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

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641 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 641 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of drcarver
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - very hazy yellow body with little head. The head that does limp to the top clings to the sides.

S - nonaggressive with slight sour overtones

T/m - refreshing. strangely lemon-ish for a pale ale. very little hop is present. Finished clean and clear.

D - great drinking beer.

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Photo of rpstevens
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Portsmouth tulip. The beer pours a light orange with effervescent edges and a tight thin white head. The head quickly fades to a tight ring, leaving some oily lacing on the glass.

The smell is light and mild, but it smells how it should. There is some floral hops, lemon zest, some orange peel and a nice balance of light graham cracker malt.

The taste is sharper and more emphatic than the smell. The lemon zest, orange peel and fresh cut grass hops come to the front. The graham cracker malts provide a quick balance that bring the flavors back from the citrus introduction, and then the citrus bitterness comes back for the finish.

The beer is well carbonated and light bodied with sharp well balanced flavors. The finish is nice and dry this is a very good pale ale that is quite drinkable, something I would like to have more regularly.

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Photo of Cresant
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No date, a code was printed at the bottom but I could not read it. A hard pour created a mild head which remained as a film throughout. The body was light golden yellow with a fine haze.

Smell was floral and fruity. Rather dull.

Taste was flowery hops. A mild sweetness opened and then finished lightly bitter. Not as flavorful as expected (maybe an older bottle).

Mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied. Lightly carbonated. Not a beer I will seek out again.

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Photo of chumba526
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy yellow in color and it has a small head. The smell is very unique there are hints of rosemary, lemon and grass. The taste is very lemony and herbal in a rosemary kind of way. There is a noticeable herbal citrusy and semi bitter presence of hops. It would be a perfect beer to have with Asian food. I love the fruity lemon qualities of the beer. The low carbonation adds a great creaminess to the beer and brings out the flavors. It is a Drinkable, delicious and unique pale ale.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to scribe594 for sending this out as a nice west coast extra.

Poured into a pint glass. Ruth has a cloudy, yellow-banana-peach body with a thin white head on top. Spots of lacing left behind.

Sweet, slightly stale, bready malts on the nose. Citrus and a little bit of grassiness from the hops. Lemon lime and orange.

Sweet, crisp, a little bitter with grapefruit on tongue. Hops come through moderately with some grassy notes. Touch of bubblegum flavor in the sweetness. Slightly wheaty and decently balanced.

Mouthfeel is crisp and decently full with ample carbonation. Some bitterness on the finish.

Drinkability is good. ABV is in the sessionable range and the flavor is pretty tasty. Nothing really draws you back to the glass, but nothing is offensive either. You could put away a couple of these pretty easily.

Overall, this is a decent pale ale. Easy drinking and has enough flavor. The only other HotD beer I've had is Blue Dot, which I thought was a better offering, but Ruth isn't too bad either. Still looking forward to trying Adam or Doggie Claws.

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Photo of vkv822
4.06/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a clear golden with a decent amount of slow rising carbonation, with a thin white head with a bit short retention, but is not too inspiring.
Has a hoppy floral smell with some nice bready malt notes, and while nothing too complex is very inviting. The flavor is more floral hop notes with a bit of an herbal kick towards the end. There is also a nice underlying note of biscuity malts, as found in the smell. The mouthfeel is an enjoyable medium to light body with a good amount of carbonation.
It is very drinkable, definitely something I would consider picking up again as something to just kick back and enjoy.

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Photo of billab914
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. Poured a pale golden color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The top of the beer was covered with a frothy white one finger white head. It had some pretty good head retention and left moderate lacing on the glass.

The aroma has a peppery, earthy spice to it with a little fruity yeast flavors coming through. it also has a pretty decent amount of floral citrusy hop flavors as well. The aroma reminds me a little bit of a hoppy Belgian type of beer.

The taste has a good amount of citrusy hoppiness to it and is low on the bitterness. It finishes with a little malty and caramel sweetness along with a little spicy/fruity Belgian yeastiness to it.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied and carbonation is moderate to above average. Drinkability is decent, it had some pretty nice flavors to it. That said rating it to style I'm not sure how much I enjoyed the Belgian yeast flavors in an American Pale Ale. It was a pretty decent beer but probably wouldn't be one of my top choices when looking for an APA.

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Photo of OneWoman
4.26/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ruth is an unfiltered ale that pours a murky dried apricot color. For a pale ale, it has a very nicely shaped head, with big dreamy custard froth. I like to think of it as a "crumpet" head, with uneven, large and small sized bubbles forming a textured cloud. It smells very gently of summer fruits, lightly of apricot and rhubarb. Sweet dried fruit, and soft citrus malt explode with the first sip into something like a Crème bavaroise. A bit later on, it's nutty, a bit sweet and bready like hot crossed buns. In short, super tasty, and what amazement that all this is contained in a mere 4.5ABV light bodied beer. It's not a big beer, but it's a super cozy comforting beer.

