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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

184 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 18
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: 184 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Swervine44
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Philousa
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of jethrodium
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of mroberts1204
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of pixieskid
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.48/5  rDev +14%
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!

Photo of chickencoop
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of Diomede
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of baybassboy
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of peacebone116
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of axeman9182
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of nataku00
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of rmaste6282
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of ipa247
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of John11486
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of shortysdude285
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of flexabull
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of PerHops
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.