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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

317 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 317
Hads: 2,057
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 680
Gots: 279 | FT: 4
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

ruth is, everyone has a birthday. And when you want to celebrate, this Session IPA is a gift to the senses. Made with 6 different hops, this bold brew is refreshing enough to enjoy again and again. Now, make a wish and blow out the candles. But don’t tell anyone, or your wish won’t come true.

69 IBUs
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 317 | Hads: 2,057
Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.55/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a very smooth or balanced beer. Hits with strong grapefruit flavor which almost immediately blends into an okay bitter finish/aftertaste. Definitely isn't a bad beer, but based in this one, it's certainly not something I'd search out.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

32 oz Crowler purchased at The Iron Abbey in Horsham, PA.
Poured into a tulip pint.

Light gold with 1 finger of creamy head. Good clarity with moderate carbonation.

Honey, white grape, vanilla, candy sugar, papaya, and pineapple.

White grape, pineapple, papaya, mango, and pine. Smooth malt backbone of honey, candy sugar, and a touch of vanilla.

Medium bodied, juicy, oily, and crisp with a medium-light bitterness.

Phenomenal Pale Ale! Juicy as all Hell!

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Photo of thebigredone
3.74/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

High hopes for this based on the ratings over time.

Taste was mid-tier IPA, solid but not nothing game changing. No distinguishing hop characteristics, seems to be a mix of the usual, pine, a touch of citrus, etc.

Feel is a bit thick on the palate, not exactly refreshing.

Overall, this a solid, but unspectacular beer. Learning it was an APA helped the score a bit, but definitely not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of Overlord
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

More IPA than pale ale, this brew reminded me of the Sierra Nevada Harvest series. BUT WITH THE DIAL CRANKED TO 11!

Pours gold with a hint of orange. Big white sudsy head.

Smell is a gigantic bouquet of floral, grapefruit, and pine notes (you seldom see all three together with such abundance), with a ton of tropical notes and sweeter citrus. Maybe oranges, definitely pineapple, yipes. Insane tropical notes.

Taste is just resplendent with hop character. Almost no malt or citrus sweetness to be found. Just hops everywhere. Grapefruit, both sweet and bitter varieties, fresh cut pine, some acrid lemon/orange rind notes. HOPS!

Very nice bubbly mouthfeel. Tons of thanks to a generous benefactor. Managed to guzzle the entire thing through the Lost finale, which took the edge off a very underwhelming close to the series.

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Photo of CHickman
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Solid looking draft beer (on tap at BBD's in Rocky Point, NY) with hazy dark gold color and a creamy 2 finger tan head that faded very slowly and left excellent foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells and tastes of fresh juicy citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange, piney hops, pineapple, graham cracker, lightly toasted grains, biscuit, caramel, floral hops, light spices and more hops. Wow, the hops are aggressive but perfectly sweet and this brew is perfectly balanced. Not much more to say except that it is excellent.

Mouthfeel was creamy, smooth and almost buttery with very mild carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste that trails off with a combo of malty sweetness and fresh juicy hops. Well crafted, this was extremely easy to drink and lived up to the hype and ratings.

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Photo of nickd717
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh growler shared by largadeer. HOP PUNS FOR THE WIN HELL YES!!!

Pours clear copper with a great lacey white head. Looks incredible.

Aroma is typical amazing Alpine: citrusy, floral, and herbal hops, as well as just a hint of sweet malt.

Flavor is amazing for a pale ale (or really more of an IPA). Citrusy - tangerine and grapefruit - with an excellent tropical fruit note and some herbal qualities. Just a little sweet malt in the background.

Medium-bodied with great hop resins.

Overall, just incredible. This is what every pale ale should aspire to. I could session the hell out of this if the ABV were under 4.00% and I were legally allowed to do so by British law.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.69/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a light golden color, not quite clear. Smallish white head with pretty good lacing.

S: Great citrus hop, grapefruit and a little pine

T: A lot more pine in the taste, the citrus is not that prevalent like in the aroma. Way to much bitter, tons of bitter without the flavor punch up front.

F: Medium mouth feel, kinda nice. The big bitter lingers on the back of tongue and was rather unpleasant.

O: Not balanced, way to much bitter without enough flavor up front. Overrated.

