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Happy Hops - Russian River Brewing Company

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Happy Hops
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

269 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 269
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 24
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ArrogantB on 08-21-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by baybassboy:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Toronado
San Diego, CA

Clear dark orange and amber with an inch of off-white, big bubbled foam that leaves regular lines of lace down the glass. Very pretty.

Certainly a hop-forward aroma, with nice, bright citrus elements throughout, balanced incredibly well by cereal/pale malts. Nearly perfect for a pale ale, though not quite as powerful as Hoppy Birthday, Zombie Dust, etc.

The flavor is also a complete hop-lover's dream, with bright citrus, moderate bitterness, and some earthy, bready elements balancing everything out nicely. Incredibly drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

I could drink this one over, and over, and over, and over again.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Russian River brewpub. A light orange and yellow mixture, evidently is not one of their heartiest brews, this one has a more innocent appearance. But then again, both Pliny's are plenty yellow and have good clarity just like this one. Nice white head on it. Hops are nice, but not as massively pungent as most Russian River hoppy ales. Maybe the happy hops reference is just about them being light and not jam packed into each other.

As usual, a super light bready malt bill that is as minimal as possible to continue making a great hoppy beer. An unexpected resin and herbal compound in the mouthfeel unlike anything I've ever tasted with Russian River, kind of different, don't know what its all about.

This beer is now part of the hoppy pale ale series, and it is somewhat similar to Row 2 Hill 56, but simply less gusto, less bursting right out the bottle, invigorating your nasal cavities and palate, this one is more like the Russian River vibe filtered through some really mellow Jimmy Buffett like tunes and relaxed essence. If you're looking for hop and ibu punch, this one probably won't fit the bill. Its very good, but its also on the low end for Russian River's stuff.

Photo of abaer123
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at RRBC on September 26 on a pilgrimage to refill my Pliny growler. I had the growler refilled with Pliny. And bought a second growler to take this back with me. Now I have two growlers from RRBC. I don't think this is a bad thing....

Appearance - golden orange

smell - hoppy hoppy happy! i love the smell of hops and this beer delivers.

taste - this is what did it for me. the citrus flavors and nice bitter finish is what i enjoy so much about this beer. i would love to go back and get some more. maybe today? :)

mouthfeel - full. i almost started swishing it around because i enjoyed it so.

overall - i really enjoyed this beer and hope it becomes a permanent resident on their offerings. maybe even available at the store - that would be great!

Photo of lisomiso
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the boys who shared this one with me. I love session beers and I could have drunk this all night... It's nothing transcendent, nothing paradigm-shifting, just fragrant, crisp, and easy-drinking. Nice and dry while not overwhelmingly bitter. Sadly, there was only one growler betwixt the four of us, so we moved on.

Photo of nataku00
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

On tap into a pint glass. Beer was clear bright orange with half a finger of off white foamy head. Sticky lacing as the head dissipates to a collar of small bubbles and an off white film on the surface. Well carbonated.

Nose is very mild, some light herbal and grassy notes, some light orange peel and tropical fruit. Not very aromatic.

Taste is better, herbal grassy marijuana like flavor, followed by citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Bitterness is well balanced by a nice biscuit malt. Finish is clean and dry.

Light body and fizzy on the tongue. Very easy to drink and almost sessionable, though more aroma would have been nice.

Photo of DearthVader
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Blue Palms.

Pours a hazy burnt gold color with a 1/2" white head that fell slightly to a nice foam cap for the remainder of the beer. Left minimal lacing in the nonic pint glass.

Smells of grass, pine, hops, and toasted honey.

Taste is up front with the toasted honey flavor that flows straight into the wet earthy hops. Definite wheat flavors with a burnt character to them. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy for the style, but like always Russian River makes it work. Kind of a straw like feel when the brew was at it's coldest point.

