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Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
442 Reviews
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Hoppy BirthdayHoppy Birthday
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

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:
442
Ratings:
2,668
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
20.84%
 
 
Wants:
649
Gots:
479
For Trade:
6
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Reviews: 442 | Ratings: 2,668
Photo of xnicknj
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

growler from the brewery - thanks to poneill - long overdue review

Pours a semi-hazed golden yellow with a nice fluff of white head on top. Retains with a layer of film and leaves spots of lacing on the glass.

Strong explosive scents of juicy hops, tropical fruits with orange and pineapple. Bitterness with some tempered sweetness and lighter malt.

Crazy amounts of hops up front, wild juiciness and fruit. Pineapple, orange, and grapefruit all swirl around. Exceptionally bitter from the hops, but followed by a mild malt base. This tempers the bitter and sweet flavors as the beer finishes with bitter hops and a refreshing tingle.

Medium lighter body, decent carbonation, dry and refreshing while drinking. This is easily the best super hopped session ale I've had, and it easily surpasses stuff like SD County Session, GF Citra, and others. I wish I could have this all summer.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer served in a Russian River wine glass. Beer is yellow / light amber and clear with a nice white head with some retention, carbonation moderate to low, looks excellent.

The aroma is grinding and hops. It is strong and awesome, CTZ hops if I am not mistaken.

Beer is light in body, very hoppy, the malt lead off is nearly non-existent. It is very nice, bitterness is about 60 IBU thereabouts, great finish, overall a superb beer. I'd have it again, and again.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to spycow for sharing this at DLD.

A - Hazy golden colored beer with a foamy white head that left some nice looking spots and lace on the sides.

S - Great hop smell including citrus that is not too grapefruity, pine resin, and some nice dankness that isn't moldy. The pale malt character keeps from being too sweet and is pretty near perfect.

T - Explosion of hops with sweet citrus and tropical fruits balanced out by bittering resins. Very hop-forward APA, but exceptionally well balanced with its malt backbone. One of the best, if not the best, hoppy APAs I've ever had.

M - Medium bodied, active carbonation, bitter, but clean, finish.

O - Awesome beer, great to drink pretty much anytime, anywhere. Wish I could get this regularly, awesome.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to starrdogg for sharing a growler of this amazing beer, thanks Matt. Alpine is quickly becoming in my book the go to brewery for hop heads like me.

A: Very clean almost lager like look with an orange/gold hue with a small ring of head and some good lacing. Some chunks of hops are floating in there, a good sign in my book.

S: What an amazing dry hop smell. So open and inviting, the smell has all the hop goodness of pine, grass, citrus rind, and weed in there. Some sweet candy malt compliments nicely to the hop barrage in the smell. Outstanding smell, just incredible.

T: The taste is so complex, I'm amazed the ABV is so low, not to say I detected any heat, but 5% beers are just not this tasty and all out hoppy. Lemon grass, fresh pine and grass, some citrus (dry), and just the right amount of crispy sugar malt rounds it out. What an awesome beer! The tastiest APA I've ever had, and this is from a die hard 3F fan (Alpha King, Zombie Dust both are amazing but this one may take the cake.)

M: Nice bitter back, and an overall very dry west coast hop beer thats great. Still semi sweet and smooth. Great medium feel, a little spicy.

O: Amazing, just an amazing beer. I absolutely love Alpine.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to MrHirschybar for this one.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a nice white head, pretty unassuming looking, but nice nonetheless; I had no idea what was coming

S: The aroma is incredible. It's got a huge dank hoppy, citrusy smell that makes my mouth water.

T: The flavor here is incredibly complex, there's so much different flavors here and they all seem to co-exist perfectly. It's both citrusy and piney at the same time. The flavor is huge, like a DIPA, but it's also ridiculously drinkable. Overall, incredibly delicious.

M: It's medium-bodied, a little bit of creaminess up front, but very dry on the back end.

O: This beer is unlike anything I've ever drank and is another huge success from Alpine. They packed so much flavor into a small APA package which combines for the most flavorful borderline-session beer I've ever had.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this on tap more times than I can count on my hands and toes. The color is golden, slightly bronzed, and always carries a nice frothy airy white head. The smell to me is more of a green, earthy smell, with only a tiny bit of citrus hiding in the background. The hop flavor over the palate is spicy, slightly juicy, again just a touch of fruit or citrus. This is not a sweet/bright/citrusy/tropical beer. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side as to be expected. Being a somewhat small-batch beer, it varies a bit from time to time but it's usually a must get anytime we see it.

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Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Glowing gold with a creamy white head that leaves lots of lacing as it recedes.
S - Pungent, fresh hop aromas of pine resin, grapefruit, and a bit of cat pee, with a mild malt backbone.
T - Crisp toasted malt provides the foundation for more pungent hop flavors of pine resin, grapefruit, orange peel, and mango. Nicely tropical and "juicy".
M - Slightly sticky, with a medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, sessionable even.
O - A really nice APA, expertly hopped and infinitely drinkable.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Spycow, I think, for the share.

