I.P.A. - Eel River Brewing Co.

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225 Reviews

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Reviews: 225
Hads: 376
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 16.77%
Wants: 0
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: nekronos on 11-17-2008

According to the brewer, "This beer is an English Style IPA, which lacks the intense hop bitterness characterized by the American Style." Certified Organic.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 225 | Hads: 376
Photo of kchannel9
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Review (1.5): I do not care for this beer, I'm having a hard time finishing it...it's pretty bad...I tried hard to like it....but...it's watery, not bitter, not malty. Aka bad, in terms of an IPA. Why oh why didn't I just grab a Maximus? About to pour this out and switch to the illest.

Update: Had this beer again the other night, it was much better and I actually liked it this time. Also, it's being organic makes me happy. (431 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
2.71/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A golden yellow with virtually no head.

S: Very boost with a lot of malt. Considering that it is an IPA it is odd there is no hop in the one dimensional aroma.

T: Not good. If you are going to call something an IPA consider using hops. There is no bitterness at all. This beer tastes like a bland amber ale. There is a little caramel and a lot of alcohol.

O: Avoid this beer. (381 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
2.53/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Trying the IPA from Eel River and it probably should be renamed Imperial Malt Ale...cuz that's all I really smell and taste. The beer poured a clear copper color with thin white head. The smell is mostly malt not alot of hops. The taste is malty. The mouthfeel is medium body and low carbonation. Overall it is not a great IPA....seems more like an amber ale. (359 characters)

Photo of GrizzlyBrew
3.9/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - rich amber color, nice off-white head settles to a foamy, creamy-looking 1/4", body is brilliantly clear

S - caramel malts dominate the nose with toffee notes, there's also a minerally yeast smell coming through. Not much for hops, although there is a muted hop aroma keeping the beer from smelling overly sweet

T - Surprisingly dry despite the very nice caramel character of the malt, sell done. As I hoped, there is a generous amount of bittering to match the dry palate without overpowering it.

M - It may be a little overcarbonated, but just slightly. The body is fairly thin but is fleshed out by the bitterness. I can't help but think if the carbonation was slightly lower, it would be almost perfect.

O - I think this is a pretty darn good EIPA - dry caramel malt character, minerally yeastiness, firm bitterness and a medium body that means I can enjoy several in a session. (890 characters)

Photo of dankster
2.43/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- orange golden color with white head about two fingers

S- Veggie and Hops together. not sure how else to decribe this one. not citrus or pine picked up

T- Bland for a IPA imo. some hops bit more dull fruit noted. citrus not happining for me

M- water and hops. bitter water. not much feel here.

O- Not impressed with this at all. first beer i had from eel river so i need to try others but this one is a big miss for me. (425 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy orange amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation with small particles visible floating in suspension. It poured with a half finger high beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of biscuit and caramel from the malts and orange from the hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some hints of malty sweetness and vanilla in the initial taste and a very light amount of bitterness towards the finish, which also has some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down quite smoothly. (721 characters)

Photo of sjverla
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Very sweet and fruity. It smells like an old IPA, which it probably is. There are hints of earth and pepper, but the nose is predominantly jam-like.

Appearance: Hazy copper with a quickly dispersing head. It does lace alright, though.

Taste: Strange, but good. It's very dynamic. The bitterness hasn't faded too much. Very floral - almost seems to taste like pollen. A mild, waxy sweetness, like honey comb, balances the very green bitterness.

Overall: I expected this beer to be disappointing. The sale rack is an iffy place to shop, and the first impressions weren't great. I was surprised. Nice bite, good beer. (623 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eel River Organic IPA

Pours a rich copper color with a chill haze and a nice soapy froth. Semi sweet nose, mildly fruity with some malt poking through. In the flavor, caramel, fruity hops (berry/mango/citrus) and a light roasted character. Bitterness is adequate for the style. Medium to full bodied brew, modest carbonation and a smooth overall feel. Overall, I thought this was a very fruity IPA which was alittle unusual but not bad. (437 characters)

Photo of abgba121
1.09/5  rDev -67.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

pours a cloudy amber, decent head and retention

smells extremely sweet, but also stale or somewhat rotten. I almost don't know how to describe it.

The taste is equally as bad, sweet, thick and syrupy, no hop presence. I had to dump the glass after a few sips, it is near undrinkable

the mouthfeel is a very thick brew with a little carbonation

Overall a terrible beer, I will not try anything else by this brewery most likely (429 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
1.75/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into a generic tulip. Purchased from total wine in charlotte last week (no bottle date) Copper/gold on color, small head with no retention to speak of. Aroma is a very off-putting rendition of rotting vegetables. For the first time in recent memory, i don't want to taste a beer. I really don't. But I shall. Taste is also really bad, kinda like liquid socks. The after taste is also poor. This beer doesnt taste like an English IPA or any other type of IPA. (486 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
2.19/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very light tan head of large size and fairly uniform is made off the pour, with foamy bubbles, but also falls at a good pace. Body color is a cloudy orange amber, but very hazy, not much more to say about it. Looks ok.

