Ruby Ale | McMenamins

Ruby AleRuby Ale
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 111

#330 ranked Fruit and Field Beer | 4.39% ABV

United States

Notes: Year-round availibility. 
Very Good
Ruby AleRuby Ale
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 111
Photo of stevoj
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorites from the lineup, smooth, light and drinkable. Nice full body, similar to German Hefe , slick and smooth. Sweet juice essence makes it refreshing.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.58/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

McMennamins beers are almost uniformly dull to my palate and this is no exception. A grapefruit pink pour with a large, white head that falls off quickly leaving no lacing, this looks OK. The nose is a muddled blend of grapefruit and dull and raw wheat. Spent grain, mildly oxidized, is present. The palate opens with a mild grapefruit flavor, a little grainy wheat and some earth. Thin, watery on the palate and finish with a moderate carbonation, this is decent.

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Photo of Anino531
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this beer initially as part of a tasting. I had 6 beers at McMenamin's Edgefield and this was my favorite. The beer was Great. I loved the raspberry taste and color. Probably cannot drink this all night due to the sweetness, but overall loved the beer

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Photo of Slammerbar
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Mc Menamins hotel St.Frances in Bend Or.
The closest i can describe this beer: it's almost like a cider.
i really like the grapefruit taste, well done on the Ruby.

Don't forget to ask for the Royal Ruby; twice the fruit taste and twice the alcohol content!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap in a pint glass at McMenamins in Mill Creek, WA.

Appearance: hazy orange hue with a very thin layer of creamy ivory foam. Nice color, could use improvement in the head.

Smell: light malty aroma with a little bit of a fruity tanginess. The identity of the fruit is not readily distinguishable in the aroma, but overall it's not bad.

Taste: light maltiness with a sweetly tart quality. Raspberry is readily identifiable; as a fruit beer, I find it quite successful. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a surprisingly good level of creaminess, despite its acidic nature and low ABV. Nice!

Overall: a very successful fruit beer. I could quaff a lot of this.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.27/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From what I read on McMenamins website, this is not a wheat beer, which is surprising, but oh well! A pretty aggressive pour only gives me about a finger of head. The head is Maybe just a tiny tiny bit off white, and is already starting to fade. Not sure if it was creamy or soapy to start out with because by the time I looked back at the beer, the head was mostly gone, it's now almost all gone. Not sure about lacing until I drink the beer, but judging by the lack of head, it's not going to be that good. The body is...unusual to say the least. The only time I'm had a raspberry beer was in a bottle, I've never had a strawberry beer. I’ve had plenty of fruity beers though, and I've had a cherry beer in a glass and it looked just like a normal beer, this however, it' It looks like raspberry lemonade. I mean I get that it's made with raspberries, but....this is kinda ridiculous. Pretty damn cloudy, which is weird because it's not a wheat ale? I really can't see anything on the other side of this beer, and it's all because of the cloudiness, because the beer isn't nearly dark enough to do that on it's own. Can't really see the carbonation due to the cloudiness. We will see how the lacing goes, but overall this beer isn't looking very good. The body is pretty wack, and the head went in a hurry and is all gone now, only small bubbles remain. The smell is pretty nice, it smells much like what the other raspberry beer I've had was like, tart. It basically smells like raspberries, but with a little more tartness to the flavor. A little sweet smelling, but for sure not over the top or anything. Overall it just smells really refreshing and tasty. It's hard to grade the smell, or the taste of a beer like this, because for one, it's a fruity beer, and two I've only had one other raspberry beer. For me the smell is a 3.5, let's just leave it at that, good smelling beer. The taste is, eh, not bad. You get the raspberry flavor for sure, and the tartness, but both of them are much more numbed down than I want. I mean I don't want a beer that is overpowering with the fruit, but this is a little low even considering that. This beer would probably work better with a low fruit flavor, if there were any other flavors at all in the beer, but this beer is just weak. The only other thing I get is a standard beer taste, dare I even say cheap beer taste. I mean I suppose it's supposed to be light so the flavor shouldn't be through the roof, but more flavor never hurt anything, and I've had some pretty flavorful fruit beers. The fruit really isn't even the problem, it's just the lack of flavor overall. It's not to a ridiculous point, it's still tasty, and you can taste most of the things in the beer, but you can for sure notice the lack of flavor. It just kinda tasty like flavored, carbonated water. It's not a bad tasting beer, and I wont mind drinking it, but it is safe to say that a 3.5 is generous for the taste, the smell was for sure better. The mouthfeel is pretty damn bad, like I said it tastes like carbonated water. The body is just....nowhere to be found, it feels like basically water. The carbonation isn't too high or low, it's just...weird, it reminds me of carbonated water, that's the only way I can describe it. Frankly the carbonation level is where it should be, it's just all weird. Overall not a very good mouthfeel. The drinkability is obviously very high because it's a fruit beer, it's light, and low on ABV. Overall it's not that great of a beer, pretty darn average, the best part was for sure the smell. I wont mind drinking it, but I doubt I'll have this one again.

