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 donkeyrunner
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Around the logo there are are four words: "brave, lovable, vibrant, mazel." I checked on and mazel isn't a word in the English language. Conniving bastards.

Translucent, deep honey color with a tiny white head. Cloudy with chance of horrible retention.

Smells wonderful. Nectarines, sugary pale malt and mild cascade-ish citrus/grassy hops. Tastes equally as good: apricots and nectarine fruity pils malt.

Overall, Ruth is very mazel.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A short and stout, 12 ounce bottle copped singly from New beer... Not too often us guys on the east coast come across a selection from Hair of the Dog... This one did not disappoint... Excellent and robust hop flavor well balanced with a suggestion of malts... Easilly drinkable...

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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 cvfish
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer poured a cloudy yellow color that produced a fluffy white head that had decent retention and left a little lace on the side of the glass

S - I really don't understand this beer, it's billed as an APA but smells everything like a Belgian Tripel, grains, yeast, banana, and clove

T - Again this is really puzzling, as a Tripel this would have been decent, but as an APA it's horrible, I can't say too many things about this beer

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - I really do not know what to expect from this beer, if they come back and reclassify this as a Tripel, I will adjust my rating. Otherwise, not a beer I will look for again

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

Picked up a single at the Bowery WF.

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass. A hard pour produces half an inch of white head, that quickly recedes to leave a collar with some misc bubble islands of retention.
This thing has a really appealing unfiltered look to it. It reminds me a bit of cider, its murky and exactly what I was looking for!
Color is a pale straw yellow with a brownish tinge.

Aroma is pretty fruit forward, apples, caramel, unfermented sugars, bready and a very minute spice hidden in the backround. Reminds me a bit of pumpkin pie spice.

Mouthfeel is so full of creamyness and full bodied depth, small carbonation, but not flat. This is amazing to me, especially for a beer this light in color. I havnt experienced this full of a body from this stlye before.

Taste is mildly sweet upfront, with yeasty bread, aroma follwoing into flavor with more of that apple cider flavor, slight spice and a peppery finish.
Hops are present, but bitter up only slightly in flavor. There are some floral hop flower like taste to this.

This is one very interesting beer. I wish I had more then one of them to further dissect it. Its no hop bomb apa, its somthing that reminds me of a lagered version almost. Very Hellas lager like actually. But its still very good.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty glass on 10/13/09.

A - Poured a very hazy orange/peach-colored body with lively carbonation and a bubbly white head that retained very well and yielded spotty, foamy lacing around the glass.

S - Initial aroma is quite fruit with peach, mango and citrus hops backed by a biscuity, grainy malt character and some sweet caramel notes. I also detect a hint of buttery diacetyl in the mix.

T - Tropical and citrus fruit as well as fleshy tree fruit merge together to create a sweet yet quite hoppy flavor. A grainy malt character develops in the middle and lasts through the backend. Finish is moderately bitter with a fairly assertive herbal hop bite.

M - Medium bodied with a light syrupy texture and some residual hop oils on the palate. Finishes with moderate hop bitterness that lingers for a while on the back of the tongue.

D - Ruth is quite hoppy for a straight-up American Pale Ale. The hops really stick with you for the long haul. The flavor falls a bit short compared to the aroma, but this is still a good pale ale overall.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.39/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip because... you know... I was feelin' fancy.

Appearance: I'm very surprised that this beer didn't have huge yeast chunks at the bottom. So far, it's different than every other HotD beer I've had. Body is still cloudy though, and the color is goldenrod. Head is loose and rocky initially, but it quickly decays to a clumpy, white cap. Decent lacing. Looks like there's some pretty active carbonation inside (though it's hard to see).

Smell: Pale malt plays a huge role here; however, the pilsener malt is far from quiet. I'm getting saltine crackers, light honey and vegetation, maybe some lemon zest, and other pilsener characteristics. Hmmm... definitely not what I expected; nothing close to your typical pale ale.

