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Certified Extra Pale Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Certified Extra Pale Ale
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50 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.16
pDev: 19.3%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: nekronos on 11-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chsyhkr

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting beer.

The aroma is an odd fruit cocktail with some spicy hops in their somewhere. Did I get a bad bottle?

Any way amber to copper, some head, did not linger too long.

Flavor mimics the aroma, fruity with hops in there, but not well integrated. This is probably a better food beer.

I am not sure I would buy just to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 21:25:52 | More by Chsyhkr
Photo of acrawf6


2.15/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out a slightly hazy orange amber with a small white head.

Smell. Not too much hops here, seems the malts dominate with a touch of caramel...but overall the aroma is not too appealing to me at all.

Taste. small bitterness comes out that is a little piney and earthy. under that is some pepperyness to it with just a little bit of fruit. aftertaste is a little astringent.

Mouthfeel. body is at an average level with a normal amount of carbonation that is a bit prickly on my tongue.

Overall, this is not a beer i will get again. The aroma and the flavor is just not good to me.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2007 02:40:20 | More by acrawf6
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a bountiful head that creates a meringue that laces the glass

Smell: Modest aroma but there is some fruit (apricot) and pine along with a vague caramel sensation

Taste: Starts out a bit biscuity with a tinge of bitter fruit; after the swallow, their is a grassy and piney bitterness that becomes harsh and slightly resinous

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation; the harsh finish detracts from the mouthfeel

Drinkability: Compared to the other Eel River beers I have enjoyed, this one is a bit of a disappointment

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 18:14:41 | More by brentk56
Photo of BuckeyeNation


2.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Generously carbonated orange-gold, slightly favoring the latter. All those bubbles create a three finger cap of yellowed ivory foam that looks to be in no hurry to enter the atmosphere. Meandering streamers of watery lace get the job done, even if they don't qualify as eye candy.

The nose is a near equal mixture of citric American (Centennial) and earthy English (East Kent Goldings), with another, underlying, aroma that dulls their brilliance almost completely. I guess malt and yeast are only possibilities. In any case, I'm not especially thrilled when I put my nose over the glass, so I think I'll start drinking now.

I continue to maintain that I can identify organic beer, even if blinded (obviously, I wasn't in this case). Most of it possesses what can only be described as an off-flavor that, while it defies easy description, is eerily similar across the board. Vegetal or clay-like comes close. Chemical-laden works as well, although organic brewers would shudder at such a notion.

There's enough pale malt (and a little caramel?) to hold down the bottom end, even as the hops fail to take advantage of the support. If anything, what should be a fair amount of good hop flavor, is even less impressive on the palate. The bitterness is there, so that helps a little. Extra Pale Ale tastes like old, dessicated grapefruit peel covered with a fine layer of clay.

The mouthfeel is a few steps up. It's somewhere near the peak of the APA bell curve in terms of heft and is appropriately bubbled. What small amount of pleasure one might gain from the mouthfeel leaks away quickly given what the taste buds are up against.

Even though this is my third Eel River beer in the past several weeks, I have no recollection of the others. My guess is that I'll forget Extra Pale Ale pretty quickly too. Probably by the end of the day, if not sooner.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2007 12:58:43 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BurnsTau


2.73/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours orange/yellow, nice white head, little lacing.

Smells are up front hops, a bit of a medicinal alchohol smell. Taste is mostly hoppy, some sweet maltiness balances it out. There are some strange aftertastes going on here, not sure what it is but it takes away from the flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit light and carbonation is good.

Eh, I really wasn't impressed by this beer, nor any of the beers I've tried by eel river so far. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2007 08:11:34 | More by BurnsTau
Photo of rkuhnel


3.95/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. Orange with white head. Nice floral nose, and nicely balanced hops. Overall a nice ale to drink. Re-rate. I tried this again and feel they have improved this since the last rating. I feel it is one of the better APAs around, I have tried it both on tap and in the bottle. The tap version is really fresh and clean. Maybe because it is organic, the bottle version does not seem quite as good. The rating above is for draft.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2007 05:05:18 | More by rkuhnel
Photo of DogFood11


1.27/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz brown bottle (the last of a sixer) poured into a pounder glass. Nice frothy eggshell white head and plenty of retention. No lace left behind. Chill hazed body with medium sized carbonation.

First drink and I instantly was taken back by the backend medicinal, aspirin, cakey mouthfeel and taste. Not a good start. Once I managed to block that out the rest of the beer is very boring. Hops add some bitterness but little else. Sweet grainy malt bill is similar to what you'd find in alot of Euro pale's. As this thing warmed up it was a complete dissaster. The finish is dirty and lingers on and on.

