Extra Pale Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
78
okay
54 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
54
Reviews:
40
Avg:
3.15
pDev:
18.73%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
0
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 40
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.

 358 characters

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.

 324 characters

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.

 650 characters

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.

 976 characters

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.

 341 characters

Photo of acrawf6
2.16/5  rDev -31.4%
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.

 594 characters

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

 587 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.78/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

 1,864 characters

Photo of BurnsTau
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

 451 characters

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.

 430 characters

Photo of DogFood11
1.33/5  rDev -57.8%
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.

 901 characters

Photo of watermelonman
2.59/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

 295 characters

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.

 986 characters

Photo of Enola
3/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 269 characters

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.

 605 characters

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.

 866 characters

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.

 505 characters

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.

 542 characters

Photo of WesWes
2.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a wet cardboard scent to it. I gues it has pale malts like most pale ales. It just seems quite musty and stale. The taste is average as well. It has a citrus hop flavor laid over pale malts. It is grainy with a bitter finish. It tastes like some of my bad homebrews. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an average pale ale at best. It time for the drain pour.

 537 characters

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.

 259 characters

Photo of canucklehead
2.51/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a beer without a true direction. It lacks a real hop profile but has neither a good balance or any malt to carry the day. A strange musty nose and a weak head make this a one time drink. The competition in California is such that beer such as this stand little chance.

 276 characters

Photo of rastaman
2.18/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

[email protected] River. Thin lemony, grany/malty pale ale, surprisingly not much hops, easy to drink, not interesting though. Its seems that a lot the brewpubs i visited in the US had these pretty tame pale ale offerings, but like Eel River, they always have some bigger styles, which were more to my liking.

 299 characters

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

 330 characters

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.

 884 characters

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.

 1,093 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Extra Pale Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.15 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.