Taste: Pilsener malt and pale malt both loom pretty large. I'm getting a little honey, grains, and toastiness in the middle, and the finish is salty and flowery. I applaud HotD for pushing the envelope. I wasn't a big fan of this at first, but now that I'm midway through its tasting pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Clean, actively carbonated, and brisk. Body feels fairly light, but maybe it's just all of the carbonation. Bitterness is milder than I'd like, but it does linger pretty well. More like a hoppy lager than anything. I dig the creativity.

Drinkability: You know what, that was pretty cool. I've never had a beer like Ruth before, and while it wasn't great, it was totally interesting. I wish I had bought a six pack. While I don't always enjoy Hair of the Dog's brews, I always find them to be totally unique. I hope they keep it rollin'!

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Photo of marvin213
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a pale ale should, but it might be a wee bit darker with a lil' more hoppy-like foam. I like it. The straw-yellow color allows some light with some shadowy cast, and it's a darned good-lookin' beer for what the bottle tells me is 4.5%.

I smell pale malt, which I ordinarily don't like, but I'm glad to smell anything in an American Pale Ale. I think aroma is a particularly difficult task for this beer-type, but this one's definitely better than average.

Pale malts always give me a chalk-like feel. How far is chalk from pale malt? Though I like it in the nose, I'm not a fan on the tongue. It's bitter, and it reminds me of a barium swallow. Again, though I appreciate the nose, the pale malt potency smacks my senses in an unpleasant way.

The feel, as I said, is chalky. I don't like the mouthfeel of chalk. Whereas I'm normally neutral on the mouthfeel of nothingness that is pale ales, this relatively aggressive one sits not so well.

It's not that drinkable because it's a powerful pale. I respect it, but I don't like it.

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Photo of meatyard
2.96/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy (as befits an unfiltered ale) yellow with a 1-finger, white head that falls to a cover leaving bits of lacing.
The smell is, at first, unpleasant but becomes more like dried grass. Later I notice the biscuit like smell.
It tastes like one of the better macro lagers initially. As it warms (and I started at 45-46 degrees) it tastes more like the smell with very faint hops.
Mouthfeel is a nice medium but carbonation quickly dropped off to nil.
Drinkability is not so hot. ABV is low but there are so many better examples of an APA out there that I probably wouldn't try this again unless it was on tap in Portland OR.

As interesting as so many other HotD beers are I am surprised and disappointed in this one. HotD should think about reformulating this one.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubby bottle, 4.5% ABV

Pours a pale banana yellow amber color, with a fair amount of sediment making this cloudy and a quickly dissipating white bubbly head and a fair amount of dry lacing. Aroma is dry and yeasty, no sweetness, mild biscuity malt. Flavor is like the aroma, biscuity and yeasty, minimal floral hop presence and no sweetness. Body is very dry, medium thickness, with very low carbonation. Even for 4.5% a slight pinch of alcohol near the finish as well. Not a "bad" beer, but as an, I'll pass.

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Photo of weeare138
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a cloudy gold with a small white cap that quickly fades into a whispy head. Spotty bits of white lace are left around the glass.
Smell is of herbal, grassy, piney, and citrusy hops. A tiny bit of caramel is found along with a floral notes.
Taste is of the aromas with biscuit, nectarines, apricots, with bitter herbs clinging to the palate.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, bitter, syrupy, slick, and mildly astringent.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass, no fresh on date.

A: Pours a cloudy straw yellow body that is completely opaque and hazy in a good way, the head was a solid two fingers that is hanging on pretty well, mild sticky lacing as it dissipates and the head eventually falls to a thin foam.

S: Nothing too crazy going on here, pretty straightforward slight grapefruit citrus hops with a mild malt profile and a little grassy note as well, a small aroma of yeast is also present.

T: Wow, a lot more flavor than I was expecting, lots of crisp grapefruit right upfront, a little lemon as well, very mildly sweet malts fade in and linger through the finish. Pretty long finish for a pale ale, the hops linger in my throat for quite sometime. Pretty good for a pale.

