Happy Hops
Russian River Brewing Company

Happy HopsHappy Hops
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American IPA
Ranked #145
Ranked #2,581
4.15 | pDev: 8.92%
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: 100 | Ratings: 448 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of beergoot
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold colored body; very effervescent; two-finger thick head, frothy and sculpted. Sweet and pungent hop aroma; citrus, herbs, and fresh cut hay; lemon. Well-blended tastes of light malt grains and tasty yet not over-the-top hop bitterness; lemon bread; earthy hop bitterness; basil. Medium body; crisp and sparkly on the palate; dry overall.

This is a fantastic old school IPA. Probably still more American than English as the hop bitterness is front and center. I like this one for it's lack of modern hops that just gob smack you with citrus and tropical fruits. Indeedy! We have ourselves some kick ass earthy hops, and well-done, at that...

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Photo of EdHinPasadena
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

October 16th, 2019. Lucky Baldwin's Trappiste pub in Pasadena, CA. Pint (on tap), recommended by bartender. In Russian River Still Younger pint glass.
The look is a nice, hazy golden yellow. Bringing it close to the nose and the aroma immediately hits you. Spectacularly hoppy aroma: piney, floral and citrusy. The taste is really close to the aroma: piney, floral and citrusy, and hoppy but not as bitter as one might expect. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a lighter carbonation. Overall, this is another outstanding contribution from the Russian River Brewing Company. Must have again!

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Photo of augustgarage
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 8/22, consumed on 9/15. Poured from a 500mL bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Clear sunglow body with three fingers of pearling rocky merengue. Thick rich lacing; superior retention.

Resinous aromatics with pine, cannabis, berry, and hints of citrus and pineapple.

Mineral-laced palate entry with iron and saltines beneath the forest floor and grapefruit pith notes. As the ale warms, more citrus and cream notes emerge, although the beer remains quite dry throughout. It has a sugar-free-cake element to the flavor profile at times. I won't pretend to unpack all of the hop varieties in the list (I don't think I've even had Cashmere, Azacca, or Strata before), but there are a lot of layers here for the hop-head to ponder. Moderately bitter.

Not quite crisp, faintly spicy mouth-feel with good carbonation, and a lingering dryness.

Complex and contemporary while also retaining all traditional style elements. I still prefer Blind Pig, but this does seem to have more going on - certainly worth picking up if you have access to a fresh bottle.

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Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from RaulMondesi. 500 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/17/2019. Pours slightly hazy medium golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Thick foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, red grapefruit, lemon, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, honeydew melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, peppercorn, pine, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and pale male notes; with big strength. Taste of huge tangerine, red grapefruit, lemon, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, honeydew melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, peppercorn, pine, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine, citrus peel/rind, herbal, floral, woody, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of tangerine, red grapefruit, lemon, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, honeydew melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, peppercorn, pine, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and pale male flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness balance, and no lingering hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky, and fairly crisp/resinous/rindy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 6.5%. Overall this is a fantastic IPA. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and pale male flavors; very smooth and fairly crisp to drink with the modestly bitter/resinous/drying finish; not overly aggressive. Feels like Centennial, Columbus, Simcoe. Extremely vibrant, juicy, dank, and earthy hops; with a great clean pale malt backbone. Mild residual sweetness with crisp resin dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and outstanding classic tasting West coast IPA as expected.

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Photo of ReDave
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is pretty good! I sure wish Russian River was available closer to me!
Smells great!
Not a Hop Bomb, but some good bitterness.
Nice aftertaste, Oh I'd get this again!

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Photo of metter98
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Capital Hop Shop, Sacramento, CA

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high frothy white head.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrusy and floral hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has strong flavors of citrusy and floral hops. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this beer to be very easy to drink and nearly sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of rand
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Familiar American pale appearance, straw-yellow with medium opacity. Sudsy head never fully recedes.

Sharp, snappy-fresh bouquet, citrusy and grassy. Orange zest and pine collide with honey-sweet malts.

Citrus-forward on the palate, plenty of bitter pine essence. Distinct notes of pithy tangerine and caramelly malts offset the bitter aspects, giving the brew refreshing drinkability. A medium complexion and ample carbonation lead to a quick, clean finish.

A tasty, dare I say ‘classic’ West Coast IPA that’s exceeding easy to throw back.

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Photo of AleManDan
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful in the glass—blonde, slightly hazy with a huge, dense yet somewhat rocky head and major head retention.

Taste follows with citrus zest, tons of stone fruit goodness (grapefruit, tangerine, etc), peach creamsicle and clean, crackery malts and almost a sugar cookie sweetness. It’s hoppy but the bitterness is muted like a NEIPA but it’s still a more traditional West Coast style IPA just dry hopped a lot. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium finishes dry. I love the carbonation in this. It drinks like a smaller beer due to the dry hopping. This would be a summer go to if it were in cans.

