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 williamjbauer
3.11/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the Eel River brewery

A - Clear copper amber with 2 finger white head with good retention and good lacing.

S - Very faint aroma of pine and grassy hop, pretty wimpy.

T - The aroma is telling as this is a pretty weak and water IPA. Low on the hops and just a bit of malt and lacking complexity. I know this is organic but that is no excuse for lacking a bold flavor in an IPA. This is the chance for the home grown hops to shine.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth, watery.

O - I would never get this again, though I appreciate the effort to go organic.

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Photo of DrFayhee
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear orange-golden color with medium head and minimal lacing.

S: Sweet malts and some citrusy pine notes.

T: Kind of a toasted malt quality to the hop flavor. The maltiness in the finish is kind of more reminiscent of an English-style pale ale than a west coast IPA.

M: Medium-bodied and clean.

O: A little bit too malty and stale for my tastes but not an unsatisfying beer. Not that all IPAs need to be hop-bombs but there's something that just isn't bright enough about this one.

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Photo of arizcards
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received early in March as a gift for helping out a friend.

Beer poured copper with a an off white head that dissapated quickly.

Nose is floral and citrus hops, very nice with the initial pour.

Taste is well balanced, malt base and citrus tinged hops blend pretty well together. Bread and a citrusy residue left behind.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Overall this is a pretty good representation of the English ipa style. Would not mind having this one again!

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

This is a good but maybe not great IPA. I would not refuse one ever (but maybe if I were sessioning a bunch). It's a little hoppier than a straight IPA and a bit darker, definitely capturing the English side of things.

Although it generally works, the smell, taste and aftertaste all have a bit of an off metallic character. This is not one I will seek out again.

Another I bought accidentally again 2-1-2014. It is a bit easy drinking, but not bad. I'll stick with my review.

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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 peacebone116
3.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to my wife's cousin, Annie, for picking us up a sixer of this beer from the brewery. Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a small Allagash tulip.

A: Very hazy orange body with little head that recedes quickly to leave small wisps floating in the center of the glass.

N: Citrus and pine balanced by a nice malt.

T/M: Crisp citrus and earthy pine dominate the flavor profile, backed by a nice biscuit-like sweetness. There is not much in the way of bitterness in the finish, but rather a lingering citric sweetness.

Overall, this is a bit of an underwhelming beer. I am not sure I would classify this as an English style IPA because of the immense citrus, but it is definitely not a strong AIPA. Honestly, this is just a bit one-dimensional. This beer is refreshing, but really just weighs in at average for me.

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Photo of kchannel9
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Review (1.5): I do not care for this beer, I'm having a hard time finishing it...it's pretty bad...I tried hard to like it....but...it's watery, not bitter, not malty. Aka bad, in terms of an IPA. Why oh why didn't I just grab a Maximus? About to pour this out and switch to the illest.

Update: Had this beer again the other night, it was much better and I actually liked it this time. Also, it's being organic makes me happy.

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

A: A golden yellow with virtually no head.

S: Very boost with a lot of malt. Considering that it is an IPA it is odd there is no hop in the one dimensional aroma.

T: Not good. If you are going to call something an IPA consider using hops. There is no bitterness at all. This beer tastes like a bland amber ale. There is a little caramel and a lot of alcohol.

O: Avoid this beer.

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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 GrizzlyBrew
3.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - rich amber color, nice off-white head settles to a foamy, creamy-looking 1/4", body is brilliantly clear

S - caramel malts dominate the nose with toffee notes, there's also a minerally yeast smell coming through. Not much for hops, although there is a muted hop aroma keeping the beer from smelling overly sweet

T - Surprisingly dry despite the very nice caramel character of the malt, sell done. As I hoped, there is a generous amount of bittering to match the dry palate without overpowering it.

M - It may be a little overcarbonated, but just slightly. The body is fairly thin but is fleshed out by the bitterness. I can't help but think if the carbonation was slightly lower, it would be almost perfect.

O - I think this is a pretty darn good EIPA - dry caramel malt character, minerally yeastiness, firm bitterness and a medium body that means I can enjoy several in a session.

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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.

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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 sjverla
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Very sweet and fruity. It smells like an old IPA, which it probably is. There are hints of earth and pepper, but the nose is predominantly jam-like.

Appearance: Hazy copper with a quickly dispersing head. It does lace alright, though.

Taste: Strange, but good. It's very dynamic. The bitterness hasn't faded too much. Very floral - almost seems to taste like pollen. A mild, waxy sweetness, like honey comb, balances the very green bitterness.

Overall: I expected this beer to be disappointing. The sale rack is an iffy place to shop, and the first impressions weren't great. I was surprised. Nice bite, good beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eel River Organic IPA

Pours a rich copper color with a chill haze and a nice soapy froth. Semi sweet nose, mildly fruity with some malt poking through. In the flavor, caramel, fruity hops (berry/mango/citrus) and a light roasted character. Bitterness is adequate for the style. Medium to full bodied brew, modest carbonation and a smooth overall feel. Overall, I thought this was a very fruity IPA which was alittle unusual but not bad.

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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

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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 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 spongemonkey
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok here is the deal with Eel River brews. The ONLY way to enjoy their beer is on tap. Several years ago I was the assistant brewer, and there are a lot of good things to say about the brewery in general. It is kept scrupulously clean, the ingredients are of extremely high quality, and the organic standards are militantly enforced. However the bottling line is pretty damn outdated and presents a lot of opportunities to create a stale, oxidized, almost undrinkable product. Try two bottles of the same beer from different bottling runs, I can just about guarantee they won't taste the same. Yes, this place makes beer toooo heavy on the malt flavor, and the IPA is wildly underhopped. The Acai Berry brew is an abomination that makes baby Jesus cry. But the Hef available only at the brewery and only seasonally is truly epic, and the imperial stout demands respect. The quality of the beers decreases rapidly with distance from the Eel River, and the smaller the bottle the worse the beer.

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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 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 FosterJM
2.83/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

475th review on BA

App- a decent colored ipa with a decent head and a little stick.

Smell- I really only got some watered down hops.

Taste- I found this to be thin, a little underhopped and not too bitter but missing the citrus to balance.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated and left a bit of oily hops.

Drink- I just didnt find this appealing to drink. Finished my taster, had some water, a couple of tasters of Sculpin and was happy!

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Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev +24.1%
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 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.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Nice dark amber color. Cloudy. Thin white head with good lacing.

Aroma is malty with a bit of hops. Not bad.

Taste is pretty malty. A decent hop bite. Wish it was a bit drier and more hoppy.

Mouthfeel is a bit too malty. Nice carb.

Overall an ok beer. Probably wouldn't buy it again. But it did lift my thoughts that organic beers aren't that good. Gunna try a couple more now.

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Photo of negroobserver
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Eel River IPA - Draft

C: Golden amber color with orange and red tones. Served with about a 1/4" cream colored head. Light haziness.

S: Hops at the front end. Scent of grapefruit with some sweet tones. Light malty and chocolatey scent.

T: Tastes like a fusion of IPA and a brown ale. has the rounded malty character of a brown ale and the hoppy bitterness of an IPA. There is a light fruity undertones. Complex and surprising combination of flavors.

M: The carbonation is a little high. It has excellent body and depth. Nicely balanced texture.

D: Although the beer starts off very well due to the complexity of the flavors, it begins to lose the hoppy quality and begins to taste primarily like a brown ale by the end. Okay, I guess.

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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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