Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

225 Reviews
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Steel Rail Extra Pale AleSteel Rail Extra Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 08-22-1996

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Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 663
Photo of billybob
4.88/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a cloudy golden color with a two finger white head that holds very well and a nice lace to the finish. smell is fruity and citrus but a little weak. taste is yeasty and malty, bready just great. mouthfeel nice smoothness good balance and good carbonation. drinkability is excellent definitely try this beer. its on my list.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.65/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap in a Springfield MA resturant and poured into a 22 oz mug.

A- slightly cloudy, straw color with a nice, thin white head

S- some hops some citrus

T- excellent. Balanced with the hop profile. Smooth up front, clean in the finish.

M- Balance again is the key here, just enough mouthfeel without any trace of water.

D- A most drinkable and refreshing beer. I love it on tap and in the bottle. So refreshing, that this is now my go to beer on tap. The fact that it is locally brewed in Western MA as well, bonus.

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Photo of dfillius
4.57/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Lise for gifting this to me after her trip to the Berkshires!
A: Moderate pour yields 3/4 finger of white head with good retention. Golden liquid (macro lager colored) with a chill haze.
S: Citrusy and fruity; biscuity and buttery
T: Great malt flavor up front like a delicious wheat cracker - Wowzer! Mmmm, no off or metallic aftertaste (I expected it from the light color, though I don't know why).
M: Like edelweiss - clean and bright.
D: A great session beer. Satisfyingly citrusy, like lime in corona, but at least 10x better.

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Photo of Rackerman
4.47/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've recently had the Steel Rail in the bottle, a close 2nd to it's kegged cousin, however it's always otherwise been via tap.

Golden brown appearance, slight head and low carbonation looks very much average to me. Subtle hops and fruity smell are inviting. Taste is fantastically heavy - my definition of full-bodied. doesn't taste too hopy at all... subtle, great finish. I can drink these all day.

This beer is totally no frills, just very, very good beer - my new favorite.

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Photo of bigone4
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite session beers from Western MA. I was introduced to this brew four years ago and it has become one of my staple fridge stockers. Great drinking session beer well made and balanced. Everyone that I have try this beer ends up really enjoying its simplicity and great drinkability. I have had this beer so many times that it slipped my radar for a review. I have had it on tap, in a 22oz, and out of growlers.

Great pour hazy yellowish copper straw hue. There is a clean white frothy head that leaves some nice mild lacing down the pint. Initial smell of sweet malts with a nice floral citrus hop balance. Fresh malt and a clean bread like yeast smell followed up by a sweet fruit smell perhaps some mild hints of pear or apple. Very complex smell that is really refreshing. Smooth and very drinkable. The light malt taste with a nice hop bouquet in the finish will make you grow fond of this beer quickly. There is a presence of a bread like yeast flavor almost fruitiness. The nose description is almost exactly how it tastes. You know what you are drinking as soon as you smell it and then you are glad for the great flavor and taste.

I would consider this to be a light to medium bodied brew. Good carbonation slow rise of tiny bubbles. Well constructed flavors from start to finish like always. Being BBC's flagship beer many people have had the chance to drink a little piece of Western MA. Tried and true time winner in my book. Great repeatability in the flavor and the taste. I learned to really appreciate such a well made session brew. Well worth giving this beer a try. From non-micro drinkers alike this one can hit the nail on the head for many. Glad to see the distribution hitting RI now.

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Photo of MattBrooks
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber, this local brew is golden yellow with a nice foamy, frothy white head. The taste is bitter the way a Pale Ale should be but clean and fresh the way you'd expect an unpasteurized beer to be. The taste is of classic malts and yeast, with just a hint of fruitiness on the finish. The body was good, not too heavy or too light and the beer goes down so easy, it could almost be dangerous that this is a 22oz bomber; but at 5.3%, one doesn't have to worry too much.

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Photo of Canibacea
4.4/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very good.
sweet and bitter like grapes. ester and toasted malt. nice delicate malt background for such a pale beer.

Balanced by a fruity hop hint this beer is just so perfect and simple, it leaves nothing undesirable on the tongue or in the stomach. its so drinkable i could chug it like water.

Cheers BBC

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Photo of montauk7
4.38/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brown bomber bottle

Appearance: Even dark golden color. Appealing simple labeling on bottle.

Smell: Very even smell of citrus and marmalade.

Taste: Not a lot of complexity. However, this is not a bad thing, and works well for this beer. The flavor is thorough with not many hops, but a satisfying flavor somewhat like scones. An interesting beer, and interesting in its simplicity.

Mouthfeel: Even texture and taste with a smooth finish.

Drinkability: Great drinkability. Could be paired nicely with pastries.

