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Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
Steel Rail Extra Pale AleSteel Rail Extra Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

540 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 8
Gots: 37 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 08-22-1996)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 540 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Northampton Brewery. I am liking this Berkshire brewery as their product is above-average from the four I have tried. I could not get an aroma because of the chlorine used to clean the glass. Their was a light pale colour. The taste was very decent for a pale. Refreshing and crisp, hops and malt.

Sammy, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -16.2%

nmann08, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished lemon peel with both slowly rising and rapidly rising streams of bubbles. The upper third of the pint glass is filled with a good looking crown of elephant tusk colored foam that has a finely pitted surface. Extensive sheets of delicate lace get the job done as well.

The color and the aroma would suggest that nothing darker than pale malt is used. Maybe that's why BBC uses 'Extra Pale' in the beer's name. The hops don't have the typical citrus fruitiness that is present in most APAs. In fact, the hops aren't very aromatic or very distinctive at all.

It would be interesting to find out if Berkshire has changed this recipe since the mid 1990s. The label has a copyright date of 1994, not that that means anything. It certainly tastes like an ale that was created before the hop craze hit the craft brew world. That doesn't make it bad, just uninteresting to someone who cut his teeth on something much more flavorful. In case you're wondering, the 'best by' date is still more than 3 months away.

Biscuity malts lay down a solid base and add a modicum of sweetness. Top notes include a light grassy muskiness and a few shavings of lemon peel. Ale yeast esteriness isn't usually noted in beer of this style (due to the hops), but it is here. This is obviously well-crafted beer, but it doesn't have the flavor chops to stand out in any way, shape or form.

The mouthfeel is light-medium and hangs on well enough on the finish to earn an above average score. The bubbles are okay too, if a little on the scarce side.

Berkshire Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale's claim to fame is that it was the first beer reviewed on this site, 13 long years ago. I'm sure it has its fans out Massachusetts way, but it doesn't really hold up when compared to the more modern versions of the style.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cracked this one open on the afternoon the other day. Was looking for something light to start the day and this one seemed to fit. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/31/2009.

The pour was nice, light golden color, with a tight head of white on the top that fizzled out quickly leaving only minimal lacing on the top of the glass, but lots of carbonation visible. Light aroma of grain, hints of subtle herbal hops and a light, but noticable bready touch to it. As I take the first sip the light, well carbonated body hits the spot immediatly. Crisp and clean with a mellow and subdued profile. Light touches of grain and grassy hop notes play around on the palate, not much depth to it but it was very refreshing and clean. Subtle finish did not leave much on the tongue but it was nice.

Overall a light, refrseshing and enjoyable pale ale. Nothing really off here and it does what it should.

mikesgroove, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

JAHMUR, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of Jason
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with a freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Densely tiny bubbled lace sticks everywhere, dusty weather golden colour comes close to a beige hue.

Smell: Biscuit dough, yeast and flour … light hops, malt and fruitiness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: A grand smoothness softens the yeasty blow, not that the yeast has a bite but it is there like a thick blanket after a winter storm. The maltiness has a sturdy steam and branches off into biscuity and grainy flavours. Bread wheat malt. Hops are mild with a monotone citric flavour.

Notes: A simple ale, small in stature but still flavourful.

Jason, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin but foamy white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick and even lace on the glass.

S: The smell grainy & hoppy with hints of citrus, yeast and wheat.

T: It starts off with a bready taste, with hops & citrus mixed in, not very much sweetness, which isn’t a bad thing in this case. The flavor is very straight-forward. This one seems to taste a lot like Berkshire’s Gold Spike Ale with a little more hops.

M: Very crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Refreshing and tasty, not filling at all, extremely easy to drink, a very good beer overall.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy yellow with a white head. Nose is grains and lemon. Flavor has a citrus bite to it as well. Gritty grain thing is there as well. Feel had a biting carbonation. Liquid is smooth. Nice to drink, but a really odd example of the style. Way too much lemon citrus in there and not enough hop action IMO.

