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Steelhead Extra Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steelhead Extra Pale AleSteelhead Extra Pale Ale

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384 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 384
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 8
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 03-24-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 384 | Reviews: 216
Photo of PorterPatrol
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A fine Pale Ale from the zero percent waste brewery in wonderful Humbolt County, California. Pours a nice, hazy golden color with light head and a big bouquet of hops on the nose which does not follow through on the finish. Definite west coast style with a even, well balanced body that doen't dry the tongue or leave bitterness on the roof of your mouth. A nice beer for a sunny day.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It was a pretty good beer. good summer beer

Appearance- gold color, transparent, three quarters of an inch of head

Smell- hops

Taste- hoppy, little bit of a bitter taste

Mouthfeel- smooth, light to medium body

Drinkability- pretty drinkable, good for working outside on a hot summer day

Photo of Coorskid33
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A~ Pours a nice orange with gold tint. Think creamy head about 1/2'' think. Lingers and sticks to the glass. Clear for the style I think.

S~ Hops. Bit of fruit notes with lil presence of alcohol.

T~ Wow, this was not what I expected. This beer is not that complex at all. Very hoppy Very thin, and overall very plain jane.

M~ High carb level. No complexity. Just kinda blah to me. I really want to like this beer but it's so average to below.

D~ Well, I guess if pale ale met american lager, this is where they met. It's like budweiser took over Sierra Nevada or something. maybe it's just the style. Sorry Mad River. This is ok and I'm sure you can do better. The up side of the plain-ness is I could drink a ton of these.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, citrus and light caramelized malts

T: The taste is decently balanced with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel along with a hops presence that is strong but not-overpowering. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, although it's not the best pale ale out there it's worth drinking for a while.

Photo of Keith238
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very mild for a pale ale at just shy of 25ibu. Maybe my tastebuds are warped by all of the hop bombs that I've been drinking. Nothing spectacular about the smell or appearance but the taste and mouthfeel were very refreshing and crisp. Hints of apricots, banana and grapefruit. Highly drinkable at 5.6% abv, this would make a perfect session beer!

Photo of albern
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, a bit sweet and spritzy for an APA but it is refreshing. The beer pours a cloudy and a bit murky orange color with zero head and no lacing. There are some residuals floating about the glass. The nose on the beer is quite subdued, but it is grassy, a bit musty, some sweeter malts, a bit perfumey and floral.

The taste is quite sweet with no real bready underneath to the beer. It is light to medium bodied, there are some orange and citrus tangy notes, some hop tartness emerges towards the finish, but the beer is like a thirst quenching spritzy and selztery beer. There are a drying note or two at the very back end with a bit of an overly lemony zing added just for good measure. The beer is okay if you're in the mood for it. The beer is fairly light bodied, not at all complex, and easy to drink.

Photo of Murchmac
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangey hazy shade of gold. Looking at this beer I can't help but think of Art Garfunkel's blonde fro locks wisping in the wind.

Smells like some citrus notes, some malts, and Garfunkel's solo career. Not all that impressive.

Not an unpleasant taste, some orangey citrus tastes, cut grass, some sugary malts, the taste doesn't last as long as Art Garfunkel's Forrest Gumpesque treks.

Kind've a pleasant bitter aftertaste, albeit weak. I think you'd have to mix this beer with something else to rival the pop duo that was Simon and Garfunkel. But like Art's Hair, this beer has staying power. By the way, google image Artie, and he still has his fro, but he needs just for men for it.

Photo of Clydesdale
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden-orange color. Wow, the head is extremely energetic: tall, foamy, fluffy, and rocky, with an off-white color. Retention is very nice, with solid patchy lacing.

S: Some hints of pale malt and citric/lemony hops. A bit of a yeasty twang. Perhaps somewhat earthy as well.

T: Basic pale malt sweetness. A solid dose of earthy and lemony hop flavors, with moderate bitterness. A slightly spicy, yeasty character also.

M: Fairly standard medium body, with mild carbonation. Smooth and somewhat creamy. Could use a bit more pep, actually.

