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

349 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

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Reviews: 349 | Ratings: 640
Photo of WAbeerfiend
1/5  rDev -71.8%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 04.29.14.

A: Flat. No head or lacing at all. Somewhat opaque orange. Sediment is there.

S: Corn or grain first. Citrus, orange, lemon. It's very sour.

T: Burnt biscuit, bitterness, tangerine.

M: No carbonation.

O: The bottle read that this was unfiltered so I couldn't use that as a gauge for how old this was. At any rate, this was simply terrible. 3 sips into it and it was a drain pour. The was one of the most unbalanced beers ever. It was undrinkable.

Rating: F

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Photo of Murchmac
1.22/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Worst beer ever. I slugged through half of this beer and threw it away.

I thought maybe I had an infected batch until I read other peoples reviews and they said it tasted sour.

If you like sours, this beer you would like.

As for me, it tastes like fermented urine. I havent had a beer this bad in a long time. Drain Pour.

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Photo of mentor
1.62/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bottle obtained from Total Beverage (Colorado) and consumed two evenings later. Pours a vigorous two finger yellowish fluffy head over a pine 2x4 colored liquid that's very cloudy. Smells piney and like Fuggles hops with yeast and perhaps a little bit of belgian funkiness. Taste is sweet with some odd hops. Hops have an almost mildewy taste. With additional tastes it's starting to come across as funky with candy sugar. There is some toasted grain or tannin character. American pale? This is more of an abbey ale. WFT? This is one disgusting APA. Md-light body and sharp moderate carbonation. Foamed pretty good going down the drain. Without a doubt the worst APA I've ever had.

Edit: Wow, it's scored as the worse beer I've ever reviewed. Is it typical for Hair of the Dog Brewing Company to pioneer into this kind of uncharted territory?

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Photo of germaniac
1.88/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poor, Poor, Aunt Ruth. She inspires her nephew, and gets her name plastered on a mixed up and (personally)disappointing beer. labeled as an American ale, with it's pedigree in italics to forcefully get the point across.

But Ruth pours out looking fairly Belgian. Honey gold opaqueness doesn't help to inspire me to get in the American frame of mind our brewmasters at Hair of the Dog were hoping for.

The slightly fruity, sweet smell does not bode well for the possibility of high style points, either.

Tastes of yeast, with an unpleasant sourness that is unfortunately neither Belgian or American. Hopefully my bottle has been exposed to too much heat, or something. Otherwise, that leaves the only option that this beer was planned from the get-go to be almost unfinishable, and I would hate to think that, after thouroughly enjoying Doggie Claws and Adam.

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Photo of Jredner
1.9/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The aroma has a slightly tangy rotten fruit/vegetable aroma with some off sour chemical notes. The body is pale lager gold with a two finger thick mostly lasting and quite creamy looking head. Beautiful lacing hangs on the inside of the glass like drifts of snow. Chalky, sour and infected tasting fore tastes very much like chomping an aspirin to fine powder with your teeth. The beer finishes with a sour overripe fruit note and that caustic aspirin powder flavor.

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Photo of draheim
2/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle opens with a conspicuously limp "pfft." Poured aggressively into a tulip, yields literally zero head. What is up with this beer.

Clear golden color with no carbonation. One of the flattest beers I've ever seen. I am having flashbacks of Angel's Share.

Aroma is grainy and a little dull. Not impressed.

Taste is pale malt. That's it really. Pale malt, no discernible hops, no carbonation. Feeling like I'm the butt of a practical joke here, pretty sure I've got a bad bottle. But what can I say? Quality control guys.

This tastes like a flat Budweiser, and I can't finish it. Next!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.2/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I've liked all the other Hair of the Dog beers I've had over the years, so this one was a big dissappointment- I didn't like this at all and it ended up being a drain pour for me. Perhaps it was bad. Given that there is no freshness date on the label, I don't really care- I call'em like I see'em and the brewery should help make sure I have a good experience. That being said, it was not obviously spoiled, so probably it is just the beer. This one poured golden with no head, but with constant bubbles in the glass. Quite a few particles suspended in the brew. Didn't smell like much, maybe some light floral hops, some cereal grains and some soap. The taste is bitter, but quite muddled and frankly, all over the place. Bitter, metallic, overripe fruit, gentian, and dust. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly spritzy. Unpleasant, I poured it out.

