Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

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2,804 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
Reviews:
481
Ratings:
2,804
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
8.45%
 
 
Wants:
638
Gots:
509
For Trade:
5
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 481 | Ratings: 2,804
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 Treyliff
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Growler

A- pours a slightly hazy bright golden color with a small foamy white head that reduces to a small film on top

S- huge danky hop aroma with aroma of fresh leafy hops, pine needles, citrus peel, hemp, the freshest hop aroma I've experienced from a pale ale

T- fresh and clean hoppy showcase, notes of fresh leaves and fresh cut grass, some floral notes, the finish is dry and slightly spicy

M- medium-light body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish

O- so fresh, hoppy and clean, the best pale ale I've ever had

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Photo of breadwinner
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

When this is on, it's the picture of a pale ale maxed out on hops, a little savory/dank, a little tropical. I honestly can't think of many hoppier pale ales. Don't know that the GF-version is quite on point, though.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Barrel Republic. Hazy orange in color with a white head. Smells earthy with some pine. Kinda garlicy. Taste follows the nose. Super easy to drink. Loads of dank hops, some tropical fruit. Mouthfeel is great. Really smooth and drinkable. Overall, incredible pale ale, dare I say best pale ale I've ever had.

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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 KATCanada
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been lucky enough to have a lot of great APA's - Edward, Sierra Nevada, Daisey Cutter, Alpha King, Zombie etc. This one is, in my mind, the best, especially for a good session. Incredible citrus nose, forward but not overagressive hops. I could easily drink this all day.

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Photo of Rocknrao
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Tried this at on tap at City Beer Store in SF. Really sparkly hop flavor. It's like 5 different kinds of bitterness mixed together that turn into something totally different when combined.

If you like IPAs, then this is definitely a pleasing drink.

It's not overly malty or heavy, as some IPAs can be. There's very little head. The color is a pale amber.

The beer it reminds me of most is Russian River Brewing's Row 2 Hill 56. I like Alpine Hoppy Birthday better though.

I understand that Alpine is working with Green Flash now to increase their production and distribution range, so hopefully this will become available more easily now.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Type: Growler
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: Alpine Beer Company Pub in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $12.82
Purchased: Oct. 24, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 24, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey, orange, semi-hazy color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white head. Slow stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Below average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average spider web retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled a ton of pleasant hops, reminding me instantly of an IPA. Got Citra hops, floral hops, grapefruit, orange, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, caramel, tropical hops, orange pulp, mango, pineapple and slight earthy rye hops. Best initial Alpine comparison is a Nelson. (Smell - 4.75)

Tasted a lot like the nose, although I don’t think quite as good. Got Citra hops, floral hops, bitter grapefruit rind, orange pulp, caramel, orange creamscicle, nectarine, tangerine, tropical hops, mainly pineapple and mango, and New Zealand hops. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter citrusy finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Just a fantastic pale ale and I feel like I kind of underrated it. Glad I still have ¾ of a growler left. (Overall - 4.50)

4.43 | 98 | A

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Photo of DNICE555
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Growler thanks to Tommy619!

A: Liquid gold

S: Grapefruit, Cuitrus, Honey... can wait to dive in

T: Incredible pale ale - Grapefruit, citrus, with honey in the finish balancing out the bitterness perfectly.

M: Smooth hoppy pale ale

O: Alpine is by far the best brewery for hoppy beers on the west coast in my opinion.

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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 HobbNobber
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Picked up,a bomber of this brew at the brewery in Alpine while passing through from San Diego to Yuma. Nice IPA. Great hop aroma. Nice lacing. Solid beer.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.91/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a pale gold with a small white head, good retention. Lots of citrus on the nose with mango, pineapple and apricot notes. Hop forward. Fruity on the front of the tongue followed by pine resin. Biscuity malt backbone but takes a back seat to the hops. Light bodied with light carbonation. Finishes dry. Overall possibly the best sessionable APA out there.

