Alpha Session | Drake's Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
88
very good
189 Ratings
THE BROS
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Alpha SessionAlpha Session
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States
drinkdrakes.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by largadeer on 11-30-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
189
Reviews:
60
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
12.06%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of richkrull
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of ccrida
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at zeitgeist, Alpha Session is clear gold with a small white collar leraving no lace.

Smell is skunky, piny hops. Pretty dank.

Tatse is also all hops. As evidenced by the abv, there very little malt, a little cracker.

Mouthfeel is on the thin, light side. Dry.

Drinkability is good, which is the point. Hop fix without the strenght of an IPA. Well done.

 370 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wheee!! Hit me with your best hops!! Wow. This is a what?? You can make a "pale ale" this flavorful at such a low abv? Good lord, man.

This is straight up hop juice. I mean, just put those hops in a tea bag and steep it in some water already. A blast in your mouth that, somehow, remains a step below obnoxious and overbearing. As it warms, it gets extremely pleasant and sublime. This is, by far, the greatest session ale I have had to date. And add on top of that it's a "pale ale." (If this is a pale ale, I'd be very interested in what an IPA would be like, by these standards.)"

I don't really feel like searching for adjectives on this one. I just want to end this review and get back to the half pint I have left of it.

This is an amazing beer. The intensity might make it a sipper for some, but overall, this is one that would be worth trekking many miles for. Give it a minute to settle down and just sip and enjoy. Unbelievably amazing. This is why the tickers tick and the beer nerds hunt; to find the ones like this.

 1,032 characters

Photo of Kiniey01
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of BennyL1
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to schwartzoid - 22oz bottle into a standard pint. No freshness info that I could see.

This session brew pours a good copper color with a thin white head that doesn't stay around very long. Some lacing on the glass but nothing to remarkable.

Nose is slightly malty with some good hop aroma in the background. Hops are mostly of the citrus variety with a hint of pine.

First taste is that of citrus hops with a nice amount of bitterness. Some bready malt undertones add a pleasant touch to the beer. Very tasty for a lower ABV brew. The mouthfeel is really nice as well. The carbonation is lively with a lighter body that makes it supremely drinkable.

This is how a session beer should be done. Low alcohol without sacrificing flavor. Really enjoyed this one.

 771 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebereej for this one!! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a clear gold color. This was a good bit of visible carbonation and forms a moderate white head.

S: Dank, earthy stank, weed, grassy hops, some sweat & garlic hops, with a background of citrus & pine hops. Some cracker malt aromas also.

T: Taste follows nose well - dank barnyard, garlic (not in a bad way), some lemon, nice yeast flavor.

M: Thin mouthfeel but expected given the style & ABV, with good tingly carbonation. Has only a mild bitter hang.

O: This is the best "out of the blue" beer I've had for a long time. Never heard of it, went into it with no expectations. I really really liked this one.

 719 characters

Photo of CelticAleMan
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of leschkie
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of creez
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of litheum94
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Reviewed 6/25/12.

Bright, slightly hazy, golden body. Bone white head is very active; it bubbles up then fizzles out very quickly, leaving a faint cover.

Dry grains, very crackery. Aromas of pine and citrus, and some faint tropical fruit.

Dry grain malt profile. Tropical fruit sweetness. Juicy grapefruit and a dry, pine bitterness. Bitterness is strong, but it is nicely restrained and leaves the mouth quickly.

This is a great example of a session beer, with just enough complexity to keep you interested. My only real complaint is the price. $6.99 for a bomber of less than 4% ABV beer is just a little much. This needs to be in six packs to be a true session beer.

 687 characters

Photo of beagle75
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with less than one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass and scattered solitary bubbles rise in the column.

S: Mostly hops of moderate intensity for style; floral and mixed citrus qualities dominate, but some green plant stem is also detectable.

T: Begins dry, with distinct English malt that is bready, ashy, and intensely toasty. Early hop aromatics are herbaceous and slightly dank. While acidity is very mild into the middle, sharp minerality is distinctive. Hop flavors yield some spicy herbaceous notes before the mildly bitter finish that is most affected by some crisp and dry pale malt. Echoes of Nelson Sauvin hops linger late, giving the aftertaste a bright vinous tint.

M: Thin viscosity, wet ans slightly acidic on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: Drake's has been quietly generating a buzz about their hoppy pale ales over the last few years, but this beer's most remarkable feature is is its standout Marris Otter malt quality. It reminds of how the malt bills of Founder's pale ales frequently outdo their fine hop qualities. If it were categorized as an APA then it would get a 4 in taste, but as an American interpretation of an English bitter, it rates higher.

 1,294 characters

Photo of BeerShman
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Wasatch
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice slighlty hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, little fizzy white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice hop note, slight citrus/pine notes. The taste is very nice, slightly malty, very nice hop note, with some citrus and pine notes. Medium body, very nice bitter/dry finish. Over all this is a very tasty brew for under 4% ABV, especially the hop/bitter/citrus notes. Way to go Drake's. Thanks Bill for the chance to try this one out.

 557 characters

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of mactrail
3.12/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blonde ale with a brief flirtation of suds. Some hoppy aroma, an extremely light body, and a dissipating fizz.

Seems rather tasty for a couple of sips. Then the carbonation runs out and it tastes just bitter and a little metallic. Maybe it's meant to be served on tap, and drunk in a couple of chilling draughts.

I'm a Drake's fan, so I always try any new beer of theirs. I'm always happy to see low-alcohol beers with some flavor. However, I find it hard to call this any kind of English style, with the piney hops. More of an American Extra Pale Ale. I suppose it's not expensive as bombers go, but at $5.99 that would be over $18 a six pack, which seems extortionate for what it is.

