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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

201 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 201
Hads: 1,556
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 735
Gots: 165 | 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: 201 | Hads: 1,556
Photo of starrdogg
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to MrHirschybar for this one.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a nice white head, pretty unassuming looking, but nice nonetheless; I had no idea what was coming

S: The aroma is incredible. It's got a huge dank hoppy, citrusy smell that makes my mouth water.

T: The flavor here is incredibly complex, there's so much different flavors here and they all seem to co-exist perfectly. It's both citrusy and piney at the same time. The flavor is huge, like a DIPA, but it's also ridiculously drinkable. Overall, incredibly delicious.

M: It's medium-bodied, a little bit of creaminess up front, but very dry on the back end.

O: This beer is unlike anything I've ever drank and is another huge success from Alpine. They packed so much flavor into a small APA package which combines for the most flavorful borderline-session beer I've ever had. (856 characters)

Photo of Mikecap
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
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 (443 characters)

Photo of beagle75
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at the Alpine pub.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass and many streams of bubbles rise eagerly in the column.

S: Citrus and pine hops of intermediate intensity barely exert dominance over toasted malt, without revealing the presence of any off-qualities. It is a very clean and hoppy smelling beer whose intensity is a little understated compared to the flavors.

T: Begins barely off-dry, with toast that stands out amidst a wave of brilliant herbaceous citrus and pine hop aromatics. Acidity is restrained into the middle, with earlier flavors of hops and malt mellowing somewhat. The finish is moderately bitter, with bright hop aromatics and toasty grain persisting with longevity and focus that is very rare and remarkable.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly sticky on the palate but ultimately smooth, with moderate carbonation.

D: This hop-forward pale ale is a tour-de-force, bringing a showcase of West Coast hop flavors into effortless balance with malt, acidity, and a texture that drinks more easily than water. Most comparable to Strand's excellent 24th St. pale ale, Hoppy Birthday is as sharp and presentable an American pale ale as any currently brewed. (1,289 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Crystal clear golden orange body. Massive white head. Excellent retention and substantial lacing.

S: Tropical aromas dominate. Grapefruit, orange, mango, maybe some tangerine in there as well. Underlying notes of freshly cut grass.

T: Profound grapefruit, light bready malts, floral hops, orange, mango.

M: Light to medium bodied. Assertive carbonation, moderate bitterness, nice crisp bite in the finish. Epitome of "sessionable."

O: This is right there with Zombie Dust as far as pale ales go. I keep forgetting how low of an ABV this is and I'd think it was a massive IPA based upon the hops if I didn't know better. (626 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to starrdogg for sharing a growler of this amazing beer, thanks Matt. Alpine is quickly becoming in my book the go to brewery for hop heads like me.

A: Very clean almost lager like look with an orange/gold hue with a small ring of head and some good lacing. Some chunks of hops are floating in there, a good sign in my book.

S: What an amazing dry hop smell. So open and inviting, the smell has all the hop goodness of pine, grass, citrus rind, and weed in there. Some sweet candy malt compliments nicely to the hop barrage in the smell. Outstanding smell, just incredible.

T: The taste is so complex, I'm amazed the ABV is so low, not to say I detected any heat, but 5% beers are just not this tasty and all out hoppy. Lemon grass, fresh pine and grass, some citrus (dry), and just the right amount of crispy sugar malt rounds it out. What an awesome beer! The tastiest APA I've ever had, and this is from a die hard 3F fan (Alpha King, Zombie Dust both are amazing but this one may take the cake.)

M: Nice bitter back, and an overall very dry west coast hop beer thats great. Still semi sweet and smooth. Great medium feel, a little spicy.

O: Amazing, just an amazing beer. I absolutely love Alpine. (1,222 characters)

Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +12.9%
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%
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 KickInTheChalice
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip. Thanks readbaron, I'm glad it arrived safely.

Appearance: Clearly filtered, Hoppy Birthday has a transparent copper orange color with visible resplendent carbonation rising from the bottom to refresh its creamy white head. The head loiters and leaves a good splattering of lace on the glass.

Smell: This has a monster hop aroma. Lots of floral notes, mango, orange rind, and pineapple.

Taste: Up front the sweet pale malt sets the table for the hops. The hop profile is pretty amazing overall. Lots of mango, grapefruit, and pineapple give this a great, well rounded bitterness. Being a lighter beer, this is something I could easily drink all day during the summer.

Mouthfeel: This has a nice, smooth carbonation that really helps to keep the beer clean. I like when there is no unpleasantness lingering - the bubbles lift up and carry away any residue so each sip starts out with a refreshed palate.

Overall: This is pretty damn good. There are four pale ales I find worth my time, every time. Zombie Dust edges out Hoppy birthday on my personal favorite list, with Daisy Cutter and Alpha King tied for a distant third. That is splitting hairs, though, this is another win for Alpine. You can trust them to do right by the hop gods. (1,276 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad
*Notes from 09/30/11

A: Hoppy Birthday pours a dull and pale golden honey like color with nice clarity and carbonation evident. Tiny off white fizzy head spittled about leaving waves of lace down my glass.

