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Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

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Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
ruth is, everyone has a birthday. And when you want to celebrate, this Session IPA is a gift to the senses. Made with 6 different hops, this bold brew is refreshing enough to enjoy again and again. Now, make a wish and blow out the candles. But don’t tell anyone, or your wish won’t come true.

69 IBUs

Added by HopHead84 on 05-24-2010

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Reviews: 459 | Ratings: 2,728
Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Flying Saucer

Clear golden orange with a fluffy finger of head that sticks around.

Pineapple, peach, and a little dankness.

Fairly pronounced bitterness and some light bready malt flavor breaks in. A little piney and tropical fruity.

Super solid.

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Photo of Prager62
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A best by date of 18 MAR 16, I'm guessing a batch code of F15282 poured into a 13oz. snifter.

Look- Pours a cloudy deep gold with a small amount of white foam that settles quickly.

Smell- Grapefruit forward with a little pine and onion.

Taste- Bitter grapefruit, followed by some pine, washed down with a heavy malt backbone.

Feel- Starts oily and finishes bitter and dry.

Overall- A good beer, but just a bit bitter and more malt than I care for. Drinks pretty large for a session rated at 5.25 abv.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Creature Comforts nonic pint glass. Label says Best By 01 OCT 16

A- Pours a light amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and some random wisps of surface foam.

S- Piney hop aroma.

T- Solid bitterness with more piney hop flavor and light bready malt backdrop. The bitterness lingers and the hop character is nice, though not as long-lasting.

M- Somewhat sharp from the hops with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- A solid IPA that was a bit better when fresh but I just got around to reviewing it on the sixth beer out of the sixer.

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Photo of BigGold
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had poured from growler into clear plastic (poolside) water cup, and then into nonic pint. On first tasting, assumed this beer to be a traditional IPA, but pleased to learn it is actually a very sessionable hoppy APA.

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Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber fizzy brew with a decent foam in the pint shaker. On tap at Toma Sol in MIssion Hills. Richly hopped with a spritzy mouthfeel and friendly malty taste.

Hot and tangy on the tongue. Warm and toasty. Wonderful hoppy aromatics with a clean fruity taste and a bitter finish.

I know some are unhappy about the recent agreement to brew at the Green Flash facility, but in the last five years I have never seen Alpine on tap or in stores. Now I am suddenly seeing Alpine a lot of places, and the three I have tried are remarkably good. I don't see a loser here, unless people buy less Green Flash because there are better alternatives!

March 1, 2016 update: Had this on tap and found it underwhelming. Quite bitter but not much hop aromatics. Seemed like an excessively bitter Pale Ale. I would not have rated it very highly.

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Photo of puck1225
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Nice clear yellow gold, weak head, decent lacing. Nice piney smell with some floral notes. Taste was nicely hoppy and piney, with a bit of bitterness. Good beer!

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Photo of Tucquan
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2016-01-16 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge

A - Clear gold. Short white head.

S - Mild citrus and floral aroma. Light malt backbone.

T - Grapefruit, pine and a touch of light peach. Nothing exceptional tasting but I'd still have it again.

M - Light body and medium carb. Dry.

O - Kind of generic tasting compared to the Hill Farmstead Citra I just had.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BBD 7/12/16. Pours a clear copper. Outstanding head volume, world class lacing and retention.

Good, but a bit light, nose of citrus that is mostly orange and grapefruit with a dash of herbal dank.

Heavy light body with a smooth texture. World class carbonation with a middle effervescent burst and a rollicking finely bubbled prickly finish.

The outstanding hop flavor centered profile is reasonably intense, not very complex and well balanced. It begins with grapefruit then flows to tangerine as a slightly sweet middle emerges shifting the orange notes forward. The middle yields a moderate bitterness that is rind based with subtle dank undertones. The finish is a slow fade of rind.

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Photo of Beejay
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow, with a touch on tangerine. A very full white head on top, that develops a few craters, but seems to have some real staying power.

