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Old Reading Beer - Ruckus Brewing

Not Rated.
Old Reading BeerOld Reading Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

54 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 18.79%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ruckus Brewing visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phatz on 03-15-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 40
Reviews by alovesupreme:
Photo of alovesupreme
3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively yielded a 2 1/2 finger head that dissipated rather quickly leaving a sticky ring around the glass. Lots of carbonation with a light yellow body.
Grainy smell alluding to corn although the style indicates that this is not an ingredient.
Grainy flavor with very little bitterness. Carbonation is high but expected.
A great beer for the money.Although I wouldn't drink much during the winter this is a good summer value.

More User Reviews:
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.01/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First off, I have no great memories of drinking this stuff with my dad or buddies. I had never heard of the label until Legacy revived the brand a few years back. The retro labeling and 6 dollar price tag peaked my interest when I saw a sixer of this at the Gian Eagle Market District. Pours fizzy yellow with a fleeting bright white head not much different than most of the other Lion offerings. Label states that it is brewed by Ruckus Brewing in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I know better this is contracted at the Lion. Fine speckled lacing lines my fluted pils glass. Aroma has a slight metallic edge that isn't overbearing and is supported by a blend of cereal grains/cooked veggies/maize. Light herbal dusting of hops in the back end just barely detectable. Flavor is nothing special, cereal grains/overtly sweet corn notes with a touch of green apple. No metallic flavors or offness clean drinking industrial lager, very comparable to Lionshead Lager. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy on the carbonation a bit of residual sugars peak out the body to land above watery texture. Drinkability is effortless and some what pleasant no harsh off flavors, no frills PA brewed lager. I like the abv if that 4 percent is accurate, definitely something I'd have around just to offer to people who just want a beer.

Photo of biboergosum
3.52/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. I assume that this is the same-ish beer currently being distributed in these parts as 'Reading Premium Beer'. Also, does this have something to do with that railroad from Monopoly?

This beer pours a clear, quite pale golden yellow colour, with one finger of thin, foamy white head, which melts away before my eyes, leaving nothing in the way of even semi-permanent lace around the glass.

It smells of moderately sweet pastry-like malt, more toward the southern biscuit or bready side of things, with a slight drupe fruitiness, and a bit of light grassy, earthy hoppiness. The taste is more sweet, grainy malt, rather redolent of a bakery's enticing general essence, some aged orchard fruit, and nicely metered leafy, grassy hops.

The bubbles are pretty sublimated and sedate, the body a decent medium weight, and all is smooth enough. It finishes sweet and malty, the pastry notes just not willing to let go.

A tasty APA, I suppose, but focused in a quite different direction than I have steeled myself against lately - no big Yankee hops, no caramel malt. This is actually more of what I've come to expect from an above average American Blonde Ale. APA, ABA - more than splitting hairs, I know, but it's good to have an idea what you're getting into in such a broad category (with either style, I might add).

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.05/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy golden color, average white head dissipates moderate fashion.

A sweet, heady malty aroma, subtle sweet fruits, sour yeasty, peppery and cold spring water in the aroma.

A very delicate, light lager feel with simple but very effective flavor's in a classic style. The malt is sweet and bready, not overlly hefty, sour-dry notes, complex yeast with great balance. This one oozes authenticity and quality. An intesrting version of classic from long ago, victorian-Industialization era beer, a true throw-back with new life.

A classic lager recipe for today.

Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold with a finger width of brite-white foams that eventually settles down and actually retains pretty pretty well with some decent lace. Aroma is to be expected sweet malt with some light hopppiness.

The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma. The same smooth malt sweetness followed by some light bitterness. The mouthfeel isn't half bad being fairly medium bodied with a crisp feel.

This overall wasn't a half bad Macro Lager and was pretty darn drinkable. I had hoped for a little more flavor and aroma but I think that this is definitely a step up from your usual fizzy yellow Macro-crap.

Photo of Chinon01
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose is grain, fruity and sweet and a little malty. Flavor is similar with some corn and citrus-orange. Finish is clean with low hop profile. This beer is a crowd pleaser. Sort of like a richer PBR. Old School. Clean macro finish. A slightly more interesting version of your dad's beer. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good.

Photo of tone77
3.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Pours a pale yellow with a small head. Smell is mild, some malt and grains. Taste is also mild. Some malts and grains and finishes a tad bitter. Feels light in the mouth and goes down easy enough. Overall this is an average brew.

Photo of puboflyons
3.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle with a partially smudged marking that ends in 1740. Sampled on March 15, 2009.

Appearance - It is your basic pale yellow with about a pinky's width of fizzy white head that does not last long. Some lacing graces the pint glass.

Smell - The malts are the first aroma I whiff followed by someting kind of grainy or grassy but not offputting.

Taste and Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is of medium, creamy texture with good stability. The taste has an element of malts and vague hops. I don't know if this is the same recipe that Reading brewed in the 19th Century but although it was better than most pales, it was mostly average to above average in the end.

Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint glass served at the 3rd and Spruce cafe in West Reading, PA.

A: The lager is yellow and fizzy. No frills here, as it seems to adhere to the style spot on.

