Dec 4, 2015

Alpine Beer Hoppy Birthday

Even before I cracked open this bottle of Alpine Beer’s Hoppy Birthday, it confused me. Why the hell was it packaged in a Green Flash bottle. Then I remembered that the San Diego company had purchased the company last year. Once that was cleared up I was all set to enjoy this 5.2% ABV IPA.

Billed as a session IPA — it’s not — Alpine Hoppy Birthday, is fairly typical of the genre. Big, bold aroma followed by a flavor that doesn’t quite match expectations. That said, it’s still a beer that has plenty of hop character in all aspects and is a beer that I could actually drink a good amount of. I just wish that the flavor was as enticing as the wonderful aroma.


The beer pours light amber in color with a large, frothy stack of beige foam.

Alpine Hoppy Birthday photo


Loads of pine and tropical fruits — orange, tangerine, grapefruit — fill the nose solidly. I could huff this all day long.


The flavors don’t quite match the nose and is a bit thin on the palate as one would expect from a “standard” IPA. Still, there’s plenty of citrus, some toast, light grain and a touch of honey throughout. A soft sweetness and moderate hop bite keep things interesting. The beer finishes crisp and clean.


The only other Alpine beer that I’ve had prior to Hoppy Birthday was their collaborations with New Belgium — Super IPA was indeed super. This one, not so much. There’s a decent bit of hop character at first, but as the beer warms the malt overtakes it a bit and not in a good, balanced fashion. And, let’s be honest here, at 5.2% ABV this beer is not sessionable. Other than that, it was a solid intro to the company and leads into a series of reviews of a few more brews from the company.

Rating: 3.75/5

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