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Happy Hops - Russian River Brewing Company

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Happy Hops
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

60 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 270
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 4.11%
Wants: 25
Gots: 23 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 270
Photo of PerHops
4.87/5  rDev +17.6%
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. (769 characters)

Photo of drgarage
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled on July 13. Sampled many times over the days since. Based on the intensity of aroma, this is quite fresh.

A: Clear, classic American pale ale, between golden and amber. Nice head, receding to a small cap with lots of lacing. Pretty much what you'd hope for, though nothing out of the ordinary.

S: SO MUCH mosaic! Very fruity and resinous nose. Definite melon and berry aroma abounds.

T: The nose, but more so. Minimal malts, coated in delicious blueberry/watermelon.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, so so poundable. It's hard to believe I didn't finish the growler in the first day of opening. Easily the most drinkable Russian River beer. Which is saying something.

O: Totally spectacular for its class, and not generally in the conversation for best American pale. I like this better than anything else I've had, including Zombie Dust, Row 2, and several others with the hype. Make mine Happy Hops! (914 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this beer on tap at Russian River as well as from a growler a day after my visit. The beer has a nice bright golden color. The smell pulls you in with lot of sweet citrus notes and only slight hints of pine. The beer has a thin white head but sufficient carbonation. The flavor is as good as any pale ale I've had. This was the best beer I tasted from Russian River on my trip out there. The initial taste is light and citrusy. The flavor is sweeter than most pale ales with only enough bitterness to keep the beer in balance. This beer was a hit with veteran beer drinkers as well as novices on NYE. In terms of comparison, the beer was less aggressive than Pliny and a bit sweeter. I would ship this beer in by the case if it were bottled. The incredible balance within the use of hops sets this beer apart. The sweetness is certainly not a cloying sweetness; it was just the one aspect that set it apart from the other pale ales at Russian River in my opinion. (969 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden straw color, with a white head.

S: Tropical fruit and citrus in the nose.

T: Hoppy, citric, and notes of tropical fruit. Delicious pale ale.

M: Typical pale ale body/carbonation. Very drinkable.

O: Well worth a trip to Russian River from anywhere in the bay area. A great pale ale. (295 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, bright golden orange color with a medium white head that hangs around for a little. Scent is hoppy as hell! Definitely does not smell like a blonde ale...in fact, the server told me they labeled it as an American Pale Ale. Either way, it smells delicious! Dank hops with a bit of citrus and a lot of pine. Taste is exactly as it smells. Tons of fresh hop flavor and bitter pine taste. Lovely citrus and floral notes with roasted malt. A very well-balanced beer. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp...very refreshing. Drinkability is very high. Overall, I've ranted and praised Three Floyds and Half Acre for their amazing way of crafting American Pale Ales (Alpha King, Zombie Dust, Daisy Cutter)... and Russian River now steps in to that playing field. Apparently they weren't content with just being king of IPAs/DIPAs/Wild Ales...They now compete with the best in the APA category. Awesome beer! (904 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (1,286 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/15/2012

Growler into a snifter. Thanks!

A: Yellow gold with white sea foam that recedes in a cavernous fashion. Great retention and wicked lacing. Nice color.

S: Vibrant orange and tangerine with some spicy grapefruit. Faintly floral with restrained cracker notes. Really aromatic and excellent.

T: Super bright and fresh hop profile. Bold orange and grapefruit flesh with a smooth upper low bitterness. Crackery malt profile and a light herbal note midpalate. Very dry and hop focused. The finish is crisp, clean, and hoppy, with a light resin note.

M: Upper light to lower medium body. Dry and crisp mouthfeel.

Overall: A very enjoyable hoppy Pale. Bright and incredibly drinkable. (692 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hops make me very happy indeed.

Had this at the source.

This pours a golden color with billowy foam. The aroma is crisp, with orangy citrus notes. Clear and bright with a nice finish that has hints of biscuit and bready notes. A real easy drinker—almost too easy. (267 characters)

Photo of Sideswipe
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the always generous Arbitrator. Thank you Mihir!

Amber to orange in color. Two fingers of snow white foam recede leaving intricate lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose is sweet citrus and pale malt. Smells great! Taste opens with mild hop bitterness. Notes of orange and peach are well balanced by a nice malt backbone. Sugar cookies and citrus in the finish with a slightly bitter aftertaste which lingers a bit. Feel is decidedly light with an evervescent level of carbonation. A very tasty offering from Russian River. More like an APA than a Blonde Ale in my opinion, but hey, it's a darned fine brew regardless. I'd grab it over any other Blonde Ale I've had, hands down. Recommended. (709 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review this is the #8 American Blonde Ale. Growler shared by Thorpe served in a Bruery tulip.

Beer is amber / yellow and clear with a big white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is hop forward, very hoppy. Nice pine and citrus aromas, very nice smelling beer.

