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

401 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 401 |  Reviews: 232
Photo of beerwolf77
3.41/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a cloudy apple cider golden brown. The off white head is some of the thickest head I've ever laid eyes on. The head never really settles. It slightly fades into a thick whip cream like cap that sits on top of the beer through out the entire session.

The aroma is sweet malt with pineapple and oranges. Some hops but more sweet elements then piney or sour note. Much sweeter then a traditional IPA.

The flavor is similar to the nose. Wheat crackers and malt with sweet fruits and yeast. The hops come in at the end to remind you this is supposed to be an IPA.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall a drinkiable beer. Not a exactly a IPA in my book.

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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 yael6666
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great ambery color, golden tones as put through the light, beautiful head that doesnt last long, good lace though.
S: Citric hops, herbal and floral notes as well.
T: Almost too much bitterness, but combined with the floral and herbal notes, it goes down very easily.
With a great dry spicy aftertaste.

Very well balanced beer, a little too bitter.

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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 u2carew
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Pours with a tight creamy head - the lacing is the same and sticky. Transparent. Upward CO2. Bronze to amber in color.
S) Citrus - orange. Cascade hops? Toffee.
T) Nutty. Caramel. Toffee. Orange. Light hoppiness linger in the aftertaste.
M) Smooth. Light fizziness. Medium body.
D) A very good IPA and organic!

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Photo of jera1350
3.67/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It says organic IPA on the label, but the label shown in the pic here is the exact same which also says "organic".

Coppery orange color with nice fluffy light tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

Robust citric and piney hops. Sweet caramel malts. Some ripe pineapple and candied sugar also.

Wow major letdown. Does not live up to the nose at all. None of the sweetness from the nose is present. There is a light hop bite and some light malt notes. Key word is light! Some pine resin sticks around.

Lighter bodied, feels watered down a bit. Carbonation is fine, but there isn't much flavor for it to be releasing here.

Very drinkable, but lacking in some big flavors. I'm all for organic, but it just lacks in the flavor department for me. Easy beer to session, might better fall into the category of a pale ale. It is growing a bit on me as I consume further.

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Photo of Bluetick
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - coppery orange

S - Hops are strong

T - Strong hop bite with that gives way to quick malt finish

M - Heavier than most IPA - probably because of the higher alcohol

D - Because of the heaviness, I drink this slower than most beers

I am excited to see a USDA Organic beer. Mostly because I've read here and there, that hops are extremely prone to pests and disease and are subjected to a lot of pesticides and insecticides. I'm not an extreme health nut, but I'm all for a little less sodium cyanate in my brews :)

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Photo of birdypowder
3.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I compare Eel River IPA to the punter on a football team. This beer is an IPA, as indicated on the label, but does not act like one. A punter is a member of a football team but often does not act like one.

There was no hop punch in the aroma or taste, odd for a west coast IPA, and the body seemed a bit thin for the style. The somewhat robust ABV (7.2%) was hidden well.

If you spend some time seeking out this aroma it will reward you. I got enjoyable citrus with sight pineapple, nice subtle hop aroma, some floral character, though subdued, and as it warmed a delicious smelling caramel note.

About one finger of off-white foam, some noticeable haze, lots of beading. Pours an attractive orange color with some red notes.

IPA lite! Well balanced, though definitely not hoppy enough for an American IPA. Would make a good Pale! Thin, very light backend bitterness segueing into a dull aftertaste.

A bit thin feeling, medium conditioning.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as a single drank out of my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours out a clear amber colored body with a small white head. the head doesnt last that long and leaves little to no lacing behind.

S- sweet caramel malts upfront, and then a strong hoppy finish. citrus and floral hops. pretty standard IPA so far.

T- the taste was equally unoriginal. sweet caramel malts at first followed by a decent blast of citrus and floral hops. not bad, but not groundbreaking either.

M- medium bodied and crisp from carbonation.

D- pretty average if you ask me. a little stronger than the average IPA. easy enough to finish. id probably have another if i was craving IPA that night.

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Photo of dudecandle
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light golden-brown with a small head, leaving a small cap.

S/T: Nice floral hops with a good minty complement and some solid lemony-citrus background. Malt backbone is present. The fruitiness takes on a more apple-based tone as it warms.

M: Very nicely wholesome.

D: It provides a good flavor profile, rather deep, without being too aggressive. Nice and pleasant, though nothing special.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.05/5  rDev +22%
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 mtnbikerpa
3.24/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a favorite bottle shop after an evening of enjoying brews. Poured into glass after a gentle pour. Very little smell and nothing really to set this IPA apart from the other IPA's out there. I am enjoying it but I will probably never buy it again.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.38/5  rDev +31.9%
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 Magpie14
2.79/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Seems to be two EEL River IPA's, my ABV matches this one...

A: amber hues are fused with golds and yellows around the edges. I poured cautiously and yet the head was incredibly eager to form. It did so in an out of control manner. To be honest, the densely foamed cream white cap was rather impressive and lasting. My glass was coated with streaks and spiderwebbing as a result. High marks for the head and lace

S: citrusy, earthy, sweet brown sugar, and toasted malts. Nothing jumps out and nothing seems out of the ordinary. Maybe a little timid?

