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Alpha Session - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha SessionAlpha Session

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

174 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 174
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 17
Gots: 4 | 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: 174 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mactrail


3.1/5  rDev -21.3%

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.

06-28-2012 05:04:12 | More by mactrail
Photo of Nugganooch


4.05/5  rDev +2.8%

Notes taken from Saturday – 06-23-12
*22oz bomber to standard pint glass

A: Pours a fizzy Yella Beer! Super transparent burnished light gold color. Real effervescent yet only yields a tiny thin off white cap with low retention and not much by way of any cling.

S: Smell is just bursting with grapefruit, gooseberry, lime peels, and some evergreens. A killer nose packed with fruity hops. A suggestion of crackery malt. Aromas resurface with every sip. Really amazing stuff.

T: Tastes offers up some real zesty hops. Lemon-lime and grapefruit pith with a bit of emphasizing pine essence. Malt makes a cameo appearance with a light honey-cracker presence. Brings just the slightest inclination of breads to the overall brew. There is an intense level of bitterness and no alcohol to report. A slight tartness in the end. Overall a step down from the nose but real tasty. Not very ESB-like if you ask me. More of an APA here.

M: Very thin and light body that feels a bit watered down which is as to be expected. Crisp carbonation and a super dry finish.

D: A true sessions brew that is chalked full of hoppy goodness. Delivers on the name for sure with some nice Citra highlights. You can literally drink this one all day long. I think I crushed the entire 22oz in about oh 20 minutes. Actually had me kind of missing the “beer” at times.

They should call this Hop Water!

06-27-2012 14:22:39 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of craparu


3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

06-26-2012 05:00:36 | More by craparu
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME


4.8/5  rDev +21.8%

I'm rating this beer to the ABV (3.8%) and Style.

Ultimate session beer with big hop flavor, served at Gormet Haus in Redwood City, CA.

A - Golden orange, and vibrant. Slim to no head to speak of, but what a beauty to look at.

S&T - Dank hop smell, lemon citrus, orange and breadiness. Taste follows nose, big hop taste with lemons and oranges upfront, followed by a breadiness and firm, but not over the top bitterness in the finish.

M - Light, crisp, clean and brewed packed full of hop flavor that you could drink from morning to night. Had 4 of these in a sitting with a minor buzz. WOW. No real malt going on here but expected with the style and ABV.

O - Best hoppy session beer or beer PERIOD for that matter under 4% ABV.

Only complaint...I have seen this beer in bottles and I refuse to pay $6.99 for a bomber with the likes of bigger IPAs and DIPAs out there at the same price. I understand not apples to apples with that comment, but I feel this should be 6-packed and sold near $9-$11. Afterall, what session beer only comes in bombers if it's meant to be sessioned???? Think about it...

06-24-2012 05:56:52 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of ehammond1

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, baybassboy!

Clear light amber and copper in color with a moderately sized light khaki colored head that eventually leaves irregular dots and spots of lacing down the glass. Very pretty and appropriate.

A full and complete aroma, especially for a pale ale of this (lack of) magnitude. There's good amounts of grapefruit and citrus zest present, some bread, and a hint of caramel. Very nice.

The flavor too is quite nice, and as the name suggests, this is incredibly drinkable. A nice balance of citrus, earth, pine, and sweetness combine for a remarkably easy drinking low-ABV pale ale.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Crisp and disappearing.


06-21-2012 15:40:43 | More by ehammond1
Photo of JRod1969

New York

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

06-21-2012 03:24:43 | More by JRod1969
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.83/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

06-20-2012 05:09:50 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of DefenCorps


4.18/5  rDev +6.1%

Bottle from Chris. Thanks, dogg! A 3.8% highly-hopped beer? Yes please.

Pouring a hazy orange with a dense, off-white head that recedes to a ring rapidly, I'd be lying if I said I'd never seen a nicer looking beer. The nose, though, is rather excellent. A big Simcoe-hop nose is present, fruity, pungent and refreshing with a blend of , tangerines, lemons, a little pine and some melon. A little bit of chalk is also present (also from the Simcoe, I think). The blend of Citra and Simcoe is enjoyable, with the CTZ adding the pungency. I *think* there's some Amarillo in there too. Hopped to this level,the malt is pretty much covered up. Excellent stuff.