The appearance turned out to be ok, I was able to get a little bit of lacing out of this beer. The lacing was very very patchy, and hard to come by to say the least, but at least it was there. I'm going to give this beer a 3 for appearance, because even though I got some lacing, it wasn't nearly enough to make up for the weird body and the lame head.

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


22 oz bottle poured into an 8 oz weizen shaped taster glass from the 2010 Fairfax Brewfest)

A - Standard brown 22 oz bottle with the classic Ruby portrait on the label. One of the iconic McMenamins images.

Beer pours with varying amounts of white head, but never more than a finger. Some lacing, and a minor amount of head retention til the very end. The beer itself is an understated pink with hints of peach. Tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass throughout.

S - Faint raspberry aroma with hints of lemon citrus. Pleasant.

T - Has a very natural raspberry flavor, almost like flavored sparkling water. That's a good thing - it's not overly sweet. It's crisp and a little tangy, like a real raspberry (helped out by those lemon hints) - but just sweet enough. Not much in the way of "classic beer flavors," but really well balanced and unique.

M - Thin, but not watery. Enough carbonation to be refreshing. Feels good going down.

O - This beer should be more widely available. McMenamins has a lot of good beers, but this one is truly unique. It's the perfect gateway beer for many people. In fact, I believe this was the first beer that I truly enjoyed, because before that I had only experienced disgusting macro-brews. There are other good fruit beers, but I can't really think of any that get the balance right. Having said all these good things, I can also say that over the years the quality of the ale has varied from keg to keg, bottle to bottle, and location to location. Sometimes it's flat or seems off. It's usually great, but not always. Anyway - if you have a chance to try this you really should. It might not be your favorite but it deserves to be appreciated for what it is. Also - it has a very low ABV and is extremely sessionable because of the flavor balance.

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

If you're in the Pacific Northwest this is a little gem of a fruit beer.

A -a pretty cloudy pink color
S- subtle grapefruit hop notes
T- sweet upfront with a refreshing carbonation and raspberry tart
M- light mouthfeel
O- The first of its kind of fruit beers; Ruby is a nice, easy drinking, back yard, summer bbq kind of beer.

If you try it and decide its too weak, ask the bartender for Rubinator. Ruby+Terminator Stout=Delicious!

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Photo of canucklehead
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This time I was not that impressed with a lot of McMenamins beers but the Ruby Ale is a unique brew that works well for the fruit beer style. Low in ABV with a balanced fruity mouthfeel that is never too sweet. The colour even is quite pretty and works well on a patio. Put this in cans and sell at the Fred Meyer and you could have a best seller for the Summer

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Photo of Drazilnc
4.68/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - very light pink

Smell - Mild

Taste - very crisp, no aftertaste. I didn't notice a strong fruit taste at all, didn't even realize it was raspberry until the bartender told me.

Mouthfeel - light and delicious, medium carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall - the best beer I've ever found.

Visited Portland (I'm from NC) and found this beer at Ringlers. Since I don't care for a strong hoppy beer, this was perfect for me. Wish I could get it here.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.16/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First had: on tap at McMenamins Pub, Mill Creek, WA

A raspberry beer, and as such, not really my bag. Okay though. Poured a clear golden with ruby-pink highlights, and a very delicate layer of bubbles for a head. Light raspberry aroma, and a very light taste, almost seemed watered down; not very flavorful. Raspberry juice, biting hops, a bit metallic...sort of like a weak witbier. Light bodied and not very drinkable to my palate.

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Photo of jmbranum
2.69/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed at McMenamin's Six Arms in Seattle

Very pretty pink grapefruit colored hazy beer. Aroma is negligible.

Flavor is... well kinda disappointing. Thin. Just needs more grain and fruit. Slight bit of berries in the background but overall not great. Improves as I drink more of it but still not crazy about. Mouthfeel is too thin.

This beer just needs more flavor, period.