S: The nose is grainy, light with a corn aroma and a mere kiss of hops.

T: The flavor is as pale as the color. Generally lacking in flavor, a corn adjunct sweetness emerges occasionally to add a bit of pep to the carbonated drink. Hops are generally nonexistent, giving only a faint hint of bitterness.

M: For a yellow fizzy lager, this one goes down alright. The flavor is just enough to make this a go-to over several more well-known brands.

D: At $2.50 per pint, this beer is a steal. It is a nice tribute to a bygone era in which Reading was a brewing hotspot.

Photo of Ragingbull
3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a premium beer brewed with the care of any craft beer. My wife's aunt got me a bottle of it. I drank it at their summer rental overlooking Lake George and to be fair the setting may have caused me to enjoy it more. It was gold in color with a frothy head and was quite pretty for such a pale beer. Grain and malt nose. Smooth fresh attack with a heavy malt flavor and hints of banana. Clean finish. A good beer for sitting around and sipping. I was willing to call it a B-.

Photo of vrazionale
2.58/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter

A - Clear golden brown with a full head that quickly dissipates into a thin coating across the top of the brew.

S - Wet grass, green hops, and a slight off-aroma of skunkiness. The smell definitely reminds me of the kind of beer that I used to use to play beer pong in college. I don't mean that in a good way.

T - Pretty watered-down and bland. The malt and hops don't feel well-balanced. I get those corn and rice flavors that are often associated with macro brews.

M - The carbonation levels are fine, but there isn't much else to say about the mouthfeel. Doesn't have much about which to get excited.

D - I was hoping that this beer would be a better macro alternative for a cheap American lager. It's really not that much better than Budweiser, in my opinion. It's just a pretty uninspired beer that I wouldn't seek out again. The only reason I would drink it again is if it was between this and Budweiser.

Photo of mwbecker
4.42/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved the beer and so did my backyard full of friends who attended my Memorial Day BBQ. I wish I could get more but limited supply down here in NC. The taste was clear and clean with no aftertaste. I guess I will have to make a run to PA next time I go north to fill my truck up with a few cases.

Photo of Phatz
3.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served straight from the tanks at the brewery. Thanks for hooking me up Mark.

Appearance: Pours a clear pale gold yellow color with a massive head.

Smell: Very reserved nose. hints of pale malts and light grain attribute.

Taste: Crisp clean easy session beer, with nothing special to offer. Starts lightly sweet and finishes with dry grain and hops. Apropos to style.

Mouthfeel: Light easy refreshing.

Drinkability: It is a macro re-built for the fans of this beers long history.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of titosupertramp
3.35/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light golden in color. Fizzy head that fades fast leaving behind slight lacing and film.

S: Not much here, but decent enough. Sweet, pale malts..sort of bready.

T: Crisp and clean. Sweet, bready malts with a grassy hop backend. Not half bad.

M: Carbonation gives this a slightly fizzy feel. Moderatly dry finish.

O: Not bad for style. If you're looking for something better than Budweiser, but want to spend around the same amount of money, this might be a good option for you.

Photo of jneiswender
3.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A--Deep yellow color and a very nice fluffy head or medium density

S--clean, no off colors, sweet

T--its not a full flavor lager, in nice balance between hop and malt. However, just not there in volume of flavor.

M--light, fizzy, dry finish

D--Really nice beer for the style. American Macro brew...this is better than what you will get from the major breweries. A good example of a working man's beer, that is cheap and brewed local and consumed quickly is good beer sense.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.7/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a large white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains light malts, grain and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is bready up front with flavors of grain and barley. There's a little bit of malt sweetness and a faint touch of hops, but there's not much flavor present. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down ok, not filling at all, very mild kick, there isn't a lot too this beer, so it's drinkable for that reason, but it's not something that I would go for unless my choices were quite limited.

Photo of OneDropSoup
2.46/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cool retro label. Poured into a pilsner: 2 fingers talc head, foamy, over golden-yellow body. Very little nucleation. Head drop sot thin, loose coating, just a few strands of lace.

Smells just a little bready, cold oatmeal, & a tad buttery. Not great, but at least it's weak/restrained enough not to be offensive.

Tastes of subuded fruit chewing gum, a little bit of lemon "drink" bite around the sides, then white bread. Ends with a little bitterness with a dull sweetness in the aftertaste.

Smooth enough, a little spritzy action, with tongue-grabbing sugars. Not bad.

Not hard to drink, mostly bland overall, but a bad lawnmower of "end-of-night-of-drinking" beer. I feel this isn't too far off from most macros, & gets some points for being a local, so there you go.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine picked this up randomly. Neither of us had seen it before. No info on the bottle at all. A bubbly golden yellow with one finger of head. Smells of faint malt with some lemon rind. Taste is crisp and smoother than expected. A light Pilsner malt taste with some dry zesty lemon hop bitterness that is mild but balanced. The beer had a great carbonation all the way down and was very smooth

Photo of woodychandler
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I reviewed Old Reading in a CAN when it had recently been revived by a couple of local entrepreneurs. They subsequently folded and Ruckus took over the label. It is still being brewed at The Lion in Wilkes-Barre FWIW.

