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Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

221 Reviews
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Steel Rail Extra Pale AleSteel Rail Extra Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 08-22-1996

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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 646
Photo of dtumminelliob
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have only enjoyd this, when at all, on tap. I think this is because it comes across fresh and crisp in that context, but that defeats the purpose in some ways of an ale. It is almost like an ale masquerading as a pilsener, and I would just rather have a pilsener in that case.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Straw yellow with a thin white head.

Smell: Light hops and citrus.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of sweeter citrus with a mild bitter hops finish.

Overall: Decent IPA, would be good on a hot summer day.

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Photo of mnrider
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear slightly cloudy pale straw color. One finger of bone white head,
with thin retention. lacing is sporadic.

S: Sweet. Malts. Light floral aroma. Butter and caramel.

T/M: Creamy. Malts. Sweet. Grains. Grassy yeas taste. Has a light hop kick/taste.
Finish is yeasty and grainy. The finish is on the dry side.

O: Above average pale ale. Nice malty taste. Could have a more pronounced hop
flavor. Still worth a try.


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Photo of Apellonious
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from Berskhire growler into a Sam Smith pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden yellow. A one finger head movesto a thin lace.

S - Faint pine, toasted grains.

T - Toasted grains, mild bitterness, and pale malts. Clean and balanced. Hints of mild blueberry as it warms.

M - Carbonation medium high, works well for the style.

O - Good pale ale, well made, and is sessionable. Makes for an ideal summer beer.

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Photo of Carolvs
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is wildly underestimated here. Not exotic, but perfectly balanced with a pleasant hoppiness that is noticed but not rued. As others have noticed, a great session beer, which is a feat unto itself.

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Photo of BigGeorge860
3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a substantially hazy, very light straw color. Head like an adjunct. The smell is not particularly enticing. But the mouthfeel is fantastic for the style. Lots of carbonation. Finishes like a crisp Pilsner. The aftertaste is sweet and smooth. Little hop flavor but plenty of rich maltiness. This beer is good. I'd be happy to see it in a cooler on a hot day.

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Photo of Short-Pour
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Easy to get in my area, looked good in the glass. Did not enjoy this as much as in days past, but back then, this was one of a few as opposed to one of many

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Photo of Onemoresolo
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this on draft last night at a local BBQ joint.

I know a lot of people are going to see the current scores (81/81) and immediately pass on this, which is an absolute shame.

It's not going to blow your mind with crazy dank/tropical flavors, but it has a soft honeyed bread flavor and medium-low carbonation that's enough to keep you interested, but light enough to make the beer sessionable. Perfect dinner beer.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the tap into mason jar. In a dark bar.

a: looked golden and crystal clear. No head. Nice lacing.

s: a little yeasty. Like Challah bread. Grassy notes.

t: slight hoppiness. Light honey and malt.

m: very pleasing mouth feel. Nice carbonation coupled with silky honeyness.

o: rolling this beer around in my mouth was the best part of it. It has as very satisfying mouth feel. Also I thought this was a pilsner when I took my first sip. I didn't realize it was a pale ale. I just went for the Berkshire.

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Photo of snilsen13
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Can. Gold color with white froth and absolutely excellent lacing. Smell is mild, yeasty. Taste is mild up front then sugar sweet in the middle and finishes with a nice pils-style crisp bitterness. Silky mouthfeel, very drinkable. Overall, slightly above average and an easy choice for a drinking session.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: crystal clear; bright yellow colored; 1 finger creamy, ivory head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: a little muted; grassy hops; a little biscuit;

T: well balanced; a little sweet; grassy notes from the hops as there, but also some pale malts; tastes and looks more like a pilsner; almost no bitterness;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: I expect the hops to be a little more forward in an APA; that said, a easy drinking beer;

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%

Pours a slightly cloudy yellow with a white fizzy head. The smell was a lot of hops and citrus but with a slightly sweet hint at the end with almost a vanilla scent. The taste was nice with a lot of hops in the beginning with a nice bite which mellowed out into a semi-sweet finish. Not bad but overall nothing too amazing either.

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Photo of Tbub18
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

I come from the Berkshires and fondly recall having my first Steel Rail--this was actually my first craft beer. I say this in an effort to be as unbiased as possible.
A--yellowish orange with a white head
S--hops are there but need to sniff through the malt to get them
T--malty and sweet, very smooth for an APA (under today's standards anyway) with minimal hoppy bite
M--light, lots of carbonation
O--Its hard to drink this now because the memory of its greatness simply doesn't match. This is a very drinkable APA but man there just isn't much going on here. I'm a hop head though so perhaps I'm just missing the bite I've grown accustomed to? Any way, BBC Steel Rail has a place forever in my heart.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%

Can brought in to share by Curran.

Pours a fairly pale yellow, with a slight tint of orange, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing down the glass.

Smells like caramel, and some grassy hops. The hop aromas don't exactly dance out of the glass here- fairly muted. Don't know if its the recipe or the age. Probably the recipe.

The caramelly malt flavor, slightly biscuity and sweet, is really nice. It doesn't really feel like a pale ale, though- I think this is a pretty old recipe, so maybe this was hoppy back in the day. Now, it's just mild and sweet to me. Still tasty, though- just a little bit boring.

This one has fairly light body, with a crisp mouthfeel, and a moderate to high amount of carbonation. Very drinkable.

Nothing crazy, certainly doesn't taste bad, there's just not a whole lot going on.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

A - Extremely light pale hazy yellow body with bright white head. Good retention and nice lacing.