D: I'll admit to being somewhat disappointed with this after having a few of their other very strong offerings. Nothing really wrong here, but rather pedestrian. This would be a pretty drinkable APA, however.

Photo of kaseydad
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden straw color with a bright white foamy head.

Smells floral and fruity. Reminds me of some Belgian beers by the aroma.

The taste is malty, bready and a hint of hops at the swallow. I was expecting some bite but it is a very mild pale ale. If someone gave it to me with no label, I would swear I was drinking a Belgian Pale Ale. A light aftertaste, but not harsh at all.

The drinkability is quite easy and I see it being a thirst-quencher on a hot day.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Party Town.

Poured clear hazy amber with an average frothy white head that mostly lasted and produced good lacing. Moderate to heavy hoppy citrus aroma. Medium body with soft carbonation. Medium hoppy bitter flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of average duration.

Good drinkable brew.

Photo of Stockfan42
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Good pour on this beer that leaves a great spicy hop aroma and a sweet creamy head of foam.

Light golden body with a hint of amber leaves a pretty good lookin beer in your glass.

Nice malty flavor with a hoppy citrus kick and a slight spicy, peppery taste.

Not a hard beer to swallow, its light on the tounge and rather refreshing after taste would make a great summer brew.

Photo of illidurit
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Poured into a pint glass. Golden straw color, creamy white head, minimal lacing. Aroma is mostly pale malt, sweetish with light citric hops. Flavor is much the same. Dry pale maltiness with a whisper of C hops. Barely any bitterness. Moderately astringent.

Photo of seanbhudson
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold color with a large white head that dissipates at an average rate. Medium amount of lacing.
Orange blossom and light sweet doughy malts. Finishes with some light grassy hops.
Very similar to aroma, floral citrus with a malty backbone. Finishes with light peppery hops.
Light to medium body with almost a creamy texture with soft carbonation.
This beer goes down super easy. This would be really nice on a hot summer day. Careful drinking this with any flavorful foods because the subtle flavors will be overpowered.

Photo of jwc215
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed golden yellow with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is citric - orange, floral and grassy. Nice hoppy aroma.

The taste is citric-esp. orange with floral bitterness. It has a pale malty backing - maybe a hint caramelish. This is hoppy for an "extra pale ale", though balanced. There is a sharpness in the bitterish finish.

Amply, though not overly, carbonated. It has a medium body that is pretty creamy. Not quite as chewy as I would like in an IPA, but as it is an APA, which tends to be lighter in body, it fits very well.

This is a nicely, a bit differently, hopped pale ale. Despite the slight sharpness, it drinks very well. A "different" "extra pale ale". After the glass is finished, I still enjoyed smelling the glass.

Photo of magictrokini
3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap @ Pizza Port Solana Beach. Hazy gold with a big white head. Floral, grassy nose. Crisp, hop flavor with white pepper, citrus, peach, and a very small amount of malt. Refreshing. Yet, I was happy to have this on tap instead of being forced into buying a 6-pack. I wish it was easier to buy singles...

Photo of popery
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is how I wish macros tasted. Well, that's not really true. I might as well wish even higher as long as I'm wishing, but this beer should be what mass appeal beer tastes like. It's not scary or difficult. It's just a well-balanced, well-hopped pale ale. It's relatively light with good lemony bitter notes. It looks really good in the glass, light orange with yellow highlights, a good sticky head and some fun suspension. The nose is a tad weak but good when it comes through. It's fresh and sweet with a crisp citric tone. The taste is similar. Lemony hops and light malt mix well into a good, calm beer. Feel can get a bit watery, especially with my palette still bracing from the relatively recent spate of fall DIPAs. The beer is quite drinkable. It's a very easy beer to like, even if it doesn't blow you away, and I would far, far prefer to see it on tap at a bar than nearly any macro.

Photo of BierFan
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a short 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Amber colored body with a small white head and decent carbonation.

Smell: Nice aroma of citrus and grapefruit from the hops.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Definitely a thirst quencher. Hoppy grapefruit taste with a mouthfeel that is bigger than you usually get from the style.