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Photo of philbe311
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two plus fingers worth of light airy lush khaki colored froth comprised of lots and lots of big chunky bubbles... Nice retention that really begins to hold around one fingers worth... Turns a bit richer and creamier as it settles a bit... Lots of carbonation some of which clings to the glass and some of which rises sporadically at a modest to slightly quick pace... The color is a somewhat vibrant light copperish amber... A thin film and some lacing clings to the sides of the glass... The aroma is all hops all the time... Glorious hop resins... Fresh hops... Just lots and lots of hops... Mostly piney with some citrus mixed in... There is little or no malt to be found... Dank and hoppy... Lemon zest... Earthy hops... Orange zest... Piney hops... A very light biscuity malt layer is buried beneath the surface... The mouthfeel is medium bodied... Rather sturdy... Mostly dry throughout turning a bit drier on the finish... This is an outstanding American Pale Ale and a very welcome introduction to Alpine... If someone wanted to know what hops tasted like, this is the beer that I might point them to... Lots a goodness in a very subtle <6% ABV... Love it...

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Photo of seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super clean golden amber with a large white head that lingers. Looks fantastic. Stronger hops come off the nose than expected, pine and resin, maybe a touch of lemon. So far so great. This beer is more straight forward bitter than any APA I've ever had. Really smooth, with a more generic hop bitterness than the nose implies. Thicker than expected in the mouth, in a very pleasing way, with solid carbonation. They did a great job disguising a 5.25% ABV beer in the mouthfeel as something bigger. To me, that is an impressive feat. Aggressive bittering hops limit the drinkability slightly as an APA, but yet it otherwise presents itself as a 6-7% ABV beer, increasing the drinkability quite a bit with its lower ABV. Really, one of the best 2-3 APA's I have ever had.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75


A- pours a slightly hazy bright golden color with a small foamy white head that reduces to a small film on top

S- huge danky hop aroma with aroma of fresh leafy hops, pine needles, citrus peel, hemp, the freshest hop aroma I've experienced from a pale ale

T- fresh and clean hoppy showcase, notes of fresh leaves and fresh cut grass, some floral notes, the finish is dry and slightly spicy

M- medium-light body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish

O- so fresh, hoppy and clean, the best pale ale I've ever had

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A crisp, zesty nose features a nice combination of citrus and floral bouquets. On the tongue is a mild, pithy bitterness perched atop a modest malt backbone. This one is content to vacillate from fruity to grassy to herbal, and I'm OK with that. Solid beer.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler from Ultraman9000 - thanks, Martin!

Pours a slightly hazy, bright amber color with a two-finger, frothy white head. Head retention is very good, as is lacing. Tropical fruit and citrus really shine in the nose, with pineapple, tangerine and mango notes coming through. There's a nice cracker and caramel malt aroma underneath the hops. The taste is much the same, with pineapple, mango and tangering fruit flavors melding nicely with a substantial cracker malt with a slight caramel sweetness. Alcohol is unnoticeable. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Drinkability is off-the-charts here - this really hits everything I look for in a sessionable beer. The flavors are refreshing and interesting with a very nice balance, though, obviously, this leans to the hoppy side. Overall, another incredible hoppy beer from Alpine. Every time I try something new from this brewery, I am more and more impressed. This might nudge Alpine slightly ahead of Russian River as my favorite brewer for hoppy beers.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.92/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled growler into a glass. Yeah, I killed it alone, shut up, Roger.

Thanks to Chris (largadeer) and Ted (chswimmer) for grabbing it for me.

A: Pours a clear, golden-tinged peach body that is capped by 2" of fluffy, off-white head. Retention is great, and the beer deposits tons of sticky, white lace down the sides of the glass. Great look for a pale ale.

S: Tropical citrus all the way. They took pains to refrigerate this growler for the 5 days before I got it, and the aromatics really show. Fresh-cut pineapple, passionfruit, jackfruit, mango, grapefruit, tangerine. I could go on and on listing tropical fruits that only my girlfriend actually eats. There's a small touch of pine as well.

T: It has a light biscuit malt presence, just enough to give it some body to offset the huge hop flavors. As noted in the nose, it's tropical citrus all the way. It's not very bitter at all; a nearly clean flavor, in fact. Some small pine flavors are noted, but they barely offset the residual biscuit malt, and absolutely pale (ha!) in comparison to the citrus varieties.

