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Alpha Session | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Alpha SessionAlpha Session
BA SCORE
3.93/5
Very Good
189 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#7,241
Reviews:
60
Ratings:
189
pDev:
11.96%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of reverbking
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of HansumFilly
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Let me start out with what this beer is not: It is not a great IPA. It's too light in, well everything, to be a great IPA. Light bodied, light hoppy taste, light hoppy aroma. Light. It is however a very good SESSIONABLE IPA.
For a beer that's under 4% ABV, it has a TON of all the above. Citrus hop aroma, citrus hop taste, nice finish. In fact, it's actually kind of amazing. How do they pack so much flavor into such a light beer? If you want a great IPA, try something else, if you want a beer that you can drink all day without getting completely snookered, you can't do much better than this.

 598 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: into a pint, golden beer with a few fingers of whitish head; foam persisted all the way down, but the cap was alittle scummy-looking; some lace arms

S: wet and toasted grains, herbal and floral hops, bright yeastiness

T: way more flavorful than I expected - follows the nose insofar as the malts and hops; some toasty flavors, nice herbal suggestions, very nice bitterness level

M: light, brisk, crisp, fuzzy/sparkly carbonation, drying finish

O: I do not session drink, but got this thanks to jdhowe, and I wasn't really expecting much. A really nice beer. Very drinkable ('natch), and a well-rounded pale ale - the malts, hops, and yeasts meld perfectly.

 663 characters

Photo of Waveoff
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of bird22
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 5/22/13
poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish IPA glass

Appearance: (4.25)
Pours a crystal clear blond with a sizable, 3 fingers tall off white head. The head has great retention and leaves a nice web of lacing behind as it slowly recedes.

Aroma: (4.5)
Positively bursting with very bright and astringent tropical fruit; kiwi, peach, passion fruit, mango and of course, grapefruit. There is a moderate pine-y earthiness that adds some welcomed depth and contrast to the very tropical centric hop aroma. Underneath the juicy hops, there is a faint cracker-like malt presence.

Taste: (4.25)
Grapefruit and lemon peel immediately slap your palate with an accompanying note of earthy pine resin. The beer closes very dry with a kiss of a light cracker malt backbone before the long, lingering and very nuanced, bitter hop finish. Lively and very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: (4.5)
Crisp, light body with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: (4.5)
A phenomenal, refreshing ale that packs in a ton of hop expression and flavor in a session-able ABV format. I do wish that the tropical notes that are found in the nose were carried over a bit more in the flavor profile, but over this is a Hop Head's dream of a session ale. Crisp, hoppy and refreshing, this is about as close to hop soda as one can get.
Highly recommended

 1,334 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of magictacosinus
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad I nailed a single bottle of this recently - I wanted to see what all the fuss was about around here. I can't recall having a beer this low in ABV in a long time. Poured into a nonic pint glass out of a 12oz bottle.

Pours a very pale amber color, clear as they can be, with large patches of bubbles that eventually disperse and scatter about upward in random ways. About 3 fingers worth of head top the glass, and eventually descend to about a half finger of foam, which is pretty good considering what this is working with. Good retention. Barely any lacing. Looks like a solid rendition on the traditional British session style, only with an American twist.

The initial aroma consists of extremely bright, resinous hoppy phenols that I know Drake's for, ranging from pine, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, but that surprisingly goes away quickly. At first it's highly present, but I was surprised how much this changed over the course of 15 minutes. From the dried citrus flavor, it turns into a faded lemon/orange peel combo that melds with a light, biscuit-y graininess that is warm, albeit dull in comparaison to the initial burst of hops. Feels faded and empty over time. Barely any substance to the malts at hand. Sort of disappointing.

