A River Runs Gruit
Rock Art Brewery

A River Runs GruitA River Runs Gruit
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Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States
Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #17
Ranked #25,180
3.65 | pDev: 10.41%
Jul 31, 2022
Aug 21, 2014
A River Runs GruitA River Runs Gruit
Notes: A beer with no hops ! Just delicious herbs. A unique twist on an age old beer style. Brewed with Lavender, Rose-hips, Elderberry, and Chamomile. Refreshing with an herbal tea quality.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.39 by LAM01833 from Massachusetts

Jul 31, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by Velivolus1 from Vermont

Aug 03, 2020
Rated: 3.91 by bluehende from Delaware

May 25, 2019
Rated: 3.64 by chrishiker1409 from New York

Feb 14, 2019
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Reviewed by LeRose from Massachusetts

3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
This beer pours with the color and appearance of raw apple cider. It is pretty heavy on the floaters, which eventually settle to the bottom of the glass. A brief flash of white foam when the can was popped, otherwise no head.

The smell is strong on the herbal components. Lavender pops immediately, but as the beer warms cinnamon shows up, a bit of clove, and apple fruit, elderberry. The take on herbal tea is obvious, mild chamomile. Overall it is surprisingly pleasant especially as the lavender backs off.

Yep it is beer tea. It is bright and mild and the flavors actually work very well together. Fruity, floral, herbal. The berry notes are stronger than expected. Cinnamon seems to be a constant feature, but there is some clove-like note as well. Lavender is well behaved. Certainly a chamomile tea character. A bit of sweetness, virtually no bitterness. Fun to drink.

The feel is thin and watery. Maybe it is supposed to be for the style. It is dry, slight spice burn.

Overall? Well, I think I could see some ancient time where you'd be sitting around a fire drinking lots of this while telling tales of valor. I think it is a fair representation of the style, but not everybody's "cup of tea".
Feb 03, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by ChrisG523 from Massachusetts

Jan 01, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Nov 28, 2018
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Reviewed by SomethingClever from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12 oz can poured into a willybecher glass canned on 3/27.

A: Almost no head as it’s poured. Body is a murky reddish tan color with some floaters.

S: Lots of honey, lavander, Lots of rose hips as well. light cinnamon and some rosemary.

T: Honey and lavender with some cinnamon and honey.

M: Medoum bodied with almost no carbonation a touch thin.

O: This beer is so different. A friend mentioned it almost tastes like a mulled cider. I don’t disagree. It is quite unique and not a bad drinking beer at all.
Nov 18, 2018
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Reviewed by joe1510 from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12oz Can

Thanks for this one Dave! Love trying oddballs. A River Runs Gruit is a murky beverage. It looks like a dense, unfiltered apple cider. A fingers worth of sudsy, soapy bubbles form on the pour and crackle down to a thin ring around the glass. Large bubbles pop to the surface here and there. It's not the prettiest of libations.

I could smell this stuff the second the can was cracked. It's savory and comforting. Rose hips and lavender bring about floral qualities, naturally, while chamomile and elderberry bring soothing comfort. There's a flash of cinnamon and even nutmeg. A little pencil lead pops here and there. Green apple and a drizzle of caramel round out the malt profile. This stuff smells as if there was a pot of apple cider mulling on the stovetop which is perfect for a snow covered morning like this one.

The flavor isn't quite as vivid as the nose but it's still comforting. It's very tea like off the bat with chamomile taking center stage. The lavender and rose hips bring their floral quality to the finish. The baking spices are present from front to back, complementary. Again, this beer brings to mind green apples and a touch of caramel sweetness. There's a nice play between tart & sweet, both of which are mild, and savory & bright. This is a complex beer if a little muddled in flavor. The lines aren't quite as clean as the nose led on.

The body is on the lighter side of moderate with a carbonation that's a little flaccid. This guy could probably use a touch more body and a little tighter bubbles. The finish leaves behind a nice numbing effect like you get from cinnamon at times, almost tannic. This beer is fun to drink and that boosts the drinkability quite a bit.

A River Runs Gruit is an interesting beer. Every gruit I have ever had has been miles apart from the last. This one leans heavily toward a mulled cider and like I mentioned, that's perfect on a snowy morning like today. There's a lot of character in this beer and none of it is usually related to what we think of as beer characteristics. If this was available in my area I would pick it up from time to time, when the season is right. Thanks again, Dave!
Nov 18, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

Nov 14, 2018
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Reviewed by brureview from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
If you are a fan of this style, or spiced beer check it out.

