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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.

542 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 542
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 8
Gots: 38 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 542 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of albern
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a tad disappointed in this beer from Berkshire, which usually has very high quality ales. This one pours a clear, fairly pale golden color with a creamy white head that retains and laces. The aroma is quite malty, very lemony and citrusy, some other floral tangs. Right out of the bottle, there was a touch of mustiness, but this went away pretty quickly.

The taste comes in two parts for me. The first segment is creamy, smooth, some sweetish bready malts, some florals, a bit of a yeasty fruitiness imparted. Towards the back end, there is just too much of a lemony zing and a slightly harsher citrus bite. The smoothness gives way to more of a crispness. The beer is pretty well carbonated, refreshing, has a fairly potent floral lemon aftertaste. This beer is okay, slightly better than average, but nothing memorable.

albern, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of TCog
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber

Poured a bright gold with a white quickly disipating head.

Aromatically, it was light and bready, slightest bit of sweetness.

The flavors reinforced the bread aromas but didn't provide any of the malt I'd hoped the sweetness indicated. Fairly crisp without much lingering flavors.

Very light mouthfeel, not unpleasant or watery, just very light.

Ultimately it didnt' do much for me, and at least this offering is a one-and-done for me, but its worth a go on a lighter-beer night.

TCog, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of sethmeister
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.

Pours straw gold with the slightest hint of haze. Creamy white head - 2 fingers. Glass is decorated with lace.

Scent is light biscuity and fresh bread. Very mild floral and citrus notes.

Taste is sweet malty fresh bread with a light citrus. Very slight hop bittering in the finish and other than a slight citrus (lemon) note hops are pretty weak here.

Mouth is light clean and crisp.

Drinkability is excellent

A tasty fresh beer from a brewery I enjoy but this is a pretty lightweight American Pale in my opinion. Compare with something like Smuttynose's Shoals Pale which has both a thicker malt base and a stronger grapefruity hop flavor.

sethmeister, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured pale gold with a white sticky head. Nice lacing - actually surprised at this aspect. Bonus.

Smells of light malt, yeast, some hop aroma.

Tastes very clean. Light bready notes, grain, yeast, and a little hop bite. This was beer we had with pizza topped with the works and it was a perfect fit.

Finishes clean, moderately carbonated.

Overall, quite pleasantly surprised. Had this when they first opened the brewery so many moons ago. Got really turned off by the attitude of people doing the brewery tour (not toward me, but people working for them --nasty enough where I refused to put money in their pockets by supporting their product because of it). Looking at the selection of styles, the quality of product, and the longevity of the brand, they might have just gotten me back into good graces.

OtherShoe2, Oct 11, 2008
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 IBUnit63
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Charlie's Kitchen and their beer garden @ Harvard Square

Pours a decent natural honey/light mahogany color with a decent, (ephemeral) head when from a tap. A little bit of haze in there.

Smells hearty but for an APA hop presence is very subdued. There's a little bit of off (phenol?) scent in there. Slight grass and earth tone. Malt is prevalent in a good, whole-grain sort of way.

Drinks in line with nose; straight ahead and prety solid. Bitterness emerges more on palate with primarily grass and earth tones as in the nose. Off-smell carries over to the palate a little bit, but does not overwhelm.

Doesn't treat the palate badly - as it warms the finish gets to be a little longer with only a tinge of bitter hop aftertaste. Reasonably well-balanced.

I haven't explored enough of the Berkshire slate. This one is decent for a sessionable IPA and doesn't scare me away; instead it actually encourages me to look for more of their stuff, so that's a good thing.

IBUnit63, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of changeup45
2.93/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The second of the Berkshire's beers I've tried and I must say I liked the other more (Berkshire Ale). I'm having a little trouble viewing this as a true Pale Ale. Pours a golden color with a thin white head. Taste is sweet, with a corn-like flavor in there with very subtle hops. Not very hoppy at all. Reminds me more of a Lager than a Pale Ale. Still it's a pretty refreshing beer and I'd say average overall.

changeup45, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with small but lively head with streamers of carbonation. Aroma is strong, biscuity with an overtone of pale malt. The flavor is powerful and biscuty, almost like a pilsner, but with a sour mash feel and a strong hop bitterness. It has elements of apricot and orange that emerge as the beer warms. Rather sour but delicious. Good, clean, thin mouthfeel. Not bad, highly drinkable.