A - It pours a hazy orange-golden hue, and is capped with a big tan head that looks like pancake batter. Lots of lacing ensues.

S - Jeez this is good. It is very reminiscent of the 4-day-old Pliny shared by nerd the other day, except lemon-forward where Pliny proffered tropical and dank. The nose is just pure hoppiness; there is pale malt and pristine minerality somewhere under the hops, but who woud bother looking for it? Anyhow, lemon zest, verbena, lemongrass, tangerine, and hazy cannabis are hugely implied in the aroma.

T - This is one of the best hop-centric beers I've had; the taste is truly world-class. A pristine minerality is suggested by the pale malt base, and it is the basis for extraordinary depth of hop flavor. Lemon-centric notes lead the way but are nearly equaled by a melange of tangerine, mango, and grapefruit. The more I drink of this, the more it seems that the flavor begins as lemon and actively morphs through tangerine and mango phases, ending in a bitter grapefruit astringency. Quite mouth-watering.

M - Lighter than medium by a tad, and plentifully carbonated.

O - Fantastic stuff; this is what APA, and hop-centric, should aspire to be.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.79/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared a growler with some Ba's at my house before DarkLordDay.
Served in a tulip pint.

It's a nice color, like a pretty standard pale ale/IPA. The bee is pretty hazy yellowish gold with a thick white head. Great retention... Good lacing.
So it looks great... Aaaand now we fall apart... Why does this smell like garlic? Oh, summit hops you say? Well I'm not a fan. They ruin this beer the summit hops. The other aromas are great- hiding under the garlic are intense notes of grapefruit and even pineapple. Light malt profile... This beer would be exceptional if it weren't for the garlic.

The body is medium-light with great carbonation and a decent bitter bite... The flavor would be very nice if it weren't for the summit!

Overall-- I'll pass on this one next time. Glad to have tried it!
4.5/3/2/4/3

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.98/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler out at ol' 'Watcher's joint on a night that lead to my demise. I got about 2.5 tasters full of the stuff. I can't say that it was really a crowd favorite amongst the tasting group.

Appearance
This stuff has a nice color, as so often Alpine ales seem to have. Its a semi hazy honey yellow, crowned with a dense, sticky head.

Aroma
I'm not really a fan of Summit hops, and this stuff brings the Summit to its peak. Green onion, dense overgrowth, the banks of a summer creek and dashes of orange, pineapple and grapefruit.

Taste
The oniony stuff is strong. Someone kept saying this stuff was like liver and onions. Who ever it was was partly correct. Lots of greenery and wild flowers with lots of chive and green onion. Some pine and citrus come around too.

Mouthfeel
Not very dry, this beer is fairly smooth with a lighter body and a decent enough finish. I'd say this one has the structure for drinkablility down.

Overall
As I texted to Ryan011235 that I was drinking this my auto correct took over and I sent "Choppy Birthday". I stand by that moniker, I think its more accurate. I'm not sure why this one is rated so high... Oh yeah! Its a new Alpine tap only! Duh!

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear pour the color of pancake syrup. This beer's got massive head. Bitches love head. Fluffy and cratered like an ice cream float.

Smells grassy with a shot of grapefruit. Definitely San Diego style. Taste hits you with a dry, full bitterness at first but after your tastebuds are shot you can start to get all the hop flavor. Lots of grassy grapefruit and citrus peel. Reminds me of making a hop tea. It's like they boiled this thing, took all the hops they used and squeezed out all the wort from them and fermented that instead. A tiny bit of toasty caramel to relieve your tongue. Low to moderate carbonation makes you think the beer is a little thicker than it actually is.

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Photo of 321jeff
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler shared by yourefragile, thanks!

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a couple fingers of mostly white head that slowly fades to a thin layer, leaving tons of lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma is a solid mix of all the hop smells I can think of, piney resins, grapefruit, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. Some hints of sweet malts in the background.

The taste is loaded with resiny hops and some sweet citrus flavors. There's plenty of bitterness from the massive amount of hops. It almost tastes more like a mild IPA than an APA, but either way, the flavors work together perfectly and just taste spectacular.

The mouthfeel is equally as good, full and meaty with lots of carbonation. Overall, this is one of the best surprise beers I've ever had. It completely blows any other APA out of the water, and there are some really good APA's out there.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared with 321Jeff and Huhzubendah. Thanks JohnDoe8 for hooking us up!

Pour is a hazy, glowing pale golden with a dense, retentive stark white head. Thick rings of clumpy lacing.

Aroma is much more of an IPA than APA (though I won't hold it against it in the rating). Reminds me a lot of Sculpin. Fresh tropical fruits, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and mild caramel malt.

