Happy Hops
Russian River Brewing Company

Happy HopsHappy Hops
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American IPA
Ranked #156
Ranked #2,753
4.14 | pDev: 8.94%
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: 438
Photo of TheBrewsky
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Straw yellow in color, perfectly transparent. About a finger of head and heaps of lacing.
S: Lots of citrus, grass and pine.
T: Follows the nose. Citrusy up front with slighly bitter hoppy finish with pine that lingers. Very nice tasting.
F: Light i body, moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.
O: A great beer. I would drink again. I am glad to revisit and enjoy again. As always, I am glad to have tried. Cheers!

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The aroma. Shiiiiit. As soon as the cap is popped a bouquet of pine, grapefruit rind, orange zest and pakalolo wafts from the bottle. Just my style; downright spectacular.

Golden pour with a soft, frothy head that lingers. Great clarity and color.

Taste is hop-forward with notes of pine, leafy green hops, a touch of pineapple and a noticeable crackery malt. Taste ends with a welcomed hoppy bitterness that doesn't overpower any of the other aspects of the beer and keeps it firmly away from the no-thank-you-pollowy-softness that has become a mainstay in IPAs these days.

Get off my lawn, NEIPAs.

West Coast, traditional, new age hopped-IPA, whatever - this is a beauty of a beer and a standout of the style. Would drink this any chance I had...if I had more of a chance.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River Brewing Co

A: Pours golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles to a light layer and laces very nicely.

S: Bright citrus, tropical fruit, a little spicy pine, crackery/biscuity malt, and a touch of sweetness.

T: Resinous pine, fruity, mango, blueberry, passion fruit, papaya, citrus, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, a little spicy, crackery/biscuity malt, and a touch of sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Vinny throws down another winner. New school flavors with old school balance.

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Photo of Ice_Cream_And_IPAs
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright golden color, with a body that seems to be unfiltered though not murky. A small cap on a non-aggressive pour, and below average head retention, but strong lacing is left on the glass. Nice floral and tropical smell. The floral notes dominate the front end of the taste, while there is some old-school bitterness on the back end. Seems like the taste could have a bit more oomph with this being produced by RR. Light body, with lots of carbonation, and no apparent abv. An enjoyable and crushable single IPA that leaves you wishing it had just a tad more to it.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured on tap a clear golden yellow under a half-inch thick white head which leaves spots of lace. Aroma is floral, orange citrus, fruity, stone fruit (peaches). Flavor is malt balance with citrus and pine notes. Semi-medium body and semi-moderate carbonation. Crisp, dry and somewhat bitter finish. Easy drinking and flavorful.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light floral hop aroma, with a fairly malty clean toast aroma.

A: Deep golden color, with a moderate white head that has adequate retention. There is light lacing in the glass.

T: Clean, malt-forward with a toast flavor. The beer has a slight hoppy flavor with a moderate bitterness and semi-dry finish.

M: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Alright; the beer is clean and has a great toasty malty presence. However, the hops maybe happy, but are just not that noticeable. I have had this beer in the past and it was not this malty... hopefully the recipe did not change.

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Photo of Absolut
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at blue palms

Golden orange color. White foamy head that laces the glass.

Floral hoppy fla or with citrus. Excellent easy drinking ale.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice lacing on the glass. A delicate balance between grapefruit and pine notes to that of some generic tropical fruits. Perhaps some mango.

It gets a 86/100.

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Photo of gandres
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tap to glass @ Russian River Brewing tap [email protected] Santa Rosa,CA
A: Golden, deep dark yellow, small off white head
A: very hoppy, earthy
T: Medium bitterness, sweet, taste lingers
MF: fizzy, carbonation lingers, then drops
OA: Very good pale ale ok to repeat and look for
Drank: April 14, 2016

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Photo of TriggerFingers
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure what hops went into this, or if this is a rotator, but it was selling like mad at The Hop Grenade in Concord today. It also comes off a little more skunky/citrusy in the nose than the Altamont Scarcity I had next to it.

My wife said she wanted something hoppy and lighter, and man, she straight-up loved this! So did I. When I try beers that I can't easily replicate, I have to give props. This is a legit Pale Ale...no doubt!

