Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

309 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 309
Hads: 2,013
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 683
Gots: 267 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 309 | Hads: 2,013
Photo of draheim
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz (best by 3/18/2016) into a tulip. Pours a hazy strwaw w/ a soft white head.

Aroma is light and dry. Citrus rind, biscuity pale malt, floral hops.

Taste follows nose. Crisp bright citrusy hops on pale neutral dry malt. Lighter and more sessionable than an IPA. Nice alpha acid bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is likewise light and crisp, drinkable. Like and IPA light.

Overall a slightly watered-down version of an Alpine (or other SoCal) IPA.

 455 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.87/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle, best by March 18, 2016, Alpine Label in a Green Flash bottle, poured into an Alpine Beer Co. pint glass.

The beer pours a lightly hazy copper color, plenty of clarity with just a light chill haze and a foamy white head, about 2 fingers high, loose bubbles with moderate retention and sticky lace. The aroma is pleasant, citrus rind, bitter hop spice, pine, resin, a bit of juicy fruits with some crusty malt, plenty of character for 5.25%, though it does have the typical "session" feel where it's annoyingly restrained. The flavors are nice, loads of hoppy bitterness, grapefruit peel, spice, loads of pine needle, resiny and sappy hop bite, certainly earthy with just a kiss of malt at the end, but plenty of lingering hops and bitterness, satisfying to the last second. The mouthfeel is good, crisp and assertive, full bodied, coating with a nice dry kick.

Verdict: A nice session IPA from Alpine, the aroma left me wanting more and boy did I get it flavorwise, bitter, assertive, crisp, earthy and resinous, definitely full bodied that lacks nothing. Really pleased to find this on the shelf in Chicago, so kudos to Green Flash for giving us the chance to sample Alpine's products without having to harass SoCal locals.

 1,242 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Glowing gold with a creamy white head that leaves lots of lacing as it recedes.
S - Pungent, fresh hop aromas of pine resin, grapefruit, and a bit of cat pee, with a mild malt backbone.
T - Crisp toasted malt provides the foundation for more pungent hop flavors of pine resin, grapefruit, orange peel, and mango. Nicely tropical and "juicy".
M - Slightly sticky, with a medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, sessionable even.
O - A really nice APA, expertly hopped and infinitely drinkable.

 555 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A pretty decent looking glass of beer comes out of a 22 ounce bomber from the guys at Alpine; great color, smaller but decent head, not much if any lacing to speak of left behind. A pretty good taste but it seems to one dimensional leaning towards the grapefruity citrus, without much else going on. If that's what you want you'll love Hoppy Birthday.

 352 characters

Photo of MLDucky
3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Green Flash version. The nose and flavor was more hop forward than the Duet drank side by side. More balanced, not as much bitterness. As it warmed the hope profile came through more and it became more pleasant.

 214 characters

Photo of zimm421
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear bright orange with a fluffy white head. The nose is dank, fruity and has a good malt presence that comes through as biscuits. The taste starts out very malty, with decent citrus and pine coming through, but nothing really jumps out as the dominant flavor. Overall, it's a very drinkable good beer but not something that blows me away.

 356 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tap at River Room. A nice rich golden body with creamy head. Initial blast of hops on the nose, taste follows with crisp, sharp hop bitterness. One of the hoppier APAs, but very tasty.

 184 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger and a half of head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma is bright lemon, grapefruit and pineapple.
The taste is dry and metallic bitterness with a solid bitter finish.
The texture is crisp and fizzy.
It's really good.

 227 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32 oz. growler poured into a snifter. Clear deep orange body. Nice white head. Grapefruit hop aroma. Caramel malt. Taste is just like the nose. Aggressive grapefruit up front. Hefty caramel malt behind it. Not sweet, more bready and toasty. Strong bitterness in the back end. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Straightforward and very tasty.

 352 characters

Photo of jooler
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From alpine brewery. Great smell but has a rough taste at the end

Edit: from green flash. Same but a lot more bitter. Like unnecessary amount of bitterness for a pale ale

 171 characters

Photo of glass_house
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good, not great APA. Was excited to finally see it on tap, but was somewhat let down. Nice and crisp, with a pleasant piney bitterness, but seemed to be lacking any kind of depth in the flavor profile. Definitely wouldn't turn one down, but wouldn't seek it out either.

 269 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Flying Saucer

Clear golden orange with a fluffy finger of head that sticks around.

Pineapple, peach, and a little dankness.

Fairly pronounced bitterness and some light bready malt flavor breaks in. A little piney and tropical fruity.

Super solid.

 260 characters

Photo of BigGold
3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had poured from growler into clear plastic (poolside) water cup, and then into nonic pint. On first tasting, assumed this beer to be a traditional IPA, but pleased to learn it is actually a very sessionable hoppy APA.

