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Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

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464 Reviews
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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:
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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
464
Ratings:
2,746
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
8.45%
 
 
Wants:
645
Gots:
490
For Trade:
7
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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 2,746
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Tap and Growler the other day.

The beer pour a light copper amber color with considerable lacing and very good head retetion. This beer looks great. On the nose, there's a huge aroma of dank earth, dry citrus and light tropical fruit. This beer smells like a hop bomb. On the palate, it's all that, and is literally almost too much of a good thing (that's how bitter this beer is). Mouthfeel is fairly light otherwise as one would expect, given the abv.), and the finish is long, dry, clean and bracingly bitter. Alcohol is just about indetectable.

Impressive pale ale, no doubt, though I wouldn't mind a bit more malt in the flavor profile to counter the huge amount of bitterness in this beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of 02 Dec 2016. Sampled on August 18, 2016.

It is an attractive looking amber-copper pour with a long lasting off-white head.

The aroma tends to be subtle and mellow. I get some resin notes along with a muted caramel sweet malt note. But nothing expresses itself as the leader.

Medium, smooth body. Delightful on the tongue.

Roasted caramel malt presence in the taste that is immediately usurped by the resin hoppiness and mildly dry finish. It is fairly easy to drink and not in your face. Hophads - this is a Session Ale - not a DIPA! It is meant to be more subtle.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5/23/2010

Thanks to Terrance for bringing this growler over. The beer appears transparent golden with a frothy two finger cap, good retention, and scattered lacing.

The aroma is an intoxicating combination of hop scents, with notes of pine resin, grapefruit, fresh cut grass, orange pith, and a bold floral character. The hops are incredibly aromatic and fresh in the nose.

The flavor exhibits a moderate bitterness, with notes of orange, grapefruit, lemon, and pine. Alcohol is not present in the taste. Again, the hops are fresh and vibrant. Malt character is nonexistent to my palate. Hops, hops, ...hops!

The mouthfeel is dry and crisp, with an upper moderate level of carbonation. The drinkability is insane. Highly recommended. Though a pale ale in name, it's essentially an IPA. I hope they decide to brew this again. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of dar482
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a hazy light amber.

The aroma offers huge tangerine, orange, passionfruit, peach.

The flavor hits of orange up front, a touch of peach and apricot, a light bready malt in the middle, a touch of sweetness, and then some heavy floral drying on the back.

The best pale ale from the best West Coast, up there with some New England hoppy brews.

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Photo of rudzud
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at the Dive Bar in Worcester.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a nice hazy golden hue with a good one finger head that fades to leave thin lacing and a light blanket.

S - Aromas of light tropical notes, pineapple and mango, faint citrus, grapefruit, nice malt backbone. Pleasant.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, light tropical notes and grapefruit though the malts are much more pronounced. Carmel is rather big though the finish is bitter. Lightly musty, the hops though I feel are overpowered by the malts.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, crisp, a bit sticky.

O - Overall this beer was a bit confusing. Everything was quite muted and malty. Good, but certainly not as high the ravg states.

Serving type: On tap

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Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear orange body with little head and lace that sticks around. The hops are noticeable in aroma, giving off a more citric, earth tone aroma than sweet malts can poke through. Incredibly smooth are first two words that hit me as I take first sip. Smooth, slick, but not watery, a hopped up brew that straddles between citric and grapefruit/tropical fruit hops and has touches of bread/grain hops for balance (maybe caramel). Smooth, oily, buttery, you get the gist. Easy to drink and a hoppy beer that isn't overhopped or messy, a rare thing these days it seems. Very easy to drink

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From 500mL swingtop growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/20/12
*From notes

-- A big, epic thanks goes out to billab914 for hand filling a small growler for me to enjoy, as I couldn't make our tasting. A very generous gesture from a good friend and a classy Beer Advocate. Cheers, Bill! --

A: Clean 24k gold. A soft pour yields a minimal head and lacing, which I wholly credit to this being hand filled the night before.