Very sessionable beer. I hope they consider bottling this. It would make for a great summer brew.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler from the brewery. This beer is no longer a blond ale, it's part of the hop growers series of pale ales. I initially reviewed this back in 2008, and I'm fairly certain it had a completely different recipe back then, more of a semi-hoppy blond ale.

Appearance: Stunningly clear pale amber body capped by two inches of sticky, frothy head. Very inviting.

Smell: Sweet citrus, primarily tangerine and orange, supported by a dry cereal grain malt backbone. The previous batch of this beer had an unusual blueberry character, but I don't get that in this one. Smells very clean and attenuated, which is exactly what I would expect from a hoppy RRBC beer. The aroma doesn't explode from the glass like Row 2, but it's still excellent.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet orange and tangerine citrus notes up front, with an herbal spiciness beneath. Becomes a little more earthy and resinous toward the finish. This has a solid malt backbone, but it's light and dry, supremely quaffable. Lower-medium level of bitterness in the finish, very clean and bright.

Overall: Great. I'd drink this often were it more available. This is a notch below the incredible Row 2, but decidedly better than Segal Select. An excellent addition to RRBC's growing selection of low alcohol, hop-forward ales.

Photo of xhcadamx
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - light golden color with a carbonated bubbly head. Lacing is present.

S - Piney hops and not much else

T - smooth and clean blonde ale that has an extremely welcomed hop bite; in bitterness as well as flavor

M - light as hoped for in a blonde ale

D - its a tasty beer but there are better to move onto.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semi-clear golden color, big fluffy white head.

Hugh citrus, tangerine, orange, clementine nose. Piney woody simcoe.

Dank piney flavor. Pineapple and citrusy. Super dry. Lots of hop flavor, low on bitterness. Very easy to finish off a growler of this.

Photo of SDDanC
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured into pint glass on tap. Light amber in color with about a fingers worth of head. Fresh pine in the hop nose, like an evergreen forest of the american northwest. Taste is hoppy, but without the spicy bite you'd expect to come with hops. Floral and crisp. Very settling and calm in character. Overall, good blonde to have with dinner, refreshing and versatile.

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - a bit darker than the blind pig. less carbonation apparent bit bigger head (sticky and frothy)

s - bitter like the pliney but a hint of funk and spices. almost a slight taint of cinnamon in the back but mixed with some sweeter spicy notes.

t - a littlw less exiting than the slap in the face there other ales have but still intetesting. a litle less defined than there other brews but i slightly expected that considering i havent seen it bottled.

m - light like a blonde. refreshing and balanced. low - medium carbonation level.

o - not bad. didnt meet my expectations. definitely experimental.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to schmoopsbeer for getting this growler out my way. Served in a Russian River TION goblet. I need a Russian River "hops" tulip. This is currently the #10 American Blonde Ale.

Pours a clear light peach color with a two-finger white head and plenty of spotty lacing on the way down. Half a cap and a nice collar throughout. The nose bursts forth with some really nice tropical aromas and a good dosing of citrus as well. Mango and a some orange predominate. Slightly floral as well. The taste combines the hop elements quite well, especially in the feel. Not too much malt taste, just a bit of breadiness that lends a very slight chewiness to the body. Good bitterness and carbonation. Really solid brew. Wouldn't expect anything less from Vinnie and crew.

Photo of Nugganooch
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the source – 06/14/2014
Full Pint - now brewed with Mosaics

A: Light straw pale body with some caramel tones and great visibility to it. Thin layer of ivory white foam settles across the top leaving behind a few minor dots and streaks of lace.

S: Super floral hops on the nose with citrus zest and accents of passion fruit or some type of exotic cactus fruit there. I get some slightly muted herbals as well. Very nice and hoppy with a nice tropical twist to it.

T: Juicy floral hops with tangerine citrus and that distinct passion fruit quality. Somewhat tropical and herbal at the same time. Like dragon fruit or cactus pears. There is a nice bready malt cracker at the base with some light subtle hop bitterness that peppers the palate. Slightly resinous but overall just very clean, balanced, and refreshing to drink.