M: Light to medium body, fairly crisp on the carbonation, could probably use just a touch more to really make it refreshing.

D: Seems like the guys at Hair of the Dog have been listening to the site, the abv is down to 4.5 making it more drinkable, and the carbonation seems more crisp to me than I previously read about this beer. Overall, Ruth is pretty drinkable and makes a nice summer pale ale that has a little something more than most out there. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: somewhat cloudy with a light golden color; practically no head at all. This is an unfiltered beer.

Smell: slightly spicy hops with a little malt aroma.

Taste: a nice hop flavor but this beer seems a bit sweet for my taste. There is a nice bitterness, but the flavors just don't seem melded.

Mouthfeel: medium body, very little carbonation.

Drinkability: not bad, could probably have a couple in a pub, but it's not really a session beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy golden color with about one finger of white foam.

S: Citrus hops, mostly orange and some mild grapefruit initially (and very quickly). Malt dominates the rest of the way through.

T: Also disappointing, not much in the way of hop bitterness. Sweet orange, and then malty sweetness.

M: Medium body, not much carbonation.

D: Good drinkability, as you expect from a pale ale. I was hoping for a lot more from HotD, though.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass, glad to see HOTD back in the area.

A- Ruth pours out a mix of gold and yellow with a focus on the latter. A hard pour yielded no head, just a very faint skim that faded further to just a ring around the glass, very minimal lacing.

S- The smell does not do it for me. Pretty much more malt than hops. A grassy straw like smell comes up with the hops not making a huge dent, if at all. The pilsner malt used is apparent but that addition is kind of bland.

T- The smell let me know this was not going to be my cup of tea, but this is not all that bad, I just won't be spending $4 on a single of this mediocre brew. Some yeast taste which is pleasant but I think the pilsner malt used is what's keeping this from being somewhat decent. A bit of spice rounds this out.

M&D- Ruth has a very small step under being medium bodied with decent carb going for it. It does go down smooth but leaves a earthy and lasting aftertaste. The ABV is low making for a session beer, although the taste will keep me from sessioning it. Oh well, you cant win them all.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a couple years hiatus, Hair of the Dog is back in PA. Picked up a single at the Beer Stop. The label states 4.5%ABV. Poured from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into my DFH shaker glass. The ale appears a cloudy pale straw yellow color with barely a finger of bone white foam. Nose and flavor are of medium toasted biscuits, grapefruit, lemon, floral hops, nice bitterness, decent malt balance. Hoppier than I was expecting. Between medium and full bodied for an APA with adequate carbonation as well. A nicely done pale ale that's certainly worth a try.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice light amber body. Cloudy and hazy. Huge off-white head. Good retention and nice sudsy lacing.

S: Soft citric and floral hops. Light, semi-sweet malt body.

T: Clean, refreshing citric and floral hop bitterness. Again the semi-sweet malt body shines through nicely.

M: Light bodied. Good carbonation. A bit soft on the finish.

D: Very nice. Refreshing. Good on a friday night with 80 degree weather.

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Photo of portia99
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Portsmouth goblet. No sign of a date code anywhere on the bottle.

A - Poured lightly into the glass. A hazy orangey gold color. Non-existent head - essentially just a thin, thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing at all.

S - Earthy hops, little bit of lemony citrus. Small amounts of bready malt. Nice, but nothing special.

T - Solid bitterness, some hop flavor - earthy and a little spicyness. Thin malt profile, just enough to balance - not enough to make an impression.

M - A little on the thin side. Carbonation is medium. Very smooth.

D - This is a great lawnmower beer. Seems like it would be a perfect session beer on a hot day. Very drinkable - I feel I could have a few of these, although I would probably opt for a different beer second time around on most nights.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.37/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at bottle barn in Santa Rosa

A - Pours light golden with a 1 fingered white head. Dissipates moderately, leaving light lacing.

S - A bouquet of caramel, citrus and flowers.

T - Citrus, grapefruit, flowers, with light caramel and light bittering hops.