The flavor does luckily have a lot more going for it, and it's mainly due to the malt and grain profile being far more accentuated here. There's a flavor of light cereal grains, lightly toasted barley, and slight earthiness awash with huge amounts of lemon peel, limes, and perhaps a touch of grapefruit. Even though this is 50 IBUs, I can barely notice the hop pungency. The flavors balance together well, and also benefit from the touch of sweetness from the alcohol, but something feels... Empty, flavor wise. I realize this is meant to be an easy drinking, authentic session beer, but I honestly feel this could be far more flavorful. It lacks stickiness from the hop resins, and I feel that if they opted for a more toasted, barley flavor that the pale golden variety, it'd be even closer to whatever they would be trying to go for here.

This does seem like a tricky beer to make, and with its good carbonation and solid mouthfeel, this never is a chore to drink, and indeed, the lightness with the slightly interesting hop profile makes this an ideal warm weather beverage. But I think it's too delicate for the style, and it loses a lot of initial gas way too fast right at the beginning. Quaffable, but not the most memorable Drake's offering.

 2,500 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice looking finger and half of head on a hazy straw colored body with lot of bubbles.
The aroma is grain with some lemon and mandarin.
The taste is moderately bitter with a good malt to it without the sweetness.
It has a softer crisp texture with moderate carbonation.
Pretty nice.

 291 characters

Photo of Ilovebeer1549
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of emaciated
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of jdhowe
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 05/06/13.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a thin bubbly white head. A little cloudy, but otherwise very nice.

S: Smells strongly of piney and citrusy hops. The nose is much bigger than the 3.8abv "session" quality would suggest. Probably one of the best smelling low-abv beers I've had.

T: Strong in flavor, but really only in bitterness. Sure, it's a "NorCal Bitter." For only 50 IBUs I did not expect this to be nearly as bitter as it was, however, and I really would have loved a little more flavor from the hops to show through. This beer is less than a month old, so I doubt that it has lost its hoppy flavors, so I'm left concluding that it never had them in the first place. I expected very little malt flavor due to the low ABV, but the lack of hop flavor is a little shocking given the packaging emphasis on their dry-hopping. A bit of a let-down after the nose. Not bad, but I'm not excited to finish the rest of the 4-pack.

M: A nice, smooth, well carbonated, and highly drinkable beer. Very good session beer feel, but nothing special.

O: A nice beer. It smells fantastic, but I really wish the taste had followed the nose more closely.

 1,184 characters

Photo of ambruns1979
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of KevT
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had the beer both at the brewery and around town and have to say this beer tastes and smells way better when served at Drake's. This observation makes me think that this nice hoppy session beer probably is best when it is fresh and has been handled delicately.

 267 characters

Photo of popery
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours a light gold. It looks like there's a bit of haze in there, but it might be my imagination. Decent white head. Fine bubbles. Little lacing, decent retention. The aroma is crackery pale malt with lemon-pine-floral hops. It's a nice, bright hop flavor. A tad lighter than I'd like, but it's a minor complaint, and I'm probably expecting a bit much from a 3.8% abv beer. The taste is fresh and light. Just a touch of sugary malt sweetness but it's dry and refreshing, overall. Good floral pine hop flavor in the taste. Carbonation is normal. Light on the palate. Solid session beer. I just wish that it was available year-round and a bit cheaper.

 663 characters

Photo of clay23
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of elNopalero
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This pours an amber tinged golden color with foam that rapidly dissipates. I get an aroma of lemony pine, citrusy hops upfront with just a hint of biscuit rounding out the finish. It tastes of lemony pine and a light biscuit note. Dryly bitter. It’s thinly bodied yet crisp and full flavored. A true sessionable beer.

 319 characters

Photo of mxchap
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of mc4z
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Zorro
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pale amber ale with a small white colored head.

Smells hoppy with a strong grapefruit scent. Smells mostly of citrus and willow tree.

Starts out dry and mildly bitter. Pretty much an English Mild made with northwestern style hops. The result is basically a low alcohol West Coast IPA.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall and OK beer. Probably not buy another 4 pack of this though.

 374 characters

Photo of zekeman17
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of GregoryMo
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of mhaugo
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Alpha Session from Drake's Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 189 ratings
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