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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

768 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 126
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 728
Gots: 57 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 05-24-2010)
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Ratings: 768 | Reviews: 126 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of jaasen64
4.08/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Photo of chippo33
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Shilt
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.98/5  rDev -11.8%
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+

Photo of TheRuss9585
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mbixler
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of DaveJanssen
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of Pelican5
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of littlebeer
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of tbone1384
4.42/5  rDev -2%

Photo of iadler
4.48/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Florida9
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of FullObs
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of aztec87
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of shoyoroll
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of spry
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of 3Hops
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of Altenor
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of tewaris
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, this happened. Thanks Miller! Growler shared with a few people the day it landed from San Diego.

Good clarity, light amber color, good head and retention. Aroma is weed and pine mostly, right on. Tastes clean and bitter... and clear. Nothing is overpowering about this beer and it drinks very very easy. Finishes dry and feels crisp with ample carbonation in spite of the serving type.

4.25/5

Photo of danwho
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of stakem
4.48/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super big thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for hooking me up with this surprise growler as an extra in our most recent box exchange. Really Brett, you are the man. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a perfectly clear color of golden. A rich finger of white creamy head sits atop and slowly fades leaving an entire white wall of lace sticking to the glass. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain a thin film across the top. A light swirl revives a finger of yellow stained head back to the surface.

The aroma of this brew is ridiculous. It is an assault of hoppiness inside the nostrils. Big dank hop aspect has an herbaceous feel that leans towards pulp, pine, lemony citrus, more fruit and floral quality. There is a bit of catty elements at times and a bit of cheese when the glass is swirled. Not saying the cheese is a bad thing, it is just a unique phenomenon that ive run across before with brews that have a big dank aroma. Despite all the herbal components going on in this aroma, some smells still bring out that fruity and floral aspect that makes you think for a second that this might be a sweet brew.

The taste is just as herbal as you might think based off of the aroma. It is weedy with some catty notes and a bit of pine. There are rindy and pulp elements of fruit that are more citrus and almost lemony. A fine toasty grain character is hiding under the hops but it provides no sweetness, instead its a toasty backing that the hops take hold of and bring out lots of herbal flavoring. The aftertaste is a bit grassy and hints towards a slight tingle and warmth of alcohol that mix with lemon and pine to create a soothing almost menthol-like finish.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a grossly exaggerated example of an over-hopped pale ale (in a good way!) The modest level of carbonation gives way to a light body that at times is watery in a way that does not distract from the experience but increases it's overall drink-ability. I am pretty sure if this was made available to me on a regular basis I would pound it. The depth of flavor encapsulated here is impressive, I thoroughly enjoyed how much hop flavor it had without being excessively bitter for an APA. Very well done yet again Alpine and thank you a ton for sharing this Brett!

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.