S: Big pine and citrus, with notes of grapefruit and orange peel

T: Lemon peel, orange zest, and resinous pine! They are some hops in this thing! Good amount of bitterness, with a long linger.

M: Medium light in body, with medium high carbonation. Very assertive feeling with a long lingering bitterness.

O: This is one hoppy beer! Tasty, very hop forward with loads of citrus and pine! I wish there was a little more complexity, but I guess I can settle for huge amounts of hops!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz growler acquired at Alpine two days ago. Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof given the brewery and high ratings. Price was somewhere around $20.00 for the growler.

Served after a warming period after its removal from the refrigerator; I like my hoppy beers cold but this one was a bit too cold. Poured into the glass from straight above because the weight of the growler prevented me from safely side-pouring. Retention will probably be a bit more pronounced than usual.

Let me note that I'm reviewing this as a pale ale, because that's what it is according to Alpine's blog. From the blog post dated 12/04/12:

"Today is the release of the world’s most celebrated beer “Hoppy Birthday.” Available for growler fills and on draught in the pub. This is technically a Pale Ale, but we make it like an IPA, with lots of hoppy goodness from hops like Citra and Nelson. 5.25% abv"

Not an IPA, but brewed like one. Don't shoot the messenger.

Paired with hard pretzels from Costco (all my money goes to beer, okay?).

A: Pours a four finger fluffy frothy beige colour head of great cream, good thickness, soft texture, and great retention (~6 minutes). Body colour is a pale transparent yellow-gold. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. The appearance is a bit lighter than I'd like for the style, but the head makes up for it. I'm excited to try this.

Sm: Nectary hops: citrus, grapefruit, some oily hop lacing, and above all floral character. Quite fresh, refreshing, and inviting. Very pleasant and clean. An above average strength aroma; mild in strength. Some lemongrass. Pale malts.

T: Nectary floral quality. Some unexpected bitterness just on the climax, but it's very quickly disguised by a marvelous floral hop character with tinges of light fruit esters - certainly a hint of lemon. Lemongrass constitutes a large part of the finish, though it's very clean and filtered; a witbier this is not. Some oily hop notes weave throughout the structure, emerging most notably just before the climax before dipping back down again. Very fresh and clean, aiding its refreshing character. No yeasty notes here, nor any alcohol. Pale malts lend body without intruding on the hop build, yet still the malts balance the hops without ever letting the flavour get too sweet. Grapefruit right on the climax, then it bleeds through the finish and remains through the aftertaste. I do get some subtle blood orange as a buried note, but now that I notice it it's there on the climax as well; very subtly executed. That's impressive. The balance is impeccable. Pine in the second act is also subtly done; I'm noticing more and more complexity as I search the flavour profile for new notes to latch onto - and there are plenty. Grassy sure, but the grains are all clean here, giving it a crisp body. What began as a seemingly simple brew is quickly revealing to me my own inability to intially detect its subtle qualities. God, that's refreshing. Some tangerine buried in the second act. Masterfully put together.

It's worth noting that the bitterness isn't fully concealed, which is a minor gripe but an important one.

Mf: Slightly undercarbonated, which I partly attribute to the growler. It does lend the beer a refreshing feel absent of the sharp bite of many complex IPAs (not that I'm alleging that this is an IPA). Smooth and wet, as it should be. Nectary. Not creamy, but then that wouldn't suit it. Thickness is perfect. Complements the flavour profile quite well. Perhaps it could be a bit more crisp and luscious. Good - if understated - presence on the palate. Delightfully buttery - an attribute that really does well alongside the nectary feel. Rather soft, aiding its drinkable refreshing quality. Remarkable.

Dr: The ABV is nowhere to be found, but then I didn't expect it to be. A delightfully drinkable pale ale that is amongst the best I've had. Would pair well with damn near any food. I'll have no issues finishing this growler, but I will regret it there's no more. I never heard any hype around this one, but I think it's a delightful pale ale. Certainly incredibly refreshing. They pack a remarkable amount of flavour into it while maintaining balance and keeping ABV low; that's incredibly difficult to accomplish. Another home run from Alpine. I'd recommend this to friends. A fantastic session beer (if you're not a 4% or less panzy, that is).