Seanibus, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of OzMan
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light yellow with a fairly small head that goes down fairly quickly. The aroma was not the most desirable.

Taste is bitter at first with a sweeter after taste. Very refreshing on a hot summer day. Very drinkable.

I would definitely drink this one again.

OzMan, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of number1bum
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by 10/29/08 printed on the side.

Pours a very pale yellow, quite hazy with a fizzy two fingers of white head. Head recedes to a thin lace and leaves a little bit of stick.

Smells of grain and a little skunky at first, which is surprising because it's such a fresh bottle. Skunky aroma goes away after a bit and there is more of a bready, doughy like smell. There is a bit of fruit and some grassy hops, too.

Taste starts off with some lemon citrus flavor, some grassy hops too and then a very doughy malt quality. Grainy flavor comes in midway through and there is some hop bitterness, as well. I think there must be some wheat in here, too.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, with a light creaminess.

I really didn't care all that much for this. It seems like more of an APWA than an APA, but either way it's not something I'd have again. Much too grainy for my liking in a Pale Ale.

number1bum, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of msolar
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I put this on tap after a friends recommendation (Petes99).

Pours nice with a light color and small head. Smells good and is a nice light-to-medium bodied beer. It's bitter for an ale but pretty well balanced.

Good beer (and great brewery) - I'd serve this again.

msolar, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of Rackerman
4.53/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've recently had the Steel Rail in the bottle, a close 2nd to it's kegged cousin, however it's always otherwise been via tap.

Golden brown appearance, slight head and low carbonation looks very much average to me. Subtle hops and fruity smell are inviting. Taste is fantastically heavy - my definition of full-bodied. doesn't taste too hopy at all... subtle, great finish. I can drink these all day.

This beer is totally no frills, just very, very good beer - my new favorite.

Rackerman, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of morebeergood
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my second pint of the night while eating pizza at Woody's this past Friday night. A nice dark brown color with some orange aspects to the hue. Excellent taste and smell, with some hops present but just mellow enough for me to enjoy. One odd aspect of this beer's taste was an unusual nut flavor I got in the taste. I am not sure if that was intentional or if I am dreaming it, but I got a weird almond or peanut taste in the beer. Different. Again, this paired nicely with a spicy chicken pizza. I had always assumed that this beer was hoppier, but it's mellowness surprised me and won me over.

morebeergood, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of callmescraps
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Looking for a lighter brew today. Also, trying to keep the abv in control this time around, so I grabbed this popular Berkshire offering looking to see if it's worth the hype.

Appearance - Light golden with a sturdy 1/2 inch head.

Smell - Bready and yeasty, with a hint of sugar.

Taste - Light, bready, with hints of lemon and a little sweetness. More yeast on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Very light. Crisp and fresh.

Drinkability - Um, incredibly easy. This one wont last long.

This one is as advertised. Not terribly complex, but tasty and drinkable. I can picture myself sessioning these guys. Hell, grab me a growler and let's get to work!

callmescraps, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of scottg
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on cask at the Real Ale Regalia at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT.
Served in a pint glass.

Has a cloudy golden color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly leaving light lacing. Light malts and some peach & citrus fruit aromas. Up front flavors of sweet orange hops leading to light malt, banana, and cloves finishing with some lemon hops then tea like hops. Medium body and light carbonation leaves a dry mouthfeeel. Smooth drinking beer, very nice.

scottg, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of TeddyBG
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into pint glass.

A: Slightly cloudy, golden color. Nice head that slowly recedes but always sticks around. Good lacing.

S: Minimal fruitiness with some grain.

T: Some sweetness with grains being the dominant flavor. A little hop bite at the end.

M: Well carbonated. Very light and very crisp.

D: This was my introduction to BBC and this is one of the best sessionable ales out there.

TeddyBG, May 14, 2008
Photo of Maudite
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this excellent pale on trade from CurrySage1, a fine Mass. trader.

A- Copper/golden, a deep, slightly hazy amber orange. Poured with a nice, retentive rocky white head. Minimal lacing, which is fine as the ehad stayed for the whole bomber.

