Rock River Red Ale | Berghoff Brewery

47 Ratings
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Rock River Red AleRock River Red Ale

Brewed by:
Berghoff Brewery
Illinois, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zeff80 on 10-18-2008

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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 47
Photo of superspak
3.1/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 4/9/2013. A moderate gusher upon opening. Pours fairly clear reddish copper color with a small foamy white head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Minimal lacing on the glass. Aromas of raisin, prune, apple, caramel, bread, toast, molasses, and light herbal. Decent aromas with good strength and decent balance; very malty and fruity. Taste of caramel, raisin, toast, apple, bread, toffee, molasses, and light herbal. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, raisin, apple, toast, bread, toffee, molasses, and herbal on the finish for a bit. Decent flavor balance and robustness; with minimal cloying flavors present on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is ok. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this as a decent amber, though it seems to be more like a Belgian. This was a little better than I expected it to be. Decently enjoyable.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
4.12/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass.

Appearance- Ruby red in color with very small bubbly carbonation that creates a large cloudy head.

Smell- Lots of grape with some fresh bread.

Taste- A light malt that flows right to the back of the tongue where it is smashed over the head with a grape like sour hop bomb. Not over powering though. Like a parent (the hop) grabbing the child's (malt) hand and leading it down your esophagus.

Mouthfeel- Like a flat pop with a good taste. So drinkable. The tiny bubbles coat the throat and goes down easy.

Overall- I think the hop and malt balance is perfect and I don't understand the ubber low rating.

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Photo of scaliasux
1.63/5  rDev -42%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance - Medium-dark, reddish brown. Quite hazy. Medium tall tan head that quickly fades.

Smell - Moderately strong light malt. Not catching any hops.

Taste - Quite sweet and pretty light for style. A hint of smoke and caramel, but for some reason it tastes artificial. Any hops are not apparent to me.

Mouthfeel - Light.

Overall - Not really to style and, more important, not very good tasting. Like some of Minhas' other beers this beer is cloying. I think the excessive sweetness probably hurts other facets of the beer's taste.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from session notes.

Pours out a darker coppery color with another instance of a lazy collar of froth instead of a head, same as all the other Berghoffs so far. All I can smell on this one is the world's tiniest amount of toffee malt, thinner than an anorexic ghost. Flavor is a sludgey mash of murky malts with the same sickly medicinal aftertaste I had in an earlier Minhas brew. Body is somewhat thin and watery...
Looks like this one lives 'down' to all the bad hype surrounding it. I'm avoiding it in the future if it ever crosses my path again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Berghoff Rock River Red poured a clear deep Amber with slight carbonation and thin head that did not lace. The aroma was lacking any distinct smells other than a good malt. The taste is an effervecent tingle, probably due to the small ammount of hops. On the finish I get a metalically bite from the beer. The mouthfeel was ok it could be session fairly easy. Overall it was a good beer and decent try if you get the Berghoff mixed pack.

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Photo of cagocubs
2.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A: Pours a funky orange-red-copper color. Extremely active carbonation bursting out of the bottle into the glass causes a flash head. Disappears with no lacing. Left with an ugly colored beer and that’s it.

S: Smells sweet with faint malt aroma. The sweetness smells like a juice.

T: Um, I don’t know. It’s sweet, but that’s about it. Real odd aftertaste. This is a red ale you said?

M: Powerfully carbonated. Real light body. Funky aftertaste.

O: When marketed as a craft beer I am going to judge it as one. In that regard, this was awful. Having said that, if this was a macro beer I could see a following for this. To call this a red ale is almost laughable at this point.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.36/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Part five of my six-part Berghoff sampling. This has not been all that much fun, lemme tell ya. I almost don't wanna continue, but I feel Minhas is feeling the pressure to do better than it has thus far. A man can dream, can't he? This brew pours a clear dark rust topped by a half-finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises toasted toffee, flowers, and what may or may not be a mountain of black pepper. The only thing helping things here is the faintness. The taste can most closely be described as old, toasted rye bread mixed with some light greens and black pepper. No. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a seemingly bone dry finish. Overall, this road I'm on is getting bumpier and rockier somehow. This was just plain bad. Straight up.

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Photo of richkrull
2.45/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a pale orangish brown color with just a little bit of white head on it. Smell was faint, malty, maybe a little alcohol smell. Taste was not very good. Kind of a bitter dry flavor. Aftertaste is not real pleasant. Light mouthfeel. Overall not a very good beer. I won't lookk for this again.

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Photo of BR0ck94
3.4/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a session ale with approx 5.6% ABV which isn't too shabby for what it costs. It's not pricey at all. Good value for beer that's better than drinking a domestic lager.

Red-Brown in appearance; not cloudy at all

Smells sweet & malty

Tastes sweet & malty at first, but finishes with something not as good.

