Happy Hops
Russian River Brewing Company

Happy HopsHappy Hops
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IPA - American
Ranked #128
Ranked #2,755
4.16 | pDev: 8.89%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Happy HopsHappy Hops
Notes: Happy Hops was originally brewed by the Grace Brothers Brewery in 1944 right here in Santa Rosa! Their brewery went out of business in the 1960’s, but we wanted to resurrect “Happy” and a new fun beer for him to enjoy! It is also a way for us to pay homage to the Grace Family and their brewing pioneer history. Happy Hops is an incredibly hoppy India Pale Ale with an immense hop aroma and flavor and a mild bitterness. Happy Hops is an IPA brewed with both new and old hop varieties, giving this beer bold aromas and flavors with notes of tropical and stone fruits.

50 IBU
Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 516 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of eppCOS
eppCOS from Colorado

3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not a bad light IPA. But it just doesn't have the balanced taste of Blind Pig.
Look, aroma, and mothfeel is all good but the taste is a bit muddled. Will edit if I try another soon.

Apr 01, 2021
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1/28/21
Consumed 3/27/21

I'm finishing my Pliny the Younger bottles and don't know why I waited so long to drink this guy. I've had it before but forgot how good it is. It's not super dank and bitter like old school Westcoasts, but definitely not a hazy New Englander. I love the dry bitter finish and full mouthfeel. It's a wonderful break from the super juicy sweet IPAs that are so trendy now. Wish they would can this and I could get it as I'd pick it up instantly next time.

Mar 27, 2021
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KT3418 from Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Im not giving this a 5 cuz that isn't fair to other beers I may not have had yet but this is absolutely slapped to me. An absolutely excellent hoppy IPA. I am happy with this indeed

Mar 27, 2021
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FBarber from Illinois

4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant, crystal clear golden color. Lovely effervescence is noticeable throughout. Thick, four to five finger, sudsy white head forms on the beer, then dissipates steadily, leaving behind a coating of lacing on the glass. Really nice retention leaves a hilly, residual head remains on the beer.

Aroma is brilliant with notes of orange, papaya, pineapple, and general tropical fruits. There is a certain grassiness and dried hay that comes through on the nose.

Taste follows the nose with notes of orange, pineapple, papaya, mango, and a lovely dried grassy bitterness on the back end. The malts are present on the backbone, but very balanced. The hop notes on the back end have some dried grassy notes but also some light pine notes. Moderate bitterness.

Feel is light, crisp, easy drinking. A bit slick, or oily. Moderate carbonation. Rather drier on the finish.

Overall this is a stellar IPA from Russian River. Its the kind of IPA I'd be happy to drink any day, any time.

Mar 06, 2021
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Todd from California

4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

510ml bottled on 01/28/21. Sample from the brewery. Thanks, Vinnie!

The pour on this beer is glorious. Clear, pale yellow with a big, foamy, two-fingered white head. Incredible retention, lacing, and cling. Big aroma of citrus, stone fruit, and tropical fruits. Super creamy and light-bodied. There's some light sweetness upfront with some orange and pineapple. Bitter with an astringent edge and sticky pine. Melon, mango, papaya, guava, and nectarine. Ripe and fleshy. Bready malt backbone with some light toasted grain notes, honey, caramel. Earthy. Nice and dry in the finish with lingering hoppy notes.

I'm glad that Happy is back and that he's hoppy. The old-school label is a nice touch too.

Feb 28, 2021
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle. Clear golden body with a fleeting white head. Smells of soapy hops, lemon, pine, and earthy (almost oniony) hops. Caramel and lightly toasted grain behind it. Tastes of aggressively earthy and pine hops with tinges of fruity hops. Light caramel malt sweetness with slight bitterness. Medium body. Hard to even call this a "classic" IPA, as it's a super aggressive earthy hop flavor and quite an aggressive bitterness. A complete and very welcome departure from the normal IPAs available these days.

Feb 16, 2021
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Awolter from Minnesota

4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very solid offering from a great brewery. I think Pliny the Elder is a bit better than this, but at least it is a fair bit more enjoyable than Blind Pig. Slight haze, well rounded bitterness and citrus, very balanced.

