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Happy Hops - Russian River Brewing Company

Happy Hops
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

198 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 198
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ArrogantB on 08-21-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

2.4/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is supposedly like a hoppier golden ale and it succeeds in being light in body and flavour and clearly leaning to the bitter and hoppy side. This seems to be because of a lack of malty strength and body, making the hops strong relative to the rest of the beer, rather than making the hops stand out because of absolute hoppiness. This is, as a result, not very good to me.

Pale golden, it has a smallish, off-white ehad, lasting and slowly shrinking to a thin, wispy top and leaving some decent lace.

The aroma is light, flowery grapefruit with maybe a hint of pine and citrus flowers and the weakest hint of toasted cracker - barely noticeable.

The flavour is much the same. It has a little light sweetness mostly with a citrusy character and only a hint of toasted cracker, soon dominated by bitter grapefruit that caries through the finish into the aftertaste. There is little body or malt flavour/character. As said above, the hops may not be strong in absolute terms, but they totally overpower the drink here because of a lack of flavour depth and balancing malt. This is not my glass of beer and I see no point in drinking it, but then I don't like beer that tastes like practically nothing but grapefruit pulp.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2008 16:10:21 | More by Offa
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.35/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2011 03:05:14 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Falling Rock for the Russian River kickoff in Colorado, this was described as a hoppy blonde ale. It smelled like serious west coast hops. The flavor was also very hoppy but it didn't make me think pale ale or IPA, very strange style-wise. There was also a soapiness to the flavor but it wasn't a detractor as well as an earthy stink. Many folks around me described this as an IPA but I disagree. It almost seemed like a heavily hopped redemption but at the same time it didn't seem like a belgian-style. Weird but good as is the case with RR.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2008 01:36:18 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
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

Serving type: growler

12-09-2012 05:47:39 | More by kojevergas
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
BerkeleyBeerMan

California

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2011 07:18:34 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of xhcadamx
xhcadamx

Maine

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2009 04:22:07 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2012 22:20:11 | More by nataku00
Photo of litheum94
litheum94

California

3.85/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 23:59:51 | More by litheum94
Photo of TheRealBigC
TheRealBigC

Nevada

3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah, a crisp APA to further diversify their dominance. It didn't blow my mind, but it was a solid, fully flavored brew that could be sesioned. It was notably juicy, with a malty push in the middle, but hops, hops, hops through and through. Could be likened to a Sierra Nevada. Good work again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2012 06:48:27 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2013 16:33:58 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of 4000qtrap
4000qtrap

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

5.56 ABV, 41 IBU
Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Nice herbal, medicinal, and grassyness. Some brown sugar and burnt toast which makes for an interesting profile.

Taste: Nice and bitter (herbal/grassy) with balanced brown sugar, caramel, and bread sweetness. Nice and smooth. The middle is quite sweet with more brown sugar along with bread and yeast added to the mix. The hops add depth, being herbal and medicinal. There is a definite spiciness in the background. The finish is more of the same, moderately bitter but also sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2010 07:45:47 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of alenonbeeradv
alenonbeeradv

California

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 01:13:14 | More by alenonbeeradv
Photo of IronCitySteve
IronCitySteve

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pumpkin looking orange color with a small white foam head that has minimal retention. There is really nice lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: A nice amount of citrus, pine and flowery hop character with a small amount of bready malt.

T: Starts off with a nice amount of piney and citrus hop character up front. There is also some caramel malts. In the middle, the malt character comes through more and more by adding biscuit to the caramel. This brew finishes the same as the middle.

M: A really nice medium bodied beer, nice carbonation. Leaves a slightly bitter taste on the palate.

O: This is a tasty brew from start to finish. Ample hop character but with enough malt character to balance it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2011 22:08:01 | More by IronCitySteve
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's Pub in San Diego, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and floral hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid hoppy aromas and flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2013 20:58:24 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery's outlet in Santa Rosa.

Pours a clear pale golden colour, with a very light body to it. Head is a fine ring of persistant white bubbles. No visible carbonation or lacing. Decent enough, if not exciting.