From the bottle: "The Touch of the Pennsylvania Dutch".

I got an initial finger of French Vanilla-colored head which fell pretty quickly while I was typing. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity, enabling me to see into the future. Croesus and Midas were seen scouring my reefer for another bottle. Sorry, fellas, just this one. Nose had an odd chemical/disinfectant smell to it. Hmm. Mouthfeel was medium and thankfully, it did not taste like it smelled. Instead, it had a clean, honey-like lager taste that is the hallmark of an adjunct-free lager. Hallelujah, Hollywood! I do not think that even the original brand was adjunct free, so this represents an upgrade and retooling of the recipe. Finish was semi-dry and very refreshing. Very nice, except for the nose.

Photo of moulefrite
2.83/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I can't get too analytical about this beer. It is basically yellow fizzy water. But, it is dirt cheap (15.99 a case at Marty's Newton) and it makes you feel (kinda) good to support a beer that doesn't advertise at the super bowl. The drink just barely hints of beer. It is light, with miniscule flavors of bread/yeast and the hop component is almost non-existent. It does not offend. It is not memorable. Nonetheless, one can put a sixer of this stuff away in about 90 minutes, and at 4 dollars a six if your budget is tight this beer is just alright. Perfect beer to sip while tuning into willies place on Serius Satelite. And, after drinking a few cases of this you've got money for the good stuff, and then, boy does really good beer taste special.

Photo of smcolw
2.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle overflowed when opened. Good white head that dies quickly. Good lace. Crystal clear and straw in color.

Practically without smell. What I can get from it smells like cardboard.

This is a mild beer, but not without flavor. Lightly hopped, it is a brew that features good lighter malt flavor. Light bodied (though still much greater than typical macros), it is over-carbonated to the point of distraction. The mouthfeel is similar to a root beer (the soft drink kind).

It's a shame that it is missing some key elements because this has the potential of being a highly rated "macro". I'd call this a clear miss but at least it's within the ballpark.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a cyrstal clear, slightly pale, honey-yellow coloring with a splotchy covering of filmy head. Toasted grain and malty nose, with a light dry hopping. Slight cling on the glass that slides down along with the beer. Flavors are toasty and bold, with a honey malt sweetness, and a slight pepper spicing to clean the palate. Mid-bodied, and with decent flavors profiles and blending. The beer has a semisweet honey aftertaste, with some roastiness once again. Clean, smooth finish, combined with the low ABV and light body makes this a very sessionable beer, and it would be great in hot weather.

Photo of Deuane
3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Bright golden yellow with a medium bright white head that reduces to a thin cap and leaves spotty lace.

S-Light grassy notes with a bit of sour corn mash. Some biscuit grain sweetness sneaks in at the end.

T-Crisp and clean biscuit grain with a touch of sourness and a slightly fruity ending.

M-Medium-light bodied with zippy carbonation and a clean, slightly sour, drying finish.

T-Your dad's lawnmower beer done better. Nothing great here but drinkable for what it is. To help support the local this is the type of beer to have a sixer or two on hand for when your just looking "for a beer" or have friends over that "don't do the craft thing"!

Photo of jsbrendle
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok. I'll admit it. This was tried out of nostalgia. A trip down home for the holidays, an article in the local paper & I had to make a stop at the distributor for a case. (The rest will go with me back up to State College where we do not yet get the product, although we should). I remember seeing this beer in big NRs many many years ago as a youngster. I was glad to hear that Legacy brought it back. I'd never tried the original, but that this was supposed to be based on the original recipe? Hard to resist trying it.

Nothing really special here, it is a "macro lager" afterall... the previous reviewers are right -- it's a basic fizzy yellow lager, but it comes across as a nice, easy drinker, definite session beer. I'd rather have it than several other major brands. A reaction much like what I felt with the Lion's Lionshead (who brews this for them for bottling, they do the draft in house).

Not much in the nose to talk of, but it does trigger memories in that ... memories of cups of it at the ballpark or picnic grove when I was far too young to do more than notice the smell as it passed by. Maybe this is close to the original (I wish one of my elders who knew were still alive to confirm that, but alas). There is a nice faint "sweet" element to the flavor that I like. A touch too much gas for my taste, but not uncommon for the style. I wish there were a bit more hops, just a touch (not much to balance it afterall, but I miss having a more definite hop element). Still, for a revival of an old school beer from my childhood & at a $20/case price point? Hard to complain too much. This could make a good "company" beer, or "lawnmower" beer or even one for "I just need something after work". I approve.

What's up next? Sunshine? =-)
(I only know of it by reputation in silly stories of belching contest across the valley, but why not!)

Photo of LAMAGS
4.2/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a case of these from the store expecting another typical macro lager on par with bud, or coors, but I was surprised by the quality. Reading has a lively gold color with a finger of white head that settles nicely. A pleasant malty smell and sweet bready flavor. Its as cheap as budweiser but way better, I'd get another case hands down.

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Old Reading Beer from Ruckus Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.