 688 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes taken from Saturday – 06-23-12
*22oz bomber to standard pint glass

A: Pours a fizzy Yella Beer! Super transparent burnished light gold color. Real effervescent yet only yields a tiny thin off white cap with low retention and not much by way of any cling.

S: Smell is just bursting with grapefruit, gooseberry, lime peels, and some evergreens. A killer nose packed with fruity hops. A suggestion of crackery malt. Aromas resurface with every sip. Really amazing stuff.

T: Tastes offers up some real zesty hops. Lemon-lime and grapefruit pith with a bit of emphasizing pine essence. Malt makes a cameo appearance with a light honey-cracker presence. Brings just the slightest inclination of breads to the overall brew. There is an intense level of bitterness and no alcohol to report. A slight tartness in the end. Overall a step down from the nose but real tasty. Not very ESB-like if you ask me. More of an APA here.

M: Very thin and light body that feels a bit watered down which is as to be expected. Crisp carbonation and a super dry finish.

D: A true sessions brew that is chalked full of hoppy goodness. Delivers on the name for sure with some nice Citra highlights. You can literally drink this one all day long. I think I crushed the entire 22oz in about oh 20 minutes. Actually had me kind of missing the “beer” at times.

They should call this Hop Water!

 1,383 characters

Photo of craparu
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm rating this beer to the ABV (3.8%) and Style.

Ultimate session beer with big hop flavor, served at Gormet Haus in Redwood City, CA.

A - Golden orange, and vibrant. Slim to no head to speak of, but what a beauty to look at.

S&T - Dank hop smell, lemon citrus, orange and breadiness. Taste follows nose, big hop taste with lemons and oranges upfront, followed by a breadiness and firm, but not over the top bitterness in the finish.

M - Light, crisp, clean and brewed packed full of hop flavor that you could drink from morning to night. Had 4 of these in a sitting with a minor buzz. WOW. No real malt going on here but expected with the style and ABV.

O - Best hoppy session beer or beer PERIOD for that matter under 4% ABV.

Only complaint...I have seen this beer in bottles and I refuse to pay $6.99 for a bomber with the likes of bigger IPAs and DIPAs out there at the same price. I understand not apples to apples with that comment, but I feel this should be 6-packed and sold near $9-$11. Afterall, what session beer only comes in bombers if it's meant to be sessioned???? Think about it...

 1,105 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, baybassboy!

Clear light amber and copper in color with a moderately sized light khaki colored head that eventually leaves irregular dots and spots of lacing down the glass. Very pretty and appropriate.

A full and complete aroma, especially for a pale ale of this (lack of) magnitude. There's good amounts of grapefruit and citrus zest present, some bread, and a hint of caramel. Very nice.

The flavor too is quite nice, and as the name suggests, this is incredibly drinkable. A nice balance of citrus, earth, pine, and sweetness combine for a remarkably easy drinking low-ABV pale ale.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Crisp and disappearing.

!ADELAIDE!

 722 characters

Photo of JRod1969
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA.

Pours an exceptionally clear yellow colour, with a forthy, large-bubbled head of white, that settles to an unassuming and relatively unappealing film. The body has a surprising weight to it given its exceptionally low ABV, and it's the only thing that makes me rate the appearance as other than extremely unappetising.

Ok, maybe the other thing is the aroma, which I snuck a sniff of beforehand anyway—it's wonderfully fresh, bright, fruity and hoppy, with the emphasis on the clean, crisp, bright West Coast resonance, along with a touch of something green, herbal and organic. It's perhaps only this which hints at its genesis in the English style. Many other things prove that this does not truly fulfill that style.

Taste is a lot weaker, but you probably expect that in a beer that is intentionally designed as a sessioner. Quite a clean, light, herbal hop fragrance through the centre, with some rosemary, pepper and leafiness, but with almost nothing underneath: perhaps just a moderated grain character that holds in in check, but doesn't really support the hop flavours. It's certainly sessionable, and far from unpleasant. Feel is smooth enough and suitable for what it is.

Pretty drinkable brew, with much to offer. This is not making a play for best beer in the world, but it sure is refreshing, clean, easy to drink and enjoyable. Very decent drop.

 1,425 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Chris. Thanks, dogg! A 3.8% highly-hopped beer? Yes please.

Pouring a hazy orange with a dense, off-white head that recedes to a ring rapidly, I'd be lying if I said I'd never seen a nicer looking beer. The nose, though, is rather excellent. A big Simcoe-hop nose is present, fruity, pungent and refreshing with a blend of , tangerines, lemons, a little pine and some melon. A little bit of chalk is also present (also from the Simcoe, I think). The blend of Citra and Simcoe is enjoyable, with the CTZ adding the pungency. I *think* there's some Amarillo in there too. Hopped to this level,the malt is pretty much covered up. Excellent stuff.

The palate opens with a mild bitterness, a little grassy and vegetal but mostly grapefruit-rich. This is immediately followed by a big hop flavor with citrus (tangerines, oranges), a little pine, and that classic Simcoe blend of fruit,pine and pungency. The malt character is non-existent, with neither the Maris Otter nor the Crystal-45 noticeable. This, actually, is to the beer's detriment, as it leaves nothing linking the flavor hops and the medium-high carbonation. Rather crisp, the finish is clean, bitter and moderately fruity with grapefruit and pine. Light in body and despite being a little too carbonated for my palate, this does live up to its name. Given the low ABV, the overall score deserves an extra 0.5. Highly recommended, though this is most definitely NOT an English bitter and is closer to an American Bitter (think Bitter Brewer etc)

 1,516 characters

Photo of javi10653
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 189 ratings.
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