Very solid, even, yet interesting beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of sailorastro
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Steel Rail is the beer I recommend friends to try who are new to craft brews or are visiting from a place where microbreweries have a small nitch in their market. It's an easy beer to like, and even easier to come back to again and again.

Appearance: Heavy carbonation caused a three finger head to settle on its clear, golden yellow body. Good lacing.

Smell: Wheat; brown sugar; grass; grapes; cotton; bread.

Taste: Toasted malty flavor, finished with a slight bitterness that's almost transparent between sips.

Body: Light bodied. Clean taste left on the palate.

Served from a pint glass.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, I like the label work - traditional yet appealing.

I poured pretty aggressive - comes out a light & mildly hazy golden straw. A frothy off white head mellows down to a thin layer & leaves a trail down the glass.

Belgian-like yeast funk, pale malts, mild earthy hops & some citrus come through in the nose. Looks like Saison meets APA.

Wow, clean & crisp come to mind real quick. Solid malt backbone come together with a moderate amount of hop character & a punch of lemon zest. This pale is a very balanced and refreshing brew. All the components stick together throughout very well with just a touch more citrus in the aftertaste than on the tongue.

Prickly carbonation & foamy effect work well with the refreshing taste - cleansing the palate nicely. Medium body (5/10) makes for great drinkability, dangerously sessionable. This brew would be perfect with a rack of dry rub BBQ ribs.

Thanks goes to my beautiful girlfriend for bringing this back to me from her trip to Boston.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can

Pours golden yellow with a frothy white foam head. Smells like nutty toasted grains, clean lemony citrus, pineapple, pear, mild spice, sweet orange, with resinous earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like nutty toasted grains, clean lemony citrus, orange rind, pineapple, pear, sweet spice, with resinous earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice extra pale ale.

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Photo of acarroll413
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was anxious to try this beer because my date on Valentine's Day had one and I couldn't drink because I was sick. I had this at a bar in Easthampton, MA. The color is golden, I'm not certain if it's supposed to be cloudy but it was. Like I said, I'm not that's necessarily good. It could have been the glass at the bar. It smelled like wheat, not very alcoholy. The taste was very good, heavy on the wheat and it went to down smooth. This is one of my favorite beers at the moment. I'll definitely drink this again.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have had in several types of servings; the best being on tap. Living in the area affords me the "freshest" beer. Steel Rail is a true micro-brew that is very drinkable. Goes very well with hot/spicy food. Has a fruity flavor but in no way is it over powering.

Being so drinkable has its drawbacks though. Unfilter, unpasturiezed, LOOK out if you have too many.

A wonderful beer!

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beautiful off white fluffy dense head that with stamina. Nice pale clear yellow color.

Taste is very well balanced. fresh mild dry malts and good hop dryness as well. very refreshing and although the body is light for an APA but it has good mouth feel.

I like this beer and will pick up a growler for a good session with the boys and sure i wont grow tired of after a couple of pints.

There is a taste profile to this beer that is very interesting to me and quite to my liking. Cant put my finger on though.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin but foamy white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick and even lace on the glass.

S: The smell grainy & hoppy with hints of citrus, yeast and wheat.

T: It starts off with a bready taste, with hops & citrus mixed in, not very much sweetness, which isn’t a bad thing in this case. The flavor is very straight-forward. This one seems to taste a lot like Berkshire’s Gold Spike Ale with a little more hops.

M: Very crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Refreshing and tasty, not filling at all, extremely easy to drink, a very good beer overall.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this @ The '6 Pub in Williamstown, MA and it was an incredibly tasty beer. pours a basic straw color w/ a slight off-white head and a good amount of lacing on the glass. malty & hoppy in taste; but for a bitter beer, wow--VERY drinkable and smooth. has a nice, crisp kick to it. would be a great session beer. preferred the drayman's porter b/c it went well with my roast beef wrap, but this was excellent as well.

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Photo of aquatonex
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber hue with a fair amount of head. Smells of alcohol and wheat. The taste possesses a toasted wheat and malty flair while also being a little sweet, balancing out the brew to a VERY drinkable flavor. Nothing is left behind to linger and make you wonder what you were drinking. A straightforward beer that is medium-mild in hops and altogether satisfying.

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Photo of 1759Girl
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance> hazy, light carbonation, no head and no lacing.

Smell> apple, cocoa butter

Taste>Medium complexity, starts malty with a sweet floral hop taste and a dry cider like finish. Very unique.

Mouf> Nice. Light and easy.

Drinkability> Quite.

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ahh, my old friend Steel Rail.

I've been drinking it for years as I enjoy its simplicity and drinkability year round.

