Rubicon Brewing Company

Rubicon Brewing CompanyRubicon Brewing Company
Rubicon Brewing CompanyRubicon Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

2004 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, California, 95816
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 54 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of htomsirveaux
htomsirveaux from Texas

1.55/5  rDev -57.8%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3

Second place we tried to go to today. Last call is at 7:15pm on a Thursday?! We thought the waitress was joking. Also, no food. My brother reports the bathrooms need some attention.

Aug 11, 2017
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flagmantho from Washington

3.78/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Rubicon is a neat old brewpub in downtown Sacramento. They had 9 taps plus a few guest ciders when I visited. It's a classic brewpub/sports bar with a couple TVs and a clientele of regulars. The beers were perfectly reasonable; I had the fish & chips which were also tasty. One thing they do at Rubicon is serve the beers in big, oversize pint glasses with a mark at 16oz so you know you're getting an honest pour -- I'm always a fan of that. Rubicon may not be the best brewery in Sacramento, but it's definitely a good place to hang out.

Nov 09, 2016
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HobbNobber from Indiana

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Came on a Tuesday night after business trip. Place was almost full, patio too. Lively atmosphere. Tuesdays are apparently $2.75 pint night. Found a table right away and had dinner and a couple pints. BBQ burger with bacon was awesome. Had the flagship IPA and a seasonal RBIPA. This was my first time visit and I would come back for sure.

Mar 23, 2016
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WillDavis707 from California

2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5

Food is below average, as well as the beer. They are doing some new, more interesting things now though. Only redeeming quality is that it is in Midtown

Oct 28, 2015
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ronniebruner from Arizona

3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Typical midtown vibe, All the regular selections you would expect from a brewpub on the menu. Service was excellent, food was okay, nothing memorable, but what the best reason to come here is for is to get the 22 oz. beers cheaper than in the stores. Can't beat $3.50 for a 22 oz. of Rubicon! Would be much cooler if it was in a better part of town and had a more modern look.

Jan 06, 2015
Photo of mrcraft
mrcraft from California

3.85/5  rDev +4.9%

I visited Rubicon during my recent business trip. It's located in a nice Midtown district with other eateries and shops.

When you enter, you have the bar area to the right and tables on the left. They have some patio seating along the street and sidewalk.

They serve your typical brewpub fare. I had a standard burger with a cup of chili with 4 tasters. The burger was good. I thought the beers were good as well.

Overall, a nice local neighborhood brewpub to enjoy good food and beer and hang out.

Nov 06, 2014
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John_M from Oregon

3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Have been to the Rubicon at least 100 times, but this was the first time since 2001 (when I moved away from Sacto). I first stopped by the brewpub back in 89, when I first moved to sacto from Memphis, Tn. Then as now, the Rubicon consists of a fairly small pub, with some corrigated metal covering the brewing area on the left as you walk in, and then some small brick columns holding up the back bar that seperates the modest bar area (roughly 10 seats or so) from the modest size dining area. There's also a fair size outside patio area, that was pretty much full on a gorgeous Tuesday night. The Rubicon has always had a minimalist, no frills vibe, and so it was this evening on a Tuesday in early September.

As for the beer, on this particular night they had some 6 beers on tap, with I think one limited release sour (that was blended with some apple hard cider). The IPA and I think the pale are also available in bombers to go. Otherwise, they had the standard IPA, pale ale, amber and dry stout on tap, along with a sessionable copper ale. Quality was pretty good.... the IPA and Monkey Knife Fight were both quite good, which was no surprise. I should add that the Rosebud strong ale had just blown (bottles were gone as well), and they mentioned that cask beers tapped earlier in the week tended to be long gone by Tuesday. So I don't think the selection this evening was typical; I think normally it's a bit stronger than what I encountered on a Tuesday night.

As for service, the bartenders were friendly and engaging, and seemed pretty knowledgeable about the beers on tap and beer in general. Didn't try the food this night, but in the past I've always been pretty happy with the fairly basic pub grub here.

Back in 89, this place really stood out. Today it's still a solid place that I was happy to revisit, and I'd come here again if I were in Sacto... but I'm not sure it's the sort of place I'd go out of my way to visit. Times have changed since then, and there's just a lot more on offer in Sacto and N. California.