Feb 16, 2021
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simonrgilbert57 from California

4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. The look is fairly classic--a lasting head and a clear amber color--for an IPA. The smell is above and beyond, hoppy and floral yet light and complex. The taste matches the smell, with a hops that furthers a floral and fruity taste without being overly sour. The best part of this beer is its feel--for a 6.5% IPA, this feels like it has half the alcohol content. Be careful because it's so good you might juts get accidentally hammered. Another beer with superior brewmanship from Russian River Brewing.

Jan 09, 2021
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entheos from California

3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It’s a good beer, but a bit harsh on the feel. Won’t be drinking this one fast! The taste is intriguing as it has hints of fruit layered with hops. Very good!

Sep 27, 2020
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DoctorZombies from Florida

4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Two fingers of creamy thick white head sits atop deep gold liquid with excellent clarity; long lasting cap retention; good streaming carbonation; heavy minus lacing. Nose is spicy floral hops; skunky earthiness at 55 degrees. Taste is skunky earthy bitter hops; light malt base; lemon grass; some peach and melon on backend. Clean feel; medium minus body, moderate carbonation; no astringency; no warmth from 6.5%; super easy drinking. Interesting play on a Simcoe varietal - earthy but not cat pissy, spicy floral with a hint of onion; glad I tried it, but not my jam.

4.75 | 4.0 | 4.0 | 4.25 | 4.0

Sep 15, 2020
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Russian River - Happy Hops

Pours a nearly crystal clear deep golden-amber colour, topped with nearly three fingers of thick, rocky off-white head with remarkable retention. Plenty of visible streaming effervescence.

Nose: Classically Northern California. Sweet, toasty, balanced caramel malt forms a base for big bright Pacific hops. Bold aromas of lemon, pine, magnolia blossoms, and more pine, with undertones of grapefruit, tangerine, lychee, a touch of dank Simcoe, passionfruit, fresh grass, and fresh spring blossoms. This is so bright, piney, and floral, it's almost unreal.

Palate: The beer greets the palate with a very restrained malt sweetness that comes across much more pale than the aroma leads on. The hops explode with lemon, tangerine, pine, a big dank Simcoe note, some zesty grassiness, fresh herbaceous notes, raw hop cones, and a bit of a tropical vibe with lesser notes of pineapple, kiwi, lychee, and maybe a whisper of melon. A little bit of toast peeks through, followed by more of that green, herbaceous grassiness. Towards the finish, there's a big return of that dank Simcoe, and we get some grapefruit pith and pine which lend some bitterness, but only just enough to dry out the already pleasantly dry malt base. It eventually finishes resinous amd piney, with a little lemon zest in the background.

Mouthfeel/Body: The beer is basically medium-bodied, but there is an incredible bright crispness about it that just makes it so effortless abd refreshing to drink. Very bright, very fluid, and no heavy, sticky malt to weigh it down. Effervescence is medium, but it's quite fine in nature, which gives it a bit of a livlier feel. Fairly dry, with a moderately drying finish.

Overall: This really has that Russian River spirit, which is already a head start. I've not had this before, but much like Pliny, this very much has its own unique character, and I personally find it to be a standout beer - which is a rare thing in today's IPA world. Like Pliny and Blind Pig, the balance between malt and hops here is absolutely infallible. For the amount of flavour and the ABV, it's absurdly crisp. The unique flavour profile of bright lemon zest, pine, and unbelievably fragrant floral notes cannot be compared to any other IPA I've had, which means that this is unique. I have to give this high marks, because it's one of the most perfect West Coast IPAs I've had. Don't sleep on this one if you haven't had it.

Aug 27, 2020
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow-straw with a hint of fog to the transparency. Head is two fingers of white foam. Aroma is orange, papaya, tangerine, lemons and grassy hops. It has a tropical fruit-centric nose with a little bready malt cutting through the back. Flavor profile is orange, papaya, tangerine, melons, lemons and grassy hops. Very mild initial sweetness that tapers off for a lightly bready, sticky finish. Mouth feel carries a light stickiness, with an oily texture that clings to the sides of the mouth. Running down the center is a soft turf texture. Overall, very mild notes, but all are well placed, emphasizing consistency and nuance vs big flavor.

