1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Hoppy Birthday
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,028 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,028
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 7.81%
Wants: 751
Gots: 90 | 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.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,028 | Reviews: 153
Photo of mdfb79
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 10/02/11 notes. HUGE thanks to Nugganooch for sending me a growler of this; thanks Dane! This has been a huge want of mine for a while but I always seemed to miss having it, so very pumped for it. Poured from a growler into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a clear orange amber color with two fingers of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some nice lacing left on the glass and an inch of retention throughout drinking. Nice looking IPA.

s - Smells of oranges, citrus hops, fruity malts, pine hops, and tropical fruits. Very hoppy and very fresh, a wonderful smelling IPA.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, oranges, fruity malts, and tropical fruitys. More pine hops than the nose and a very light bitterness, but not a lot. Again, very hoppy and great.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. A little bitterness in the taste but super easy to drink thanks to the low ABV. Could have taken down the whole growler by myself.

o - Overall I thought this was an amazing IPA; another fantastic beer from Alpine and one of the best single IPA's I've had. Very hoppy and fruity and I felt like I could have drank the whole 64 oz. growler myself. Would love to have it again and would drink this all the time if I lived by Alpine.

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz growler acquired at Alpine two days ago. Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof given the brewery and high ratings. Price was somewhere around $20.00 for the growler.

Served after a warming period after its removal from the refrigerator; I like my hoppy beers cold but this one was a bit too cold. Poured into the glass from straight above because the weight of the growler prevented me from safely side-pouring. Retention will probably be a bit more pronounced than usual.

Let me note that I'm reviewing this as a pale ale, because that's what it is according to Alpine's blog. From the blog post dated 12/04/12:

"Today is the release of the world’s most celebrated beer “Hoppy Birthday.” Available for growler fills and on draught in the pub. This is technically a Pale Ale, but we make it like an IPA, with lots of hoppy goodness from hops like Citra and Nelson. 5.25% abv"

Not an IPA, but brewed like one. Don't shoot the messenger.

Paired with hard pretzels from Costco (all my money goes to beer, okay?).

A: Pours a four finger fluffy frothy beige colour head of great cream, good thickness, soft texture, and great retention (~6 minutes). Body colour is a pale transparent yellow-gold. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. The appearance is a bit lighter than I'd like for the style, but the head makes up for it. I'm excited to try this.

Sm: Nectary hops: citrus, grapefruit, some oily hop lacing, and above all floral character. Quite fresh, refreshing, and inviting. Very pleasant and clean. An above average strength aroma; mild in strength. Some lemongrass. Pale malts.

T: Nectary floral quality. Some unexpected bitterness just on the climax, but it's very quickly disguised by a marvelous floral hop character with tinges of light fruit esters - certainly a hint of lemon. Lemongrass constitutes a large part of the finish, though it's very clean and filtered; a witbier this is not. Some oily hop notes weave throughout the structure, emerging most notably just before the climax before dipping back down again. Very fresh and clean, aiding its refreshing character. No yeasty notes here, nor any alcohol. Pale malts lend body without intruding on the hop build, yet still the malts balance the hops without ever letting the flavour get too sweet. Grapefruit right on the climax, then it bleeds through the finish and remains through the aftertaste. I do get some subtle blood orange as a buried note, but now that I notice it it's there on the climax as well; very subtly executed. That's impressive. The balance is impeccable. Pine in the second act is also subtly done; I'm noticing more and more complexity as I search the flavour profile for new notes to latch onto - and there are plenty. Grassy sure, but the grains are all clean here, giving it a crisp body. What began as a seemingly simple brew is quickly revealing to me my own inability to intially detect its subtle qualities. God, that's refreshing. Some tangerine buried in the second act. Masterfully put together.

It's worth noting that the bitterness isn't fully concealed, which is a minor gripe but an important one.

Mf: Slightly undercarbonated, which I partly attribute to the growler. It does lend the beer a refreshing feel absent of the sharp bite of many complex IPAs (not that I'm alleging that this is an IPA). Smooth and wet, as it should be. Nectary. Not creamy, but then that wouldn't suit it. Thickness is perfect. Complements the flavour profile quite well. Perhaps it could be a bit more crisp and luscious. Good - if understated - presence on the palate. Delightfully buttery - an attribute that really does well alongside the nectary feel. Rather soft, aiding its drinkable refreshing quality. Remarkable.

Dr: The ABV is nowhere to be found, but then I didn't expect it to be. A delightfully drinkable pale ale that is amongst the best I've had. Would pair well with damn near any food. I'll have no issues finishing this growler, but I will regret it there's no more. I never heard any hype around this one, but I think it's a delightful pale ale. Certainly incredibly refreshing. They pack a remarkable amount of flavour into it while maintaining balance and keeping ABV low; that's incredibly difficult to accomplish. Another home run from Alpine. I'd recommend this to friends. A fantastic session beer (if you're not a 4% or less panzy, that is).

High B+

Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick bubbled but thin head. Plenty of blanket lace on the glass. Cloudy dark amber color.

Semi-earthy with floral hop aroma.

Lots of biting pine and nearly astrigently dry malt. High carbonation but low richness. Chewy finish. Long lasting aftertaste of straight up bitterness.

Photo of InspectorBob
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stakem
4.48/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of yourefragile
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
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

Photo of mdaschaf
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DoubleJ
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
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...

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of HopHead84
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5/23/2010

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.

Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Dicers
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of chippo33
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,028 ratings.