First, let me say RR doesnt make a bad beer, and I would put this just below Row 2 Hill 56 in the APA department (which is my all-time fav APA). Seriously though, Row 2 and HH are pretty close.
I cut my teeth on SNPA and FWP31 in the late 1990's/early 2000's and this grabs them both by the neck like a pal with 'a nod' to the future.

If you ever get a chance to try a pint, do it.

A, 93+

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Photo of frasergrove
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden amber body, medium haze level...light white head. Aroma is pungent tropical fruit, mango and papaya. Bitter bite on the front of the tongue for the first sip, but mellows put after each drink. Delicious pale ale!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as an orange color with a white head on top. The smell of the beer has a bit more malt than I expected on the nose, however, it's still got a good hop aroma to it. The taste of the beer has a great hop profile going on, very nice. The feel is sharp and crisp. Overall it's a damn good Pale Ale.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yellow and a light orange color. Nothing intimidating as usual for Russian River's hoppy selection.
Aroma is one of the mildest hop aromas for anything ipa/pale from RR. Good, just not the excellent world class stuff you've come to know from this place.

Super light and dry malt indicative perhaps of that west coast sugar addition. If this is on tap, I'd drink it first there, because its pretty damn light all around. That isn't to be confused with not good, but this one is kind of a precursor warm up for what you're about to get into.

EDIT: Had it in the bottle, wow, much better. 3.75/3.75/4/3.75/3.75 was the draft score. Will adjust upward, was very crisp, good old(er) school hop bouquet, super dry and light body. Went from being good to elite.

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Photo of VABA
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleasantly surprised. Pale Ale is one of my favorite styles and I always look forward to trying this style at whichever brewery I visit. This did not dissappoint, it actually exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of Antnego
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a golden-amber husband about 3/4" of a quickly dissipating head. Moderate lacing clinging to the sides of the glass. Faint bready aroma mixed with citrus peel. The nose isn't as assertive as say, Pliny. You won't get smacked in the nose with a flood of hops. This beer seems much more subtle. However, upon the palate there is a siginificant hit of bitter alpha hops. There is also a strong backbone of malty sweetness that balances nicely with the hoppy character of this brew. Bready goodness with bitter, floral hops and a faint echo of citrus at the finish. A wonderfully balanced and quite sessionable offering that echoes it's big brother, Elder, with a more subtle hop delivery and reduced ABV. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the source – 06/14/2014
Full Pint - now brewed with Mosaics

A: Light straw pale body with some caramel tones and great visibility to it. Thin layer of ivory white foam settles across the top leaving behind a few minor dots and streaks of lace.

S: Super floral hops on the nose with citrus zest and accents of passion fruit or some type of exotic cactus fruit there. I get some slightly muted herbals as well. Very nice and hoppy with a nice tropical twist to it.

T: Juicy floral hops with tangerine citrus and that distinct passion fruit quality. Somewhat tropical and herbal at the same time. Like dragon fruit or cactus pears. There is a nice bready malt cracker at the base with some light subtle hop bitterness that peppers the palate. Slightly resinous but overall just very clean, balanced, and refreshing to drink.

M: The mouth feel is light and frothy on the tongue with some moderate bitterness and a good drying effort in the finish. Touch of residual goodness hanging around afterwards.

D: Light hoppy and quite refreshing to drink. Happy Hops is extremely crushable. If RR had a “session IPS” this be it. Mosaics make this one really pop. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Sunhunters
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

All about the mosaic, with all the beautiful mosaic notes though they manage to pull a little skunkiness out on the tail end of the finish. Not *the* best mosaic beer I've had, but pretty damned tasty. As usually, weird absence of malt flavors and body that are hallmark of rr beers, but prime hop flavors win the day.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden straw color, with a white head.

S: Tropical fruit and citrus in the nose.

T: Hoppy, citric, and notes of tropical fruit. Delicious pale ale.

M: Typical pale ale body/carbonation. Very drinkable.

