Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

182 Reviews
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Reviews: 182
Hads: 1,432
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.07%
Wants: 737
Gots: 142 | 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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Reviews: 182 | Hads: 1,432
Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +12.1%
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 KickInTheChalice
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
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 -0.2%
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 +6.3%
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 +0.2%
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 +4.7%
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 mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev -17%
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 -1.6%
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 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 unclejazz
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
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 chrishiker1409
4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
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 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 MrVonzipper
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
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 MiScusi
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
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 -0.2%
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 razorsdescent
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
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 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 zhanson88
4.02/5  rDev -9.9%
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 RaulMondesi
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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! (520 characters)

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from growler into tulip. Pours a dark gold or light orange with a fairly bubbly white head. The smell is much fainter then I had expected and really had to stick my nose in it, pun intended. Smells sweet citrus and almost musty. The taste far over powers the smell, there is a floral bite with a tangy citrus. Good cabonation with a fairly dry sticky finish. Great beer, absolutely perfect sitting out enjoying the outdoors. (433 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Andrew for the sample.

Pours clear, light to medium copper in color. A somewhat rocky white head slowly falls back to a ring, lacing my pint glass. Incredible hop aroma, a mix of citrus and sweet berries, ripe sugary sweet grapefruit like you'd find where its grown, not bought from a supermarket. Tangerines, oranges, grass, hay, and some light sugar sweetness in the aroma as well, one of those hoppy beers where you are continually sticking your nose into the glass to catch more of the aroma. Taste hits up front with some orange sweetness, cotton candy, grapefruit and grassy bitterness towards the finish. Light to medium body, bitterness is pleasing, not over the top, but just slightly puckering and dry to keep you thirsty, a perfect balance to the touch of malty body on the tongue. Crisp hoppiness with some zing left on the palate in the finish. This after 5 days across country in a growler, impressive pale ale, very sessionable, delicious. (962 characters)

Photo of MarcWP
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (491 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)

Photo of MLDucky
3.91/5  rDev -12.3%
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 Gregaroo
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Phinally in Philly! On tap at TRIA Taproom. I feel like it's my birthday after having this for the first time. Great IPA. Also had the Duet, but went right back to this. Hopefully more kegs on the way. (202 characters)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.