Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

186 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 186
Hads: 1,461
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 2.92%
Wants: 732
Gots: 150 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 186 | Hads: 1,461
Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 38 Degrees Ale House in Alhambra, CA. Pint glass.

A- Clear, pale golden-copper body. One finger white head, above-average retention time; very nice lacing as well. Coats the glass in thick rings of lacing.

S- Grapefruit, orange, lemon, stonefruit. Wow. This is a blast of aromatic hops, typical as per Alpine. Caramel and honey sweetness rounds the aromas out. Delicious blast of hop aromas makes me smile.

F- Very fruity; grapefruit, lemon, pine are the predominant hop flavours here.Nicely balanced out by a mild caramel sweetness, possibly honey as well. It's incredibly hoppy for an APA, yet is not unbalanced. The pine comes out more towards the end. The malt backbone isn't the strongest at first which allows the hops to shine, but as it warms up, it becomes more nicely balanced.

M- Medium bodied, soft, not bone-dry like other west-coast IPAs. Quenches the thirst that I had in a big way. Smooth, soft, moderately resinous but not too sticky. Finish is a nice balance of caramel, honey sweetness with a pine/citrus bitterness; it becomes more balanced towards the end which helps in giving me a second wind to finish the pint. Very nice, very drinkable and very enjoyable.

O- One of Alpine's better offerings. I like this almost just as much as Nelson, which is saying a lot. Plenty of hops, crushable at a low ABV, soft and moderately dry mouthfeel. It's fairly hard to find anything off about this beer- it drinks with the hop punch of an IPA, but with the drinkability of an APA.

Final score: 4.49 (1,527 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear, deep golden yellow in color. Forms a small to moderate sized white head that reduces down to a fairly thick and bubbly surface coating. Leaves some moderate lacing on the way down.

S: Aroma is predominantly of Citra and citrus hops mixed with toasty grains and a weedy dankness.

T: lighter bodied, but still full flavored. Toasty grains and citrus, slightly earthy, and a mild herbal quality. Not dry, but not sweet either. Medium finish.

M: On the the lighter side. Medium carbonation. Mild bitterness

O: This is a very fine beer. Very well balanced, great flavors, hoppy, yet not at all overdone. Quite drinkable. Glad to hav tried it. (653 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronados

A: Golden color with a 1/2 inch cream colored head.

S: I don't even think I can begin to put the smell into words. It's absolutely amazing and the best smelling pale ale I've ever come across. Huge candied grapefruit, mango and citrus hops with a little honey as well. Perfect.

T: Somehow, the taste is just as good as the smell. A hint of mango and then a big hit of citrus and slightly piney hops. Some caramel malts balance the hops before they can get too bitter and the finish has just a touch of pine hop resin. A picture perfect pale ale. Must get more. (585 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Alex by way of ArthurPendragon!

A - Pours golden yellow, white frothy head, large bubbles remain here and there, some spotty lacing, and a thin cap on top.

S - Lemon-esk piney hoppy goodness, citrus, pine, slight dank. So so good...the hops is just straight forward, slightly dry, lots of cirtus.

T - Lemon-peel, citrus, pine, hops, bitterness. Straight forward but just well-done and excellent. Really hard to put into a review how good this really is...seriously, get some.

M - Light, crisp, refreshing, perfect carbonation, really f'n good.

D - Wow...just....wow. An awesome APA and right up there with RR Parking Violation. Drinks like an IPA without the ABV. Must get more and if you haven't had it yet, please get you some. A must-try. (766 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C'mon, I can't believe I never reviewed this!

A - Light clear honey, huge white head, lots of lace.

S - Skanky, dirty, musky, bad ass hops.

T - Malts take a back seat to this wonderful musky skunky hop offering.

M - Medium to light, good balance and carb.

D - And only 5.25? Oh, session time! (297 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On Tap

O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Hazy golden orange and yellow. Thin white head. Some lacing, but not as much as I was expecting.

This beer smells like hop heaven. It's an absolutely, unmatched, perfect smelling pale. The hop aroma on this is massive--orange, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine--WOW!

Taste falls in line right behind the nose. Bitter enough, but the bitterness never gets in the way of the terrifically pungent citrus and pine flavors biting and wrestling with the tongue--just delicious!

Medium bodied.

