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

Not Rated.
Certified Organic I.P.A.Certified Organic I.P.A.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

351 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 351
Reviews: 222
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 16.46%
Wants: 0
Gots: 7 | 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:
According to the brewer, "This beer is an English Style IPA, which lacks the intense hop bitterness characterized by the American Style."

(Beer added by: nekronos on 11-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 351 | Reviews: 222 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dsa7783
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short, fat, stout 12 oz bottle copped singly from Gary's in Madison...
Heard a lot of different things about this brewery, and their tendency to produce quality organic beers, so I decided to give this one a shot...
"Brewed with the finest certified organic hops and barley" on the front logo sticker...
A hefty pour resulted in a full, five-fingered foamy head which exhibited impressive staying power before slowly dissipating and leaving copious lacing...
Noticeable hoppy aroma with coriander, grapefruit, and pears...
Bittersweet, medicinal taste, different from many other IPA's I've sampled, with a stinging aftertaste on the tongue...
Mouthfeel could've been better, and this sample left a noticeable acidic and bitter taste on the mouth which wasn't altogether too pleasant...
Mild level of drinkability due to the different flavors associated with this brew...
Overall, this was a mediocore IPA and nothing to write home about, organic or not...

dsa7783, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color. A merangue-like fluffy 1" head lasts a long time. Moderate lacing develops.

Smell: floral and citrus tones come through easily to nose.

Taste: caramel, lemon zest, grapefruit and some orange are all detectable. The bitterness is pretty strong but not mind blowing. Malts are a bit grainy.

Mouthfeel: medium body. Brief citrus and bitter filled aftertaste. Crisp at the start, less crisp and dry at the finish.

Drinkability: solid IPA that is very drinkable. This one will please the hophead looking for something that is not a DIPA.

Gavage, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of bradybeer
4.1/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange-almost a yellow brown. Head is off white and disappears quickly. I can't pick up much hop aroma after the pour-but as the beer warms I get a good fresh hop aroma. Taste is some what astringent with light malt flavor and a slight bitter in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability good-I would like to try this on tap at the brewpub to see if I like it more

bradybeer, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Organic Eel IPA pours a copper color with a small foam head. It leaves some sporadic sudsy lacing on the side of the glass.

The aroma is definitely citrusy.

The taste is in your face bitter with a slight maltiness. In the mouth is taste of alcohol and gives a slight burn to the roof of the mouth and back of the throat while being pretty dry. One of the best organic beers I have had.

cswhitehorse, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of bboven
3.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium copper clear body with a lasting head and lots of lacing

Aroma has lots of hops and also a very interesting biscuit malt aroma that gives a great compliment to the hops.

Great flavor balance, the malt crests over the hops until the end of your tongue where the hops smack you with bitterness and remind you that they are in there too.

A little too much carbonation but not terrible. Moderately drying.

It's a pretty average IPA. Good, but I don't think I'd remember or notice it above other IPA at the store.

bboven, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of stephendr
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. glass bottle- color of light auburn, with a thin off white head - nose of hops, mild malt, and something that I do not know – taste of floral hops, pretty perfume, and some malt - body is silky, and with medium carbonation – aftertaste of floral hops, and some citrus

stephendr, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of PhageLab
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Bottletrek. Had to, I love eels, but that's a different story...

A - Very enticing coppery sort of color, with a nice fingertip's worth of head that disappeared after a few. Produced minimal lacing. Overall a very nice presentation.

S - Strangely this smells of cedar chips and lemons. Not to say it's a bad smell, just very different.

T - Bitterness hits the palate immediately. Not a hop bomb by any means, but they are present. Has a citrus sort of aftertaste, mostly lemons. Tastes more like an APA, so it took a hit here.

M - Light bodied, nice clean feel, mild carbonation, dry finish. Not bad at all.

D - I could do a few before getting bored. It's a good beer, I just think it's more of a pale than an india. I would've rated it higher had it been in that category, but as an IPA, it doesn't hold up. I'd take another one anytime, and overall I'd say it's worth a try.

PhageLab, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of jbsteiny
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy copper color with sizable dense white head -- formed beautiful rings of fine white froth most of the way down the pint glass.

Smells of grainy toasted (caramel) malts with strong diacetyl and a hoppy presence of pines and a bit of the fruity/floral. Tastes of the rustic grains & diacetyl; lots of malts and hops, but they're not the main event as they should be. Bit of a soapy aftertaste.

Nicely carbonated, this could be a much better beer, I feel, if they went back to the drawing board, minimized the diacetyl, and brought out more of the fruit in the hops, which blends nicely with the toasted malts.

jbsteiny, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of sabinelr
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this at Fred Meyer. I've been getting some bad beer tastes lately. I nearly gave up on beer after a can of Sapporo. So I found this at the store, so I said, Well, let's try it. I am pleased. A nice bitter taste without the strong pine or orange peel taste I/ve been finding lately. It leaves a nice aftertaste that makes me want to down another. Enjoy.

sabinelr, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.4/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This shouldn't be true, but I had low expectations based on the overall BA score. They were surpassed.

