had. Really easy drinking but with enough character to make it really good

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: medium sunny color, near white finger of head, nice lace.

Aroma: grapefruit and citrus, pine resins, light cracker malts, floral.

Taste: grapefruit, pineapple, citrus, pale malt sweetness, pine notes.

Mouthfeel: light, crisp medium carbonation, refreshing.

Overall: ridiculously easy to drink and some serious hoppiness!

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Photo of jvillefan
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Hendry
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Artfully capped growler kept the carbonation just right until I was able to share with my neighbor.Pale straw color with a one finger bone colored head, great lacing in the pilsner glass.

Aroma is right in the pocket: citrus grove aromas with ruby grapefruit,tangelo,and pineapple with a magnificent piney backdrop,malts present strictly for balance,lying low in the mix.

Taste is quite close to what the aroma promises: prominent citrus flavors, nice pine presence with only a hint of malt. Dry & crisp finish with a pleasant amount of residual bitterness, alcohol masterfully hidden.

Mouthfeel is a light medium,incredibly drinkable: this beats the other Alpines I have tried.
Pleasant carbonation, and great body.

Top of the heap Southern Cali APA. Drinks & tastes more like an IPA, so it defies its description in that respect, but that isn't a fault. Seek this one out: shame it is not in production year round, and would be great in a bomber so more could enjoy this impressive offering from

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at tha Joint - Alpine, itself.

Did it again. Alpine all up in it and they did it again. Close, but so far. Raul lives close, but yet so far!

Nothing but clean. All kinds of clean. Your sister after some pert plus kind of clean. This almost shouldn't happen; it's too good!

Now, Zombie this isn't, but lets be real; like your girlfriend in high school whom "stuffed" herself, Zombie is trying to deceive us also. (You're not a Pale Ale, Zombie!) Anyway...

Just sexy. So smooth, so smooth! And sexy. Ruff ruff!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -9.8%
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+

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Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice medium orange. Fairly cloudy. Nice big white head. Lots of fine foam, which leaves a whole bunch of lacing behind. Aroma is orange, tangerine and pineapple. Lots of nice hop flavor bouncing around. I'm not getting any malt character, really. Smells like a nice clean yeast. A touch of mineral water flavor. Lots of hop flavor in the taste. Very dry. Just a hint of biscuity malt. Medium bitter. The dryness amps up that bitterness some in the finish and I'm getting some solid grapefruit pith and pine resin. Tasty stuff. Very refreshing. Not quite as bright as some hoppy pales/session IPAs. Mouthfeel is light. Prickly carbonation. Good hop bite.

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Photo of iadler
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to hamilton23 for sending this growler. Much appreciated, Steve! From notes on Sept. 10.

A- Pours a translucent gold with a two finger head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing behind.

S- Tons of citrus and tropical fruit with grapefruit rind, blood orange, lemon, , mango and peach as well as pine needles and a bit of biscuit malt at the finish.

T- Follows the aroma with grapefruit, blood orange, mango and pine needles with just the smallest amount of biscuit malt at the finish.

M- Medium carbonation and a light mouthfeel that finished a bit dry.

O- Just an amazing amount of flavor for being a 5.25% beer. Extremely drinkable and one I would happy sipping on all day.

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Photo of Florida9
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear, deep golden yellow in color. Forms a small to moderate sized white head that reduces down to a fairly thick and bubbly surface coating. Leaves some moderate lacing on the way down.

S: Aroma is predominantly of Citra and citrus hops mixed with toasty grains and a weedy dankness.

T: lighter bodied, but still full flavored. Toasty grains and citrus, slightly earthy, and a mild herbal quality. Not dry, but not sweet either. Medium finish.

M: On the the lighter side. Medium carbonation. Mild bitterness

O: This is a very fine beer. Very well balanced, great flavors, hoppy, yet not at all overdone. Quite drinkable. Glad to hav tried it.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.