Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

1,319 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,319
Reviews: 193
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: 1,319 | Reviews: 193
Photo of santomark
5/5  rDev +12.6%

I had this at congregation ale house. I've heard great things about this and it did not disappoint. I even gave some to a non-beer-enthusiast and he loved it. Sweet, malty, crisp bitter, dry, smooth, citrus, refreshing. This beer is a solid brew, if you find it. GET IT!

Photo of UncleEmu
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alpine Brewing Co. Hoppy Birthday APA
serving type: standard pint glass, on tap at St. Johns, Sunnyvale CA (July 2014)

A: Really wonderful amber littered with bright orange

S: Lots of hop dank, grapefruit

M: Semi-dry finish, medium bodied

T: Hop forward, but well balanced. The malts provide a deep and dank dish soap that isn't bitter. The pine and grass notes are gentle instead of sharp, making this quite pleasant

O: Wonderfully balanced, full of complimentary and rich flavors, really enjoyable. However, it becomes extremely bitter as it warms. Also, maybe I'm behind on hops, but there is no way in hell I would call this an APA.

Photo of mabermud
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I used to drink this beer back in the day when it was first released. Back then, this was cutting edge stuff. The smell is wonderful and the feel is great. With the release of so many new APAs, this definitely needs an overhaul...however, it is still in the top tier for APAs.

I like a little more umph in my beer...I have a higher tolerance :(

Marked up for originality and for being a prototypical APA.

Photo of easong
4.79/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another super-dry hop bomb from Alpine. This one low enough gravity to have 3 at a sitting. On draught at the Rose & Crown, Palo Alto. Cloudy pale orange pour with a finger of foam which persisted until first taste. Apricot nose and orange rind, no appreciable sweetness. A perfect IPA for a hot summer day.

Photo of Tele
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: 4.25 Cloudy orange gold with a one inch off white head.

S: 4.25 Bready and hoppy with tropical fruits and some dank.

T: 4.5 Similar to the nose with some more breadlines and a bitter/dry finish.

M: 4.5 Nice body with good carbonation. The dryness makes this beer quite refreshing.

O: 4.25 Lots if flavor, especially for a pale ale. Almost up there with Alpine’s IPAs.

Photo of MrMoose916
4.53/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of More_betterness
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of spark3148857
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of Beerswag
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Sm00thHoperator
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of GJ40
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of Obsidian
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of RachelZ
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of TastefulNudity
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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+

Photo of zhanson88
4.02/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

Photo of artoolemomo
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of MarcWP
4.75/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of Mikecap
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Photo of EgadBananas
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
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!

Photo of jvillefan
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Hendry
4.79/5  rDev +7.9%
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
Alpine.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,319 ratings.