Smell is weak, non existent, even a hint of cheese sort of like a mild soft stinky cheese. Something sort of vegetable like almost too. Nothing like an IPA at all. The first time I stuck my nose in this a giant WTF?! went racing through my head.

Wow, I didn't think an IPA could taste this awful. Sour. Light bodied, this is like bad homebrew or something. No hint of hop presence or even malt grain. Really there is nothing going on here but a sense of weak soda pop, and chalkyness. Strange lingering novocaine on the tongue as well after the pour.

If there was ever an idea of watered down flavorless IPA this has got to be it. Gives organic beer a bad name. Real bad. How and the heck can you release something this horrible tasting is beyond me. (1,023 characters)

Photo of spongemonkey
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok here is the deal with Eel River brews. The ONLY way to enjoy their beer is on tap. Several years ago I was the assistant brewer, and there are a lot of good things to say about the brewery in general. It is kept scrupulously clean, the ingredients are of extremely high quality, and the organic standards are militantly enforced. However the bottling line is pretty damn outdated and presents a lot of opportunities to create a stale, oxidized, almost undrinkable product. Try two bottles of the same beer from different bottling runs, I can just about guarantee they won't taste the same. Yes, this place makes beer toooo heavy on the malt flavor, and the IPA is wildly underhopped. The Acai Berry brew is an abomination that makes baby Jesus cry. But the Hef available only at the brewery and only seasonally is truly epic, and the imperial stout demands respect. The quality of the beers decreases rapidly with distance from the Eel River, and the smaller the bottle the worse the beer. (992 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from optimator13 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, a good amount of floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweeter than most beers in the style with flavors of caramel, honey and citrus. Then a hearty malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings some balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are other EIPA’s that I would pick first. (850 characters)

Photo of dmfrench
1.97/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Rotten soap.

A: Clear, medium pumpkin body with a fleeting one finger off-white head.

S: Rotten soap. Odd, I know, but these are the words I feel best describe the aroma of the beer. It is putrid and soapy. Rubbing alcohol is there as well. There are some acceptable aromas in there like sugar and apricot, but all things considered, the aroma is quite off-putting.

T: Yikes. Better than the aroma, but those putrid soapy notes are still there, along with the apricot fruit and now some earthy, spicy hops and caramel malt. Metal is also apparent, and alcohol.

M: Who cares?

O: Foul. (593 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
2.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

475th review on BA

App- a decent colored ipa with a decent head and a little stick.

Smell- I really only got some watered down hops.

Taste- I found this to be thin, a little underhopped and not too bitter but missing the citrus to balance.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated and left a bit of oily hops.

Drink- I just didnt find this appealing to drink. Finished my taster, had some water, a couple of tasters of Sculpin and was happy! (454 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear amber-gold with a finger of bubbly white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Sweet caramel, malty grains, oranges and pink grapefruit, some bitter grassy, citrusy hops that build a little towards the end. Maybe a little brown sugar too.

Taste. Caramel malt and tangarines with herby, grassy hops and a little pine. Well balanced ipa, in a good way.

Mouthfeel. Lighter-medium body with lighter-medium carbonation.

Overall. Good tasting. Seems like an english ipa made by a west coast brewer that really did their best to restrain the hopping. Fine with me, hops kick ass. (607 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
2.51/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, bright golden orange color with a white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells of a slight citric hop character and nothing else.

Tastes of very light hops and slight touches of malt. Hops have some orange peel and grapefruit, but are very light in flavor, although bitterness is at the right strength. Malts add little and only offer a touch of bread. Its like someone forgot to add in the second half of the ingredients for the batch.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is not worth checking out. I feel like they thought using organic ingredients meant the recipe only needed half the ingredients. (662 characters)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Nice dark amber color. Cloudy. Thin white head with good lacing.

Aroma is malty with a bit of hops. Not bad.

Taste is pretty malty. A decent hop bite. Wish it was a bit drier and more hoppy.

Mouthfeel is a bit too malty. Nice carb.

Overall an ok beer. Probably wouldn't buy it again. But it did lift my thoughts that organic beers aren't that good. Gunna try a couple more now. (408 characters)

Photo of negroobserver
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Eel River IPA - Draft

C: Golden amber color with orange and red tones. Served with about a 1/4" cream colored head. Light haziness.

S: Hops at the front end. Scent of grapefruit with some sweet tones. Light malty and chocolatey scent.

