Humboldt County’s Eel River Brewing has announced its winter seasonal and it turns out to be a black IPA known as Onyx. It debuted as a draft-only experiment in January, but it was so well received at the brewpub in Fortuna that the brewers decided to release it again, this time in 22 oz bombers in addition to its draft form. The beer weighs in at a relatively modest (by the standards of most seasonal monsters) 6.8 percent alcohol by volume and 52 IBUs. They describe it as “a dark malt backdrop and a light hint of coffee, with the first sip revealing the resin packed citrus flavor and aroma of the Pacific Northwest grown hops.” The beer should be on the shelves in late January.
Eel River may not be one of the region’s higher profile breweries, but it is in fact one of the older and enduring ones, founded in 1995, in the midst of the great wave of craft brew that spawned Lagunitas, Bear Republic, and other household names. Eel River bills itself as the first American brewery to go all organic, getting the certificiation for all beers in 1999.
- Sean Scully