Extra Pale Ale
Eel River Brewing Co.

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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,892
Ranked #47,261
3.19 | pDev: 18.5%
Eel River Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: Certified Organic
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 54 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08 from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am assuming this Cali Pale Ale is the same as the extra pale ale. No freshness dating on the bottle.

A= Pours a nice looking pale yellow color that is completely translucent with a finger of head on it. The head is active and holds nice retention and lacing on the glass.

S= The smell is faint of grassy hops and sweet grain. I dunno if it has wheat in it but it has a wheaty poopy smell to it.

T= The taste is a nice piney citrusy hop flavor with a nice sweet grainy malt flavor. The suspected wheat aroma doesn't come through in the nose and instead this is a nice hop forward easy drinker.

M= The mouth is perfect for having a few.

O= This is a solid brew. I don't understand why it is rated so low by BA standards. If I had this available I would drink it pretty often during the summer. If you can try it out do it. A light easy drinking APA.

Sep 07, 2013
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cbarrett4 from Oregon

3.22/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I usually like Eel River brews, but this Ale seemed more lager like than many I have drank. Poured with a rather flat and dull appearance and light head and lace. Still looks lively with carbonation and much prettier than those American lagers.

Again, smells more of lager like aromas than ale aromas. Rather light with some grassy notes and herbs. Light, crisp and mellow on the palate. Rather light and lacks the complexity I would like to make it more drinkable. Rather ordinary.

Feb 24, 2010
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erosier from Connecticut

3.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice golden orange color with a medium sized and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts, some floral and earthy hoppiness and that is about it.
T: Tastes of a sweet toasted malt base followed by a nice mellow floral/earthy/slightly citrus-y hop finish. I was expecting more hops, but this was probably more palatable for the malt that went in it.
M: Very crisp, fresh, refreshing, and the perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer, more of a nice summer beer, but I liked it nonetheless.

Jan 21, 2010
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

1.95/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Bought this for a buck at local place. I was only going to have one beer tonight, but the last one sucked so bad that I needed to drink this as well.

2.0 A: Hazy brownish yellow color. Agressive pour resulted in half a finger of head that fell quickly, but surprisingly left a decent amount of lacing.

2.0 S: Slight (as in zero + the smallest discrete unit of measurement) floral hoppiness and nothing else.

1.5 T: Slight bitterness along with the meagerest of citrusy hops. Nothing else really going on other than musty vegetal-like flavor.

3.5 M: Not as horrible. Medium body, but it lays heavy on the tongue (like carbonated lead or something like that).

2.0 D: The worst part about tonight is that this wasn't even the worst beer I've had.

Nov 17, 2009
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Jmoore50 from Nevada

2.89/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This looks like a glass of bud light. This is not what a good pale ale is supposed to look like. No head, no lacing. Poor attempt.

The smell is of citrus hops, and thats about it. This is not a very strong smell, overall a very faint smell of a hop product.

The taste is drinkable. This represents a very poorly made pale ale. There is no malt characteristic whatsoever. Actually, this tastes like a Bud Light with hop extract. Not special at all.

The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and makes this thing drinkable. Cold and refreshing, that is about it.

The beer is drinkable, but no flavor or body makes this a memory that will soon fade out. This tastes like someone's first homebrew attempt. I hate to be a negative Nancy about this brew but this is not very good at all.


Nov 15, 2009
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xhcadamx from Maine

4.4/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - very light copper with a bubbly/foamy head that lingers and some nice lacing.

S - Cascade citrusy hops and a background of grain. Not overwhelming which you usually encounter.

T - Lighter hop presence than expected. But that's ok. Bigger isn't always better. Cascade / citrus type hops and a subtle amount of bready and biscuity grains.

M - tons of tiny bubbles so this has a nice bite.

D - I really like this beer and can appreciate a less EXTREME flavor.

May 27, 2009
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.38/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

S: The aroma is of hops but with an odd earthy & herbal to it, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste is bready up front with hearty flavors of citrus, caramel and a grain malt character, also a touch of smokiness. There's a good hops presence that comes in a little more slowly than it does in most beers in the style, but provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's not a bad beer but there are certainly several others in the style that I would choose first.

May 13, 2009
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BretSikkink from Mexico

3.11/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light orange color with some yellow and red highlighting. Lots of tiny bubbles moving very fast to the cap; head is white, sticks around quite a while. Lacing is moderate. All around pretty decent.

The nose is muted and earthy, with a bit of pepper and citrus. A little like trying to sniff a grapefruit that happens to be underneath a layer of dirt.

The flavor is under-hopped, with a mild sweetness throughout, along with a DMS undertone, probably from some adjunct used to fill out the pale malt bill. Bitterness lasts throughout the sip into the finish.

Nicely carbonated and decently chunky for an APA, just about right. Nothing great, but a nod towards a well brewed beer.