M: The mouth feel is light and frothy on the tongue with some moderate bitterness and a good drying effort in the finish. Touch of residual goodness hanging around afterwards.

D: Light hoppy and quite refreshing to drink. Happy Hops is extremely crushable. If RR had a “session IPS” this be it. Mosaics make this one really pop. Highly recommended.

Photo of PerHops
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler, poured one day after fill, almost exactly 24 hours.

A- Golden orange, with a nice head and near perfect lacing.

S- Lots of juicy aromatic hops not quite the smell of an ipa, but rivals row 2 as one of the best pales I've ever had.

T- Wow. This is better than most ipas I've tasted. Tons of tropical fruit, but a citrusy, lemony semi dry finish that makes this too easy to drink.

M- Perfect carbonation especially considering it was served from a growler a day old.

O- Im so glad I had the last impulse to get a growler of this instead of a second hopfather. Better than I remember it being, this is one of the best beers of this style I have had the pleasure of trying. Once again Russian River proves themselves to be the best of the best.

Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub the other day. Probably would not have tried, but for the fact they were out of Pliny.

The beer pours a bright golden color with good head retention and exceptional lacing. Don't get a lot on the nose, except for some light honey and citrus from hops. The flavors replicate the nose, except there is a lovely light honey flavor, with a huge wash of hops. While the beer finishes on a dry hoppy note, it's not heavy or the least bit over the top. Everything in this beer is very lightly done, and drinkability is incredible. How I wish this beer was around when I was drinking pitchers in college. The beer is incredibly light on its feet, tasting exactly like what it is: a very light blond ale, but with a huge hop presence.

For what it is, this is a very impressive beer from RR. Well done!

Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

528th review on BA
Draft to Pint
@ Toronado San Diego

Consumed 5/29/11

App- A very dark golden orange with some amber and yellow highlights. A one finger head and not a lot of cling.

Smell- Big spicy hops. Not really the aromatics I was thinking. I was thinking it would be soft, floral. Nice supris

Taste- A very different direction for the style. I was quite surprised again. Very nice deep hops with a little bit of sweetness behind it. More of a IBU full single IPA.

Mouth- Medium body and medium carb level. Left a full hop feel on the mouth

Drink- Was tasty and new to try. I like Vinnys base beers a lot. This was tasty and balanced. A bit bigger and full drinking.

Photo of Cmack15
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap while visiting the Brew Pub in Santa Rosa. The beer has a nice light color, good carbonation and a strong piney hop aroma. The beer has a dry finish and the piney hops linger. Another nice beer from one of the greatest breweries out there.
cheers

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Russian River.

A - Served a very clear yellow with a thin white head.

S - Very citrusy and floral. Very floral.

T - The floral flavors over powered everything here.

D - Average all-around.

O - Do you like spring flowers? This is the beer for you then.

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light glowing transparent body with no head. A good amount of carbonation.

Nice sweet caramel malts. Grass and light resiny pine. Apple and melon.

Medium roasted malts with a good bitter finish. Good balance light but with character.

Nails it with the nice light chewiness. Piney hop finish.

Drinkable, refreshing. A great pale ale.

Photo of kojevergas
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to baybassboy for giving this to me in a trade. This is my first growler review of all time; who'd have known I'd have 2000 beers prior to reviewing one from a growler? Baybassboy picked this one up at Russian River last weekend and was kind enough to share the wealth. Growler served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are quite high given the brewery.

Served cold. Poured from straight above (it's hard to manipulate a growler) with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a frothy two finger beige colour head of good cream, great thickness, and fantastic retention - especially considering it's a growler pour. Body colour is a pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks quite good for the style. I'd estimate retention is a good four minutes. Lacks notable lacing.

Sm: Nectary floral hops, pale malts, a soapy note, detergent, and citrus. Pleasant all around, though it may have spent too long in primary. A fresh mild strength aroma.

