Alpine Nelson 2020

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bubseymour, May 11, 2020.

  1. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,711) Nov 29, 2006 California
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    I don't think it's ever brewed at Alpine anymore. If you go drink Nelson or Duet at Alpine, you're drinking the Green Flash beer.
    Some of the beers brewed at Alpine do have that old school Alpine character, and it's kind of amazing to behold -- the last canned batch
    Keene Idea comes to mind.
    On a side note, typing a BA post on an Android phone is pretty frustrating.
    TrojanRB and ChicagoJ like this.
  2. SoCalBeerIdiot

    SoCalBeerIdiot Defender (680) Mar 10, 2013 California

    No. They really were that good. Anyone who had them fresh, from bombers back in the day will tell you.
  3. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Wish I was able to have tried them. I enjoy the current offering so I am sure I would have loved the original.
    rockaroo and arizcards like this.
  4. ben4unc

    ben4unc Initiate (185) Feb 28, 2013 North Carolina

    I had one in Feb 2014 just like this bottle and it was Incredible! Cheers!
    eppCOS and RaulMondesi like this.
  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,485) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    According to the folks in the alpine thread there were beers being brewed and packaged up at the alpine facility. Was nelson not one of those?
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  6. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,762) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
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    Raul, I'm feeling nostalgic, brother. My all-time favorite IPA. Cheers!
    eppCOS, BrewsOverHoes, Txex06 and 6 others like this.
  7. raynmoon

    raynmoon Champion (804) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    Saw a fresh (04/22/20) hoppy birthday 6-pack today
  8. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,711) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    Only the monthly special releases are brewed in Alpine, unfortunately. Beers like this (none of the classic stuff -- Duet, Nelson, Hoppy Birthday, etc):
    The word on the street is that the Alpine brewer was let go a month or two ago, so time will tell if the beers brewed in Alpine are still worthwhile.
  9. brewme

    brewme Champion (855) Mar 1, 2014 Massachusetts

    They no longer distribute to MA, correct?
  10. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,024) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Well that sure stinks...guys turns things around for the better and then gets let go. Maybe he didn’t tow the company line or something.
  11. alanforbeer

    alanforbeer Initiate (74) Jan 29, 2011 South Carolina

    Didn’t know this had happened. Very sorry to hear it. Spoke with Shawn on a visit to the brewery last summer. Seemed like things were going ok for them, and the beer I had from that trip (the draft only stuff... brewed at the original location) had that “vintage Alpine” character.
    eppCOS likes this.
  12. darkwing1

    darkwing1 Initiate (155) May 13, 2013 Illinois

    I think it's more like people can't get past the Alpine brewed to Green Flash brewed move!! The beer seriously fell off a cliff when Green Flash took over (same for Duet) and continued to suck for at least a year afterwards. Maybe all is good now, haven't had it in some while.
  13. arizcards

    arizcards Poo-Bah (4,396) Jun 11, 2003 Arizona

    Alpine was a mandatory stop when road trippin' from Phoenix to San Diego back starting in the late 2000's as their IPA's were ahead of most of the market in those days. Original Nelson and Duet were wonderful but unfortunately was different for me when GF starting brewing them. I do have to give GF credit for doing a very good version of Hoppy Birthday as i remember saying to myself they have this recipe dialed in like the original brewpub!
    eppCOS, readyski and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  14. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (5,124) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    I'd be curious to hear @JayORear 's opinion. Have you had a recent go at Alpine's stuff, especially during any CA trips?
  15. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,206) Feb 22, 2012 New York
    Society Trader

    Short version: not good.
  16. SWEETLEW55

    SWEETLEW55 Initiate (78) Dec 31, 2014 Florida

    I miss Alpine, A few 6ers used to leak down to SWFL but it has been many moons since.
    Cubatobaco likes this.
  17. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    Maybe you are correct, but you wouldn't know it given the reviews
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  18. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Defender (623) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Had Nelson for the first time in 2009. Stopped at the brewery and was able to get growlers of Nelson, Duet, Exponential Hoppiness, and Pure Hoppiness.

    It's hard to over-state how influential those beers were on the subsequent 10 years of US craft brewing. Nelson was one of the first IPAs to to lead to the current hazy trend, and Duet (along with Sculpin around the same time) was really the gold standard for the Neo-West Coast style that is still alive and well. There are probably a hundred IPAs that equal or surpass them now, but those beers really didn't exist back then.

    I had a Nelson 2-3 years ago on tap and it wasn't exactly what it used to be but it was a very good IPA. They struggled a lot at first to scale it up but they eventually found a good groove. I'm not going to comment on their current status.
  19. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (649) Mar 28, 2009 California

    The OG West Coast IPA was so good. Even when the market changed I still drank it. It’s sad as GF used to be great but made changes for the worst as opposed for the better. Can’t recall the last rime I’ve had a GF beer other than Alpine Beers.

    HFS and windows up are very good.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Since you are a commercial brewer could you please provide further details here? Is it as 'simple' as brewing x barrels vs. y barrels that is the issue? Or do the differences in the specific brewing process and configuration of the Alpine Brewhouse and the Green Flash Brewhouse play the bigger role? And then there is the aspect of the brewing team at Alpine vs. the brewing team at Green Flash? Or...?

