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 Sammy
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jon's bottle. Golden yellow with a white head. A good bitterness, though no aroma. The hops do not really get there, the weakness of organics. As if watered down taste, yet drinkability is fine, mouthfeel is median. A bit below average for the style.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright, clear orange with a lovely thick and firm white head.

Neat nose of assertive fruit with an integrated hop, fresh bread yeast character and a light white wine green apple character.

Mouthfeel is nice in that is is full and a bit creamy in the front, gives way quickly to a thin mid palate and a thin finish as far as mouthfeel.

Flavors a good and bold but shortlived and a bit simple. A hit of malt gives way quickly to nothing and then, seconds later, leaves you with a dull grapefruit bitter finish. Actually tastes better than it sounds although not a typical IPA. A bit thin and short for me all the way around.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, floral, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but has a better hop presence in the aroma in my opinion.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

brutally underrated here on BA. it pours redish and clear with a nice two inch off white head. the nose is aromatic hops to the max, sticky and red and west coast in origin. they are sappy and rich, beautiful. the flavor is about the same, a little too sweet before the bitter, which is a minus, but there is also some neat red malts going on, which give a nice depth. some pine and some fruit, dense. the mouthfeel is thicker, maybe too much so, but the carbonation is good and the flavor stays in my mouth forever. its not the best ipa ever, but there is a lot to like here, and i think the masses have been too harsh with this one. it is organic and strong and pretty solid any way you slice it. ill drink it again gladly...

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy orange amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation with small particles visible floating in suspension. It poured with a half finger high beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The nose has aromas of biscuit and caramel from the malts and orange from the hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some hints of malty sweetness and vanilla in the initial taste and a very light amount of bitterness towards the finish, which also has some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down quite smoothly.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this the other day at the package store as a single for about $2.

An above average IPA, very high in ABV and hoppy but also well balanced. This beer provides its self on being organic and all which doesn't really concern me too much as I don't believe that garbage. What is most is important is the taste and in that department this beer does well. I wish the brewery had more offerings at my go to store.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a nice bubbly head that leaves decent lacing

Smell: Nicely balanced aroma of caramel and earthy pine

Taste: Starts out with a caramel flavor that builds in fruit with an unusual strawberry tone; after the swallow, the hoppy bitterness kicks in but doesn't really complement the malt very well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and flavorful but a little odd for an American IPA; just OK

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Photo of zeff80
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a highly carbonated, orange amber color with an foamy, off-white, small head. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled of citrus, pine and roasted malt.

T - It had a sweet citrus flavor with a floral taste. The caramel malt was very subtle.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good IPA. Very citrsuy.

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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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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from optimator13 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, a good amount of floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweeter than most beers in the style with flavors of caramel, honey and citrus. Then a hearty malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings some balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are other EIPA’s that I would pick first.

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

Coppery orange with bright tangerine edges. The three finger crown is pale orangish ecru in color and has a 'whipped egg whites' frothiness about it. Abundant, fine-bubbled carbonation ensures that the cap won't be disappearing any time soon. Plenty of lace further solidifies an already solid appearance.

Citric hops are appreciated in the nose, but they're incredibly muted. Caramel malt is noted, as is a minor soapiness whose origins I can only guess at. At least there are no major off-odors that make me turn away in disgust. Here's hoping the intensity knob is cranked up a few notches on the palate.

Like most of the Eel River beers that I've had so far, I.P.A. isn't especially well-constructed. It's as if the brewers followed a recipe from memory and didn't get the proportions quite right. Compared to the amount of bitterness, hop flavor is on the low end. The word 'muted' applies equally as well as it does when describing the nose.

There's a harsh, 'stored in stainless steel drums' quality to the beer that further keeps me from liking it. Maybe it's the somewhat medical, raw presence of the alcohol (that should be better masked at only 7.0%). As far as specifics, caramel and white grapefruit are present and accounted for, but don't add up to anything that I'd care to drink again.

The mouthfeel is firm without being the least bit full. Like the flavor, it has a standoffish quality that doesn't lend itself to warm fuzzies. Brittle, short-lived carbonation doesn't help. I'm sure I'd like the mouthfeel better if the flavor profile was more to my liking... but it isn't.

With the exception of Certified Organic Porter, which I didn't love, I haven't had a beer from these guys that has even risen to the level of average. In the end, it doesn't really matter where they're located. However, in the craft brew paradise that is California, I'm surprised that Eel River sells any beer at all.

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Photo of smcolw
3.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful pour: solid head with lasting time and extensive lace. Light haze to an otherwise clear, neutral amber color.

Strong caramel and cream smells, unusual for an IPA. Very mild hop for the style.