S - Tart citrus notes

T - Starts dry with slight citrus hop. Apricots and lemon moves in along with some malt sweetness. Flavors round over in the finish.

M - Medium body with moderate/high carbonation. Somewhat sticky

O - Not bad. I wish it stayed dry throughout but still very drinkable.

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Photo of lou50rp
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy yellow color with white head which quickly dissipates
Smell is mild and unrevealing
Taste is very malty with a touch of hops at the end, refreshing
Mouthfeel is smooth and light
Overall, a cold one on a hot day, goes down real easy, and a 5.3% you can pour a few down

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Photo of gonzo000
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a. Light yellow and cloudy/hazy. Not much body, watery. 1 finger head that lasts in a thin layer atop the beer.

s. Smells like a lager - malty, slight citrus/acid.

t. Tastes like a standard lager or ale, but very easy to drink and very smooth. Hops are not bitter or overpowering, as I expected.

m. Very nice carbonation and mouth feel.

o. Overall this seems like a great call on a summer day. Light, great taste,and smooth.

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Photo of Beeronysus
3.39/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dirty blonde; hazy. Like that girl you once knew. You know the one.

Smell: Malty; dirty corn husks. Shuck it.

Taste: Not a forward malt. This one smacks the back of the palate. And, via the power of suggestion, it has a metallic "steel" quality to it.

Mouthfeel: Thin and clean to start, but it leaves you with something to think about.

Overall: A good beer. It's drinkable ("quaffable" in the douche vernacular). In other words, a descent session ale. It's good for a reliable romp, but not an earth shattering meet the parents type of beer. Keep it in on speed dial if nothing else hits.

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Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A = a nice cloudy amber. My pint was served extremely cold, probably due to the sub-zero temperatures in the cellar during the cold NH winter. As a result, it had only a slight head. I actually had to wait awhile for it to warm up for the rest of my tasting.
S = Brisk? Can I use that term for beer? Also, a slight scent of citrus and yeast/bread. No detectable hops, light if any, and that makes me happy.
T = Reminded me very much of a heavy pilsner. Crisp, nice medium-light flavor. Very drinkable.
M = Again, like a heavy pilsner, if there is such a thing. It complimented my lunch quite nicely!
O = Even if I didn't seek this ale out, I would order it again if I saw it on a menu. I would even drink it sans food, as it is crisp, refreshing and leaves no "beer-ish" aftertaste. A very nice beer, indeed!

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Photo of Omnium
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Can > Pint Glass

A - Cloudy yellow with a finger of fizzy white head, some light strands of lacing.
S - Nice mild citrus hops, fresh baked bread, a little wheat.
T - You get those nice light citrus notes up front then your palate is dominated by a huge fresh bread flavor, which isnt bad, but it can be a bit much, little bit of wheat, some flour quality to it.
M - Light and somewhat dry.
O - Its drinkable, but the bread factor in this is crazy. This would make a great beer to infuse with pizza dough.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy golden orange, topped by three fingers of dense white foam.

Mild lemon citrus aroma.

Sweetish beginning. Fruity middle. Mild bitterness. Clean finish.

Smooth light mouthfeel.

Easy drinking pale, inoffensive but uninteresting. Not one to search for, not one to turn down.

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Photo of Zraly
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks a bit like a pilsner. Very clear and pale gold. Soft notes of malt upfront.

Sweet and light, this -- as a pale ale -- is a bit surprising. I'm not a hop head but was expecting a touch more hop presence. A nice honey flavored backbone but a bit more bitterness could offer more balance. Just a touch over light-bodied.

When I think of pale ales, I think of Sierra Nevada as the benchmark. I think this falls a bit short but is certainly not bad. I think it is drinkable and has a certain level of approachability, if you are trying to convert a non-beer drinker into one; this is real ale training wheels. With that said, though, I think this would be a great warmer weather ale when you crave something a touch sweeter.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a glass

Pale golden yellow with slight carbonation. White one finger cap quickly subsides to a scattering of bubbles. Lacing near the liquid but not much.

Aroma of sweet malt, floral hops.

Carbonation on the middle of the tongue, slight bitterness on the back. Well balanced malts and hops, smooth and drinkable. Light mouthfeel.

Very enjoyable beer. Good, fresh and local for me. $3.99 for a bomber. Would probably be good on tap as well.

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Photo of Gatch
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 02/22/14

A: Clear, light golden yellow with a huge bright white foamy head that settles pretty quickly. Good lacing but little retention.

S: Lots of malt with a hint of hops in the finish.

T: Malty and sweet with a nice hop presence. The sweetness is very reminiscent of honey. And the hops are there to make this an accurate representation of an EPA.

M: Might be a bit too sweet for some but I like the pairing of honey and hops. Plenty of carbonation and good flavor and body.

O: Not a hop bomb if you're looking for it. Plenty of malt to make it a truly balanced Pale Ale. A pleasant drinking experience and one that I would recommend. A six pack of cans would be great for almost any situation.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

BEST BY: 03/15/14

A: Pours a yellow color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades down to a very thin cap

S: Some lightly sweet malts and graininess along with a light floral hoppiness. Not really much to it

T: Starts off with a light grainy malt sweetness followed by some floral and earthy hops. Finishes with an extremely light bitterness and a bit of sweetness. Again, not too much going on

M: Light-medum bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Bordering on light beer, it has a little bit of sweetness to go along with a light hop bite. It certainly feels more like 3.5% instead of the 5.3% (which could be a good thing). It makes for a good 'session beer' than anything else, with some decent flavor and great drinkability. Nab a 6-pack or bomber if it's fresh and you just want to relax and have a few

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Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.