Notes: I'll pass on this one unless something drastically changes. I've yet to have a really kick ass beer that bragged about being "organic" on the label. I'm sure there is one out there but I'll be a bit more cautious to these brews and start picking up singles as this sixer was some work.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 00:57:15 | More by DogFood11
Photo of watermelonman


2.6/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured to a light yellow and gold with a small head that lasted well. There's a few nice clumps of lace.

The smell is not very appealing. It has plenty of hops but they don't come out well, and along with it is some off grain flavors. The mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is average.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 02:26:35 | More by watermelonman
Photo of llitsua


3.28/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at a single 12 oz. at Tria Market in Homewood, AL, poured into a pint glass

A- Slightly dark golden color- looks darker than a typical lager, but lighter than an IPA or Extra Pale Ale. Head is large and develops quickly; I had to wait for it to settle a bit before I finished pouring it. It left a fair amount of lacing as I consumed it.

S- Slight presence of piney hops, which fades into a musty smell

T- I get a bit of honey and citrusy and piney hops, then the malt flavor really dominates the taste, finishes bitter- seems way to malty to label it an Extra Pale Ale

M- decent carbonation; leaves a slight numbing in mouth

D- certainly drinkable, went down easily; but I prefer my Pale Ales with more of a hop presence, and this seemed to be dominated by malt

Not worth the $$ IMO (around $9/6pack)- Sweetwater 420 is readily available down here, and I see is as being more representative of the style (and better tasting overall); not a bad beer, though.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2006 02:06:25 | More by llitsua
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a little lighter in color than a typical pale ale. There was a thick head though. The smell is hoppy with a slight harshness. The taste is fairly hoppy but run of the mill. The mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is fair. Average at best within the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2006 21:35:47 | More by Enola
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Enola for the bottle.
Pour is the color of sweet tea. Be careful with your pour, as my pour started an eruption of a massive 4 finger head. The head is off-white and last. Sticky thick lacing sticks all over the glass. Nice carbonation.
The smell is off somewhat. Musty. Wet straw.
The flavor isn't bad. Just not very pale ale like. Where's the hops? It's sweet grainy and lemony. Also a hint of honey. There is a mild acidic bite in the aftertaste, that hints maybe they are some hops in it.
Mouthfeel is thin and very dry.
Over all it's not a good pale ale, but is a decent session beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2006 15:43:51 | More by wcudwight
Photo of GClarkage


3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/06/06- Part of my new beer stash which I brought camping.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no frehsness date found. Poured into my Pike Place Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Deep copper in color in the the pour. Full 3/4 inch frothy and creamy looking white head. Very nice streaks of lace left behind.

Smell- Odd damp cardboardy smell. Maybe a bit moldy? You can still get a decent sweet toasted malt scent and a bit of grapefruit hops out of it though.

Taste- Hmmm, tastes a bit better than most organic beers I have tried. Nice light caramel malt base, maybe a bit bready or a biscuit malt flavor. Not a huge hop presence, but enough to keep you interested.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Very light bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- One of the better organic's I have had to date. Perfectly bine beer worth a try if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2006 22:28:11 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Gusler


3.7/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon the pour from the stubby 12-ounce brown bottle, the beer sets in the glass a slightly hazy gold with a personable creamy bright white head that slowly erodes leaving a thin but concealing sheet of lace. Nose is sweet malt, nutty, hints of lemons, also has that musty tone, found in many organic beers, start is somewhat sweet, the grain presence delightful, top is middling in feel. Finish has a kindly acidity, the hops delectable in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste, and a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2006 22:03:01 | More by Gusler
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer poured into the glass hazy golden copper with an off-white and huge head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a light earthy and citrus component.

The flavor was lightly malty with a wheat flavor and a very light caramel. The fruit flavor was light and citrusy, but not overly so.

The finish was dry with a lasting citrus flavor that was grassy long and it seemed as if it intensified into the aftertaste. The body was medium light or perhaps even less and watery.

12 ounce bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 22:38:09 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of WesWes

New York

2.83/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a wet cardboard scent to it. I gues it has pale malts like most pale ales. It just seems quite musty and stale. The taste is average as well. It has a citrus hop flavor laid over pale malts. It is grainy with a bitter finish. It tastes like some of my bad homebrews. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an average pale ale at best. It time for the drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2005 21:09:35 | More by WesWes
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale gold color and minimal head. Tasteless aroma, boring and mildly sour. Taste is overly bitter, heavily leaning on bittering hops. Reminded of a spicy curry that overwhelps other flavor development. Watery and light feel. Clean, but not overly interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2005 20:47:30 | More by donnebaby
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

2.53/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a beer without a true direction. It lacks a real hop profile but has neither a good balance or any malt to carry the day. A strange musty nose and a weak head make this a one time drink. The competition in California is such that beer such as this stand little chance.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2005 01:51:30 | More by canucklehead
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

