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 Zraly
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks a bit like a pilsner. Very clear and pale gold. Soft notes of malt upfront.

Sweet and light, this -- as a pale ale -- is a bit surprising. I'm not a hop head but was expecting a touch more hop presence. A nice honey flavored backbone but a bit more bitterness could offer more balance. Just a touch over light-bodied.

When I think of pale ales, I think of Sierra Nevada as the benchmark. I think this falls a bit short but is certainly not bad. I think it is drinkable and has a certain level of approachability, if you are trying to convert a non-beer drinker into one; this is real ale training wheels. With that said, though, I think this would be a great warmer weather ale when you crave something a touch sweeter.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a glass

Pale golden yellow with slight carbonation. White one finger cap quickly subsides to a scattering of bubbles. Lacing near the liquid but not much.

Aroma of sweet malt, floral hops.

Carbonation on the middle of the tongue, slight bitterness on the back. Well balanced malts and hops, smooth and drinkable. Light mouthfeel.

Very enjoyable beer. Good, fresh and local for me. $3.99 for a bomber. Would probably be good on tap as well.

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Photo of Gatch
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 02/22/14

A: Clear, light golden yellow with a huge bright white foamy head that settles pretty quickly. Good lacing but little retention.

S: Lots of malt with a hint of hops in the finish.

T: Malty and sweet with a nice hop presence. The sweetness is very reminiscent of honey. And the hops are there to make this an accurate representation of an EPA.

M: Might be a bit too sweet for some but I like the pairing of honey and hops. Plenty of carbonation and good flavor and body.

O: Not a hop bomb if you're looking for it. Plenty of malt to make it a truly balanced Pale Ale. A pleasant drinking experience and one that I would recommend. A six pack of cans would be great for almost any situation.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

BEST BY: 03/15/14

A: Pours a yellow color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades down to a very thin cap

S: Some lightly sweet malts and graininess along with a light floral hoppiness. Not really much to it

T: Starts off with a light grainy malt sweetness followed by some floral and earthy hops. Finishes with an extremely light bitterness and a bit of sweetness. Again, not too much going on

M: Light-medum bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Bordering on light beer, it has a little bit of sweetness to go along with a light hop bite. It certainly feels more like 3.5% instead of the 5.3% (which could be a good thing). It makes for a good 'session beer' than anything else, with some decent flavor and great drinkability. Nab a 6-pack or bomber if it's fresh and you just want to relax and have a few

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Photo of beergoot
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pale, wheat straw yellow body with a barely perceptible white head. Light biscuit and straw aroma. Warm, toasty taste and feel; smooth bitterness; slight tang. Medium bodied; clean and dry.

A fair little number but kind of disjointed as far as appearance and taste. The head just fizzes away after about 30 seconds although the body's color is nice. Flavor and aroma are there although nothing special. Decent balance overall but lacks depth and complexity. Still quite tasty and enjoyable, but could use some work.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

not much too this one, and a major let down after how good the dark wheat was last night. maybe it was crappy tap lines at the umass u-pub, but it poured totally flat. honey colored and thin, no bubbles or head at all, not real appetizing. the nose is decent, generic mix of light pale malt and c variety hops, but its all balanced up. the flavor too is nothing really to speak of, I mean, a refreshing hop forward beer with a light body and a dry finish, but not anything distinct to any of it, nothing stands out, it bores me to tears. more carbonation is needed, maybe the bottled version is better? I am still holding out hope that this lost sailor ipa is going to kick butt!

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Photo of Dools9
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Can, BB 02/22/14

A: Pours a golden yellow with a frothy two finger head, lots of carbonation, head retains well, a nice looking ale.

S: Bready crust, biscuity crackery malt, some clean earthy/floral hop spice. Clean is the best word to describe it.

T; Grainy, biscuity malt, just a touch of a earthy floral hop presence.

M: Lighter end of medium, drinks pretty smooth.

O: No frills, simple yet pretty tasty. I like that BBC is venturing into the canning world.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - On tap in a 22 ounce frozen glass at Uno's. I hate when they freeze my glass, I froze my hands trying to warm it up a bit before drinking. Best as I could tell the beer was a nice color, once the beer wamed up a bit it looked to be leaving nice lacing on the glass.

S - Could barely detect a smell. See Appearance.

T - Definitely a better-than-average Pale Ale. Nice malty character with barely any hops coming through.

