Spruce Budd
Fort George Brewery + Public House

Spruce BuddSpruce Budd
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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #47
Ranked #26,145
3.83 | pDev: 11.75%
Fort George Brewery + Public House
Oregon, United States
Spruce BuddSpruce Budd
Notes: OG 13
5.5% ABV

Spruce tips used in place of hops.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NickSMpls
NickSMpls from Washington

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A pale yellow straw colored beer. Faint head, fAdes to nothing Looks like ginger ale. Taste is very light, with almost no bitterness and faint maltiness. Not a bad tasting beer and at 5.5% not especially strong. No woodiness or herbal notes, but some spice notes in the background - like a coriander. Refreshing on a warm day.

Jul 15, 2020
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BeanBump from California

3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Having never had a spruce beer before I wasnt entirely sure what to expect. I assumed it would have a taste similar to a hoppy IPA but I got more of a fruity, almost sour taste. It was good, refreshing and had sort of a subtle oily texture to it. Interesting beer.

Jul 14, 2020
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Mister_Faucher from Washington

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz cans served in a nonic glass.

Based on the previous reviews they HAD to change the recipe (I'm guessing they added Barbe Rouge hops). Looks as described but the smell and taste are that of delicious mixed berry sorbet and light citrus some earthy botanicals. Sweet with a faint light bitterness on the back end. I could drink this for hours on a hot summer day.


Jul 10, 2020
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flagmantho from Washington

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 16oz tall can into a tulip. Canned 5/18/20 -- "the herald of spring", says the stamp.

Appearance: light golden hue with a moderate haze. Head is a thick finger of frothy ivory foam; it looks good!

Smell: it's remarkably fruity-smelling! I get strawberry and raspberry, and I would have never guessed spruce, though there is a bit of an herbal undertone. Fascinating, and I like it.

Taste: wow, again, strawberry and raspberry come to mind right at first. Is this what spruce tastes like? It's way less ... piney than I would have guessed. I suppose it is lightly reminiscent of, say, gin botanicals. As it warms, I am getting more of an evergreen quality, and the complexity just deepens. An altogether weird, yet tasty, beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: this beer is bizarre, and I like it for that. I am enjoying this one, but I could not see myself drinking two in a row.

Jul 01, 2020
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maximum12 from Minnesota

2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Spruce tips! Like taking one of my “pine baths” after being in the wilderness for a week, the smell is always divine. 16 oz. can dated 5/18/19.

The pour is a murky yellow with a big head that collapses entirely within minutes, just like a Coke. The aroma is surpassingly light: spruce, wheat, grass. Almost like a hefe. El Hefe.

Spruce Budd lives up to its name. Spruce is the dominant taste, mostly because there isn’t much percolating in the ale underneath it. Again with the grass – I can picture it rippling in a light breeze – slight bitterness, finishing with a dash of lemon. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired: Herbal Pledge? Thinner than Gemma Ward, this one could use some bust. One is plenty.

Some promised, but the watery body & strange aftertaste make this one & done for me. Mediocre.

Jun 30, 2020
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Pale straw hue with slight haze, rising bubbles and a finger width of fizzy ivory head - little retention to a to sparse cap. No lacing.

S: Smell of cedar accompanied by an almost pilsner malt, grain, and hints of lemongrass, no funk.

T: A disjointed palate with some sweetness and more of an oak and cedar dryness than pine or what I would expect of spruce. It's also herbal and has wet stone presence and a bright finish.

F: Quite thin and prickly carbonation. Suits the drink and makes it more refreshing.

O: Not a bad brew at all but not quite what I expected. I'd pass on another go.

Jun 21, 2020
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bl00 from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours near transparent gold, under half finger of white head composed of small bubbles, dissipating quickly.
Smells of grape, lavender, strawberry. Slight lemon drop note on the back end.
Taste is strawberry, trace of basil, lemon seltzer, some herbal notes.
Mouthfeel is thinner than mid range, though not watery. Bubbles are somewhat prickly but fairly mild.
This beer really surprised me! I was expecting pine, sappy, herbal notes but its got much more fruitiness and dimension.

Oct 20, 2018
Photo of brenn79
brenn79 from Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

16.9 oz bottle- Pours hazy orange with a small white head. Aroma is sour, melon, jolly rancher. The taste is different than the aroma, sweet, but not in a jolly rancher way, more sweeTart, spruce is there but not in a piney way, honestly needs to be more dry, with some added bitterness. A bit of a miss for me honestly.

Oct 19, 2018
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kemoarps from Washington

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden bauble with a nice finger of soapy white head. Settles in to a ring and galaxy swirl. Decent lacing along the glass.

Nose starts sweet with honey and berries. Not what I was expecting. In a blind situation I'd almost guess that this was supposed to have raspberries in it. Not what I was expecting, but I enjoy it. As it warms that berry sweetness helps bridge to the defiinte spruce coniferocity.

Flavour is a bit more muddled. The berry sweetness is still prevalent. Sits on a bed of earthy malts with some bready notes and some more of that honey sweet character. Much sweeter and more subtle overall brew than I'd expected. I was anticipating harsh 'piney' (spruce, I know, but that's the descriptor to communicate my thought) bitter beverage, but this is much more gentle and berry sweet... though I do feel like I'm overhyping the sweetness. It's not an overly sweet beer per se, but it's just... gentle. More meadow than deep woods or stony bluff.