It has a light ale body which is to be expected for a session ale.

It's highly drinkable for somebody that's not too picky & would prefer to drink cheap session ale compared to American domestic lagers.

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Photo of chrsmat71
3.55/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This isn't bad. Better than I expected based on the reviews (especially since I thought the other Berghoff brews were much worse than reviewed). A lite red color, kind of looks like Killion's. Taste is grainish, maltish, and a bit sweet. No bitter hops at all that I could detect. Had a funky aftertaste I could quite put my finger on...but slightly medicinal, not bad medicine...but still. Not something I would seek out, but I certainly will not avoid it. I enjoyed my bottle, and will enjoy the other two I have.

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Photo of rings
2.45/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My sample was called "Famous Red Ale," so is hopefully the same brew. This is an American Pale Ale that was pretty par for the course and their one departure from "German" style beers among the samples I had. While nothing special, it's certainly much better than it had been a few years before.

The Ale is light red in color and was relatively clean the first time around with a medium body and a crisp, hoppy bite. The balance was nice. Unfortunately, I catch a hint of DMS and some fruity notes as I progressed through my pint, but it was still a decent, average effort and not worthy of demotion on that alone.

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Photo of Schnitzelburger
1.16/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm happy to see the horrible ratings of this crap. The old, pre-Minhas ale was an outstanding daily drinker. Did a side by side of the old and new a couple years ago and the new one was a drain pour. Hell, my friends dog didn't even lap it up after we dumped it on the patio.

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Photo of CHL
2.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thin beer that looks and tastes more like an amber ale--and a weak one at that. Indistinct smell, light malt, and not much hop flavor. Fizzy, maybe a little sour on the aftertaste. It doesn't improve the flavor, just makes it less drinkable.

If this were a macro, and priced like a macro (instead of a cheapish craft), it might be worth grabbing in bars that don't have anything better. As is, there's not much to recommend it.


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Photo of robbyc1
3.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear light gold, not so red, small off white head, lacing is

Nose of amber malts and not much else.

As Minhas brews this now, it's not really one style, not bad for a macro type amber, but as a micro ale not so much, pale malt with slightly sweet front backed by a crisp balance. Very light body, very plain jane. An ok sessionable drinker, just not inspiring to have more than one.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.18/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into an American Tumbler. No date or info.

A - Clear light redish brown with a low and fizzy off-white head. Almost zero retention with no trace of bubbles afterwards.

S - The aroma is very mild with only hints at malts and hops but a more potent mineral and cidery nose. It smells like off-home brew actually.

T - Toasty malts in the background of a gross citrusy light yeast funk. Definitely bad flavors going on around what could be an alright red. It really tastes like a bad Mr. Beer batch.

M - Highly carbonated crisp and light with a dry finish. Sharp carbonation bite to the end.

D - One of, if not possibly the worst Berghoff beers I've had. Overly carbonated and off in flavor, there is absolutely no reason to have this beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a thin, whitish head.

Smell: Faint, lightly toasty malts with lone drop of apple juice and nothing more. Yawn.

Taste: Mild, middling malts with light touches of breadiness and caramel sweetness. Touch of apple skin fruitiness. Vague, indistinct hops character with no more than a low hint of bitterness. Finishes dry and particularly abrupt, though that's probably for the best.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A sad, sad underperforming red ale, but, unfortunately, I would say that about pretty much their entire line-up. Not recommended.

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Photo of Redrover
3.2/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown longneck with a twist off cap. No freshness dating.

Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a darkish gold with red highlights. There is a fairly large beige head.

The nose is of caramel malts, a bit of apple and a hint of citrus.

The caramel notes from the aroma track over to the taste. There is a bit of plum and a very earthy finish. The hops are only there to add a touch of balance. There is a bubble gum cigar note in the finish which I think is the Berghoff yeast strain (or just an off note). Sweetens more at the finish.

The mouth is solid with a good amount of heft. Not a bad beer, but not one to go out of your way for.

Note the Rock River winds through South West Wisconsin and North West Illinois as it meanders towards the Mississippi. It is a great fishing and recreational River.

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Photo of RJUGA03
2.53/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It has a deep mahogany transparent color with slight lacing along the perimeter of the glass with two spots of lacing along the middle.

Smell - It really lacks any distinct smells.
Taste - The taste is an effervecent tingle, probably due to the small ammount of hops. On the finish I get a metalically bite from the beer.

Mouthfeel - This beer is near thin an watery.

Drinkability- It could be a beer you get on a budget or when your in a jam.

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Photo of Vancer
2.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The Rock pours a nice looking burnt amber into the Sammy pint nonic, with a foamy ivory head that lasts for a few minutes.

