Steelhead Extra Pale Ale
Mad River Brewing Company

Steelhead Extra Pale AleSteelhead Extra Pale Ale
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American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #2,496
Ranked #41,897
3.6 | pDev: 13.06%
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States
Steelhead Extra Pale AleSteelhead Extra Pale Ale
Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 431 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Coorskid33:
Photo of Coorskid33
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A~ Pours a nice orange with gold tint. Think creamy head about 1/2'' think. Lingers and sticks to the glass. Clear for the style I think.

S~ Hops. Bit of fruit notes with lil presence of alcohol.

T~ Wow, this was not what I expected. This beer is not that complex at all. Very hoppy Very thin, and overall very plain jane.

M~ High carb level. No complexity. Just kinda blah to me. I really want to like this beer but it's so average to below.

D~ Well, I guess if pale ale met american lager, this is where they met. It's like budweiser took over Sierra Nevada or something. maybe it's just the style. Sorry Mad River. This is ok and I'm sure you can do better. The up side of the plain-ness is I could drink a ton of these.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Bcant
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfiltered, this Mad River brew pours a hazy, rich yellow color with suspended particles, a few large enough to quickly descend to the bottom of the glass. Not much head to speak of and the small head that did emerge directly after the pout disappeared quickly.

The bouquet is very grainy, almost like the smell of white bread. There are also some Lemon notes that emerge from behind the bread.

Starts with more malt bread flavors, there is also some spice, perhaps coriander. Decently balanced (certainly not overly sweet), hops pull out the bottom giving this beer more distance than you fist expect.

A nice mouthful, good and chewy for a pale ale. Also very drinkable, long hop tail is crisp and refreshing – drying but not parching.

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Photo of habaceeba
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Reidrover
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz brown shortneck.
It is a light orange /dark yellow ale in appearance, its quite hazy and there is no head to speak of.
The aroma is very citrusy..though not in the usual "pale " way..this reminds me of a hefe for some reason.
The taste though is unmistakable..classic American pale ale , loads of hops and a nice enough malt backbone.Good bitter aftertaste.
Pretty nice feel on the tongue for a pale..its quite smooth and easy to go down.
A good drinkable beer though has some odd characteristics.

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Photo of prisdefer
2/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of Bang34
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is a dark gold to amber.

Scent is a pronounced citrus with an almost floral hint.

The taste is clean and crisp with a very slight bitterness on the finish. It really lacks the hops I have come to expect in most pale ales but is is really refreshing.

Mouthfeel is smooth, and it goes down easy, I could spend the whole night on this one, it is so drinkable.

I forst bought this brew in the winter of 1999 on a ski trip because the label brought back memories of the steelhead fishing trips I used to take on the Gualala river in Northern California. ever since, this has been a beer that I don;t drink frequently but like to go back and visit every once in a while.

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Photo of themind
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Mad River makes a half decent APA. Has good, crisp carbonation with a slight hoppy bite to it. I would not put this in the league of legendary beers like Zombie Dust but in a pinch this should feed your cravings. You could down a few of these without a problem.

Bottom Line: Average APA

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Photo of nomad
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pretty damn yellow version of gold, very opaque. Had a slow rising but emerging to a puffy cavernous foam head. It left a nice stain. Smelled of florals but of a light citric kind, light pale malt, and some garden scents. Taste was juicy, of thirst exciting fruit, light and airy like the nose, and honey notes. Had a long but very pleasant finish, drying and nascently fruity. A very good beer, at first sip I was sold that this would be an all-time favorite. Apparently a bit too good for most other's definition of how a pale ale should drink. For me, nothing is more pale, common, and thus boring than a thin, easy, but highly unbalanced and attacking hoppy pale ale. This beer is an essay in balance and body.

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Photo of InfernoBoss
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of ElGordo
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color, with a smallish creamy white head. Aroma of mild pale malt, slightly citrusy hops, and a slight tang from the yeast. Palate is understated - mild pale malt and light aromatic hops. Very clean. Finish is rather dry, the flavor just drops right off. Not a particularly remarkable beer, but something that would be decent for a session.

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Photo of Quinnspub1
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of Loki
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled in a 12oz bottle

Poured a pale sunlight yellow with a full inch head. The head fades fairly quickly to a thin covering layer. Good lacing.

Aromas of a faint lemon sweetness, with subtle hops and spice undertones.

Tasted with a crisp, clean lemon sweetness first then a light toasted malt. The end has a faint spicey and floral hoppiness that balances the flavors.

This has light body, medium carbonation and goes down very smooth. Great summer session beer. A little light on the hops and/or the bitterness for an "Extra" pale.

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Photo of cps98
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Deep yellow in color, 1 finger white head. Decent lacing was present.

S – Light pine notes with some citrus mainly lemon thrown in.

T – Mild hoppy citrus characters.

M – A nice crisp light bodied beer.

O – Overall a decent pale ale with good hop notes and a nice clean finish.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A chilled sample in a pint glass.
The beer pours a bright gold color with some sediment haziness. I also get a 1 cm soft white head to foam up that fades quickly.
Aroma is hoppy with sour grapefruit and pine notes dominant. No real malt presence.
First sip reveals a very light body and mild carbonation. I expected the light body for a brew called extra pale ale.
Flavor is kind of fruity sweet with some light apple hits and general sugar, these tastes move quickly to a citrusy hop presence that finishes very light.
A very refreshing brew and incredibly easy to drink, but not very complex.