2.15/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Tap@Eel River. Thin lemony, grany/malty pale ale, surprisingly not much hops, easy to drink, not interesting though. Its seems that a lot the brewpubs i visited in the US had these pretty tame pale ale offerings, but like Eel River, they always have some bigger styles, which were more to my liking.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2005 19:19:04 | More by rastaman
Photo of TinusTime


3.38/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

got this as a sample from specialty bev

Poured a light light amber with a white head.. Aroma was of bread with little else. Taste was grainy with a little hop flavour.. where was the EXTRA? Was this from the west coast? did they forget the hops? Well it was good drinking, but nothing special. Not something I would buy or sell

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 04:50:46 | More by TinusTime
Photo of merlin48


3.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the conclusion of my Eel River tasting. These mostly orgainic ales, from northern California, are a recent addition to the stocks of the Vintage Cellar, in Blacksburg, Virginia.
This one pours a hazed, apricot body with a one finger, white, head that retains well and leaves patchy lace down the glass.
Aroma is subdued, but citrus hoppy, with more sweetish malt aromas than with the IPA.
Mouthfeel is average, with a light/medium body and expected carbonation.
Hops are the highlight, but much more restrained than in the IPA. Grapefruit and orange rind suggest Cascades hops, but the hops are balanced by a sweet pale and caramel maltiness here. The taste and aroma are tame, compared to the IPA, but this is a decent, American Pale Ale that tastes like a blonde or golden ale compared to the brewery's IPA.
Another very tasty, organic ale from this west coast brewery.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2004 20:25:09 | More by merlin48
Photo of RedDiamond


4.45/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an extra pale ale. Indeed, that’s exactly what it is. It’s not merely pale, it’s extra pale. It’s bright, sunny yellow-gold -- nearly the color of a lager, only clouded. The first thing I noticed about this brew was the hardy pfsssst that leapt from the bottle as the cap was cracked. This was closely followed by a profuse yeasty smell that wafted quickly across the room. The smell was abundantly fresh, like the smell of a fermentation vat. After pouring out the beer, the smell at the glass’s rim was citrus-like and sharp.

A massive white head threatened to exceed my weizen glass. A solid five-fingers of bright white foam erupted with glee, then gently receded to a thin rim with large bubbles.

Eel River’s XPA is an unusual specimen with distinctive features. The aroma is durable and charged. The taste is crazy with both light notes and dark. I prefer the brighter more citrusy highlights but the bitterness is solid and tastefully displayed. The end result is an innovative, full-bodied brew that defies easy comparisons and suggests a lemon wedge compliment.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2004 20:10:56 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of RoyalT


2.1/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance – The head here is very nice, coming up strongly and leaving some good lacing, but the color is kind of light. It’s a very light yellow for a Pale Ale.

Smell – Big, huge, nutty aroma to this one. I can kind of pick up a light hoppy smell, maybe like lemons, but mostly this is more like a nutty ale.

Taste – Yes, very nutty with some big toasted malts. What the hell?

Mouthfeel – I like the smoothness and dry finish to this “IPA”, but the carbonation was very cheap.

Drinkability – This is not bad but way off-style. This is one of the most mislabeled beers that I’ve every purchased.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2004 01:18:45 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Rumrunner


3.65/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

A bit mild in flavor for a pale but a very refreshing pale none the less.

Poured a not exciting transparent gold. A good white fluffy head with some fine lacing. Smells are dry and sweet. A taffy sugar. Some wheat and grain are in the mix as well. Very dry on the nose.

A very light bodied pale. Flavors are grainy and sweet with a sour finish. Malts are prominent. Some mild fruity hops and sweet candy sugars. It finishes with an unpleasant sour tang. It does not ruin the taste but it leaves one a little unsettled.

This pale is very light and easy to drink. It feels dry and also very refreshing. A pale to have on a very hot day after some strenuous activity. A simple and enjoyable pale.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 05:10:04 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of beerguy101


3.05/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light gold color, Small head. Aroma is nutty and sweet. A medium bodied pale ale. Malts are fruity and mild. Hops are slightly spicy. It a little mild flavored for a pale ale. Very dry taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is very dry. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2003 02:04:36 | More by beerguy101
Photo of Reidrover


2/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ok I was excited to see this beer froma brewery I had come to like.
Comes in the usual Eel River brown 12 oz short neck..pick of some 1930s style dudes raising a glass.
Now this is quite a shock..I know its says "extra" Pale Ale but this weird looks like a lager..clear yellow with a pure white head.
even smells like a pils..stranger and stranger.
taste is quite bad..malty but somehow not sweet..dry finish.
not impressive in the mouth.
not very drinkable.
This is awful stuff from a brewery that has some great beers..i dont know what happened here..maybe some lager got bottled in a pale ale bottle...but I wont be buying this again.
NOTE..OK checked the brewery website thay have this down as a "golden" ale or a California Blonde..still its far from the best this brewery has to offer!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2003 01:37:23 | More by Reidrover
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Certified Extra Pale Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.