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Photo of chumba526
1.86/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appears full bodied pink. It almost looks like grapefruit juice.

It smells slightly cranberry like there is a tart smell to the beer and a sugary smell as well.

It has a slightly grainy taste; there is a mild generic raspberry sweet flavor. The beer is very bland and is lacking in flavor. There is also a nasty metallic flavor.

The carbonation is around medium. There is a watery texture to the beer which is not pleasant.

i guess this is easy enough to drink but it is so boring that i would rather not drink more then one.

Overall, this is lacking flavor and is generic and boring. A poorly done fruit beer.

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Photo of katybee
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful pinkish gold orange amber, but very little head.

The smell was light, floral and fruity; I almost imagined it apricot if I hadn't known it was raspberry.

The taste was not sweet or overpowering at all, in the sense of a lambic or a blueberry beer...for a fruit flavoring, the fruitiness was light but -definitely detectable- and somewhat dry. Lightly hoppy.

Very little mouthfeel of note; thin clarity and carbonation; not creamy at all, with little head.

drinkable, with no overpowering flavors or residual tastes, yet distinctly more flowery-fruity than hoppy...just depends on your tastes; I would not like this as much with a regular meal as with a desert type food.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap in a pint glass at the Kennedy School in Portland, OR.

appearance - pours a rich pink, not much head or lacing

smell - grapefruit, sweet

taste - light berries, grapefruit, wheat, nothing overwhelming

mouthfeel - light bodied with a balance of carbonation that leaves some tingle on the tongue in the finish

drinkability - goes down easy, refreshing, good flavor

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Photo of wombaman
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

really sweet with some tangy taste. really easy to drink and goes down smooth. appearance is a cloudy tangerine/grapefruit/orange color. not very strong or overpowering, actually a little weak sauce in power but I guess this is a fruity beer so what do I expect. Light and fluffy like a cake. My roommate with me comments that, "if you take a girl out and she wants to try a beer, start with the ruby." Awesomeness. Taste is citrus, tangerine, raspberry, and sweetness.

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Photo of Durge
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured at room temperature into the pint glass this shows a cloudy pink grapwfruit chestnut color with lots of chunky floaters, a big white snowcone top and fair lacing. The aroma is cherry and pomegranite with grainy wheat underpinnings. Interesting, I think. The first taste is at impressive in how watery it is. Mild tart cherry flavor, like those flavored club sodas. This is really whimpy although it is very lively in carbonation. There's a cardboard grain flavor mixed in with that cherry-raspberry theme. It' just too soda-like for me. Not particularly sweet, but a refreshing drink, just not much of a beer by my definitions. Arguably it grows on you as you get used to it's constitution. It's certainly easy drinking unless the diluted flavor is too much of a turn off for you.

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Photo of mrunseen
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: Ruby, as the name implies, carries with it a rather pinkish / orangish hue (which is probably to be expected from a beer brewed with raspberries). This beer is by no means red / purple and is translucent when held to the light. There was a nice head initially, which dissipated with time, leaving minimal lacing as I finished my beer.

Smell: The nose on this beer is one of the berries that give the beer it's coloring (raspberries). It's a pleasant smell that hints at the flavor to follow.

Taste: The fruit taste to this beer is not overwhelming, but rather, just enough to let you know that there was definitely some fruit involved in the brewing process. Overall, it's a nice taste to compliment a hot day.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of Ruby is nothing out of the ordinary. Mild carbonation and a lighter body.

Drinkability: Very good! On a hot day, it's hard to beat a beer like this. I would highly recommend a cold Ruby when the temperature rises.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug.

A: A dark and hazy straw color, with a small head.

S: The raspberries really come through in this one, followed what smells like wheat. Also, a little fizzy in the nose.

T: Again the raspberries come through quite heavily. There are also hints of citrus fruits, and perhaps a little malt coming in the mix later. Berry heavy is the key here. The mouthfeel is thicker than one my expect for such a fruity drink.

D: It's drinkable in the sense that's it's inoffensive. This would be great for someone who loves fruity drinks, but there not a lot of beer taste in this one. It's nice to have some at a table outside at the Edgefield, or Grand Lodge with some dessert in the late summer, but other than that, I can't quite place it.