S: Really wonderful stuff. A big wave of juicy West Coast hops put a vice grip my nostrils. It really comes off like one of the big boys, ala a true Left Coast American IPA.

T: Bready malt plays a firm role in the development of the overall profile here. This beer is so well balanced, as the luscious hop character really finds a foot hold and never lets go. A long, tropical finish with bite.

M: Again, I must reference the fact that this wasn't served under the most strict of circumstances. It's a tad bit flat and flabby. There's still a mild amount of carbonation, but it's not prevalent. On the plus side, the texture is nice.

O: What a killer APA. They don't make many like this: a low ABV hop fest. Though I still find 3F's Zombie Dust a better entry (and one of my all-time fav's), this is certainly no slouch. One of the most flavorful beers under 5.5%. Worth seeking out, and heartily recommended.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Spiegelau ipa glass from a Green Flash bottle with a best by date of Mar. 18 2016. Consumed 11.28.15.

A: Sunset orange glow, light haze with strong showing of effervesce. Chalky colored white head, one inch has a good duration. Foamy band lace.

S: Wet tropical notes with a fresh wet citrusy-grapefruit balanced by toasted bread and grains. Mid-level offering, short duration.

T: Citrusy-grapefruit bite of hops for flavor is crisp with lemony orange highlights. Fresh pine and toasted grain backing with flowery dry pine hopping. Bready, dank herbal hops, with hints of dried tropical afterthoughts.

M: Light to medium fullness, edgy with good carbonation, light creamy toasted maltiness with a nice alochol breath on the swallow.

O: Respectable hop levels, easy abv% of 5.2 offering. Do not know if this is considered a session ipa, ipa, or pale ale as listed here. Toasted maltiness, good piney dry hops, very good tasting and drinkability. Would rate this outstanding per intent of style? session ipa, very good for ipa, and oustanding for pale ale if that helps.

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Photo of beertunes
3.49/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in 12oz goblet, this was a very nice beer, but not one that stood out from the field of 41 other hoppy pale ales. I will bang again, but it's not a transcendental experience.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very amazing IPA, I'm glad it's starting to be made more. This has a lot of flavor up front, but thanks to the low ABV, is easily drinkable. Not quite as potent as its bigger badder brother (Bad Boy), but great in its own right.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lots of tropical fruit in the smell. Super flavorful yet light and delicate. This is right up there with Nelson. This is probably the best tasting lighter alcohol beer I've ever tasted.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft. Yes. Have wanted this brew for ages. Poured fairly clear. Thin, white head. Mild lacing. Aroma sinks into my schnozzola and delivers bright, lively hoppiness. potent West coast pine and citrus along with some more East coast tropical fruit and juicy notes. Just a little bit of neutral maltiness but this one is clearly hop perfume. The flavor is simply so bright and lively it's such an enjoyable experience. Very complex hoppiness. No one hop descriptor dominates. Citrus, grass, pine, pineapple, some passion fruit and some mango. This one has plenty to latch on to. Finishes with a nurturing bready malt and a long lasting hoppy grass/fruit combo. Medium bitterness. Light bodied. Long aftertaste. Carbonation adds drinkability. This lived up to the hype for me. West Coast meets East Coast hop profile. One hell of a Pale Ale.

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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 jzeilinger
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In review is the Alpine version of this beer.

A - Medium orange to dark orange copper pour with a white frothy head that stays pretty thick across the top without dying down.

S - Dank tropical fruit with biscuity malt, the hops take the front seat. Orange, mango, pineapple.

T - Resiny citrus rind: juicy red grapefruit, spicy oranges, mango, tangerine with a nice long, peppery juicy finish.

M - Full medium body with light carbonation, semi-dry finish, and coats the mouth with dank, resiny, spicy tropical fruit.