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Photo of JBogan
2.22/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is one unimpressive looking brew. A hazy pale gold with zip for a head and zip for lacing. Can you say b-o-r-i-n-g?

A weak smelling beer. Some slight floral notes but that's about it.

Tasted along the same lines as the smell, but with a slightly larger presence. A tiny bit of a hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was medium and slick, but flat. Needed some carbonation to perk things up.

Sorry granny Ruth, but you should ask your son-in-law to remove your name from this brew. However well intentioned it may be, this one needs some more work before it can be called enjoyable.

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Photo of JDV
2.26/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smell is very mild, but like a toned down hefeweizen/belgian with that light spiced typical hef smell and some earthy tone and light fruitiness. Pours cloudy goldish like a hef too. Quickly fading head. Taste is mild, bland and like a earthy hefeweizen. For as much as I heard raves about this brewery, this is a pretty crappy tasting beer and a big letdown. Wouldn't recommend this, and although it's drinkable, its not particularly good. I dumped the last half.

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Photo of magictacosinus
2.33/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottle lists the beer as "unfiltered," although I only noticed so upon pouring everything in. Whoops. Here's hoping it doesn't ruin the flavor.

Orangish-straw color, which lots of tiny bubbles and a gigantic, creamy head, as expected. Yeastiness is highly present in the color, and the foam sticks to the glass as it fades over time. If anything, looks like a better version of many homebrews I've had in the past.

This one is definitely for lovers of honey and herbs, to say the least! The yeast clearly produces such notes, and there's plenty of floral and citrus hops that follow as well. Does not smell the least bit malty, perhaps due to the yeast overpowering the flavor. There's a bit spiciness as well, but it seems like this beer is a little messed up in terms of balance, despite holding an overall pleasant aroma.

Flavor continues the honey overdose trail, except this time far more unpleasantly. The yeastiness is overpowering to the point where it creates a slimy astringency, as well as having too much graininess to the point of leaving behind an unpleasant, sandpaper-like aftertaste on the tongue. There's a sweet syrupy feel, which is interesting while the hoppiness prevails, yet kind of unpleasant as it fades away. Worst off, it's a alcoholic disaster despite being a modest 5.6% ABV: the burn at the back of the throat is anything but beneficial to heightening the experience. I've no idea how to seek any distinguishable flavors in a beer this messy.

This is not a complete failure, but a typical homebrew type product that is really unbalanced and headscratching. All of the intended flavors are great, but they're all positioned in the wrong place. At least, that's what my palate is convincing me every time I take a sip. Glad this was only $2.50, on the bright side. Still was a drainpour, in the end.

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Photo of Sean9689
2.37/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to trevor211 (on the other site) for the extra. 12oz bottle poured into Bruery Tulip.

A - Pours a mirky/hazy dark yellowish/orange, two fingers-worth of white fluffy foam, nice sticky bubbly lacing, and a thick cap remains on top after the initial pour.

S - Muddled hops, slight bitterness, a bit musty, slight touch of malts. Very muted, in my opinion, and doesn't really smell like a high-quality APA.

T - Sweet malts, off-putting bitterness, slight muted hops. Ugh, I can't keep drinking this. The finish is astringent and harsh. Not good.

M - Light, good carbonation, off-putting finish.

D - Ugh, no thanks. I had no idea this was going to be so bad. I've had several other HotD offerings and they were all good - excellent. This one? No so good. Def pass...getting up off the couch to pour this one down the drain.

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Photo of output01x
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A slow pour yields a creamy, off-white head that quickly shoots up and fills the entire glass before half of the bottle is emptied. Should I have grabbed my weizen glass? The body is a hazy straw gold with multiple jets of carbonation bubbles. Still looking more like a hefeweizen than an APA. The head never falls to less than 1/2-finger. Some light lacing can be noticed as splotches clinging randomly to the glass.

The nose is dominated by yeast with bright notes of lemony citrus, golden apples, and wildflower honey. Some slight biscuity malts and floral hops are detectable, but very subdued. Even the nose is more hefe than APA.

It feels like ages waiting for the head to die down enough to even get a sip. The first sip offers a strong citrus flavor with notes of pineapple and lemon. Upon swallowing, grassy hops washes out all other flavors. However, this slowly transforms into an off-putting flavors of chalky banana peel and dandelion stem.

