Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Shiner Ruby Redbird - Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

Not Rated.
Shiner Ruby RedbirdShiner Ruby Redbird

Educational use only; do not reuse.

237 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 237
Hads: 1,140
Avg: 3.1
pDev: 51.29%
Wants: 21
Gots: 264 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.01% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wagenvolks on 03-17-2011

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 237 | Hads: 1,140
Photo of Klassicchris
2.24/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Strong smell of grapefruit and ginger. Called the perfect summer beer but I have had many that were better. I generally prefer dark beer and reds but this red didn't work. Taste was unpleasant and fruit overpowered the beer. Bad aftertaste. Prefer regular Shiner to this. Not for me and I like just about any beer..

 315 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.24/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a lifeless deep gold bordering copper, no head or retention. Aroma of grated citrus peel and ginger, light malts. In the flavor, twangy ginger, yeast and sour citrus. Flaccid bitterness and bone dry. Over carbonated, too much grapefruit, not enough balance. Unless you love dry grapefruit juice, I'd select a different beer than this.

 340 characters

Photo of enusbaum
2.24/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'd heard mixed reviews of this beer from folks around town and needless to say the almost bi-polar reviews on here intrigued me. Like another reviewer before me, I've never actually written a review on BA for anything, but felt that I should chime in on this one.

A: Poured into a pint glass straight down the middle looking for a head to really release the aroma. About a 1/2 finger head was present for a few seconds before quickly dissipating. Has a nice amber color and visible carbonation.

S: Fresca. No joke. You get a nose full of citrus-y grapefruit which I think it just amped up by the ginger.

T: The first thing I noticed about this beer as it hit the tongue was the carbonation. Next you get a mouthful of grapefruit and citrus notes. Mild, mild hops are present but are just blown away by the grapefruit. Leaves a bitter citrus aftertaste on the back of the tongue.

M: Light and heavy carbonation. Like drinking a 7-Up or Fresca.

O: I'm not sure where I stand on this one. Compared to other "fruit beers" such as Dogfish Head Aprihop or Magic Hat #9, this is falls terribly short. I wouldn't put it in the same flavor category as a Lambic due to how watered down this would taste in comparison.

The closest comparison I can think of would be Miller 64 with a slice ruby red grapefruit added. Very drinkable, but worth it?

Opinions are mixed though. Some people really love it, and some like myself feel let down. All in all, I'd at least say give it a try and reach your own opinion.

 1,504 characters

Photo of TucsonTom
2.28/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I wanted to like this beer, really I did.

I like Citra hops, and right there on the back label is says Citra, Cascade and Mt. Hood are used; all excellent. So, I'm thinking: "Ruby red grapefruit with Citra ... what a wonderful, tangy combination!" Then there's the 4% ABV, which is right up the alley I've been walking lately: beers with 5% ABV or less. And to cap it off, Shiner's stuff is often on sale for $4.99 a sixer.

But I should have gone to the Shiner website before my purchase. The Ruby Redbird webpage says nothing about the hops used, AND THE IBUS ARE ONLY 13. THIRTEEN?? What'd you do, Spoetzl, pass an open baggie of hops over the kettle like you do with Vermouth when making a super-dry martini? I found little hop presence, as a 13 IBU wound suggest. But why promote hops on the label when their contribution to smell and taste are hardly noticeable?

The color is actually very nice; looks like filtered apply juice. I did find the grapefruit and ginger in the smell and taste ... BUT NO DARN HOPS! It was also about as flat as apple juice; no carbonation to speak of.

The more I think of it, the more I think the mention of any hops at all on the back label is deceptive advertising. Either fix the beer with more hops, Spoetzl, or print up some new labels that promote this beer for what it really is: a grapefruit/ginger beer.

 1,350 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
2.31/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Shiner Ruby Redbird pours to a light golden/straw color with almost no foam and very little carbonation. Even an aggressive pour in the center of a glass does little to improve the appearance and no matter how much foam you get, it fizzles away in less than a minute.