Sep 04, 2013
Photo of Tiffany88
Tiffany88 from California

3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I like this place. I eaten here about twice. A nice, friendly atmosphere and good customer service. I wish they had more of a selection of their beers to choose from. They let us have a sample of their hard apple cider which was pretty good. Nice place in downtown Sacramento

Aug 25, 2013
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25

We stopped in for dinner on a Friday night. The place never had more than a table or two empty. The Black and Blu burger was good, the chili was not. The children's fish and chips order was 50/50: fish was good, waffle fries were bland. We had the pale ale, stout and barley wine. The pale was great and the other two decent. The service was good, but a little slow. I probably would have had another pint if the server had come near our table again. They had about six of their beers on tap and another four guest taps. 22 oz bottles of their IPA and pale ale to-go. Stop by if you're in Sacramento.

Jan 19, 2013
Photo of mojorayjones

4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been to brewpubs all over the word and find Rubicon to have the right ingredients of quality brew, with a relaxing urban attitude. They are one of the mainstays of the microbrew scene, being around since the 1980's, and having produced a solid hoppy IPA with malty backbone as their flagship ale. They also produce a variety of other impressive brews including the Rosebud named after one of Jerry Garcia's guitars, which is brewed in his honor each August. The same brew master has been at the helm for decades there with a solid but modest staff. The food is quite good for bar food. I had an exceptional bratworst for lunch there made by a local sausage haus. It's a community oriented place that is proud of it's contributions in the NorCal brew scene. Definitely worth checking out.

Oct 03, 2012
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mkotsayfan from California

4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Rubicon is becoming one of my favorite beer places to go to in Sacramento. It has a nice atmosphere, pretty standard "humbling" look that most brewpubs go for, and it works here.

The quality/selection was pretty good, they had plenty of their own beers on tap, but had a lot of guest taps/casks because of Sacramento Beer Week, and the selection was nice. A few casks including Stone Old Guardian, and the day I went featured Bear Republic guest taps, including the legendary Racer X (amazing beer!).

I sat at the bar and never went very long with an empty glass, the bartender was on top of things even though she was constantly busy.

The food was pretty good, I had a ham and turkey club sandwich and it was solid. The fries that came with it were a tad undercooked, but still fine.

A cool place to go and grab a beer and food if you're in midtown. I'll have to stop by from time to time.

Mar 03, 2012
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colonelforbin from California

3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Rubicon is one of the better brewpubs in Sacramento. The place itself is not very large but has a nice little bar and tables in the restaurant area. Cozy atmosphere.

The quality of the beer, particularly the hoppy beers is what sets this place apart from other brewpubs in the area. Their IPA is very good and their other brews are better than average as well. They push the envelope a little as well, compared to some places, making some unique beers from time to time.

Definitely worth trying. The one thing they don't have is a wide selection of beers on tap. This isn't too bad, but is slightly unusual compared to most other brewpubs I've been to.

They also have a nice outdoor patio in front that is a great place to sit and relax.

Prices are pretty much standard, nothing out of the ordinary.

Probably your best bet if you only have time to visit one brewpub in the Sacramento area.

Jun 17, 2011
Photo of tjensen3618
tjensen3618 from California

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Rubicon distributes their IPA to my area and I dig it, so while in Sacto I wanted to check out the brewery.

The patio out front was pretty packed, so we took a seat inside, it's a pretty small place and it was near capacity. The first round of beers, cask IPA and Wheat Wine were fantastic. The 2nd round Monkey Knife Fight and Purple Maibock were a real let down.

Our server was nice and prompt even though he was pretty busy. The food I got, a pulled pork sandwich, was real good.

Even though the beers were hit and miss and their selection was pretty small I really enjoyed the dinner I had here.

Jun 08, 2011
Photo of armock
armock from New York

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Visit on 3-11-11 for late dinner.

Atmosphere - As you walk up there's an outdoor patio dining area. As you walk in there's a long bar on the right that runs to the back wall with seating to the left and the brew house behind a glass wall. the place has a neighborhood bar feel to it as it doesn't seem to try to be trendy or do any thing to set itself apart from other bars other than make beer and food.

Quality/selection - During my visit they had four house beers on tap with a hand full of guest taps. Their house beers that I tried ranged from pretty average to good.