Almost like the more recent Luponic Distortion offerings (rotating IPA series) from Firestone Walker. Indeed, if you like this then try those beers which can be had on the cheap from Trader Joe’s.

“Happy Hops is a 6.5 percent ABV IPA brewed with Amarillo, Azacca, Brewers Gold, cashmere, centennial, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Strata hops that is packaged in 510ml bottles. The IPA is a recreation of a beer that was originally brewed in 1944 by the Grace Brother’s Brewery, which was located in Russian River’s home city and closed in the 1960’s.”

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely gorgeous beer....first time I’ve given a “5”.....beautiful gold color, slightly unfiltered, with very vigorous carbonation bubble evident. Huge, two finger majestic creamy head that hasn’t settled at all in the 3-4 minutes since I poured. Perfect.

Buried my nose in the foam, huge tropical profile. Papaya, guava, pineapple.

Taste has more pine, and some grapefruit. Lightly sweet, with some lemon rind.

Above average carbonation, very dry finish.

Fantastic beer, more modern flavors than I’m used to from RR, but brewed with their top notch skill.

Bottle dated 3/18, 16 days old.

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Photo of sjrider
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle , a clear golden straw color with short white head leaving lots of frosty lacing. Nose is good and hoppy with some fruity notes. Taste follows with a moderate hop bite . Nicely done. Definitely a WC IPA.

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Photo of Zorro
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden ale with a tall white colored head. It does have a slight orange cast so it is sort of that IPA Orange color.

Smells of hops, what else would you expect? INTENSE scent of tropical fruit. Lots of pineapple, passion fruit and grapefruit. Maybe faint mango, but more peaches and turpentine. Smells sweet but what malt there is is completely hidden by the hops.

Starts out savory with a grilled pineapple slice after taste. Pretty much tropical fruit all smashed together, not much definition of the different flavors. Bitterness is medium.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a hophead type IPA.

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Photo of paulman86
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice new, yet throwback beer from RR.

Almost clear, really nice complex hop taste coming through - citrus dominant with a little melon on the finish. Excellent new offering from RR

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Photo of patre_tim
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw filtered with no visible carbonation and 3 fingers of rocky white head.

Smells of gravel, pineapple and mango, and pine needles.

Tastes of gravel, pineapple, pine needles, a nice balance of earthy, rocky hops, a hint of sweetness and tropical fruits.

Medium, syrupy body with little carbonation.

I got this in Windsor at the new Russian River Brewpub, and am drinking it in Redding, CA, Feb 14th, 2019. Excellent brew, reminiscent hop profile with Alpine's Nelson.

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Photo of fmccormi
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Straight pour from a 1 pt 1.25 oz/510 ml pry-off bottle to a teku. This has a bottling date of December 20, 2018 printed in white ink below the “Bottled On” square at the bottom left of the label (“BOTTLED ON: 122018), which would make this beer about three and a half weeks old at the time of consumption.

Appearance (4.75): This pours out two and a half fingers of bone-white foam, capping a crystal clear, golden yellow body. The head dies away slowly, receding into a fat-bubbled, rocky cap and leaves a mix of wide, arcing legs connecting a thin, broken collar to wide, fluffy clumps of foam and a pock-marked cap. This is just about as beautiful as West Coast (D)IPAs can get.

Smell (4.25): An interesting mix of juicy fruit, passionfruit, soft berry tones, and navel orange come out of the glass. Undertones of slightly piney, moderately fruity, resinous ganja mingle alongside the fruit aromas, paired with a pale, grainy malt body that suggests soft boule, a touch of slightly over-baked sugar cookies, and light toffee. As it opens up a bit, more conifer comes through.

Taste (3.5): On the palate, Happy Hops is clean, bitter, and clear as a bell. Yellow grapefruit zest is the dominant note here, pairing very naturally with a slightly starchy, clean and crisp malt character that suggests toasted baking soda biscuits, white boule crust, and toasted sugar cookie crumbs. Pine resin comes through the bitterness as it opens up. The finish lingers moderately, leaving a slightly soapy impression in the wake of that bright, clean bitterness. Oddly, a touch of lemon-lime soda water comes out toward the end. If you look at the palate from a different angle, the beer projects a few mineral tones that bridge the gap between pithy and piney bitterness and light, toasted malt. No booze.

Mouthfeel (5.0): The body is about medium weight, but crisp and dry without feeling parching or astringent. Carbonation washes in with a nearly liquid feel, transforming evenly into a fine-grained tingle that covers all surfaces and quickly subsides, dissolving into a dry feeling aided by piney bitterness. This is classic West Coast, all the way.

