1881 Sacramento | Ruhstaller

24 Reviews
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1881 Sacramento1881 Sacramento

Brewed by:
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
“You don’t deserve the name Ruhstaller or Sacramento until you use local hops.”

I guess we just earned it.

We grew this beer with Cascade & Chinook hops grown at the Ruhstaller Farm & Yard in Dixon, California and California Common hops grown at Utterback Farms in Sloughouse, California.

Added by jvillefan on 02-01-2012

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 88
Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

1 pint 6 oz brown glass bottle with straw covered neck and standard pressure cap acquired at the Cap N Cork Junior Market in Los Feliz for $8.99 USD and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz. Reviewed live. This is me first beer from this brewery. Expectations are average. I like the straw neck; it's a nice rustic touch - even if it is a gimmick.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of fairly good cream, nice thickness, and above average retention. Body colour is a clear translucent textbook copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. No lacing as the head recedes. Typical of the style; this is standard fare.

Sm: Toasted malt, floral hops, and malty sweetness. Very simple. An average strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Amber malts and accompanying sweetness, and floral hops. Some caramelized malt. Clean and pleasant, but incredibly simple. Lacks complexity and subtlety. I like it in a general sense. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good carbonation. Decent thickness. Fair palate presence. Suits the flavour profile in a general sense.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. Very pedestrian. Priced very highly for its mundane quality. $8.99 for this? I wouldn't get this again. I'm glad the bottles are distinctive because it will be easy to avoid buying more from this brewery in the future. An underwhelming beer in the style.


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Photo of Bobheed
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a burnt copper color with a very minimal off-white head

S: Not A very strong smelling beer, but I did get some pine notes as well as a nice caramel maltiness

T: Again I'm getting the piney flavors at first, a bit of citrus zest, and some nice caramel flavors. Finishes with a real nice citrus hop burst

M: Fairly thin, medium carbonation

Overall this was quite nice. A good example of an amber ale and it's always good to support local brewers

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a relatively clear, orange rust color with an off-white, half finger head and sub-par retention.

Smell - Not getting much. Slight bread. Touch of citrus.

Taste - Malts are bready, lightly toasted, with a drop of caramel. Mild grapefruit pith comes on near and into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with low to fair carbonation. Smooth. Goes down easy.

Overall - Not a particularly impressive red, especially considering the price. Shows good balance, but the flavors don't excite the palate quite like they should. Quaffable, but kind of boring. This is the first time I've seen this beer in cans. It came out fairly flat... maybe they've got some kinks to work out?

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured two fingers of tight, foamy head on a deep red colored body.
The aroma is a rich malt/barnyard smell. One-side but nice.
The taste is bold: lots of malt sweetness with a dose of lemon bitterness to balance it out. The maltiness still comes out ahead in the end.
The texture is thicker with moderate carbonation.
A big malty red ale, enjoyable.

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Photo of Tone
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of grass, hint of earthy malt, slight sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, hint of hops, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of earthy malt, slight sweet malt, slight caramel malt, hint of hops, and a hint of yeast. Overall, the grass and earthy notes dominate both aroma and body, but still a decent brew.

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Photo of cvm4
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber/copper with a one finger eggshell head.

S - A sweeter nose than I was expecting. Has biscuity malts, caramel, orange peel and a bit of citrus.

T - A good balance of malts and piney hops.

M - Light to medium bodied/carbonation.

O - Rather enjoyable.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a medium dark and brilliant looking amber to caramel in color. A big, creamy, and tan colored head forms and both retains and laces tremendously. The body of this beer is clear from what I can tell when held to the light.

S- Huge caramel malts and semisweet scent is right up front and dominates the smell overall. There is just a touch of hops bitterness hanging around behind the malts. Towards the end there is a touch of brown sugar sweetness to go with the caramel malts.

T- Starts with much the same flavor profile as the smell had scents, with mostly caramel and semisweet malts up front. The small amount of hops bitterness are not really present in the taste, maybe just a touch of spiciness from hops contributing to the taste. The brown sugar and caramel sweetness ramp up a little on the end of the drink. Lingering flavors are caramel and malty sweetness.

M- This beer is well on the lower end of the carbonation spectrum and very smooth across the tongue. If I didn't know better, or the word "ale" wasn't on the bottle, I would have pegged this beer as a lager for its crisp and smooth feel and easy drinking nature.

