Ruth - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

Not Rated.

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617 Ratings

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Ratings: 617
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 14.93%
Wants: 34
Gots: 27 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

A light and refreshing American Ale, made with pale malt and crystal hops. She was inspired by my Mother's Mother, Granny Ruth because of her love and support. Don't be Ruthless. Have one on Granny.

40 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 617 | Reviews: 349
Reviews by facundoCNB:
Photo of facundoCNB
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

first off, a screw off cap from such a highly rated brewery?? i'm confused. i pour this bottle into a tulip and it comes out a mango-like orange in color with tons of sediment floaties and a finger of head. i am not impressed. the smell is very citrusy with some bready malt. nothing interesting. the flavor is a bitter fruit-like flavor, grassy hops, caramel, kind of earthy bitterness. medium in body, low carbonation - i'll give it this much, it was refreshing and crisp.

not honestly all that impressed with my first experience from this brewery.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – The deep orange body was nice to look at, but the smallish head faded quickly. This is the only HOTD that I’ve seen do that. Maybe I got a bad bottle?

Smell – Lots of yeast in the nose of this one. I think there are some other smells in there, but I wasn’t able to get past the bready aroma.

Taste – Big, bready yeast takes this ale over right away. There’s strong alcohol notes in there too, which is odd because this isn’t one of the big 10 ABVs that this brewery puts out. There are some bitter hops up front, but very little gets to the taste buds before the yeast takes over.

Mouthfeel – The lack of significant carbonation and one-sided flavors didn’t do much to help this one down.

Drinkability – Only those into big yeast, like me, will come back for seconds.

Comments – I happen to enjoy overly yeast-laden ales, so this one will stay on my shelf. But it’s not for everyone, and certainly not typical of the style.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been waiting to try this one for awhile. Poured into my tulip glass a light golden yellow color, quite bright for an APA. A nice bubbly 1 finger head settles on top. Nose is a mix of some banana notes, floral hops and some spiciness as well. Reminds me more of a wit or hefe than an APA here...interesting.

First sip has a nice pale malt background with hints of lemon and banana. Mixed in there are some floral hoppiness along with a hint of clove and some spiciness. Quite tasty, but I'm still wondering how this should be categorized.

Nice, bubbly mouthfeel with small carbonation bubbles running over my tongue. I'm enjoying this one and it goes down smooth. I could have a few of these. Only complaint is that I was thrown for a loop on the style. Many thanks due to weefisheads for this one.

Photo of marvin213
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a pale ale should, but it might be a wee bit darker with a lil' more hoppy-like foam. I like it. The straw-yellow color allows some light with some shadowy cast, and it's a darned good-lookin' beer for what the bottle tells me is 4.5%.

I smell pale malt, which I ordinarily don't like, but I'm glad to smell anything in an American Pale Ale. I think aroma is a particularly difficult task for this beer-type, but this one's definitely better than average.

Pale malts always give me a chalk-like feel. How far is chalk from pale malt? Though I like it in the nose, I'm not a fan on the tongue. It's bitter, and it reminds me of a barium swallow. Again, though I appreciate the nose, the pale malt potency smacks my senses in an unpleasant way.

The feel, as I said, is chalky. I don't like the mouthfeel of chalk. Whereas I'm normally neutral on the mouthfeel of nothingness that is pale ales, this relatively aggressive one sits not so well.

It's not that drinkable because it's a powerful pale. I respect it, but I don't like it.

Photo of Duster72
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very cloudy orangey amber with no head and minimal lacing. Aroma is primarily yeast with some orange and lemon lurking in the background. Taste is sour and yeasty with minimal hints of fruits. Mouthfeel is medium body and low carbonation. Not very drinkable IMO, very disappointing for a HOTD brew.

Photo of Jason
2.82/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown short twist off with no freshness date. Quick blurbs about the brewery and the beer on the label. Layer of sediment is very noticeable at the bottom.

Appearance: Fast frothing white head sadly dissipates to a thin ring of lace, even with careful pouring a substantial amount of yeast made it into the glass causing the brew to look very hazed with a pale yellowish golden hue.

Smell: Yeasty with a lemony herbal hop aroma with a touch of honey like malt in the nose as well.

Taste: Carbonation is low leaving a slickly creamy mouth feel. Very yeasty on the palate with a bite towards the back, hints of hop and malt are there but the blanket of yeast is so thick it clouds them. Touch of astringency comes from the malt that same time as the hops hit for a bite the pushes the yeast to the top. Finishes a touch dry with yeasty overtones.