O: Well worth a trip to Russian River from anywhere in the bay area. A great pale ale.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Even better on tap at the restaurant. It's dank and sort of dry, astringent, good bitterness. Is a single hop beer and drinks more complex than that. I had this blind next to pliny and likedthis one more. It's only a tad watery being 5.0%.

This growler will be easy to drink.

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Photo of drgarage
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled on July 13. Sampled many times over the days since. Based on the intensity of aroma, this is quite fresh.

A: Clear, classic American pale ale, between golden and amber. Nice head, receding to a small cap with lots of lacing. Pretty much what you'd hope for, though nothing out of the ordinary.

S: SO MUCH mosaic! Very fruity and resinous nose. Definite melon and berry aroma abounds.

T: The nose, but more so. Minimal malts, coated in delicious blueberry/watermelon.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, so so poundable. It's hard to believe I didn't finish the growler in the first day of opening. Easily the most drinkable Russian River beer. Which is saying something.

O: Totally spectacular for its class, and not generally in the conversation for best American pale. I like this better than anything else I've had, including Zombie Dust, Row 2, and several others with the hype. Make mine Happy Hops!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's Pub in San Diego, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and floral hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid hoppy aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Russian River brewpub. A light orange and yellow mixture, evidently is not one of their heartiest brews, this one has a more innocent appearance. But then again, both Pliny's are plenty yellow and have good clarity just like this one. Nice white head on it. Hops are nice, but not as massively pungent as most Russian River hoppy ales. Maybe the happy hops reference is just about them being light and not jam packed into each other.

As usual, a super light bready malt bill that is as minimal as possible to continue making a great hoppy beer. An unexpected resin and herbal compound in the mouthfeel unlike anything I've ever tasted with Russian River, kind of different, don't know what its all about.

This beer is now part of the hoppy pale ale series, and it is somewhat similar to Row 2 Hill 56, but simply less gusto, less bursting right out the bottle, invigorating your nasal cavities and palate, this one is more like the Russian River vibe filtered through some really mellow Jimmy Buffett like tunes and relaxed essence. If you're looking for hop and ibu punch, this one probably won't fit the bill. Its very good, but its also on the low end for Russian River's stuff.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

big thanks goes out to GrumpyOldTroll, jbuddle, Sean9689, SpeedwayJim, AgentZero, dtmets84 for sharing in the greatest day of beer that i have ever been a part of. huge thanks to mike for sharing this.

notes from 1/12/2013

consumed from a russian river glass.

has an almost classic ipa look...semi-transparent orange with a foamy head. smells really fresh, but subtle hops. very sessionable feels like a pale ale aught to. a bit watery and light but could drink it all day. reminds me of row 2/hill 56 but maybe more watery and hoppy.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this beer on tap at Russian River as well as from a growler a day after my visit. The beer has a nice bright golden color. The smell pulls you in with lot of sweet citrus notes and only slight hints of pine. The beer has a thin white head but sufficient carbonation. The flavor is as good as any pale ale I've had. This was the best beer I tasted from Russian River on my trip out there. The initial taste is light and citrusy. The flavor is sweeter than most pale ales with only enough bitterness to keep the beer in balance. This beer was a hit with veteran beer drinkers as well as novices on NYE. In terms of comparison, the beer was less aggressive than Pliny and a bit sweeter. I would ship this beer in by the case if it were bottled. The incredible balance within the use of hops sets this beer apart. The sweetness is certainly not a cloying sweetness; it was just the one aspect that set it apart from the other pale ales at Russian River in my opinion.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64 ounce growler into an Allagash cervoise glass. Filled four days ago at the brewery.

A: Two fingers of fluffy, off-white lace.

S: So fruity! Also resiny with a hint of onion. Citrus zest. Phenomenal hops. The nose is perhaps the best part of this beer.

T/M: Not quite as good as it is quite fresh, but still darn good for a pale ale. Surprisingly bitter, in an engaging and interesting way (full of hops) with a presence on the tongue, though this growler version is sadly lacking in carbonation. Crisp and drying.

O: Maybe my favourite Russian River beer. Seriously. The greatest pale ale I've ever tasted, though recommended as fresh as possible. Will have again.

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Happy Hops from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 438 ratings