Overall, although I suspect this beer being overage (due to marked down price and quantity at the store) this beer really impressed me. The flavor is nothing to write home about, but the pour and the mouthfeel are very good. If you're looking for an everyday red ale, this could be what you're looking for depending on the price.

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Photo of jb413
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Great color, cloudy fruit punch with small head and a bit of lacing. Iced tea around the edges and when held in the light.

S - Medium hop-first nose, a bit of alcohol, and some light bready malt

T - Fairly good hoppy profile, with a bit of caramel/malty towards the end. Hops are a mix of piney, floral and some fruit on the end. Not quite one-dimensional but also not stellar.

MF - Light-medium body and nice finish. Wet-hop in the mouth.

O - A straight shooter. Decent hoppy red that's enjoyable but nearly forgettable.

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Photo of mschind
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from a 22 oz bottle with burlap wrapped around the neck. No date. Clear reddish amber with a two finger light tan head that slowly faded to a persistent thin cap that coated the glass during the tasting.

S- Piney hops dominate with malty undertones.

T-Slight sweetness up front with some hop bitterness in the finish.

M- Despite the nice head, this seemed a bit flat and on the thin side.

O- Always happy to see a new local brew. The label promises a dry and refreshing but flavorful ale. It doesn't quite make it as flavorful to my palate but it is very drinkable.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful amber with a tinge of ruby. Good almond meat head, decent retention, good lacing.

The nose starts out sweet with a green vinous undercurrent, biscuity malts and almost a piney characteristic.

Taste is initially a blend of honey sweet in the background with an almost stale malt and pine base. Stale really isn't the right word, but it's the best I can think of and is kind of a unifying characteristic in my experience with red ales. The finish is an interesting juxtaposition of creamy and dry pine. The aftertaste is predominantly pine bitterness, but there's a sweet cream that darts in at the corners that's quite intriguing.

I started off trying to write this review all pirates out because you don't need to know why, that's why, but that didn't last as I realized it sounded retarded. Cool story. Anyway, an interesting beer, a decent red, just not a style that blows me away. Certainly drinkable and one worth trying if you're curious or if you like the style, but not one you'll kick yourself for missing. BE YOUR OWN JUDGE!

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Photo of Dsimenson
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner
A: crystal clear red brown color, little head, mild lacing
S: light floral hops, a hint of caramel and malt
T: malt, a bit of caramel, this is a style I'm not so familiar with, finishes with mild hops bitterness
M: medium thin, tingly, a bit foamy, nice but not outstanding
O: very good red ale, I'm glad I tried it, but not one I would choose regularly

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

More amber than red. Solid, decently performing hoppy amber, however: decent bite, from both the moderate, small-bubble carbonic tingle and the sweet-basil, grassy herbal tang of the hops. Dry, sweet brown-malt textures, with a soft, very mild lemony citrus character, and a smooth, even innocuous, character throughout. Bit of saccharine linger on the finish. A quality beer, but only a very qualified "good", and—sadly—by no means "great."

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very much in the middle of the Red/Amber field, with a dark coppery color and a raft of roam. Plenty of lacing and nicely carbonated in the mouth. Fairly light body.

The best feature is the slightly sweet and nutty flavor that greets the lips, gradually to be replaced by flowery hops. In a blind taste I'd peg this as a Pale Ale. Slight roasted flavor and some resiny hop hints. Moderate bitter aftertaste.

What I like about this is it's full of flavor but not overdone. The hops are flowery and spicy rather than acidic and harsh. The rather watery mouthfeel is an invitation to drink! From the 16 oz can purchased at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark coppery amber with a two finger ivory head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of pineyhops and caramel malt, spicy. Flavor is subdued biscuit malt and light piney and grassy hops. Finishes with mild biscuit malt and grassy hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess, nice mouth feel. A failry laid back red ale that somewhat mild in flavor, but very well balanced. Somewhat underwhelming at first, but the nice integration of the flavors makes this a pleasant sipping ale. Interesting burlap decorated bottles are classy.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Courtesy of JE. Thanks!

A: Reddish coppery color with a one finger tan head.

S: Rich malty aroma with toast, caramel, hazelnut meal and a touch of citrus.

T: Malty with a light tangerine/grapefruit hop backing that glides over the palate pretty smoothly. A pretty solid red.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams perfect pint

Deep amber color that delivers exactly as expected with a huge cream colored head regardless of type of pour.

