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Rustic Ale - Capital Brewery

Not Rated.
Rustic AleRustic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

37 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 45
Avg: 2.87
pDev: 18.82%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Capital Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dirtylou on 07-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 45
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"When nature exceeds culture, we have the rustic. When culture exceeds nature, we have the pedant."


Rustic orange with amber highlights, which is a fairly common color for an amber ale. No yeast are visible, just several streams of appropriate looking carbonation. The cap is on the small side and is midway between ivory and beige. Although it falls too quickly, it's whipped creamy and is acceptably generous when it comes to lace.

The aroma lacks personality. The malt smells lightly toasted and there's a mild earthiness going on, but there's no hook to pull you in. It also doesn't appear as if many hops were used. Less than impressive so far.

Rustic Ale tastes better than it smells. Not a lot better, so let's not get carried away. My initial impressions are: malt-dominant, not enough malt, Munich malt, grainy, bitterness more than hop flavor, and disappointing mouthfeel. Each sip screams 'average', so the taste score has effectively chosen itself.

This certainly is an easy drinking ale, if that's what you're after. If you crave substance and style, though, look elsewhere. The malt backbone is less than sturdy and contains too much earthy, toasted peanut-like Munich. More caramel malt would be preferable. More hop flavor and bitterness would be good too, but only in the face of more malt sugars. The suggestion box is now overflowing.

The body/mouthfeel score could just as easily be one notch lower. It's thin (although not too far out of line) and has small, sharp bubbles rather than soft, caressing ones. Letting the carbonation dissipate over time is probably the best option.

As an interesting aside, the label reads 'Home Made'. No, Capital beer is 'Brewery Made'. Spare me the fake folksy charm. The new labels are... meh. The old ones were getting a little stale, but at least they were classic and were easily identifiable.

Maybe these guys should stick to brewing lagers. Brown Ale, Island Wheat and U.S. Pale Ale are okay, but are nothing to write home about. Hell's bells, even Vintage Ale left me wanting. While Capital doesn't need to overhaul Rustic Ale and create Pedant Ale, the current offering is too rough around the edges and could use a little more culture. Confucious say... "buy Wisconsin Amber instead".

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Photo of Tone
3.48/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of yeast, roasted malt, sweet malt, earthy malt, and slight hops. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt up front, then sweet malt, yeast, and slight hops in the finish. Overall, the roasted malt in foremost, it's light, and slight hop presence - therefore this fits almost perfectly into the category. Not a real heavy bodied beer but smooth, well blended, and easy to drink.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.97/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium copper colored beer with awesome bubbling. The head starts at two fingers, ad dwindles down to a nice film o' foam. Very powdery and fake smelling toasted malt and hops. Makes me thin of smelling the cheapest homebrew malt and hops mix I can think of. The taste is not as cheapened as the smell. Very grainy palate. Heavily toasted malts, medium to soft hop bitterness. Some very cheap tasting toast straight from the toaster almost overwhelms my tastebuds. Not the caliber I've come to expect from Capital Brewery. But I'm glad I tried this "Rustic" ale.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz single, Steve's

I actually had this a while back at the Orpheum during a show (perhaps new pornographers/okkervil river)...i think it was leftover from a private party and i only got to sample 1 pint before it was gone...hmm

appearance: clear amber body, glowing orange hue, really light beige cap and minimal lacing

smell: not much on the nose at all, light toasted malts, caramel, strong grassy traits, minimal hop profile.

taste: this is a pretty boring beer on all fronts. everything is so muted that nothing really stands out at all - perhaps this is what capital was going for. i'm not sure what the marketing of this beer will be but i read about in a "lawnmower beer" article in the capital times. The name Rustic is probably referring to the natural grassy overtones which are complimented by toasted nuts and grain and caramel malt. hops are minimal and earthy.

mouthfeel: light and watery

drinkability: easy

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.27/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint. No date or info on the bottle.

A - Clear pale amber with an orange hue and a steady stream of carbonation rising up to a big but short-lived creamy off-white head. A thin layer with a collar of lacing is left.

S - Ugh. This aroma is pretty awful. It consists of a dirty, dank garage with rotten, wet leaves and a cardboard and metallic bite to it. Who would enjoy what I'm smelling right now? It doesn't even resemble beer in the least bit. I understand the name of the beer is Rustic but come on...

T - Light amber and pale malts up front with a quickly overpowering cardboard funk and metallic finish. A bit of wheat and dry straw with a really low hop profile in the background.

M - Medium-light in body with a dry and distasteful metallic finish. Medium-high carbonation adds a bit to the end.