T: pale malts remain a constant throughout and the hop flavors are somewhat fleeting. The green cones are of the citrus variety (mostly ripe grapefruit) with a lightly herbal/floral character. If anything the hops come across clean, crisp, and wounded. The caramel sweetness is nice and moves freely throughout augmenting the toasted pale and crystal malts. Has some type of funk to it, metallic based flavors? soapy flavors? not sure?

M: mild body and with a decent slickness with ample carbonation. Straight shooter in the mouthfeel. Like the nose, nothing jumps out and nothing seems out of the ordinary

D: not a bad brew, I guess. Something seemed awry with the hops, a real hop essence was not happening in this beer. I want to try the stout they offer and that is probably going to be it, I pass on this one

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Photo of Spikester
4.22/5  rDev +27.1%
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 washburnkid
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Almost a clear amber with small off-white head. The head doesn't retain too well but can be brought around again with a swirl of the glass.
S: Sweet malts, honey on the nose. Metallic, and also yeasty. Not a lot of aromatic hops.
T: Decent hops in the taste. Balanced out by a malty sweetness, still getting the honey but also some caramel. Bready with warmth.
M: Crisp, light-bodied. Not too residual with the bitters.
D: Easy to drink. I look forward to trying more form Eel River.

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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 albern
3.27/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a slightly orangy amber color with an off white, smallish creamy head, that doesnt hang around long, nor retain well. The nose on the beer is very sweet florals, grapefruity hop bitterness, some orange blossom, maybe a touch of sweet malt.

The taste is not nearly as good as the aroma. Fundamentally, this beer isn't well balanced. There is too much biting hop bitterness that takes over from the otherwise nice orange blossom and rind flavors. The acerbicness is just over the top and rides herd over the better parts of this beer. It's too bitter, doesn't have the bready malts underneath to balance it out, and doesn't bring out enough oily and estery hop resin to make this one a keeper. It's not bad, it will clean off the palate, but it is a flawed IPA. The ABV is quite prevalent too and leaves a bit of a boozy afterfeel in the throat.

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Photo of glid02
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Total Wine in Greenville, SC.

Pours a light copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells lightly of citrus hops with a good deal of pale malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors kick things off and are followed shortly by mild citrus hop flavors. Ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit on the thin side but still manages to go down smoothly.

Drinkability is alright. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle but I'm not terribly excited about having another.

Overall this a decent beer but it's nothing special. Not one to avoid but not one to seek out either.

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Photo of Overlord
2.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a darkish amber orange. Very thing white head. Surprisingly small, really.

Smells like juicy sweet citrus and a bit of white grapefruit. Pretty okay.

Taste is really average. There's a bitter component, with earthy pine on the swallow and aftertaste. The smell of juicy citrus actually isn't really delivered on the taste, as the bitter, almost rind-ish quality takes over. I could have really used more grapefruit, malt, or other balancing agent on the taste. This is a strange brew in that the aroma and flavor really don't match.

Okay resin-y mouthfeel.

Too expensive for what it is, disappointing, no real hop component in flavor.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.51/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap tonight (4/14/09) at La Bella, thanks Danny for the pour.

The beer is a copper color with about a quarter inch of head. After a few seconds a thin ring forms around the glass and leaves some lacing behind.

Couldn't get much out of the aroma...on-tap beers are usually too cold but for IPAs they should have a hoppy aroma when cold, not the case for this one. Had to let it warm up a bit and then I got some lightly toasted malts, caramel malts, bits of citrus and grass but quite weak overall.

At first I tasted some toasted malts with some caramel and toffee in the second part. Very little bitterness and in the very end a low-dry finish. Just a bit more complexity than the aroma. A touch grainy and lemon peel bitterness. To me the bitterness didn't hold on to the palate long enough. Medium-low carbonation. Very easy to drink as it tasted almost more like a pale ale than an IPA.

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Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber colored beer with a smallish off-white colored head. Darker than the usually "IPA Orange" near brown in color.

Sweet and malty with a fruity and herbal scent. There is a bit of aspirin scent to this possibly Amarillo hop? Caramel candy and bread.

Taste starts out Malty for an IPA and woody with a strawberry taste to it. Stoutly bitter but one a note of many like bitter chocolate on a sweet strawberry. A few complex flavors, tobacco, butterscotch, alfalfa, all ended with a stout bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Nice IPA here on the upper end on bitterness but it has the malt backbone and complexity to make it better than average. One of the stronger flavored examples this isn't bad at all and probably the best of the Organic examples of the style.

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Photo of snpub540
3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an amber hue with a small white head. Very little lacing left on the glass.

Aroma was slightly floral hops and some sweetness.

Taste was very balanced. Hops were woody and dry in the finish but nice malt sweetness made it taste more like an English style IPA.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with nice carbonation. Drinkability was good, probably could have had two or three more with my lunch.

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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 BarrytheBear
2.71/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Magic Chouffee tulip

Clear, filtered pour

Beer has hardly any discernible scents...odd

Grassy bitterness and butter cookies, more citrus with warming

Watery mouthfeel

I keep drinking and thinking....rather flummoxed by what's here, or rather what isn't. I'm in an IPA rut. Whoa is me.

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I.P.A. from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.32 out of 5 based on 401 ratings.
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