Important: Served best not too cold to get the subtleties of the light flavors and the delicious mouth feel! Serving temperature is key.

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Photo of jkrich
3.12/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date. Poured a bright, clear yellowish golden color with very little head retention. It appeared rather flat. I noticed some sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell was largely soft, fruity and refreshing aromas.

There was a noticeable sharp bitterness similar to a sour orange. As the ale warmed, the taste became more balanced with some malty flavor. The ale also tasted of alcohol.

The body was rather thin and the taste a little flat. The ale leaves some sweet, malty aftertaste.

This is a very light ale but suffered from the unbalanced bitterness and strange alcohol flavor. It is hardly the worst ale I have tried but given the reputation of this brewery and the price, I expected a lot more.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an unmarked pint glass.
Look: Light gold, a little too pale. Small one finger head that left a nice bit of lacing.
Smell: I get the hops most clearly, citrus with a slight hint of pine. A nice combination of scents.
Taste: Here is where I must say I was a little disappointed. It's a good tasting beer but the flavor disappears right after the swallow.
Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but like in the taste, a bit short on the mouth-pleasure.
Drinkability: You could pour them back easy if they weren't so expensive. I'd go for something with a little more flavor and a little lighter on the wallet.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear goldenrod color, with nice carbonation appearance, and fluffy off-white one finger head. Quite nice lace.

S - Hoppy with wet and musty character. Slight earthiness with some toasted malt and a fleeting citrus presence.

T - Floral and citrus hops floating lightly over a slightly sweet, nicely malted body. Other flavors that come though include bread grains, some bitter pine, and some light tropical fruit. More subtle than complex, but quite tasty.

M - Smooth, moderate-light body. Pleasing carbonation.

D - An enjoyable take on the style... a nice derivative. I would be more likely to pick this up again if the price were more reasonable... but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of beertunes
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into16oz stange. Poured a slightly hazy medium-dark yellow, with a thin cap of white head that didn't have much retention, but left good lacing.

The aroma was hop dominant, floral and citrus, with a nice grainy malt scent in the background. The flavors were mostly balanced, but leaned towards the hop side. This would be a good beer to use as an introduction to hops for the hop-shy.

The body was good, full and solid but not heavy. Drinkability was very good, having several of these would be a joy. Overall, a very good brew, worth seeking out.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, i like the appearance of an amber cloudy beer, it just looks good, kind of homebrewey, so that was a plus. The smell was faint, not much there, kind of like the taste. I am a huge fan of the "american pale ale", but this was just average. This has a subtle hops flavor, but dominate malt. Overall it is drinkable, but these guys are legendary and was expecting something awesome.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

OK I don't understand why this is a B beer. Appearance is amazing with some hazy goldenrod color, good carbonation. Big lacing, on par with just about any other IPA or APA I've had. Smell is a bit sub-par, not too strong, pilsner malt comes through, but it a bit unpleasant. Just not too great. Taste, however, is pretty awesome. Thin malt backbone followed by some intense hops. I'm sorry for the blasphemy, but I was reminded of Pliny the Elder when drinking this one--hoppy with little malt backbone. Supremely smooth, one of the best drinking pale ales I've had. Maybe not worth the $3.49, but definitely worth a try if you can get it cheap.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours golden and slightly cloudy, headless, but smells nice, fruity and hoppy.

Taste is malty straw and citrus hops, nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is a little dry and gritty, Thick malty body but quite drinkable. I would drink a few.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first HotD beer, thanks to mikereaser.

A: Light fluffy 1/2 finger head bleached white color. It tries to fade but is quickly re-enforced by the bubbles rising from the bottom of my SA pint glass. Brilliantly clear golden yellow color reveals these bubbles.

N: Some musty fresh hop oils and wet hop aromas really hit. Earthy, musty, spicy hops with a little juicy hop aroma as well. Don't get much else past that very musty wet hop aroma.

T: Starts with most of the musty fresh wet hops, and some hop oils. Earthy hops, a little piny, some juicy and chewy hops, slight malty sweetness, a little almost honey flavor. Reminds me a lot of Founders Harvest ale. Also, the musty flavor is somewhat unpleasant as it just overpowers everything. The slight malty sweetness seems to offset this slightly though.

M: Average body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter as the bitterness builds a bit, but never really gets that bitter. A little but of that lingering unpleasant musty flavor that doesn't seem to want to fade. A little sweetness and honey lingering. This type of super fresh wet hop musty IPA does well for some people, just not my kinda beer.

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Photo of erosier
4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

L: Pours a nice clear golden yellow-orange with a medium sized and medium bodied off-white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted and toasted malts, nice amounts of citrus-y and earthy hops at the end of the nose with a hint of something sweet used in the process.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted and toasted malts, some nice citrus-y and earthy hop flavors, hints of some lighter fruit sweetness and then some more hops. Hops are well blended with the malts which makes the taste that much better.
M: Very smooth, light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, this one was a joy to drink, it's a nice take on the Pale Ale.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.12/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, augustgarage. 12oz into flute.

