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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 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!

Bitterbill, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of chickencoop
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

chickencoop, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of pmarlowe
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

pmarlowe, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of Diomede
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Diomede, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of baybassboy
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

baybassboy, May 30, 2012
Photo of peacebone116
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured from the bomber into an Allagash tulip.

A: Bright straw body with white wisps at the center and rim of glass, the only remnants of the head that fizzled out quickly quickly after the pour was complete.

N: Hops--pine, and citrus reminiscent of grapefruit and a touch of sweetness.

T/M: This is all hops. The bitter flavor dominates, but the body is incredibly light. The pine and grapefruit hit quickly and stay up front, but they fade quickly away giving it up to a hint of yeasty fruitiness that really comes across too much as a sulfuric flavor. Carbonation is prominent and ample, perfect for the thin mouthfeel.

This is a very great session ale. I love the hop dominated flavor even though the body is a bit lacking. The hop aroma and flavors turn this beer from an otherwise boring light ale into a complex and easy drinking beverage that makes a great fit for a Memorial Day refresher. I do wish this had just a little bit more of a mouthfeel considering the price range (~$8/bomber from the liquor store), but I understand what the brewer was going for. Cheers, Drake!

peacebone116, May 28, 2012
Photo of axeman9182
2.85/5  rDev -27.7%

22 oz bottle from afrokaze. It was poured into my Bruery tulip.

Alpha Session pours tangerine, lightening towards lemon yellow when properly backlit. Visibility through the glass is low. There's maybe a finger of white foam, and it doesn't do a ton in terms of either head retention or lacing. The nose has a strange, out of place sulfur-y aroma right out in front. I think there's a little bit of lightly citric tropical fruits appreciable as well, but sulfur is far and away in charge. Thankfully, it's much more faint in the flavor profile. There's no real malty flavor present to speak of, this one's 100% hops. The bitterness, while clocking in at just 50 IBUs, really jumps out thanks to the super light frame. There's both some pineapple and mango, and a bit of pine present in the finish. The body's very light, too light in fact for my taste, as it doesn't support or lay a foundation for the hops at all. The carbonation's nice and slightly lively though. I admire Drake's for taking a shot at brewing such a low alcohol hop bomb, but Alpha Session's light on malt to the point of tasting like straight hop juice to me, and that's not something I'm particularly looking for in a beer.

axeman9182, May 28, 2012
Photo of nataku00
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%

Bottle poured into at tulip glass. Bee pours a slightly hazy golden color with a finger of loose bubbly head that quickly dissipates to nothing. No lacing, but plenty of fine carbonation slowly rising to the surface.

Nose is grapefruit, orange, pine, a touch of herbal aroma. Very aromatic for such a low abv beer. As it warms, a bit of the malt comes through, grain and biscuit sweetness.

Taste follows the nose. Hop flavors initially, grapefruit and orange, pine and herbal marijuana. A touch of biscuit malt sweetness mid tongue, finishing dry with lingering hop flavors.

Light body and pleasantly carbonated. Very easy to drink and tasty.

nataku00, May 27, 2012
Photo of rmaste6282
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

rmaste6282, May 24, 2012
Photo of ipa247
4/5  rDev +1.5%

ipa247, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of John11486
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

John11486, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of shortysdude285
5/5  rDev +26.9%

shortysdude285, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of flexabull
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%

On tap at the Drakes Barrel House.

Pours a bright gold color with a pretty nice head.

Aromas are mostly hoppy, floral, resiny, and with some citrus. Mostly notes of oranges, lemons, and mangos. Very nice. There is also a doughy character too.

Taste is doughy, bready, slightly sweet and creamy up front. Beer finishes with lots of nice hop flavors, light bitterness, pine, resin, and some sharp grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with plenty of body, but not heavy at all.

Overall, this is an excellent hoppy session beer. This would be a perfect beer to have a keg of for a summer party. This is tasty, yet super drinkable.

flexabull, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%

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 ngeunit1
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%

A - Served a clear golden-orange color with a thin finger of frothy white head. The head faded quite quickly leaving behind some decent lacing in the process.

S - Aroma is bursting with lots of bit citrus and pine hops. Lots of tropical fruits. There is also just a bit of sweet caramel malts.

T - The beer kicks off with lots of big citrus hop with lots of tropical fruits. There is some nice bitterness alongside. Through the middle, lots of piney hops join in alongside with more bitterness. There is some sweet caramel malts that come through alongside. The finish is full of lots of hops and bitterness that linger for quite some time.

M - The beer feels medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels smooth with a some strong dryness from all the hops.

D - Very drinkable. There is an amazing amount of hop flavor here for the relatively low abv level. One of the best session ales I have had in quite some time.

ngeunit1, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of PerHops
4.97/5  rDev +26.1%

This beer is absolutely amazing. The only thing I can knock it for is that they call it a "light" IPA. false advertising. It had a pale, cloudy, yellow color. Smell was piney and skunky. Taste was banana, pine sap and skunk weed with a perfect bitter finish. I hope they bottle this offering ASAP as it would be a regular in my fridge, no question.

PerHops, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of warriorsoul
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%

On tap at Toronado (SF) 8/4/11. Served in a standard pint glass.
Light golden in color with a full finger of bright white head...thin lacing.
Citrus aroma in the nose....very impressed with the fruity bouquet here.
Awesome flavor for such a low abv brew. Grapefruit citrus with a mild biscuit malt backbone. Blown away by how tasty this "session" offering can be.
Super clean in the finish, dry with the hops being well pronounced for a low gravity offering. Carbonation is perfect.
If I had access to this one year-round, I would never grow tired of it....just an incredible, highly quaff-able beer.

warriorsoul, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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 dodgerrigo
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%

Thanks to the crew at Drakes for makin a hoppy beer I could
Enjoy and drive home after 4 of them.

Lots of Citra hops in the aroma which sets you up
for an IPA but surprise this great tastin beer is under 4%

Really great session beer, if you like west coast IPA's
try this one, just dont expect finishing kick.

dodgerrigo, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%

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 nickd717
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%

On tap at Beachwood BBQ.

Pours a great clear golden color from the tap with a one finger white head.

Herbal and citrusy hop aroma along with a little bit of sweet pale malt.

The flavor is straight-up hop water for the most part...and I like it! Supposedly this is around 3% ABV, so it makes sense that it's not terribly malty. Just a touch of pale malt.

Rather light-bodied, making it really drinkable, and very crisp. A nice concept beer.

Not sure where to classify this, but I'd drink it again. Would be good on a hot day.

nickd717, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.53/5  rDev +15%

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 wethorseblanket
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%

On tap @ Beachwood BBQ 12/23/10 (from notes):

Pours a hazy, light orange-yellow with a moderate white head with some lace. Smell is dominated by the Citra (tropical fruits) and Simco hops. Taste is hoppy bitter with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is slightly thin with a resiny slickness. Overall, it's certainly a "session" able offering with just enough 2 Row and Crystal 15 malts to balance out the alpha acids. Quite enjoyable amoungest all of the other big ABV stouts today.

wethorseblanket, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%

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
Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.