S: Aroma is just killer with spikes of grapefruit rinds and apricot flesh. Fresh grass and pines. Some bready malts. Smells oh so hoppy and nice.

T: Got hops? Fruity, tropical, and catty. Sweet bready pale malts come through quite a bit and more than expected but this one is overdosed with the hops. Tangerine, Passionfruit, and puckering melon. Almost too much bitters going on but such tasty goodness.

M: Very light body and creamy texture. Great carbonation lends to a dry crisp finish with a definite bitter cottonmouth effect.

D: Superb drinkability. Very light and hoppy with an overall honey sweetness. I could drink this brew all day long for sure.

A great Pale Ale and one of the hoppiest I have come across. In fact, I don't think you can pack any more hops on top of such a light malt body and reserve that balance. This one even tips the scales on the bitterness factor. (1,126 characters)

Photo of DNICE555
4.74/5  rDev +7%
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 Beerswag
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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 nataku00
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a taster snifter. Very happy someone brought this to a tasting as I've wanted to try it for the longest time. Beer pours a light golden yellow, mostly clear, with half a finger of loose bubbly white head. Head dissipated quickly, leaving a little light lacing. A few bubbles here and there, but not overly carbonated.

Nose is amazing on this APA, huge tropical fruit aromas, pineapple, mango, passion fruit. Sweet orange and floral aromas as well. Just a touch of pine and herbal/grassy. This is all about the hop aromas.

Taste follows the nose, tropical fruit up front, leading to some grassy/herbal marijuana like hop flavors. Middle of the tongue, a bit of lightly toasted grain sweetness to balance things out. Linger tropical hop flavors with a mostly dry finish.

Light body with spritzy carbonation, very refreshing and easy to drink. An excellent beer. (884 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
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 mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a clear, darker straw-gold color with minimal white head and a bit of lacing. The aroma isn't too powerful, but is slightly spicy with some bitterness in there. It is light-bodied with generally light carbonation. Taste-wise it is slightly bitter with some citrus and somewhat astringent pine. The aftertaste is bitter and somewhat yeasty too. Personally I thought this tasted really good at first, but I tired of it rather quickly. Seemed to be a bit too much yeast in it, and I suppose it didn't impress me overall. Not a bad beer, but it pales (pun, haha) to Alpine's other similar offerings. (634 characters)

Photo of rkarimi
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At 5.25%, this is essentially a session ipa. If you want to classify as such, this is probably the top of the class. Regardless, this is a great hoppy beer. (156 characters)

Photo of chrishiker1409
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A light brown copper with a little gold. Poured with a finger of tan head which quickly dissipated. Some nice spider web lacing.

S: Some grapefruit citrus notes but mostly pine.

T: Very strong piney taste. Can't believe this is a pale ale. One of the strongest pine characteristic beer I've ever had.

F: Medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation.

O: A great beer if you love your ipas piney. (415 characters)

Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.56/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Chicago

A: Dark gold and clear
S: Malty, light pine, bready
T: Bready, light caramel malt backbone, melon, grapefruit bitterness, some pine (150 characters)

Photo of unclejazz
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge pineapple and grapefruit nose with equally powerful flavor that matches the nose. So much flavor in such a modest ABV. Heavy bitter finish that matches the rest. Medium body and on the same level as ZD, Edward, etc...
Cheers! (230 characters)

Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
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 MrVonzipper
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer!
Pale clear golden. Fizzy short white head. Low retention and lace. 

Huge bright fresh nose. Bright citrus. A touch floral. Very nice. 

Flavor is very nice for a pale ale. Big crisp flavor. Nice floral and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is very nice and light bodied with pretty high crisp carbonation.

Overall this is an amazing bright, clean, well balanced fresh pale ale. I love Zombie Dust, but this is even better! (444 characters)

Photo of razorsdescent
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Due to the acclaim this has received, I expected more. I had this at the end of a long tasting, an this is IPA 7 for the day, so my tasters aren't at full sensitivity. However, I don't taste anything that makes this overly superior to, say, Stone Go-to IPA. I will seek this out again with a fresh palette at a later date. (322 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this on tap more times than I can count on my hands and toes. The color is golden, slightly bronzed, and always carries a nice frothy airy white head. The smell to me is more of a green, earthy smell, with only a tiny bit of citrus hiding in the background. The hop flavor over the palate is spicy, slightly juicy, again just a touch of fruit or citrus. This is not a sweet/bright/citrusy/tropical beer. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side as to be expected. Being a somewhat small-batch beer, it varies a bit from time to time but it's usually a must get anytime we see it. (580 characters)

Photo of Lunch
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz. Growler shared by Dr. Abmuh, thanks!

Well goddamn this is a great APA and if I were categorizing it I'd suggest it being an American IPA, but who the fuck am I to nitpick? Let's drink some more.

Poured into a Jester King snifter and I can smell the motherfucker already. Pours golden with some haze along with a bright white head with a stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Smells of citrus hops a plenty and this translates beautifully into the taste. Lost of bright citrus with no malt. Mouthfeel is perhaps a touch thin, but if these other assholes were not drinking this with me, I would drink all 64oz. myself, just kidding, but not really. (674 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
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 BigGold
3.96/5  rDev -10.6%
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)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.