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Steelhead Extra Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steelhead Extra Pale AleSteelhead Extra Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

384 Ratings
very good

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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 aquaderek
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into a tasting glass golden orange color with head that quickly dissapates into nothing. The nose is hoppy with slight malt notes. I really like the taste of this beer the nose was slighlty deceiving, the taste is hoppy goodness. The mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated and this is a pretty drinkable bill.

Photo of atsprings
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served a hazy straw yellow with a decent head that diminishes and leaves no lacing. The smell is a rather weak blend of sweet malts and citrus hops. The taste is a fair balance oh malts and citrus hops, somewhat tasty but nothing spectacular. The beer is light bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation. This would make a decent session beer, but it is not one I'd regularly seek out.

Photo of ElGordo
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color, with a smallish creamy white head. Aroma of mild pale malt, slightly citrusy hops, and a slight tang from the yeast. Palate is understated - mild pale malt and light aromatic hops. Very clean. Finish is rather dry, the flavor just drops right off. Not a particularly remarkable beer, but something that would be decent for a session.

Photo of jkrich
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with no freshness date.
Appearance: cloudy, golden with little head or lacing.
Smell: Very little to smell, perhaps a little hop
Taste: Begins with a slightly sweet taste that becomes sour as the beer warms. Can not detect much hop flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation.
Drinkability: This is a rather simple, good beer for the hot weather. The beer almost reminds me of an American Wheat beer. I am slightly put off by that slightly sour aftertaste. I will not seek out this beer again.

Photo of cjgator3
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stubby 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a white head. The floral aroma features some doughy malt and a some hops with some pepper in there as well. The taste is malt up front with a lingering hop finish. Overall, this is a decent APA that is slightly above average. Not bad, but it does not stand among many of the great APAs that are out there.

Photo of peabody
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a light straw color with one finger of white suds.
Smell is weak like a Sierra Nevada pale.
Taste is just a tad watery but pretty nice. Very clean tasting with a small amount of hops.
Aftertaste is sugary sweet. Great session beer here. Just a little weak for my tastes.

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

If the rest of their line-up compares well with the Extra Pale, then this will be a welcome brewery to Central KY. The beer pours a sparkling clear straw color with moderate carbonation and head retention. A solid malt / hop aroma brings out some fruitiness (apples, pears) and some sweetness. The flavors are quite sweet and balanced (did not expect this). However the sweetness goes from fruits to vegetables (dms) going into the finish. The sweetness remains confectionate sugar-like and dominates the beer. Meanwhile a good grassy, citrus hops adds character and rounds the beer out. The beer keeps a firm stature throughout with bready flavors and feels. Finishes a little sweet and maybe a tough heavy for the style. Quite good beer and very enjoyable.

Photo of largadeer
2.41/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale gold with a quarter-inch head. The nose is bizarre, very lactic, almost like sour cream. There's a lot of diacetyl and sweet malt, too. It's malty, sweet and buttery on the tongue with a barely perceptible hop character. It tastes a hell of a lot like yogurt. Medium-bodied, the mouthfeel is creamy, buttery. No bitterness in the finish. I guess they were going for an English style pale ale with this, but it's a pretty colossal failure.

Photo of kirok1999
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light and clear gold with a nice white head that lingers quite a while.
Smell is mostly of grassy and citrus hops. Not a lot there really.
Taste is super smooth, creamy, nice mellow hop notes with a moderate malt backbone. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel is a little thin but the smoothness makes up for it.
A very, very drinkable beer. I'll definitely be buying more.

Photo of Byeast
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a mildly cloudy golden color with a half inch white head,the brew is 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 balancing with some effort all the while with a tea-like flavor and plain bisquits, also a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: soft , the malt makes for a fairly full feel.

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 , but just barely imo, goes down easy none the less.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pale translucent body with thick white head. Great head retention. Leaves behind plenty of lacing.

S- Not too much to the nose. Hints of malt and citrus.

T- Very light taste. Citrus (mostly lemon) is up front with a solid malt backing. Smooth clean finish.

M- low carbonation and light body. Slightly watery.

D- This is a highly drinkable beer. It would be great to convert a BMC or non-beer drinker. Simple and clean.

Photo of gunnerman
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours a pale yellow color with a bit of a head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass. Smell is of sweet honey with hints of grass and thyme. Taste is a heavy cabonated refreshing citrus taste with a bit of a hop bitterness that is a bit tangy. This was a pretty decent offering and would have again if offered.

Photo of kdoc8
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Surfside Grill in Crescent City, CA. It was a deep golden-reddish color. Not much of a head and not too bubbly. It had a flowery aroma and didn't taste too strongly of hops. It was kind of sweet and very drinkable and refreshing. I gulped it down after a hard days hiking in the redwoods. I think I can officially say that I've acquired my taste for Pales, because this was just delicious!

Photo of rkuhnel
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is Mad River’s flagship product as least in terms of sales. When I first came to Humboldt County this is what I drank, but as time had rolled by and other superior local brews (including most of those from Mad River) have come on the scene I no longer drink this unless that is all there is in the ice chest.

Pours a slightly hazy rubbed gold with orange highlights. Nice ivory head, lasts for a while, and deposits good lacing.

The nose is what first lets this down as it is just a little too weak. There is no doubt you are face to face with a pale ale, but it smells mostly like lemons. You just know there has to be hops and malts in there but you cannot tell it from the smell.

