Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

1,327 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,327
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 7.88%
Wants: 746
Gots: 132 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,327 | Reviews: 194
Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

super clean, filtered and lovely white lace. great example of a pale ale appearance. the smell is hoppy but muted, even with the head strong as it is. taste is hoppy with water pine and citrus and toast. the taste finishes clean and drying, and is seriously well balanced. sierra Nevada still wins in my book, but if i could ha e this all the time It would be serious competition. happy super bowl, hoppy. birthday. thanks Martin for the hookup. seriously enjoyable. great beer cheers and go pats!

Photo of jmarsh123
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Ultraman9000 for the growler!

Pours a clear dark straw with a big 3 finger white creamy sticky head.

Smells wonderful. Bright notes of citrus with a fresh floral scent and just a touch of pine.

Starts out citrusy. Orange and lots of red grapefruit with a touch of floral. Very hop forward. Finishes floral, bitter and dry.

Smooth creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

One of my favorite beers ever and I love it every time I get the chance to have it. Light and refreshing, but still loaded with good IPA flavors.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Alpine Pub while I waited for the ExPo line to move (it didn't move much as I drank my pint). On to the beer:

It's got a goldenrod color with a few visible bubbles running through the body. A little bit of lace does cling around as the beer's level drops. The nose is what it's all about, hops! Melons and canteloupe and pine, oh my!

No question that Hoppy Birthday is hop forward. And it's emphasized. In fact, you can hardly find the malt. Echoes of melons, crisp pine, gentle passionfruit, and orange provide a highlight reel to the palate. The very dry and bitter finish knocked a little wind out of me though.

While I did like this Alpine offering and can understand what all the fuss is about, I personally would have prefered a finish that wasn't so dry. Not that I'd refuse this beer if you bought me a round...

Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Crystal clear golden orange body. Massive white head. Excellent retention and substantial lacing.

S: Tropical aromas dominate. Grapefruit, orange, mango, maybe some tangerine in there as well. Underlying notes of freshly cut grass.

T: Profound grapefruit, light bready malts, floral hops, orange, mango.

M: Light to medium bodied. Assertive carbonation, moderate bitterness, nice crisp bite in the finish. Epitome of "sessionable."

O: This is right there with Zombie Dust as far as pale ales go. I keep forgetting how low of an ABV this is and I'd think it was a massive IPA based upon the hops if I didn't know better.

Photo of pperrecone
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell man so many layers of hops. nelson, cirta, simcoe, amarillo, pacific gem and one more I cant name. layers of smell.

tast is as the smell layers of hops and balance of bitterness for a session beer. A++++

Body is perfect nice and dry

Over all one of the best beers on the market.

Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Alpine brewpub

I've heard so many great things about this brew, and couldn't wait to try it. I had this as a part of a flight during my visit to Alpine Beer Company on 11/12/11. Here goes. (from notes)

This poured a really nice orange/amber color, displaying excellent clarity and effervescence. It had minimal head (given that it was a 5 oz. pour) that left some really nice, sticky lacing. The aroma on this brew is insane! My first impression was "oh my god!"; my girlfriend thought i found a bug in my glass, haha. This one is so intensely tropical. I'm getting big peach, lemon, orange, and mango. So good, it's almost unreal. The taste just follows suit with the nose. Very heavy on the tropical citrus fruits, peach and orange taking the forefront. There is also a perfect hop bitterness that bites the tongue, which is very piney, but is mellowed out by a hint of malty sweetness. This leaves a really nice hop oiliness in your mouth. It really reminds me more of an IPA than a pale ale. Mouthfeel is light-bodied, and somewhat dry. Just how i like my pale ales. Overall, I am going to have to say this is my favorite pale ale I have had so far. I really wish I would have grabbed a growler of this, but I did get a mixed case of Nelson/Pure Hoppinness, so I can't complain. And there's always next time : ) Anyone seeking this out, do yourself a favor and go to extreme lengths to find it. It really is worth it. Cheers!

Photo of DearthVader
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another treat on my trip down to Alpine.

Pours a clear glowing orange with a nice white cap that leaves some nice legs behind. No signs of carbonation from a visual stand point.

I want to live in this beer. Just an absolutely amazing aroma. Hops galore, but they're backed by a beautiful tropical fruit aroma. Mango, grapefruit, slight pineapple, dried apricots, and a blanket of pine needles.

No shortage of hops here. This will out-hop most of your DIPA's. Same fruits as in the nose, just dulled out a bit more by the hops in this one.

Mouthfeel is nice with a slight creamy feeling, but a heavy bite of carbonation as well. You don't expect it from the looks, but it's definitely there. Very refreshing.

I can't get over how much I loved this offering from Alpine. They raised the bar for APA's with this one.

Photo of Nugganooch
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad
*Notes from 09/30/11

A: Hoppy Birthday pours a dull and pale golden honey like color with nice clarity and carbonation evident. Tiny off white fizzy head spittled about leaving waves of lace down my glass.

S: Aroma is just killer with spikes of grapefruit rinds and apricot flesh. Fresh grass and pines. Some bready malts. Smells oh so hoppy and nice.

