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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

316 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 316
Hads: 2,047
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 20.74%
Wants: 681
Gots: 275 | FT: 3
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: 316 | Hads: 2,047
Photo of mothman
3.81/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I thought this was an ipa or double ipa. It drinks like one flavor wise. I am having a hard time with the flavors in this beer. Piney and hop resiny. Earthy. Very happy.

For a pale ale this is way hopped up. It tastes stronger than it is. Somewhat bitter. Somewhat sticky. Ends fairly clean. Great for a pale ale, but very odd.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer served in a Russian River wine glass. Beer is yellow / light amber and clear with a nice white head with some retention, carbonation moderate to low, looks excellent.

The aroma is grinding and hops. It is strong and awesome, CTZ hops if I am not mistaken.

Beer is light in body, very hoppy, the malt lead off is nearly non-existent. It is very nice, bitterness is about 60 IBU thereabouts, great finish, overall a superb beer. I'd have it again, and again.

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Photo of stakem
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super big thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for hooking me up with this surprise growler as an extra in our most recent box exchange. Really Brett, you are the man. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a perfectly clear color of golden. A rich finger of white creamy head sits atop and slowly fades leaving an entire white wall of lace sticking to the glass. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain a thin film across the top. A light swirl revives a finger of yellow stained head back to the surface.

The aroma of this brew is ridiculous. It is an assault of hoppiness inside the nostrils. Big dank hop aspect has an herbaceous feel that leans towards pulp, pine, lemony citrus, more fruit and floral quality. There is a bit of catty elements at times and a bit of cheese when the glass is swirled. Not saying the cheese is a bad thing, it is just a unique phenomenon that ive run across before with brews that have a big dank aroma. Despite all the herbal components going on in this aroma, some smells still bring out that fruity and floral aspect that makes you think for a second that this might be a sweet brew.

The taste is just as herbal as you might think based off of the aroma. It is weedy with some catty notes and a bit of pine. There are rindy and pulp elements of fruit that are more citrus and almost lemony. A fine toasty grain character is hiding under the hops but it provides no sweetness, instead its a toasty backing that the hops take hold of and bring out lots of herbal flavoring. The aftertaste is a bit grassy and hints towards a slight tingle and warmth of alcohol that mix with lemon and pine to create a soothing almost menthol-like finish.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a grossly exaggerated example of an over-hopped pale ale (in a good way!) The modest level of carbonation gives way to a light body that at times is watery in a way that does not distract from the experience but increases it's overall drink-ability. I am pretty sure if this was made available to me on a regular basis I would pound it. The depth of flavor encapsulated here is impressive, I thoroughly enjoyed how much hop flavor it had without being excessively bitter for an APA. Very well done yet again Alpine and thank you a ton for sharing this Brett!

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

Growler shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael!

The beer appears straw yellow and slightly hazy. The head is thick and white, displays lasting retention, and leaves ample lacing on the tulip glass. The aroma...wow. One of the best aromas in a pale ale I have ever experienced. This would give any IPA more than a run for its money. Fresh hops and a blast of varied citrus. The flavor is absolutely phenomenal. This is perhaps the most drinkable and enjoyable <6% beer I have had the pleasure to sample. Perfect? Ya, pretty much. My highest recommendation.

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Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tasting glass. It poured a very bright, golden amber color with a thin but sticky white lacing covering the top of the beer. Great lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma has some great topical, fruit punch like flavors to it. I get pineapple, each and mango all coming out. There is a little bit of a creamy orange presence to it as well. It's very hoppy and vibrant. Great aroma overall.

The taste also shows a lot of tropical fruit notes to it. Peach, pineapple and mango are again all there. In the finish I get a little more of a resiny, grapefruit bitterness coming out. It's very bright, juicy and easy drinking.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was an awesome beer. It was very hoppy and bright but at the same time light, refreshing and drinkable. What is really outstanding about this beer though is all that flavor is in a beer with abv in the low 5% range. Great beer overall.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Green Flash bottle, best by March 18th 2016.

Stellar looker. Deep bronze with excellent clarity. Hints of orange hues, and even red tinges of copper when held up to the light, even getting darker surprisingly. Fine streams of pinhead carbonation from the bottom. Off white head, thick and rich with slightly creamy to soapy bubbles in a good large three finger size head. Small retention but controlled and settling real nicely to a good finger height.

