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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

200 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 200
Hads: 1,548
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 734
Gots: 164 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 200 | Hads: 1,548
Photo of KATCanada
4.87/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been lucky enough to have a lot of great APA's - Edward, Sierra Nevada, Daisey Cutter, Alpha King, Zombie etc. This one is, in my mind, the best, especially for a good session. Incredible citrus nose, forward but not overagressive hops. I could easily drink this all day. (276 characters)

Photo of Rocknrao
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Tried this at on tap at City Beer Store in SF. Really sparkly hop flavor. It's like 5 different kinds of bitterness mixed together that turn into something totally different when combined.

If you like IPAs, then this is definitely a pleasing drink.

It's not overly malty or heavy, as some IPAs can be. There's very little head. The color is a pale amber.

The beer it reminds me of most is Russian River Brewing's Row 2 Hill 56. I like Alpine Hoppy Birthday better though.

I understand that Alpine is working with Green Flash now to increase their production and distribution range, so hopefully this will become available more easily now. (649 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%

Type: Growler
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company Pub in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $12.82
Purchased: Oct. 24, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 24, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey, orange, semi-hazy color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white head. Slow stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Below average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average spider web retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.88)

Smelled a ton of pleasant hops, reminding me instantly of an IPA. Got Citra hops, floral hops, grapefruit, orange, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, caramel, tropical hops, orange pulp, mango, pineapple and slight earthy rye hops. Best initial Alpine comparison is a Nelson. (Smell - 4.63)

Tasted a lot like the nose, although I don’t think quite as good. Got Citra hops, floral hops, bitter grapefruit rind, orange pulp, caramel, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, tropical hops, mainly pineapple and mango, and New Zealand hops. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter citrusy finish. (Feel - 4.38)

Just a fantastic pale ale and I feel like I kind of underrated it. Glad I still have ¾ of a growler left. (Overall - 4.50)

4.48 | 99 | A (1,227 characters)

Photo of DNICE555
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Growler thanks to Tommy619!

A: Liquid gold

S: Grapefruit, Cuitrus, Honey... can wait to dive in

T: Incredible pale ale - Grapefruit, citrus, with honey in the finish balancing out the bitterness perfectly.

M: Smooth hoppy pale ale

O: Alpine is by far the best brewery for hoppy beers on the west coast in my opinion. (321 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very amazing IPA, I'm glad it's starting to be made more. This has a lot of flavor up front, but thanks to the low ABV, is easily drinkable. Not quite as potent as its bigger badder brother (Bad Boy), but great in its own right. (232 characters)

Photo of HobbNobber
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Picked up,a bomber of this brew at the brewery in Alpine while passing through from San Diego to Yuma. Nice IPA. Great hop aroma. Nice lacing. Solid beer. (158 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.91/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a pale gold with a small white head, good retention. Lots of citrus on the nose with mango, pineapple and apricot notes. Hop forward. Fruity on the front of the tongue followed by pine resin. Biscuity malt backbone but takes a back seat to the hops. Light bodied with light carbonation. Finishes dry. Overall possibly the best sessionable APA out there. (359 characters)

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! (270 characters)

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. (642 characters)

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. (411 characters)

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. (307 characters)

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. (380 characters)

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. (660 characters)

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. (712 characters)

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. (771 characters)

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. (690 characters)

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. (585 characters)

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. (255 characters)

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. (357 characters)

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. (366 characters)

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. (279 characters)

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+ (827 characters)

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. (572 characters)

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! (786 characters)

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. (2,136 characters)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.