M - Full bodied and hop dominated. Neither sweet, nor dry. Exactly how a pale ale should finish.

D - Overall really good. Aside from the appearance, I am unsure on how to improve this ale and is really good for the style.

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

Pours a clear gold/light amber color with thick fluffy slightly eggshell colored head. Good retention and nice lacing. Smells of floral hops, honey, citrus, sweet pale malts, and some band aid. Tastes of lemon and lime up front followed by some apple, honey, lightly toasted grains, and bread with a spicy, grass, and grapefruity finish. Medium to medium light in body, nice fizzy carbonation. Some nice tartness with an odd bitterness. Fairly easy to drink, different flavors from most other APAs, definitely could see sessioning this on a nice Spring day.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this 12 oz. bottle as a trade extra from tprokop7, thanks for the opportunity!

I poured this bad girl into an oversized wine glass for selfishly asthetic reasons, and was not disapointed. Through an aggressive pour, she produced a four finger head that seemed to last forever, resulting in a decent amount of lacing.

As far as the smell goes, I thought this was supposed to be an APA? To me, it had no qualities of an APA. It blasted me with a bouquet of tangerine and grapefruit...and dare I say a bit of sour funkiness? Yeah, this reminded me more of a Belgian in the nose.

The taste...where did all of the funk and tangerine go? The nose was all too misleading, because there was none of the funk or citrus in the flavor. Almost a complete letdown...I'm not saying the taste was bad, but it was not what I was expecting. Tons of yeast, more like musty stale yeast, with a slight hop bitterness towards the end, which resulted in a dry finish.

She has a decent mouthfeel. At times it feels like they went a bit overboard on the carbonation, which doesn't seem to match up to other reviews...kind of mind boggling. The carbonation kind of gave it a sharp yet somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability...I could drink a couple of these a night, if I want to constantly be letdown.

Overall, a bad interpretation of an APA, but I went against protocol, and tried not to think of it as one. This is not a bad beer by any means, but it's not great either. Feeling a bit letdown by HotD right now...thank God I have some Cherry Adam in the cellar to blow me away later!

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Photo of Nick3
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hazy, straw colored beer forms a cloud like 2 finger head in my pint glass. Some lacing claws itself to the glass. Nose is dominated by grains and hay with mild citrus and hops in the background. Taste is smooth with a faint malt presence on the forefront and a bitter hop finish. Balance is lacking here for me. Crisp carbonation and light body help redeem this beer a bit; it could easily be sessioned. Overall, a rather disappointing beer given the brewery but a still a healthy notch above a typical American macro.

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Photo of atsprings
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle that has been sitting on my desk for months into a Lucifer tulip, pours a slightly hazy bubbly orange with a nice frothy head. Aroma is citrus hops and sweet malts. The taste is an interesting blend of sweet malts that quickly give way to citrus hops in the finish. The beer is light and crisp with decent carbonation. This is certainly and enjoyable pale.

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Photo of natasharai
3.22/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with 1/2 cm off white head with large bubbles, that dissipated quickly to a thin layer leaving little lacing. The beer is very light in color, yellowish gold and clear.

Smell: Smells grassy, flowery, and slightly spicy. Also slightly citrusy sour.

Taste: Citrus hops, slightly sour and spicy, toasty malt flavor, bitter flowery hopps toward the end. Some kind of musty flavor hits right away up front then again at the end...

Mouthfeel: light bodied, slightly sweet up front, small tingle, turns really dry

Overall: Not very easy to drink, weird flavors that I don't really know what to make of. Well balanced overall but there is something weird, musty is the best word to use to describe it, but there is a bit of fresh grassyness in the middle of the flavor that is contradictory.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a straw yellow color with a soft fluffy off white head.

S: Light citrus notes and a bit of hoppiness. Nothing huge in the nose.

T: Again lightly citrusy with some biscuity flavor too.

M: Medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Easily drinkable, although it wouldn't be my first choice. I'm still glad I got to try this one though!

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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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