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: 480 | Ratings: 2,797
Photo of HipCzech
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz bottle ("best by 08 Feb 17") poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear, bright gold with a billowing and lasting head of slightly off white bubbles. Spotty lace.

Smell: Citrus, pine needles, caramel and garlic shoots.

Taste: Lean malt body with plenty of hop notes: melon, citrus peel and savory herbs.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation.

Overall: Very drinkable, light bodied IPA that isn't light on hops or flavor.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alpine Beer Company "Hoppy Birthday"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "Best By 228FEB17"
$3.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Note: They have new labels, and this is listed as a pale ale at 5.3% ABV

Look: Slightly hazy deep amber colored body beneath a frothy head of white. Particulate is visible in suspension, most likely from dry-hopping.

Smell: Bright and fresh. Piney, earthy, herbal, resinous and citrusy over a caramelish malt base. Exactly what I expect from a west coast American pale ale.

Taste: As the aroma suggests with the malt stepping forward. Remarkably well-balanced between malt and hop, and sweetness and bitterness. There's a dollop of malty sweetness up front, threaded through with some orange-like fruitiness, and then it becomes caramelish and more piney, finally finishing dry and bitter with more orange and plenty of residual pine and resin.

Feel: Medium bodied and crisp with a standard carbonation level.

Overall: A gleaming example of the west coast American pale ale as it used to be, taken up a notch with extra hops. Superbly rounded, balanced, and polished.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Near perfect pale ale - hits all the notes I come to expect in a well constructed west coast hoppy brew. Golden pour with a puffy head. Leaves a nice trail of lacing as you drain the glass. Aroma of fresh cut pine and ripe citrus. So inviting. Taste is orange rind, grapefruit, melon, pine layered on a crackery malt chassis. Nothing too acidic or tart. Moderate carbonation and crisp citrus combines to end each sip with a pop. Perfectly imbalanced pale ale.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; copper colored; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin collar; OK lacing;

S: herbal for a moment, then pine;

T: earthy up front, then herbal through the middle; pine comes through toward the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: a really good session IPA; there was a discernible malt presence throughout;

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Photo of acmurphy696
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a solid IPA, but the smell rubbed me the wrong way. I loved the taste, which I believe was nicely piney, but I could not get past the smell. It's likely a me problem.

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

Got this at Globe, and beyond it's best by date. 2nd time I've had it, and although this one is over a month beyond it's best by date, it is still really good. It has a very nice piney character in the flavor. To quote a previous review @SFC21: "In the context of session IPAs ... this is at the head of the pack."

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Photo of SFC21
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably the most flavorful "session" IPA that I've had to date. I generally don't care for the style as session IPAs tend to taste more like hop water, but this brew manages to avoid that problem.

Huge fluffy white head that laces the glass all the way down. The nose isn't too powerful but light tropical fruits are there.

Tons of hop flavor assault the palette on first sip. Light tropical fruits, like pineapple and papaya, pop as well as some medicinal notes. This beer maintains incredible balance given that it is only 5.25% ABV.

Overall, if rated against regular IPAs this beer would more than hold its own. In the context of session IPAs, however, this is at the head of the pack.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hoppy Birthday pours a foggy fire-orange with a finger of off-white head. Head retention is solid. Lacing spider webs around the glass, at least at the start. Aroma is all hops, while remaining more on the subtle side of IPA hop aromas, perhaps that's the "session" part of the label. Hop notes include orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. A little resin hop stick is also there. Flavor profile is hops throughout, but all in a muted, tuned-down version. Orange, citrus, lemon zest, and biscuit malt all come through. It's a well-tamed birthday party, with not one note sticking out much more then the others. Combine it's balance with it's simplistic notes, and this would be an easily sessionable beer. It is on the bitter side of the spectrum, so that should be accounted for. Mouth feel is medium-thin, and not very filling. Overall, an easy drinking IPA, but it is on the bitter side of things. While it does have somethings going well, it isn't something to go googly-eyes over.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Act25
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ALPINE can do no wrong in my beer book.
A) Not much of a looker. Clear mid amber with mid carbonation and a short white head, leaving only a little lace.
S) Moderate and complex ,varied aromas of tropical fruits on the nose—mangos, grapefruit, maybe apricot.
T) The taste follows nose, continues with complex flavors of grapefruit, mangos, stone fruit, grasses, and dank pine, the latter being most prominent as it warms. A Caramel malt base also ripens in the finish balanced by the right level of bitterness.
M) Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels more like a stronger IPA, making it one of the most flavorsome Session IPAs.
O) Complex, rich, multi-flavored. Try 6.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, Best by 14 JAN 17
A - slightly hazed tangerine colored ale with a creamy ivory head
S - zesty citric and floral hops fill the nose with orange blossom, grapefruit, lemon, and pine
T - west coast IPA flavors with orange and grapefruit zest, pine, a bit if mango, a bit of lemon-lime along with caramel malt and grain
M - a bit thin for an IPA being on the thin side of medium; moderate carbonation, finishes bitter and dry
O - quite flavorful and one of the better session IPAs I've had to date. I'd buy this as a birthday gift for a hop loving friend for sure, but I doubt I'd get it for myself again.

