Steelhead Extra Pale Ale | Mad River Brewing Company

222 Reviews
Steelhead Extra Pale AleSteelhead Extra Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 03-24-2002

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Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 418
Photo of Hunter
2.15/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

appearance: Hard pour finally brought up something of a head, but vanishes on the instant. No lacing. Slight haze to the light gold brew. MEH.

aroma: Not sure what I'm getting here. Hops, yes, but behind that? Something akin to fruit, cereal...not sure what else.

taste: Taste lives up to the appearance and aroma. Very bland, vapid. No real hops bit like you might expect. Aftertaste is metallic, mouthfeel sharp.

drinkability: It's not offensive, but it's not going to challenge you. The beer equivalent of a McDonald's cheeseburger. I won't be back.

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Photo of Crosling
2.23/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear peach in color with a head that falls almost as quickly as it is poured. Not much to be spoken of in the aroma, perhaps a touch of grassy, spicy and floral hops but not any aromatic malt contribution. The flavor is abnormally bland for the style with a touch of peach and spicy and floral hops (just like the description).

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Photo of wcudwight
2.32/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy pale golden color with a thin fizzy head that has good retention. Lot's of setiment. Smell is grassy, grainy and mildly hoppy. It's a weird mixture that just seems off. The taste is bready and doughy with a mild hop finish. Feels like beer in the mouth, nothing more, nothing less. I simply did not like this beer. Tasted more like Miller Light than an APA to me. I will give this beer another shot someday and just hope that I got a bad sample.

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Photo of largadeer
2.41/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale gold with a quarter-inch head. The nose is bizarre, very lactic, almost like sour cream. There's a lot of diacetyl and sweet malt, too. It's malty, sweet and buttery on the tongue with a barely perceptible hop character. It tastes a hell of a lot like yogurt. Medium-bodied, the mouthfeel is creamy, buttery. No bitterness in the finish. I guess they were going for an English style pale ale with this, but it's a pretty colossal failure.

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Photo of beck2008
2.41/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - straw pale - (looks like a lager)
Smell = very little hop aroma
taste = Sub-par pale ale. Thin body, very little malt presence. Hops are slightly grassy and piney. The taste reminds me of hoppy alka seltzer. Not a great pale ale but then again it's called "extra pale" so I maybe I just don't know what that should taste like. The hop bitterness hit me in the back of the throat and that was it. No alcohol detected. Lots of carbonation, almost too much - similar to a lager. I'll take a Liberty Ale over this any day.

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Photo of sacfly
2.55/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow color with a nice looking small head of large bubbles. Head is gone after about the second sip. Somewhat yeasty smell, bread dough with not much else.

Taste is, well, nothing. Extremely mild sweetness. Very light on the hops. Little to no body. I guess the “extra pale” in this case is for extra light? No off or unpleasant flavors, just not enough of anything to make it worthwhile. Kind of like a pale ale diluted half and half with water.

Maybe a good transition beer for the BMC crowd? It was crisp and clean in the finish, but don’t expect too much. Maybe it just doesn’t hold up well to being shipped to the East Coast?

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Photo of Cresant
2.56/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a becker. No date on the label. The body was flecked and cloudy orange/yellow. The mild head was cream colored.

Smell was hard candy sweetness.

Taste was not too bitter, more hops flavors than the true bitterness. Tame bitterness was well balanced with pineapple-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel was smooth up front, with a mild alcohol sizzle in the swallow. Medium body. This one may have been past its prime, aroma was disappointing and the flavor was pretty simple.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
2.56/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

On-tap at Uptown Brothers in Denver.

A - Pours a perfectly clear and crisp golden color with a thin head and minimal lacing. Bubbly film lasts throughout the glass.

S - Not much aroma at all, if anything hints of crystal malts and a tiny floral hop, but overall pretty disappointing.

T/M - The beer starts with a bit of bready malt character and slowly transitions to a middle of biscuit, very mild bitterness, and fruit. The beer ends quite thin and crisp. Light body with decent carbonation though tasted almost diluted.

D - Not impressed. I'd argue it's a less than average Extra Pale.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend the beer. It tasted like an average pale ale mixed with Coors Light. That's how I described it to my server.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 01-28-2011 20:41:35

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Photo of germaniac
2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a shiny wet straw color. Not too much head on an average pour.

Smell is tangy, fruity, hops. But there is also a grainy scent that doesn't blend well.

Taste can be summed up nicely with BLAND. Not a whole lot of hop presence, just a slightly sweet malt background. It's odd that partway thru, it just kind of fades into a watery nothing.

The higher than usual carbonation levels are more readily apparent because of the lack of overall flavor, it seems.

I can remember drinking this beer a few years back and enjoying it more. I don't know if the beer has changed, or maybe my tastes have. But either way, there are alot better options out there.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.59/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not sure about the age on this bad boy. There does not appear to be any dating on the bottle.
Boy, for an APA there isn't very much hop aroma. Soft pale malt and closer to 6-row Am. lager type of malt aroma. A little bready, doughy, but that's about it.
Attractive but rather light in color with a yellow cold and mostly clear. Nice white head with some stamina.
Again, where are the hops? Some bittering and very mild hops in background that grow a bit with time and warmth, but still what's up with that? Malt is more of the same as the aroma.
Prickly carbonation and more than ample and filling.
Disappointing. Hard to mark this as even average.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.61/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into Duvel Green tulip.

