I.P.A. | Eel River Brewing Co.

402 Ratings

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

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
According to the brewer, "This beer is an English Style IPA, which lacks the intense hop bitterness characterized by the American Style." Certified Organic.

Added by nekronos on 11-17-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 402 |  Reviews: 233
Photo of 908carson
4.8/5  rDev +45.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unlike wine, I don't think that Organic certification has much of an effect on the taste of beer. I'll get that out of the way first... because I won't be judging this in any other category than a regular beer.

Appearance - Hazy amber. No other way to say it. Very thin off-white head with decent lacing. Average so far, but i like the haziness.

Smell - Damnit I accidentally inhaled this one trying to get a smell out of it. There is the usually piny IPA scent, but I wanted something more. I choked on it in the process.

Taste - Whoa, whoa, whoa... This is 7.2? No way.
This tastes like a good ol' 5-ish Pale Ale worthy of session stardom. It is balanced, tasty, and generally fun to drink. I get a lot more in the tongue than I did in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Easy goin'. Slightly dry on the finish. Definitely smoother than the competitors.

Drinkability: This is where this beer shines. I had NO idea that I was drinking a 7.2% abv beer. It goes down so smooth. I had been drinking the Sierra Nevada Torpedo before this... and the Eel River Organic IPA is way smoother for the same abv. Well done.

End of story: I like this one... will I buy it again? probably not... I really, really like it but the IPA scene is really overcrowded with great beers in my part of the midwest. this is one of them, for sure... but it's hard to find and I would probably pick some of the cheaper options first... the Organic label doesn't really do much for the taste, and is therefore worthless in terms of the additional pricetag.

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Photo of o11o111o
4.75/5  rDev +44.4%

Photo of bsonk
4.71/5  rDev +43.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Eel River Brewing Company IPA- 7.2% abv.

A: light red brownish, with soapy white head that sticks around.

S: cracked light roast grain, sugar, pine, orange juice, alcohol.

T: very good. Full malt body, zesty sweet hops with a little pine and a little passion fruit and a little orange peel.

M: chewy, juicy, a bit of bitterness on roof of mouth.

O: A very tasty malt forward easy to drink IPA. Eel river is still one of my all time favorite breweries. 4.75/5. I agree with user StonedTrippin that this beer is brutally underrated here.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.38/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a 12 oz bottle poured at cellar temp into a snifter.
Pours a beautiful bright copper hue with fluffy eggshell white head foaming up 3 cm with a gentle pour. The head fades very slowly leaving windowpane lattice on the glass and large pockmarking craters in the foam.
Aroma is hop dominant with pine sap dominating but mixing with a bit of grapefruit. Not a balanced nose, but appealing nonetheless.
First sip reveals an average body with slightly sticky texture coating my lips each time I raise the glass. The carbonation is gentle and rolls across my palate effortlessly.
Flavor is caramel malt for a nanosecond and then rolls to hops. There is pine sap mixed with citrus notes again as the nose advertised. The finish is dry and astringent slightly aspiriny. No hints of the 7.2% but the bitterness would cover that easily.
A very nice looking beer that is well crafted and exemplifies what a west coast IPA has come to mean. Oh and its organic which is just extra cool in my book.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.37/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours a brilliant, translucent amber. An inch of light brown head takes its time rising and falls leaving a pasty collar of lace around the glass. The nose is a spicy-sweet malt and hop doublet that I can't imagine balanced with more precision. Not overwhelming, but zen-like in it's steady thrust. At first it's like a handful of warm, spiced raisins, and then the citrusy hops slice it straight in half and there the smell holds -- excellent. Taste opens much like the nose, with a dark fruity sweetness sprinkled with some spice (anything peppery, biting), and with no time to waste the hop bitterness slices in. Aftertaste is a mouth puckering coil of (prominently) hop bitterness with a sturdy seat of malt sweetness wrapped beneath it and curling up on the sides. Alcohol slightly prominent, itching my sinuses. A step below creamy mouthfeel (just right to me) and nicely carbonated.

A very pleasing and, in my book anyway, high-ranking -- and underrated -- west coast IPA.

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Photo of eelriverbrewfan
4.29/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Eel River has a pension for pumping out decent organic beers every time. I wouldn't say that this beer is on par with, let's say Rubicon, but for the price I would say it is a definite contender if you want to drink five or six beers to be merry! Head lasts quite a while so even in the bottle so they have a good co2 system going...