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Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hell of a West Coast pale ale. It's bone dry and damn bitter, but fun to drink. The hops are a little fruity, but mostly floral citrus rind . I want more.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a clear golden brown with a fluffy head.

S - Citrus hops, piney, some notes of caramel.

T - Hop forward - citrus, grapefruit, and then balanced with some malts, bread dough, some pine and resin comes through in the back end. Feel is low to medium bodied - bit disappointed with the feel but not sure that isn't due to this brew being a bit old?

O - Solid brew with hop punch, but I'm not so sure this is the freshest brew. It says best by December, but damn it taste old to me. I'd rather see a brewed on date as my IPA freshness radar can smell a rat.

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Photo of Gavage
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a clear orange color with a 1/2" head that lasts a while.

Smell: loads of citrus and earthy tones are picked up by the nose.

Taste: caramel, orange, grapefruit, mango, some pine, and a earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish.

Overall: a very tasty lower alcohol IPA. Very easy to drink this one.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light pinkish orange with a thin cap.

Subdued, fruity - maybe orange, grass and pine.

Very earthy. A lot of dry hops. Oak, bread.

Light to medium mouthfeel. ABV tastes around 6.5%.


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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 allengarvin
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Copper-gold color with a moderate, fluffy head.
S: Aroma is piney, with lots of earthy resin.
T: Loads of pine-resin flavor, with moderately high bitterness but not enough to cover of some clean, sweet malt--in other words, more balance than many SIPAs. Clean and tasty.
M: Neutral texture, light bodied.
O: Quite decent session IPA.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm loving that label art! That cake certainly looks pungent! From the bottle it pours a nice golden amber color with a moderate head and ring like lacing.
Speaking of pungent, the aroma has a dank, canabis like smell. However, there are also moderately big juicy tropical fruit and citrusy tones.
Medium light in the mouth fell and easy to drink. Hops forward, as the name implies, but also a nice taste of tropical and citrus fruits, particularly grapefruit pith. Also, a hint of a malty backbone. Moderately bitter and dry.
As far as so called session iPad go, this one is solid and I could see myself drinking more than one.

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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 dsa7783
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Single, twelve ounce bottle copped from Cloverleaf Tavern. Pours a copper, ruddy hue with minimal frothing. Pines, pines, pines, sums up the aroma, with an equal mouthfeel and flavor to match. Citrus florals and slight lemon spice thrown into the mix. Good stuff. Recommended, but does not make for the perfect session beer.

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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.

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Photo of krbrevard
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the real deal, plain & simple. For a session it's a little high abv, perhaps it's the grain profile. The malt to hop ratio is exactly where you would want it for a beer showcasing 6 hop variations and they are just phenomenal. First smell and swig are like a carousel of flavors. A+

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

Clear, golden in color with a fluffy white head 1 1/2 fingers in depth. Taste is citrus, earthy hops and biscuity malts w/ a mild-moderate hop bitterness at the back end.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pint purchased from Growl Movement in Salem Oregon. $4.00 Clear golden ale with a small white head. Good hoppy fruity aromas , some biscuit malts. Very nice hopped fruity taste..the malts try to balance but no match. Great medium mouth feel..so easy. A great APA....

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big off-white crackly head on top of a slightly hazy orange pint. Leafy, resiny bitter hops explode in the nose. Floral, subtler elements follow suit. Bitter, citrusy hops dominate the taste. Minimalist malt backbone (barely) provides balance. Light carbonation and mouthcoating bitterness makes for a great mouthfeel. Long highly bitter finish.

This is a stellar Session IPA. Very complex and packed with hops. A classic from a classic west coast brewery.

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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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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,797 ratings.
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