Service - My waitress for the night was nice and seemed to know a little bit about their beer. She was also prompt with the drinks and food so no issues in that department.

Food - For dinner I ordered the pulled pork sandwich that to me was just average as it wasn't moist enough or have as much sauce as I like. The wife ordered a hamburger and was pleased with it.

Overall I liked the place its comfortable and the food and beer is good enough for me to want to go back sometime.

May 26, 2011
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Seanibus from California

3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Not bad if you're downtown, but not worth a major trip out of the way. The food is good enough but nothing mind blowing, and the beer is good, if not astonishing. The IPA was tasty, but the pale ale was a little off, I thought. The beer list was small and seemed to hit the obligatory niches in a brewpub - pale ale, IPA, Amber, Stout.

The atmosphere is a little shabby - big and open, but not fancy. Looks like it might have been aiming for deliberately run down, but it just comes off as lacking in distinctive personality. The service is friendly and quick, but the food is merely ok - decent pub food, but little better. It feels as if the kitchen is cutting corners, emphasizing volume over innovation.

But having said that, the place is homey and friendly - the crowd is downhome and feels local. They seem to know the servers, and the vibe is generally warm. So the net effect is warm and pleasant.

Apr 23, 2011
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climax from Missouri

3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Rubicon is located in the same region as the general mass of overlooked Sac breweries. Midtown is a good location, if the brewery isn't for you, there's plenty more alternatives (not necessarily breweries) around the corner. It's a small place with a pretty cold bar area, seating can be scarce and tight. The crows is middle aged with a casual atmosphere. The bar is not isolated, can be loud.

Rubicon beers are good, not great. I had the pale ale and the Irish red. The pale was mediocre, not sufficient for the hop head. However, the Irish red had a lot more body and bold flavor. The food (I had fettuccine) was very good, and portions were plenty.

There were not a whole lot of beers to choose from upon my visit, but we made due. The prices are pretty cheap, worth a try for Sacramento. However, the beer nerd may want to seek an alternative location.

Feb 25, 2011
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scottfrie from California

3.78/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Went to the brewpub for dinner one night with a couple other BA's. Place was pretty crowed, and there was bar/standing room only. Seating for food is "seat yourself" with a fair amount of tables strew about the establishment. After we were finally able to nab a table (after hovering near people who were paying their check) the service was pretty good. Our table was cleaned and menus/drinks/food came without delay. The food was pretty standard brewpub fair: appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers, but they also had a fair amount of larger entrees. The beer is mediocre at best. They had about 5 or 7 beers available on tap, plus one available only in a 22oz bottle. Their IPA was extremely underwhelming, and their pilsner was downright bad. My friends pale ale tasted alright but the amber didn't. That being said, the food is fair, the prices are reasonable, and the service is good. I wouldn't want to go here again when it's crowded as I feel like we got lucking arriving around the same time someone was leaving, but I definitely wouldn't NOT go back. Just don't expect stellar beer.

Feb 02, 2011
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MLucky from California

2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Some good beers, but disappointing as an overall experience.

Rubicon's a nice enough place to visit for a pint and sandwhich. Pub-style food is not bad, and fairly reasonable.

But it's sort of disappointing from a beer geek perspective. To begin with, they don't offer a sampler deal: if you want to try several beers, you have to buy a "half pint" (actually looked more like 10 oz or so) for $3-4 each. I don't think I've ever gone to another brewery that didn't offer some sort of taster's platter.

The day we visited, they didn't have much of a selection, anyway. We had really hoped to try one of their cask ales, but they were out. They were also out of their "featured beer," SN Celebration. They had a measly five beers on tap: APA, IPA, a red, a stout, and a BPA. (There are probably at least two dozen establishments in Sac that offer 20+ tap beers.)

Having had their IPA many times, we sampled the other four, and very much enjoyed the stout and BPA, each of which is highly recommended. The others were good, if nothing to write home about.

The service was mediocre. I asked the waiter if the stout was treated with nitrogen and he had no idea what I was talking about. I later noticed that, yes, according to info printed right in the menu, it was. Now, I don't expect every person waiting tables in a brewpub to be super knowledgeable, but wait staff should at least know what's in the menu.

I don't mean to be so harsh. But these guys could be doing a lot more. As it is, it's not someplace I'd go out of my way to visit.