High B+

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Photo of Mdog
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold, filled with particles, good head.

Smell: Danky then some citrus/grapefruit rind.

Taste: Assertively bitter/hoppy, dank/vegetal mixed with citrus rind bitterness. Moderate body.

Overall: Glad to try another Alpine beer here in MN. I'm not the biggest danky hop fan but this beer had enough citrus and malt body to compose a good beer. Probably would be better in 12oz format instead of bombers.

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Photo of tarheels86
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Growler at Woodshop 7. Not exactly mega fresh since this hasn’t been brewed in awhile, but CP filled and immediately fridged by a Woodshop attendee (amtran maybe). Clear to chill haze golden pour. Spotty white foam. Nose is big mango and tangelo. Taste is tangy, nutty, rich, fresh and chewy butterscotch. Heavy, rich, quenching, elusive butterscotch quality only found in select West Coast IPAs like Port Wipeout, Alesmith IPA, Alpine Duet. Very yummy. Amazing palate. Very bitter through the long finish. Still holding up- will be a knockout fresh on tap. 7/23/2012 7/4/8/5/15=3.9

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L- Clear golden body, nice fluffy white head with low retention.
S- Strong notes of orange and grapefruit, and some grassy touch.
T- Starts with lots of citrus: orange, grapefruit and some passion fruit, ends in a fairly bitter floral taste.
F- Light and crisp.
O- Very good.

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Photo of -Rick
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: an orange/yellow color, with a nice white head that stuck around for a while
S: fruity, some grapefruit, mango, orange peel
T: less fruity than the smell, but still present. Aftertaste is a bit bitter
F: light with some nice carbonation
O: I had this right after having a Duet. A lighter and more tropic flavor. IMO, far superior to Duet, though I do not know that I would seek this one out again.

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Photo of Squire123
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice clear light golden color with moderate white cap and lacing.

Aroma is primarily resinous hops with a darker, stronger hop underlayer that is pungent and sharply herbal. Floral scent is present in a heavier way but not intrusive, something almost spicy but with a quick cutoff.

Flavor is certainly hop forward and lasting throughout with a tapering off in the aftertaste. Malt is present and carries the hops along but contributes more to the body than the flavor. It all works together but this is a hop show and the hops do sing out. Malt appears as the brew warms and hop flavor develops more fully. Not more hop flavor but one of more depth and intensity. For all that the hops don't cross over into bitterness territory but stay within bounds which is a rather neat balancing act.

Texture is light medium but is certainly no lightweight.

Brewer says they use 6 hop varieties for a combined total of 69 IBU. This combination works well to produce a rather pleasant if limited dimensional flavor. I mean, it is labeled Hoppy Birthday so one shouldn't be surprised that it is a brew that features hops. Billed as a session ale at 5.25% it is that and a refreshing one as well. Sometimes I think a "Session IPA" may be an ingenious solution to a non existent problem but as session ales go this one works well.

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Photo of rypkr
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts delicious, finishes very dry with a departing bitterness opposite of how it shows up. Not bad, but probably wouldn't buy again given other options.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light golden with a decent head and retention. Not much lacing. Great beer. Nose and palate are a ton of resinous, piney hops. Clean, crisp mouthfeel and finish with a lingering resin.

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Photo of Kevuas
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hoppy Birthday is labeled as a "Session India Pale Ale", although the alcohol content is on the high end of what most consider a session ale at 5.25%. The beer pours a deep gold color with plenty of foam retention. Made with six different hops and registering at 69 IBUs, the beer smells and tastes exactly how you would expect a beer made with that many hop strains to. There are grapefruit, mango, and floral aromas. Notably, a pine taste pervades the palate toward the end of the sip, and lingers on a bit afterward. This pine linger is by no means a undesirable characteristic, but full of flavor, and complements the front hop flavors nicely. Hoppy Birthday finishes dry and is well-balanced.