Fruit punch color with a 1/2 head served in a Orval Chalice.
This is the same glass I used for the Alba Gruit which I highly recommend.
The head quickly dissipates.

Great aroma of an array of spices: elderberry, lavender and other spices.

The taste is more of the same but is a bit overshadowed by the sharp bitter finish.

Overall, interesting approach to the style. Quite enjoyable.
May 13, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by Velivolus from Vermont

Apr 15, 2018
Rated: 3.5 by Kurzman from Rhode Island

Mar 30, 2018
Rated: 3.69 by PJCarnell from Massachusetts

Mar 28, 2018
Rated: 3.55 by Nucleosynthesis from Massachusetts

Mar 27, 2018
Rated: 4.12 by AirBob from Massachusetts

Mar 17, 2018
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Reviewed by NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
canned 08/08/2017

L- The ale pours the color of apple cider. The head is minimal, and what's there quickly disappears. This may be the ugliest beer I've consumed. It looks like the water your kid cleaned their paint brushes in those old paint with water books I had as a child.
S- As ugly as the beer is, the nose really shines. This is coming from someone who doesn't drink tea, or even like the smell of candles that use flowery scents. The chamomile really shines here. The lavender is detectable but thankfully not overpowering. Overall its just a really nice sweet flowery scent that doesn't stray into harsh. Really unique in my experience.
T- Rock art describes this as herbal tea-like and I can't really dispute that with my limited experience. If I were a tea drinker I would enjoy this quite a bit.
F- Mouthfeel is medium. Carbonation is very light, but by no means flat.
O- Overall the beer is not really to my personal liking. If you are a fan of herbal teas and things of that nature, this may very well be your jam. My wife raved about it so take the scoring with a grain of salt.
Dec 31, 2017
Rated: 4 by AlvinLin from New York

Dec 28, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by Duffman79 from Connecticut

Dec 04, 2017
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Reviewed by GuitarIPA from Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Hazy, ruby red color. Fizzy white head disappears right away. Apple butter, mulled cider flavor - might be good served at room temperature on a cold day. First impression is that it is sweet - nuts just the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. A cool idea.
Sep 09, 2017
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Reviewed by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottom of the can stamped "08/08/2017."
Treated as a Scottish Gruit, this was poured into a mug.
The appearance was a murky thick muddy brown color with a fizzy yet foamy white head that swiftly died off and left no lace.
The aroma had a stiff sweet dark bready contour rolling over some chamomile/floral character. Some lavender came in adequately and then ended with a little bit of sweet berry at the very end.
The flavor presented a nice smooth herbal sweet quality rolling over the breadiness and giving off a fair tea-like quality. Aftertaste of chamomile, black tea and lavender.
The mouthfeel was between light and medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. It's crushable in the sense of being good for a Scottish Gruit and if you like "tea flavor-ed" beers. Carbonation is low, but I accepted it as is since the style is supposed to have a low carbonation to begin with. ABV felt fine.
Overall, for a Scottish Gruit, I'd say Rock Art actually did a nice job on this one. For me, I didn't mind it, it's a bit higher in the level of the herbal/chamomile component, but I'd still have again.
Sep 05, 2017
Rated: 3.96 by von_kaiser from Connecticut

Aug 22, 2017
Rated: 3.86 by JLK7299 from North Carolina

Aug 18, 2017
Rated: 3.49 by Pacodog26 from Vermont

Aug 16, 2017
Rated: 3.78 by Tbone2131 from Connecticut

Aug 12, 2017
Rated: 3.8 by IBUBrew from Vermont

May 18, 2017
Rated: 3.46 by acurtis from New Jersey

Jan 22, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by zotzot from Vermont

Jan 21, 2017
Rated: 3.79 by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

Nov 18, 2016
Rated: 3.48 by ptat from Delaware

Oct 25, 2016
Rated: 4.11 by Jeromedepot from New York

Aug 26, 2016
Rated: 3.5 by coz from Illinois

Aug 23, 2016
Rated: 3.39 by Mark_Robinson from Rhode Island

Aug 04, 2016
Rated: 3.99 by GregSemenza from Connecticut

Jul 30, 2016
Rated: 3.25 by Lucoli from New York

Jul 19, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by qcbrewer from North Carolina

Jun 15, 2016
Rated: 3.5 by SocalKicks from California

Oct 29, 2015
Rated: 3.89 by fastestmanalive from Florida

Aug 23, 2015
Rated: 3.71 by DaveHack from Pennsylvania

May 22, 2015
Rated: 3.12 by Alycrocker from Massachusetts

Feb 05, 2015
A River Runs Gruit from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 57 ratings