Happy Hops
Russian River Brewing Company

Happy HopsHappy Hops
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Style:
American IPA
Ranked #156
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
92
Ranked #2,753
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 8.94%
Reviews:
100
Ratings:
438
From:
Russian River Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  25
Gots
  59
SCORE
92
Outstanding
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
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Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 438
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light glowing transparent body with no head. A good amount of carbonation.

Nice sweet caramel malts. Grass and light resiny pine. Apple and melon.

Medium roasted malts with a good bitter finish. Good balance light but with character.

Nails it with the nice light chewiness. Piney hop finish.

Drinkable, refreshing. A great pale ale.

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Photo of Klym
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery.

This was really enjoyable. A nice thicker mouthfeel with really tame but non stop hop flow that simmered on the tongue throughout. A really well balanced and highly sessionable pale ale with some unusual characteristics. Grab a growler if you're near the brewery!

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Photo of BrewerB
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wonderful girlfriend grabbed me a growler of this brew while she was picking up some Damnation 23 and Framboise for a Cure. Cheers to her!

This pours a medium-orange, excellent clarity. A 1-2 finger off white foam made its way to the top, retains well, leaves lacing aside the glass.

The nose alludes to perfumey and floral hops. Grapefruit rind.

Fresh, piney hops. Medium-high bitterness. Dry finish with a lingering citrus reminder. Mostly clean malt with a dash of biscuit.

Medium-light in body, moderately carbonated.

Overall this is a nicely made Blonde with a decent hop aroma and flavor. Hoppier than I expect for the style but I have a feeling that's exactly what the brewery was shooting for. Would gladly down another pint..heck, I got a growler to finish.

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Photo of Cmack15
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap while visiting the Brew Pub in Santa Rosa. The beer has a nice light color, good carbonation and a strong piney hop aroma. The beer has a dry finish and the piney hops linger. Another nice beer from one of the greatest breweries out there.
cheers

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Photo of dgilks
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear pale straw colour with a small, white head. Good head retention.

Moderately intense fresh and fruity, citrussy hops. Some sweet malt. Well balanced.

Clean, fresh and fruity flavour. To me this is a good APA flavour with pink grapefruit, pine and lots of taste. Bitterness not too high. Nice.

Medium-light body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A solid, hoppy APA. I really like the fruit flavour here. Solid.

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Photo of SDDanC
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured into pint glass on tap. Light amber in color with about a fingers worth of head. Fresh pine in the hop nose, like an evergreen forest of the american northwest. Taste is hoppy, but without the spicy bite you'd expect to come with hops. Floral and crisp. Very settling and calm in character. Overall, good blonde to have with dinner, refreshing and versatile.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review this is the #8 American Blonde Ale. Growler shared by Thorpe served in a Bruery tulip.

Beer is amber / yellow and clear with a big white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is hop forward, very hoppy. Nice pine and citrus aromas, very nice smelling beer.

Beer is medium to light in body, nicely hopped on the palate but the finish is moderately bitter, when asked to guess the IBUs I guessed 35 - 40 but this is closer to 30 as it turns out. A great beer, the star of the night in fact. I'd have it again, highly drinkable, good mouthfeel.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to schmoopsbeer for getting this growler out my way. Served in a Russian River TION goblet. I need a Russian River "hops" tulip. This is currently the #10 American Blonde Ale.

Pours a clear light peach color with a two-finger white head and plenty of spotty lacing on the way down. Half a cap and a nice collar throughout. The nose bursts forth with some really nice tropical aromas and a good dosing of citrus as well. Mango and a some orange predominate. Slightly floral as well. The taste combines the hop elements quite well, especially in the feel. Not too much malt taste, just a bit of breadiness that lends a very slight chewiness to the body. Good bitterness and carbonation. Really solid brew. Wouldn't expect anything less from Vinnie and crew.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

“Not really a Blonde Ale, not a Pale Ale, not an IPA. Happy Hops is light colored refreshing ale with a pronounced hop character.” –RR website

A: Pours a clear caramel amber with a huge off-white head that slowly faded into a thin, oily film that left rings of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Extreme notes of fresh grapefruit, lemon zest, and pine. This, as is most of RRiver’s none Belgian-style brews, is crazy uber-hoppy and fresh smelling. The grapefruit is so fresh and sweet smelling I could have sworn this was a glass of grapefruit juice.
T: The flavor is not nearly as sweet or hoppy as the nose suggested which makes sense since this isn’t an ipa. It’s still fruity and hoppy, but there is a good dose of biscuity malt and earthen tones as well. The thing about this beer is there is no, and I mean no, hop bitterness at all in the finish.
M: Surprisingly light and crisp mouthfeel with a light body and low carbonation. Goes down light and easy.
O: Hoppy for a blonde, but pretty mellow for an ipa. Forget style it’s simply a good drinking beer. With no bitterness and a light body this beer is like drinking water.