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Photo of do_ob
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Light golden on the pour, and settles a vibrant, medium golden in the glass. Great carbonation, great clarity, and topped off with about a finger of white, sticky foam. Modest aroma of light tropical fruit, dank pine, hops, and some light biscuity malt. The taste follows right along. This beer has some fruity highlights, but overall is more dank and pine/hop forward. A little onion on the taste as it warmed up. Very easy drinking, albeit a little more watery than I was hoping for. Still a great sessionable IPA.

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Photo of Cfred371
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer says best by June 10th, 2016, which is maddening considering it is December. This is a 12 ounce bottle, bottled and brewed by Green Flash

Look: the beer pours a clear Amber/dark yellow color, white lacing and some white head. Carbonation bubbles are there, but not super prevalent.

Smell: I initially got some mango, and after a swirl, some dank smells from the hops. I am not good at smelling the malt evidently. The dankness dominates.

Taste: The taste is similar to the nose: you get some tropical fruit briefly, followed by a fair amount of resin flavors.

Feel: I thought this was pretty dry and bitter, and a thin mouthfeel. Not amazing

Overall: If people complain about the GF versions of Alpine's brews, the Aloine version of Hoppy Birthday must be unreal. This is a good beer, albeit a bit thinner and less juicy than I prefer. As the beer warms, the beer becomes more tropical and a little less bitter.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus hops along with some pine.

Tastes of the bright hops with a small malt base. Hops lead off with plenty of citrus and pine. Malts add a touch of caramel sweetness, but not much. A bit of tropical fruits are present in the middle. Finishes with an herbal, almost spring onion type hop flavor and some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good, hopped up pale.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, best by date March 18, 2016 printed on the label. My first beer from Alpine Beer Company, though apparently my version is brewed by Green Flash. 'Green Flash' etched into the glass bottle, though the label says brewed and bottled by Alpine Beer Company, San Diego, California.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a nice golden orange body, typical of an IPA, with a finger of good frothy fluffy white head that leaves excellent spotty lacing.

S - Huge herbal hop nose. Dank and delicious smelling. Floral, fruity, & citrusy. Smells like straight up West Coast IPA goodness all around, which is impressive considering the lower abv. Fresh, soapy, & floral.

T - Taste follows the nose: very fresh, fruity, herbal, floral, & dank, especially at such a moderately low abv. Piney, herbal, earthy, & citrusy.

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, & creamy. Very easy-drinking stuff, light-bodied, and sessionable.

Overall, a nice sessionable IPA. Very West Coast style. Lots of flavor packed into this one for such a moderate abv. Recommended.

Alpine Beer Company Hoppy Birthday -----4/5.

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Photo of Lazhal
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Green Flash version of this from a Crowler. Opened the same day as filled.

A lot of reports indicate the Alpine version is much better. Based on my experience, I agree with this assessment.

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Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from Light House Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a nice crystal clear golden copper colour. White head with coppery hints poured big thick and foamy with a meringue like topping then faded slowly to good covering with thick edging... barely any carbonation bubbles... lots of sticky lacing...

Aroma - Lots of juicy fruitiness (pears, grapefruits, oranges, limes), light sweet caramel malts, buttery, some bready notes, honey, citrus and grassy hops, light pine, quite floral, talcum powder traces, faint rubbery notes...

Taste - Tart fruits (grapefruit, oranges, limes), good peppery and citrus hop bitterness balanced by light caramel sweetness, chalky traces, light metallic notes, quite biscuity...

M&D - Smooth initially with a little sharpness underneath... medium bodied... extremely quaffable brew at 5.2%

Overall - An excellent straight up IPA... very quaffable. Recommended...

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pinocchio's.

Slightly hazy golden pour, small white head receded to a ringlet, leaving dots of lacing on the glass. Balanced aroma of fruity hops and sugary pale malts. Equally balanced taste, fruity hops, light ammonia, palt malt sweetness. Medium body, easily drinkable, and good overall for the style.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,728 ratings.
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