O - I haven't had the Alpine Brewery version but this is pretty darn good.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found this in the mix and match section at the Local Carnivores. Score!

A - Good orange yellow color with a 1/4 inch of head that pulls back to mild lacing.
S - Good hoppy smell reminds me of their DIPA I had very hoppy with a sweet malt presence.
T - Herbal and bitter with a lingering bitterness that really clings to the palate. Was actually surprised how bitter this is for an APA. Pretty good balance with a good cracker and pale malts.
M - If you love low ABV and a a good lingering bitterness this beer is for you.

Overall Pure Hoppiness is still better but its still a very good hoppy pale ale.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear texture. There was about a half inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Pretty good lacing.

S: A good aroma of lots of hops, citrus, pine, and malt.

T: Tasted of a little bit of pine, light malt notes, more hops than you'd expect (considering the IBUs), citrus (grapefruit, lemon, orange), and a hint of grassiness in the finish. A decent flavor that's more hoppy than anything else. Could have used a touch more citrus, but this is a small quibble.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a dry, bitter finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: This is a solid IPA, but not the best thing Alpine's ever done. Nonetheless, it's a drinkable beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden color , substantial clarity to it, 1/2" white head. Plenty of aromatics, not over the top like some of the other bigger ipas from Alpine, but this is the session. . .

Super light cracker malt with barely any toasting. Lemon like hop notes and high carbonation. Mild bitterness. Very good stuff, elite session ipa stuff. Would bang in a 6 pack, the 500ml and 22oz bottles rarely make sense though.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 38 Degrees Ale House in Alhambra, CA. Pint glass.

A- Clear, pale golden-copper body. One finger white head, above-average retention time; very nice lacing as well. Coats the glass in thick rings of lacing.

S- Grapefruit, orange, lemon, stonefruit. Wow. This is a blast of aromatic hops, typical as per Alpine. Caramel and honey sweetness rounds the aromas out. Delicious blast of hop aromas makes me smile.

F- Very fruity; grapefruit, lemon, pine are the predominant hop flavours here.Nicely balanced out by a mild caramel sweetness, possibly honey as well. It's incredibly hoppy for an APA, yet is not unbalanced. The pine comes out more towards the end. The malt backbone isn't the strongest at first which allows the hops to shine, but as it warms up, it becomes more nicely balanced.

M- Medium bodied, soft, not bone-dry like other west-coast IPAs. Quenches the thirst that I had in a big way. Smooth, soft, moderately resinous but not too sticky. Finish is a nice balance of caramel, honey sweetness with a pine/citrus bitterness; it becomes more balanced towards the end which helps in giving me a second wind to finish the pint. Very nice, very drinkable and very enjoyable.

O- One of Alpine's better offerings. I like this almost just as much as Nelson, which is saying a lot. Plenty of hops, crushable at a low ABV, soft and moderately dry mouthfeel. It's fairly hard to find anything off about this beer- it drinks with the hop punch of an IPA, but with the drinkability of an APA.

Final score: 4.49

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

Pours a mostly clear golden color with white head. Pine, citrus, and resin on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with a floral hop note.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from GF bottle. This is bitter enough to be more of an IPA than it is an APA. Very much a West coast style hoppy beer as it is overly bitter compared to what I have become accustomed to with a good APA.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Happy birthday, Matt! Oh, and thanks, Chris! This has spent 2 weeks in the growler already, lets see how it is.

Crystal clear sun-kissed gold with a billowing, off-white head that has exceptional retention and lacing. Just perfect. And the nose? Jeez. Pure hop nectar. Plenty of pine, moderately resiny, grapefruit and a slew of tropical fruit aromas. Sweet, ripe pineapples, blood oranges, tangerines, just beautifully rich and layered. The hop profile probably makes me think of Duet more than any other Alpine beer, but with less bitterness, maybe?

