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Hoppy Birthday - Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy Birthday
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

197 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 197
Hads: 1,539
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 734
Gots: 163 | 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: 197 | Hads: 1,539
Photo of rawfish
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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 ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
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 Kendo
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
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)

Photo of WeisGuy
4.87/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (1,037 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (598 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Growler

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 (554 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (984 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint at the Alpine Pub.

A - Golden with a slight orange hue to it. A 0.5 inch white head forms that is nice and frothy and has some stickiness to it.

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

T & M - Starts with a clean grainy malt flavor and some fresh baked bread notes. Slight malt sweetness is also present. This is then quickly balanced by some fresh citrus and grassy hop notes. There is some orange and slight lemon zest to it with some mild red grapefruit notes as well. Both malt and hop profiles are extremely balanced. The body is light and refreshing and with the 5% ABV becomes a very drinkable beer.

O - This is another near perfect example from the folks at ALpine. IMO they consistently mark the standard for West Coast hoppy ales. Delicious and well crafted flavors that play perfectly with each other. (900 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a freshly filled growler, showing a clear golden straw in color with an inch or so of milky white foam. Strong retention and artsy lacing follow.

Mmmm hops, sweet bitter hops. Lots of fruity hops with a touch of pine. Very enticing and quite like the IPA's from Alpine but a tad more towards the sweetness than bitterness side of the equation.

Flavor follows in an IPA Light kind of sense with a notable hop presence throughout, a citric flavor with a perky carbonation and a light grainy feel. A bit of warming suits this beer well as an initially thin feel becomes fuller and more robust. Finishes with a bit of hop infused orange malt tones, offering a smooth feel. Drink is solid but held in check by the one sided approach for a Pale Ale, quite dry and hoppy and perhaps out of balance, yet give me another.. (845 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (538 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%

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 - 3.88)

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 - 4.63)

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 - 4.38)

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)

4.48 | 99 | A (1,227 characters)

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. (509 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (357 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.22/5  rDev -5%
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. (1,032 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
2.79/5  rDev -37.2%
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!
4.5/3/2/4/3 (810 characters)

Photo of Phigg1102
4.04/5  rDev -9%
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. (156 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (1,303 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (358 characters)

Photo of spark3148857
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (690 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.98/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

Appearance
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.

Aroma
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.

Taste
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.

Mouthfeel
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.

Overall
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! (1,185 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.95/5  rDev -11%
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. (260 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
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... (331 characters)

Photo of starrdogg
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (856 characters)

Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.