Dec 8, 2015

Alpine Beer Nelson

I’m a big fan of rye IPAs — Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye is a fan favorite in Barley Blog HQ — so it was no surprise that this bottle of Alpine Beer Company’s Nelson quickly found it’s way into my cart on a recent trip to my local beer store. There’s just something about the use of that grain in a hoppy beer that I just can’t get enough of.

Brewed with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops (and the reason behind the beer’s name), this 7% ABV IPA is packed from head to toe with wonderfully, hoppy goodness. There’s more rye in the nose than when the beer hits the tongue, but the grain does leave behind a lightly spicy bite to accompany 80 IBUs of hop bitterness.

Nelson is an excellent beer and turned out to the be the best of the company’s first offerings in Virginia that I picked up. It’s still got a ways to go, however, before it becomes a go-to example of the style in my beer fridge.


Nelson pours a pale straw in color with a massive column of off-white foam.

Alpine Beer Nelson photo


The beer is packed with catty and piney traits along with a good bit of spicy, peppery rye lingering in the mix. There’s a little bit of bready malt lingering in the background, as well.


The brew tastes almost just like it smells as the rye steps back a bit and a dose of malt sweetness creeps in. The beer is definitely catty with a solid pine note and touch of grapefruit. It’s not as biting as the IBU number would suggest, but still grabs the tongue a good deal. The finish is long lasting and satisfying.


I thoroughly enjoyed Alpine’s Nelson. It’s a flavorful beer that has just enough of that spicy rye to make for a dynamic experience. It’s not quite on par with my favorite examples of the style, but would happily do nicely in a pinch. In fact, I think I’ll pick up a couple of more bottles on my next beer run.

Rating: 4/5

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