Recently got a sixtel of it for a backyard BBQ on a hot summer day.

Pours a clear bright yellow with a decent head retention. Aroma is unique - biscuity and hoppy, though not the ultra-bitter smell. Very inviting to take a sip.

More faint biscuit taste in the mouth with restrained hops. Finishes with a slightly sweet malt finish. Each sip begs another as it's balanced and ultra-clean.

I never really thought of this as a summer beer, but I do now. Sooo easy to drink many of these.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bomber stamped Best By 03/07/12. Sampled on February 27, 2012. The pour is a cloidy pale yellow with a tremendous head building up from active carbonation bubbles. The aroma has malts, a little yeast, and clean hops in there but there is something else akin to citrus. The body medium and holds its texture well when swirling on my tongue. The taste has a kind of grainy, malt sensatioin along with this hard to define tart, citrus note. The hops end clean. Likeable.

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Photo of currysage1
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured from growler into imperial pint, this brew has a high pure white head, very cumulus nimbus. Don't know about lacing, the head stays the whole time. Hazy honey color to it, nice small bubbles.

Smell is of grains, bread dough, and light fruit - banana? This is no Hefe.

Taste has a nice balance, good malt to hop. Lots of grain, some fruit, but mostly malt and it ends with slight hop on the edges.

Has a good smooth texture, goes down easy but it has alot of body to it.

Well the drinkability is great, I've had the whole growler and am ready to move on to my homebrew cellar. Very smooth and balanced a very sessionable beer.

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Photo of Zodijackyl
4.14/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant and bright gold with an impressive rich and fluffy pure white head. Aroma is tangy, grains of paradise and other light grains, and a touch of lemon zest.

Taste is a very smooth, with crisp, bright malt up front, and lemon zest blended perfectly with the grains. The taste is light, but the natural sweetness of the grains is balanced with the richness, and both are accented by the lemon. The beer is light, as is the flavor, but there is a fullness to the flavor and it doesn't seem to be lacking in any way. Feels smooth and creamy, but neither heavy nor watery.

Incredibly drinkable - although I think I would prefer this in summer, a growler doesn't seem to be too much throughout a winter hockey game on a couch in New England. Steel Rail EPA
it is an excellent balance of its components and an uncommon balance for APAs as nothing is even close to excess.

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Photo of DoreenAndDave
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a thin ivory head. Aroma is mild, Some hops and slightly grassy. Taste is very nice. Smooth with malts up front and a moderately hoppy, citrusey finish. The smooth and citrus sensations remind me of a creamsicle. But in a good way. Mouthfeel is nice and it's very drinkable. This is a nice beer. It's a nice change of pace from the aggressive and hoppy double and extreme IPAs that I often have. Tasty, well balanced, and very refreshing.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy copper with a thin head that fades to a ring.

Smell: Some light maltiness, toasty with a bit of raw sugar, and some leafy hops.

Taste: Toasty malts that move into mild sweetness. The finish has a nice hop bitterness with some spiciness.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, light to medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Balanced, a great session beer.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 64oz growler in a classic conical pint glass

BAside: thanks to a good BA friend for this rare treat!!

Poured crisp & clean. Crisp, light nose, hops fragrant with early spring pine, but also subtle warm pineapple and grapefruit. A faint buttery quality is present and grows in intensity with some air. With more bloom the aforementioned citrus fruits grow even bolder & cleaner...a very nice and pleasing nose.

Head was a good pencil's worth of loose pearl white foam that settled to a sheet overtop one of the palest, dull lemon golden hued bodies I've seen, yet the "speed" (actually lack of) that the few bubbles rising thru it embrace belies a thicker body than the color portrays.

Clean, super balanced, maltier than it looks. Semi-dry in feel with a wet crunchiness, the hops squeak sharply with dull pine & citrus ring, but also quickly and to a point, adding a nice play-off to the surprising full body malt profile. I admit I was not expecting this much backbone based on my visual & aromatic initial observations. This is quite nice in its balance, and is also a bit more hopped than most APAs I've tried.

The semi-dry aspect continues to roll thru to the palate, but fading like a long echo (this is going down very easy, by the way) as it grows a little thicker, more bittersweet (some faint orange butterscotch, anyone?), finally fading away in a leathery, straw-like finish that is bittersweet, filmy, yet clean and subtly citrused...nice.

A very nice APA! Admittedly not my genre of choice, but this was rather enjoyable. I dug the hopped & malted meat on its bones, and it went down very easy. Would pare well with whitefish, lightly seasoned seafood & chicken and most simple pub or summertime grill fare. Now...what to do with those remaining 48ozs? Excuse me, please...

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Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 663 ratings.
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