Rustic Ale | Capital Brewery

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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.

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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 45
Photo of cokes
2.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dirty amber bodied with only a small collar of beige lace.
Grain dominated nose, with perks of the confectionery Capital caramel maltiness, and hints of nuts and wort and rubber.
It enters the mouth with toasted grains and peanuts. The trademark Capital sweet caramel malt makes a cameo, then fades just as quickly. Doughy now, with a lingering wheaty sweetness. Chalky bitterness, with no real defined hop flavor.
Light-medium bodied with a moderate carbonation, leading to a mushy mouthfeel, mostly due to the indecisiveness of the taste.
It's like 80% Island Wheat, and 20% Wisconsin Amber. And probably worse than either, individually...well Island Wheat sucks about this bad (and don't get me started about it replacing Kloster Weizen).
While this is not entirely awful, it is just so amateurish.

What the fuck has happened, Capital?
Here's a plea: if you want to do an amber ale, brew an Altbier. Stick to your German do these types of beers as well as anyone. The mainstreaming of your portfolio is losing you your fan base.
Simply put, shit like this doesn't work.

 1,088 characters

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 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".

 2,269 characters

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.

 561 characters

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.

 442 characters

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.

 262 characters

Photo of botham
2.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. pours a crystal clear brownish amber color with a single finger of tan head that remaisn for a minute or two.

aroma is lightly sweet and malty, with a light caramel character and subtle notes of dark fruit, namely plum and grape, both distant. there is an overall grainy type feel to the brew, lending to a premature staleness.

taste is more of the same, with a bit of an acidic profile, along with notes of bready malt, the same grainy feel, and a bit of caramel malt. quite dissapointing for a Capital brew.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a stale like quality and a smooth texture with soft CO2.

drinkability is decent. this is a sub-standard amber, without enough richness to sustain the malt profile. the flavors seem flabby, with a lack for any connecting element, or base of any kind. as a fan of Capital and their brews, this one is not true to their style, and leaves this BA dissapointed.

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Photo of dmtaylor
2.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

There's so much that's not right about this beer, unfortunately... Where do I begin?

Aroma - Corn & cabbage - DMS - very grainy and nutty malt, low caramel, with very subtle earthy and slightly spicy hops. Very malty aroma, needs a lot more hops to balance.

Appearance - Very fizzy on the pour, but low white head quickly dies to nothing. Ends up with low carbonation. Crystal clear, decidedly amber in color (i.e., amber-yellow-almost-orange like the prehistoric flies are captured in, but not red in any way).

Flavor - Very grainy, nutty, and toasty, toasty, toasty. A hint of apple ester. Also some honey character. Hops are VERY subdued, earthy, a hint of spice but it's hard to find. Balance is sweet, just enough hops to take the edge off with bitterness without much contribution in flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium-light body. Seems sort of thin and definitely well-attenuated.

Overall - Did not meet expectations at all with respect to hops. This beer was advertised as using local Wisconsin hops and malt, and while the malt comes through loud and clear, WHERE'S THE HOPS?? That's what I really was looking for. There's no balance, it's all about the malt and there's not anywhere near enough hops to balance. Capital, if you're listening, I'd say you need to triple the flavor and aroma hops next time!! Otherwise, with respect to malt, it's a great start. Just currently misses the mark significantly. But for those who don't like hops at all, but like toasty, nutty malt, this wouldn't be a bad beer to try.

 1,529 characters

Photo of kmeves
2.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper gold with a small off white head. The aroma is medium sweet malt, nutty and light grassy hops. The flavor is nutty toasted malt and light grassy hops. Light to medium bodied, thin texture. Finishes long and malt dominated. Not Capitals best offering by far.

 278 characters

Photo of Chugmonkey
1.74/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Ugh. What is in this thing? It leaves an absolutely awful aftertaste of something not right. I can't even describe it. A horrible stale taste that lingers and won't go away. It tastes like something burnt and stale. Like when popcorn is burnt and that burnt popcorn smell just lingers and lingers. Kinda like that, but not exactly.

Send me a beermail if you want to try this disaster. I have a 5 pack that you can have. Ugh, what a wretched concoction. This has to be some kind of mistake.

 490 characters

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.

 819 characters

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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Rustic Ale from Capital Brewery
2.87 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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