Extra Pale Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Certified Organic

Added by nekronos on 11-17-2008

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 54
Photo of RedDiamond
4.47/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an extra pale ale. Indeed, that’s exactly what it is. It’s not merely pale, it’s extra pale. It’s bright, sunny yellow-gold -- nearly the color of a lager, only clouded. The first thing I noticed about this brew was the hardy pfsssst that leapt from the bottle as the cap was cracked. This was closely followed by a profuse yeasty smell that wafted quickly across the room. The smell was abundantly fresh, like the smell of a fermentation vat. After pouring out the beer, the smell at the glass’s rim was citrus-like and sharp.

A massive white head threatened to exceed my weizen glass. A solid five-fingers of bright white foam erupted with glee, then gently receded to a thin rim with large bubbles.

Eel River’s XPA is an unusual specimen with distinctive features. The aroma is durable and charged. The taste is crazy with both light notes and dark. I prefer the brighter more citrusy highlights but the bitterness is solid and tastefully displayed. The end result is an innovative, full-bodied brew that defies easy comparisons and suggests a lemon wedge compliment.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.4/5  rDev +39.7%
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.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.95/5  rDev +25.4%
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.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.9/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

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Photo of Gusler
3.72/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon the pour from the stubby 12-ounce brown bottle, the beer sets in the glass a slightly hazy gold with a personable creamy bright white head that slowly erodes leaving a thin but concealing sheet of lace. Nose is sweet malt, nutty, hints of lemons, also has that musty tone, found in many organic beers, start is somewhat sweet, the grain presence delightful, top is middling in feel. Finish has a kindly acidity, the hops delectable in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste, and a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Spikester
3.71/5  rDev +17.8%
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%.

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Photo of nekronos
3.7/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

A bit mild in flavor for a pale but a very refreshing pale none the less.

Poured a not exciting transparent gold. A good white fluffy head with some fine lacing. Smells are dry and sweet. A taffy sugar. Some wheat and grain are in the mix as well. Very dry on the nose.

A very light bodied pale. Flavors are grainy and sweet with a sour finish. Malts are prominent. Some mild fruity hops and sweet candy sugars. It finishes with an unpleasant sour tang. It does not ruin the taste but it leaves one a little unsettled.

This pale is very light and easy to drink. It feels dry and also very refreshing. A pale to have on a very hot day after some strenuous activity. A simple and enjoyable pale.

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Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.48/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the conclusion of my Eel River tasting. These mostly orgainic ales, from northern California, are a recent addition to the stocks of the Vintage Cellar, in Blacksburg, Virginia.
This one pours a hazed, apricot body with a one finger, white, head that retains well and leaves patchy lace down the glass.
Aroma is subdued, but citrus hoppy, with more sweetish malt aromas than with the IPA.
Mouthfeel is average, with a light/medium body and expected carbonation.
Hops are the highlight, but much more restrained than in the IPA. Grapefruit and orange rind suggest Cascades hops, but the hops are balanced by a sweet pale and caramel maltiness here. The taste and aroma are tame, compared to the IPA, but this is a decent, American Pale Ale that tastes like a blonde or golden ale compared to the brewery's IPA.
Another very tasty, organic ale from this west coast brewery.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.44/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/06/06- Part of my new beer stash which I brought camping.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no frehsness date found. Poured into my Pike Place Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Deep copper in color in the the pour. Full 3/4 inch frothy and creamy looking white head. Very nice streaks of lace left behind.

Smell- Odd damp cardboardy smell. Maybe a bit moldy? You can still get a decent sweet toasted malt scent and a bit of grapefruit hops out of it though.

Taste- Hmmm, tastes a bit better than most organic beers I have tried. Nice light caramel malt base, maybe a bit bready or a biscuit malt flavor. Not a huge hop presence, but enough to keep you interested.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Very light bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- One of the better organic's I have had to date. Perfectly bine beer worth a try if you see it.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.4/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

got this as a sample from specialty bev

Poured a light light amber with a white head.. Aroma was of bread with little else. Taste was grainy with a little hop flavour.. where was the EXTRA? Was this from the west coast? did they forget the hops? Well it was good drinking, but nothing special. Not something I would buy or sell

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.38/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.38/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of erosier
3.36/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.33/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.31/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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Photo of donnebaby
3.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale gold color and minimal head. Tasteless aroma, boring and mildly sour. Taste is overly bitter, heavily leaning on bittering hops. Reminded of a spicy curry that overwhelps other flavor development. Watery and light feel. Clean, but not overly interesting.

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Photo of llitsua
3.28/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Deuane
3.28/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of cbarrett4
3.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.11/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer poured into the glass hazy golden copper with an off-white and huge head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a light earthy and citrus component.

The flavor was lightly malty with a wheat flavor and a very light caramel. The fruit flavor was light and citrusy, but not overly so.

The finish was dry with a lasting citrus flavor that was grassy long and it seemed as if it intensified into the aftertaste. The body was medium light or perhaps even less and watery.

12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.07/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Enola for the bottle.
Pour is the color of sweet tea. Be careful with your pour, as my pour started an eruption of a massive 4 finger head. The head is off-white and last. Sticky thick lacing sticks all over the glass. Nice carbonation.
The smell is off somewhat. Musty. Wet straw.
The flavor isn't bad. Just not very pale ale like. Where's the hops? It's sweet grainy and lemony. Also a hint of honey. There is a mild acidic bite in the aftertaste, that hints maybe they are some hops in it.
Mouthfeel is thin and very dry.
Over all it's not a good pale ale, but is a decent session beer.

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Photo of Chsyhkr
3.06/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Extra Pale Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.15 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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