A: Pours a golden yellow with an orange tinge under a couple fingers of white lumpy head that faded into a wispy film leaving some sticky chunks of lacing down the glass.
S: Unimpressive notes of pale malt and toasted grains. Some sweet floral hops poke through. Not very fragrant.
T: Light notes of roasted malt, doughy biscuit, faint sweet citrus fruit. Overall very watery and muted flavors. Slight cucumber? Isn't there supposed to be at least some hops in an APA?
M: Medium-light body, bubbly carbonation and slightly watery mouthfeel.
D: Very unimpressive. Tastes like a slightly less than average, boring APA... if you watered that down. Goes down like water.

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Photo of Brianjames16
2.65/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a hazy light golden color with a finger width white head. Some thin lacing sticks around on the glass-

S- surprisingly not very hoppy with a very sweet aroma. Some sweet lemon aromas with a hint of orange.

T- Very light tasting with no hint of hops on the taste. For me it almost taste like a light a hefferveisen. More malts on this one.

M- Very light bodied beer with a lot of citrus tastes.

O- Nothing special. I think they have the wrong label on this one.

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Photo of abrand
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle with no date poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy yellow color with a 2 finger pure white head. Aromas of soap, biscuits, lemons, and oranges. Nothing spectacular on the nose. Taste is somewhat watery with hints of lemons, breads, and honey. Not too much of a hop profile. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. This isn't that great of an APA. Watered down and just not much to offer as far as taste. I will pass on this one in the future.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.77/5  rDev -22.6%
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 nataku00
2.81/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a shaker pint glass. Yellow and clear beer with a half finger of foamy head that dissipated very quickly. No lacing from the little head and no carbonation visible from the glass.

Nose was almost nonexistent. Maybe a bit of biscuit malts, and light floral hops but it took a lot of time to coax any aroma out of the glass.

Taste was equally bland. Biscuit malt sweetness with minimal bittering.

Light bodied beer with some carbonation on the tongue despite the lack of bubbles when looking at it. Pretty easy to drink and somewhat refreshing when paired with the southern food with the second half of the glass. I'm not sure I would drink it again though.

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Photo of Netmedic
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

To me, this is a flawed brew if it is meant to be a "pale ale". I guess the warning is on the label "extra pale ale". Extra what? Extra less care in brewing it? It's a cloudy orange colour, with some small "floaters", which would be ok for home brew or real ale, which this most definitely is not. It has a nice sharp nose, which promises a lot more than this drop delivers in the mouth. Initially there is a good dry hoppiness, but this fades off to a somewhat citrusy sticky finish. I guess either rack your beer after the particulates have settled, or make a good quality real ale and sell it on it's yeast. Maybe these guys are having problems getting the right hops for a pale ale, as well. I think they're using a good quality malt, though. Pity.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed in October 2004 from a 12 oz bottle. Reminds me of the Pyramid Coastline I had earlier yesterday. Not really impressive. Not awful, but nothing great...barely aveage if that IMO. Pours a dark cloudy orange with a tiny head and little lace. Smells of citrus, lemon and malt. Tastes a bit grainy, grassy? Has a decent amount of detectable hops. Has a bit of lemon taste to back it up. Way too much carbonation. Doesn't leave a tremendous aftertaste which is good in the case of this beer. Has that musty taste again. Not intruiged by this beer.

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Photo of doubleipa
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Kclingers (Hanover). Not too hoppy and not much of a head or lacing. Light yellow in color. A decent American Pale Ale, but not as hoppy as the waitress said it would be. Did not get our drinking session off to the hoppy start we had anticipated.

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Photo of ZekemusMaximus
2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Really light golden hue, totally see through. Very little lacing.

S-A small amount of citrus and fresh pine. It's pretty faint and doesn't hit my nostrils as hard as i'd expect.

T-For an extra pale ale I expected this to be super bitter but it really wasn't. There were citrus notes to start that ended in a biscuity, cracker taste. Not too much to say after that, fades quick.

M- Really clean, not too much carbonation.

O- This was alright, nothing to out of the ordinary. I was let down with it being labeled as an extra pale ale. Fairly easy to drink but I wouldn't go out of my way to drink this again.

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Photo of delta490
2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured a hazy light gold with short lived white head. The aroma is barely there with a slight hint of sweet and the faintest hops. The taste is also barely present and just about the same as the taste. There is a nice weight to the beer and a smooth finish. All in all, not much going on

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Photo of pweis909
2.97/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was looking forward to my first Mad River Steelhead beer and it left me disappointed.

The beer poured out a dull golden color, perhaps a touch of haze, and a big foamy head. Even as I took my eyes off the glass to read the bottle, I smelled some hop goodness. When I looked back to the glass, the foam was gone. GONE. Never have I seen a beer go from foam to no foam so fast. Maybe I have a dirty glass? The hoppy aroma faded fast, but there is some pleasant hop in the taste, accompanied by a light sweetness, and unfortunately, a lingering chemically bitterness and a bit of astringency.

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Photo of Coorskid33
3/5  rDev -16.2%
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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Photo of beerguy101
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gold color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweetish. Mildly malted, mildly hopped pale ale. Light taste, nice flavor. Good malt to hop balance. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of AlexJ
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy light amber/orange color. Light white head and no lacings. Smells yeasty, fruity, and wheaty. Tastes slightly lemony sweet with soft hop finish. Wierd! This tastes like it's half wheat beer. Doesn't taste bad, but not what I expected. Refreshing and fruity. Needs more hop.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A small off white head quickly dies into a thin lacing above a clear honey golden colored beer.

Light aroma of citrus fruits and floral notes and a hint of pine.

Light citrus hops taste that has a very slight bitter edge on it.

Light dry aftertaste that holds just a bit of the hops with it on this medium bodied ale.

A little to weak on the hops taste for me in my desired pale ale journeys.

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Steelhead Extra Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 418 ratings.
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