T: Got hops? Fruity, tropical, and catty. Sweet bready pale malts come through quite a bit and more than expected but this one is overdosed with the hops. Tangerine, Passionfruit, and puckering melon. Almost too much bitters going on but such tasty goodness.

M: Very light body and creamy texture. Great carbonation lends to a dry crisp finish with a definite bitter cottonmouth effect.

D: Superb drinkability. Very light and hoppy with an overall honey sweetness. I could drink this brew all day long for sure.

A great Pale Ale and one of the hoppiest I have come across. In fact, I don't think you can pack any more hops on top of such a light malt body and reserve that balance. This one even tips the scales on the bitterness factor.

Photo of mdfb79
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 10/02/11 notes. HUGE thanks to Nugganooch for sending me a growler of this; thanks Dane! This has been a huge want of mine for a while but I always seemed to miss having it, so very pumped for it. Poured from a growler into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a clear orange amber color with two fingers of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some nice lacing left on the glass and an inch of retention throughout drinking. Nice looking IPA.

s - Smells of oranges, citrus hops, fruity malts, pine hops, and tropical fruits. Very hoppy and very fresh, a wonderful smelling IPA.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, oranges, fruity malts, and tropical fruitys. More pine hops than the nose and a very light bitterness, but not a lot. Again, very hoppy and great.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. A little bitterness in the taste but super easy to drink thanks to the low ABV. Could have taken down the whole growler by myself.

o - Overall I thought this was an amazing IPA; another fantastic beer from Alpine and one of the best single IPA's I've had. Very hoppy and fruity and I felt like I could have drank the whole 64 oz. growler myself. Would love to have it again and would drink this all the time if I lived by Alpine.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Pint Glass.

Thanks to Bdige for sending this up to me.

A - Pours a bright, lighter orange with a one finger cream-colored head. The head fades to a thin layer pretty quickly and a few spots of lacing were left on the glass.

S - Citrus, pineapple, orange, tropical fruit, pine.

T - Here the Tropical fruit is up front followed by more pine and grass.

D - Average carbonation and body, a touch bitter.

O - Great! You can't ask for much more than this.

Photo of Kshock
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Bright lighter brown color with good retention. Sticky lacing.

S- Citrus and piney hops are all over this beer. Tons of aroma hops, huge nose on this beer. The effervescence on this beer is tremendous.

T- very bitter up front with piney hops, some citrus flavors come through on the back. Residual bitterness is def there.

M- med to light body, drys very quickly, leaving some residual bitterness.

O- Double IPA with an ABV of a American Pale Ale. Awesome session beer for the IPA drinker.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Alpine

Look: Nice golden yellow in color with a nice 1/2 in white head and great retention and lacing

Smell: Is a perfect combonation of floral and citrus hops they are in such perfect balance it almost creates a perfume like note that I want my wife to wear

Taste: Is very similar to the nose with the exception that it also has a very nice frutiness to it. Hands down the best tasting pale ale I have tried

Mouthfeel: A little less than medium body so it could use just a bit more body and perfectly carbonated

Overall: About as perfect as a pale ale can be. Absolutely loved this beer and now I am kicking myself in the ass for not getting a growler of the stuff

Photo of rudeboy916
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours clear golden with a thick fluffy head

S - This is probably the best smelling hoppy beer to ever visit my nose! TONS of pine and citrusy fruits. Absolutely amazing!

T - This tastes even better then the aroma, which I don't know how that's possible. Just a hint of bitterness, but a bouquet of hop flavor! Citrus and pine, grapefruit, lemon. Simply delicious!

M - Appropriate carbonation, low bitterness, which is stellar! Smooth and balanced.

D - I could drink this everyday. One of the best beers I've had from Alpine! And that says a LOT! Perfectly made!

Photo of nickd717
4.75/5  rDev +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.

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from growler into tulip. Pours a dark gold or light orange with a fairly bubbly white head. The smell is much fainter then I had expected and really had to stick my nose in it, pun intended. Smells sweet citrus and almost musty. The taste far over powers the smell, there is a floral bite with a tangy citrus. Good cabonation with a fairly dry sticky finish. Great beer, absolutely perfect sitting out enjoying the outdoors.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip. Thanks readbaron, I'm glad it arrived safely.

Appearance: Clearly filtered, Hoppy Birthday has a transparent copper orange color with visible resplendent carbonation rising from the bottom to refresh its creamy white head. The head loiters and leaves a good splattering of lace on the glass.

Smell: This has a monster hop aroma. Lots of floral notes, mango, orange rind, and pineapple.

Taste: Up front the sweet pale malt sets the table for the hops. The hop profile is pretty amazing overall. Lots of mango, grapefruit, and pineapple give this a great, well rounded bitterness. Being a lighter beer, this is something I could easily drink all day during the summer.

Mouthfeel: This has a nice, smooth carbonation that really helps to keep the beer clean. I like when there is no unpleasantness lingering - the bubbles lift up and carry away any residue so each sip starts out with a refreshed palate.

Overall: This is pretty damn good. There are four pale ales I find worth my time, every time. Zombie Dust edges out Hoppy birthday on my personal favorite list, with Daisy Cutter and Alpha King tied for a distant third. That is splitting hairs, though, this is another win for Alpine. You can trust them to do right by the hop gods.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Andrew for the sample.

