Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale: The Beer That Started BeerAdvocate

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Aug 23, 2021.

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  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Admin (17,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Society

    #1 BeerAdvocate, Aug 23, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2021
    DVMin98, Jacobier10, palma and 34 others like this.
  2. tone77

    tone77 Poo-Bah (6,816) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Great article. This beer was just added to my "wants" list.
     
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  3. Damian

    Damian Poo-Bah (3,253) Jun 1, 2006 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Very cool! Berkshire Brewing were some of the first craft beers I ever tried. You’ve inspired me to go back and revisit them as well.
     
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  4. NYR-Zuuuuc

    NYR-Zuuuuc Disciple (358) Jan 1, 2013 Connecticut

    Thanks Todd, that’s tremendous. I was just there a few weeks ago. They open the old Tap room for a few hours on Thursday. Super nice people and a really fun time. Really enjoyed it. We made an “outdoor” visit during Covid and also had a great time. Right across from Yankee Candle for anybody visiting there and also right down the street from the new Deerfield Tree House spot. I recommend stopping in if you are close and seeing one of the Pioneers of early craft beer.
     
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  5. timobkg

    timobkg Aspirant (263) Aug 24, 2006 New Jersey

    Thanks for sharing the cool story!

    And, of course, I love Berkshire Brewing Company's Steel Rail - one of the first craft beers I had in college. As broke college students we'd make a the occasional special trip out to the Freight Yard Pub in North Adams, MA, just because they had Steel Rail on tap.

    I had the fortunate opportunity to try it again a few years ago when I ran across cans of it on a trip to upstate NY (I didn't recognize it at first since the label had changed so much, and I was used to only seeing it in bombers). Much to my surprise it was just as delicious as I remembered.

    If only they distributed to South Jersey...
     
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  6. Brew-Monk

    Brew-Monk Initiate (38) May 21, 2019 England

    Ah the days... A Steel Rail Pale Ale at Amy's in Easthampton Mass. Must have been the winter of 2010. NFL game day, and whatever pub food that happened to be on special.

    It's about half a world away from where I am at now, but that was a special beer in those days.
     
  7. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,920) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

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  8. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,899) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    Yep.
     
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  9. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (455) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    BBC is still one of the old-school breweries that passes under the radar.
    They still do what they've always done, and do it well.
    Every time I have one of their beers I always enjoy it and say to myself that I need to get back into them...
     
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  10. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Savant (906) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota
    Society

    Thank you Todd! Top shelf. Saw it on FB ystrdy. Tip Top Cheers to you friend!! BA is awesome. and the new logo is alluring and ideal. Brilliant timing.
     
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  11. hopley

    hopley Meyvn (1,464) Feb 24, 2010 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Thanks Todd, I have a soft spot for Berkshire Brewing as they probably got me into craft beer as well. I haven’t had one in years either, but used to love buying their bombers and tried them all, and had a huge allegiance to their Octoberfest, which was one of those beers I rated a 5 in the days before you split up the attributes. Around this time of the year for a few years I’d buy several, or enough to last through the fall, which took up way too much room in the fridge... Maybe I’ll revisit it this year for old times sake, but there was just something about those big brown bombers with the orange label that will always stick with me. Cheers!
     
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  12. Amendm

    Amendm Savant (987) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island
    Society

    Cool history report, I've got my eyes peeled for some more Life on Marzen and another ride through the Hoosac Tunnel would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.
     
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  13. sloejams

    sloejams Crusader (739) Oct 8, 2004 Oregon
    Trader

    I too have fond memories of that beer from my time in Western MA.
     
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  14. SpdKilz

    SpdKilz Poo-Bah (1,694) Jan 8, 2009 Illinois
    Society Trader

    As I celebrate my 13th year using BA (I didn't register until January of 2009 but was lurking fall of 2008) I love these stories. My first two craft beers I purchase were SA Oktoberfest (just got a 6 pack tonight) and Jack's Pumpkin Spice. At the time I thought they were the same type of beer as they were coming out in fall. Needless to say it got me hooked and here I am 13 years later still loving this website and re-reading my reviews to see how far I have come loving beer. Cheers all!
     
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  15. 57md

    57md Poo-Bah (3,271) Aug 22, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Very cool. I was in grad school at UMass at that time. Silent Cal's was my place in Northampton.

    Thanks for sparking some good memories!
     
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  16. Rug

    Rug Meyvn (1,354) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Funnily enough I went through a similar thing. Got into beer in 2018 but was learning for a while. When fall rolled around I assumed it was called an Oktoberfest because of pumpkins. Pumpkins. October. I'm not proud of that one :rolling_eyes:
     
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  17. therealbeerfly

    therealbeerfly Initiate (15) Jan 8, 2003 Pennsylvania

    The last time I stopped by Berkshire, about 5 years ago, Gary started hollering "Lew Bryson in the house!" Told the bartenders my money was no good. Awesome. Had a four hour drive ahead of me. Had a Steel Rail, an Incognito, shook hands all round, and hit the road. Love th guys. Cheers to the Alströms and 25 years of Beer advocate!!
     
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  18. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,794) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    That’s ok, many “Pumpkin” Ales don’t even use real pumpkin and come out in August now.

    And a lot of people think “Oktober”fest is in October, when most of it occurs in September.
     
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  19. Rug

    Rug Meyvn (1,354) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    You make some good points haha
     
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  20. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (460) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I remember when I'd pick up Berkshire in their growlers at the package store. They make some incredibly solid classic styles that I immensly enjoy. A few of their beer's are my go-to's during seasonal transitions since they fit the time of year for me so perfectly. They'll always be a staple in my fridge.
     
  21. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (328) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    I am so glad you did this Todd. I hope the craft brewing returns to basics. Pale Ales, Porters, Stouts & Lagers. Return to brewing the highest quality BEER not bubble-gum raspberry carbonated water with alcohol added.

    I am not opposed to adjuncts they have always been part of brewing, I would like to see some Classic American Cream Ale and Classic American Pilsner brewed with corn like they were before prohibition.
     
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  22. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,655) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I concur, which is to say I agree, absolutely, yeah.
     
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  23. pbrian

    pbrian Crusader (721) Feb 8, 2001 Connecticut

    Awesome Todd. I love BBC. Heck, back in the early 2000's I had a refrigerator/kegerator that I would almost exclusively have BBC beers on tap. Most often their Lost Sailor IPA. I would drive up to Table and Vine in W Springfield to get it before it was available in CT. Anyho, your review brings back some good memories.
     
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  24. SawDog505

    SawDog505 Poo-Bah (6,110) Apr 9, 2010 New Hampshire
    Society

    My first review almost 11 years ago, was Sierra Nevada Fritz and Ken’s 30 year Imperial Stout and it was awful, not the beer but my review. Thanks @Todd and @Jason for changing the beer culture 25 years ago. Cheers
     
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  25. palma

    palma Defender (647) Dec 14, 2003 New York

    Love this reminiscing; and I remember reading that review back in 2001 when I started on BA
     
    Todd likes this.
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