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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

201 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 201
Hads: 1,553
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 735
Gots: 165 | 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
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Reviews: 201 | Hads: 1,553
Photo of islandboi8204
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03-14-12 growler
Slightly hazy golden orange color. A nice fluffy white head and solid lacing.

Smell is what you expect from an Alpine beer - tons of hops. Lots of grapefruit, tropical fruit notes, plenty of pine. Incredible.

Just like the nose, the taste is dominated by hops. A delicious resinous bitterness with tons of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and lots of pine.

Light body that works just fine for a pale ale. A good amount of carbonation, and a real dry crisp finish.

This is one of my Alpine favorites. So incredibly hoppy, but also really easy to drink and tasty.

12-02-2011 growler
Pours golden straw color, lots of head and carbonation. Plentiful lacing down the glass.

Smells like lemon zest with tropical fruit, grapefruit, orange, mango. Fresh cut grass.

Super floral hoppy taste, lots of grapefruit, orange, mango. Delicious.

Mouthfeel hass nice carbonation, creamy, oily but finishes crisp and with a bitter bite. Not much to balance the bitter hops, but definitely sessionable.

Overall, this is great, right up there with Zombie Dust as far as pale ales go. This would be really nice during the summer. (1,133 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From 500mL swingtop growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/20/12
*From notes

-- A big, epic thanks goes out to billab914 for hand filling a small growler for me to enjoy, as I couldn't make our tasting. A very generous gesture from a good friend and a classy Beer Advocate. Cheers, Bill! --

A: Clean 24k gold. A soft pour yields a minimal head and lacing, which I wholly credit to this being hand filled the night before.

S: Really wonderful stuff. A big wave of juicy West Coast hops put a vice grip my nostrils. It really comes off like one of the big boys, ala a true Left Coast American IPA.

T: Bready malt plays a firm role in the development of the overall profile here. This beer is so well balanced, as the luscious hop character really finds a foot hold and never lets go. A long, tropical finish with bite.

M: Again, I must reference the fact that this wasn't served under the most strict of circumstances. It's a tad bit flat and flabby. There's still a mild amount of carbonation, but it's not prevalent. On the plus side, the texture is nice.

O: What a killer APA. They don't make many like this: a low ABV hop fest. Though I still find 3F's Zombie Dust a better entry (and one of my all-time fav's), this is certainly no slouch. One of the most flavorful beers under 5.5%. Worth seeking out, and heartily recommended. (1,334 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tasting glass. It poured a very bright, golden amber color with a thin but sticky white lacing covering the top of the beer. Great lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma has some great topical, fruit punch like flavors to it. I get pineapple, each and mango all coming out. There is a little bit of a creamy orange presence to it as well. It's very hoppy and vibrant. Great aroma overall.

The taste also shows a lot of tropical fruit notes to it. Peach, pineapple and mango are again all there. In the finish I get a little more of a resiny, grapefruit bitterness coming out. It's very bright, juicy and easy drinking.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was an awesome beer. It was very hoppy and bright but at the same time light, refreshing and drinkable. What is really outstanding about this beer though is all that flavor is in a beer with abv in the low 5% range. Great beer overall. (981 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris for sharing the birthday beer...

Mini pint poured to the brim, 6-8 oz. Bright gold with a touch of orange, rapid carb trails visible. Copious lace all around the edges, constant layer of foam present for the whole glass.

Pine and fruity citrus, though somehow slightly mellow, possibly from being a week old growler, who knows... Orange and floral notes are there and compliment the flavor nicely.

Tastes like a west coast iteration of an APA certainly, citrus and bitter resiny hops dominate a meek pale malt backbone that lends a wee bit of sweetness, though the finish is dry, resiny bitterness all the way. Light feel with maximum hop delivery. Would easily drink a couple pints of this schtuff, though it's not as unique as some of Alpine's other beers. (777 characters)

Photo of camil1mj
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by my buddy Romulux for our birthdays.

A: Wonderful golden hue with a nice white 1 finger head.

S: Lots of nice hop notes.

T: Great balanced hop flavor. This one is very good. Not overly hoppy, but hoppy enough to satisfy your hop craving.

M: Medium body, well carbonated and refreshing.

O: A great APA. Glad to tick this one. Thank you Romulux. (357 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to afksports for sharing the growler!

Enjoyed this at least an hour after its initial opening, still had enough carbonation & plenty of head. Strong piney aroma, very full & complex. Taste is hoppy and fresh, nice clean finish.

Hoppy Bday lands safely in second place amongst APAs, thanks to the sublime Zombie Dust. Wish I could get this regularly. (358 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, golden pale with a dense white head. Thick rings of clumpy lacing.

S - Starts of quite grainy followed by a fresh citrus balance of oranges and some tropical fruit notes.

T - An explosion of hops with sweet citrus and tropical fruits. Very hop-forward APA, but exceptionally well balanced with its malt backbone.

M - Medium bodied, bitter, but nice clean finish.

O - Definitely the best APA I've had to date. Can't wait to try Zombie Dust and compare the two. I'm not a huge fan of APA's but I really enjoyed this one. (541 characters)

Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
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! (497 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
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... (838 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (626 characters)

Photo of pperrecone
5/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (287 characters)

Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
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! (1,445 characters)

Photo of DearthVader
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (818 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,126 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.65/5  rDev +5%
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. (1,250 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (477 characters)

Photo of Kshock
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (497 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 notchucknorris
4.92/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
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 (680 characters)

Photo of rudeboy916
5/5  rDev +12.9%
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! (570 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
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 BdubleEdubleRUN
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (1,276 characters)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.