M: Light-bodied. It's not crisp, but it has enough cleansing carbonation that the next sip (and many dozens after) are as fresh as the first. The right balance of residual sugar to offset the hop flavors and prevent this from tasting like watery hop juice.

D: I killed a growler. 'Nuff said.

Is there a better pale ale out there?

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Photo of Kendo
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the growler (cost: $14.99 at Westmere) into a Piraat tulip. Body is clear, coppery-orange with a small whitish head on top, which recedes to leave decent splotches of lace.

S: Mostly pine and pine needles, with some underlying dankness and a touch of tropical fruity hops and even rye spiciness. Nice nose.

T: Piney hops dominate the flavor profile, but there's a lot going on - pine and pine needles linger on the aftertaste and leave the prominent impression as a result, but underneath there's a nice malt foundation of caramel malt. It is, however, quickly beaten into submission by a tropical fruit salad of hops (mango and pineapple), and then the pine, grass and pine needles. A touch of citrus peel is there on the finish as well.

M: Good creamy feel to it; call it medium in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: A tasty beverage, though it's so big in the piney hops that in many ways it's more like an IPA.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Spycow, I think, for the share.

A - It pours a hazy orange-golden hue, and is capped with a big tan head that looks like pancake batter. Lots of lacing ensues.

S - Jeez this is good. It is very reminiscent of the 4-day-old Pliny shared by nerd the other day, except lemon-forward where Pliny proffered tropical and dank. The nose is just pure hoppiness; there is pale malt and pristine minerality somewhere under the hops, but who woud bother looking for it? Anyhow, lemon zest, verbena, lemongrass, tangerine, and hazy cannabis are hugely implied in the aroma.

T - This is one of the best hop-centric beers I've had; the taste is truly world-class. A pristine minerality is suggested by the pale malt base, and it is the basis for extraordinary depth of hop flavor. Lemon-centric notes lead the way but are nearly equaled by a melange of tangerine, mango, and grapefruit. The more I drink of this, the more it seems that the flavor begins as lemon and actively morphs through tangerine and mango phases, ending in a bitter grapefruit astringency. Quite mouth-watering.

M - Lighter than medium by a tad, and plentifully carbonated.

O - Fantastic stuff; this is what APA, and hop-centric, should aspire to be.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

200th Review!!

A: A deep golden orange color with an ivory white head that hangs around for a long time.

S: Dank hops. If you have had an Alpine IPA before you know what I'm talking about. Very very hoppy especially for an APA. There are caramel notes in the background as well.

T: A near perfect blend of caramel and toffee with pine and dank hops. The malt characters eventually give way to the hops on the finish.

M: Nice body. It is a little heavy for an APA but very smooth and sessionable. Great carbonation.

O: Amazing APA. One of the best ones out there. Worth the 2 hour drive to get.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice white foamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a clear pale amber; bearing a strong resemblance to light copper. The overall appearance is fairly attractive and good-looking; giving off a nice preview of what to expect from the beer's body.

The beer smell is good with a strong hoppy note to it. The hop bitterness comes off a nice pine note with a slight resin quality to it. The malt is fairly overpowered but is strong enough to give a slight sweet honey note.

The beer taste is much better than the smell. Even though it's fairly simple, the notes are strong enough to present a good experience. The hop bitterness from the smell is definitely present in the taste with the same pine and resin notes with the pine being the strongest. The malt is also slightly stronger, so the honey sweetness is more present and takes a little bit of the edge from the hops.

The feel is pretty good. It's a light bodied beer that is smooth with a dry finish.

Overall, a pretty good beer worth getting that can cut through grease without leaving your mouth too dry. Recommend.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We open a bomber, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. It lights the room with a coppery, amber coloring that supports a sturdy two finger head of bubbling, creamy headiness the color of pancake batter. This retains well, leaving vertical chains of lacing in its wake. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be on the active side. The aroma is whopping, comprising notes of heavily tropical and nectary fruity hoppiness, lighter citric hop oil brushes, sugar loaded pineapple juice, lightly toasted and biscuity pale malts, very faint caramel graininess, dried papaya cubes, green bananas, tangerine flesh, freshly whipped buttercream, fresh honeycomb, bubblegum sugars, simple booziness, and bronze button metallics. The flavoring swirls with toasty pale grainy grit and dryness, gentle booziness, bright citric and piney hop zings, mineral clay, dusty ale yeastiness, freshly liberated tangerine juice, earthen tree barkiness and oiled wet mossiness, toasted honey sweetness, green bell pepper juice, kiwi skins, and the chemical sting of perfume. There is bright lingering bitterness of bitter citric and soapy hops, orange peel pith, unsweetened wafer cookies, and Irish soda bread. The body is full and the carbonation is medium, with decent prickle to the tongue. Each sip gives wonderful slurp and smack, with immense frothiness and creaminess as it crashes into each crevice of your oral cavity. It sloshes around like a syrup, but a syrup that has been aerated and infused to the brim with the softest bubbles. Somewhat like nitro, but yet simultaneously not at all. It makes your mouth water and sweat, but with sticky, binding drops of saliva. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks away easily, in large gulps if you allow it to.

