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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

237 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 237
Hads: 1,708
Avg: 4.4
pDev: 20.91%
Wants: 719
Gots: 198 | FT: 1
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 (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 237 | Hads: 1,708
Photo of pmarlowe
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th review.

On tap at O'Brien's. Pint glass.

A: Pours clear light golden with a half finger of snow white head which disappears pretty quickly. Not much lacing.

S: Rich but subtle pine, pepper and spice, citrus, some tangerine.

T: Lots of hops, bright blood orange, mild pine and grapefruit peel, finishing mildly bitter.

M: Medium body and lightly carbed.

O: Light, refreshing, and lots of flavor in this very drinkable pale ale. Hoppy but not a hop bomb. Another light but flavorful ale from Alpine.

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

First time reviewing this beer. Summer 2014 in San Francisco I had what (I think) was the Alpine brewed version. From memory, it was one of the best beers of my life. Let's see how the Green Flash stacks up.

Appearance: Pours a light honey orange. Sort of apricot in color. Hazy but not turbid or milky. Half finger head lingers around. Thick lacing.

Aroma: Super lush hop aromatics. Hits on notes of tropical fruit, sweet citrus, mango, floral. Nose seems to bring something different with each whiff. Slight hints of savory onion/garlic notes but pretty faint. Sweet, pale balancing malt.

Flavor: Again. Completely hop saturated. Remarkably drinkable for everything going on. Palate is a hop assault with bright citrus, citrus peel, tropical fruit, pine, floral, and a touch of onion. I've heard this uses 7 or 8 different hop varieties and the flavor sort of bares that out. Massive hop complexity. Dry and pretty crisp with just enough pale, sweet malt to pull everything together.

Feel: Mouthfeel is outstanding. Wonderful anchoring bitterness that never quite wrecks the palate but lingers pleasantly on the finish. Beers leans quite dry overall with a sort of crispness. Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. For the level of hop assault, something I could drink 2 or 3 of in a sitting with no problem.

Overall: This is an exceptional pale ale. I'm not even going to try to reconcile this to any drunken memories I have of what I drank last summer. This could likely use some slight tweaks, but Green Flash seems to have gotten it largely right.

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Photo of GJ40
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Phelps
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.79/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared a growler with some Ba's at my house before DarkLordDay.
Served in a tulip pint.

It's a nice color, like a pretty standard pale ale/IPA. The bee is pretty hazy yellowish gold with a thick white head. Great retention... Good lacing.
So it looks great... Aaaand now we fall apart... Why does this smell like garlic? Oh, summit hops you say? Well I'm not a fan. They ruin this beer the summit hops. The other aromas are great- hiding under the garlic are intense notes of grapefruit and even pineapple. Light malt profile... This beer would be exceptional if it weren't for the garlic.

The body is medium-light with great carbonation and a decent bitter bite... The flavor would be very nice if it weren't for the summit!

Overall-- I'll pass on this one next time. Glad to have tried it!

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Photo of Hendrick24
3.64/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Thin white head with good retention and lacing. Clear light golden color. Nose is subtle cirtus hops. Taste is bready, slightly bitter, non-descript hops, pretty good balance. A bit thin mouthfeel but within expectations for the style.

Pretty good but nothing like the quality of Alpine beers I've had from the original Alpine brewery.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very intense hop bitterness. Mostly heavy pine. I'm wondering if the GF acquisition has eliminated some of the citrus characteristics others have mentioned.

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Photo of hophugger
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amazing golden-orange in color with a finger and a half of very frothy white head an sticky, spotty lacing. Aroma is dank with lots of pine, citrus rind, pineapple, nectarine and peach. Taste is bold with pine resin, oranges, bitter pineapple, stone fruits an other assorted fresh citrus. Mouthfeel is good, with the citrus, citrus peel and massive amount of hops balancing very well. Finish is strong, slightly bitter, and definitely reminds you again about the large mount of hops present...

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Photo of Damian
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank on tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a pint glass

Hazy, golden amber appearance. The beer was topped by a small, creamy, off-white crown that slowly dropped to a resilient cap of froth. A patchy ring of drippy lacing coated the top inch of the glass.

