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

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rau71
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Rau71, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of hopkrid
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

hopkrid, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of Warlocks-Passage
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Warlocks-Passage, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of jeff1973
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

jeff1973, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of LoFiDave
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

LoFiDave, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of dipso123
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

dipso123, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of dertyd
4/5  rDev +1.5%

dertyd, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev +1.5%

illidurit, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of henskejk
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

henskejk, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev +1.5%

KevinGordon, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of Resuin
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Resuin, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%

Appearance - Pours a semi-hazy, light golden color with an off-white, near 2 finger head. Fair retention, giving way to a thin but everpresent film of bubbles across the top. Small, spotty lacing with good stick.

Smell - Strong citrus aroma. Orange essence and grapefruit. Moderate pine. Light bready notes sit beneath.

Taste - Strong hop character from start to finish. Grapefruit and orange pith bitterness. Hints of pine follow shortly. Light, but noticeable bready malt presence. Finishes with an orange rind bitter quality.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with crisp, lively carbonation. Goes down smooth and easy before a semi-dry finish.

Overall - An aptly names brew, Alpha Session clocks in at 3.8% but kicks like your classic West Coast IPA hop bomb. Lots of strong citrus flavor presented in a light, refreshing body. Somewhat reminiscent of Deschutes Twilight and Widmer Citra Blonde. Good summer brew.

TheSixthRing, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of reverbking
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

reverbking, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of PhilDaBrewer
3.86/5  rDev -2%

Let me start out with what this beer is not: It is not a great IPA. It's too light in, well everything, to be a great IPA. Light bodied, light hoppy taste, light hoppy aroma. Light. It is however a very good SESSIONABLE IPA.
For a beer that's under 4% ABV, it has a TON of all the above. Citrus hop aroma, citrus hop taste, nice finish. In fact, it's actually kind of amazing. How do they pack so much flavor into such a light beer? If you want a great IPA, try something else, if you want a beer that you can drink all day without getting completely snookered, you can't do much better than this.

PhilDaBrewer, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%

A: into a pint, golden beer with a few fingers of whitish head; foam persisted all the way down, but the cap was alittle scummy-looking; some lace arms

S: wet and toasted grains, herbal and floral hops, bright yeastiness

T: way more flavorful than I expected - follows the nose insofar as the malts and hops; some toasty flavors, nice herbal suggestions, very nice bitterness level

M: light, brisk, crisp, fuzzy/sparkly carbonation, drying finish

O: I do not session drink, but got this thanks to jdhowe, and I wasn't really expecting much. A really nice beer. Very drinkable ('natch), and a well-rounded pale ale - the malts, hops, and yeasts meld perfectly.

Greywulfken, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of Waveoff
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Waveoff, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +1.5%

AgentMunky, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of bird22
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

bird22, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +1.5%

SocalKicks, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%

Bottled on 5/22/13
poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish IPA glass

Appearance: (4.25)
Pours a crystal clear blond with a sizable, 3 fingers tall off white head. The head has great retention and leaves a nice web of lacing behind as it slowly recedes.

Aroma: (4.5)
Positively bursting with very bright and astringent tropical fruit; kiwi, peach, passion fruit, mango and of course, grapefruit. There is a moderate pine-y earthiness that adds some welcomed depth and contrast to the very tropical centric hop aroma. Underneath the juicy hops, there is a faint cracker-like malt presence.

Taste: (4.25)
Grapefruit and lemon peel immediately slap your palate with an accompanying note of earthy pine resin. The beer closes very dry with a kiss of a light cracker malt backbone before the long, lingering and very nuanced, bitter hop finish. Lively and very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: (4.5)
Crisp, light body with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: (4.5)
A phenomenal, refreshing ale that packs in a ton of hop expression and flavor in a session-able ABV format. I do wish that the tropical notes that are found in the nose were carried over a bit more in the flavor profile, but over this is a Hop Head's dream of a session ale. Crisp, hoppy and refreshing, this is about as close to hop soda as one can get.
Highly recommended

flayedandskinned, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +1.5%

FLBeerGuy, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of magictacosinus
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%

Glad I nailed a single bottle of this recently - I wanted to see what all the fuss was about around here. I can't recall having a beer this low in ABV in a long time. Poured into a nonic pint glass out of a 12oz bottle.

Pours a very pale amber color, clear as they can be, with large patches of bubbles that eventually disperse and scatter about upward in random ways. About 3 fingers worth of head top the glass, and eventually descend to about a half finger of foam, which is pretty good considering what this is working with. Good retention. Barely any lacing. Looks like a solid rendition on the traditional British session style, only with an American twist.

The initial aroma consists of extremely bright, resinous hoppy phenols that I know Drake's for, ranging from pine, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, but that surprisingly goes away quickly. At first it's highly present, but I was surprised how much this changed over the course of 15 minutes. From the dried citrus flavor, it turns into a faded lemon/orange peel combo that melds with a light, biscuit-y graininess that is warm, albeit dull in comparaison to the initial burst of hops. Feels faded and empty over time. Barely any substance to the malts at hand. Sort of disappointing.

The flavor does luckily have a lot more going for it, and it's mainly due to the malt and grain profile being far more accentuated here. There's a flavor of light cereal grains, lightly toasted barley, and slight earthiness awash with huge amounts of lemon peel, limes, and perhaps a touch of grapefruit. Even though this is 50 IBUs, I can barely notice the hop pungency. The flavors balance together well, and also benefit from the touch of sweetness from the alcohol, but something feels... Empty, flavor wise. I realize this is meant to be an easy drinking, authentic session beer, but I honestly feel this could be far more flavorful. It lacks stickiness from the hop resins, and I feel that if they opted for a more toasted, barley flavor that the pale golden variety, it'd be even closer to whatever they would be trying to go for here.

This does seem like a tricky beer to make, and with its good carbonation and solid mouthfeel, this never is a chore to drink, and indeed, the lightness with the slightly interesting hop profile makes this an ideal warm weather beverage. But I think it's too delicate for the style, and it loses a lot of initial gas way too fast right at the beginning. Quaffable, but not the most memorable Drake's offering.

magictacosinus, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Fatehunter
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured a nice looking finger and half of head on a hazy straw colored body with lot of bubbles.
The aroma is grain with some lemon and mandarin.
The taste is moderately bitter with a good malt to it without the sweetness.
It has a softer crisp texture with moderate carbonation.
Pretty nice.

Fatehunter, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of Ilovebeer1549
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Ilovebeer1549, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of emaciated
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

emaciated, Jun 02, 2013
Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.