Notes: Give this brew some better flocculating yeast and a bit more carbonation to bring some crispness to the table and you might have a good beer. Unfortunately this brew does not come close to fulfilling my needs and was a chore to drink.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed, medium yellow color, with a large, rocky, white head. Long lasting head leaves sheets and patches of lace all over the glass.
Like the appearance, the aroma reminds me of a nice Belgian pale ale. Banana, cloves, coriander, and vanilla provide the nose.
Mouthfeel has the same Belgian theme, with fizzy, carbonation running rampant throughout the mouth.
Taste begins with tart citrus(lemon), and features a lot of biscuit and earthy yeast. Plenty of coriander in the background, as well. I could almost swear that somebody mislabeled this. Everything about this ale cries out, "I'm a Belgian ale".
I can't believe this is labeled as an American pale ale. Seek elsewhere if that's what you're looking for. As an American interpretation of a Belgian pale ale, this is really good stuff.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rare treat, on tap at the Gingerman in NYC, Poured light orangy amber, cloudy, with a light white head and respectable lacing. Sniff of yeast and spice. Expertly crafted ale, Ginger, gin,spice, pine notes. Minty fresh, crisp finish. Cleansing juniper finish, spicy,complex with interesting phenolic notes, nicely done. High quality sophisticated concoction. i read pleant of M. of R. reviews of this in botle form , but the tap version was all together differant, fresh, tasty and full of intrigue

Photo of codysjb
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought in NYC from good beer.
A: A brilliant cloudy orange yellow with a one to two finger head which doesn’t dissipate.
S: Saison-ey, with lemon and zest and farmhouse accents. Little bit of grapefruit.
T: strong. A decent taste but somewhat bland, finishing with some alcohol taste. Lemon flavor.
M: lemon and some generic beer flavor. Some alcohol. Bland
O: Only okay, smell and appearance are amazing but it under performs on the taste.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of grass and bread in it, with a little bit of orange citrus thrown in. The flavor is similar, with grass and bread standing out. There is also some earthy and tea-like notes in the flavor, as well as some juicy orange notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very, very light clear yellow with a billowing, rocky white head that slathers the glass with lace. Aromas reminded me of a subdued Allagash White. Spicy, peppery, fruity esters, some malty sweetness, and a dash of hops. After tasting this beer, I had serious doubts about classifying it as a pale ale. It's very different than other pale ales I've had and for some reason, I just didn't care for this flavor. Flavor is almost entirely dominated by a sharp, almost biting tartness that really made me pucker. Hoppy bitterness mixes with loads of fruit flavors. Finishes very dry and tart...not appealing at all. Mouthfeel was thin and watery. Drinkability suffers due to the nasty taste left in the mouth. One of the "tougher to finish" beers I've had in a long time. Very surprising and disappointing beer from the HOTD brewers.

Photo of magictrokini
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear oily gold with a squatty white head. Sweet aroma of crystal hops, lemon, and corn syrup. Taste battles between sweet and bitter and it differs with nearly every sip. Grainy taste throughout mixed with the crystal malt, some grapefruit and pears, then back to the grainy, cereal finish. Decent, not great.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy gold under a 1” off white foam cap that grips the side of the glass. Somewhat week nose offers primarily light malt aromas and traces of caramel. Rich malt flavors lead to an assertive hop finish. Medium body and carbonation.

Photo of yankeeheel
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden blonde with a nice little stark white head. Good retention.

Smells quite hoppy with a nice sweet floral background.

Tastes just a little bit malty up front, followed by a short sweet flow. This turns over in to a weak and slightly bubbly hop finish. Decent enough.

Mouthfeel is bordering on bubbly.

Drinkability is above average. Goes down nicely.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out looking like a standard pale ale, golden in color, tons of shi, err, sediment in the bottle. Or maybe its yeast. Smells not of hops. Yeast forward. Is this a mislabeled saison?

Taste, meh. A little more similar to what I've come to know as a pale ale, but still seems to be wading in saison or wheat waters at times moreso than a pale ale. Why? Where's the hops man? This is just bready and slightly bitter with something as a yeast akin to something from Belguim. Moderate bitterness.

Kind of reminiscient of Cascades forays into ipa's and pale ales, i.e. Cascade and HOTD are mostly known for non hoppy beers, but when they make pales/ipas, they are underwhelming to say the least, especially when you go in expecting quality on the level of their other beers.

I think I'll stick w/ HOTD's sipping beers.

Photo of ADR
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ghostly light nectarine appearance, some glow but far from clear. Poor head generation, nothing much to speak of. Laces are minimal, light and spare. Intriguing aroma, some hoppiness struggling through but subsumed by a mask of partly phenolic leather. Slightly less than medium mouthfeel, carbonation is too light and not well-done. The dominant flavor impression is muted, sweetened pineapple flavored malts, that unfortunate unwashed towel at the gym, more bready and yeasty like hot-crossed buns at Easter. Hops are just not aggressive enough in type selected or expression -- they lie there as a weak counterpoint. Sparsely lemony in the aftertaste. The beer claims to be an American Pale Ale, the taste goes in a different direction. So, unique in some ways, but not a profile that would lead me to pick this one out as a Pale Ale rather than an undercarbonated Belgian Wit with less than expected spiciness.