T: Nectary floral character. Well layered pale malts. A bit of soapy/detergent character, but it's forgivable. Still, the balance does suffer. Refreshing and tasty. Hop bitterness never comes through. Hop nectar is the dominant note throughout, and lends the flavour its cohesive unity. Still, I'd like to see a bit more of a malty foundation. Fresh and pleasant. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and refreshing. Carbonation is actually quite adequate; I'm surprised given that it's a growler pour. Suits the flavours nicely. Good presence on the palate. Quite soft.

Dr: Extremely drinkable. Very flavorful for the style. I'm liking it more and more as it warms and as I attenuate to it. Another solid beer from Russian River. The ABV is nowhere to be seen. I'd have this again, preferably with spicy food. I'll have no problem finishing this entire growler within the next forty minutes.

High B

Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the RRBC brewpub.

A: Golden orange, great clarity, wonderful head retention and excellent lacework.

S: Hops. Orange blossoms, bright and fresh. Hops are heavy on the aroa front with only a mild bitterness. Not much sweetness either.

T/M: Opens up with a lot of spicy citrus hops. Spicy and earthy with the unique thing to me about this beer being the hop character that showcases the spicy hops. Fairly light and dry with no hops with great carbonation and a nice dry finish

D: Not a style I enjoy, so I might not order it again but it delivers what's promised - a hoppy blonde

Photo of cosmicevan
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

big thanks goes out to GrumpyOldTroll, jbuddle, Sean9689, SpeedwayJim, AgentZero, dtmets84 for sharing in the greatest day of beer that i have ever been a part of. huge thanks to mike for sharing this.

notes from 1/12/2013

consumed from a russian river glass.

has an almost classic ipa look...semi-transparent orange with a foamy head. smells really fresh, but subtle hops. very sessionable feels like a pale ale aught to. a bit watery and light but could drink it all day. reminds me of row 2/hill 56 but maybe more watery and hoppy.

Photo of scottfrie
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

“Not really a Blonde Ale, not a Pale Ale, not an IPA. Happy Hops is light colored refreshing ale with a pronounced hop character.” –RR website

A: Pours a clear caramel amber with a huge off-white head that slowly faded into a thin, oily film that left rings of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Extreme notes of fresh grapefruit, lemon zest, and pine. This, as is most of RRiver’s none Belgian-style brews, is crazy uber-hoppy and fresh smelling. The grapefruit is so fresh and sweet smelling I could have sworn this was a glass of grapefruit juice.
T: The flavor is not nearly as sweet or hoppy as the nose suggested which makes sense since this isn’t an ipa. It’s still fruity and hoppy, but there is a good dose of biscuity malt and earthen tones as well. The thing about this beer is there is no, and I mean no, hop bitterness at all in the finish.
M: Surprisingly light and crisp mouthfeel with a light body and low carbonation. Goes down light and easy.
O: Hoppy for a blonde, but pretty mellow for an ipa. Forget style it’s simply a good drinking beer. With no bitterness and a light body this beer is like drinking water.

Photo of MickeyHops
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/6/09 10 oz pour at O'Briens

Appearnce is clear and golden.

Smell is somewhat faint and hoppy.

Taste is quite hoppy for a blonde ale. Hops are emphasized with a lighter body. Mouthfeel is on the ligher side.

This is extremely drinkable, and dare I say, a great session brew at a little over 5% ABV. Hops are out front but the overall feel is on the light side. Worth a try for hop lovers that are looking for a break from more intense, high ABV beers.

Photo of litheum94
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at RR. 6.05 ABV

Clear golden body. Bone white head that leaves a small covering.

Subtle citrus hops and a clean and crisp cereal grain aroma. Actually reminds me slightly of a pils.

Tangerines and floral hops, with light spicing. Very clean malt bill, crisp and dry. Some barley flavors. More juicy citrus on the finish, with some leafy hops.

Another tasty brew by Vinnie.

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Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.