Rustic Ale | Capital Brewery

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Rustic AleRustic Ale
45 Ratings
Rustic AleRustic Ale

Brewed by:
Capital Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dirtylou on 07-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of wallrock
4/5  rDev +39.4%

Photo of pweis909
3.95/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As Capital Brewery is known for their German lager tradition, it shouldn't surprise me that this "rustic" ale gave me the impression of a rather civilized lager, maybe a German pilsner.

In appearance, it does resemble a pale or amber ale, falling somewhere on the lighter side of amber, and the foam was present, but not overly thick and faded to invite me to enjoy the beer. The ale had a familiar malty taste that I associate with a pilsner and the clean bittering and floral aroma that I normally associate with that style. It lacked the fruitiness of an ale, making me winder if it was brewed with lager yeast or lagered in the German ale tradition. While subdued by some ale standards, I found this a very tasty and drinkable beer, sufficiently interesting and thirst quenching to make it worth drinking anytime.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.75/5  rDev +30.7%

Photo of fatboy91
3.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of pmcadamis
3.48/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Rusty bronze-orange with a small white cap. This one leaves a lot of really nice lace on the glass, and although small, the head stuck around for a good while.

S - Sweet malt notes of carrot cake and caramel remind me of an Oktoberfest in a way. Some mild hop notes are there, but the malt is the star of the nose show.

T - Again, carrot cake and spiced coffee cake. Cinnamon rolls glazed in white icing. Some balancing hops and a hint of metallic mineral water give this a very German feel. I would totally guess O-fest in a blind tasting. This is good stuff!

M - Medium bodied (maybe even on the lighter end of medium), and well carbonated, this is a very thirst quenching brew. Goes down easy and finishes relatively neutral.

D - Tasty brew! Would be a very nice accompaniment to a smoked sausage, brat, or burger.

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Photo of Tone
3.48/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of yeast, roasted malt, sweet malt, earthy malt, and slight hops. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt up front, then sweet malt, yeast, and slight hops in the finish. Overall, the roasted malt in foremost, it's light, and slight hop presence - therefore this fits almost perfectly into the category. Not a real heavy bodied beer but smooth, well blended, and easy to drink.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.45/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a burnt orange color, toned with red. The head is immediately impressive but dissipates quickly. Lacing/stickage is above average, considering how fast that head went away.

It smells heavily of malt, no hops present. There is a deep rustic/earthy smell, matching the sweet caramelly malt aroma.

The taste agrees with the smell. Malt dominated, hops MIA. The malty flavor disappears quickly, making me sad, but the flavor remaining is still that of a tasty caramel amber.
Since I like malt dominated beers, I'll give this 3.5, but honestly I was left craving that afterbite of the hops.

Mouthfeel was a bit grainy, with ample carbonation biting the tip of the tongue. As the beer swills in the mouth, it develops a more settled, medium feel to it, just to the sheer malt domination.

Overall, an easily drinkable beer. Putting away a 6-pack over the course of a long easy conversation probably wouldn't be hard if you wanted to. The beer lacks some important defining characteristics, and I must say this is probably one of the more disappointing beers from Capital -- but I do have high expectations of them.
Try the Capital Amber if you're looking for a better beer in this class.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.4/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy golden beer with an amber hue. Thin cream colored head quickly disappeared. Mild malt dominated aroma. Solid malt flavor is lightly sweet with a hint of toast. I wouldn't quite say the body is light. In general the flavor is clean and doesn't linger making for a refreshing drink.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.33/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Poured amber with a fluffy off-white head that held good retention and left a slow, sticky lace on the side of the glass. Aromas and tastes were of sweet malts, bread crust, and toasted grains with a hint of caramel - little to no hops seem to be present. Mouth-feel is thin, and I expected it to be fuller after seeing the pour. Finishes sweet with hints of brown sugar - definitely lacks complexity. I guess, not a terribly bad representation of the style, but there are many better than this out there.

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Photo of Rennpferd
3.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a clear amber/copper hue with a one finger head and lite carbonation.

It had a nice mellow malt scent.