  21. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,485) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    If you ever get through paso robles the og GF brewer runs Silva brewing there and on my one visit they had some tasty stuff going on. Didn't have any IPA on that visit so I don't know if he brews a stand in but there's definitely great, simple, classic west coast styles on offer
    southdenverhoo and GetMeAnIPA like this.
  22. darkwing1

    darkwing1 Initiate (155) May 13, 2013 Illinois

    I am not a commercial brewer, but remember a lot of talk about green flash just not being able to dial in Alpine beers on their bigger system. One of the theories back in the day was that Green Flash filtered everything, where Alpine did not.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    That is sorta what I was getting at as regards a difference of the brewhouse/brewery. Each brewery has its own unique configuration/setup which will influence how the beer is brewed.

    When Jim Koch started Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams) he did not have a brewery so he depended on contract breweries. The first contract brewery to produce Sam Adams Boston Lager was Pittsburgh Brewing Co. (Iron City) in Pittsburgh and Jim Koch had a demand that Boston Lager be brewed using equipment that was not presently existing in the brewery so he paid to have this equipment installed in the brewery vs. just brewing with the existing setup.

  24. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Defender (623) Nov 6, 2007 California

    I don't really know specifics but they were having biterness and haze issues and I think it was due to water and probably the brewhouse design. Hop efficiency can vary a lot in different brewhouses and something that simple can change a beer a lot. Then add different water (GF has always had a hard water profile that makes their bitterness stand out more) and you are already in a tough spot. Then I am sure they had issues sourcing more Nelson, just like we all did at that time. What are you going to blend with it without changing it too much? It's hard enough to keep a beer consistent over time in the same brewery. Changing breweries can be a nightmare, even with the same brewer (which they still had at the time, alas, no longer).
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    But breweries can build up any water they want. Either by starting with RO water and adding mineral salts or via other means. Are you of the opinion that Green Flash made no attempts to match the water as used at Alpine Brewing?
    That is a trickier problem. You would think that at least from a bitterness perspective this could be adjusted. I am uncertain as regards late hop additions.
    That could be an issue as regards Alpine Nelson. But what about Duet (which is a combo of Simcoe and Amarillo)? I had a Duet that was brewed at Alpine and that beer was sublime. In contrast I had a number of Green Flash brewed Duet beers and while those beer were by no means awful they were absolutely nothing like the Alpine brewed Duet. Almost like night and day difference.

  26. Evan

    Evan Devotee (461) Mar 9, 2012 Maryland

    Drinking a "The Dragon" from Sapwood Cellars right now and it is reminding me what was so great about Alpine Nelson. A very nice Rye DIPA with some Hallertau Blanc, Mosaic, and a lot of Nelson Sauvin. I'd recommend all you Nelson fans try to track down a can. It's fantastic! (Rings of Light and Cheater Hops 12, the other two releases for this weekend, are also great)
    bubseymour likes this.
  27. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,162) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

  28. eppCOS

    eppCOS Meyvn (1,479) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    I won't say who, exactly, has been drinking the shit out of that tribute beer on the WBAYDN thread. Let's just say that said BA likes things muy Grande and not just extra-medium.
  29. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Defender (623) Nov 6, 2007 California

    I don't have any personal knowledge of what they did other than having been to both breweries and knowing a bit about their processes. GF didn't have RO when I visited the then-new production brewery. Maybe changing that at some point is what helped them get it closer? Otherwise I have no idea. Matching flavor in another brewery is just really hard as there are so many possible variables and yo never know how far someone is willing to go or what their constraints are.
    jakecattleco and JackHorzempa like this.
  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I agree 100% with this with emphasis on the aspect of "how far is someone willing to go".

    It seems to be popular on BA to belittle the beers of Anheuser-Busch (e.g., Bud Light, Bud) but that brewery has the best concept & implementation of QA/QC in the industry IMO. They have a dozen breweries in the US and they take all necessary steps to produce the exact same beer at all of those breweries. From replicating the exact same brewing water and thereon.

  31. pro100

    pro100 Initiate (107) Oct 12, 2014 California

    Nelson is still good in my book. I buy a six pack at least once a month
  32. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,024) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Yeah, Sapwood has been killing it, arguably best brewer in MD right now IMO. That Dragon sounds like a winner for sure. I haven't seen their cans in stores up my way (actually I think they still only do crowlers on site don't they?). I'll have to make a run again down there soon...about 35-40min from my house.
  33. Evan

    Evan Devotee (461) Mar 9, 2012 Maryland

    I agree, I think they’re the best in MD. Everything’s consistently good-great. Mike & Scott have really put the time in and know what they’re doing. They’ve been canning once a month lately. Borrowing another brewery’s canning line. They brewed a double batch of “The Dragon” so still plenty of cans available of that. Picked up three more 4-packs today. Drinking one now, still tasting great! They’re doing crowlers of most of the other stuff as well.
    bubseymour likes this.
  34. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (161) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana

    I sent my wife out to get me a couple bombers as soon as a liquor store near me posted it on Instagram. Drinking the first one now, and I have to agree that it is reminiscent of Alpine’s hoppy beers. Good call on this one! I only wish I could have drank it as fresh as you.

    Although I haven’t tried “OG” Nelson, as previously stated, I have had some other hoppy beers at the brewpub (a double IPA, but more relevant, a session IPA and an IPA called “Not Nelson”) which I was told were brewed in Alpine. I also had Nelson at the brewpub once, but I hear that is being brewed by GF no matter where you get it. This seems correct, as I recall noticing a visual difference between Nelson and Not Nelson despite supposedly being the same beer with different hops. I think I have a side-by-side somewhere.

    Long story short, this beer reminds me of those beers.
    bret27 likes this.