Nice orange color, fairly attractive. Head was decent. Lacing was quite full, especially toward the end.

Aromas and flavors were solid if unspectacular. The hops gave off a nice piney depth that I found both nicely balanced and full of flavor.

The body wasn't "full" but north of thin by a long shot. Again, solid and well into the acceptable range.

I'm not sure why so little love for this 7% IPA. Well crafted, balanced and flavorful, high side of the ABV. I feel for the brewers: to get more complexity from the hop bill, you need more hop strains, which are very difficult to get certified organic in enough quantity and consistency to have an unchanging recipe. Given the constraints of the industry, I give two thumbs up to Eel River for this effort, and as more growers continue to go organic (a near-certainty given recent legislative changes regarding hops and organic regulations), look for them to brew some damn good beers.

BretSikkink, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of acrawf6
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a cloudy reddish amber with a slightly tan foamy head with nice lacing.

Smell. Lots of caramel, hops are mild in the aroma though

Taste. More caramels come though, with some citrus hops coming through, on the grapefruit side. There is also a darker flavor that i get that is more of a chocolate flavor. I think the malts are balanced well here. Aftertaste is slightly peppery.

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side and creamy. Carbonation is at a proper level.

Overall, a very interesting beer in for what it says it is. To me it is in between an english ipa and a double ipa, with some esb in it. It hides the 7%alc. quite nicely as well. But this bottle i wish i would have had a stronger distinct hop flavor (the last bottle i had certainly did...is this an incosistancy on me or the beer??)

acrawf6, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Certified organic" stated on label:

Pours copper with a one-finger white head that descends to half-size and sticks around.

The smell is of pine and floral notes over a layer of caramel.

The taste is of pine/resin, floral/citric. Sweet caramel support gives it a balance. A touch of spicy alcohol in the finish that becomes more apparent as it progresses.

Chewy and fairly coating in a firm, medium body, this is a more balanced interpretation of an American IPA.

Thanks to jcwatttsrugger for bringing back from his trip West.

jwc215, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of bosco7
2.65/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Milky head sits a top a clear orange beer.

Smells of dishsoap and floral/spicy hop aromas. Not much here.

Wow I am picking up a lot of butterscotch (diacetyl) and powdered soap. Some caramel and toffee. Hops definately do not shine through. They are dull and soft. Bitterness is there. I really can't get past the nasty diacetyl.

Smooth mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I am definately not going to buy this again.

bosco7, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of Mark
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

O.K. this might not be what one expects in an IPA but do all have to be hop bombs? Some of my favorites are Acme from North Coast and Full Sail's versions. These are not over the toppers but are very good and drinkable. This one fell in to that vein. Orange amber had a thin head that left delicate rings of lacing. Aroma was surely not IPA like, not much evidence of any hoppy aroma at all. Not bad, but not good. Taste was better than the aroma, some hop but malt dominated for sure. I personally found it very refreshing though admittedly I probably would not buy it again. There just are a lot better IPA's out there, plenty of them. I bought it because I had visited their brew pub a few years back and thought it pretty good.

Mark, May 27, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.68/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Coppery orange with bright tangerine edges. The three finger crown is pale orangish ecru in color and has a 'whipped egg whites' frothiness about it. Abundant, fine-bubbled carbonation ensures that the cap won't be disappearing any time soon. Plenty of lace further solidifies an already solid appearance.

Citric hops are appreciated in the nose, but they're incredibly muted. Caramel malt is noted, as is a minor soapiness whose origins I can only guess at. At least there are no major off-odors that make me turn away in disgust. Here's hoping the intensity knob is cranked up a few notches on the palate.

Like most of the Eel River beers that I've had so far, I.P.A. isn't especially well-constructed. It's as if the brewers followed a recipe from memory and didn't get the proportions quite right. Compared to the amount of bitterness, hop flavor is on the low end. The word 'muted' applies equally as well as it does when describing the nose.

There's a harsh, 'stored in stainless steel drums' quality to the beer that further keeps me from liking it. Maybe it's the somewhat medical, raw presence of the alcohol (that should be better masked at only 7.0%). As far as specifics, caramel and white grapefruit are present and accounted for, but don't add up to anything that I'd care to drink again.

The mouthfeel is firm without being the least bit full. Like the flavor, it has a standoffish quality that doesn't lend itself to warm fuzzies. Brittle, short-lived carbonation doesn't help. I'm sure I'd like the mouthfeel better if the flavor profile was more to my liking... but it isn't.