This beer has a nose that features light spice and citrus. The flavor follows suit, with the taste of ginger, lemon and grapefruit, and pale malt. The beer has a light, clear body and is sweet overall, even though it finishes a little bit on the tart side.

Shiner Ruby Redbird might serve well as a summer refresher and I would surmise that most who buy it and consume it do so for this reason because other than a means to cool off, I cannot find much memorable about this beer. It does have potential and I like the combination of citrus and ginger. But the glimpses of flavor have an almost teasing characteristic. You like what you taste, but you wish there was more and you are left puzzled at the end, wondering why Shiner didn’t add more ingredients when the brewery formulated this beer.

The taste of this beer is certainly a letdown, but I also have an issue with the appearance. It has very little carbonation and no head of foam, making it look more like a glass of tea than a serious malt beverage. This, coupled with the lack of much body or flavor, make Shiner Ruby Redbird a beer to avoid.

 1,378 characters

Photo of AdvocateFan
2.33/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light, just a few steps off from being refreshing/thirst-quenching. Grapefruit is prominent, but not as satisfying as I'd hoped for. Ginger kicks a bit of spice. No alcohol flavor detected. Notes of lemon zest/rind. Spritzy (very highly carbonated.)

Best way to sum this up is "Zima reincarnated." Not kidding. Maybe a touch of Tequiza too... Definitely alcopoppy.

I applaud the brewery's continued efforts to add more beers to their line up. Shiner is a trusted TX brand and these excursions help turn people on to drinking better beer and to not fear exploration. But this one I will not be purchasing again. Can't win 'em all!

 633 characters

Photo of sokol_1993
2.33/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Smell: Totally of ginger, did not feel any grapefruit. Smelled like ginger ale

Taste: Has some ginger ale taste to it, but extremely bland. Could taste something on the tip of my tongue, but the rest of my tongue just felt like some liquid had passed through it without any taste at all

Feel: Somewhat viscous, but that's about it.

I won't probably have it again. Taste like bland ginger ale.

 396 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.33/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear light gold color, with less than a half-inch of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing.

The aroma was fairly neutral and bland, certainly a bit of grapefruit but no real beer scent. The beer had a bit more grapefruit on the tongue and a moderate amount of basic beer taste came through, in a very subdued manner.

The body was very thin and just a little sticky. Drinkability was OK, but with the beer being so blah, why would you several? Overall, nothing special. Try it if you like grapefruit, otherwise drink something else.

 592 characters

Photo of wahhmaster
2.34/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, apple-juice color. Has a thin, fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately and leaves absolutely no head or lacing. It looks more like sparkling cider than beer.

Smell: Smells very strongly of ginger backed by some grapefruit.

Taste: Has a very mild bitterness up front that develops into a strong ginger taste. Has a grapefruit juice flavor towards at the back with a mild acerbic feel.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and crisp.

Overall: This beer might be a little too gimmicky to work well. The ginger flavor is unappealing and completely overpowers whatever else might have been in this beer. The grapefruit might've worked on its own if it had been allowed to. Unfortunately, the ginger and grapefruit also take away from this beer's drinkability, dooming it as an effective summer seasonal. Skip this one...

 914 characters

Photo of diamondc
2.35/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz single for about a $1.50

A: Looked great at the beginning, a really dense head, but then it just petered out in a blink of an eye.

S: Artificial grapefruit, not getting much ginger here. Almost reminds me of bathroom/kitchen disinfectant.

T: The malts are so weak, there is no hop. All there is is fizziness and bitter non-juicy grapefruit. The worst tasting ginger flavor lingers long after a sip. Terrible.

M: Really fizzy, might be thirst quenching in Texas weather.

O: Can't recommend this one at all. I don't know what Shiner was thinking. Smokehaus was leaps better than this.