Beer is medium to light in body, nicely hopped on the palate but the finish is moderately bitter, when asked to guess the IBUs I guessed 35 - 40 but this is closer to 30 as it turns out. A great beer, the star of the night in fact. I'd have it again, highly drinkable, good mouthfeel. (616 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (253 characters)

Photo of Giovacchini
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- clear amber with a thin white head.

S- tropical fruits, floral hops, and honey.

T- Orange, mango, apricot, floral hops, subtle breadiness, and sweet maltiness.

M- mild carbonation with nice bitterness for the style.

O- I was impressed by this beer. I am a sucker for beers with tropical fruit hop aromas and this beer does the trick. Another great beer from RR. Love me my hoppy beers. (392 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear pale straw colour with a small, white head. Good head retention.

Moderately intense fresh and fruity, citrussy hops. Some sweet malt. Well balanced.

Clean, fresh and fruity flavour. To me this is a good APA flavour with pink grapefruit, pine and lots of taste. Bitterness not too high. Nice.

Medium-light body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A solid, hoppy APA. I really like the fruit flavour here. Solid. (431 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at RR back in August. Listed at 5.57% with 33 IBUs and an OG of 1.053 at the pub. I really like this interpretation of an American Blonde. It's not usually a favorite of mine, but I like the combination of softness and clean, citrusy hops in this one. Pours a honey/peach color with a fairly high head that fades but leaves some very nice lacing. Smells clean and with relatively gentle citrusy hops, lightly sweet malt, and fresh grain. There is a bit of stone fruit as well. The taste has a bit of apricot up front followed by some beautifully zingy, citrusy hops, and a light, fruity malt sweetness. Delicious. The mouthfeel is crisp, spicy, and clean. Very easy to drink. I think this one best had fresh, preferably at the pub. (740 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewpub.

Golden orange, nice clarity, large white head with excellent retention and lacing. Intense fresh hop aroma of citrus and pine. Flavor has light bready malt background providing a chewy body underneath the sweet and juicy orange and grapefruit hops and floral bitterness. Nice body, medium thick with light carbonation and a clean finish. Very enjoyable. (380 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (1,192 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (683 characters)

Photo of Klym
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery.

This was really enjoyable. A nice thicker mouthfeel with really tame but non stop hop flow that simmered on the tongue throughout. A really well balanced and highly sessionable pale ale with some unusual characteristics. Grab a growler if you're near the brewery! (291 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a clear copper-orange color with a half-finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down fairly quickly and leaves behind some nice lacing.

S - The aroma is a mix of citrus hops with some other fruity elements (mango) and a bit of spiciness as well. There is also some sweet caramel malts as well.

T - Starts off with a good kick of citrus hops with again some mango mixed in with some light bitterness and some sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, the mango and bitterness grow with the malt flavors getting a bit richer. The finish is a mix of sweet malts, hops, bitterness, and a bit of yeast that lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It feels smooth with a nice dry sharpness to it.

D - Very drinkable. Really interesting and unique hop profile that is really nice from start to end. The mango flavor is defiantly different. Overall, I really like this beer. (903 characters)

Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is similar to RR's IPA but with some different fruit notes than any of the other beers of theirs that I've tried. It pours a bright beautiful golden. The head on my beer could have stuck around a bit more. The smell was a bit weak, but there were some good honey and fruity notes to be found. The taste delivered on these fruit notes. There are some interesting apricot or plum flavors to the beer that aren't present in other RR beers. There was still the usual floral, pine, and citrus hop flavors from RR, but there was a bit more complexity on the sweet end of the spectrum. It could use a bit more balancing bitterness. I kept going back for more despite some initial hesitation. (694 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap a Russian River. Served in a pint glass.

A - White foam settles to a thin cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. Transparent golden body.

S - Spicy and dank hops, with notes of orange, grapefruit, and perhaps a hint of onion as well. Negligible malt character.

T - A tad more sugary malt here supporting the candied citrus, pine, juicy fruit, and zesty peel flavors. A bit of yeast and breadiness in there as well.

M - Medium-light body, juicy texture, dry finish, and pleasant moderate carbonation. No alcohol presence. Very refreshing.

D - It's a crushable hoppy pale ale. This may have been a traditional blonde ale back in 2008, but this is more in the mold of Walden these days. (691 characters)

Photo of raynmoon
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Even better on tap at the restaurant. It's dank and sort of dry, astringent, good bitterness. Is a single hop beer and drinks more complex than that. I had this blind next to pliny and likedthis one more. It's only a tad watery being 5.0%.

This growler will be easy to drink. (276 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
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! (817 characters)

Photo of lhaqq
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear gold, served with little (white) head.
S: Couldn't smell much. Some green tea, which I have smelled in a couple of their other brews (and exclusively so; haven't smelled it elsewhere).
T: Green tea, caramel, with a barley/wheat finish.
M: Not too much carbonation, smooth. Good mix of sweet and sour flavors.
D: Great beer, but somewhat strong flavors so couldn't have too many. (387 characters)

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Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.