 218 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber fizzy brew with a decent foam in the pint shaker. On tap at Toma Sol in MIssion Hills. Richly hopped with a spritzy mouthfeel and friendly malty taste.

Hot and tangy on the tongue. Warm and toasty. Wonderful hoppy aromatics with a clean fruity taste and a bitter finish.

I know some are unhappy about the recent agreement to brew at the Green Flash facility, but in the last five years I have never seen Alpine on tap or in stores. Now I am suddenly seeing Alpine a lot of places, and the three I have tried are remarkably good. I don't see a loser here, unless people buy less Green Flash because there are better alternatives!

 636 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
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+

 4,513 characters

Photo of tarheels86
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Growler at Woodshop 7. Not exactly mega fresh since this hasn’t been brewed in awhile, but CP filled and immediately fridged by a Woodshop attendee (amtran maybe). Clear to chill haze golden pour. Spotty white foam. Nose is big mango and tangelo. Taste is tangy, nutty, rich, fresh and chewy butterscotch. Heavy, rich, quenching, elusive butterscotch quality only found in select West Coast IPAs like Port Wipeout, Alesmith IPA, Alpine Duet. Very yummy. Amazing palate. Very bitter through the long finish. Still holding up- will be a knockout fresh on tap. 7/23/2012 7/4/8/5/15=3.9

 584 characters

Photo of -Rick
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: an orange/yellow color, with a nice white head that stuck around for a while
S: fruity, some grapefruit, mango, orange peel
T: less fruity than the smell, but still present. Aftertaste is a bit bitter
F: light with some nice carbonation
O: I had this right after having a Duet. A lighter and more tropic flavor. IMO, far superior to Duet, though I do not know that I would seek this one out again.

 403 characters

Photo of Kevuas
3.99/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hoppy Birthday is labeled as a "Session India Pale Ale", although the alcohol content is on the high end of what most consider a session ale at 5.25%. The beer pours a deep gold color with plenty of foam retention. Made with six different hops and registering at 69 IBUs, the beer smells and tastes exactly how you would expect a beer made with that many hop strains to. There are grapefruit, mango, and floral aromas. Notably, a pine taste pervades the palate toward the end of the sip, and lingers on a bit afterward. This pine linger is by no means a undesirable characteristic, but full of flavor, and complements the front hop flavors nicely. Hoppy Birthday finishes dry and is well-balanced.

 697 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus hops along with some pine.

Tastes of the bright hops with a small malt base. Hops lead off with plenty of citrus and pine. Malts add a touch of caramel sweetness, but not much. A bit of tropical fruits are present in the middle. Finishes with an herbal, almost spring onion type hop flavor and some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good, hopped up pale.

 544 characters

Photo of Lazhal
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Green Flash version of this from a Crowler. Opened the same day as filled.

A lot of reports indicate the Alpine version is much better. Based on my experience, I agree with this assessment.

 202 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pinocchio's.

Slightly hazy golden pour, small white head receded to a ringlet, leaving dots of lacing on the glass. Balanced aroma of fruity hops and sugary pale malts. Equally balanced taste, fruity hops, light ammonia, palt malt sweetness. Medium body, easily drinkable, and good overall for the style.

 315 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Fairly clear light golden color with a decent sized long lasting off white head. Light mineral water and bready maltiness with plenty of citrus pine and resin to counter. I could drink that all day even if it was my birthday.

 255 characters

Photo of Powderhornphil
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Green Flash bottle.

My first Alpine and it's pretty good. Incredibly easy to drink with a nice dry finish. Lots of orange and grapefruit notes with moderate bitterness.

 169 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: nice medium orange hue with a little bit of haze and a finger of frothy ivory foam that leaves a nice lace on the glass as it dissipates. Attractive.

Smell: nicely hoppy aroma with a good earthy, piney and somewhat grapefruity character. Kind of like Duet's little cousin in a some ways. I like it.

Taste: earthy, piney hops with a somewhat dry malt background that lends itself to the earthy, bitter flavor. A good brew.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a surprisingly good creaminess for the style.

Overall: tasty and drinkable. What more do you need?

 639 characters

Photo of scotorum
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By 4/19/16. Assuming a six month spread after bottling (a very high estimate for the preservation of hop flavor) this one is three weeks old.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Lawson's stemmed tulip.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick white head which receded to thin even surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Moderate pine resin.

t: A funky pineyness followed by a pretty strong hop bite which lingered over a medium bready malt base. Dry finish with those persistent bitter notes.

m; Medium, quite smooth with good body and carbonation tingle.

o; A better West Coast style pale. Somewhat similar to a couple of Green Flash entries, whose name is now in raised letters on the Alpine bottle.

 706 characters

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
96 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.