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Photo of dqderrick
3.24/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber gifted by a neighbor (I gifted him a growler of fresh Stone Imperial Russian Stout from my kegerator)

Thin head. Color is cloudy grapefruit juice. The last pour had a bunch of small white particles. Bottle fermented? Hmmm... I smell berries and some hefe wheat in the nose. It smells carbonated. Is that possible? First taste was a bitter berry/grapefruit/misc.fruit flavor but rather dull. I completely disliked it at first, but the taste grew on me. I'm also picking up a slight powdery flavor... malt?

The mouthfeel seems right on for this style of beer. It has light carbonation and plays on the surface of my tongue with each sip. At first glance, I thought this would have a lot of carbonation. But the mouthfeel didn't seem to represent that thought.

I could drink a lot of these if forced... like it was the only other beer than Bud Light on a deserted island. All kidding aside, I drank the bomber rather quickly. The first few tastes left me with thoughts of pouring the rest down the drain so I could get right to this review and move onto an IPA. But, I persevered and don't regret it. I'm easy.

I'd never buy this one for myself. However, my sister-in-law enjoys wine coolers (that was painful to write) and I'd consider picking one of these up for her to try.

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Photo of jclovebrew
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at McMenamin's Six Arms in Seattle, WA.

This beer was brewed with 60 lb of raspberries (but they don't specify how large the batch size is, so it doesn't mean much). Appearance was cloudy, virtually opaque, with a very slight pink hue. The color was much less than I expected (I guess I was expecting a Lindeman's Framboise type of color). Raspberry was immediately evident in the aroma. Very light bodied ale with a dry, tart raspberry finish. Nice beer for raspberry fans but not much character to speak of.

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Photo of 1whiskey
2.76/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap @ the Cedar Hills pub. This beer is quite a cloudy sawdust color w/ just a hint of pink. No head whatsoever. Server categorized it as an "amber ale w/raspberries", but it sure looks like an unfiltered wheat. Here goes...

Smell is of mild raspberry(duh) tartness and somewhat suprisingly, ice tea. Faint wheat and grass notes. Intrigued, I'm eager to taste this.

Taste is just slightly tart, no bitterness as I can't detect any hops at all. Very thin, barely there malt backdrop becomes evident about halfway through. More tea flavor, as well as some very faint grapefruit notes. No alcohol warming (only 3.3% by volume).

Body is somewhat heavier than you might expect, there's a lot of sediment in this. Not much carbonation to speak of.

Though intitially intrigued, I found myself disappointed. This seems like a beer without an identity. IMO, if you are going to use raspberries in your beer, it should either be rich and sweet(like a frambrozen), or crisp and refreshing(good fruit-infused hefe's are widely available). This is neither, although it could be a decent summer thirst quencher if some of the excess sediment was filtered out. All in all, I found this to basically be a novelty beer for the non-beer drinker in your group. The brewery website says that the hops used to make this "vary", so I may revisit this next summer.

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Photo of charlatan
3.27/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was pink rather than ruby coloured and offered a very strong raspberry candy smell. There was little head.

A tart start gave way to a very pleasant raspberry jam finish. Unfortunately it was watery (the standard complaint with this brewer) and left me feeling as if I had eaten my jam without toast or butter.

An interesting curiosity, but despite its low alcohol content (3.3%) it wouldn't make a good session beer for most drinkers.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served chilled in a tall pilsener glass.

Appearance: Hazy pink grapefruit colored liquid with incredibly active carbonation. Topped by a big, fluffy, and thick white head that retained a nice small cap of foam all throughout consumption. Small splotches of foam were left on the glass.

Smell: Fragrant smells of berries, flowers, lemons, and mild grasses. Like a summer meadow.

Taste: Tangy sweetness of berry juice mixed with a mild wheat beer base. Modest amounts of cloves and breadiness can be detected. Becomes increasingly tart as it warms, but not in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied with crisp and clean carbonation. Makes for a pleasant sensation on the tongue.

Drinkability: This is not bad. I'm not normally one to go for wheat + fruit beers as the offering is usually some crappy wheat beer with fruit syrup added, but this is a good example of that sort of beer. Wonderfully divine on a toasty Saturday afternoon on the porch. Best served cold. I can see how this would appeal to a girly girl, or just someone with a sweet tooth.

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

girlfriend raves about this stuff and got me a bottle. pours out like grapefruit juice. pink in color with a small white head. very unexpected. the nose is subdued, hint of raspberries and grapefruit, a hint of malt. nice smooth carbonation, tingly. flavor wise its citrusy, fruity, a light hint of grainy malt... not intense at all. but refreshing and could easily replace a soda in the right situation.

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Ruby Ale from McMenamins
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 111 ratings