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

230 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 230 | Ratings: 398
Photo of abgba121
1.09/5  rDev -67.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

pours a cloudy amber, decent head and retention

smells extremely sweet, but also stale or somewhat rotten. I almost don't know how to describe it.

The taste is equally as bad, sweet, thick and syrupy, no hop presence. I had to dump the glass after a few sips, it is near undrinkable

the mouthfeel is a very thick brew with a little carbonation

Overall a terrible beer, I will not try anything else by this brewery most likely

 429 characters

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
1.4/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

this beer appears at fist to be a decent ipa. the color is a golden amber. as if it had a nice malt character to balance out the mass quantity of hops.

but its appearance is very misleading, this beer is very water with an oily finish. the overall taste is very sweet. hints of figs, berries and sugar are present. if this beer was announced as a American strong ale i could understand, but in no way is this even close to an ipa or even a pale ale.

overall im very regretful to buy this six-pack.

 501 characters

Photo of DogFood11
1.44/5  rDev -56.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a slender tulip it formed an easily managed white head that has good retention. Orange body with minimal support carbonation that is slow rolling.

First drink had me wondering why it was called an IPA. By todays general standard the hop level was very minimal, more towards the pale ale region and thats being generous. Oily as heck and this one will coat your palate for some time. There is a unrefined mash feel to this as its grating and doesn't mix well. Grainy hay type smell doesn't translate to the taste. Sweet malts play a factor towards the middle and there is a screwed up hop attempt about 3/4 of the way through only to finish up dirty.

Notes: A complete mess. This is one of those brews where I wonder how its released to the public.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
1.75/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into a generic tulip. Purchased from total wine in charlotte last week (no bottle date) Copper/gold on color, small head with no retention to speak of. Aroma is a very off-putting rendition of rotting vegetables. For the first time in recent memory, i don't want to taste a beer. I really don't. But I shall. Taste is also really bad, kinda like liquid socks. The after taste is also poor. This beer doesnt taste like an English IPA or any other type of IPA.

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Photo of BB1313
1.89/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass. Pours a hazy burnt orange that really glows. Little head and decent lacaing. Ok, this is an IPA? This brew reminds me of an English Brown Ale. I guess I'm used to American IPAs, this one's English. Tastes very malty w/ tones of carmel, toffee and chocolate. Feels pretty thin. The hops didn't shine for me although a bitterness is present. Nonetheless, it drinks pretty well.

This isn't a bad "beer", but isn't a good "IPA".

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Photo of dmfrench
1.97/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Rotten soap.

A: Clear, medium pumpkin body with a fleeting one finger off-white head.

S: Rotten soap. Odd, I know, but these are the words I feel best describe the aroma of the beer. It is putrid and soapy. Rubbing alcohol is there as well. There are some acceptable aromas in there like sugar and apricot, but all things considered, the aroma is quite off-putting.

T: Yikes. Better than the aroma, but those putrid soapy notes are still there, along with the apricot fruit and now some earthy, spicy hops and caramel malt. Metal is also apparent, and alcohol.

M: Who cares?

O: Foul.

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Photo of robbrandes
2.02/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a warm copper color. Crazy head - extremely fine bubbles, but way too much!

Strange aroma - hops are beyond subtle, and for an IPA, effectively non-existent. I'm also getting a faint soured-milk effect...

taste is an unsatisfying mix of astringency, and harsh alcohol. is it possible to over-accentuate alcohol? jeez, i almost can't believe it's 'only' 7.2%. pretty thin character, aftertaste doesn't help matters either.

not a drainpour, but there's a million better options out there.

served from 22oz bottle.

 521 characters

Photo of Hollenbeck2
2.15/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is the first organic IPA that I have tried, the alchohol content is high, I always thought these organic hippies would have less... The taste was strong and I could taste the higher content, did not like that very much.

do not think I will buy again, but I would try other organic beers, still trying to find that great northern Californian IPA.