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Photo of lisomiso
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the boys who shared this one with me. I love session beers and I could have drunk this all night... It's nothing transcendent, nothing paradigm-shifting, just fragrant, crisp, and easy-drinking. Nice and dry while not overwhelmingly bitter. Sadly, there was only one growler betwixt the four of us, so we moved on.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

528th review on BA
Draft to Pint
@ Toronado San Diego

Consumed 5/29/11

App- A very dark golden orange with some amber and yellow highlights. A one finger head and not a lot of cling.

Smell- Big spicy hops. Not really the aromatics I was thinking. I was thinking it would be soft, floral. Nice supris

Taste- A very different direction for the style. I was quite surprised again. Very nice deep hops with a little bit of sweetness behind it. More of a IBU full single IPA.

Mouth- Medium body and medium carb level. Left a full hop feel on the mouth

Drink- Was tasty and new to try. I like Vinnys base beers a lot. This was tasty and balanced. A bit bigger and full drinking.

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Photo of DearthVader
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Blue Palms.

Pours a hazy burnt gold color with a 1/2" white head that fell slightly to a nice foam cap for the remainder of the beer. Left minimal lacing in the nonic pint glass.

Smells of grass, pine, hops, and toasted honey.

Taste is up front with the toasted honey flavor that flows straight into the wet earthy hops. Definite wheat flavors with a burnt character to them. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy for the style, but like always Russian River makes it work. Kind of a straw like feel when the brew was at it's coldest point.

Very sessionable beer. I hope they consider bottling this. It would make for a great summer brew.

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Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - a bit darker than the blind pig. less carbonation apparent bit bigger head (sticky and frothy)

s - bitter like the pliney but a hint of funk and spices. almost a slight taint of cinnamon in the back but mixed with some sweeter spicy notes.

t - a littlw less exiting than the slap in the face there other ales have but still intetesting. a litle less defined than there other brews but i slightly expected that considering i havent seen it bottled.

m - light like a blonde. refreshing and balanced. low - medium carbonation level.

o - not bad. didnt meet my expectations. definitely experimental.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

5.56 ABV, 41 IBU
Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Nice herbal, medicinal, and grassyness. Some brown sugar and burnt toast which makes for an interesting profile.

Taste: Nice and bitter (herbal/grassy) with balanced brown sugar, caramel, and bread sweetness. Nice and smooth. The middle is quite sweet with more brown sugar along with bread and yeast added to the mix. The hops add depth, being herbal and medicinal. There is a definite spiciness in the background. The finish is more of the same, moderately bitter but also sweet.

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Photo of mjl21
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River. Poured into a pint glass. Comes in at 5.56% and 41 IBUs. This version is different from the 2009 version as it is now listed on the board as a pale ale and not a hoppy blonde ale.

A-Pours a clear amber color. It has a fluffy one finger off white head that slowly collapses to a swirly layer of film. Lots of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. Leaves some nice lace. It looks completely different from last year's version.

S-Smells like a good pale ale. I get some earthy/pine hops, toasted pale malt, and just a touch of sweet malt.

T-It starts with a blend of sweet malt and toasted pale malt. There is grain flavor in there. It has a little bit of caramel sweetness mixed with earthy/pine hops as it goes down; this flavor dominates the aftertaste.

M-Medium bodied, very smooth, and well carbonated.

D-A really easy drinking pale ale.

I had no idea that they had changed this from last year's version. This one is definitely a little thicker and heavier, but still quite sessionable. A very good gateway beer.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught at the brewpub. Clear light gold with a creamy head. Bready, honey-like malt aroma with ample spicy hops as well. Solid bready malt flavor, light bitterness, and an oily, resiny hop flavor. Medium-light body with smooth carbonation. Almost seemed less hoppy than the aud blonde at first because of the added malt balance, but the green, oily hop flavor definitely lets you know that they didn't skimp on them. Quite nice, but not quite as refreshing as aud blonde for the lighter beer option.

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Photo of xhcadamx
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - light golden color with a carbonated bubbly head. Lacing is present.

S - Piney hops and not much else

T - smooth and clean blonde ale that has an extremely welcomed hop bite; in bitterness as well as flavor

M - light as hoped for in a blonde ale

D - its a tasty beer but there are better to move onto.

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Photo of MickeyHops
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/6/09 10 oz pour at O'Briens

Appearnce is clear and golden.

Smell is somewhat faint and hoppy.