 595 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
2.35/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Grapefruit in beer seems to really be catching on. Shiner comes out with their version of a grapefruit beer, which in fact gave me the suggestion of another beverage. At 4.01% alcohol by volume, this is, by a whisker, NOT a true session beer. Coming from a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

I'm not sure if I'm looking at ale or ginger ale, as this among the most dullest beers I've seen. It looks like a de-fizzed soda with a squirt of visible bubbles. There's no head, the body looking still, and the color a faded orange. But its smell has something. I don't get grapefruit, but I get a good kick of pleasing ginger. Gosh, it smells like a ginger ale. Where's the beer?

Ruby Redbird sort of redeems itself as a beverage, as it tastes like a beer with added flavors. There's a generic dry pale malt backbone carrying a small springboard of red grapefruit and ginger. It tastes like a radler, and the taste isn't so bad. It's a light bodied beer with bubbles that remind me of soda.

Credit Shiner for trying, but let's bring out the shotgun, kill the Redbird, and walk back to the laboratory.

 1,096 characters

Photo of grittybrews
2.36/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured the color of light apple cider into a pint glass with a finger of fluffy white head. Medicinal aroma of ginger ale and grapefruit.

Lowish carbonation and a thin mouthfeel. Ginger up front followed by light grain and grapefruit (but not the hoppy kind).

Love the flavor combination in theory, but this wasn't for me (the wife enjoyed it, though). Tasted like flat ginger ale and dish soap.

 397 characters

Photo of Bills453
2.37/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - no head retention whatsoever. Looks a bit watery.

Smell - sweet. Citrus. Very lemony smell!

Taste - unfortunately not much of a taste, and anything I do get isn't very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - average

Overall - I will not have this again.

 253 characters

Photo of beerdiablo
2.4/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a love-hate beer and I find myself in the hate camp and surprised to see it still on store shelves.

The body and taste is "watery"/thin -plenty of citrus yet is more like a lager than a radler/shandy. I do enjoy the citrus aspect of hops and like grapefruit -which is showcased in this beer but the flavor comes from the fruit and not the hops in the case of Shiner Ruby Redbird. Perhaps as a Pale ale with grapefruit the beer would be more appealing.

 460 characters

Photo of csiewert
2.42/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear amber color with no head whatsoever. The aroma is strong with Ginger and grapefruit. The taste is similar to a Ginger ale and not much else. The mouthfeel is overcarbonated and dry. Overall an interesting idea for a beer style, but poorly executed.

 272 characters

Photo of mralphabet
2.44/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured a golden color.... no head, no lacing... Not a good start... looks flat.. giving a 1.5 because it looks a little like beer.

S: I'm getting the grapefruit right up front.... little hint of ginger.

T: OK, the ginger and malt hit first.... when a wave of tart grapefruit hits you and it hits hard... Finish is pretty clean with a little tart after taste.. Not much else here.

M: Light to mid bodied with no carbonation. A little flat.

O: Strangely not a horrible beer... I'm thinking I got a bad beer here... The tartness of the grapefruit was a little different from most fruit beers I've had.

 642 characters

Photo of gillagorilla
2.45/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Orange copper color with no head or lacing. A lot of bubbles stuck to the side initially.

S: I just get malty citrus in the form of grapefruit, plus a a tinge of ginger.

T: Grapefruit flavored ale, period. Ugh. As I was eyeing it up, a person in the aisle grabbed a six pack and said that he loved it, so I figured that would be the last one in my mix six.

M: Smooth, with just a bit of carbonation.

O: This was a letdown. I'd recently had Harpoon's Big Squeeze, which is a shandy with grapefruit juice and I'd loved it. But this is billed as a fruit/vegetable beer, so I guess that is the big difference. Anyways, not a fan and didn't finish it (cooked with it instead).

 726 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
2.47/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Clear amber color, with a non-existent head. This essentially looks like slightly carbonated green tea.

Has quite a subtle smell with the grapefruit being surprisingly subdued, at least considering my expectations. The label also notes that there is some ginger added - which is definitely noticeable. Overall a gentle, yet easily appreciated scent.

While I thought the ginger was fairly subtle in the smell, it utterly dominates the taste. The grapefruit is noticeable, but does not steal the show as it is subdued by the ginger, besides making an appearance a second or two.