Apr 03, 2009
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Spikester from Oregon

3.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber with one finger white head and plentiful lacings. Slight floral hop and caramel aroma. Taste is earthy bitter hops with plenty of support from the malts. Clean and crisp almost APA like. Carbonation is average. Easy drinker would be a good light session beer. I believe the abv is about 4.8%.

Mar 14, 2009
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ffejherb from Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into shaker pint on 2/23/09. thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Clear golden amber body with modest carbonation and thin quarter inch head that settled into patchy retention and left spotty lacing.

S - Malt-heavy nose with lots of sweet caramel and toffee, as well as some bready notes. Hop character is subtle with hints of citrus fruit.

T - Very caramely overall with a honey sweetness and a more sturdy bready malt backbone. Hops are citrusy and mildly bitter at best.

M - Medium body with a syrupy texture and light carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter on the palate with some residual sweetness from the malt.

D - Decent enough pale ale. A little light on the hops and big on the caramel malt overall, but it was easy to finish.

Feb 24, 2009
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Billolick from New York

3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ouncer w/o freshness info to be had. Pours clear, typical light amber, minimal head, zippo lacing and next to no nose....Hmm not off to a good start...cant say much great about this one....lacking much of a malty base, hops are resinous and drying, but none too exciting...tastes "off" somehow...
forgettable, nothing special pale.

Dec 04, 2008
Photo of nekronos
nekronos from Mexico

3.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not so pale, but it was very nice. Quite bitter but not excesively. likd, not my style but I liked it. Great head and can be easily enjoyed. Thus I have tried 5 Ee river organic ones in most places I find only 2 or 4. I don't know if the California Blonde one exists in the two ways: organic and not organic, but apparently some of the other organic ones do.

Nov 17, 2008
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MmmIPA from Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber color with a small white head that falls to a ring with some patches of lacing.

Smells of sweetness.Lemon notes also.

Faint hoppiness.Alot of the bitterness is gone from the beer.Lemon taste also.

Mouthful is very easy with a nice amount of carbonation going on.

Not a bad beer but I wouldnt drink it again.

May 28, 2008
Photo of Deuane
Deuane from Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Golden yellow amber with a medium white head that reduced into moderate lacing.

S-Very grainy and not much else. A bit of lemongrass in the nose to me..not sure if this is the hop nose or not.

T- A bit more hoppiness in the taste than in the nose. Lemony citrus flavors are present but certainly not strong. Tatse mostly dominated by the biscuity malt....but there is some hop bitterness to help balance this brew out.

M-Medium-light body with a lively carbonation.

D-Certainly not a bad beer, but not something I would seek out. Sessionable for sure...but I wouldnt want to many in a row! A decent effort by Eel River...but nothing stellar.

Apr 13, 2008
Photo of akorsak
akorsak from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A stubby 12 oz bottle purchased at Westy's.

A: The pale ale is, above all else, pale. The color is amber, more orange-brown than red, a watered down gravy seems like an apt description. Two fingers of head covered the top of the glass and is slowly lacing.

S: The nose is more grainy than not, lots of bready, biscuit aromas dominate with little indication of hoppiness.

T: The ale shows off a little more hoppiness in the taste than the nose let on. Citrus flavors are sparse but strong enough to remind you that this is a pale ale. Those hops, overall, are content to hide behind the malts, which add a biscuity flavor to the happenings. A touch of hoppy bitterness is the lasting flavor when a sip is gone.

M: The ale is an enjoyable APA, showing off more grains than hops but still managing to sneak the hops into a memorable role.

D: ABV is listed as unknown but I don't think that it is too high. The result is an easy drink that has enough hops to keep me content.

Mar 30, 2008
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Chsyhkr from North Carolina

3.06/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting beer.

The aroma is an odd fruit cocktail with some spicy hops in their somewhere. Did I get a bad bottle?

Any way amber to copper, some head, did not linger too long.

Flavor mimics the aroma, fruity with hops in there, but not well integrated. This is probably a better food beer.

I am not sure I would buy just to drink.

Sep 22, 2007
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acrawf6 from Louisiana

2.16/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out a slightly hazy orange amber with a small white head.

Smell. Not too much hops here, seems the malts dominate with a touch of caramel...but overall the aroma is not too appealing to me at all.

Taste. small bitterness comes out that is a little piney and earthy. under that is some pepperyness to it with just a little bit of fruit. aftertaste is a little astringent.

Mouthfeel. body is at an average level with a normal amount of carbonation that is a bit prickly on my tongue.

Overall, this is not a beer i will get again. The aroma and the flavor is just not good to me.

Jul 19, 2007
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.31/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a bountiful head that creates a meringue that laces the glass

Smell: Modest aroma but there is some fruit (apricot) and pine along with a vague caramel sensation

Taste: Starts out a bit biscuity with a tinge of bitter fruit; after the swallow, their is a grassy and piney bitterness that becomes harsh and slightly resinous

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation; the harsh finish detracts from the mouthfeel

Drinkability: Compared to the other Eel River beers I have enjoyed, this one is a bit of a disappointment

Apr 06, 2007
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

2.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Generously carbonated orange-gold, slightly favoring the latter. All those bubbles create a three finger cap of yellowed ivory foam that looks to be in no hurry to enter the atmosphere. Meandering streamers of watery lace get the job done, even if they don't qualify as eye candy.