The hop shows up in the taste, from start to aftertaste. The malt provides a solid base. Full bodied, with the richness of whole milk. The alcohol is well-hidden. Overall, a decent offering for an AIPA.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a nice creme head. Nose is pungent and biting lemon-toned citrus at first. Then a pine tone comes in as well. Flavor is a bit tangy. A bit too much I would have to say. But it isn't a train wreck or anything like that. Overall an okay IPA. Not bringing any interesting balance or anything, but it'll do. On to the next beer.

Edit: I'm bumping up the score. Gets much nicer as it warms.

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Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, dark amber with an orangish hue and a half of an inch of soft, off white, foamy head that has great retention. The nose has intense aromas of robust,sweet, barley malt that gives notes of bread and birthday cake. The taste is not what I expected after that nose. There are very, very faint malty notes that are bready and sweet, but they show up in the finish. The flavor opens up with some faint citrus and an odd bitterness that I find hard to explain. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit dry, smooth, and well carbonated.

This was an odd IPA. It smelled amazing. I was all in. But then after a few swallows I was confused. The flavor to me is backwards. The hops come first with a malty finish that's underwhelming. I think I'll pass in the future.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Certified organic" stated on label:

Pours copper with a one-finger white head that descends to half-size and sticks around.

The smell is of pine and floral notes over a layer of caramel.

The taste is of pine/resin, floral/citric. Sweet caramel support gives it a balance. A touch of spicy alcohol in the finish that becomes more apparent as it progresses.

Chewy and fairly coating in a firm, medium body, this is a more balanced interpretation of an American IPA.

Thanks to jcwatttsrugger for bringing back from his trip West.

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Photo of Billolick
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness indication. Pours moderately cloudy orangy medium amber, under a puffy oatmeal head, that stays and stays and then leaves just a smattering of lace blobs. Nose is malty and nothing special. This one is a little light in the hops and a tad watery in the mouth feel. Still surprised by the very low scores for this offering. Reasonable, sessionable ale. Could use some more hop jolt to fit into and compete with the heavy hitter of the AIPA world.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.98/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"America's First Certified Organic Brewery." Wonderful, but how's the beer?

Hazed light orange-ish hue...small, off-white head.

Citrus and pine in the nose, very faint aromatics, but it's there, and pleasant, too. Getting bigger, louder, more vibrant, and floral as we go.

Now, to drink. Brisk, crisp, refreshing, with a long, hoppy, bitter finish, that slowly fades. Good texture, creamy...definitely unfiltered. Nice bitter blast on the palate that really hangs in the mouth...that's something I like.

This is definitely better than the last time I had it, and probably more better on draft than in bottle. I'm quite happy with the flavor and mouthfeel, drinkability is good, and it's an all-around good beer. Tasty IPA I have no problem recommending. Again, coming from a freshly tapped keg, my mileage may vary from yours.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

06/08/05- Purchased at Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle poured into my Moose Drool pint glass.

Appearance- Golden-orange approaching amber colored pour. 3/4 inch head with excellent chunky glass coating lacing.

Smell- Nice fruity based fumes with a touch of pine. One of the better sniffing IPA's.

Taste- Hmmm, wish the taste matched the smell. Noticed a kind of roasted nutty taste along with a bitter touch of pine hops. Almost like a brown ale/IPA hybrid. Not really happy with the taste for an IPA, but interesting.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Odd tasting brew that is interesting, but not really to the style of an american IPA.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +21.4%
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 tempest
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Four Firkins. Poured a clear reddish amber with a tall white head. The aroma and flavor lack significant hops for the style, but there's still a nice mix of juicy orange-citrus an biting grapefruit flavors and sensations. For the strength (7.2% according to the bottle) it's quite drinkable, but really more a of a strong pale ale.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if I've seen a more copper-ish IPA as this one. Bright copper...but little head.

Aroma is a tad malty and musty...which provides for a bit of a strawberry overlay. A touch of medicinals on the back side

Tastes like a hoppy ESB. Semi sweet and malty, with the addition of some herbalness and hops. I'm sure what's going on here. The hops don't dominate, but neither do the malts. It's a bit of a off mixture that I can't quite put my finger on.

Although not a bad beer, I just can't find the calling. Astringent in the finish, but a bit juicy. Again, odd.

Not sure how the organic-ness affects this beer. Again, not bad.

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Photo of WesWes
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, bisquity scent with nice hop bitterness and a touch of caramel malt. The taste is decent. It has a very bitter hop bite along with a roasted/bisquit malt flavor. The malt bill is complex, but the hops are overpowering. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average IPA, but nothing I'd look to buy again in ther future.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma has some perfume-like hop notes, as well as some light orange citrus. The flavor is a nice mix of orange citrus and biscuit malt, with a hint of bitterness. There is also a little grapefruit in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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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