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Photo of BEERWOLF1951
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent with a good hop aroma. It seems refeshingly bitter. The taste is decent. It has a watery IPA type flavor. It is pretty bitter with flavoring hops, but the malt palate is weak. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a decent drinking pale ale. It has nice hop qualities, but the mouthfeel and malt complexity are weak.

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Photo of Vanlingleipa
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boy, compared to the MRiver DIPA, nothing to see here, move along.

Pours golden yellow, some cloudiness, very small head, light lacing. Faint aroma of light sourness. Light carbonation.

Some brightness to the taste. The tongue is tickled on each side near the middle by a bit of sour citrus - maybe grapefruit. Unfortunately, no dominant flavors come up strong during the middle and close. the initial taste kind of echoes until the next gulp of beer.

That said, the citrus/sour flavor is tasty. I enjoy strong, dominant flavors, which this beer lacks, but appreciate its refreshing qualities.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz. bottle
This is a very mild extra pale ale.
It pours a very hazy dark yellow with a slight head. Good lacing throughout. The bubbles burst off the bottom like solar flares. The smell was a weak blend of floral and bisucits. The carbonation is noticeable in the scent and overwhelms the nose.

The taste is soft and floral with some mild citrus. The carbonation is somewhat overbearing. The hops are mild and blended evenly with the malts. Not much bitterness for an 'extra pale ale' in my opinion. A little less carbonation and the flavors would be more in the forefront of this ale. The ale drinks smooth, crisp and has a very nice mouthfeel. Very little to no aftertaste.

A very good alternate choice ale.

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Photo of tony223366
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice 3 fingers of white fluffy head after a vigorous pour. Very sticky as it's settling. The color is a straw golden yellow color with some fogginess due to the unfiltered nature. Tons of nature from the carbonation. Seems like the carbonation will be high. To be honest it looks a bit like a fizzy yellow beer but I know it'll taste way better.

S: Huge biscuity aromas actually. Some citrus from the hops as well. There is certainly some fruitiness to this beer too. Primarily I get the pale malts though.

T: The taste is actually quite nice! Although certainly not your typical west coast pale ale. It starts out with some light citrusy hops but then it becomes a pale malt show. Big doughy, biscuity flavors. All along there's a general fruitiness and then a lightly bitter finish. The beer leans on the sweet side though and I would dare say it's almost cloying.

M: Medium to light body with prickly carbonation. Very drinkable. Not particularly "slick" as you would see from a beer with lots of hop oils.

O: Well, this isn't a bad beer but I'm not sure if it fits nicely in the American Pale Ale. It feels more like an English American Pale Ale. Is it called Extra Pale Ale as a play on E.P.A or English Pale Ale? Can't say which makes it hard to grade. As an American Pale Ale it's not all that great. I'll stick it with an above average score.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle which had no freshness date or %ABV on the label. Had a clear golden color and a bubbly bright white head that quickly died down to a skim and left hardly any lace.
The smell was of grainy malt and floral hops. Rather flowery sweet aroma. The taste had toasted malt and fruity sweetness loaded up front. The fruity sweet flavor persisted through the mid-palate before retreating in the face of an slowly advancing spicy hops flavor that finishes cleanly. The feel was light, dry and crisp.
Actually, a decent, if unremarkable, beer that has a nice balance and easy drinkability. At 4.5% ABV, this would make for a good session brew.

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Photo of RWACKO
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of dansteino
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a case on the recommendation of the guys at Shangy's -- who gave it 5 stars out of 5.

I am pleased with the purchase.

Appearance: Above average. Hazy gold with tinge of orange. Decent head and nice lacing.

Smell: Good. Nice floral hoppy aroma.

Taste: Above average. Sweet malt is balanced with just the right amount of hops. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Above average. A little thin and watery.

Drinkability: Very good. Dangerously drinkable.

A very good session beer -- nothing crazy or special to savor.

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Photo of KMcG
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold, slightly hazy, 1 finger of head that dissipates to only a few lace patches. 

Toasted light grain and floral hops, some grass.  The nose is strong, but difficult to describe. 

Floral hops, slight bitter character, a touch of faint lemon and a biscuit/cracker finish.  

This has a light to medium body. It's refreshing and easy to drink. Overall a fine APA.  

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.77/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (from Breeze-Thru in Wauwatosa) pours with very little head and a yellow, hazy, dull appearance.

Aroma is hop itterness without citrus or pine notes. Some malt sweetness is also present. Aroma is OK, but not great.

Taste is significantly better than this beers aroma. It is a generally mild hop bitterness, again without citrus or pine notes. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is evervescent and pleasing. This beer is drinkable, yet somehow not quite impressive to me to warrant repurchase on my part (there is so much else to try in this big world).

All-in-all, I thought this beer very unremarkable compared to the generally remarkable APA category.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner g lass. Color was light golden. Maybe an inch of head. A nice layer of lacing on the top of the glass and a small amount of film on the sides.

Smelled citrus and pine with grapefruit grabbing dibs. Also a light whiff of caramel malts. Decent smelling beer.

Sweet and citrus taste, very light. Bitter finish on the tongue.

Light to medium body. Quick finish after the bitter taste. Average carbonation. Other citrus tastes come in late.

Not a bad beer. I look back on my rating and I want to give it higher, but I have to go with my original picks. Maybe down the road I’ll come back to it.

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Steelhead Extra Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 431 ratings