A- Nice, bright, vibrant gold pour, creamy white head that settles quickly. Minimal lacing.

S- Hoppy! Citrus hops, hint of pine. Not too strong, rather pleasant.

T- Follows the nose. Nice floral and citrus hops, a touch of pine resin. Closes a bit bitter and very well. A surprisingly good malt bill is here to back up the hops... A bit bready, biscuity I guess... making this one a bit more flavorful than I expected.

M- Crisp, good carbonation, great balance. A joy to drink.

D- If it was in my distribution area, I'd keep some of this around all the time. Nice, sessionable, drinkable beer. One of the better standard APAs, really solid all the way around.

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Photo of Luk13
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Hazy gold pour, lots of sediment, very little head. Very floral, honey aromas a bit of peppery spice. Taste is very well balanced, sweet fading to bitter very gradually. Good, smooth palate. Very enjoyable, it differs from the regular APA all-hop and all-bitterness.

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Photo of PhiGDeltaBrewman
3.44/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- golden pale color with nice carbonation, a non filtered beer appearance that takes away from appearance once.

S- citrus and floral hop aroma with little to no malt charcterisitic

T- light and lager-esk with a nice medium hop characteristic

M- very light body with a spice at the front, malt covering about mid palate and hop finishing that is citrus and floral throughout

D- very drinkable at around 5% and very light for a nice summer session

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Photo of woosterbill
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy, pale orange body with some yeast chunks (definitely follows through on the "unfiltered" promise of the label) looks quite good, but a fairly vigorous pour only produces a 3/4" head of fine white foam that delivers sub-par retention and only light lace. Appealing enough, but nothing memorable.

S: Pale pilsner malt is a primary aroma, with light citrus hops swirling around as well. Well-balanced and inviting, although miles from anything really compelling.

T: Much like the nose, with subtle malty sweetness up front followed by a crisp bitterness from the hops. Clean and balanced.

M: Smooth, light body with a generous dose of lively, soft carbonation. Very appealing indeed.

D: Off the charts. My bottle claims to be 4.5% (not the 5.6 shown on BA), and it's great to see such a flavorful, balanced beer come in at such a genuinely sessionable ABV. It was insanely expensive for what it is ($4 for a single at DeCicco's in NY), but I'm glad I got to try something from HotD. Definitely a tasty and well-crafted ale.


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Photo of froghop
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a semi-cloudy with a small white head, and great lacing.

smell is of floral, some caramel, and a nice citrus.

taste is of pink grapefruit, some caramel, malt, earth, and some sweet fruit, ends nice on the tongue, and a little bitter.

overall okay, but not as good as most from hair of the dog.

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Photo of billzee
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. snub bottle into a pint glass. Golden body with lots of unfiltered murk (think light orange juice with pureed pulp). Half inch of white head, that recedes to leave a light coating all the way down. This smells and tastes like a grapefuit with a half-teaspoon of sugar on top. Sweet upfront with some nice fruity flavor (grapefruit and apple). Good mouthfeel, smooth with mild carbonation, bit of a hop bite at the finish.I am really enjoing this. I am wishing I picked up more than one of these. Hasa really nice, fresh taste and aroma.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. single and poured into a pint glass. A golden orange pour results, with a thin and fleeting white cap of foam. Carbonation does allow for a steady surface film however. Lot of dark sediment in the beer settles quickly.

Nose is somewhat sweet and seems to offer a slightly unnatural citrus kick, perhaps a bit rancid in nature. And with little hop presence to balance, though I'm averse to swirling the beer in hopes of keeping the sediment in the bottom of the glass. I sense some unmalted grain offers a subtle background.

Flavor follows the nose with an odd citric punch, light in body and with a subdued hop bitterness. Decent flavor once you adjust with an equal feel and drink. Not bad but not worth the premium.

Value: C-

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Photo of augustgarage
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. 4.5% ABV, possibly bottled in '08?

Liquid pours a hazy golden poppy with tangerine-yellow highlights towards the edges of the glass. An active, soft ivory finger of foam recedes very slowly leaving thick and sticky lacing in its wake. Excellent retention.

Gently spicy hop aroma, with nutmeg, lemon, and a bit of wheatgrass. The smell becomes more potent as the liquid warms a bit. Somewhat yeasty Belgian elements as well...

Strong hop presence on the palate with alfalfa, pomelo, and strawberry flavors. Clean malt with a hint of grain (almost like brown rice) emerges for balance - the finish is dry, earthy, and lightly bitter.

Medium-light bodied with a bit of added texture (almost buttery) from being unfiltered. Good carbonation. Certainly "sessionable."

Seems fairly unique for the style, though it could be I just haven't tried enough APA's using whole-cone Crystal hops. Light but flavorful, this would be good on a hot summer afternoon.

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Ruth from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 641 ratings
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