M - Again, once it wamed up a little this one felt really nice.

O - This is on of my go-to's when I see it on the menu and I plan on having food. It goes well with anything, especially after losing several golf balls over nine holes, which was the case on this day.

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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 garuda
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No freshness dating

A - Hazed gold body, white head has good retention and some lacing.

S/T - Light hop presence, mostly floral in the nose, with more of a pine taste with a little citrus. Bready malts, a little doughy, light toasted grains. Touches of off flavors butter and acetone here and there, didn't really affect the drink too bad though.

M - Medium body, crisp carbonation and finish.

O - Standard pale, not bad, but not particularly memorable either.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.79/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured chilled on draft at Sacco's candlepin bowling

A: very thin head, no lacing
S: light, lemony, fruity
T: lemony, more like a summer lager than a pale ale; not very hoppy; alcohol nicely balanced against flavor
M: flat

Didn't finish it, but glad I tried it

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a lightly hazed golden color with a two finger white head. The head fades relatively fast to leave a moderate level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is sweet with strong notes of a caramel and butterscotch nature. Mixed with this is a lightly roasted bready aroma as well.

Taste – A sweet malty flavor greets the tongue. The biscuit flavored maltiness is mixed with a heavy dose of caramel. As the flavor advances on, the roasted flavor begins to lose their strength, with flavors of butterscotch and light fruits as well as hoppy flavor (which is quite light) working their way into the flavor profile. The taste finishes leaving a rather satisfying flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with the carbonation level that is very appropriate. Both good and tasty.

Overall – A very easy to drink and quite enjoyable brew. One to try if you get a chance.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a very hazy lemony pale yellow gold with a nice finger wide head of white soapy bubbles. This could definitely be a dehydrated piss beer. The head fizzles away to a thin skimming on the top of the beer quite quickly but there is some great fanged lacing drizzling down the sides of the glass. It smells like sour sweet bread with a wonderful spicy background aroma that reminds me more of a saison or a wit than of a pale ale. The sour sweet damp smell could be hops peaking through, but they might also be the sweet malts. The beer tastes very bready with an almost bubble gum-like citrus burst in the middle of the taste, which mellows into a ghost of itself in the after taste with some nice biscuitiness as the main flavor. This seems more like an English Pale Ale to me as the hops are not the main thing in this brew, and only a part of its complexly balanced flavor. The mouth feel is a little harsh with carbonation in the initial sip, but mellows out into a slight prickle coating over the inner mouth and a raspy wet feel on the tongue that is slightly dry. Overall this is a very sessionable ale that sits right above the “session-line.” Nothing is very dominant in the flavor, which gives it a great balanced feeling. I could drink a lot of these I just am not sure if I want to…

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Photo of RTEdmunds
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As the name suggests, it is very pale! Almost a greenish hue to it. The head dissipates pretty quickly.

Smells of honeydew and grains. Aroma is pleasant and sweet, but a little mild.

Fruity flavor. Reminds me of melon or cantaloupe? I would like a little more of a hops presence.

Exceptionally smooth, with a clean finish. Chewy and very drinkable.

It's a little bit mild. But it's quite nice and well balanced. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a mug, the beer is hazy, muddled goldenrod color with no head whatsoever. Aromas of roasted grains and a touch of honey sweetness, with a light hopping. Flavors are toasted cereal grains with a floral highlight and sugary sweet toffee blend. Slight, inconsistent layering of cling on the glass, the beer has a medium body that is smooth. Aftertaste is rich and sweet, with a slightly cloying finish. The beer has more of an English Pale feel to it than anything.

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Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy light gold with a small white cap that forms a solid collar. Solid tubes of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of fruity peach, apricots, and citrus.
Taste is of the aromas with a fruity blast of melon and apple.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and chewy on the finish.

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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 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 jb413
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear, golden hue with lots of rising bubbles. About a finger and a half of white foamy head that lasted a little before leaving a thin ring. Great lacing all the way down.

S - Butterscotch candy is very noticeable. Caramel and maple hints as well. Breadiness. Hops are light and there.

T - Sweet in the front with a nice pale malty backdrop. Some of the caramel/butterscotch from the nose. Fruity hints and bready body. Then the hops come in, floral and herbal and balanced as they duke it out with the malt in the bittersweet finish.

MF - Lighter side of medium-bodied, well-matched carbonation. Buttery and smooth. Pretty drinkable.