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Photo of santomark
5/5  rDev +17.4%

I had this at congregation ale house. I've heard great things about this and it did not disappoint. I even gave some to a non-beer-enthusiast and he loved it. Sweet, malty, crisp bitter, dry, smooth, citrus, refreshing. This beer is a solid brew, if you find it. GET IT!

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Photo of UncleEmu
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alpine Brewing Co. Hoppy Birthday APA
serving type: standard pint glass, on tap at St. Johns, Sunnyvale CA (July 2014)

A: Really wonderful amber littered with bright orange

S: Lots of hop dank, grapefruit

M: Semi-dry finish, medium bodied

T: Hop forward, but well balanced. The malts provide a deep and dank dish soap that isn't bitter. The pine and grass notes are gentle instead of sharp, making this quite pleasant

O: Wonderfully balanced, full of complimentary and rich flavors, really enjoyable. However, it becomes extremely bitter as it warms. Also, maybe I'm behind on hops, but there is no way in hell I would call this an APA.

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Photo of mabermud
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I used to drink this beer back in the day when it was first released. Back then, this was cutting edge stuff. The smell is wonderful and the feel is great. With the release of so many new APAs, this definitely needs an overhaul...however, it is still in the top tier for APAs.

I like a little more umph in my beer...I have a higher tolerance :(

Marked up for originality and for being a prototypical APA.

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Photo of easong
4.79/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another super-dry hop bomb from Alpine. This one low enough gravity to have 3 at a sitting. On draught at the Rose & Crown, Palo Alto. Cloudy pale orange pour with a finger of foam which persisted until first taste. Apricot nose and orange rind, no appreciable sweetness. A perfect IPA for a hot summer day.

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

First time reviewing this beer. Summer 2014 in San Francisco I had what (I think) was the Alpine brewed version. From memory, it was one of the best beers of my life. Let's see how the Green Flash stacks up.

Appearance: Pours a light honey orange. Sort of apricot in color. Hazy but not turbid or milky. Half finger head lingers around. Thick lacing.

Aroma: Super lush hop aromatics. Hits on notes of tropical fruit, sweet citrus, mango, floral. Nose seems to bring something different with each whiff. Slight hints of savory onion/garlic notes but pretty faint. Sweet, pale balancing malt.

Flavor: Again. Completely hop saturated. Remarkably drinkable for everything going on. Palate is a hop assault with bright citrus, citrus peel, tropical fruit, pine, floral, and a touch of onion. I've heard this uses 7 or 8 different hop varieties and the flavor sort of bares that out. Massive hop complexity. Dry and pretty crisp with just enough pale, sweet malt to pull everything together.

Feel: Mouthfeel is outstanding. Wonderful anchoring bitterness that never quite wrecks the palate but lingers pleasantly on the finish. Beers leans quite dry overall with a sort of crispness. Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. For the level of hop assault, something I could drink 2 or 3 of in a sitting with no problem.

Overall: This is an exceptional pale ale. I'm not even going to try to reconcile this to any drunken memories I have of what I drank last summer. This could likely use some slight tweaks, but Green Flash seems to have gotten it largely right.

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Photo of Tele
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: 4.25 Cloudy orange gold with a one inch off white head.

S: 4.25 Bready and hoppy with tropical fruits and some dank.

T: 4.5 Similar to the nose with some more breadlines and a bitter/dry finish.

M: 4.5 Nice body with good carbonation. The dryness makes this beer quite refreshing.

O: 4.25 Lots if flavor, especially for a pale ale. Almost up there with Alpine’s IPAs.

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Photo of MrMoose916
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served on tap at Final Gravity Taproom.

A: Super hazy golden standard APA, IPA color. The white head dissipated pretty quickly.

S: Tons of fresh hops, grapefruit skin, pine, with a really nice malt backbone.