Fantastic hop aroma. Deep dank notes, hints of tropical warmth, herbs, a mix of sweet green minty like spice as well. Juicy but also dry with this earth green warmth and spicy character that is just inviting. Mouthwatering bouquet, juicy and rich, with incredbile complexity but also real balanced. Spectacular nose.

Palate hits with a big hop splash. Dry herbal earth tones hit first, nearly drying and pulling out the palate. A good juice flavor manages to bounce it back though and continue some decent malt sweetness for counterbalance. Aftertaste is a big surprise. Slow hop aroma and shooting wood and pine burn that creeps out of nowhere. Palate manages a bit on the wet side but with supportive qualities, but tends to wash out in the mid, and dry like an ashen fire on the finish. Big black spiced pepper notes as well, and does have a bit of a session IPA like feel, but with far more malt backbone and in the pale ale territory.

A real nice brew and take. This was more than I expected and it really delivers.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32 oz. growler poured into a snifter. Clear deep orange body. Nice white head. Grapefruit hop aroma. Caramel malt. Taste is just like the nose. Aggressive grapefruit up front. Hefty caramel malt behind it. Not sweet, more bready and toasty. Strong bitterness in the back end. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Straightforward and very tasty.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
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...

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

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Fairly clear light golden color with a decent sized long lasting off white head. Light mineral water and bready maltiness with plenty of citrus pine and resin to counter. I could drink that all day even if it was my birthday.

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

Growler shared with 321Jeff and Huhzubendah. Thanks JohnDoe8 for hooking us up!

Pour is a hazy, glowing pale golden with a dense, retentive stark white head. Thick rings of clumpy lacing.

Aroma is much more of an IPA than APA (though I won't hold it against it in the rating). Reminds me a lot of Sculpin. Fresh tropical fruits, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and mild caramel malt.

Medium-thick body with soft carbonation and a pleasant lingering dry hoppy finish. Sweet and juicy ripe tropical fruits dominate from the start and dominate throughout. Amazing. Again, maybe not a great APA per style, but an incredible beer regardless. This growler was ~2-3 weeks old; fresh this would have to be near perfect

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

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, bright, golden orange coloring with a flurry of carbonation in the body and a fluffy, low profile, off-white head. Aromas of wet, dank hops resin forward, with notes of pine, wet grass, grapefruit, lemon zest, and candi sugar. Very balanced and very hoppy nose. Flavors are very hop forward, bitter and resinous, with a solid blend of pine pitch, cannabis, and wet grass. The hoppy notes are balanced by a sweet and tart blend of citrus fruit, heavy on grapefruit and orange, with candi sugar highlights. Smooth, bold bodied, with a solid aftertaste of hoppy, resinous notes and citrus sweetness. The finish is smooth, slick, and dry, with a hoppy linger. Amazingly balanced and damn tasty!

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Photo of Zorro
3.53/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber colored beer with a medium sized white colored head.

Smells extremely hoppy. Scents of grapefruit and menthol. Cedar plank and mint.

Starts out dry and woody. medium levee of bitterness and the taste pf pine board. Taste of mango. Could be more complex.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall just OK. Could be more complex.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a golden orange with yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left good lacing sticking to the glass. the aromas were just like most of other IPA's consisting of a great hop profile, pine, grass, citrus grapefruit, slight pineappple, and some good malt prssence. Upfront the hops and pine flavors were the stara with citrus grapefruit and slight pineapple co-stars. even though it was pretty hoppy the malts did come thru to balance out the hop bomb which was is really a pale ale;great job. the brew was light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a nice slight sweet but bitter hop crisp finish. it drank very good and IMO can become a epic session beer chiilin in the hot socal summer sun.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Thanks to Terrance for bringing this growler over. The beer appears transparent golden with a frothy two finger cap, good retention, and scattered lacing.

The aroma is an intoxicating combination of hop scents, with notes of pine resin, grapefruit, fresh cut grass, orange pith, and a bold floral character. The hops are incredibly aromatic and fresh in the nose.

The flavor exhibits a moderate bitterness, with notes of orange, grapefruit, lemon, and pine. Alcohol is not present in the taste. Again, the hops are fresh and vibrant. Malt character is nonexistent to my palate. Hops, hops, ...hops!