It had a mellow flavor of malt and hops. Overall the taste was very neutral, neither leaning towards strong malt character nor leaning towards floral or bitter hops. It had a nice medium body that went down easy.

It is a drinkable beer. It is very neutral. So neutral in fact that I think 6 out of 10 random beer drinkers would enjoy it if they did not have their favorite beer available.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.25/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper with a thin head that leaves no lace or spotting.

Aroma is light roasted malt and honey. Small brown sugar aroma.

Taste is lighter than I expected. Light malt and slight hop flavor over the subtle flavor of buttered sweet corn. Hop flavor is grassy and fresh, but very muted. Even thought the hops are muted and in the background the malt does not balance well as it is very weak.

Feel is quite carbonated and bubbly, a little too much for the flavor as it washes away the subtle hop hits you get.

A good drinkable amber, but not great.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz single, Steve's

I actually had this a while back at the Orpheum during a show (perhaps new pornographers/okkervil river)...i think it was leftover from a private party and i only got to sample 1 pint before it was gone...hmm

appearance: clear amber body, glowing orange hue, really light beige cap and minimal lacing

smell: not much on the nose at all, light toasted malts, caramel, strong grassy traits, minimal hop profile.

taste: this is a pretty boring beer on all fronts. everything is so muted that nothing really stands out at all - perhaps this is what capital was going for. i'm not sure what the marketing of this beer will be but i read about in a "lawnmower beer" article in the capital times. The name Rustic is probably referring to the natural grassy overtones which are complimented by toasted nuts and grain and caramel malt. hops are minimal and earthy.

mouthfeel: light and watery

drinkability: easy

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden, orange and rusty color,with a soft looking off-white head that leaves nice lacing,this is off to a nice start. The nose is tame and combines floral aromas with caramel malts. Pretty tasty considering a style that can often be less than impressive. Caramel malt and good balance of grain and hops makes a very drinkable balanced Ale. A light body and low carbonation help my glass to empty quickly,slightly creamy even. Pleasantly surprised by this uncompromising Red Ale. This is much better than AB American Ale. Give it a try.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.13/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours darker reddish copper with very little foam. Looks kind of like an iced tea.

Nice sweet caramel smell. Little nutty.

Light clean malty taste with virtually no carbonation. No punch in the finish, not even a hint of a hop. Kind of just fades away.

Easy to drink, but feels like something is missing.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a pale amber color with an off-white, bubbly two-finger head. The nose is faint, light caramel notes and graininess are about it. The taste is fairly neutral throughout but has a slight caramel toasty flavor and a slight metallic tinge at the end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a thin yet creamy carbonation. Drinkable beer, if it was a fresher bottle, this would probably be a much higher scoring beer.

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Photo of hopdog
3.08/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and clear amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of grains, 'musty', earthy, and toasted nuts. Tastes of caramel, lighter earthiness, and grains. I found the body to be on the thinner body.

Notes from: 7/26/08

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: amber red, decent 1 inch head.

S: sweet overripened bread

T: same as smell, slight odd aftertaste, can't put my finger on it.

M: light/medium body.

T: sweet, light bread taste, too watery for this style.

D: My least favorite Capital beer. There are other beers better in this style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"When nature exceeds culture, we have the rustic. When culture exceeds nature, we have the pedant."


Rustic orange with amber highlights, which is a fairly common color for an amber ale. No yeast are visible, just several streams of appropriate looking carbonation. The cap is on the small side and is midway between ivory and beige. Although it falls too quickly, it's whipped creamy and is acceptably generous when it comes to lace.

The aroma lacks personality. The malt smells lightly toasted and there's a mild earthiness going on, but there's no hook to pull you in. It also doesn't appear as if many hops were used. Less than impressive so far.

Rustic Ale tastes better than it smells. Not a lot better, so let's not get carried away. My initial impressions are: malt-dominant, not enough malt, Munich malt, grainy, bitterness more than hop flavor, and disappointing mouthfeel. Each sip screams 'average', so the taste score has effectively chosen itself.