The nose is a near equal mixture of citric American (Centennial) and earthy English (East Kent Goldings), with another, underlying, aroma that dulls their brilliance almost completely. I guess malt and yeast are only possibilities. In any case, I'm not especially thrilled when I put my nose over the glass, so I think I'll start drinking now.

I continue to maintain that I can identify organic beer, even if blinded (obviously, I wasn't in this case). Most of it possesses what can only be described as an off-flavor that, while it defies easy description, is eerily similar across the board. Vegetal or clay-like comes close. Chemical-laden works as well, although organic brewers would shudder at such a notion.

There's enough pale malt (and a little caramel?) to hold down the bottom end, even as the hops fail to take advantage of the support. If anything, what should be a fair amount of good hop flavor, is even less impressive on the palate. The bitterness is there, so that helps a little. Extra Pale Ale tastes like old, dessicated grapefruit peel covered with a fine layer of clay.

The mouthfeel is a few steps up. It's somewhere near the peak of the APA bell curve in terms of heft and is appropriately bubbled. What small amount of pleasure one might gain from the mouthfeel leaks away quickly given what the taste buds are up against.

Even though this is my third Eel River beer in the past several weeks, I have no recollection of the others. My guess is that I'll forget Extra Pale Ale pretty quickly too. Probably by the end of the day, if not sooner.

Apr 02, 2007
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BurnsTau from Alabama

2.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours orange/yellow, nice white head, little lacing.

Smells are up front hops, a bit of a medicinal alchohol smell. Taste is mostly hoppy, some sweet maltiness balances it out. There are some strange aftertastes going on here, not sure what it is but it takes away from the flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit light and carbonation is good.

Eh, I really wasn't impressed by this beer, nor any of the beers I've tried by eel river so far. Not recommended.

Mar 27, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
rkuhnel from California

3.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. Orange with white head. Nice floral nose, and nicely balanced hops. Overall a nice ale to drink. Re-rate. I tried this again and feel they have improved this since the last rating. I feel it is one of the better APAs around, I have tried it both on tap and in the bottle. The tap version is really fresh and clean. Maybe because it is organic, the bottle version does not seem quite as good. The rating above is for draft.

Feb 28, 2007
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DogFood11 from California

1.33/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz brown bottle (the last of a sixer) poured into a pounder glass. Nice frothy eggshell white head and plenty of retention. No lace left behind. Chill hazed body with medium sized carbonation.

First drink and I instantly was taken back by the backend medicinal, aspirin, cakey mouthfeel and taste. Not a good start. Once I managed to block that out the rest of the beer is very boring. Hops add some bitterness but little else. Sweet grainy malt bill is similar to what you'd find in alot of Euro pale's. As this thing warmed up it was a complete dissaster. The finish is dirty and lingers on and on.

Notes: I'll pass on this one unless something drastically changes. I've yet to have a really kick ass beer that bragged about being "organic" on the label. I'm sure there is one out there but I'll be a bit more cautious to these brews and start picking up singles as this sixer was some work.

Feb 17, 2007
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watermelonman from California

2.59/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured to a light yellow and gold with a small head that lasted well. There's a few nice clumps of lace.

The smell is not very appealing. It has plenty of hops but they don't come out well, and along with it is some off grain flavors. The mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is average.

Oct 09, 2006
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llitsua from Virginia

3.28/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at a single 12 oz. at Tria Market in Homewood, AL, poured into a pint glass

A- Slightly dark golden color- looks darker than a typical lager, but lighter than an IPA or Extra Pale Ale. Head is large and develops quickly; I had to wait for it to settle a bit before I finished pouring it. It left a fair amount of lacing as I consumed it.

S- Slight presence of piney hops, which fades into a musty smell

T- I get a bit of honey and citrusy and piney hops, then the malt flavor really dominates the taste, finishes bitter- seems way to malty to label it an Extra Pale Ale

M- decent carbonation; leaves a slight numbing in mouth

D- certainly drinkable, went down easily; but I prefer my Pale Ales with more of a hop presence, and this seemed to be dominated by malt

Not worth the $$ IMO (around $9/6pack)- Sweetwater 420 is readily available down here, and I see is as being more representative of the style (and better tasting overall); not a bad beer, though.

Sep 06, 2006
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Enola from North Carolina

3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a little lighter in color than a typical pale ale. There was a thick head though. The smell is hoppy with a slight harshness. The taste is fairly hoppy but run of the mill. The mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is fair. Average at best within the style.

Aug 26, 2006
Extra Pale Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 54 ratings