The scent is fairly basic, but the hops do come through. The beer is very balanced and standard, well crafted red. This style can go all over the board, but this is a very true version. The local products utilized and noted on the bottle are a nice touch.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the red ale, although its tan-amber coloring made me think at first glance it was a malty IPA. It certainly has a mellow hop aroma more akin to an IPA whose hops have faded than a fresh red ale. There’s some caramel sweetness rounding out the flavor and a bit of a piney character to it as well.

Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for this one. First time I’ve even heard of this brewery.

This pours a dark caramel-amber color, with light foam.
This has a piney, malty ‘red ale’ aroma—not too hoppy, not overly malty. Tasty too, a real easy sipper. It’s not as full flavored as the aroma would indicate. There’s a touch of piney hops, some light resin and a nice bittering to it which comes out midpoint.. Well-rounded and nicely balanced. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some earthy and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a peppery flavor on the finish. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and has some nice hop flavors.

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Photo of beepill
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a beautifully simple 22 oz bottle purchased 1 hour ago. Never heard of Ruhstaller before, but the bottle stood out in the chiller because it is very simple and is draped by rustic-looking burlap. Great marketing. Also the bottle says "Sacramento", "Lake County", and "Farm to Pint", which also made me want to try it, being that it is pretty local and it seems like all the ingredients listed are also Cali-grown.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a nice 1" head of white foam that creates a nice barrier. Nice lacing of foam while I let it "settle".

S - Very faint smell of grains and grass. Very, very faint. I keep sniffing, trying to smell something, but maybe its just me.

T - Very refreshing. Very well-balanced malt and hops. This is what a true red ale should taste like (I am thinking this while drinking it). Slight piney bitterness at the finish. Flavors more apparent as it warms to room temp.

M - Moderate carbonation at first. Light to moderate body that goes down smooth. Great for a warm day in Cali.

O - The flavors are well balanced and not overdone. I am glad I made this random purchase today. I will seek out Ruhstaller brews in the future. A great representation of an American red ale, and the fact that they use 100% California products in their beer only makes me want to support them more.

P.S. - Ruhstaller - I want more of this stuff in the Bay!

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Photo of beermeplz
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nothing groundbreaking here, but this is a real solid amber ale. It's a bit sweeter and less bready than what I prefer but still very well balanced and enjoyable. Also a bit less carbed than I'm used to, but I'm somewhat surprisingly ok with that - the flavor pulls it through. Pick up some if you can get it at a good price.

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Photo of flexabull
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was pleasantly surprised to see this at a local grocery store. Have heard good things about this brewery.

Pours a clear and bubbly dark amber color with a fine white head.

Aromas are nice. Notes of hard candies, sweet citrus, and a touch of pine resin.

Taste is a bit unique. Notes of hard candies, strong caramel flavors, but not overly sweet. Finish is very earthy and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but a touch thin.

Overall, a very nice amber ale, and a beer that is ultimately better than the sum of it's parts. I think with a bit more body this could be really good. Nice first beer from Ruhstaller, I'll be on the lookout for more of their offerings.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the aroma, piney hops and toffee. Caramel-malty sweetness, perhaps like a Scottish Ale. Finishes off-dry and clean, with just a mild bitterness in finish. Well balanced, just like the Black IPA of theirs I tried. Very well done. Nothing else to say, but stupid Beeradvocate is making me write more....

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Photo of jvillefan
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First review for Ruhstaller!

A: A deep amber red with a ivory head that lasts the entire beer.

S: It has intense malt and hops but they are balanced perfectly.

T: The best amber I have ever had. It immediately hits you with a mixture of caramel and bitter hops. It is then followed by subtle malt and finishes with nice sweet finish.

M: Great carbonation and excellent retention.

O: Get this beer. It is what amber ales should taste like.

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Photo of Alevolution
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had Ruhstaller 1881 on tap and in the 22 oz. bottles quite a few times, and have always enjoyed it.

A: Deep red in color, with a creamy ivory head. The head is tight and firm, and lasts the entire glass.

S: Light pine and grapefruit / citrus.

T: Mild sweetness with a well-balanced malt and hoppy finish.

M: Crisp, refreshing, and medium bodied.

Overall, and excellent session beer from this new Sacramento brewery.

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1881 Sacramento from Ruhstaller
3.7 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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