T: Tastes like a fusion of IPA and a brown ale. has the rounded malty character of a brown ale and the hoppy bitterness of an IPA. There is a light fruity undertones. Complex and surprising combination of flavors.

M: The carbonation is a little high. It has excellent body and depth. Nicely balanced texture.

D: Although the beer starts off very well due to the complexity of the flavors, it begins to lose the hoppy quality and begins to taste primarily like a brown ale by the end. Okay, I guess. (738 characters)

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
1.4/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

this beer appears at fist to be a decent ipa. the color is a golden amber. as if it had a nice malt character to balance out the mass quantity of hops.

but its appearance is very misleading, this beer is very water with an oily finish. the overall taste is very sweet. hints of figs, berries and sugar are present. if this beer was announced as a American strong ale i could understand, but in no way is this even close to an ipa or even a pale ale.

overall im very regretful to buy this six-pack. (501 characters)

Photo of flyingspatula
2.86/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a very orange/brown/copper IPA. I tried Eel River's amber or something and wasn't a fan of that one either. They are organic if you care. I would be more likely to eat organic food than drink organic beer. Anyway, this isn't a bad beer, but it's not a great IPA! I brewed a pale ale that was similar. It wasn't a bad beer, but stylistically it was a little off. It's very malty for an IPA. With better hops flavor this could be pretty yummy. It's a tough one to explain because I taste malt and hops, but the hops don't meld well with the malt flavor. Maybe that's just me.

Mouthfeel: Decent
Taste: So-so
Color: pretty, but not an IPA color, maybe a 15 on the SRM scale. (679 characters)

Photo of ksmi116
2.46/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First review here...

A - Poured into a pint glass, small white head that dissipated quickly. Amber in color, not completely clear. Looks pleasant, but the head was disappointing

S - Does not smell strongly of hops. I smell more malt and a little bit of caramel, and booze. Interesting, but not impressive or what I was expecting from an IPA

T - Does not really taste like it smells, which is odd. Slightly bitter at the front, and fades into more of a malty flavor as you swallow. I am not a massive fan, however, I really love hops in IPAs.

M - Flavor lingers on the sides of the tongue, slightly sweet and with alcohol.

D - I don't think I will be going back to this beer. For the price and organic label, I expected a fresh tasting IPA, and it missed the mark for me. I didn't hate it, but I feel like it's just not for me. (833 characters)

Photo of robbrandes
2.02/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a warm copper color. Crazy head - extremely fine bubbles, but way too much!

Strange aroma - hops are beyond subtle, and for an IPA, effectively non-existent. I'm also getting a faint soured-milk effect...

taste is an unsatisfying mix of astringency, and harsh alcohol. is it possible to over-accentuate alcohol? jeez, i almost can't believe it's 'only' 7.2%. pretty thin character, aftertaste doesn't help matters either.

not a drainpour, but there's a million better options out there.

served from 22oz bottle. (521 characters)

Photo of AwYeh
2.13/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy copper color, with a finger of foamy white head that has pretty good retention and decent lacing.

S: Faint aroma; of caramel malts and a bit of berry sweetness. As this warms things gets stranger and stranger... this beer is so sweet it smells like pie.

T: Sweet caramel and berry flavors are once again evident here. I'm not sure where the berries are coming from, but I'm guessing not the hops as this beer isn't very bitter at all until its finish. Everything is a little too sweet for my tastes; in a blind testing I think IPA would have been a joky guess aimed at the style after five or six misses. Somewhat metallic finish too; drink this one cold!

M: Medium-bodied; moderate carbonation, which makes it just slightly creamy. Long metallic finish at about 50*F and up detracts here a bit.

D: My thoughts here can be summarized as "eh," the sweetness slowed down this glass and I won't be hounding after another at any point in the future. On the other hand, the alcohol is well hidden if this beer really is 7.20% ABV (bumping my grade up a little).

Despite my low scores, props need to go to Eel River for providing widely available, reasonably priced organic beers. I'm thinking that at the moment their priorities may be focused on making the beer organic rather than making it the best beer it could be, but it's great to have options like this on the market. (1,394 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.22/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if I've seen a more copper-ish IPA as this one. Bright copper...but little head.

Aroma is a tad malty and musty...which provides for a bit of a strawberry overlay. A touch of medicinals on the back side

Tastes like a hoppy ESB. Semi sweet and malty, with the addition of some herbalness and hops. I'm sure what's going on here. The hops don't dominate, but neither do the malts. It's a bit of a off mixture that I can't quite put my finger on.

Although not a bad beer, I just can't find the calling. Astringent in the finish, but a bit juicy. Again, odd.

Not sure how the organic-ness affects this beer. Again, not bad. (635 characters)

I.P.A. from Eel River Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.