The aroma was really fruity and bright. Tropical fruits came through strong. Loads of mango, guava and passionfruit. Fairly sweet. There was a dank, marijuana-like quality as well. Somewhat citrusy. Orange zest was apparent. As the beer sat, the tropical notes subsided and the citrus intensified.

The flavor profile was solid, but not quite as smooth or as exotic as the aroma. Tropical fruits were noticeable on the front end. Pineapple and passionfruit dominated. Citrus notes appeared in the center. Orange rind was detectible. Lemony on the back end. The finish was pithy, dry and bitter with strong notes of white grapefruit and pine sap.

Impressive mouthfeel. The liquid was fuller bodied for the style and contained an ultra fine, moderate effervescence. Super soft and fluffy on the palate.

Hoppy Birthday is an immensely flavorful and complex American pale ale that truly pushes the limits of the style. Now that Alpine beers are available in the greater Boston-area, I am looking forward to trying more of their offerings.

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, golden pale with a dense white head. Thick rings of clumpy lacing.

S - Starts of quite grainy followed by a fresh citrus balance of oranges and some tropical fruit notes.

T - An explosion of hops with sweet citrus and tropical fruits. Very hop-forward APA, but exceptionally well balanced with its malt backbone.

M - Medium bodied, bitter, but nice clean finish.

O - Definitely the best APA I've had to date. Can't wait to try Zombie Dust and compare the two. I'm not a huge fan of APA's but I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Ultraman9000 for the growler!

Pours a clear dark straw with a big 3 finger white creamy sticky head.

Smells wonderful. Bright notes of citrus with a fresh floral scent and just a touch of pine.

Starts out citrusy. Orange and lots of red grapefruit with a touch of floral. Very hop forward. Finishes floral, bitter and dry.

Smooth creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

One of my favorite beers ever and I love it every time I get the chance to have it. Light and refreshing, but still loaded with good IPA flavors.

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Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of spark3148857
4.56/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.98/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler out at ol' 'Watcher's joint on a night that lead to my demise. I got about 2.5 tasters full of the stuff. I can't say that it was really a crowd favorite amongst the tasting group.

This stuff has a nice color, as so often Alpine ales seem to have. Its a semi hazy honey yellow, crowned with a dense, sticky head.

I'm not really a fan of Summit hops, and this stuff brings the Summit to its peak. Green onion, dense overgrowth, the banks of a summer creek and dashes of orange, pineapple and grapefruit.

The oniony stuff is strong. Someone kept saying this stuff was like liver and onions. Who ever it was was partly correct. Lots of greenery and wild flowers with lots of chive and green onion. Some pine and citrus come around too.

Not very dry, this beer is fairly smooth with a lighter body and a decent enough finish. I'd say this one has the structure for drinkablility down.

As I texted to Ryan011235 that I was drinking this my auto correct took over and I sent "Choppy Birthday". I stand by that moniker, I think its more accurate. I'm not sure why this one is rated so high... Oh yeah! Its a new Alpine tap only! Duh!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.18/5  rDev -5%
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...

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Photo of starrdogg
4.89/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of Mikecap
4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
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

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Photo of beagle75
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of HoppyBastard2
4.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Aurora Brew Works in Buffalo after Zwanze Day at the Blue Monk.
Poured into tasting glass(don't judge, long day of drinking).
Golden orangish color, a fair amount of white fluffy foam.
Citrusy and dank aroma. Flavors followed suit.
Incredibly drinkable, could have drank multiple, but was in no condition to do so.
Great beer, enjoyed very much.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.89/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +13.6%
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!

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Ri0
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

poured a 22oz into snifter. GF version Best by date 3/18/16.

A - Very atractive clear golden orange with a perfect white 2.5 finger head. Frothy, light, excellent retention and spotty lacing. This earns it a perfect score.

S - As expected very hop forward with a big resinous and piney aroma. Citrus and light sweetness are added to an herbal scent. It is definitely potent and wonderful.

T - A forward blast of citrus and pine. Not very tropical for me and the sweetness is a lacking a bit to help ward off all the bitter hop notes. Grapefruit pith and some herbal undertones, but mostly pine.

M - Lighter with superb carbonation, but it is very dry on the palate from all the hops.

O - Very tasty, but I guess I prefer a more tropical type of IPA.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.