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Happy Hops - Russian River Brewing Company

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Happy Hops
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

253 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 253
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 21
Gots: 15 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ArrogantB on 08-21-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 253 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%

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.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

Thorpe429, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

nmann08, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.1%

zestar, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Texasfan549, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

spycow, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

GRG1313, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +9%

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.

largadeer, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.1%

JAHMUR, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

SocalKicks, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

nickfl, May 04, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

MasterSki, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

drabmuh, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%

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

kojevergas, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%

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.

yourefragile, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -3.1%

orangesol, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

Georgiabeer, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -3.1%

drewone, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +9%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%

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!

John_M, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +9%

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.

HopHead84, Apr 16, 2012
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Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 253 ratings.