S- Crisp, clean, mildly floral. A faint hop bitterness, some vague fruit, and a nice spice note. Slightly woody or grassy.

T- Damn good. Clean and refreshing, this APA is a nice departure from the Californians I am surrounded by out here. Very akin to a nice British pale, this one tends toward the malt before the hops, but the two are a singing accompaniment. A smooth caramel malty sweetness is balanced by low alpha hops that make for a great body. This beer finishes clean with a sticky sweet AND a smooth hoppy dryness. Not aggressive, just delicious, the way a nice, smooth drinking pale should be...like a ride on the rails.

M- Clean, crisp, and mildly acidic. A refreshing feel with a nice hop-sticky dry finish.

D- I wish I lived closer to Mass.... This would make for a nice summer beer.

Maudite, May 14, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Underground Pub in Pittsfield MA. The beer was golden colored, a little hazy, with a thin head. The smell was mostly neutral, a little citrus. The taste was the same, a hint of citrus but mostly bland, a little but of bitterness in the aftertaste. Not all that exciting, but not really bad either. Just "meh".

TurdFurgison, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of BDIMike
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great look for a pale ale. Hazy golden color. Head perfect size and lasted a long time.
Smells very light. Can pick up a biscuit smell and a bit of citrus.
Good taste. Very biscuity taste. Very light and clean, with a small hint of citrus at the end.
Good thickness for an APA.
Good brew. Interesting taste. Could drink a good amount of these, but I would not say its definitely a session beer.

BDIMike, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of currysage1
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured from growler into imperial pint, this brew has a high pure white head, very cumulus nimbus. Don't know about lacing, the head stays the whole time. Hazy honey color to it, nice small bubbles.

Smell is of grains, bread dough, and light fruit - banana? This is no Hefe.

Taste has a nice balance, good malt to hop. Lots of grain, some fruit, but mostly malt and it ends with slight hop on the edges.

Has a good smooth texture, goes down easy but it has alot of body to it.

Well the drinkability is great, I've had the whole growler and am ready to move on to my homebrew cellar. Very smooth and balanced a very sessionable beer.

currysage1, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly cloudy amber color brew with nice fizzy white head and thick lacing. The aroma is a simple dry biscuit/hops. Tastes a bit lemony with graham cracker and oat meal. A mild bitterness and sweet bread. A solid feel, a little creamy and well carbonated. A fairly pleasant surprise overall. I would recommend this for a try with some subtle complexities and pretty drinkable stuff. Not what I expected but I would drink this again for sure.

Durge, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of corey0212
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think I get so caught up in trying all the crazy-hoppy IPAs, I forget how enjoyable something like this can be. Pours a nice light golden color with a pretty good size foamy white head. Taste is just really smooth and balanced. Certainly not too hoppy, and not too malty either. Just an easy-to-drink beer across the board. I'd have this again, without a doubt. I've been slowly trying all the BBC beers I have access to, and this is a real solid choice.

corey0212, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of deanhead
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell- Sweet, hints of candy sugar.

Appearance- Nice Golden color, moderate head which faded quickly.

Taste- sweet and malty, very low hop profile with a dry finish. The sweetness just disappears at the end.

Mouthfeel- light in body, big on a crystal sweetness. Adequate carbonation.

Drinkability- very quaffable, nice flavor and taste. A truly drinkable Pale Ale. This beer could use some more hops to add dimension to it, and balance out the sweetness.

deanhead, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale golden color with a one finger head. Aroma is rich and malty on the nose. Taste is more malty with some fruitiness and a nice, dry aftertaste where the malt shows through quite well. Somewhat sweet at first. The malt shows through more than the hops here. It's an interesting take on the style that I feel doesn't match up that well. There was no date code as well. Not bad but not impressive either.

Brad007, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of fitzy84
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased one of their bottles at Spirit Haus. Appearance wise it seems pretty average for me. For a pale ale, it seems too light by sight. However, that smell is great: light, like its appearance, but distinct citrus aroma. Its taste is great; sourish and bitter with a good hops punch. With a very high carbonation, this is a very accessible pale ale. Berkshire does it again!

fitzy84, Nov 08, 2007
Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.