Soft body decent carbonation. Easy to drink. Enjoying this one more than I'd expected to.

Aug 30, 2018
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 from the bottle.

An inviting enough beer without knowing what to expect for appearances. Spruce Budd is a beautiful near-clean golden amber color topped by a quickly dissappearing white foamy cap. It glows and demands to be sipped.

Sweet honey and wild berries intoxicate the nose with a heavy helping of the distinguished and dominant spruce. Perhaps one of the most aromatic beers I've encountered, despite having a complex simplicity.

This is incredible. Honey drizzled freshly baked sweet white toast slathered in a raspberry like jam with damp pine sap and pulverized spruce needles coat the mouth in an instant. The flavors are all so distinguishable despite being thrown in all at once.

Silky smooth with just the right amount of low carbonation, Spruce Budd has the feel of something extravagant while boasting a modest 5.5% advertisement. It replicates the idea of a thin and delicate oil that you love to cook with but hate to see diminish from the bottle, each sip graciously received while begrudgingly removed from the glass.

Spruce Budd is the way spruce tip ales should be. Solid, apparent, balanced, delicious, smooth, and in a way... simple. I've looked forward for a year to revisit and review this beer properly. It does not disappoint. Cheers.

Aug 05, 2018
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a lightly hazy, medium golden amber with a half finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of wheat malt, lemon, light fruit, hints of pine; lightly floral. Flavor is mild bready malt that reminds me of wheat, light spruce, red berries, apple and lemon. Finishes lightly sweet with mixed fruit and light pine (well, spruce) needles. Medium bodied with light creaminess and somewhat subdued carbonation. A pleasant, light fruit ale with mild, but clear spruce flavor. The profile is a lot like Unibroue's Ephemere series, with similar light fruit flavors melded to light malt. The spruce flavor is quite nice and with a little more depth this could approach a gruit style ale, which are quite uncommon in our area. Mild, but refreshing. The light spruce is a great flavor that I'd like to see in more ales, it is very evocative of the forest here in the Northwest. Needs a slight tweek to the spruce depth and carbonation and would be very appealing.

Jun 20, 2018
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

super interesting flavor profile, not overly pungent on the nose but thats not a bad thing for this one ... sweet bready notes, a bit of yeasty spice, slightly floral and green grassy character, lemon, has some woody almost sap like qualities, a definite sweetness but its met well by mellow spruce needle type thing and a subtle tartness reminiscent of apple and berry. overall comes together pretty clean, light mouthfeel, easy drinking, great summertime brew!!

Aug 10, 2017
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Bier Thirty in Bown... Lightly hazed orange... thin white head.. spotty lacing.

Nose shows grassy and not big "Pine or Spruce"... Not really herbaceous either.. just grassy with a bigger than expected pale malt/yeasty fruitiness (Belgian Yeast used here?)

Not sure what to make of this one... the Pine is present but never really wants to jump out like I think a brew of this style would. A bit too fruity on the palate for my liking.. residual malts add too much to the esters and distract from the piney additions.

Weird and never really comes together.. I think they are on to something, but this rendition is probably a wash... I would sample this one next go-around.


Jul 02, 2014
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KVNBGRY from Florida

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Seaside Brewing Co. Here in touristy Seaside, Or.

Ap - A clear deep straw hue with a quickly fading head. It settles to a thin film and small ring around the glass.

Ar - This is the weakest aspect for me. It's a sweet, sort of buttery popcorn smell (diacetyl?).

T - Sweet malt. The absence of hops is interesting band hard to rate. But! It's got a bit of woodsy, buttery, clean, malty notes. Easy to drink. Interesting. Others have said mint flavors, I don't see any mint at all.

M - Creamy, smooth, almost a nitro feel.

O - this is an interesting beer that I'm glad I tried! Keep Oregon weird

Jun 09, 2014
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a cloudy straw yellow with a half-inch of white head that low retention and no lacing.

The aroma had a citrusy-fruity aspect upfront, with some grain in the background. There was a light yeast note as well. The flavors were pretty much the same, mellow grains, fruit, citrus. The odd thing was a certain coolness on the finish, maybe mint-like?

The body was on the light side of medium, and was even and smooth. Drinkability was very good, the beer went down quickly. Overall, a different kind of brew, for sure, but a good and tasty one. Close to a must try if you see it.

Jul 07, 2013
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DiabolikDUB from Oregon

2.32/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On-Tap @ Bailey's Taproom poured into Shaker glass.

Pours a slightly murky pale yellow with a fat white creamy head that slowly dissolves into a heavy ring around the glass. The aroma is lemon zest, some spice and some earthy hops. The flavor is much of the same with lemon zest taking the forefront. It has a thin, watery body that is not too flattering. Everything about this beer is soft and subtle which doesn't do it any justice. If at least the flavor or the smell or the body would have been more on par it would have been a decent drink. Just tasted like a spritzy lemon drink.

Jul 31, 2009
Spruce Budd from Fort George Brewery + Public House
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 45 ratings