THE BEER ROVER had it, and said it was the best beer of 2009. THE VICE BLOG had it, and gave it an A+, which I believe is the highest honorific one can bestow upon a beer. It made sense that HBJ was going to have to have it soon as well, but only if someone brought me one from San Diego or I found my way down there. As it turned out, Craig & Beth from San Francisco’s CITY BEER STORE brought me one – well not me exactly, but they brought several cases of ALPINE BEER COMPANY beers to their store and then sent out the “beer alert”. I foolishly wasted 48 hours before responding to the alert, and by then, all the bottles of ALPINE EXPONENTIAL HOPPINESS were gone, and all that was left was the “meh” PURE HOPPINESS that I’ve had a couple of times, and the lighter-only-in-relative-scale IPAs DUET and NELSON. Oh, and a bunch of other non-IPAs from Alpine Beer Company as well that we skipped this go-round.
The beer in question in our discussion today is ALPINE NELSON, the one that prodded the aforementioned gentlemen to bust a proverbial nut. Let it be said that this outstanding IPA busted my nut as well. This is a 7% or so ABV India Pale Ale that’s based around the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand, and that also serves up some “European rye” in the mix (and which I admittedly did not pick up on whilst drinking it). NELSON is nearly opaque, thinner than most bombshell IPAs. The major fruits are all out in force on this one: oranges, tangerines and grapefruits all combine into a sweet/tart/delicious mix that adds up to a flat-out amazing taste. Bitterness is certainly there, but it’s no scorched-tongue hop beast by any means. Simply put, it’s the best beer by ALPINE BEER COMPANY I’ve had by a mile, and it’ll register in the upper half of the Hedonist Beer Jive 75 for sure once we update it. 9.5/10.