O - A well-rounded, nicely balanced pale. A solid pick at the price.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Crystal clear amber color. Creamy white head is thick and prominent. Excellent retention. Lots of sticky lacing coats the glass.

S: Sweet on the nose with lots of pale malt. Doughy and grainy with hints of husk. Gritty, earthy yeast. Kiss of floral hops. Simple, but good.

T: Taste basically follows the nose to a tee. Starts off sweet and rife with grainy pale malt tastes and a hint of grain husk. Hop bitterness kicks in mid-palate and provides some balance, though maybe not quite enough. Gritty, earthy yeast plays an integral role, and is far from just background noise. Sweet, doughy, grainy finish.

M: Light bodied. Foamy and a bit creamy. Moderate carbonation. Maybe a very slight husky astringency.

O: A very simple beer. Decent, if you can take it for what it is. Still, I find it a little too sweet. A bit more balance and a more prominent hop profile might do it some good. But why change it? It's the flagship beer, and it is very well known and loved as it is around these parts. It's worth a try, but don't expect anything fancy.

Notes: It actually paired quite well with a meatball grinder.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cloudy straw color. Head simmers down to simply a ring of white. Leaves lacing dots along the glass.

S-Mostly sweet and malty. Not much hop aroma here. Pleasant nose. Neither intense nor complex, but smells like a good sip.

T-Sweet with a very humble overall flavor. The finish is this beer's high point. Mild hop flavors. Sweet and a bit fruity. Light yeast. Easy to drink.

M-Lighter body with high carbonation. Not much in the way of bitterness. Lightly sticky.

O/D-A nondescript Pale Ale. I enjoyed this on-tap. Would never pick this out an expanded tap-list, but worth a try. And its local.

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Photo of beer2day
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very pale lemon pour. 1.5 fingers of white head and decent retention, with a 1/2 finger left at the end of the draw. Thin lace. Medium carbonation. Not a fan of the pale color, but have to appreciate the head retention.

Bread dough nose with hints of grape. Little in the way of a hop note.

More bread dough in the taste. Understated grape and a bit of plum. Bits of yeast show through the dough flavor. Way more bread than anything else here. Getting light lemon in the finish.

Feel is decent, with malt body from all that bread dough. Fairly uninteresting, though.

Overall, a pass.

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Photo of tylerprince
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a $55 pint glass...apparently they make these; my dad bought a pair for some reason.

A: Pours a hazy yellow copper. Extremely thin white head, but with good retention. Leaves behind a little bit of lacing. Resins float around at the bottom.

S: Smells like a Belgian. Lots of sweet malts/honey up front, finishing with a faint scent of floral hops with some citrus. Not what I would expect from an extra pale.

T: Sweet. Just way too sweet. Starts off all honey and ends tobacco, with a bit of citrus throughout. Leaves a sweet aftertaste.

M: Very low carbonation, which I would normally appreciate, but the sheer sweetness and fullness of this beer demands some more CO2. A tad chewy...a weird quality for a PA.

O: Disappointed, again, by a brewery that I remembered as one of the best on the east coast before I started reviewing on BA. I'm starting to think BBC just doesn't make beers for hopheads.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange with a big bubbly head. It goes away quickly and leaves a couple bubbles floating around. Fresh, pale, biscuit malts for the nose. Floral and grassy hops in the back. Body is medium/light. Flavor is smooth caramel malts. Some of the biscuit malts from the nose are present. Earthy, floral hops pop up after the beer goes down. Not dry or overly bitter. Flavorful hop profile with a strong malty rich backing. Nice beer to have a few rounds of hanging out at the bar.

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Photo of philbe311
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A finger's and a half worth of fluffy slightly airy pure white colored head... Decent retention gives way to a full creamy lacing... The color is a pale lemony yellow straw color with an ever so slight haziness... A moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation... Just a tad of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Some crisp grainy notes... Some sweet lemon lime notes... Some green grapes... Some golden raisins... Some grassy and gay notes... A bit musky...

T - Interesting floral notes... Some faint lemon zest... Doughy light biscuit... Perhaps some grape and golden raisin accents...

M - Light to medium bodied... A bit of lushness... Very muted carbonation... Sleek and a bit sticky... Not thin, but perhaps it feels bit flat...

D - An average at best American Pale Ale... Lots of interesting aromas and flavors, but I'm not sure they add up to much of anything...

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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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