T: Wow this screams IPA rather than APA, nice hop bitterness up front, followed by more hop flavors and citrus and then balances out with a smooth malt sweetness. Very well balanced.

M: I felt it was very light with a perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Delicious, very well balanced, even though is says APA, this is an IPA to me. Love the hop blast up front and how it finished with that smooth malt sweetness. Wish I could get this in bottles.

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
3.34/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at a pizza port. Pint.

A: Liquid gold opaque. A thing of beauty. Full and opaque. Thin head but looks lovely in the light.

S: Comes in very subtle. Grapefruit citrus with a honey sweetness.

T: Perfection. I've had this on cask before and didn't enjoy it as much. On tap amazing. Heavy grapefruit pez candy-esque with honey coming in. Hoppy but well rounded and not abrasive.

M: Holds the sweetness and citrus character beautifully start to finish this has the best mouthfeel an apa can have.

O: Impressive but then again its alpine. This is a real treat. I should rate this higher because for its style its world class pale ales just aren't one of my favorite styles and they made an outstanding one.


Update:

Since having the new bottles, I cannot maintain this rating. Much poorer quality just a standard hoppy pale without the magic that Hoppy Birthday used to be. A real shame. Used to love this.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Amazing Grapes in Rancho Santa Margarita. So excited to see this on tap outside of actually going to Alpine.

A: Hazy golden amber with a wispy head that recedes quickly. Moderate lacing.

A: Holy crap.. Zesty orange, sweet tangerine, and pine. A backbone of malt emerges as it warms. HUGE hop aroma for an APA.

T: Bitter orange rind and sweet tropical fruits. Crackery malt takes up the rear. So much flavor in respect to the ABV.

M: Soft and thin mouthfeel leads to ridiculous drinkability, and a dry finish accentuates the potent hop character. Masterful.

O: Damn near perfect for the style. Insanely crushable yet abundantly flavorful, seems like this was the 'session ipa' before the style was coined. Beautiful beer, and I can't wait to have it again.

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Photo of spark3148857
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I walked, well almost ran, to City Beer Store when I saw they had tapped this. Pours somewhat hazy golden, slightly darker than straw with a fluffy one finger white head. Aroma is well balanced though amazingly hoppy for a 5.5% pale ale. What really sets it apart here is that super fresh hop aroma that is reminiscent of very fresh Pliny. Big piney dank hops overwhelm the senses. On the palate there is big grapefruit up front that turns into lots of piney dankness. Wow, this is dank as hell for a pale and also more bitter than I expected. Similar hop profile to Duet imho, just accentuated in different ways. A delight and lives up to the high expectations. World class west coast APA.

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Photo of Beerswag
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap Lowbrough sacramento, ca
Pours hazy gold with hints of bright orange. Smells fruity, apricot, dank, sour-deisel. Taste is pine citrus, resin, graipfruit rind, apricot, bitter. (Not the typical floral, balanced APA, more of a "hop-head" APA with hops in the forfront and very pertinant, compare to the medium malt profile expressed in traditional Apa's)Mouthfeel is light-medium, dry, crisp, creamy, bitey. Overall a pleasure of an APA. Packed with flavor most complex pale ale to date for me.would go nice with black pepper/ spiced rubbed meats, sausages, bbq, fowl recommended.

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Photo of Sm00thHoperator
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

God this pale ale has to be the best in the world. Forgot zombie dust go for this! So Cal residents only though so come on down and join the fun!

Sunset orange in color with tropical mango and pine aromas. Taste follows the nose with a velvet mouth feel.

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Photo of GJ40
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled on tap at Ale Arsenal. Beautiful golden color with some haze and great lacing. Fantastic aroma with loads of tropical fruit and citrus. Flavors follows with outstanding hop complexity, moderate bitterness and a foundation of toasted malt. A creamy texture and a perfect carbonation. A flavorful and refreshing beer that's perfect for a sunny CA day.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,804 ratings.
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