Pours clear, light to medium copper in color. A somewhat rocky white head slowly falls back to a ring, lacing my pint glass. Incredible hop aroma, a mix of citrus and sweet berries, ripe sugary sweet grapefruit like you'd find where its grown, not bought from a supermarket. Tangerines, oranges, grass, hay, and some light sugar sweetness in the aroma as well, one of those hoppy beers where you are continually sticking your nose into the glass to catch more of the aroma. Taste hits up front with some orange sweetness, cotton candy, grapefruit and grassy bitterness towards the finish. Light to medium body, bitterness is pleasing, not over the top, but just slightly puckering and dry to keep you thirsty, a perfect balance to the touch of malty body on the tongue. Crisp hoppiness with some zing left on the palate in the finish. This after 5 days across country in a growler, impressive pale ale, very sessionable, delicious.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at Alpine

pours a light golden yellow. Very clear with a crisp white head. Nice lacing on the glass. Smells very hop forward. Some nice light citrus and floral aromas. Tastes fruity and lightly bittered. The body is fairly weak but well carbonated. A pretty solid pale ale but the body does not match the bitterness well...

Photo of Klym
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewery. Review from notes.

A: A middle gold with a nice white head and erratic lacing.

S: Pine hops with some resin lightly sweetened by what I can only describe as green citrus leaves covered in the spritz of citrus fruit. Some mild wheat on the back end of the smell.

T: Bitter piney hops tempered by savory wheat and hay with a mild nougat finish. A lovely, well-developed and well balanced taste. Simple flavors but complex in their excellence.

M: A light oily mouthfeel with some prickle to the carbonation. Seems to almost leave pockets of itself in the corners and sides of the mouth on swallowing. Very pleasant.

O: What an awesome pale ale. I can't imagine making a better one-- truly Alpine doing what they do best.

Photo of Cavery
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the Brewery yesterday to get some Expo Hop bottles, and they had this precious gem on tap, Hoppy Birthday to me!

Review from thorough cellphone notes (I'm that guy).

A: Early morning light, swirling mixtures of beaming oranges and yellows. Very good looking egg shell bubble foams of various sizes. An undeniably soft honey look to the brew in the glass. Makes you want to spread it on a sandwich. A connect the dots of lacing that didn't hold too well, but the tap pour was perhaps a bit peaceful.

S: Super fresh cut grass with some sappy pine potency. Extremely light but complex herbal notes. Yellower grasses round out the spectrum of intense greenery. Faint grapefruit citrus gives a bit of bitter fruitiness. This is a nose-full that still maintains a very pale-ale appropriate light character.

T: Light florals and pine that dive into whole oat crunchy sweetness. Drying cornflakes that gaine a tone of complexity from buttery floral hops, and a very distinct pine nut pale malt flavor. Wow I really love this, so very good. The pine nut note in the pale malt linger is absolutely delicious. A taste profile properly proportioned to a complex pale ale.

M: A very fancy drying mouth that features a sizzling breakfast mouth-feel. So drying and smooth. There is no medicine or aspirin feelings in this brew. This is simple, and very refined. The mouth really helps give this its pale ale identity. Honestly a bit of a difficult body to assess, as the sizzle gives into dryness so fast I lose the weight of the liquid. Love this!

O: There are many things I love about this beer, but above all: this is truly identifiably a pale ale. It has a hop character, but I wouldn't take this for an IPA. The malt really has strong control over the flavor experience. A wonderful combo of pine nut malt and light bitter floral hops is outstanding. This is a member of the nobility of the summer time session ale kingdom. A very fancy pale ale, but humble with simplicity. Incredible execution here by Alpine.

Photo of ehammond1
4.84/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On Tap

O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Hazy golden orange and yellow. Thin white head. Some lacing, but not as much as I was expecting.

This beer smells like hop heaven. It's an absolutely, unmatched, perfect smelling pale. The hop aroma on this is massive--orange, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine--WOW!

Taste falls in line right behind the nose. Bitter enough, but the bitterness never gets in the way of the terrifically pungent citrus and pine flavors biting and wrestling with the tongue--just delicious!

Medium bodied.

The perfect pale ale. It's astounding that so much hop flavor, aroma, and character is packed in to this sessionable, pitcherable, gulpable 5.25% pale ale.

Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

683rd Review on BA
Growler to Flute

App- A vibrant little orange color with a small one finger head and lace all over the glass. For a APA such a rich color.

Smell- Like Emeril says, BAM! Aromatics all over the place with this beer. Hoppy, fruity, lush, crisp.

Taste- WOW! This was seriously good. I'm not normally an APA fan but this was so far above any other APA I was taken aback. Lush, fruity, hoppy but not bitter. Just so damn good.

Mouth- A medium body that borders on light, a carbonation level of medium that almost hit a high note for me.

Drink- Simply put DAMN! I want to drive down to Alpine and get another couple growlers after A generous BA had this at Clusterfork #6

Photo of Phelps
4.22/5  rDev -5%
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.

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,327 ratings.