Overall (3.75): So, this is a great beer, and a very good American (West Coast-style) IPA. It’s clean, crisp, technically flawless, and easy to drink. It’s bright, clear, bitter, and smells great. What I’ve found, however, is that it also lacks a really distinct character that sets it apart from the archetypal West Coast IPA, as well as anything within that framework that exceeds what I expect from a very good West Coast IPA. Like, it’s great, but colors within the lines in every single aspect. That said, it’s technically outstanding, and the joy of drinking an old school West Coast IPA that ticks every box and nails every point never gets old. Recommended, if that’s what you want.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft. Copper body, one finger white head, clear, good retention, no lacing. Mild tropical fruit, grapefruit and a fair bit of caramel sweetness. It's fairly standard as far as an IPA goes; it captures a bit of that balanced sweetness and grapefruit bite of Pliny and Blind Pig, but with a bit less oomph to it. Lighter bodied, good carbonation, grapefruit zest on the finish. Not Russian River's best IPA, but then again we are talking about Russian River!

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Photo of spelingchampeon
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 11-8-18 into 16oz IPA glass.
L: Pours bubbly, quick receding head.. average lacing.
S: Pine, GF. Citrus. Mild floral.
T: GF and pine dominate. Citrus and malts are mild, but hold their own.
F: Mild carbonation and bitterness. Smooth, a bit too watery.
O: Nice overall beer, but a bit off-kilter taste for me.

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a tulip. Dated 11-08-18. Brought to me by my brother.

Pours clear light yellow with a biggish head that fades moderately quickly to a reasonably sized head with thick lacing. Smell is refreshing and lemony.

Taste is slight sweetness with a nice lemon crispness and lemon rind bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light and dry. Overall, nice beer.

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Photo of stoumi
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Happy Hops pours a clear gold color with a one finger velvet like head that leaves some sticky lacing. The smell is big citrus hops; grapefruit and orange with grassy undertones and a tantalizing pine. The taste is hop forward on the palette as the citrus fruits shine through including orange, grapefruit and a light melon sweetness, finishing with a bitterness.

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Photo of DT509er
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hops, hops hops, & hops as in Amarillo, Azacca, Brewers Gold, Cashmere, Centennial, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Strata, Happy Hops IPA goes Heavy Metal with hops! \m/

From the first taste to the end of the glass, the hop flavor is excellent with mild bitterness. A nice yellow-blonde color, a good flow of carbonation, minimal head, a light, crisp IPA and excellent drinkability. I am a Blind Pig fan through and through but Happy Hops is as good in the pint glass as it is in the bottle; its one of the IPA's I recommend to folks if they like hop flavor.


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Photo of vitALEity
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught: Pretty flat with minimal head. Nice but light aroma of pine and citrus. Taste is smooth but a fairly subtle hit of the happy hops. Dry and clean. Nice beer but average west coast IPA

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Photo of pkalix
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

No Raul, you are wrong on this one... this one is superb! excellent carbonation! with a beautiful lace around the sides.... super easy-going flavor with a nice hop bite.... and may i note it is my first one also due to the distro accentuation. side by side with a BC Vanilla and i am really impressed with it. perhaps it's all in our mood?

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find this beer to be a bit ‘blah’ quite frankly. No, Raul isn’t feeling happy, nor hoppy. I think, really, Raul doesn’t feel much at all. Raul gonna rename this one zombie beer, cuz it’s kind of lifeless.

...as Raul had time to contemplate this beer, Raul ain’t wanna do it dirty like that. It wasn’t bad, and definitely not lifeless like Tara Reid taking the SATS. I guess I just always expect perfection from Russian River.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very clear beer that smells and tastes like bright citrus with piney hops. Crystal clear and orange with a sticky white head. Scents and tastes of grapefruit, a touch of lemon and a big dose of piney hops. Finishes dry and clean.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a hybrid glass from a 16.125 oz bottle

A - A beautiful golden copper, lovely velvety white head that leaves behind some serious sticky lacing.

S - Rich sweet melon, peach/nectarine, and a hint of passion, bright pine and citrus, mountain brook fresh water, dry and toasted malts/grains, no booze and a slight sweet and pungent yeast.

T - Pine, citrus, dried flowers and some serious dry malt/grains up front. The sweet comes right after with some cracker yeast, a bit of peach, O.J. and lots of fresh green earth.

M - Full bodied, great balance, awesome complexity, medium plus acidity and medium plus carbonation.

D/O - For me, this and Blind Pig, I actually enjoy more than PtE and I know, how dare I, but man. The tastes are phenomenal, punchy and of course refreshing. The balance and complexity are near perfection and wow, just awesome. Paired it with an amazing pork lion roast, sweet potatoes, asparagus, biscuits and mac 'n cheese (it made every bit even more rad than it already was). Wish I could have this at least weekly. RR, stop making me love you more with each beer.

Final thoughts - The price I am not sure cause it was gifted to me, the ABV (6.5%) is not too high or too low. Need to have this on tap with a nice tri-tip pizza or something, haha.

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Photo of emyers
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a DogFish Head IPA glass.

Cloudy straw gold with a thick white head

Nose: tons of citrus hops, some papaya and floral notes.

Taste: similar profile to the nose but lacks the punch. A bit of malt on the finish.

Feel: dry, clean, medium-high carbonation.

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Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 448 ratings