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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

172 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 172
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
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
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Ratings: 172 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LoFiDave
LoFiDave

California

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

07-03-2013 22:46:58 | More by LoFiDave
Photo of dipso123
dipso123

California

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

07-03-2013 03:35:07 | More by dipso123
Photo of dertyd
dertyd

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-30-2013 08:17:08 | More by dertyd
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-29-2013 02:37:51 | More by illidurit
Photo of henskejk
henskejk

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

06-27-2013 17:05:28 | More by henskejk
Photo of KevinGordon
KevinGordon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-24-2013 18:06:17 | More by KevinGordon
Photo of Resuin
Resuin

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

06-23-2013 15:37:05 | More by Resuin
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 01:11:17 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of reverbking
reverbking

California

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

06-22-2013 15:54:26 | More by reverbking
Photo of PhilDaBrewer
PhilDaBrewer

Indiana

3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 01:19:52 | More by PhilDaBrewer
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 21:37:44 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of Waveoff
Waveoff

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

06-18-2013 00:26:42 | More by Waveoff
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-15-2013 03:54:59 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of bird22
bird22

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

06-14-2013 22:18:43 | More by bird22
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-14-2013 05:19:15 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of flayedandskinned
flayedandskinned

California

4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 05:28:30 | More by flayedandskinned
Photo of FLBeerGuy
FLBeerGuy

Florida

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-09-2013 16:50:55 | More by FLBeerGuy
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 05:03:12 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 03:17:55 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Ilovebeer1549
Ilovebeer1549

California

3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

06-04-2013 02:43:23 | More by Ilovebeer1549
Photo of emaciated
emaciated

California

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

06-02-2013 22:48:53 | More by emaciated
Photo of jdhowe
jdhowe

California

4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 05/06/13.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a thin bubbly white head. A little cloudy, but otherwise very nice.

S: Smells strongly of piney and citrusy hops. The nose is much bigger than the 3.8abv "session" quality would suggest. Probably one of the best smelling low-abv beers I've had.

T: Strong in flavor, but really only in bitterness. Sure, it's a "NorCal Bitter." For only 50 IBUs I did not expect this to be nearly as bitter as it was, however, and I really would have loved a little more flavor from the hops to show through. This beer is less than a month old, so I doubt that it has lost its hoppy flavors, so I'm left concluding that it never had them in the first place. I expected very little malt flavor due to the low ABV, but the lack of hop flavor is a little shocking given the packaging emphasis on their dry-hopping. A bit of a let-down after the nose. Not bad, but I'm not excited to finish the rest of the 4-pack.

M: A nice, smooth, well carbonated, and highly drinkable beer. Very good session beer feel, but nothing special.

O: A nice beer. It smells fantastic, but I really wish the taste had followed the nose more closely.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 05:32:57 | More by jdhowe
Photo of ambruns1979
ambruns1979

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

06-02-2013 04:08:26 | More by ambruns1979
Photo of KevT
KevT

California

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had the beer both at the brewery and around town and have to say this beer tastes and smells way better when served at Drake's. This observation makes me think that this nice hoppy session beer probably is best when it is fresh and has been handled delicately.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2013 03:15:46 | More by KevT
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours a light gold. It looks like there's a bit of haze in there, but it might be my imagination. Decent white head. Fine bubbles. Little lacing, decent retention. The aroma is crackery pale malt with lemon-pine-floral hops. It's a nice, bright hop flavor. A tad lighter than I'd like, but it's a minor complaint, and I'm probably expecting a bit much from a 3.8% abv beer. The taste is fresh and light. Just a touch of sugary malt sweetness but it's dry and refreshing, overall. Good floral pine hop flavor in the taste. Carbonation is normal. Light on the palate. Solid session beer. I just wish that it was available year-round and a bit cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2013 05:36:22 | More by popery
Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.