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Photo of mountainzen
4.25/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of BigTrubble
4.25/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of Spikester
4.22/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best organic IPA I've had thus far. Personally I feel the organic beer thing is really for those folks that have to consume organic-only products. For myself I could care less. Aroma was a bit weird. Smells faintly of tuna, has a earthy undertaste too. Nicey hopped and medium bitterness. Not as crisp as I like. A copper-amber with minimal head and few lacings. If you are a person who needs to consume organics give it a try. Otherwise join me in a Deschutes Inversion IPA or the like.

The above review is from some year old notes. I had a fresh one tonight and it was much better. Very nice floral hop nose. One finger off white head, fair lacings. Taste was more bold grapefruit hops than I expected. Most of the organic beers of various styles seem to be less satisfying than the alternatives. Anyway a nice hoppy IPA with a very nice malt backing. I recommend it. Only problem is how do you know it is fresh? No date could be found on the bottle.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.18/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a hazy amber-red body with a half inch or so of off-white head. Orange, grapefruit, and pith hit you over the head in the aroma, very pleasing and expected. Tastes like caramel malt with an equal parts orange and pith to balance it out. Full slightly slick body with surprisingly little carbonation. Clean on the finish, despite the lack of carbonation - this beer stops well short of viscosity, which helps. A solid IPA for sure, plenty of hops without losing a sense of balance. Good stuff.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.15/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ele River- IPA

A- Hazy brownish orange with a HUGE meringue head. Chunky lacing down the glass.
S- Big heavy grapefruit rind hops. Malt and grains come through as well.
T- Sweet malt quickly takes a backseat to an even bigger sweet grapefruit hop kick.
M- Sweet throughout with a nice dry bitter finish.

Overall- Big potent aroma and flavor make this Organic IPA quite tasty! Definitely find this 1 and try!

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
4.14/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Rzzzzz
4.12/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass on a sunny Saturday, with a ball game on the radio. Orange/amber in color with a frothy white head. Dominant aromas are citrus and malt. Taste is sweet malt, caramel, followed by a nice hop bitterness. With a medium body and moderate carbonation this tastes more like a good ESB than an IPA. Whatever they want to call it, it's good!

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Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear amber-gold with a finger of bubbly white head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Sweet caramel, malty grains, oranges and pink grapefruit, some bitter grassy, citrusy hops that build a little towards the end. Maybe a little brown sugar too.

Taste. Caramel malt and tangarines with herby, grassy hops and a little pine. Well balanced ipa, in a good way.

Mouthfeel. Lighter-medium body with lighter-medium carbonation.

Overall. Good tasting. Seems like an english ipa made by a west coast brewer that really did their best to restrain the hopping. Fine with me, hops kick ass.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange-almost a yellow brown. Head is off white and disappears quickly. I can't pick up much hop aroma after the pour-but as the beer warms I get a good fresh hop aroma. Taste is some what astringent with light malt flavor and a slight bitter in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability good-I would like to try this on tap at the brewpub to see if I like it more

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Photo of DijonKetchup
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12 ounce Stella glass.

Great color, great head build and head retention. Sticky foam on my glass. Looks very good.

Smell is somewhat muted, but according to "brewer's notes" with this beer being an english style, no problems with this element.

Taste is very good. Being organic, one may expect lackluster malts or hops, but this is very good. I must HIGHLY recommend drinking this beer a bit on the warmer side - the caramel and malt elements really shine when this beer is a tad warmer.

Resume: I am highly impressed with this beer. Great malts, great bitter levels, nose is spot on for style. Try a fresh (warm) one today.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok was in the local health food store when I noticed they had some beers in a small section of the refridgerator..mainly Butte creek and Wolavers..but they had some from this brewer to..so too good of an oppertunity for a BA rater to pass up in the basket a 12 oz single went.
When poured the beer has a nice good looking IPA orangy colour with some minimal haziness..large pure white head..that shrinks to a great lace effect.
Very good spicy, hoppy , zesty IPA aroma again well done!
MM very smooth and sweet for a start..can taste some good malts then mid-tongue the zesty hop bitterness shows through..it ends sweet again then leaves a wonderful aftertaste.
Great feel on the palate dopes all the right things for an IPA.
A very very drinkable IPA..i thoughroughly enjoyed this and its Organic ..wonders never cease.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at the Chowder House in Point Arena, Ca for $3.00 served in a pint glass.

A: Pours an amber/straw-like hue with a thin head and good amounts of lacing from start to finish.