Overall, the most interesting, curious, and memorable thing about this beer is its feel. As outlined above, it is massively heavy and thick for the style. This couples with unremitting waves of dense cream and froth, ensuring that the beer pounds into your palate with ferocity. The aroma also stands out with filling, robust tropical fruity hoppiness. This induces mouthwatering in the drinker that you would not believe. As with many a west coast IPA, the taste to follow leans towards the more bitter persuasion, defiantly deviating from the path. As a pale ale, and a session one at that, the flavoring evens out by about half way through your pint. This makes the second half a bit more “common”, if that’s the right word. It isn’t that it loses flavoring, per se, but rather you get accustomed to it, and there are no more surprises. While not our favorite of the Alpine stock, Hoppy Birthday is certainly a cause for celebration in and of itself.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Type: Growler
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company Pub in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $12.82
Purchased: Oct. 24, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 24, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey, orange, semi-hazy color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white head. Slow stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Below average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average spider web retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled a ton of pleasant hops, reminding me instantly of an IPA. Got Citra hops, floral hops, grapefruit, orange, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, caramel, tropical hops, orange pulp, mango, pineapple and slight earthy rye hops. Best initial Alpine comparison is a Nelson. (Smell - 4.75)

Tasted a lot like the nose, although I don’t think quite as good. Got Citra hops, floral hops, bitter grapefruit rind, orange pulp, caramel, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, tropical hops, mainly pineapple and mango, and New Zealand hops. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter citrusy finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Just a fantastic pale ale and I feel like I kind of underrated it. Glad I still have ¾ of a growler left. (Overall - 4.50)

4.43 | 98 | A

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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.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

64oz growler poured into Surly stein (0.5L pour). Thanks Tom (airfoil) for this one!

A- Pours a slightly brownish translucent golden with about two fingers of white foamy head that has good retention and slowly recedes to a thin layer leaving foamy lacing along the sides. Nice consistent rising carbonation.

S- Floral hops, pine, a bit of grapefruit, grains, bready malts. Definitely fairly hoppy but a nice balance with the malts.

T- Floral hops with a little bit of bitterness, mango, a bit of pine, some grains, finishes with some bready malts, and a light lemony bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, very high drinkability, nice carbonation.

O- This was a damn good APA, one of the best I've had but definitely not the best and slightly overrated in my opinion. Nice balance, decent amount of flavor, and very high drinkability, but I still prefer some of Alpine's other offerings (Duet is still my favorite). I would drink this again, but I wouldn't go out of my way obtaining it.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppy Birthday was a copper color with a good sized head. Nice fresh floral aroma. The taste was rather balanced, but strong, big malty backbone, with a good fresh hoppy flavor. Overall its a very solid APA.

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Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hazy pale orange with a one finger white head, with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, pine, and citrus zest.

Has a nice combination of sweetness and bitterness in the taste with grapefruit, orange, citrus zest, pine and bread malt.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry. a nice session IPA.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz Green Flash bottle served in a large mug. Best By 18 March 16.

Pours slightly hazy amber with a medium sized coarse head that appears to be fading very slowly. Moderate amount of active carbonation. Smell was aggressive before I even finished pouring it. Hoppy and bright with a little fresh greens in the background, a little honeysuckle.

Taste is honey and flowers, hops and resin, a little pine. Not the hops bomb I was expecting, it's much more balanced and delicate (but still very hop forward). Hell of a slow, bitter finish that's building with each sip. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is dry and coarse. Overall, very good beer. Glad I bought it.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
96 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.