D - If this is a "rustic" ale, thank God we've moved in a new direction with beer. Capital should have left the past alone. The nose is rather disgusting and the flavor is lacking any real direction. Not pleasant and not a beer I'll be having again any time soon if ever.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.33/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Poured amber with a fluffy off-white head that held good retention and left a slow, sticky lace on the side of the glass. Aromas and tastes were of sweet malts, bread crust, and toasted grains with a hint of caramel - little to no hops seem to be present. Mouth-feel is thin, and I expected it to be fuller after seeing the pour. Finishes sweet with hints of brown sugar - definitely lacks complexity. I guess, not a terribly bad representation of the style, but there are many better than this out there.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No date. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for this one.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that produced a good off-white head with decent retention.

(S)- A rather nutty yet musky aroma with bits of lemon and a weird peanut butter caramel thing.

(T)- A caramel maltiness with a pseudo nutty twist. A bit metallic.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Certainly malty and a bit rich, but a bit off balance too with some weird flavors.

(D)- An alright amber. It is flirting a bit; an amber yet a brown ale at the same time. Different.

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Photo of cokes
2.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dirty amber bodied with only a small collar of beige lace.
Grain dominated nose, with perks of the confectionery Capital caramel maltiness, and hints of nuts and wort and rubber.
It enters the mouth with toasted grains and peanuts. The trademark Capital sweet caramel malt makes a cameo, then fades just as quickly. Doughy now, with a lingering wheaty sweetness. Chalky bitterness, with no real defined hop flavor.
Light-medium bodied with a moderate carbonation, leading to a mushy mouthfeel, mostly due to the indecisiveness of the taste.
It's like 80% Island Wheat, and 20% Wisconsin Amber. And probably worse than either, individually...well Island Wheat sucks about this bad (and don't get me started about it replacing Kloster Weizen).
While this is not entirely awful, it is just so amateurish.

What the fuck has happened, Capital?
Here's a plea: if you want to do an amber ale, brew an Altbier. Stick to your German roots...you do these types of beers as well as anyone. The mainstreaming of your portfolio is losing you your fan base.
Simply put, shit like this doesn't work.

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Photo of hopdog
3.08/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and clear amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of grains, 'musty', earthy, and toasted nuts. Tastes of caramel, lighter earthiness, and grains. I found the body to be on the thinner body.

Notes from: 7/26/08

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Photo of jsh420
2.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours hazy amber with a 1 finger head that left no lacing

smells very watery some carmel malt

taste is pretty weak but i get some english pale malts some nutty malts very little hops

mouthfeel is thin decent carbonation nice and crisp

drinkability is not good over priced for not much flavor

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Photo of KTCamm
3.13/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours darker reddish copper with very little foam. Looks kind of like an iced tea.

Nice sweet caramel smell. Little nutty.

Light clean malty taste with virtually no carbonation. No punch in the finish, not even a hint of a hop. Kind of just fades away.

Easy to drink, but feels like something is missing.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: amber red, decent 1 inch head.

S: sweet overripened bread

T: same as smell, slight odd aftertaste, can't put my finger on it.

M: light/medium body.

T: sweet, light bread taste, too watery for this style.

D: My least favorite Capital beer. There are other beers better in this style.

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Photo of spointon
3.01/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this one on tap at the Capital Brewery Bier Stube on 11/28/2008.

A= This ale poured a clear, dark, coppery color with a 1/2" white head. The head quickly dropped to a skim and left a huge amount of sheet lacing down my glass.

S= The smell of this ale was very odd. It sort of smelled like a lager (slightly sulfur-y) with just a faint notion of bready and caramel malts and even fainter hops. No esters to speak of.

T= Again, strange flavor profile for an ale. Taste was mainly a sharp lager/sulfur note all on top of faint bready malt. Finish was dry and not very appealing in the aftertaste.

MF= Thin bodied, with some grain husk and a bit of a sharp carbonation level. Crisp on the tongue, could be a decent palate cleanser with food.

D= While I didn't think this was the worst thing in the world, I also didn't find it to be up to Capital's usual standards. This is not a beer I am likely to have again...

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.48/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Rusty bronze-orange with a small white cap. This one leaves a lot of really nice lace on the glass, and although small, the head stuck around for a good while.

S - Sweet malt notes of carrot cake and caramel remind me of an Oktoberfest in a way. Some mild hop notes are there, but the malt is the star of the nose show.

T - Again, carrot cake and spiced coffee cake. Cinnamon rolls glazed in white icing. Some balancing hops and a hint of metallic mineral water give this a very German feel. I would totally guess O-fest in a blind tasting. This is good stuff!

M - Medium bodied (maybe even on the lighter end of medium), and well carbonated, this is a very thirst quenching brew. Goes down easy and finishes relatively neutral.

D - Tasty brew! Would be a very nice accompaniment to a smoked sausage, brat, or burger.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Medium Amber with short lived two finger head that left a very small amount of lacing.
S. A caramel malt smell, nothing fancy or intricate at all here. No hops detected. No complexity detected. One trick pony.
T. Watered down caramel malt sweetness but some kind of oddly metallic off-taste keeps cropping up for some reason. Tastes vaguely like a few copper pennies were accidentally dropped into the wort.
M. Nicely carbonated and crisp, refreshing, light bodied.