Photo of pwoods
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing this bottle with me.

12oz. split into 2 pints glasses.

A: Golden yellowish orange pour, somewhat cloudy. Nice 2 fingers head with good retention and some decent lacing.

S: Very grassy and floral, more Euro. Some light grainy, biscuity malts.

T/M: Odd bitterness. Still very grassy and floral with some musty and husky flavors. A bit of citrus but not in the foreground. Malts balance a bit too much. Body might be just a bit too heavy for the style but carbonation helps a bit with that.

D: Drinkable but not very interesting.

Photo of sloejams
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Being quite fond of Hair of the Dog – their logo, their names, their story and most importantly, their beer – I was excited to see that Beverage Warehouse in West Los Angeles had individual bottles of Ruth for sale. Without hesitation, I picked one up.

The well designed label told the story of the name, “She was inspired by my Mother's Mother, Granny Ruth because of her love and support. Don't be Ruthless. Have one on Granny.” The label said it was an American Ale, BA labels it an APA – me, I just poured into a pint glass. It was considerable light for an APA, the thinning golden color was quite hazy – it looked a lot like a saison.

The aroma is full of citrus – orange and lemons. The taste is yeasty. The citrus flavors come out with a malt backbone. The mouthfeel is well-balanced with a dry finish.

It is an interesting beer. I enjoyed the first bit of it, but found myself liking it less and less as it went on.

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: hazy yellow/ gold. slight head. slight lacing.

smell: malty, with a hint of citrus and sugar.

taste: nice bouquet of sweetness and citrus bitterness. nice touch of malt, not much in the way of hops.

mouthfeel: light with just a touch of carbonation

drinkability: very high. this is a nice light refreshing beer that would have suited better on a warm summer day. i could see myself drinking these all day while watching a ball game or bbq'ing.

Photo of watermelonman
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured to a light gold and yellow without much head. There's just a line of lace.

The smell has plenty of malt and yeast flavors with just a hint of citrus. The taste is lightly fruity with a mild bitterness and persists throughout the flavors. Yeast character comes through strong. The mouthfeel is somewhat flat, while drinkability is fairly good.

Photo of missginsu
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The label calls this beer "light and refreshing" made with "pale malt and crystal hops." It pours a cloudy blonde with lots of sediment and a creamy head that sticks around.

Despite a sweet, fruity scent this beer is quite dry with a sour-bitter hoppiness. Frankly, I'm not crazy about it. I feel like it's off-kilter. I poured most of it out.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.21/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty orange with only a moderate head that disappeared almost immediately.

Aromas are slightly bready and slightly citrusy with some floral notes.

Taste is fresh and sweet pale malt with lots of semi-sweet citrus hops...lemons and oranges and tangerines. Flavors blend and mellow as it warms and as you swallow...more hops come forward and make for a nicely drying APA.

Definitely a step above the average craft APA.
Here's to Granny Ruth!

Photo of biboergosum
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

This beer pours a cloudy pale golden yellow colour, with next to nothing in the way of head, and only some sparse, thinly streaked lace to show for the effort. It smells of herbal yeast, buttery malt, and flat citrusy hops. The taste is toasted butter malt up front, orchard fruit, eventually giving way to some citrus and herbal hops. The carbonation is quite low, the body medium weight, a little acidic, but generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the toasted wine barrel character still holding tight.

I don't like buttery white wines, so perhaps that informs my opinion of this beer a little too much. Too fruity and toasty, when I'm looking for clean malts and restrained bitter hoppiness. Methinks this wasn't my best choice as an introduction to this brewer.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at HotD. Review from notes.

A: Pours a clear straw/yellow color with a small off-white head on top. Minimal retention, thin lacing down the glass.

S: Light citrus with some graham cracker malt and a little bit of caramel.

T: Similar to the aroma, light citrus, mostly lemon and lemon rind, with some grainy malt.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A decent APA, doesn't really hold a candle to the other beers from HotD.

Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Date stamp appears to say 06.12.13.

12 oz bottle served chilled into a tulip glass. Ruth is a hazy pale yellow color. There is a good bit of sediment but I left most of that in the bottle. The head is thin and settles immediately.

Aroma is unusual but really pleasant. It has a peaches and apricot combination but to much in the way of hops.

Flavor is more bitter than expected, given the aroma, but not overly so for an American pale ale. Bitter citrusy fruits and some of the same fruitiness from the aroma come through. A bit of a Belgian yeast character but I'm not sure what yeast was used. Probably their house strain.

It is light in body and nicely carbonated. It's well balanced and enjoyable if not a little unorthodox.

Overall a really nice pale ale. Underrated on this site.

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Ruth from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
81 out of 100 based on 617 ratings.