Nose is bright and clear, with appleskin coming through on first whiff, but revealing other characters of herbs and pepper on the revisit. There's also an underlying note of savoury grain giving some depth and complexity to the aroma. It's light overall, but quite nice stuff.

Taste continues some of these themes: apple comes through with a crisp cleanness on the front, followed by some grain that mingles nicely with some slightly earthy, slightly nutty hop characters. Mild, moderated bitterness comes through on the back, with a touch of fragrant herbs. It's very clean, and really very pleasant. Feel is light but consistent with the structure of the beer.

Super-drinkable brew. It reminds me of the balance and coherence of Blind Pig—again, not a huge beer, but a very enjoyable one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2012 22:24:05 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-07-19 in Santa Rosa, CA at the brew pub (from tasting notes)

A - Clear straw-orange with a 1/2-finger white head and mild lacing.

S - Light nose of tropical fruit and grain. Pleasant and inviting.

T - Italian bread-like pale malt, touch of blueberry without the sweetness, mild caramel, mild hop bud flavor and a reasonable grapefruit bitter finish. Subtle, well-balanced flavors may for a very enjoyable flavor.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O - The light touch of blueberry coupled with some bitterness give this beer a unique character yet doesn't stray far from the APA mold.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2012 11:00:15 | More by Tucquan
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught at the brewpub. Clear light gold with a creamy head. Bready, honey-like malt aroma with ample spicy hops as well. Solid bready malt flavor, light bitterness, and an oily, resiny hop flavor. Medium-light body with smooth carbonation. Almost seemed less hoppy than the aud blonde at first because of the added malt balance, but the green, oily hop flavor definitely lets you know that they didn't skimp on them. Quite nice, but not quite as refreshing as aud blonde for the lighter beer option.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2009 07:58:30 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of SDDanC
SDDanC

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2011 17:39:44 | More by SDDanC
Photo of Cmack15
Cmack15

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2011 22:29:16 | More by Cmack15
Photo of BrewerB
BrewerB

Florida

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wonderful girlfriend grabbed me a growler of this brew while she was picking up some Damnation 23 and Framboise for a Cure. Cheers to her!

This pours a medium-orange, excellent clarity. A 1-2 finger off white foam made its way to the top, retains well, leaves lacing aside the glass.

The nose alludes to perfumey and floral hops. Grapefruit rind.

Fresh, piney hops. Medium-high bitterness. Dry finish with a lingering citrus reminder. Mostly clean malt with a dash of biscuit.

Medium-light in body, moderately carbonated.

Overall this is a nicely made Blonde with a decent hop aroma and flavor. Hoppier than I expect for the style but I have a feeling that's exactly what the brewery was shooting for. Would gladly down another pint..heck, I got a growler to finish.

Serving type: growler

10-06-2011 01:55:14 | More by BrewerB
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2008 07:30:24 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: growler

01-20-2013 05:43:50 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2011 19:20:28 | More by FosterJM
Photo of lisomiso
lisomiso

California

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: growler

06-25-2011 20:26:38 | More by lisomiso
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River. Poured into a pint glass. Comes in at 5.56% and 41 IBUs. This version is different from the 2009 version as it is now listed on the board as a pale ale and not a hoppy blonde ale.

A-Pours a clear amber color. It has a fluffy one finger off white head that slowly collapses to a swirly layer of film. Lots of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. Leaves some nice lace. It looks completely different from last year's version.

S-Smells like a good pale ale. I get some earthy/pine hops, toasted pale malt, and just a touch of sweet malt.

T-It starts with a blend of sweet malt and toasted pale malt. There is grain flavor in there. It has a little bit of caramel sweetness mixed with earthy/pine hops as it goes down; this flavor dominates the aftertaste.

M-Medium bodied, very smooth, and well carbonated.

D-A really easy drinking pale ale.

I had no idea that they had changed this from last year's version. This one is definitely a little thicker and heavier, but still quite sessionable. A very good gateway beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2010 00:01:38 | More by mjl21
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Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.