The carbonation is quite heavy, with both the hops and malts being lacking. Easy to drink, hard to love.

 685 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
2.48/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Nice looking reddish amber. Heavy carbonation present. Little/no lace or head.

S: Big ginger over a pale malt aroma. A little medicinal/antiseptic.

T: I love the taste of both ginger and grapefuit but this is not very good. Finishes metallic. Like weak ginger beer and pine sol.

M: Highly carbonated and invigorating.

D: Never again. "Fool me once..."

I really don't like or understand these novelty beers that have no direction or purpose.

 448 characters

Photo of homebrew311
2.48/5  rDev -20%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pours a medium amber with a pinkish hue. Zero head upon pour, looks like a glass of fruit juice. The nose feature musty grainy notes paired with notes of wheat, vegetal notes reminiscent of squash, no real discernible grapefruit. The taste is a mess. It starts with tart citric grapefruit notes which are undercut by strong husky grain flavor. No hops to speak of, and no real balance between flavors. Mouthfeel is absent of appropriate carbonation... all I get is a bit of prickle sensation, but it seems out of place. Overall, not impressed. A grapefruit beer with citrus hops would be way more exciting than this, all we get here is an artificial tasting lackluster brew.

 674 characters

Photo of bmwats
2.5/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint.

A: Dark amber hue. Lots of rising effervescence. Pours a slight, bubbly head, which disappears quickly. No lacing.

S: Malt, grapefruit, and copious amounts of ginger.

T: Tastes like it smells. Bitter pecan shells, fruit pith, and raw ginger.

M: Light body, syrupy palate-coating feel. Bitter finish. Kind of washed out and shallow.

D: Session.

Atmosphere is okay. Dark amber, with rising effervescence that eventually taps out, very slight head, and no lacing. Grains with lots of ginger and some grapefruit. Bitter fruit and raw ginger. Overall, this is a serviceable quaff.

 621 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
2.5/5  rDev -19.4%

A: clear; bronze; less than 1 finger of white head that receded quickly to almost no sign of any carbonation;

S: muted; what was there was ginger, with a touch of grapefruit in the background;

T: like flat, watered down ginger ale; I really had to search for the grapefruit;

M: medium bodied; light carbonation;

O: not much positive to say; I expect a fruit beer to distinctly smell like the fruit it's brewed with - not the case here; also, even without real red grapefruit, it's so easy to impart grapefruit flavor in a beer with hops; finally, my bottle was poorly carbonated;

 584 characters

Photo of LXIXME
2.52/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a small off white to light tan head that quickly fades into nothing above a clear carbonated honey golden colored beer.

Aroma is laced with ginger and lemon with some other fruits coming through, maybe grapefruit, with a very light washed out grassy malt hint.

Taste is more ginger, lemon, washed out sweet malts, with other light citrus fruits coming through.

Not very impressed with this outing from Spoetzl.

 424 characters

Photo of videofrog
2.54/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date on bottle.

A: Apple juice. 1/2 finger white head dissipated almost instantly. No carbonation bubbles rising.

S: Ginger and grapefruit. As advertised.

T: Grapefruit bitterness and tartness with a bit of the ginger there, too. Citrus hops are in the background.

M: Thin. Also lacking in carbonation.

O: Not on par with last two Shiner seasonals (Winter Warmer & Dortmunder). I worry that I may have gotten a bad bottle from an HEB make your own 6 pack. But no skunk or oxidation symptoms. I totally missed the Munich malt and the Mt. Hood & Cascade hops mentioned on the back label.

 643 characters

Photo of RandyWood
2.55/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Amber/Gold, almost no head and what head is there dissipates quickly with no lacing.

S-Grapefruit/Ginger. It kinda reminds me of lemon lime Alka Seltzer.

T-Citrus/Ginger. Similar to Zima.

M-Dry with good carbonation.

O-If your are really hot and thirsty, you can pound these like water. Good beer for cutting grass. The fruity taste may appeal to women.

 359 characters

Shiner Ruby Redbird from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
72 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.