1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Alpha Session - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha SessionAlpha Session

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

171 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.15%
Wants: 16
Gots: 2 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
RBassSFHOPit2ME

California

4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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...

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

!ADELAIDE!

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

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

Australia

3.83/5  rDev -3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Oregon

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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)

Serving type: bottle

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


3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

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

California

4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

California

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

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

California

3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

California

4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

California

3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

3/5  rDev -24.1%

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

California

3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

California

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

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

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

Germany

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

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

California

3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Wyoming

4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

06-03-2012 05:37:40 | More by chickencoop
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always glad to see some sessionable options out there. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a light straw color, clear like water, with a finger of air, almost yellowish head. Pretty good retention but almost no lacing.

S: Lots of nice, light hop flavor (juicy orange), biscuity and slightly nutty malt.

T: Similar, orange-y with dry malt and a long finish of mild bitterness.

M: Medium-high carbonation and medium-light body.

O: Decently drinkable, but I think limited by the bitterness, mild though it may be. It kind of drowns out what flavor there is. The citra is nice, though.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 05:12:54 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of Diomede
Diomede

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

06-01-2012 22:11:43 | More by Diomede
Photo of baybassboy
baybassboy

California

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

05-30-2012 22:25:40 | More by baybassboy
Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.