The palate opens with a mild bitterness, a little grassy and vegetal but mostly grapefruit-rich. This is immediately followed by a big hop flavor with citrus (tangerines, oranges), a little pine, and that classic Simcoe blend of fruit,pine and pungency. The malt character is non-existent, with neither the Maris Otter nor the Crystal-45 noticeable. This, actually, is to the beer's detriment, as it leaves nothing linking the flavor hops and the medium-high carbonation. Rather crisp, the finish is clean, bitter and moderately fruity with grapefruit and pine. Light in body and despite being a little too carbonated for my palate, this does live up to its name. Given the low ABV, the overall score deserves an extra 0.5. Highly recommended, though this is most definitely NOT an English bitter and is closer to an American Bitter (think Bitter Brewer etc)

06-19-2012 01:56:13 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of javi10653

3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

06-17-2012 19:51:03 | More by javi10653
Photo of avaldivia


4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-17-2012 18:27:02 | More by avaldivia
Photo of tizride


3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

06-16-2012 03:58:54 | More by tizride
Photo of adsomers


3.35/5  rDev -15%

Had this on tap and in a bottle.

A - Straw color, lively carbonation produces a decent head which subsides to a flat surface after a minute or two. Just think diet coke WRT head retention.

S - Smell is dominated by dank nuggy hop aromas, with a backdrop of citrus and a faint waft of pine. While I love intensely hoppy beers, I am not a fan of the "dank" thing. But they don't lose any points for that. The aroma comes through very well.

T - Tatse seems to pull the veil off the hop flavors that are usually blended in with malt character i.e. subtle grassy and vegetal notes. This along with the dank foresty hop character are what this beer tastes like to me. No malt character whatsoever. Probably as close as you can get to carboned hop tea.

M - Thin and unremarkable. Lively carbonation makes me think of seltzer.

D - Yeah, you can suck down a lot of this beer, but it's not as enjoyable as an equivalently hopped pale ale or IPA. In other words I'd rather drink 12 oz. of Aroma Coma than 22 oz of this.

O - Overall it's a very well exectued hoppy session beer, but I think they could have gotten away with adding something to bring back the body. Also I think the "dank" thing doesn't work well all by itself. Maybe if they had focused on the tropical fruity hops I'd be a lot happier with it.

06-14-2012 23:35:58 | More by adsomers
Photo of Jaldama


4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-14-2012 08:35:44 | More by Jaldama
Photo of DovaliHops


4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is straight up marijuana. Dank as hell. Fresh hop aromas with a lot of citrus. Taste is just as bitter and hoppy as I was hoping this little 3.8 beer could be. So crisp and refreshing with lovely hop and citrus flavors. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this a a fantastic session beer! It's amazing they can pack this much flavor into this beer. We need MORE beers like this!

06-12-2012 05:34:53 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN


4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-11-2012 19:00:45 | More by BdubleEdubleRUN
Photo of Swervine44


4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

06-11-2012 04:15:33 | More by Swervine44
Photo of Philousa


3.83/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours with great clarity. I can see the bubbles from start to finish as they rise to the top of the drink. Color is pale gold and tawny. Good amount of head dies quickly and slips off the glass back into the drink. Super piney! This smells like one hoppy beer. All the "C" hops are present to make this a truly west coast ale. Bark, citrus, & grapefruit on top of the pine. A faint hint of very mild malt lies behind. The hops want to hit the tongue first but fizzle from tingly oil flavor to very bitter dry pale malt. American 2 row is very prevalent, but it's very dry - like bark - and a bit harsh on the tongue. Some nuttiness and biscuit/animal cracker malt flavor. Balanced feel, finish is a bit dry.

This is deceiving. Smells mike a supper hoppy pale or IPA, but taste isn't bitter from hops at all. I'd suspect they have to tone down the bitterness since the ABV isn't as high. Instead, this tastes like an English Bitter wrapped in a West Coast IPA's aroma. Very interetesting. Hopefully they'll continue to brew it as a seasonal in the future.

06-10-2012 23:08:40 | More by Philousa
Photo of drewone


3/5  rDev -23.9%

06-08-2012 06:51:02 | More by drewone
Photo of jethrodium


3.78/5  rDev -4.1%

On tap at Beer Revolution. Pours a clear light amber with a small white head settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is pine and grapefruit hops, a bit of biscuit, and a light mineral note. The taste is quite similar to the nose with pine, grapefruit, some orange, some biscuit, and also a light mineral note. The finish has a decent bitterness with more pine and grapefruit. Quite dry throughout. Light body. Medium carbonation. This was quite enjoyable. It was quite hoppy and dry, which I tend to enjoy. The price kind of defeats the purpose of the low alcohol content though because I won't be drinking several of them.

06-07-2012 05:51:45 | More by jethrodium
Photo of mroberts1204


3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

06-06-2012 04:27:22 | More by mroberts1204
Photo of bpfrush


4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

06-05-2012 20:10:43 | More by bpfrush
Photo of pixieskid


3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

06-05-2012 15:44:08 | More by pixieskid
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.18/5  rDev -19.3%

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.

06-05-2012 01:02:10 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Bitterbill


4.48/5  rDev +13.7%

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!

06-03-2012 17:29:55 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of chickencoop


4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

06-03-2012 05:37:40 | More by chickencoop
Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.