Eco-Living Magazine

Review of Organic IPA from Eel River Brewing Company

Posted on the 07 October 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Review of Organic IPA from Eel River Brewing CompanyAfter a long lay off, Revolutionary Spirits returns with its latest column reviewing a beer from Eel River Brewing Company (ERB), the first certified organic brewery in the United States. ERB is nestled in the town of Fortuna, in Humboldt County, California. Humboldt County is traditionally known for another type of herbal refreshment, however it is now home to a number of award winning craft breweries (interestingly enough, all containing “river” in their names). Started in 1995 by home brewers and friends Ted Vivatson and Margaret Frigon, ERB began winning national recognition and hardware a mere two years after its incorporation by snagging the Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Ravensbrau Porter. In 1999, they started brewing their organic Amber Ale, and have since added six other beers to their organic repertoire.

The beer on review is ERB’s Organic IPA, poured from a 22 oz. bottle. The beer poured a cloudy golden orange/copper, not unlike a brand new penny; it created some decent, if not thin head, but left solid lacing. It smelled a bit earthy with citrusy sweet overtones, similar to fresh cut young pine. The IPA had very good mouthfeel, low carbonation, smooth, not syrupy, as a more carbonated cask ale would have. The taste is mildly hoppy, but offset by a malty, caramel sweetness. The balance is appreciated, and although it is 7.2% ABV, this IPA is dangerously smooth. As IPAs are concerned, this is certainly a milder, British style IPA, rare for a Northern California brew.

Overall, many will not be impressed with this beer, as it plays against big, hoppy, West Coast types, but if you like mellow British-style IPAs, such as Deuchars, you may like ERB Organic IPA. Unfortunately, it appears as if ERB distributes primarily on the West Coast, so it could be tough to get for those back East.

RateBeer review: 3.18/5
Beer Advocate: 3.35/5

Eel River Brewery website


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