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Alpha Session - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha SessionAlpha Session

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

176 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 17
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: largadeer on 11-30-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Sammy, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

t0rin0, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled I brought to share at drewone’s tasting.

Pours a slightly murky honey yellow with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest, grapefruit, and some slightly catty hop aromas. Taste is of malt and some earthy and citrus zest hop flavors. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer with a better smell than taste in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Texasfan549, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

kjkinsey, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

GRG1313, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood

A: The pour is a light copperish color with a small white head and some sticky lacing.

S: Man, lots of really great hop aromas. Juicy citrus fruits like grapefruit, tangeringes, and oranges. There's a light pine aroma to it and some underlying bread/biscuit malt.

T: Such an intense flavor for a low gravity beer. An intensely fresh hop flavor of grapefruit and tangerine. Plenty of pine and citrus peel bitterness with just the slightest malt flavor.

M: The body is light with a lively carbonation that helps bring out the big hop flavors.

D: One of the best low gravity beers I've ever had. So easy to drink and amazingly flavorful.

womencantsail, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Drake's Barrel House, cask pint at Beer revolution.
Review from written notes.

Bright gold with sharp clarity, on cask it was slightly hazy. Thin layer of white foam, visible carbonation rising.

Dank resiny hops, light sweet citrus, tangerine. Tropical flavors, citrusy orange and grapefruit, grassy and resiny, with some pale malt surfacing in the middle. Moderately bitter. Flavor dissipates quickly. Light bodied as an APA should be, a little thin and reminiscent of local favorites Daisy Cutter and Gumballhead as far as the 'light mouthfeel' to 'hop ratio' goes. Ample carbonation and certainly not watery. A tasty hop fix and sunny day quencher.

emerge077, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

The body is light copper with golden highlights. It's topped by a frothy white head that leaves sheets of lacing; head retention is excellent.

The nose has a huge hop presence initially; pine, grapefruit and orange. There's a light biscuity malt character lending some balance.

There's an equally huge hop profile on the palate. Simcoe seems dominant, lending flavors of pine and grapefruit. For supposedly being hopped like a DIPA, this is very balanced. There's plenty of bitterness, but it never becomes astringent. Malt is barely noticed; surprisingly, it comes through more in the aroma. The beer is dry from start to finish, and supremely quaffable. Drake's can be hit or miss, but this is a very impressive offering.

largadeer, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +1.5%

SocalKicks, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wheee!! Hit me with your best hops!! Wow. This is a what?? You can make a "pale ale" this flavorful at such a low abv? Good lord, man.

This is straight up hop juice. I mean, just put those hops in a tea bag and steep it in some water already. A blast in your mouth that, somehow, remains a step below obnoxious and overbearing. As it warms, it gets extremely pleasant and sublime. This is, by far, the greatest session ale I have had to date. And add on top of that it's a "pale ale." (If this is a pale ale, I'd be very interested in what an IPA would be like, by these standards.)"

I don't really feel like searching for adjectives on this one. I just want to end this review and get back to the half pint I have left of it.

This is an amazing beer. The intensity might make it a sipper for some, but overall, this is one that would be worth trekking many miles for. Give it a minute to settle down and just sip and enjoy. Unbelievably amazing. This is why the tickers tick and the beer nerds hunt; to find the ones like this.

RblWthACoz, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of mactrail
3.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blonde ale with a brief flirtation of suds. Some hoppy aroma, an extremely light body, and a dissipating fizz.

Seems rather tasty for a couple of sips. Then the carbonation runs out and it tastes just bitter and a little metallic. Maybe it's meant to be served on tap, and drunk in a couple of chilling draughts.

I'm a Drake's fan, so I always try any new beer of theirs. I'm always happy to see low-alcohol beers with some flavor. However, I find it hard to call this any kind of English style, with the piney hops. More of an American Extra Pale Ale. I suppose it's not expensive as bombers go, but at $5.99 that would be over $18 a six pack, which seems extortionate for what it is.

mactrail, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a hazy gold, with a soft white head, some lace.

S: Citra and Simcoe so you know it's going to smell good. Lots of tropical fruit, mostly mango, some pineapple, guava.

T: Hop forward with a lot of bitterness. Some tropical fruit gets in there, but the carbonic acid is fighting in there too, which I don't really like to see.

M: Light-bodied, resinous/chewy hop character, interesting interplay.

D: Reminds me a lot of Humulus Session, with a raw hop flavour, low alcohol, but the malt is nowhere and allows the carbonic acid to be a major flavour unfortunately. If you're going to make these mini IPAs, I'd add a little more malt. They always smell great, but taste is where it counts.

Halcyondays, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +1.5%

GClarkage, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA.

Pours an exceptionally clear yellow colour, with a forthy, large-bubbled head of white, that settles to an unassuming and relatively unappealing film. The body has a surprising weight to it given its exceptionally low ABV, and it's the only thing that makes me rate the appearance as other than extremely unappetising.