The perfect pale ale. It's astounding that so much hop flavor, aroma, and character is packed in to this sessionable, pitcherable, gulpable 5.25% pale ale. (680 characters)

Photo of Zach136
4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Crystal clear yellow, off white head with great lacing.

Aroma: Medium+ intensity stone and tropical notes. I get peach more than anything else.

Taste/mouthfeel: More citrus peel hop flavor, medium+ bitterness. (223 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A big thank you to johndoe8 for sharing the west coast san diego beer week wealth!

Appearance: Perfectly transparent and a slight shade more yellow than a goldfish body. Crown is 2 fingers, slightly off white (hop oil / buttery color), shows good retention and loads of lace!

Smell: Very piny with a bit of grapefruit pith and tangerine over a hint of pale sweet malt.

Taste: Lots of tropical notes up front...pineapple, mango, and tangerine. Soon followed by a bit of resin and a mildly hoppy finish. Very low on the bitterness....citra hops perhaps.

Mouthfeel: A touch chewy for a medium bodied brew but slightly undercarbonated for my liking.

Drinkability: The 2L growler to the head was no problem. This one is extremely drinkable.

What a great American Pale Ale! (774 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Alpine

Look: Nice golden yellow in color with a nice 1/2 in white head and great retention and lacing

Smell: Is a perfect combonation of floral and citrus hops they are in such perfect balance it almost creates a perfume like note that I want my wife to wear

Taste: Is very similar to the nose with the exception that it also has a very nice frutiness to it. Hands down the best tasting pale ale I have tried

Mouthfeel: A little less than medium body so it could use just a bit more body and perfectly carbonated

Overall: About as perfect as a pale ale can be. Absolutely loved this beer and now I am kicking myself in the ass for not getting a growler of the stuff (680 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Glowing gold with a creamy white head that leaves lots of lacing as it recedes.
S - Pungent, fresh hop aromas of pine resin, grapefruit, and a bit of cat pee, with a mild malt backbone.
T - Crisp toasted malt provides the foundation for more pungent hop flavors of pine resin, grapefruit, orange peel, and mango. Nicely tropical and "juicy".
M - Slightly sticky, with a medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, sessionable even.
O - A really nice APA, expertly hopped and infinitely drinkable. (555 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.04/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very flavorful pale.
Had plenty of hop aroma in the nose, I got citrus and some grapefruit.
The taste was very good perhaps a bit lean.
Finished with a slightly course bitterness.
Very good and welcome to the sepa area. (221 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.71/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This pours a glowing orange tan.
There’s an aroma of orange citrus and piney notes. I get a great burst of flavorful orange citrus, as well as a subtle grassy hint that emerges as it opens up and some … Christmas tree notes too. The bitterness is all upfront, followed by a dry, dry, dry finish. This was exceptionally well done IPA. (338 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.74/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (830 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.77/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had a pint of this one from the tap at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth. It was on the newly tapped list.

The beer is a chill hazed dark yellow with a skim of off white foam.

It has an aroma of citrus and malts.

I tis nicely bitter with a touch of sour. There is citrus (grapefruit and tangerine), grains and plum.

The mouth is decent.

All-in-all a decent beer that didn’t live up to the hype (at least for me)… (424 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (678 characters)

Photo of philbe311
4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
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... (1,189 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32oz crowler bought a DeCicco's.

Mango and mandarins in the aroma. Nice retention in the glass, a lazy orange colored body. Has a nice lingering bitterness in the finish. (185 characters)

Photo of seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (777 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (797 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

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

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

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

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

Overall
Phenomenal Pale Ale! Juicy as all Hell! (501 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
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? (1,411 characters)

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.55/5  rDev -20.2%
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. (239 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,223 characters)

Photo of rawfish
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lighter shade of amber/gold with good clarity, forms a small white half finger head with minimal retention. As you drink the lacing forms impressive rings that drop down into beautiful sheets of lace, stunning.

Pine forward, delicate and floral with some tropical notes of melons and dried mangoes. Pale malt well hidden under the hop presence.

Pale malts are a touch bready and there's some coarse grains here that come out in the drink. Hops are both floral and resinous with tropical notes of pineapple and mangoes while there's a bitter follow through that never seems to release.

Well carbonated with an average body. Very crisp and dries pretty well.

The best APA I've ever had thus far, it'll give IPAs a run for their hops to be sure. Just another wonderful example of what Alpine can do with hops, they've crammed so much craftsmanship into a beer under 5.5% alcohol. (889 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (930 characters)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.