Photo of HalfFull
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden into a pint glass with a thin head. Head dissipates rather quickly but the brew does offer some lacing as the head and nose are easily regenerated given the firm carbonation of the beer. (Beer was served rather cold)

Smell is mild with slight floral hop notes. Taste is clean and crisp with an occasional slight bitterness on the close, increasing with warming. I'd say the feel and drink are good as this is a mild ale in flavor and potency, yet offers a nice flavor profile. Reminds me of Green Flash Extra but not as refined.

Photo of daliandragon
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My label is dark blue but otherwise is the same as the one pictured. The color is a hazy, bright yellow nearing orange, somewhat reminiscent of a hefeweizen. The nose is medium citrus and a touch of pine. Nothing overwhelming but a typical west coast approach to the style.

The taste is similar to the smell, in that what is there is decent but it's not exactly blowing me away. A touch of fresh grapefruit, a smidge of hop bitterness and not much else. The carbonation is okay but the texture is thin and watery and doesn't help the flavor much.

It is easy to drink, and I could see downing this in large numbers in a sunny day out on the boat landing some stripers but outstanding it isn't.

Photo of matty
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy gold colored ale with a slow fading head.Aroma was nice,citrusy and a tad of caramel.Taste is orange and grapefruit.This is probably something to try once but there is nothing special about it that would make me want to buy another one.I will label this as mediocre.

Photo of WakeandBake
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a cloudy golden color with a half inch white head,filled with tons of tiny yeast particles.

Smell: creamy citrus hops, pepper, some maltiness, and a hint of honey.

Taste: The hop flavors come first with some tart citrus rind, floral notes, then a bit of spicey pepper character, the malt is well balanced with the hops and spice

Mouthfeel: soft,and full

Drinkability: A very drinkable APA with some of the expected flavors as well as a good dose of unique character, especially the hops. The malt balances the strong floral quality.

I have had other offerings from Mad River, all were very solid offerings

Photo of beerthulhu
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured bright golden-tangerine with a slight haziness. The head was creamy, flat, off white in color and quickly scattered and dissipated into isolated frothy patches. The lacing was scarce, near non-existent, while visible carbonation was moderately strong and rapid in nature.

S: The nose was a tad light and disappointing per style. Faint oranges with a light flowery bitterness that was a struggle at times to detect.

T: The flavor proved more promising then the nose with a brisk carbonation bringing out the lively citrusy nature. A medium dry bitterness that was well balanced against a crisp pale malting makes for a nice smooth flavor overall. A touch of sweet tangerines is also detected while a nice floral bitterness closes things out here.

M: light with a slight tingly sensation from the carbonation. Very smooth in texture with a nice dry orange and floral bitterness gracing the tongue.

D: An easy drinking pale that was crisp with just the right amount of hoppiness to balance things out to make this good for a few. The drinkability is truely its strong point here.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mad River- Extra Pale Ale

A- Bright clear yellow with a big fluffy white head.
S- Light citrus and fresh toasted grain.
T- Sweet buttery grain with a touch of lemon and grapefruit citrus.
M- Light and sweet with a crisp dry finish.

Overall- Not as impressive as I was hoping. Good and easy to drink but a little too toned down.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cloudy gold with a decent white head and some fair lacing.

Mild malt and lightly toasted grain scents, a little hop leaf.

Mildly sweet grain flavors with lightly toasted maltiness and some decent firm bitterness to give this beer a little backbone. This is a fairly soft beer.

Some fair carbonation and clean finishing qualities make this easy in the mouth and easy to drink. Wish I found this in the summer. Overall, a decent beer. Not anything to get too excited about, but worth a shot.

Photo of smcolw
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with a large amount of cloudiness. Generous head with lasting power--good lace on the glass.

Mild, but well-balanced with a soft hop presence.

Slightly sweet with a low level hop in the background that becomes stronger with the swallow. Relatively short aftertaste. Appropriate mouthfeel for the style.

Refreshing and easy to drink. A firm step up from the macros but not as flavorful as some APA's.

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Steelhead Extra Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 384 ratings.