Aug 09, 2020
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle. Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass. Smelled of orange, grapefruit, mango, guava and caramel. Sweet tropical fruit taste with toasted caramel and a sharp piney bitterness.

Jul 26, 2020
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Gatch from Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

510ml bottle dated 031820. Finally found a somewhat fresh bottle after finding a few other stores on Coronado carrying old bottles. Got caught drinking a year old Blind Pig, never again! This is a seriously good West Coast IPA that seems like a consistent option when other RR options aren’t available. Super dank and pungent with plenty of tropical fruit. Gets better with each sip as it warms up.

Jun 17, 2020
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Radiant mostly filtered golden hue. A dense finger of ivory head leaving sticky bands of lace. Simple and elegant.

S: Powerful lemon zest, lime and orange citrus and some herbal notes. These can be observed from arm’s length and are incredibly enticing.

T: Follows the nose. Supremely hoppy. Well executed like most of Russian River’s bests.

F: Nicely crushable in all aspects.

O: This is very good. I’m surprised at the mediocre average.

Jun 09, 2020
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Mister_Faucher from Washington

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle served in a nonic glass, bottled on 03/18/20.

Look- Clear golden color, largish bright white head with great retention and nice sticky lacing. moderate carbonation streams visible.

Smell- Citrus (orange, grapefruit and lemon), passion fruit, light stone fruit and berry, biscuity malt, resinous pine and floral/grassy hop notes.

Taste- Similar to the aroma. Citrus, light tropical fruit, apricot and berry, resinous pine, bready malts with a light lingering hoppy bitter finish. Pretty well balanced.

Feel- Medium/light bodied, dry and really crisp, super refreshing. Medium carbonation on the tongue.

O- My first Russian River beer and it lives up to the hype. A really nice IPA!

May 16, 2020
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jmui from California

4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

510 mL bottle into tulip glass
Bottled: 04/23/2020
Consumed: 05/06/2020

L: Not much of a looker. Golden yellow, almost urine-like. Head is fine as is moderate lacing
S: Simcoe tropical fruits right up in front. Nice mango/guava notes. Tiny but distinct citrus pith astringency on the back end.
T: Fairly crisp medium/medium minus mouthfeel. Good hop profile with some bite on the base but bitterness mild. ABV spot on here. Some dryness. Some minerality mid palate. Citrus and tropical fruits as expected but balanced and somewhat restrained. Astringency shows up again subtlely in background. Hop oil shows up more pronounced half way through. Malt profile is light.
F: Underrated and overlooked IMO. This has some nice levity to it and fairly distinct. It is less likely to get washed out in a session where multiple IPA styles are consumed. I also think it drinks a little bit better than most IPAs as it warms up.

May 07, 2020
Photo of Kelden

4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Delicious IPA that is the perfect balance of hops. Tastes like a pale almost. Ideal carbonation, not too sweat or sour. Probably my favorite Russian River beer, which is a very controversial statement.

May 02, 2020
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BucannonXC5 from California

4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 16-oz. draft
Reviewed as: American IPA
Glass: Clear shaker pint glass
Price: $8.50
From: San Diego Brewing Company in San Diego, Calif.
Purchased: Feb. 23, 2020
Consumed: Feb. 23, 2020
Misc.: 2020 Pliny the Younger release; Quick review

Headed over to San Diego Brewing Company for the Younger release. Was there an hour early (to get a Younger ticket), so decided to try Happy Hops for the first time. Untappd description read, “Test session IPA using 369 hops, daughter hybrid from Simcoe. Not really a Blond Ale, not a Pale Ale, not an IPA. Happy Hops is a light colored refreshing ale with a pronounced hop character.”

