Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

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95
world-class
2,811 Ratings
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Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States
alpinebeerco.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Truth 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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,811
Reviews:
481
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
8.45%
 
 
Wants:
636
Gots:
510
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,811 |  Reviews: 481
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and onion and garlic hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild 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 very good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 603 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

duet for me, was really worth the hype, this one was also really good, but less exceptional i think. less amazing and unique is for sure, but still a really trusty ipa, that i would happily drink all the time if it were available here. unique in that it finds the floral/pine specturm, while almost entirely skipping citrus. sure there is a hint of orange peel, even candied orange peel in the nose, but the flavor is like clover and pine forest, with no citrus in between. usually there is always that element there, but this is way cool in that its polleny and blooming, but also hearty and sappy. its balanced, but its big too, and although the hops drive the flavor, there is definitely a moderate toast to a fuller grain body, really really nice. i like this a whole lot, and amazing to have it on tap for the first time, but i just dont see it as one of the best in the world in its category. maybe i am spoiled, but for me, its a level below the hype that it comes with.

 977 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nmann08
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of metter98
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of tropical fruits are present in the nose—mangos seem to stand out in particular. Some hints of grapefruit are also noticeable.
T: The taste has complex flavors of grapefruit, mangos, and dank pine, the latter of which is most prominent in the finish and lingers through the aftertaste, although as the beer warms up the mango flavors become stronger. The hops contribute a moderate amount of bitterness. Slight hints of underlying caramel malts are noticeable.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. No crispness is perceptible—it's almost a little smooth in nature.
O: What I found to really stand out in this beer is the complexity of different types of hop flavors imparted into the taste. It packs in as much hop aromas and flavors as you might expect from a Double IPA but it's only an APA.

Serving type: growler

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With a little surprise in every beer, Alpine's session IPA celebrates in a bit way- a blend of six specialty hops to give the taste a bright, juicy, citrus and tropical medley on an approachable and moderate alcohol content and body. Its a beer to enjoy specifically on a birthday, or less specifically- any day you can!

Hoppy Birthday pours with the common glowing amber that pierces its moderate haze. As a frothy column of foam builds on top, a host of fragrances emerge and give the nose the perfume of pineapple, grapefruit, and bold floral bouquet and a zesty spruce character. But to the taste, a light coat of honey, caramel and toasted nuttiness frame the short lived sweetness with the bulk of flavors and balances beckoning over the middle palate.

With full saturation in tact, the sweetness and creaminess of the initial sip relaxes and the hops work into a juicy and plump taste with pink grapefruit, tangerine, passionfruit, apricot, mango, pineapple and a curious lemony tang. With the intensity in hop taste seeming moderate and tantalizing, the sweetness continues to fade and the fruit turns to a balancing bitterness with citrus pith, pine needles and a fresh and grassy muddle.

Dry, crisp and clean; Hoppy Birthday's body is medium-light and retains a malty-dry status with the waning moments trending bitter, refreshing and highly rewarding to the senses. So, allow your indulgent side to rule the roost and allow yourself to have more than one.

 1,469 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

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+

 4,513 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours slightly hazy and honey colored with a one inch cap; splashy lacing abounds

Smell: From the moment the cap is popped, the bright aromatics burst forth, bringing tropical fruit tones of papaya, guava, custard apple and citrus rind

Taste: Juicy from the outset, with the subtle tropical fruit elements of papaya, guava and custard apple forward; a touch of citrus rind bitterness builds, through the middle, but fades in the finish as the juicier elements re-emerge

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A little high in ABV to be a true session ale, this is still a nice, quaffable beverage

 645 characters

Photo of oline73
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Super psyched to try this beer. I was able to get this to celebrate my wife's 30th birthday while the beer is rated #30 on the top hundred. Poured from the growler into a goblet on the day it showed up.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a half finger of fluffy off white head. The head sticks around pretty well and leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smell: This could be the best smelling pale ale I've ever run across. Tons of pine and citrus in the hop profile. The hops don't leave room for much else, but they're spectacular. There also seems to be a slight peppery note.

Taste: Almost lives up to the smell. There is more balance here, which isn't a bad thing. Still getting a ton of citrus peel and pine needle bitterness. There is a nice, light bready malt that backs up the hops. The peppery note is here too, but not as much as it was in the smell.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the light side of medium with light, fluffy carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: This is a fantastic pale ale. If I was able, I would have given this a 4.75 overall. About the best smelling beer I've ever run into. Did not disappoint at all.

 1,172 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris for sharing the birthday beer...

Mini pint poured to the brim, 6-8 oz. Bright gold with a touch of orange, rapid carb trails visible. Copious lace all around the edges, constant layer of foam present for the whole glass.

Pine and fruity citrus, though somehow slightly mellow, possibly from being a week old growler, who knows... Orange and floral notes are there and compliment the flavor nicely.

Tastes like a west coast iteration of an APA certainly, citrus and bitter resiny hops dominate a meek pale malt backbone that lends a wee bit of sweetness, though the finish is dry, resiny bitterness all the way. Light feel with maximum hop delivery. Would easily drink a couple pints of this schtuff, though it's not as unique as some of Alpine's other beers.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.52/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a nice large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops with light earthy notes is enticing. Taste is dominated by citrusy notes with some earthy flavours with more bitterness then I was expecting. Body is full for style with good carbonation. Good but bitterness was more apparent than I was expecting.

 369 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler from ArthurPendragon. Thanks, old friend. The beer is a hazy, glowing yellow peach color. An inch of sudsy, frothy foam tops the body and retains nicely for the duration of the glass, which was admittedly brief. The first whiff displays huge tropical fruit and citrus hop aromas. Pineapple, papaya, a plethora of words that begin with P. Also mango maybe, which begins with M. Malt character is faint, possibly even imaginary. The taste is explosively hoppy yet quite dry and nuanced, with a light biscuit malt foundation barely perceptible beneath the hops. The hop flavors range from tropical fruit to fresh pine needles to juicy citrus. The body is light, but this has a ton of flavor. It finishes with a silky smoothness, only moderately bitter really, and with incredible balance. This is exceptional. Superlatives and Alpine seem to go hand in hand.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,811 ratings.
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