Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

184 Reviews
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Reviews: 184
Hads: 1,443
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.07%
Wants: 736
Gots: 148 | 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: 184 | Hads: 1,443
Photo of DoubleJ
4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
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 ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pint poured in a shaker glass at Nob Hill Bar and Grill.

Good looking beer with a bright copper color. Smells dank, floral and citrusy. That quintessential west coast aroma with a big pineyness as well. The flavor is along the same lines, dank, piney and finishing a bit weed-like. The malt lends sweetness and a bit of a biscuity feel.

It's light feeling at times and at other feels both full and filling. There are moments where it feels a bit watered-down like many a light-bodied hop heavy brew feel, but it's not bothersome here. (538 characters)

Photo of UncleEmu
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
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 hoppytobehere
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap. Drank 3 of these. Super hoppy, dry as hell. Very light body, this might be considered a session IPA. Hop flavor reminds me a lot of Lagunitas Pale Ale, which is a good thing in my book. (197 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -7%
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. (603 characters)

Photo of RachelZ
4.15/5  rDev -7%
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 clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear orange body with little head and lace that sticks around. The hops are noticeable in aroma, giving off a more citric, earth tone aroma than sweet malts can poke through. Incredibly smooth are first two words that hit me as I take first sip. Smooth, slick, but not watery, a hopped up brew that straddles between citric and grapefruit/tropical fruit hops and has touches of bread/grain hops for balance (maybe caramel). Smooth, oily, buttery, you get the gist. Easy to drink and a hoppy beer that isn't overhopped or messy, a rare thing these days it seems. Very easy to drink (596 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at Alpine

pours a light golden yellow. Very clear with a crisp white head. Nice lacing on the glass. Smells very hop forward. Some nice light citrus and floral aromas. Tastes fruity and lightly bittered. The body is fairly weak but well carbonated. A pretty solid pale ale but the body does not match the bitterness well... (331 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap; poured into a pint glass.
Appearance - bright gold, bubbly carbonation, thin white head that leaves decent lacing.
Smell - bouquet of hops in the nose; citrus, pine, floral!
Taste - follows the nose, but brings more grapefruit!
Feel - bitter grapefruit with only a faint malt backbone; how is this not an IPA!
Overall - there's no way this is an APA and not an IPA! (373 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Very mildly fogged and true amber in color. Grassy piney nose. Flavor is hoppy, of course. Earthy with grass tones. Hints of pine. It's good stuff. A bit too bridled that though. Wouldn't mind a bit more crazyness about it. (223 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Trail's End. Poured into a pint glass.

Color is gold with a thin bar head. Aroma is very nice - bright citrus and tropical notes. Flavor is similar. This is another of those "hoppy APA or light IPA" beers. Flavor is very crisp and refreshing with a mildly bitter finish. Body is medium with a clean mouthfeel. Overall, a very good beer. (358 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

duet for me, was really worth the hype, this one was also really good, but less exceptional i think. less amazing and unique is for sure, but still a really trusty ipa, that i would happily drink all the time if it were available here. unique in that it finds the floral/pine specturm, while almost entirely skipping citrus. sure there is a hint of orange peel, even candied orange peel in the nose, but the flavor is like clover and pine forest, with no citrus in between. usually there is always that element there, but this is way cool in that its polleny and blooming, but also hearty and sappy. its balanced, but its big too, and although the hops drive the flavor, there is definitely a moderate toast to a fuller grain body, really really nice. i like this a whole lot, and amazing to have it on tap for the first time, but i just dont see it as one of the best in the world in its category. maybe i am spoiled, but for me, its a level below the hype that it comes with. (977 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
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)

Photo of neurobot01
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice dry, bitter hop bomb. Less sweet (thankfully) than it smells. Nothing wrong with the feel, but clearly the weakest element, and given the standards set by the likes of Noble or Maine BC, subpar. (199 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Alpine brewpub alongside a pulled pork sandwich that was crazy good.

Pale golden orange with the slightest hint of haze. A foamy one-finger head of off-white bubbles becomes a silky top layer and leaves gobby walls of lace.

Incredible nose. Dank and sticky, with fresh-cut grass. Notes of floral honey and white crackers also emerge. So bright and impressive for a pale ale.

The hops are even more dank in the flavor, leading with bright sticky weed before pithy citrus peel and grass swoop in. The finish, however, is kind of weak — there’s no snap. Medium bitterness. Not much malt backbone at all, maybe some pale cracker malt.

Prickly medium carbonation inside a medium-light body. Very mild fizziness, slight dryness. An ale this big in flavor should have a bigger body and be harder to quaff, so it’s incredible the brewers have managed to keep it so light on the palate and drinkable.

What an outstanding pale. Despite its BIG hoppy flavor, the brew retains drinkability. Good to the last drop, yo. (1,032 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared at Woodshop 7. Not super fresh but way better than plenty of fresher hoppy beers out there. Sweet citric aroma with oranges, tangerines, lemons and mild stone fruit. Flavor is nice and tropical, grapefruit and orange and mango, a hint of sweeter malts in the back, dry finish and lightly bitter. (310 characters)

Photo of Chizoad
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow with a thin cap of foam.

Excellent citrus nose and highly lemony. I had just had the Duet before this one, and the fruitiness of that beer may have influenced my perception of the hops in this one.

Very nice taste and well balanced. Some slight hemp-like flavor that seeps through after the hops dissipate.

Perfect mouthfeel for an APA. Light, crisp, no lingering bitterness, refreshing as all hell.

Very good beer that I would love to have again. (464 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
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 (398 characters)

Photo of HobbNobber
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

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 brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -4.3%
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 afksports
4.28/5  rDev -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 popery
4.28/5  rDev -4%
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. (661 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
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 Zach136
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Crystal clear yellow, off white head with great lacing.

Aroma: Medium+ intensity stone and tropical notes. I get peach more than anything else.

Taste/mouthfeel: More citrus peel hop flavor, medium+ bitterness. (223 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
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)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.