With the exception of Certified Organic Porter, which I didn't love, I haven't had a beer from these guys that has even risen to the level of average. In the end, it doesn't really matter where they're located. However, in the craft brew paradise that is California, I'm surprised that Eel River sells any beer at all.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of DogFood11
1.43/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a slender tulip it formed an easily managed white head that has good retention. Orange body with minimal support carbonation that is slow rolling.

First drink had me wondering why it was called an IPA. By todays general standard the hop level was very minimal, more towards the pale ale region and thats being generous. Oily as heck and this one will coat your palate for some time. There is a unrefined mash feel to this as its grating and doesn't mix well. Grainy hay type smell doesn't translate to the taste. Sweet malts play a factor towards the middle and there is a screwed up hop attempt about 3/4 of the way through only to finish up dirty.

Notes: A complete mess. This is one of those brews where I wonder how its released to the public.

DogFood11, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a nice bubbly head that leaves decent lacing

Smell: Nicely balanced aroma of caramel and earthy pine

Taste: Starts out with a caramel flavor that builds in fruit with an unusual strawberry tone; after the swallow, the hoppy bitterness kicks in but doesn't really complement the malt very well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and flavorful but a little odd for an American IPA; just OK

brentk56, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of flexabull
3.55/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dull orange color, decent head, nice lacing.

Beer smells a bit citrus like... a touch of sweetness and spiciness as well.

A lot of bitterness and sourness on the front, grapefruit like. Beer finishes with a touch of sweetness and maltiness. Beer has pretty good balance.

Mouthfeel is good. Round full and a long finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. This is an above average American IPA. Nothing special, but worth a try.

flexabull, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle in paradise (Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu at sunset). Too bad I chose the wrong beer for the moment. I wanted a nice IPA to cap off the day and got a mediocre interpretation. The smell and flavor were understated but hoppy, with a less aggressive profile than I'd hoped for.

Middle of the road.

TurdFurgison, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of phishgator
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Nice copper/amber color with a thick head. The aroma is of grassy hops. The taste is bitter upfront then a sweet maltiness followed by a hop bitter bite. Though there are flavors of hop bitter and malty sweet they aren't balanced (hard to explain). The body is sticky and coats your mouth. This is an IPA that you would enjoy a couple of at one sitting. The alcohol is well hidden. Not bad overall and it's certified organic.

phishgator, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of watermelonman
3.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a bright mix of orange and gold with a medium head that lasted well. Lace is medium.

The smell has strong malt flavor along with a good punch of hops. The taste matches that. The mix of hops is pretty good. Malts are strong but the flavor isn't as good as the hop flavors. The mouthfeel is full.

watermelonman, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of LongBeachHopHead
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eel River IPA:

Appearance: A rich amber, very inviting shade.

Smell: The scent is of lots of malt, breadlike without a huge amount of fresh hops.

Taste: The taste is a palate grabbing bitterness but not from huge amounts of dry hopping. Its a strong ale flavored malty taste, with an apparent alcohol presence. Its A.B.V. is 7.0% and shows every bit of it. I wouldn't consider this an American IPA. Its more of a strong ale without the strong, than a hoppy AIPA. I would like the brewer to show the name of the hops used to brew this.

Mouthfeel: A very viscous brew. The alcohol is what I notice rather than the sweet piney citrus I would expect from an AIPA. Maybe organic hops are less vibrant in flavor? I don't know. What does the "organic" carry across in quality? I have yet to be impressed by any beers that include the word "organic." Why?

Drinkability: I can't see myself including this as one of my session beers. The impact is too much, and too much of the wrong stuff. Am IPA is great when it has too much of the right stuff. Fresh, piney, grapefruit with a slight maltiness to round out the brew. This doesn't have that.

I'm not beer expert but I've tried just about every IPA on the West coast. This rates in the lower half. What's so different about orgainic???

LongBeachHopHead, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of Enola
3.93/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a slight bit lighter than a typical IPA. The head is about a finger and a half and there is ample lacing. The smell is very hoppy and sweet. The taste is hops of course and a sweet aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth and the drinkability is good. Above average for an IPA.

Enola, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of Hollenbeck2
2.13/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is the first organic IPA that I have tried, the alchohol content is high, I always thought these organic hippies would have less... The taste was strong and I could taste the higher content, did not like that very much.

do not think I will buy again, but I would try other organic beers, still trying to find that great northern Californian IPA.

Hollenbeck2, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber copper in color. Nice fluffy head and lot's of lace. Smells pretty malty for an IPA. Almost like an amber ale. Taste is balanced but a little off. Almost like the sweetness and bitterness are competing instead of meshing. Mouthfeel is good. Smooth and creamy. Not a great IPA but a decent sessionable beer none the less.

wcudwight, Aug 22, 2006
Certified Organic I.P.A. from Eel River Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.