RblWthACoz, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazed goldenrod coloration, thinnest of heads, diminishes instantaneously.
Lemony aroma, soft and citrusy, but largely quiet.
Big lemony bite on first sip, crisp citrusy texture, middling mouthfeel...yeasty tasting... simpering finish.
It's a pretty pale extra pale ale, and lacking in real character.
easy to drink, for sure, but needs a bit of umph in the flavor department, maybe an extra helping of hops, or something...but, alas, it's an unimpressive offering, solidly on the side of blase'.

feloniousmonk, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

not much too this one, and a major let down after how good the dark wheat was last night. maybe it was crappy tap lines at the umass u-pub, but it poured totally flat. honey colored and thin, no bubbles or head at all, not real appetizing. the nose is decent, generic mix of light pale malt and c variety hops, but its all balanced up. the flavor too is nothing really to speak of, I mean, a refreshing hop forward beer with a light body and a dry finish, but not anything distinct to any of it, nothing stands out, it bores me to tears. more carbonation is needed, maybe the bottled version is better? I am still holding out hope that this lost sailor ipa is going to kick butt!

StonedTrippin, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at texas bbq

Super clear pale yellow golden colored beer, light 1/2 finger head fades semi slowly with a bit of sticky lacing.

Nose brings some light herbal and grassy hops, light bitter hop aroma, crisp light ale aroma.

Light crisp ale, almost lager like, bit of herbal hops, mild floral and grassy, mild bitterness, finishes mostly clean and crisp with a bit of lingering herbal and grassy hop bitterness. Lacking a bit in the "extra".

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, crisp and refreshing with decent carb.

Drink is good, crisp and clean finish, mild bitterness, mostly light overall.

jlindros, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pale malt scent along with some bisquity/breadlike notes. It also has a mild hop aroma and a yeasty scent. The taste is average. It has an earthy breadlike flavor that's a bit malty, but nothing over the top. It boasts of pale and bisquit malts along with a light hop and yeasty finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average beer, nothing more. It's full flavored, but I'm not sure I'm a fan of the flavor. It's one and done for me.

WesWes, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 64 ounce growler:

Cloudy, and far more pale than I expected (golden color). Decent head and lace

With a strong whiff of yeast, the pale ale malt is slightly lost. The hop fares better although it is also hidden behind the citrus aromas of the yeast. Do I detect a touch of wheat?

Spicy flavor up front, clove and floral hop. A properly bitter aftertaste is also present after I swallow. Very dry with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fuller bodied than I'd expect from the color. Decent brew that is growing on me as I sip it.

smcolw, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

InspectorBob, May 29, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another quality from Uncle Gary & Co.! My pour resulted in a finger of off-white head with decent retention. Color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow. Nose was slightly malty for the style, but there were obviously hops involved. Mouthfeel was medium with a decent hop bite on the tongue, along with a yeasty mustiness. Finish was slightly bitter, but not enough to keep me satiated.

woodychandler, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy light gold with a small white cap that forms a solid collar. Solid tubes of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of fruity peach, apricots, and citrus.
Taste is of the aromas with a fruity blast of melon and apple.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and chewy on the finish.

weeare138, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of jdhilt
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light yellow and clear it starts with a good head that lasts and leaves some lace. This is a mild medium bodied pale with a light mix of malt and hops - actually I expected a little more beef. Much less hop bitterness compared to Berkshire's IPA. The ABV is 5.3%

jdhilt, Apr 03, 2003
Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

ejimhof, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Birradr14 for sharing the bottle, served in some pint glasses.

This had a pale golden/yellow mix of a color with a certain clarity to it. A semi frothy white head rose up about a inch before going into a cap, loose lines of lacing. The smell was interesting, a good mix of hops and malts with some earthiness. The taste was not far off with some grassy/floral flavors from the hops and just a hint of citrus. Some grain and malt rounding this out. The feel is above light with a crisp finish. The ABV is real low, so I would not mind polishing off a bomber of this on my lonesome.

BARFLYB, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to goodbyeohio for this brew.

Pours a cloudy pale yellow color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy white head, not much sticky lacing at all. The nose is slightly sweet, malty, slightly hoppy, some spices, and slight caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, slightly sweet/spicy, some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad Pale Ale, but I've had better, glad though to have had a chance to try.

Wasatch, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

wrightst, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Smokey Bones BBQ, Springfield, MA, presented in a 23oz glass mug.

Good-sized white head on a golden honey hued brew. Slightly malty aroma with a spritz of hops. Good malt flavor such a pale ale, with a crisp hops bite to follow up. Pleasant brew for a pale ale, which isn't usually my favorite style, and went with the pulled pork something excellent.

ppoitras, Mar 06, 2004
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Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.