Taste is quite hoppy for a blonde ale. Hops are emphasized with a lighter body. Mouthfeel is on the ligher side.

This is extremely drinkable, and dare I say, a great session brew at a little over 5% ABV. Hops are out front but the overall feel is on the light side. Worth a try for hop lovers that are looking for a break from more intense, high ABV beers.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the RRBC brewpub.

A: Golden orange, great clarity, wonderful head retention and excellent lacework.

S: Hops. Orange blossoms, bright and fresh. Hops are heavy on the aroa front with only a mild bitterness. Not much sweetness either.

T/M: Opens up with a lot of spicy citrus hops. Spicy and earthy with the unique thing to me about this beer being the hop character that showcases the spicy hops. Fairly light and dry with no hops with great carbonation and a nice dry finish

D: Not a style I enjoy, so I might not order it again but it delivers what's promised - a hoppy blonde

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Photo of lhaqq
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear gold, served with little (white) head.
S: Couldn't smell much. Some green tea, which I have smelled in a couple of their other brews (and exclusively so; haven't smelled it elsewhere).
T: Green tea, caramel, with a barley/wheat finish.
M: Not too much carbonation, smooth. Good mix of sweet and sour flavors.
D: Great beer, but somewhat strong flavors so couldn't have too many.

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Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is similar to RR's IPA but with some different fruit notes than any of the other beers of theirs that I've tried. It pours a bright beautiful golden. The head on my beer could have stuck around a bit more. The smell was a bit weak, but there were some good honey and fruity notes to be found. The taste delivered on these fruit notes. There are some interesting apricot or plum flavors to the beer that aren't present in other RR beers. There was still the usual floral, pine, and citrus hop flavors from RR, but there was a bit more complexity on the sweet end of the spectrum. It could use a bit more balancing bitterness. I kept going back for more despite some initial hesitation.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at RR back in August. Listed at 5.57% with 33 IBUs and an OG of 1.053 at the pub. I really like this interpretation of an American Blonde. It's not usually a favorite of mine, but I like the combination of softness and clean, citrusy hops in this one. Pours a honey/peach color with a fairly high head that fades but leaves some very nice lacing. Smells clean and with relatively gentle citrusy hops, lightly sweet malt, and fresh grain. There is a bit of stone fruit as well. The taste has a bit of apricot up front followed by some beautifully zingy, citrusy hops, and a light, fruity malt sweetness. Delicious. The mouthfeel is crisp, spicy, and clean. Very easy to drink. I think this one best had fresh, preferably at the pub.

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Photo of Offa
2.44/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is supposedly like a hoppier golden ale and it succeeds in being light in body and flavour and clearly leaning to the bitter and hoppy side. This seems to be because of a lack of malty strength and body, making the hops strong relative to the rest of the beer, rather than making the hops stand out because of absolute hoppiness. This is, as a result, not very good to me.

Pale golden, it has a smallish, off-white ehad, lasting and slowly shrinking to a thin, wispy top and leaving some decent lace.

The aroma is light, flowery grapefruit with maybe a hint of pine and citrus flowers and the weakest hint of toasted cracker - barely noticeable.

The flavour is much the same. It has a little light sweetness mostly with a citrusy character and only a hint of toasted cracker, soon dominated by bitter grapefruit that caries through the finish into the aftertaste. There is little body or malt flavour/character. As said above, the hops may not be strong in absolute terms, but they totally overpower the drink here because of a lack of flavour depth and balancing malt. This is not my glass of beer and I see no point in drinking it, but then I don't like beer that tastes like practically nothing but grapefruit pulp.

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Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub the other day. Probably would not have tried, but for the fact they were out of Pliny.

The beer pours a bright golden color with good head retention and exceptional lacing. Don't get a lot on the nose, except for some light honey and citrus from hops. The flavors replicate the nose, except there is a lovely light honey flavor, with a huge wash of hops. While the beer finishes on a dry hoppy note, it's not heavy or the least bit over the top. Everything in this beer is very lightly done, and drinkability is incredible. How I wish this beer was around when I was drinking pitchers in college. The beer is incredibly light on its feet, tasting exactly like what it is: a very light blond ale, but with a huge hop presence.

For what it is, this is a very impressive beer from RR. Well done!

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Falling Rock for the Russian River kickoff in Colorado, this was described as a hoppy blonde ale. It smelled like serious west coast hops. The flavor was also very hoppy but it didn't make me think pale ale or IPA, very strange style-wise. There was also a soapiness to the flavor but it wasn't a detractor as well as an earthy stink. Many folks around me described this as an IPA but I disagree. It almost seemed like a heavily hopped redemption but at the same time it didn't seem like a belgian-style. Weird but good as is the case with RR.

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