The palate is outstanding. Opening with a big, bright hop flavor, there's tropical and citrus fruit galore. Pine isn't particularly prominent, this has plenty of tropical and citrus. Bitterness is moderate-to-low, allowing the flavor to dominate. Oranges and grapefruit with a definite pineapple character, the full hop flavor is rounded off with a resiny feel that ties together all the flavors. Light in body with soft carbonation, this beer has a long, dry finish that's moderately resiny and quite fruity with a mild bitterness, allowing this to be an insanely drinkable beer.

Oh, and I guess I forgot to mention it, but there's no malt character present, but given that this is a hoppy beer from Alpine, that description is rather unnecessary, isn't it? But I kid. There's a little bit of a light biscuit/cracker-like malt flavor, but it does nothing but provide a brief respite from a wonderful hop character. Thanks a lot, Chris. This makes 99% of the IPAs out there superfluous. I'd have to say this is one of my favorite Alpine beers yet, probably up there with Nelson and O'Brien's IPA. The last beer I drank a growler of, solo, in one sitting, was Younger. And that's very high praise.

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

Growler poured into a Pint Glass.

Thanks to Bdige for sending this up to me.

A - Pours a bright, lighter orange with a one finger cream-colored head. The head fades to a thin layer pretty quickly and a few spots of lacing were left on the glass.

S - Citrus, pineapple, orange, tropical fruit, pine.

T - Here the Tropical fruit is up front followed by more pine and grass.

D - Average carbonation and body, a touch bitter.

O - Great! You can't ask for much more than this.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a golden color, plenty of clarity, white head, decent, nice, dissipates in an average amount of time. Good hoppy aroma, nothing like some of the other Alpine dry hopping (Expo, Duet, Nelson) but damn good nonetheless and better than 98% of apa's out there. Props for not being afraid to use Summits.

Barely a malt presence, lots of hopping, very easy to drink. Lemon forward, was not expecting that, although nice to use a descriptor other than grapefruit or pine for once with something hoppy. Good carbonation, not a lot of complexity out of this one, but all my favorite pale's save SNPA are pretty straightforward, and that's a good thing in this reviewer's book. Bitterness held in check.

A very good beer, wouldn't say its deserving to be in the top 100, but the way the brhos changed the list, rare and one time new releases are bound to jump into the list at the expense of more time tested and available stuff. I'd put it midway through my top 10 pales.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Best before 03 Jun 16 printed on the label. Pours a beautiful honey gold with a translucent clarity and loose, half inch, off-white had that quickly loses half its volume within seconds off the pour and disperses into a consistent skim that coalesces around the shoulders. Nose is subdued yet bright - floral, citrus and piney hops express themselves, as well as crackery notes. Taste consistent with nose; however, hops character is a bit muddled and there's also a trace of caramel malt in the mix. Finishes with a medicinal bitterness that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with a crisp carbonation. Overall, not a bad beer although a bit maltier then I anticipated. The flavor profile, however, doesn't work for me.

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Photo of cbutova
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

McLaddens Northampton, MA. Been on draft for about two weeks. Notes taken during second time consuming it.

A- Apricot orange body from the taps to a pint glass. Fairly hazy with a fluffy white cap to a finger. Head retention decent as a small ring drops a large sheet and then some drizzled lace.

S- Definitely leans toward the dank and fruity side of things with hops producing most of the aroma. Tropical tones like mango, tangerine and melon along with general citrus and floral notes.

T- Juicy and fruity with perhaps the orange zesty notes taking more precedence but a finish of mango, peach, tangerine, floral, melon, mint and apricot. Clean besides a tiny hint of light grains.

MF- Somewhat creamy but still crisp with a high end carbonation level. Medium overall thickness finishing clean and lightly bitter.

I am so happy that Alpine brews are now available in MA. Never got to have this one out in CA but it sure is a great one. Finds a nice balance between fruity, bitter and floral and every sip is so satisfying and flavorful.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,746 ratings.
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