This suffers for two very distinct reasons : A very distracting metallic off taste and lack of complexity. Not recommended but also not disgustingly bad enough to drainpour.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass the beer is light orange color and fairly clear. The head was huge but dissipated in the blink of an eye. The smell is mostly malt but I got hints of almond as well. Not a huge nose on this one at all. The flavor is malty and wheat like. There is a strange metalic flavor that seems to stick with me in every sip. Medium body with enough carbonationto tickle the tongue. This beer is drinkable if only because it's not real flavorful. I will revisit this one to make sure my bottle wasn't off.

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Photo of brdc
2.06/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Small capped bottle poured into a pint glass.

Copper colored, thin tan head, little retention or lacing.
Aroma is a faint combination of breadiness, grassiness, and not a lot else. Watery, with faint flavors as described for the aroma.
They brew better lagers.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.4/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy golden beer with an amber hue. Thin cream colored head quickly disappeared. Mild malt dominated aroma. Solid malt flavor is lightly sweet with a hint of toast. I wouldn't quite say the body is light. In general the flavor is clean and doesn't linger making for a refreshing drink.

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Photo of botham
2.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. pours a crystal clear brownish amber color with a single finger of tan head that remaisn for a minute or two.

aroma is lightly sweet and malty, with a light caramel character and subtle notes of dark fruit, namely plum and grape, both distant. there is an overall grainy type feel to the brew, lending to a premature staleness.

taste is more of the same, with a bit of an acidic profile, along with notes of bready malt, the same grainy feel, and a bit of caramel malt. quite dissapointing for a Capital brew.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a stale like quality and a smooth texture with soft CO2.

drinkability is decent. this is a sub-standard amber, without enough richness to sustain the malt profile. the flavors seem flabby, with a lack for any connecting element, or base of any kind. as a fan of Capital and their brews, this one is not true to their style, and leaves this BA dissapointed.

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Photo of Strix
2.24/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark amber, frothy head and good lacing.

Smells of malt, nuts, and spices, but something smells off.

Taste is all over the place. Malt and nuts predominate, but then there's some way-off kilter spicing, a grassy flavor, and a cardboard flavor.

Mouthfeel flat and weak.

This doesn't have too much going for it. I'd much prefer a Leinie's Red. I may just stick to Capital's lagers. Retire this one ASAP and go brew us a nice bock.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a pale amber color with an off-white, bubbly two-finger head. The nose is faint, light caramel notes and graininess are about it. The taste is fairly neutral throughout but has a slight caramel toasty flavor and a slight metallic tinge at the end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a thin yet creamy carbonation. Drinkable beer, if it was a fresher bottle, this would probably be a much higher scoring beer.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.25/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper with a thin head that leaves no lace or spotting.

Aroma is light roasted malt and honey. Small brown sugar aroma.

Taste is lighter than I expected. Light malt and slight hop flavor over the subtle flavor of buttered sweet corn. Hop flavor is grassy and fresh, but very muted. Even thought the hops are muted and in the background the malt does not balance well as it is very weak.

Feel is quite carbonated and bubbly, a little too much for the flavor as it washes away the subtle hop hits you get.

A good drinkable amber, but not great.

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Photo of Pauly2X
2.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Clear deep gold, half finger rocky head.

S- Grainy, faint noble hops in the background.

T- Slightly sweet malt with bready overtones. Barely discernable dry hop finish.

M- Smooth, light and slightly fizzy.

D- Decent, goes down okay.

A very mediocre beer.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - Light-medium amber. Slight haze. Tall off white head with good retention.

Smell - Mild caramel malt. Not catching any hops.

Taste - A little nutty caramel malt. Not much in the way of hops. A little watery. Leaves a bready aftertaste. Not bad tasting, but underwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Medium and smooth.

Overall - Not a bad tasting beer, but pretty muted. Might be an adequate choice for a day in the sun. I can't imagine seeking it out.

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Photo of pweis909
3.95/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As Capital Brewery is known for their German lager tradition, it shouldn't surprise me that this "rustic" ale gave me the impression of a rather civilized lager, maybe a German pilsner.

In appearance, it does resemble a pale or amber ale, falling somewhere on the lighter side of amber, and the foam was present, but not overly thick and faded to invite me to enjoy the beer. The ale had a familiar malty taste that I associate with a pilsner and the clean bittering and floral aroma that I normally associate with that style. It lacked the fruitiness of an ale, making me winder if it was brewed with lager yeast or lagered in the German ale tradition. While subdued by some ale standards, I found this a very tasty and drinkable beer, sufficiently interesting and thirst quenching to make it worth drinking anytime.

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Rustic Ale from Capital Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.