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Hoppy Birthday | Alpine Beer Company

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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:
644
Gots:
492
For Trade:
7
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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 2,746
Photo of womencantsail
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Toronado SD

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden color with a drop of orange for a little variety. A nice fluffy white head and solid lacing.

S: This is what you expect from an Alpine beer: tons and tons of hops. Lots of grapefruit and some tropical fruit notes along with plenty of pine, too. If there's a malt scent in there, I couldn't find it.

T: The hops continue to dominate on the palate. A very nice resinous bitterness along with tons of fruit character. Grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and lots of pine.

M: The body is a bit on the light side, but this works just fine for a pale ale. A good amount of carbonation, and a real crisp finish.

D: This is one of my new Alpine favorites. So brutally hoppy, but so easy to drink (helped along by a moderate ABV).

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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 +8%
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 islandboi8204
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03-14-12 growler
Slightly hazy golden orange color. A nice fluffy white head and solid lacing.

Smell is what you expect from an Alpine beer - tons of hops. Lots of grapefruit, tropical fruit notes, plenty of pine. Incredible.

Just like the nose, the taste is dominated by hops. A delicious resinous bitterness with tons of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and lots of pine.

Light body that works just fine for a pale ale. A good amount of carbonation, and a real dry crisp finish.

This is one of my Alpine favorites. So incredibly hoppy, but also really easy to drink and tasty.

12-02-2011 growler
Pours golden straw color, lots of head and carbonation. Plentiful lacing down the glass.

Smells like lemon zest with tropical fruit, grapefruit, orange, mango. Fresh cut grass.

Super floral hoppy taste, lots of grapefruit, orange, mango. Delicious.

Mouthfeel hass nice carbonation, creamy, oily but finishes crisp and with a bitter bite. Not much to balance the bitter hops, but definitely sessionable.

Overall, this is great, right up there with Zombie Dust as far as pale ales go. This would be really nice during the summer.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Smoke & Barrel, Washington, DC. In a large stemmed tulip

A – Pours orange, with a slight haze, white head, excellent lacing. - 4

S - A pine tree jammed up my nose. Incredible! - 5

T – Pine needles but not excessively bitter. - 4.5

MF – Medium body with a dry finish. - 4.5

O - This beer is all about the hops. Excellent aroma, almost like a hop inhaler. - 4.5

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Photo of SaulFox
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Classic golden ipa color.
Ripe tropical fruits and piney.
Pick up ripe tropical fruits along with citrus and finishes with a nice pine bitterness.
Medium light mouthfeel.
Quenches my hop crave, refreshingly good

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Phinally in Philly! On tap at TRIA Taproom. I feel like it's my birthday after having this for the first time. Great IPA. Also had the Duet, but went right back to this. Hopefully more kegs on the way.
Updates:
11-6-15 - Bottles available at my local bottle shop; Picked up a couple and noticed that they are in Green Flash bottles - a nice "merger". Poured into my DFH IPA glass. Still spectacular. Hope to see more of Alpine in Philly and Bucks County.
3-8-16 - On tap at Barrel Down in Los Angeles. Had a couple along with Mike, Brendan, Eric, and Carmella.

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Photo of beagle75
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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 OlieIPA
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Perhaps my favorite brewery...Alpine once again knocks one out of the park; Poured from a growler into an Alpine pint glass at roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

A: A crystal clear golden hue beer that supported a white frothy head and ample amounts of lacing.

S: Semi-sweet rye-like malt, pine, floral, and ester aromas.

T: A nice balance of sharp and sweet malt that helps balance out the multitude of hop flavors. Perhaps the most extremely rich APA I've ever had.

M: A light bodied brew that provides a slightly dry finish on the palate.

D: A perfect balance between light body and flavor; could of devoured the whole growler by myself.

Overall: Really couldn't ask for more in beer. Easy to drink, lots of flavor, and a style that most people can enjoy. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of jvillefan
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

200th Review!!

A: A deep golden orange color with an ivory white head that hangs around for a long time.

S: Dank hops. If you have had an Alpine IPA before you know what I'm talking about. Very very hoppy especially for an APA. There are caramel notes in the background as well.

T: A near perfect blend of caramel and toffee with pine and dank hops. The malt characters eventually give way to the hops on the finish.

M: Nice body. It is a little heavy for an APA but very smooth and sessionable. Great carbonation.

O: Amazing APA. One of the best ones out there. Worth the 2 hour drive to get.

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Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Alpine brewpub

I've heard so many great things about this brew, and couldn't wait to try it. I had this as a part of a flight during my visit to Alpine Beer Company on 11/12/11. Here goes. (from notes)

This poured a really nice orange/amber color, displaying excellent clarity and effervescence. It had minimal head (given that it was a 5 oz. pour) that left some really nice, sticky lacing. The aroma on this brew is insane! My first impression was "oh my god!"; my girlfriend thought i found a bug in my glass, haha. This one is so intensely tropical. I'm getting big peach, lemon, orange, and mango. So good, it's almost unreal. The taste just follows suit with the nose. Very heavy on the tropical citrus fruits, peach and orange taking the forefront. There is also a perfect hop bitterness that bites the tongue, which is very piney, but is mellowed out by a hint of malty sweetness. This leaves a really nice hop oiliness in your mouth. It really reminds me more of an IPA than a pale ale. Mouthfeel is light-bodied, and somewhat dry. Just how i like my pale ales. Overall, I am going to have to say this is my favorite pale ale I have had so far. I really wish I would have grabbed a growler of this, but I did get a mixed case of Nelson/Pure Hoppinness, so I can't complain. And there's always next time : ) Anyone seeking this out, do yourself a favor and go to extreme lengths to find it. It really is worth it. Cheers!