 353 characters

Photo of smakawhat
2.19/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very light tan head of large size and fairly uniform is made off the pour, with foamy bubbles, but also falls at a good pace. Body color is a cloudy orange amber, but very hazy, not much more to say about it. Looks ok.

Smell is weak, non existent, even a hint of cheese sort of like a mild soft stinky cheese. Something sort of vegetable like almost too. Nothing like an IPA at all. The first time I stuck my nose in this a giant WTF?! went racing through my head.

Wow, I didn't think an IPA could taste this awful. Sour. Light bodied, this is like bad homebrew or something. No hint of hop presence or even malt grain. Really there is nothing going on here but a sense of weak soda pop, and chalkyness. Strange lingering novocaine on the tongue as well after the pour.

If there was ever an idea of watered down flavorless IPA this has got to be it. Gives organic beer a bad name. Real bad. How and the heck can you release something this horrible tasting is beyond me.

 1,023 characters

Photo of dankster
2.43/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- orange golden color with white head about two fingers

S- Veggie and Hops together. not sure how else to decribe this one. not citrus or pine picked up

T- Bland for a IPA imo. some hops bit more dull fruit noted. citrus not happining for me

M- water and hops. bitter water. not much feel here.

O- Not impressed with this at all. first beer i had from eel river so i need to try others but this one is a big miss for me.

 425 characters

Photo of klkatz
2.44/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

color is a dark amber color like honey... almost reddish. Very little khaki colored head. rings around the glass over time.

Aroma was not much. You'd expect more from an IPA... the taste is nutty/piny... my wife thinks it smells like almond butter... I'll take her word for it.

Taste is also nutty... tastes more like a non-IPA, like an amber... reminds me of Fat Tire (which is overrated in my opinion)

Drinkability is there... it doesn't taste like the +7 abv beers we're used too.... but I like the taste of the +7 beers we're used to... give me more bitter in my IPA

MF - eh....

bought a whole case of eel river organic to share with wifey. We were not impressed with any of the offerings... some would say that organic beer doesn't deviate from the flavor... i'd beg to differ.. and I'd beg anyone out there, not to buy this case for me.

 848 characters

Photo of ksmi116
2.46/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First review here...

A - Poured into a pint glass, small white head that dissipated quickly. Amber in color, not completely clear. Looks pleasant, but the head was disappointing

S - Does not smell strongly of hops. I smell more malt and a little bit of caramel, and booze. Interesting, but not impressive or what I was expecting from an IPA

T - Does not really taste like it smells, which is odd. Slightly bitter at the front, and fades into more of a malty flavor as you swallow. I am not a massive fan, however, I really love hops in IPAs.

M - Flavor lingers on the sides of the tongue, slightly sweet and with alcohol.

D - I don't think I will be going back to this beer. For the price and organic label, I expected a fresh tasting IPA, and it missed the mark for me. I didn't hate it, but I feel like it's just not for me.

 833 characters

Photo of warmstorage
2.47/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving: from 12 ounce bottle, $1.29 at high-end grocer, into "beer clean" pint glass. Advertised prominently as "Certified Organic" and "brewed with the finest certified organic hops and barley."

Appearance: pours medium-light copper, retains good creamy white, medium dense head, leaves foam on glass walls. Perhaps its best attribute.

Smell: Limited to none, slight malty hints, with tiny hop hints. Nothing to excite me. As it warms, a nutty smell comes out.

Taste: is this really an IPA? Malty sweet, heavy caramel flavors, with minimal hints of hops, tastes sort of like a strongish amber, or a 70 shilling Scottish style ale. Few or no hops are in sight, smell, or taste here. It tastes like an average to middling brewpub's interpretation of a scottish ale, or a slightly strong amber, or an average pub ale. A vaguely tasty beer, sure, but decidedly not a good IPA, or really an IPA at all. As it warms to beyond cellar temp, a slightly bitter finish comes out, and a suggestion of chemicals (very slight solvent?)

