Spruce Budd
Fort George Brewery + Public House

Spruce BuddSpruce Budd
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Fort George Brewery + Public House
Oregon, United States
Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #15
Ranked #18,484
3.85 | pDev: 11.69%
Jun 12, 2022
Jul 31, 2009
Very Good
Spruce BuddSpruce Budd
Notes: OG 13
5.5% ABV

Spruce tips used in place of hops.
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Photo of Tacticaly_beerducated
Reviewed by Tacticaly_beerducated from Oregon

4.61/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Great pale golden look with Spruce forward taste. Pilsner malt gives great mouth feel and gloriously tight bubbles that allow for nice lacing. Curious flavor. Begs to be drank. Would go well on any beach, in any park or any living room.
Jun 12, 2022
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
super fun beer, pils malt and spruce tips, lots of them, frankly this might be the most spruce forward beer ive ever had, i love the style, i loved the simplicity yet robustness of this one, and think they did a really nice job. a little different than what i am used to from these guys, not hoppy like so many of their beers are, its sort of drinks more like a balanced pale ale. there might not even be any hops in here at all, as the only bitterness i get seems to come from the herbal spruce itself. this is pale golden colored from the can, honey toned, without a ton of head. it smells sweet and oily, again like honey, hints of gin and lemon balm too, botanical and bright, alive, springy, and woodsy, with more sweetness from the grain than expected here, and a bready lightness there as well. the flavor is awesome, drippy oily fresh spruce, a juniper element in the mix, golden raisin to me, and straight up pine tree, like its very essence, so incredible. i am a little bummed its as sweet as it is, like maybe the spruce adds some of that unintentionally, but i wish it were drier. its also a little short on carbonation, not as alive in feel as it is in taste, and that slows it down a little too. its hard to be critical though, this is really clever, really unique as these go, and really good overall. impressive can of beer here, id love to try the gin barrel aged version, that seems brilliant to me. nice to try something a little off the beaten path from fort george, so much spruce here!
Aug 27, 2021
Photo of Iamaskier
Reviewed by Iamaskier from Idaho

3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Very unique, like a cider crossed with a pale ale. Smells like apple cider and dry biscuit, with a hint of pine resin. Taste begins as apple cider, with pine resin and floral notes, becoming sweet bready malt and more cider, finishing with juniper notes. Feel and finish are dry.
Neat, and pretty good to boot. I’d love to see more of this style, seems like there’s a lot of room for creativity.
Aug 27, 2021
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
16oz can from Noshies. Clear, bright golden with a small, creamy head. Aroma is citrus, tangerine, pine needles. Taste is sweet, tangerine, light pine resin. Oily feel.
Aug 08, 2021
Photo of DefenCorps
Reviewed by DefenCorps from Oregon

3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Canned 20 May 2021, purchased at ABV.

A clear yellow with a white head that falls off rapidly leaving no lacing, this looks solid. The nose is loaded with spruce, bright, fresh, pungent, herbal and oily. Fruity with a blend of orange and juniper that calls to mind a good gin. Mild honey. The palate opens sweet with floral honey, mango nectar and orange along with a lot of spruce flavor. Herbaceous, pungent, strong with undercurrents of juniper. Drying, watery on the finish with lingering spruce, honey and some simple syrup. Light in body, highly carbonated, this is a unique and enjoyable beer.
Jul 05, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by BEER88 from North Carolina

Oct 28, 2020
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Reviewed by NickSMpls from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
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
Photo of BeanBump
Reviewed by BeanBump from California

3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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
Photo of Mister_Faucher
Reviewed by Mister_Faucher from Washington

4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
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
Photo of flagmantho
Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
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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Reviewed by maximum12 from Minnesota

2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
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
Rated: 3.68 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois

Jun 25, 2020
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Reviewed by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
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
Rated: 3.48 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Jun 20, 2020
Rated: 3.77 by Sound_Explorer from Washington

Jun 11, 2020
Rated: 3.89 by davidsonte2 from Washington

Feb 27, 2019
Photo of bl00
Reviewed by bl00 from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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
Reviewed by brenn79 from Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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
Photo of kemoarps
Reviewed by kemoarps from Washington

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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
Photo of Lingenbrau
Reviewed by Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
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
Rated: 4.58 by jason_nwx from Oregon

Jul 09, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by Sir_Goatman from Oregon

Jul 08, 2018
Rated: 3.97 by dshansen1184 from Washington

Jul 07, 2018
Rated: 3.71 by rarigney from Washington

Jul 02, 2018
Rated: 3.68 by NWHopinator from Oregon

Jun 26, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by twelveinches from Washington

Jun 21, 2018
Photo of LiquidAmber
Reviewed by LiquidAmber from Washington

3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
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
Rated: 3.9 by MOTS77 from Oregon

Nov 25, 2017
Photo of Hyptochrons
Reviewed by Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +13%
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
Rated: 3.5 by NickThePyro from Washington

Oct 21, 2016
Rated: 4 by datchethilbery from Washington

Jun 20, 2016
Rated: 3.52 by LXIXME from New Mexico

Jun 18, 2016
Rated: 3.44 by Adamostella from Washington

Jun 14, 2016
Rated: 3.58 by cherche from Washington

May 28, 2016
Rated: 4 by sharpski from Oregon

Dec 21, 2015
Photo of ccnorthwest
Rated by ccnorthwest from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Very unique beer. Almost a cranberry taste present. Pleased to drink one.
Jul 13, 2015
Photo of PZBREW
Rated by PZBREW from Oregon

4.64/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Spruce in a good way. Fruity and treey. Veey tasty and smells really good.
Jul 04, 2015
Rated: 3.83 by Kylo76 from Colorado

Jul 01, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by nmann08 from Virginia

Aug 06, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Hopmodium from Washington

Jul 10, 2014
Spruce Budd from Fort George Brewery + Public House
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 50 ratings