Medium-thick body with soft carbonation and a pleasant lingering dry hoppy finish. Sweet and juicy ripe tropical fruits dominate from the start and dominate throughout. Amazing. Again, maybe not a great APA per style, but an incredible beer regardless. This growler was ~2-3 weeks old; fresh this would have to be near perfect

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael!

The beer appears straw yellow and slightly hazy. The head is thick and white, displays lasting retention, and leaves ample lacing on the tulip glass. The aroma...wow. One of the best aromas in a pale ale I have ever experienced. This would give any IPA more than a run for its money. Fresh hops and a blast of varied citrus. The flavor is absolutely phenomenal. This is perhaps the most drinkable and enjoyable <6% beer I have had the pleasure to sample. Perfect? Ya, pretty much. My highest recommendation.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to mikesgroove for sharing this one at an impromptu Hobo Tasting #7 which turned out to be a good time in an Ingles parking lot out of the trunk of my Audi with my AR-15 in-check to keep the haters out! Served from growler into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and a very subtle roastiness. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew just plain excellent in all aspects. I have been wanting to try this one for QUITE some time and glad that I finally was able to. The nose on this one was nothing short of excellent. The flavor, well balanced and excellent in all aspects. If you haven't gotten your hands on this one before it is definitely worth seeking out. You won't regret it!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

o it began. Hobo tasting No. 7 commenced at Ingles on an overcast and slightly damp day. It was an impromptu event that really was not solidified until a couple hours before, but none the less went off without a hitch. As me and Calton chilled for a good hour enjoying some of the finer craft offerings in our multitude of glassware and bottles and growlers, one could only wonder how much better it could have gotten, enjoyed during a hell of a good time on 04/21/2011.

The first offering of the day the monster growler was opened up to get the ball rolling. This was not an easy feat to track this one down but boy was it worth it. Pouring out a wonderfully light golden amber color, the cloudy body produced a head that was nearly three inches in height over the top of the bottle and easily coated the entire glass with sticky and gooey lacing that left webbing long after we had finished.

The first notes that are picked up from the aroma are super bright citrus hops. Light lemon layered on top of pineapple and grapefruit, but very bright, light and clean. A burst of freshness through the air that was only slightly cut by light grains as it warmed. To call this a sessionable beer is an understatement. So clean, fresh, and easy going we had a hard time not going for pint after pint. Just a quick hit of hops on the first sip that open up the palate and cleanse the senses for a ripe display of fresh fruit and light grains that then wash over you. Fresh and perfectly carbonated it was an effortless offering as the lemon and pineapple flavor melts into a sea of grapefruit and dry finish that begs you to take another sip almost as soon as you finished the last one.

Overall one of the best, most drinkable IPA’s I have ever come across. This was just nuts. I would like to see someone do better than this, incredible light offering that seems it was made to be shared!

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Photo of beagle75
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at the Alpine pub.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass and many streams of bubbles rise eagerly in the column.

S: Citrus and pine hops of intermediate intensity barely exert dominance over toasted malt, without revealing the presence of any off-qualities. It is a very clean and hoppy smelling beer whose intensity is a little understated compared to the flavors.

T: Begins barely off-dry, with toast that stands out amidst a wave of brilliant herbaceous citrus and pine hop aromatics. Acidity is restrained into the middle, with earlier flavors of hops and malt mellowing somewhat. The finish is moderately bitter, with bright hop aromatics and toasty grain persisting with longevity and focus that is very rare and remarkable.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly sticky on the palate but ultimately smooth, with moderate carbonation.

D: This hop-forward pale ale is a tour-de-force, bringing a showcase of West Coast hop flavors into effortless balance with malt, acidity, and a texture that drinks more easily than water. Most comparable to Strand's excellent 24th St. pale ale, Hoppy Birthday is as sharp and presentable an American pale ale as any currently brewed.

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Photo of Chizoad
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow with a thin cap of foam.

Excellent citrus nose and highly lemony. I had just had the Duet before this one, and the fruitiness of that beer may have influenced my perception of the hops in this one.

Very nice taste and well balanced. Some slight hemp-like flavor that seeps through after the hops dissipate.

Perfect mouthfeel for an APA. Light, crisp, no lingering bitterness, refreshing as all hell.

Very good beer that I would love to have again.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Alpine. Into a pint glass.

Hoppy Birthday is a nice dark amber color with a finger of snow white foam atop it. The head recedes leaving some decent lacing. The nose is distinctly hoppy and hempy. Definitely more like an IPA than a pale. Smells fantastic! The taste is bitter hops with muted biscuity malt. There is a faint citrus presence accompanying the bitterness that moves this APA dangerously close to IPA territory. The malt does a great job of balancing the bitterness mid-palate and the finish is dry and bitter without lingering too long. Very nice. Feel is medium bodied with an excellent level of prickly carbonation. Wow! I likey! At 5.2% Abv I could enjoy this in copious amounts on a regular basis. Yet another incredible Alpine Ale that I wish was bottled and available year round. Highly recommended!