This beer is light to medium bodied with enough carbonation for a case of Pale Ales. The body seems about on for the style but is difficult to gauge with all the carbonation. The carbonation fizzes the instant the beer enters your mouth and doesn't stop until swallowed, no matter how long the beer is held in the mouth.

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Photo of Zorro
2.4/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours a sunny yellow colored beer with a bit of a chill haze to it. MASSIVE pillowy white head. You must pout this beer carefully because there is a lot of sediment in the bottom. I can't give this one that great a score as it looks like a severely over carbonated lager.

Smell is strange. There is a bit of musty malt aroma that is almost obliterated by the scent of lemons. There is for some reason the smell of coriander and spices to this as if it was some kind of whacked out Belgian witbier. Hops add a floral and herbal aroma to this that just jars my senses. My brain says that this beer does not compute!

Taste is malty with an overly strong taste of coriander that punches you in the tongue. There is a basic taste of a Belgian pale ale here except it is very heavily over spiced to the point that it numbs my mouth like oil of cloves. There is a clove taste to this that reminds me of the spiced apple cider I made one time and added way too much clove to it.

Mouthfeel is good.

Just not a real freaking drinkable beer at all here. If the alcohol was stronger I could call this an OK Belgian Pale Ale. Frankly this beer sucks and I am going to pour the last 1/2 of the glass in the toilet.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.45/5  rDev -31%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours a clear pale yellow color. Produced a great white fluffy head with superb retention behind it. Tons of sticky lacing left behind as it finally dissipated.

(S)- Very very dry. Almost has a floral aspect to it with lemon and lime citrus. Slightly piney.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Has a very strong resin-like floral hop character to it. Very subtle pine and citrus behind that. Some residual honey sweetness.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A bit lacking in terms of the typical hop character but its sort of there. A bit bitter for the style. Almost thin too.

(D)- Not your average pale ale. Definitely has some different things going on typical for the style, yet I do not think it is for the good in this instance in my opinion. Very dry and bitter with not a whole lot of overall flavor going on.

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Photo of RickS95
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It's not ugly, but doen't really look the style. Had I not seen it was a pale ale, I'd guess this to be a wit. The pour is a milky golden yellow. Very hazy. The head is a macro looking white. Very carbonated looking head, but the lacing is nice.

Same as the look. Not unattractive, just doesn't smell like a pale ale. Lots of malt and yeast on the nose, with some flowers and honey. The hops don't shine at all.

I get lots of yeast, think pepper. Kind of a biscuity flavor (yeast). Whatever hops are in there, it doesn't seem to be the citrus kind because there's not even a hint of pine or Hawaiian fruit.

I don't care for the thick, almost chewy feel. Normally I'd appreciate it, but that would be in stouts or strong Belgians, not in pale ales. This is full and earthy with an astrigent bitter finish.

This misses the mark. I've been interested in Adam and Fred, but was only able to get this from a friend near Portland. I was excited. Now I'm disappointed. The look is wrong, the smell is wrong, it doesn't taste good and it feels worse.

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Photo of steeb
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Slightly hazy poured in a thin head

S: Sweet and candy like with some citrus hop aroma peaking through

T: SWEEET. Again some citrus hops coming through behind all the sweet.

M: A bit on the heavy side for an APA from the west side.

O: There is some good hop character to this APA howeverrr, its a bit on the sweet side to really enjoy

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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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden color, lots of shit floating around the beer. Hops not even close to being evident.

Taste was toasted malt like a pale ale, but the yeast and lack of hops had me confused. Bready. Slightly bitter. I just really didn't understand what they were trying for here. Belgian pale ale?

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This brew pours a cloudy, pale straw color. The head is fluffy and white. The aroma is of grassy, herbal hops. Nothing too complex, just the hops. The taste is of juicy citrus and grass; two flavor that just don't work well together. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a pale ale that I would skip next time around.

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Photo of beerdrifter
2.54/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a cloudy yellow, orange with a medium white head and no lacing. Huge fruity nose with lots of pineapple. Tasted pretty flat which makes me think I may have gotten a bad bottle. Had more of a wheat beer feel to it than and definitely not an American Pale Ale. Pretty sour which also makes me think it may have been a bad bottle. Hugely disappointing considering how much I had heard about Hair of the Dog.