The palate is somewhat crisp and the finish is simply blah. The flavor is actually unique…nothing else I have ever tried tastes just like this one. This stuff is incredibly easy to drink, and that is probably is most redeeming value. Just about every bar and restaurant in Humboldt County has this, and often on tap.

I would have to overall rate this as better than average, but no better than that. I am glad it is so popular because it keeps Mad River in business making all those other great brews.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautifully with a 2 finger white head afloat over a cloudy golden orange. Head sticks around for a long time leaving sticky lacing in it's wake.
Aroma is sweet pale malt and white pepper, to me
Flavor is remarkable, IMHO. Sweet pale malt underlies everything...a light fruitiness comes into the flavor especially as it warms....again, a bit of salt and pepper taste spices everything up.
Mouthfeel is crisp from the tiny carbonation and sharp tingling of pepper.
Aftertaste is spice and bread.
Nice summer refresher.

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.77/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (from Breeze-Thru in Wauwatosa) pours with very little head and a yellow, hazy, dull appearance.

Aroma is hop itterness without citrus or pine notes. Some malt sweetness is also present. Aroma is OK, but not great.

Taste is significantly better than this beers aroma. It is a generally mild hop bitterness, again without citrus or pine notes. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is evervescent and pleasing. This beer is drinkable, yet somehow not quite impressive to me to warrant repurchase on my part (there is so much else to try in this big world).

All-in-all, I thought this beer very unremarkable compared to the generally remarkable APA category.

Photo of yelterdow
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at just over fridge temperatire in a pint glass. This one's courtesy of Ego... thanks as always.

Appearance- Pours a cloudy, lemony gold with thousands of tiny particles in suspension. Quite thick. The head is snow white, growing to two fingers and settling to a thick, soapy mat.

Smell- Citrusy grapefruit on the nose. Limoncello. Great big lemon goodness. As the beer opens and displays more malt, I could compare this aroma to SN Celebration.

Taste- A nice, bready malt transforms into a dry, very flowery, bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick and medium weight in the mouth with a pleasing texture. It's a pretty standard APA with the right aromas and flavors... it's just not all that interesting.

Photo of stephendr
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz . bottle – color of gold , clear – nice white head , lingering - nose of malt , sweet fruitiness , caramel , cherries , and hopps – taste of sweet fruit , floral , caramel , malts and hopps – slightly tart , watery body – aftertaste caramel , malts , cereal

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice white thick creamy head,slightly cloudly nice golden color,good clean fresh aroma not real hoppy or malty.A very slight spicey smell too.Tastes fresh and clean not real hoppy or malty,but very refreshing a beer you could drink all night. A crowd pleaser.

Photo of DogFood11
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A dull golden brew with a chill haze. Everlasting creamy, mountainous head that leaves substantial lace and retains from first drink to last.

Fruity Phenols, light and refreshing. Bread crust shell makes for a nice break in this brew and gives it some depth. There is really not much to say about this brew other than its worth trying and I found it to be a sit down after work type of beer to relax to. Its a joy to look at and doesn't dissapoint.

Notes: Since the beers I've tried from this brewer are all very good I would love to see them expand and try some other styles.

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

A: Pours a drab, light golden hue with insignificant highlites. The head is simply blueish white made up of medium sized bubbles. I don't expect the head to last much longer but I do expect a small ring around the glass.

S: Smells like a watered down IPA. Little bit of citrus...mostly on the tangerine side...but some lemon peel and minor pine cone abbrasiveness.

T: This beer reminds me of flavored seltzer water, specifically Calistoga. Like a lemon Calistoga with some bittering hops added to it. Begins with the limestone/co2 flavor that comes with a seltzer water and the flavor actually stays with the beer most of the time. The lymon citrus notes come in to play before giving way to the mellow hops profile and gentle wave of bittering hops. Finishes some what bitter with the lemon and limestone flavors continuing.

M: Thin to medium bodied with a prickly carbonation.

D: I remember the beer being bigger and more full bodied. This beer is uber refreshing very poundable.

Photo of flexabull
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty simple american pale ale. Nothing about this beer ever wows me, but I find myself buying it and of course, drinking it farily often. The name really applies to the flavor of this beer... EXTRA PALE ale. And it is definitely on the light side. But what I like about this is it has those nice pale ale flavors, but is easy enough to drink. Certainly a session worthy beer.

Photo of doubleipa
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Kclingers (Hanover). Not too hoppy and not much of a head or lacing. Light yellow in color. A decent American Pale Ale, but not as hoppy as the waitress said it would be. Did not get our drinking session off to the hoppy start we had anticipated.

Photo of tgbljb
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brilliant golden golden color with massive white puffy head. Smell is loaded with grassy and piney hops, with little malt to be found. Taste is somewhat weak with little taste except some hop bitterness. Very thin in the mouth with a not pleasant aftertaste. OK beer, but there are much better examples of the style.

Photo of JayTheFinn
4.34/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had my first Mad River Steelhead Extra Pale Ale at the Mercury Lounge, a beer bar in Goleta, California.

Looks kind of unassuming in the glass. Just pale gold with a small white head. Smells incredibly hoppy with a citrusy scent somewhere in the vacinity of lemon. But the taste is very hopless. I still sense the citrus, but the utter lack of bitterness is very surprising. Light in the body. The smoothness of each sip makes this one dangerously drinkable.

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