The aroma is the same with these brews - grassy grain and malt. Which is pretty much the same for the taste - lifeless, boring, and all styles having the same flavor backbone. No toast, no biscuit, same brew repacked.

I'm done with these brews, and I don't think this brewery has a future - you can't label the same beer flavor and then call it another style.

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Photo of becktone
2.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From notes 3-29-09

Eye: Rock River Red pours a very clear amber hued lighter copper. The color is fairly nice, though it isn't real beautiful to look at, though thats probably the least important thing when it comes to a beer's asthetic qualities. It doesn't look bad but it doesn't look great either. Head started off well but has simmered down to something much a double thick blanket over the top of the beer. In texture it is rather soapy looking, not at all that pleasing.

Nose: Sweet malt notes and buttery tones are dominant here. Caramel tones as well. The diacetyl isn't all that bad, it seems to work well with the rest of what the beer is almost gives this one an english cast. Hop aroma is very low and there may be some vegetal notes about it. Aroma is overall weak on this one. The aroma isn't inviting, nor is it repulsive. Rather, its just there, not quite what I'd call average, but not all that bad.

Tongue: Light in flavor overall. Some hop character comes through, like noble hops....but not really in any way that impacts the flavor, just bitterness. General malt sweetness and some caramel that mingles with that buttery taste to give a sense to an english style. There's a good amount of sweetness to this one, like its under attunated. I know that this is odd, but I was drinking one of these just prior to reviewing this one...the flavor seems to be better, at least more concentrated, when drank from the bottle. With an overall watery taste this isn't one to be seeking out. This is drinkable but nothing worth buying, unless you want something that is cheap and not all that bad...Hey, thats the reason I bought it.

Feel and Drinkability: Finish is dry. Body is light, and kinda slick. Carbonation is low which doesn't help this beer much, the body is too light for there to be this little carbonation. It doesn't feel bad, but I'd definitely say its less than average. This beer is drinkable but as I stated before its only worth buying if you want a cheap beer thats not all that bad. For the price, its not all that bad....its only about a dollar more than Bud and it tastes much better.

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Photo of russpowell
2.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an effervescent copper with a quickly dissipating beige head. A trace of head & lacing

S: Vegtal smells, a touch of caramel & not much else

T: Toasty malt, overwhelmed by metallic hops up front. Dryness & a bit of caramel & woody pulp as this warms. Finishes dry with metallic hops, grainy, & a bit of toasty malt fighting through. Almost pulled a 3.0

MF: Thinish & overcarbonated

Drinks slow, not enough flavor here to hold one's interest; disappointing- like most other beers from these guys..

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.92/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An ok little beer that does no more than justify the low price tag.

The beer begins with a toasted malt / toasted grain mix. No real hop presence, but a hearty dose of artificial caramels and butterscotch.

The beer takes on a, well... amber hue but with a dull, carbonated action without lasting head retention or lacing. Goes flat pretty quickly.

I taste the same grain/malt flavors that persist in the nose. The caramel and buttery aromas go directly into the taste, obviously a diacetyl taste. With no real hop flavor either, this review is taking on a harsh tone, but the beer is actually alright.

Textures are a bit heavy on the palate because of the lack of carbonation. Thinned by the light astringency found by the grains. Lightly slick on the mouth because of the diacetyl. The beer fails most in the texture.

A lot of bad descriptors going on in language but the beer ultimatly falls in the average range.

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Photo of BierFan
2.95/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 12 ounce twist-off bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear red/brown with a VERY small white head. The appearance of the beer is not bad, but it definitely fails to excite me about drinking this.

Smell: Light crisp smell. No real noticeable hops.

Taste: Floral hop flavor. This is a really mild and subtle American red ale compared to other bigger more heavily cascade hopped examples that define the style. It's an ok beer but it doesn't live up to other red ales.

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Photo of Tone
3.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color. Short 1/5 inch head with poor retention and no lacing. Smells of yeast mostly and some slight sweet malt. I guess it fits the style, but not a real good example. Smooth and crisp mouth feel. High carbonation level is noticeable. Tastes of slight malt, but mostly clean yeast. Slight sweetness is present and a barely noticeable hop bitterness comes through. Overall, the the beer gets sweeter after a few sips, but mostly a lackluster beer. Kind of a boring and bland beer with very little hops.

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Photo of zeff80
3.1/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a good deal of carbonation. It had a small, off-white head that faded fairly quickly.

S - It smelled of malt and earthy grasses.

T - It had a smooth caramel malt flavor with a touch of sweetness. A slight hop bite emerges later.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay amber, very affordable and easy drinking. Like most Berghoff beers it is solid but not spectacular.

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Rock River Red Ale from Berghoff Brewery
2.81 out of 5 based on 47 ratings.
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