The mouthfeel is dry and crisp, with an upper moderate level of carbonation. The drinkability is insane. Highly recommended. Though a pale ale in name, it's essentially an IPA. I hope they decide to brew this again. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.52/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly average session IPA. Big bitter pine and citrus with no sweetness whatsoever. The brightness of the hop presence really faded after a few sips as well.

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Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Tap and Growler the other day.

The beer pour a light copper amber color with considerable lacing and very good head retetion. This beer looks great. On the nose, there's a huge aroma of dank earth, dry citrus and light tropical fruit. This beer smells like a hop bomb. On the palate, it's all that, and is literally almost too much of a good thing (that's how bitter this beer is). Mouthfeel is fairly light otherwise as one would expect, given the abv.), and the finish is long, dry, clean and bracingly bitter. Alcohol is just about indetectable.

Impressive pale ale, no doubt, though I wouldn't mind a bit more malt in the flavor profile to counter the huge amount of bitterness in this beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.81/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Legit.. Tropical fruity hops with a big bitterness that is unapologetic... Light pale malt.. piney hops that sometime go a bit catty Dangerously drinkable.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: nice medium orange hue with a little bit of haze and a finger of frothy ivory foam that leaves a nice lace on the glass as it dissipates. Attractive.

Smell: nicely hoppy aroma with a good earthy, piney and somewhat grapefruity character. Kind of like Duet's little cousin in a some ways. I like it.

Taste: earthy, piney hops with a somewhat dry malt background that lends itself to the earthy, bitter flavor. A good brew.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a surprisingly good creaminess for the style.

Overall: tasty and drinkable. What more do you need?

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.49/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in 12oz goblet, this was a very nice beer, but not one that stood out from the field of 41 other hoppy pale ales. I will bang again, but it's not a transcendental experience.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Green Flash bottled version. Clear orange color with slightly off-white head. Aroma is really intense for such a low ABV beer. Definitely west coast style hop profile with lots of pine, grapefruit and herbal / woody notes. Starts bitter up-front and gets even more bitter towards the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. Slight malt, but mainly it's just about the hops. Grapefruit and orange pith come to mind, with the same abrasive, harsh bitterness. Body is medium with good carbonation. Overall this is a well made beer but doesn't really stand up with anything. Classic hop profile and a lot of bitterness, which lowers the drinkability factor for me.

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Photo of rudzud
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at the Dive Bar in Worcester.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a nice hazy golden hue with a good one finger head that fades to leave thin lacing and a light blanket.

S - Aromas of light tropical notes, pineapple and mango, faint citrus, grapefruit, nice malt backbone. Pleasant.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, light tropical notes and grapefruit though the malts are much more pronounced. Carmel is rather big though the finish is bitter. Lightly musty, the hops though I feel are overpowered by the malts.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, crisp, a bit sticky.

O - Overall this beer was a bit confusing. Everything was quite muted and malty. Good, but certainly not as high the ravg states.

Serving type: On tap

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Pint Glass.

Thanks to Bdige for sending this up to me.

A - Pours a bright, lighter orange with a one finger cream-colored head. The head fades to a thin layer pretty quickly and a few spots of lacing were left on the glass.

S - Citrus, pineapple, orange, tropical fruit, pine.

T - Here the Tropical fruit is up front followed by more pine and grass.

D - Average carbonation and body, a touch bitter.

O - Great! You can't ask for much more than this.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a golden color, plenty of clarity, white head, decent, nice, dissipates in an average amount of time. Good hoppy aroma, nothing like some of the other Alpine dry hopping (Expo, Duet, Nelson) but damn good nonetheless and better than 98% of apa's out there. Props for not being afraid to use Summits.

Barely a malt presence, lots of hopping, very easy to drink. Lemon forward, was not expecting that, although nice to use a descriptor other than grapefruit or pine for once with something hoppy. Good carbonation, not a lot of complexity out of this one, but all my favorite pale's save SNPA are pretty straightforward, and that's a good thing in this reviewer's book. Bitterness held in check.

A very good beer, wouldn't say its deserving to be in the top 100, but the way the brhos changed the list, rare and one time new releases are bound to jump into the list at the expense of more time tested and available stuff. I'd put it midway through my top 10 pales.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
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

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
96 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.