Mouthfeel: is fairly full, thick, with creamy head the main feeling. Medium carbonation, limited retention of mouthfeel.

Overall drinkability: well, I'd drink it all if I bought a six pack, but thankfully, I didn't. I'm finishing the bottle, but mainly because I don't believe in wasting even somewhat decent beer. (Unlike BMC, which I'd wash my driveway with given sufficient quantity.) Ummm, a very ho-hum beer. Disappointing, too, since I think organic beers can be made to taste great. This was a half-hearted attempt at an IPA, first off, and also a lackluster offering in the organic market, which, sadly, isn't that broad to compete in.

 1,687 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
2.51/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, bright golden orange color with a white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells of a slight citric hop character and nothing else.

Tastes of very light hops and slight touches of malt. Hops have some orange peel and grapefruit, but are very light in flavor, although bitterness is at the right strength. Malts add little and only offer a touch of bread. Its like someone forgot to add in the second half of the ingredients for the batch.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is not worth checking out. I feel like they thought using organic ingredients meant the recipe only needed half the ingredients.

 662 characters

Photo of PeatReek
2.52/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours nice and clear, pale amber color with an ecru-colored, thick, rocky head. Smells cool and smooth, a little sweet and caramely, hops are prominent but not in my face. Tastes almost... roasty? Crisp malt profile is supported by a significant bitter backbone, but the hop taste is definitely less than overwhelming. I'm wondering if this is an old bottle, but it's not stamped with any bottling or expiration date. As I take several more sips, I realize that the most significant aspect of the hops is the grassy flavor -- but unfortunately it's not accompanied by the nice pine & citrus overtones that you usually get from dry hopping. Overall not especially good and I certainly wouldn't call it very drinkable.

 716 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
2.53/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Trying the IPA from Eel River and it probably should be renamed Imperial Malt Ale...cuz that's all I really smell and taste. The beer poured a clear copper color with thin white head. The smell is mostly malt not alot of hops. The taste is malty. The mouthfeel is medium body and low carbonation. Overall it is not a great IPA....seems more like an amber ale.

 359 characters

Photo of tapman
2.54/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Light tan-orange usual for the style but with a big, creamy head which sets it apart from others. Head retention very nice. Also clear and appears to be normally carbonated.

Nose is sweet and not too hoppy. Hops are overly floral. Some caramel comes through OVER THE HOPS.

Taste isn't terrible and is quite light and refreshing. I almost fogot that this thing was 7%. -2 for a small malt/hop flavor, +1 for covering up all of that alcohol somehow. Seriously, I can't figure out how the taste is thin, yet there is barely a trace of the 7.2%. The hops must be something really mellow, like some 2%AA Saaz or something. Floral up front and slightly spicey in the finish, this would make a good pale ale. More like a U.K. IPA than a Cali IPA.

Thin for the style and thin for the alcohol. I do believe hop resins play a part in the mouthfeel and I;m not getting that in this brew.

This isn't a bad beer, really. It just doesn't measure up to my expectations as a 7% abv IPA. A Lagunitas IPA is just under 6% alcohol and it sips way better than this one. I would love this if it could have the same taste but be a 4.5% abv Ordinary Bitter . It goes down really fast and is neither a sipper nor a session.

 1,204 characters

Photo of ballenc
2.54/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber

A - Coppery gold/amber with a hint of orange hue. One finger of dense, off-white head. No lacing.

S - Nothing of interest. Very weak on the nose. Mainly pungent yeast with very slight herbal/floral notes

T - Not very hoppy for an IPA, somewhat bland yet overall balanced.

M - Thin and a bit watery. Slight alcohol burn on the tongue.

D - Very average. Nothing outstanding about this beer. It may appeal to ale drinkers who are turned off by bitter, hoppy brews but it will leave hopheads (like myselt) quite disappointed.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.58/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. See-thru golden orange body with 2 fingers of big and small bubbles on top. Retetention is OK, and some lacing is scattered about.

