Shiner Ruby Redbird - Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

Not Rated.
Shiner Ruby RedbirdShiner Ruby Redbird

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237 Reviews
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Reviews: 237
Hads: 1,141
Avg: 3.1
pDev: 51.29%
Wants: 21
Gots: 266 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 237 | Hads: 1,141
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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a light tangerine color with a fizzy head that fizzles away like a soda. The remaining liquid looks like a deep colored ginger ale, complete with active carbonation.

Smells like ginger ale as well, with a sweet gingery aroma, with undertones of malt. I'm doing a double take at this point to make sure that this is, in fact, a beer and not a soda.

Taste is... odd. Like unsweetened ginger-ale, or ginger-flavored soda water. The carbonation is present in the taste, with a dry maltiness underlying the beer. Absolutely no bitterness exists whatsoever. This is almost more like a lightly flavored malted wine cooler, and not a beer.

Light bodied, heavily carbonated with CO2 and not yeast, this is not the most enjoyable mouthfeel I've ever had.

Can you say chick-beer? Give this a pass, unless slightly flavored soda water is your idea of a beer.

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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..

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BenFS4505
2.2/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was recommended by a clerk in my favorite beer store when another customer asked about it. It sounded appealing because grapefruit and ginger are favorites and I'm open to trying fruit beers. I bought a six-pack to try and what a disappoinment. I like ginger a lot but the bitter ginger flavor in this overpowered all other flavors. I tried a small serving again with friends a few days later during a meal and it was slightly better with food. Others thought it would be good on a hot summer day but I can think of many other beers I'd rather drink as an afternoon cooler. I will defintely pass on this.

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Photo of LordHammer
2.15/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my River Horse glass.

A: Light gold with the faintest hint of pink? Or is that my imagination? Head faded very quickly to nothing.

S: Some sweetness, but the nose is dominated by spice, strangely enough. Just a big ginger smell, maybe a bit of clove. Much more intriguing if this were soda.

T: Bit of sweet malt out front, then a total grapefruit/tart citrus bomb. The ginger is present at the end. Seems to get a little better with each sip, perhaps that's my palate being obliterated?

M: Thin, watery, and highly carbonated. Refreshing? I guess.

O: Hard to call this beer. The fruit and spice flavors are the huge majority of the flavor. I get that it is supposed to be refreshing, but I can't imagine enjoying this no matter how thirsty I was.

EDIT: Based on having a second one out of the bottle whilst hot and sweaty, I've adjusted the scores slightly. Not good, but a bit better.

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Photo of Lahoi
2.15/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I should've known better. Why did I buy a six pack? I could barely finish it. It's not a terrible summer beer, but Im not sure I wouldn't prefer a PBR on a hot summer day. I know I would if I'm buying.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.15/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I poured this seriously nasty brew into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The brew (and I'm calling that because its not beer) was slightly red/pinkish and poured a really weak head. It smelled like coca cola believe it or not and was just about as carbonated tasting. The taste was fruity/sour yuk!. I love Shiner Bock but I'll never put another of these up to my mouth.

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Photo of droomyster
2.1/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Gets off to an unpromising start by topping its orangish golden body with a head as thin and short lived as soda fizz. Aromas are subdued to the point of barely existing. I get a whiff of something like sparkling mineral water, a hint a citrus, and light grains. The grapefruit is only slightly more prominent on the palate. Has flavors of light, nondescript grains, with a few drops of watery fruit punch, with nothing really popping or asserting its presence. I don't detect much in the way of ginger (which the label says it was brewed with). Easily my least favorite of the Shiner lineup.

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Photo of obrike
2.06/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Bought a sixer at Round Rock Specs for 7 bucks...was hoping this might be my easy drinking lawnmower beer this summer...umm, it won't be.

Poured a very light orange...a head that lasted about 14 seconds...absolutely no lacing at all after that...nothing.

Interesting...Smelled like...kinda like a ginger ale or a sprite. Seriously, smelled more like a soda than a beer...maybe a bit of grapefruit...certainly no hint of booze.

What is this? Is it really beer? Is it? Tasted like a watered down ginger ale...not even a good ginger ale at all. Did not taste like beer whatsoever. What the hell are you thinking Shiner?

This is a gimmick beer at best...brewed for people who miss Zima or do not even like to drink beer. I'm upset I bought a sixer...wish i'd only bought a single.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.06/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This sells pretty well at my store, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Pours darker than expected. Like a marzen, light copper/caramel. No head after a burst of bubbles.

Aroma is stale or rotten apple skins with some grapefruit rind thrown in there.