Poured a medium yellow-to-gold murky color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy white head when I got it. Could see just a few bubbles. World-class foamy lacing. Perfect retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled Simcoe, grapefruit, papaya, tangerine, pineapple, mango, pine and bit citrus notes. (Smell - 4.25)

Tasted big grapefruit, tangerine, papaya, pineapple, Simcoe, mango, papaya, lemon, peach, apricot, pine, passion fruit and lingering black pepper. (Taste - 4.25)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Sharp, juicy finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Loved this. Probably undervalued it. (Overall - 4.25)

4.27 | 95 | A

Apr 15, 2020
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sjdevel from Utah

4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

LOOK - really nice golden yellow color that's really clear - 2 finger head poured from a 500ml bottle - foam is an amazing brilliant white that is like meringue - nice head retention - nice layer of bubbles remain after head recedes
SMELL - strong citrus, mango, and pine - hops are very powerful - slight bread/cracker - slight maltiness
TASTE - slightly bitter but not too strong - blast of powerful hops - mango and some pine - hints of lemon and orange - starts off rich and sweet but dries to a more tart citrus flavor - very flavorful - great hops in this one
FEEL - seems to feel frothy the entire time - nice full/medium body - great mouthfeel
OVERALL - this is yet another amazing beer from Russian River - always impressive and enjoyable - hops are plentiful - seems to be more on the piney side but some nice tropical and citrus mixed in there - I will definitely pick this one up again

Mar 21, 2020
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 2/12/20

Pours a translucent bronze-tinged light gold body capped with multiple fingers of steady white head; great retention leaves a thin cap, moderate collar, and lasting layering of chunky, soapy lacing.

Aromas offer a unique touch of rubbery, dank peach and tropical fruits steadily phasing into accents of almost sappy evergreen and pine needles as a citrus twist of tangerine, blueberry, and touches of lemon come through on the back end.

Taste shows oily lemon and some subdued stone fruit upfront as hints of blueberry intertwine with crisp malt and bits of fresh, grassy hops over the mid-palate and into the finish.

Mouthfeel brings out a medium-light body with an ample and rounded upper-level carbonation; crisp, drying grit over the mid-palate leads into a wisp of bitterness evened quickly to a clean, mild finish touched with soft hop-laden oils.

The hop/malt balance here is soft and casually impressive, leaving a universally approachable character and resulting in a classic west-coast IPA with nuance and touch.

Mar 04, 2020
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Korbynlehr from Kentucky

4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Those hops are happy. Another Russian River beer that checks off all the boxes. Nose, head, lacing, flavor and follow up flavors are above average and set the bar.

Feb 28, 2020
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gatornation from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slight hazed light golden color with a white head. Fruity and dank hoops on the nose. Taste is citrus ,fruity hops with some herbal grassy notes. Sweet and floral mouth feel with a little bitterness. Very tasty although. Pricey.

Feb 26, 2020
Photo of Mac_Dre

4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured aggressively into a tulip. As soon as I cracked the bottle the fresh smell of hops and citrus punched me in the nose. Very dank. Over 2 fingers of head, strong lacing that lingers. Smell is very citrusy sweet with pine, some tropical notes as well. Light golden color, with a little haze. This beer has a delicious. If Pliny is RR's DIPA, this seems like the lighter alternative, although I am yet to try Blind Pig. An incredible West Coast IPA you should get it if you can.

Feb 18, 2020
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neenerzig from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Having this with my good friend Passow, who brought a bottle of this back with him from the brewery in northern California. Poured into a pint glass, this beer pours a slightly cloudy/hazy, light, pale golden color with lots of streams of little streams of bubbles quickly and continuously rising to the beer's surface. Has a nice white, creamy looking, head that's about an inch thick when first poured. Settles eventually to a thick surface coating of foam and a thick ring lining the inside of the glass at the beer's surface. Good lacing here too. Aromas of some slightly zesty, bready grainy malts, and floral, herbal hops. Has a very similar flavor profile, with some slightly zesty, bready grainy malts, and floral, herbal hops with some apricot as well. A well balanced flavor profile here. Has a somewhat crisp, also smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish with a herbal hop aftertaste. A very good IPA here. Glad I got a chance to try this one.


Feb 07, 2020
Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 516 ratings