Ok, maybe the other thing is the aroma, which I snuck a sniff of beforehand anyway—it's wonderfully fresh, bright, fruity and hoppy, with the emphasis on the clean, crisp, bright West Coast resonance, along with a touch of something green, herbal and organic. It's perhaps only this which hints at its genesis in the English style. Many other things prove that this does not truly fulfill that style.

Taste is a lot weaker, but you probably expect that in a beer that is intentionally designed as a sessioner. Quite a clean, light, herbal hop fragrance through the centre, with some rosemary, pepper and leafiness, but with almost nothing underneath: perhaps just a moderated grain character that holds in in check, but doesn't really support the hop flavours. It's certainly sessionable, and far from unpleasant. Feel is smooth enough and suitable for what it is.

Pretty drinkable brew, with much to offer. This is not making a play for best beer in the world, but it sure is refreshing, clean, easy to drink and enjoyable. Very decent drop.

lacqueredmouse, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -23.9%

drewone, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of Zorro
3.29/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pale amber ale with a small white colored head.

Smells hoppy with a strong grapefruit scent. Smells mostly of citrus and willow tree.

Starts out dry and mildly bitter. Pretty much an English Mild made with northwestern style hops. The result is basically a low alcohol West Coast IPA.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall and OK beer. Probably not buy another 4 pack of this though.

Zorro, May 25, 2013
Photo of Wasatch
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice slighlty hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, little fizzy white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice hop note, slight citrus/pine notes. The taste is very nice, slightly malty, very nice hop note, with some citrus and pine notes. Medium body, very nice bitter/dry finish. Over all this is a very tasty brew for under 4% ABV, especially the hop/bitter/citrus notes. Way to go Drake's. Thanks Bill for the chance to try this one out.

Wasatch, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very faint dark yellow at Father's Office, thin wispy head. Aroma was amazing, high, fresh hops, comes off even better given the bmc esque appearance from this one. Equal parts citrus and pine to it. Maybe a little more pine.

So much taste up in this beer, I'm really loving all of these uber hoppy yet relatively light beers. All the rage hops, citra, simcoe and amarillo probably. Talk about a hot weather hophead beer. Slightest amount of crystal/pale malt to this one

Between the Bruery's hoppy sessions, Jupiter, Stone and this one, there's a handful of phenomenal low abv hoppy beers out there now. Only thing lacking is when someone is going to actually bottle these to where they can become a little more accessible and mainstream every day type beers rather than the special occasion/once in a great while beers.

Beerandraiderfan, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/5/2011

64oz growler poured into a snifter. Thanks to AP for this. 

A: Burnished honey gold with two fingers of froth. Lots of scattered lacing.

S: The hops are impressively aromatic, very bright with abundant citrus. The nose is of mango, orange, peach, grapefruit,  and a little pineapple. Very impressive. Very floral as well with  saltine cracker malt lingering beneath.

T: Orange, grapefruit, and tangerine, with a smooth low bitterness. Really nice hop flavor. Malt is light and biscuity. Smooth, crisp, clean, and hoppy finish.

M: Light body with upper medium carbonation. Dry, sticky, and crisp mouthfeel.

Overall: Delicious and insanely drinkable. Really good stuff.

HopHead84, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at zeitgeist, Alpha Session is clear gold with a small white collar leraving no lace.

Smell is skunky, piny hops. Pretty dank.

Tatse is also all hops. As evidenced by the abv, there very little malt, a little cracker.

Mouthfeel is on the thin, light side. Dry.

Drinkability is good, which is the point. Hop fix without the strenght of an IPA. Well done.

ccrida, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of Bitterbill
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a hazy light gold with a 1 finger head of foam and does well with the lacing.

The smell....well...the aromas have to be experienced to be believed. Huge hoppiness, noticed as soon as the cap came off. Grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine, it's a symphony of all things hoppy and could be the best smelling hop forward brew I've ever had. Wow!

Taste wise, the grapefruit and tropical fruitiness is up front followed closely by pine. I know there's malt in here but it doesn't make much of an impression on my palate. Not needed in this case, I think. It's drinking wonderfully.

The body is a bit thin though I expected that happening because of the very low abv this beer brings to the table. A small price to pay for such a delicious brew. This is outstanding, imho, and I'm glad I have more bottles to enjoy.

Thanks to G and Bine & Vine for the opportunity!

Bitterbill, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Beer Belly

A - Slightly cloudy yellow/orange colour a thin layer of off white head.

S - Citrus, pine, tropical fruit, honey.

T - Sharp bitterness with juicy grapefruit, pine and orange zest flavours and a touch of honey sweetness in the background.

M - Light body. Oily and sticky. Light carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, Aug 07, 2013
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Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.