Flavors are worse. The grapefruit certainly isn't ruby red. Maybe green grapefruit skins and pulp. That rotten apple is still there in the background. Provides some sweetness, but the bitterness from citrus rinds is too much.

Too much rind and not enough grapefruit flavor. Although that would be unfavorable, too.

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Photo of Wadsey
2.05/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Ruby Redbird

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours clear pale amber with a fizzy head that fizzles out immediately. Very good effervescence. 

S: Smells like I cracked open a Vernor's. Beyond the ginger ale, I find no additional aromas. 

T: No beer in taste, either. Grapefruit peels to ginger ale then medium bitterness and something like stewed vegetables. Bone dry. Finish is thin and faded ginger and grapefruit bitterness. 

M: Light body and bright carbonation. Fizzy and crisp mouthfeel. 

O: After a couple of drinks of Ruby Redbird, I thought to myself, "Are Texans really drinking this shit?" Honestly, the smell of freshly grated is such a tease when you follow it up with this beer. Gimmicky, one-trick pony. 

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Photo of FLima
2.03/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Amber golden color with a fluffy head that is short lived.
Predominant sweet aroma of oxidized grapefruit juice and ginger.
Soda flavor with artificial notes of grapefruit and mostly ginger, not otherwise.
Dry aftertaste with a very mild bitterness.
Light body with soda like carbonation.
This didn't taste it as beer, it sure tasted as a ginger beer. I was expecting a flavorful grapefruit APA, but it came out as a sugary soda drink. This could have been so much better.

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Photo of thagr81us
2/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Big thanks goes out to Mississipping and StayWhatYouAre2’s dad for sharing this one at a tasting recently! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured golden yellow with a half finger white head that subsided to none extremely quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, ginger, and rice. The flavor was of sweet malt, ginger, wheat, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty bad brew. I was wondering why their dad was laughing as he brought this one out from the garage fridge to share. He even got more of a kick when I went to smell it. This was definitely not what I was looking for when I came to this tasting. The ginger on this one was what made it so bad in my opinion. While I usually like ginger, this one presented it in a way that I did not enjoy at all. Definitely would make a rather amusing prank on someone if you feel the urge, so keep that in mind.

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Photo of BeardedRiker
1.98/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I knew this beer would suck as soon as I heard Shiner had released it. Honestly, I don't wish to bash a Texan brewery but this beer is so God awful that bashing is deserved. Whoever thought it was a good idea to brew this beer needs to be tarred and feathered, at least. "The perfect summer beer," my ass!

Now, the Ruby Redbird doesn't look too too bad...if it was a ginger ale, because that's what it looks like. When a beer looks like a soda and sounds like it when you pour it out it's never a good sign. It has a sort of deep orange color, clear, and the head is overly bubbly. Wait, check that. It's fizzy and recedes quickly and completely. The head is gone before you know it.

How does it smell? It smells awful. I almost didn't drink it because it smelled so bad. Have you ever smelled bathroom cleaner? Well, this smells like grapefruit-smelling cleaner. It doesn't smell natural at all.

As my friend said, it tastes like the sweaty asshole of an illegal migrant worker. Now, I don't know how my friend knows what that tastes like, but if it's an accurate description of the Ruby Redbird then I'll be steering clear of sexual encounters with illegal migrant workers. Hell, I've worked with (possibly) illegal migrant workers and I bet everything I own they'd spit this beer out after tasting it, claiming it to be some evil gringo poison. And I would agree with them. But seriously, all tastes like a soda with grapefruit flavoring. Ginger adds shittiness to the end, not complexity.

It has a light...fizzy body. The carbonation is more like a soda than a beer, as I've emphasized already. I can't really tell if it's drinkable or not because it tastes so bad.

DON'T GET THIS BEER! If this was the last beer on Earth I'd refuse it. Thankfully I chose not to finish the whole thing.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.96/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Clear light golden bronze body with no real head to speak of, just a very thin lace that doesn't stick at all.

Smell - Reminds me of a Squirt softdrink. Maybe a little grapefruit. Very familiar smell, just can't pinpoint it. Maybe a Capri Sun or Hi C...

Taste - Extremely bland. Slight citrus bitter aftertaste. Tastes like seltzer water with an exceedingly small splash of artificial grapejuice.

Mouthfeel - Very slight effervescence. Feels pretty flat overall .

Overall Drinkability - This beer has no redeeming value. It is among the most bland beers I've ever had. Basically a michelob ultra with a worse mouthfeel.

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