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint at the Alpine Pub.

A - Golden with a slight orange hue to it. A 0.5 inch white head forms that is nice and frothy and has some stickiness to it.

S - Starts of quite grainy followed by a fresh citrus balance of oranges and some tropical fruit notes.

T & M - Starts with a clean grainy malt flavor and some fresh baked bread notes. Slight malt sweetness is also present. This is then quickly balanced by some fresh citrus and grassy hop notes. There is some orange and slight lemon zest to it with some mild red grapefruit notes as well. Both malt and hop profiles are extremely balanced. The body is light and refreshing and with the 5% ABV becomes a very drinkable beer.

O - This is another near perfect example from the folks at ALpine. IMO they consistently mark the standard for West Coast hoppy ales. Delicious and well crafted flavors that play perfectly with each other.

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Photo of seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super clean golden amber with a large white head that lingers. Looks fantastic. Stronger hops come off the nose than expected, pine and resin, maybe a touch of lemon. So far so great. This beer is more straight forward bitter than any APA I've ever had. Really smooth, with a more generic hop bitterness than the nose implies. Thicker than expected in the mouth, in a very pleasing way, with solid carbonation. They did a great job disguising a 5.25% ABV beer in the mouthfeel as something bigger. To me, that is an impressive feat. Aggressive bittering hops limit the drinkability slightly as an APA, but yet it otherwise presents itself as a 6-7% ABV beer, increasing the drinkability quite a bit with its lower ABV. Really, one of the best 2-3 APA's I have ever had.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A fresh growler provided by Alex, drank from a Cigar City snifter... The body is a bright dark clear gold with a beautiful off-white head. The head rises a few fingers and settles with a nice cap, decent lacing. Crystal colors and contrast, looks great... The aroma is very sharp, at the most basic level its a mixture of catty/dank and sweet amarillo like hops. Other notes of pine and lemon, very good. Its sweet but dank... The taste isn't as sweet as the nose, more of steady hops throughout, not super bitter though. Light grapefruit on the front. This is an apa that tastes like an ipa but drinks like an apa. Has to be one of the most flavorful drinkable 5% beers out there. The aroma is outstanding, well worth trying. The aroma is more of 4.75 and taste is more a 4.25.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for the hookup. I've been looking to try this one for a while, and Arthur came through. Served in a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that eventually settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and splotchy lace. Lightly hazed transparent golden body.

S - Lemon zest, dankness, oranges, hint of pine, a little bit of perfume and cat pee, and a sugary malt bill in the periphery.

T - The taste is an initial burst of fresh citrus zest, ripe grapefruits and oranges, and delicious hop goodness. The finish is doughy with a bit of yeast character, and the total package isn't as sweet as the nose implies. Not much bitterness at all, which is a plus for a session ale.

M - Crisp carbonation that is active but not very harsh. Medium-light body, smooth texture, and a lightly dry finish.

D - As Jason would say, this is "absolutely crushable"! Another winner from Alpine!

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Photo of Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Alex by way of ArthurPendragon!

A - Pours golden yellow, white frothy head, large bubbles remain here and there, some spotty lacing, and a thin cap on top.

S - Lemon-esk piney hoppy goodness, citrus, pine, slight dank. So so good...the hops is just straight forward, slightly dry, lots of cirtus.

T - Lemon-peel, citrus, pine, hops, bitterness. Straight forward but just well-done and excellent. Really hard to put into a review how good this really is...seriously, get some.

M - Light, crisp, refreshing, perfect carbonation, really f'n good.

D - Wow...just....wow. An awesome APA and right up there with RR Parking Violation. Drinks like an IPA without the ABV. Must get more and if you haven't had it yet, please get you some. A must-try.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler from Ultraman9000 - thanks, Martin!

Pours a slightly hazy, bright amber color with a two-finger, frothy white head. Head retention is very good, as is lacing. Tropical fruit and citrus really shine in the nose, with pineapple, tangerine and mango notes coming through. There's a nice cracker and caramel malt aroma underneath the hops. The taste is much the same, with pineapple, mango and tangering fruit flavors melding nicely with a substantial cracker malt with a slight caramel sweetness. Alcohol is unnoticeable. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Drinkability is off-the-charts here - this really hits everything I look for in a sessionable beer. The flavors are refreshing and interesting with a very nice balance, though, obviously, this leans to the hoppy side. Overall, another incredible hoppy beer from Alpine. Every time I try something new from this brewery, I am more and more impressed. This might nudge Alpine slightly ahead of Russian River as my favorite brewer for hoppy beers.

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Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Beer Company
95 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.
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