S: Fresh baked bread, carmel malt and sweet grains, the hop comes through at the end - earthy citrus.

T: Sweet carmel toffee, toasted grains, fermented fruit with the hop following up at the end (similar to the nose) with earthy moss and citrus bight. Love the flavor of this beer, but it really seems much more like a good pale ale and needs a bit more dry hopping to enter the realm of a Cali IPA.

M: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, sticky and creamy, mellow carbonation and just a bit of lingering bitterness from the hop.

D: Too easy - I don't even remember how many of these we had at the bar. We were washing down fresh crab all night with these bad boys! Easy all-nighter.

As a side note - I notice this beer gets very little love here. I will say though, the bad reviews are generally the bottled version of this and most are east of the Mississippi. Like many IPA's, they are better when drank fresh and on tap. There's no way this beer deserves (when drank fresh) a C- as many of the reviews indicate. Try this one fresh and on-tap, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased somewhere in the MA/NY area.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" beige head over the clear dark coppery amber brew. Head lasts very well, with lasting coating lace. Aroma is lightly of citrusy hops. Taste starts with some sweetness, which gives way to the citrus in the middle, where it sets up shop and intensifies through the close. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is great. Good brew, and being organic didn't even mess it up!

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Photo of alleykatking
4.05/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice clear amber color. Hard pour on this resulted in a 3 finger off white head that stays around forever. Massive gobs of lacing with this beer.

S- Nice citrus hops in the front end of this in the nose along with some faint floral hops as well. Light malt backbone to this one.

T- Interesting taste. More of the floral and light earthy hops come through in this one. There is a almost peppery taste in the middle before the malts take over that add a little more to this offering. Malts come through and make this beer more balanced. Some light bitter hops in the background. This isn't a very hop forward beer but almost a perfect balance you don't get much of anymore on the west coast.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little lacking but still fits very well with the beer. Light hops and malt left on the palate and in the aftertaste. Not much of anything is left to be honest. Aftertaste is a little more malty than hoppy but very calm.

D- This is a very drinkable IPA. It's well balanced and that makes it very sessionable. This won't wreck your palate although a little more hop taste in this wouldn't be a bad thing. Overall though this is a good stepping stone to the style or craft beer in general.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.05/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Eel River's IPA pours a clean amber with a cream colored head that settles to a thin film. Carbonation is a bit vigorous for the style, but overall nice. The aroma expresses citrusy, piney hops, with a thick malty backbone. The beer's flavor begins sweet, with notes of caramel and toast, followed by a dry, citrusy hop finish. This is a full bodied IPA, and it coats the palate like oil. Overall, it's quite drinkable and is a good IPA to quaff.

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Photo of Gusler
4.04/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer departs the 12-ounce brown bottle a clear deep copper color with a mountainous creamy light tan head that lingers long on top the body with the residual lace a thick blanket to cover the glass. Nose has a sweet hop aroma, crisp and fresh, start is sweet with a good grain profile, top is middling in feel. Finish is prickly in its acidity and the hops dynamic in their spiciness, dry long lasting aftertaste, a fine drinking IPA, that satisfy your need for hops.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color. A merangue-like fluffy 1" head lasts a long time. Moderate lacing develops.

Smell: floral and citrus tones come through easily to nose.

Taste: caramel, lemon zest, grapefruit and some orange are all detectable. The bitterness is pretty strong but not mind blowing. Malts are a bit grainy.

Mouthfeel: medium body. Brief citrus and bitter filled aftertaste. Crisp at the start, less crisp and dry at the finish.

Drinkability: solid IPA that is very drinkable. This one will please the hophead looking for something that is not a DIPA.

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Photo of zeravat
4.02/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Where A+ IPAs are bitter, this one is warmer. It was a pleasant change from all the Lagunitas and Pliny the Elder that I'd been drinking. And it was on sale at my Whole Foods for less than $7! Can't argue with that.

I don't know if it's phsycological, but because it's organic, I don't get the hangover of other IPAs. I drank 5 of 6-pack and was able to function the next day for the entire day!

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.01/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This American ipa gives me a large white head. Smell is a little on the sweet side. Hops break in as I lower the glass from my nose. Not so sure about the American part now. No mouth numbing hops in this one. Malts are toasty and smooth. Very little bitterness in the after taste.
Hey, I enjoy this beer! So good marks it gets.

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I.P.A. from Eel River Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 402 ratings
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