Commercial Beer Review: Steelhead Extra Pale Ale


Brewery: Mad River Brewing Co.,  Blue Lake CA

Beer: Steelhead Extra Pale Ale

Description: The original Extra Pale Ale, this is the one that started it all. Our first brew was introduced in 1989 in Golden Gate style kegs. We have stayed true to our beginnings and still brew it the way we did back then. A bright golden hued ale with a medium body and a crisp spicy /floral hop character and very mild bitterness. This unfiltered ale has a pleasing mouth feel and remains our most popular brew. This beer goes with everything and every occasion.

Review: With a name like Mad River Brewing Co. out of Blue Lake, CA I expected a moderate to highly hopped beer with cascade/Amarillo hop dominating.   However, this is a more balanced pale ale leaning toward the more maltier side of the pale ale category.  The beer is all about balance – the hops are present but not overpowering.  I get a “hot” off flavor which is indicative of a higher than desired fermentation temperature and is slightly unpleasant.  The beer itself isn’t undrinkable but is disappointing as a west cost pale ale.  I probably would not recommend to friends but would definitely choose it over a cheap commercial beer.

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