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Photo of xnicknj
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
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 NYC-IPAnAPA
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I don't understand what beer some of those really low reviewers were drinking, but it certainly wasn't what I had. I only regret not having had more. Had on tap at Streetcar Bistro in Portland, OR on June 26th. Delicious beer, very hoppy, almost drinks like an IPA rather than a pale.

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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 smakawhat
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Green Flash bottle, best by March 18th 2016.

Stellar looker. Deep bronze with excellent clarity. Hints of orange hues, and even red tinges of copper when held up to the light, even getting darker surprisingly. Fine streams of pinhead carbonation from the bottom. Off white head, thick and rich with slightly creamy to soapy bubbles in a good large three finger size head. Small retention but controlled and settling real nicely to a good finger height.

Fantastic hop aroma. Deep dank notes, hints of tropical warmth, herbs, a mix of sweet green minty like spice as well. Juicy but also dry with this earth green warmth and spicy character that is just inviting. Mouthwatering bouquet, juicy and rich, with incredbile complexity but also real balanced. Spectacular nose.

Palate hits with a big hop splash. Dry herbal earth tones hit first, nearly drying and pulling out the palate. A good juice flavor manages to bounce it back though and continue some decent malt sweetness for counterbalance. Aftertaste is a big surprise. Slow hop aroma and shooting wood and pine burn that creeps out of nowhere. Palate manages a bit on the wet side but with supportive qualities, but tends to wash out in the mid, and dry like an ashen fire on the finish. Big black spiced pepper notes as well, and does have a bit of a session IPA like feel, but with far more malt backbone and in the pale ale territory.

A real nice brew and take. This was more than I expected and it really delivers.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful bright golden orange color with a huge pillowy white head. The nose on this is about as good as they come. Huge juicy notes of tropical fruit, most notably grapefruit and mango take center stage accompanied by a good deal of dankness and pine. Taste is the same, tropical and juicy at first with a bitter pine finish. Feel is medium amd resinous with a good amount of carbonation. Overall this beer is fantastic, and to my suprise I like it even more than Duet!

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Photo of Pencible
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like passion fruit and pineapple, with some grapefruit and mango.
T: It tasted like grapefruit and bitter resin, with some sweet pineapple and honey malt. It had a long and clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a fantastic IPA with ideal scent and bold taste. The body was ok, and the finish was very bitter, so it was better to sip. Worth savoring anyway. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mynie
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Now I got that Altered Images "Happy Birthday" song stuck in my head, which is actually a good thing since that song kicks ass.

Pours dark yellow bordering on a very light amber, with a wispy white head that don't stick around too long. Smells hoppy, obviously. A very nice, fairly unique hop profile that plays pretty well against the grassiness that's all too common in session IPAs.

Tastes aggressively verdant and crisp. Really an amazing hop profile, and I just like it more and more with each sip. Centennial and Nelson are quite pleasant, along with some more tropical varieties. It starts with piney centennial, and then the middle and end are a blend of spicy Nelson and fruity Citra. There's other stuff in there, too, that I'm not erudite enough to recognize, but good god, that is one perfect hop profile.

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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 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 FriedSlug
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Crystal clear deep golden color with a bright white head that leaves good lacing. The smell is pine mostly with some citrus and malt sweetness. Nice citrusy taste with a balanced sweetness and a bitter piney finish. Another well made beer from Alpine.

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

Pint from tap at Dive Bar in NYC.

A: Hazy golden yellow with hints of orange. 2 finger head fades to a strong and consistent lacing.

S: Tropical fruits galore. Pineapple, mango and citrus dominate. Slight pine and caramel at the end.

T: More on the piney, earthy side than the aroma. Still plenty of tropical flavors coming in. Nice caramel biscuit backbone.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Adequate bitterness.

O: definitely one of the better APA's available. Hope to see this more often in NYC. Damn good!

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Photo of seeswo
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
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 koopa
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A big thank you to johndoe8 for sharing the west coast san diego beer week wealth!

Appearance: Perfectly transparent and a slight shade more yellow than a goldfish body. Crown is 2 fingers, slightly off white (hop oil / buttery color), shows good retention and loads of lace!

Smell: Very piny with a bit of grapefruit pith and tangerine over a hint of pale sweet malt.

Taste: Lots of tropical notes up front...pineapple, mango, and tangerine. Soon followed by a bit of resin and a mildly hoppy finish. Very low on the bitterness....citra hops perhaps.

Mouthfeel: A touch chewy for a medium bodied brew but slightly undercarbonated for my liking.

Drinkability: The 2L growler to the head was no problem. This one is extremely drinkable.

What a great American Pale Ale!

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