Nose is pleasant but quite tame. Sweet light malts and husky grains with hoppy hints coming in the form of honeysuckle floral notes and a bit of grassiness. Hints of citrus waft in and out. A touch of lemon bitterness shows up in the flavor profile. Hop flavors noticeably on the light side. Quite grainy and crisp with a slight medicinal quality creeping in at the swallow. Not a bad beer, but forgettable and too tame for an IPA, even an English one.

 627 characters

Photo of appenzeller
2.65/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a straight amber with minimal head. Slight lacing. Smell is sweet caramel and bitter oily hops. Taste is not what I anticipated. Simply put, this is a very sweet malty beer, malts of maple and honey, there is a hops backbone. I am no hardcore "hophead" but this does not fit my idea of an IPA, and I don't like sweet beers--especially when I want a mouth of hops. Thumbs down.

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Photo of ffejherb
2.65/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle into shaker pint glass on 11/24/08.

A - Poured a hazy, rusty orange color with lots of suspended debris and almost a finger's width of bubbly off-white head that receded into a thin veil but left solid lacing.

S - Malty nose with lots of caramel and some toffee notes. Some mild butery diacetyl is in there as well, unfortunately. Hops are primarily earthy and herbal, possessing an almost medicinal quality.

T - This IPA starts off on the right foot with a pretty well-balanced flavor profile featuring some sweet caramel notes, herbal hops and a bitter citrus rind aspect. However, the flavor quickly becomes extremely medicinal and biting, with a burnt aspect and an off-putting metallic bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium body with a somewhat syrupy, through primarily thin and watery, texture and prickly carbonation. Finish is dry, metallic and quite bitter, and lingers on the palate for a while.

D - I was disappointed with this IPA overall. While fairly drinkable, this was a pretty unbalanced and mediocre affair. This one could be cleaned up a bit with a more balanced flavor profile, more sturdy malt backbone and a finish that is less harsh on the palate.

 1,190 characters

Photo of troutmask96
2.66/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is an IPA? Wow - I've never tasted a thinner entry to the genre. I don't detect any hop presence at all, and resultingly, no hop bitterness either. The price is right, but this may be the Miller High Life of craft brews. I'm amazed at the 7.0 ABV, but this is a beer with almost no redeeming qualities. Avoid...

 316 characters

Photo of JustShutUpStupid
2.67/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I was at that so called Whole Pay Check store and didn't want to make an extra stop to get Racer 5 so I picked this up on sale. My mistake. First off, never, ever, put IPA on your label in California, if you ain't got the hops/IBU to prove it. Sort of misleading or just dumb. Somebody didn't market it right. Should be a cheap British pale ale with buzz boost. Old English 800? Organic is probably good but I just didn't know that other beers are full of pesticides. OK, it is drinkable and a lot better than Bass, and Old English 800.

 536 characters

Photo of bosco7
2.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Milky head sits a top a clear orange beer.

Smells of dishsoap and floral/spicy hop aromas. Not much here.

Wow I am picking up a lot of butterscotch (diacetyl) and powdered soap. Some caramel and toffee. Hops definately do not shine through. They are dull and soft. Bitterness is there. I really can't get past the nasty diacetyl.

Smooth mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I am definately not going to buy this again.

 429 characters

Photo of oberon
2.71/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear copper with a tight 1/2 finger white head,well really subdued aromas for an IPA the toasted grain aromas are stronger than any hop profile, caramel sweetness shows up as well only a very light herbalness shows up.A sharp,prickely mouthfeel really keeps the drinkability low not to mention the flavors are nothing to write home about.Caramelly sweet with more of leafy hop profile finishing rough and abrupt.No complexities to this beer just a rough edged lightly hopped IPA,man I have 5 more to drink I'll be giving these out to friends although that would be mean.

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I.P.A. from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.32 out of 5 based on 398 ratings.
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