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Photo of gordavidson
2.54/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- A cloudy orange liquid with a massive, craggy white head that has outstanding retention. Looks great.

S- Celery, fruit, and a touch of chlorine. Smells very clean and a little home-brewed.

T- Fruit, and a definite astringent quality. Tastes slightly cidery with a bit of a sanitizer aspect. Tastes like a Mr. Beer kit beer I made.

M- Astringent and not nearly as carbonated as the head lead me to believe.

D- This is not all that enjoyable. The odd flavors to this do not go well together. It's a damn shame because I have heard good things about this brewery.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
2.55/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'll just start by saying this beer just didn't reach me. It poured a pale, hazy gold color with almost no head. It looked very much like a wit. Its aroma was typical of a wit but had a German lager-type scent to it. There was definitely a good deal of citrus emanating from the beer... I was definitely intrigued by the aroma, especially since it was allegedly a pale ale. Then I tasted it... and that's what probably wasn't working for me the most. From beginning to end, I felt like I was being bombarded with a very sour lemon taste that didn't quit. There was a very mild bitterness and a bit of spice but for the most part, there was an overwhelming sour taste that just wouldn't quit. It became so distracting that I began to think it's all the beer had to offer. Very carbonated with a medium mouthfeel but due to that overpowering sour lemon/apple taste, I couldn't drink another. It pales in comparison to other beers of the same style.

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Photo of Philousa
2.56/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pale straw body, completely opaque, with a thick two finger head. Sweet honey-like barley malt, toasted white bread, and very slight hint of hops in the nose. I think I'm reaching for the hops. Light honey flavor up front, floral hops bubble to the surface while the malt changes from sweet barley to tart. Light bitterness lingers. Middle to watery feel, a bit acidic, like a Hefeweizen.

Is this a Pale Ale or a Hefeweizen? I think HotD needs to make up their mind. I was excited to try a beer of theirs that wasn't a Strong Dark Ale or Old Ale, but now I'm left wondering if HotD knows what they're doing when brewing alternate styles. Their other beers were very complex and rewarding, so I was hoping to get a hoppy Pale Ale with some interesting malt flavors, which is what they do best. Instead I got a Hefeweizen labeled as a Pale Ale. This isn't a bad beer, it's just confused.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presented in a 12oz bottle as depicted and poured into one of my tulip glasses. Ruth had a cloudy pale yellow color streaked with sediment and buck-shot with small clumps - not something I've seen yet in an APA. A quickly dissapating white head and zero lace completed a less than appealing appearance.
The nose had a definitively lemony, yeasty aroma with lighter coriander and peppery spice notes around the fringes. Some floral, perfumey notes also. APA? Methinks more like a witbier.
The taste had a fruity-spicy flavor more suited to a wit than a pale ale. Yeasty malts with a light graininess, floral apple-infused sweetness and a finishing flourish of white pepper, coriander, and maybe a hint of allspice mixed with a modest citrusy hops bite. The feel was very light with a slick, creamy feel over the tongue. Strange as it appeared to have little carbonation.
I found myself in a bit of a quandry reviewing Ruth. In comparison to other APA's this brew misses way left of the mark. Ruth strikes me as being more of a witbier or maybe a Belgian pale ale than any American pale ale. Ruth isn't even close to SNPA, Stone PA, or Anchor Liberty. So my marks are in relation to how Ruth measures up to others of the style, not strictly it's own merits. Rated on it's own, I'd bump up the smell and taste a .5 to 1.0 point. But against others of this style Ruth falls woefully short.

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Photo of Offa
2.61/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This is very fizzy, dry, and rather bland and boring, and ultimately not my thing.

A hazy gold, it has a big, faintly off-white, head steadily shrinking to a permanent medium head and a little foamy lace.

It smells like a wheat ale, being predominantly pears with hints of citrus, pine, banana, bubblegum, and bread.

The taste first hit me with a dry, tart, zestiness, fizzy, with pears and fresh grapefruit. The grapefruit is light but clearly dominates and is slghtly different from the grapefruit quality I'm used to and seems very much like fresh grapefruit juice. The beer is a little too dry and fizzy with light bitterness, a lightly bitter grapefruit finish that vanishes quaickly to leave almost no aftertaste.

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Ruth from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
3.55 out of 5 based on 640 ratings.
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