This certainly is an easy drinking ale, if that's what you're after. If you crave substance and style, though, look elsewhere. The malt backbone is less than sturdy and contains too much earthy, toasted peanut-like Munich. More caramel malt would be preferable. More hop flavor and bitterness would be good too, but only in the face of more malt sugars. The suggestion box is now overflowing.

The body/mouthfeel score could just as easily be one notch lower. It's thin (although not too far out of line) and has small, sharp bubbles rather than soft, caressing ones. Letting the carbonation dissipate over time is probably the best option.

As an interesting aside, the label reads 'Home Made'. No, Capital beer is 'Brewery Made'. Spare me the fake folksy charm. The new labels are... meh. The old ones were getting a little stale, but at least they were classic and were easily identifiable.

Maybe these guys should stick to brewing lagers. Brown Ale, Island Wheat and U.S. Pale Ale are okay, but are nothing to write home about. Hell's bells, even Vintage Ale left me wanting. While Capital doesn't need to overhaul Rustic Ale and create Pedant Ale, the current offering is too rough around the edges and could use a little more culture. Confucious say... "buy Wisconsin Amber instead".

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Photo of spointon
3.01/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this one on tap at the Capital Brewery Bier Stube on 11/28/2008.

A= This ale poured a clear, dark, coppery color with a 1/2" white head. The head quickly dropped to a skim and left a huge amount of sheet lacing down my glass.

S= The smell of this ale was very odd. It sort of smelled like a lager (slightly sulfur-y) with just a faint notion of bready and caramel malts and even fainter hops. No esters to speak of.

T= Again, strange flavor profile for an ale. Taste was mainly a sharp lager/sulfur note all on top of faint bready malt. Finish was dry and not very appealing in the aftertaste.

MF= Thin bodied, with some grain husk and a bit of a sharp carbonation level. Crisp on the tongue, could be a decent palate cleanser with food.

D= While I didn't think this was the worst thing in the world, I also didn't find it to be up to Capital's usual standards. This is not a beer I am likely to have again...

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Photo of Canada_Dan
3/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of scruffwhor
2.97/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium copper colored beer with awesome bubbling. The head starts at two fingers, ad dwindles down to a nice film o' foam. Very powdery and fake smelling toasted malt and hops. Makes me thin of smelling the cheapest homebrew malt and hops mix I can think of. The taste is not as cheapened as the smell. Very grainy palate. Heavily toasted malts, medium to soft hop bitterness. Some very cheap tasting toast straight from the toaster almost overwhelms my tastebuds. Not the caliber I've come to expect from Capital Brewery. But I'm glad I tried this "Rustic" ale.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - Light-medium amber. Slight haze. Tall off white head with good retention.

Smell - Mild caramel malt. Not catching any hops.

Taste - A little nutty caramel malt. Not much in the way of hops. A little watery. Leaves a bready aftertaste. Not bad tasting, but underwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Medium and smooth.

Overall - Not a bad tasting beer, but pretty muted. Might be an adequate choice for a day in the sun. I can't imagine seeking it out.

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Photo of lowbrau
2.95/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Amber with a very slight red hue. Thin head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Faint aroma with slight biscuit notes. No hops present.

Taste: Slightly watery. The biscuit notes in the aroma come through slightly, giving it a fairly pleasant sweetness, but not quite enough. Little hop character to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Nothing remarkable, but not bad. Adequate carbonation.

Drinkability: The wateryness hinders the drinkability.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass the beer is light orange color and fairly clear. The head was huge but dissipated in the blink of an eye. The smell is mostly malt but I got hints of almond as well. Not a huge nose on this one at all. The flavor is malty and wheat like. There is a strange metalic flavor that seems to stick with me in every sip. Medium body with enough carbonationto tickle the tongue. This beer is drinkable if only because it's not real flavorful. I will revisit this one to make sure my bottle wasn't off.

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Photo of Pauly2X
2.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Clear deep gold, half finger rocky head.

S- Grainy, faint noble hops in the background.

T- Slightly sweet malt with bready overtones. Barely discernable dry hop finish.

M- Smooth, light and slightly fizzy.

D- Decent, goes down okay.

A very mediocre beer.

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Rustic Ale from Capital Brewery
Beer rating: 2.87 out of 5 with 45 ratings