Jan 24, 2011
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beerjudge1 from California

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

One of the increasingly few local brew houses left in the Sacramento area. We have been many times, especially in the summer months to take advantage of the outdoor seating. As much as hate to bash on any craft beer establishments, I have to honestly say that The Rubican is not going to blow any established connoisseur away. Of their "always available" beers, i really only enjoy the Winter Wheat Wine. Basically a lighter colored barley Wine, it's very approchable and smooth. Food is typical, but better than average. the staff is always friendly and timely.

Dec 29, 2010
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ArmstrongDG from California

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A friend and I visited Rubicon Brewing Company a week ago. We really enjoyed the beer and the food was also good. I had the Rubicon IPA, which I would rate as a B, and also a visiting beer, the Wet Hopped Moyander from Moyan's Brewing (also an IPA), which I would rate even higher-B+. My friend had Rubicon's Monkey Knife Fight Ale, which he absolutely loved. He certainly enjoyed his sausage plate and my mushroom pasta was quite good. I had wondered what the service would be like based on some other postings, but we had very good service. Our waitress (Misty) was friendly, had good advice about the beers, and provided great service. Both my friend and I will return the next time we are looking for brews and food in Sacramento.

Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Siggy125
Siggy125 from California

3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Nice joint, cozy inside. Good beer selection. Enjoyed an amber ale and an IPA, both were very tasty. Wish I could've stayed longer, got quite comfortable enjoying the beer and visiting the locals.

As for service, the bartender was friendly, but the girls serving tables were downright terrible. Did I visit on an off night? I was ignored for several minutes and finally flagged one of them down. She was very short and treated me like I was a bother. :( Wound up not ordering food. Shame too, since the menu looked pretty good.

So if you feel like having a good brew and not interested in waiting around for food service, then this joint may be for you.

May 25, 2010
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Offa from California

4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is a very enjoyable place in a nice location in Midtown Sacramento, just a few blocks from the capitol and from many other happening places to eat, hang out, etc.

The beer quality overall is quite good and solid, tasty and well-made if not overly adventuresome. The beer range is good but not overly extensive. There are rotating guest beers from other micro-brewers, and there are periodic cask beers.

Service is friendly and efficient.

The food is good, very tasty. It's a pretty standard range of brewpub cuisine, but done well and with some very nice, thoughtful elements such as "make your own grilled cheese," starting with a basic, very good grilled cheese sandwich with good cheese, to which one can ad any number of extras. Sald dressings and other things are good and there is a good children's menu.

The place and atmosphere are nice. In addition to the friendly workers, it has a smallish and fairly simple, but pleasant and attractive interior with big windows looking out onto the front. It has a really nice outdoor seating area right along the street. It is situated in a nice, characterful, very lively part of Midtown, the old mixed residential-commercial part of town just east of downtown, under huge, old, shadey trees. Nearby are numerous attractive old Victorians and other buildings, plus plenty of clubs and eateries, art places, stores, etc., with a constant stream of people going to all these places. This all adds nicely to the atmosphere.

Jul 29, 2009
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jerelwhall from Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Ate lunch here while vacationing in CA. I didn't know what to expect, but was impressed by their beers: a very, very tasty Pilsner (quality imported? malts, quenching hop finish), a solid Pale ale (sturdy body, really clean character), a delicious, very West Coast IPA (tons of citrussy hops). The gem, though was their seasonal 'Winter Wheat-wine': big syrupy nose, lingering sweetness, coating mouthfeel, long warming finish with just the right amount of hops throughout. Samples were $1.50 per 2 oz pour - pretty reasonable.

The food was rather standard pub grub: I had a bratwurst sandwich with a decent beer mustard and fries. Not outstanding but enjoyable for sure.

The only problem was the service. Our server, completely unable to hide her sour manner, insisted on rolling her eyes at every request, inquiry, or comment we had. Since we had never been there, we obviously had several questions regarding the selection and would've like to have had a more informative experience. She knew not a bit about the beers, very little about the brewery, and apparently nothing about how the food was prepared. Guess we were just unlucky in getting the worst server in Sacramento.

Overall: stellar, fun beer brewed creatively and with obvious passion - super lame service (but probably just circumstantial) - simple, affordable fare - definitely will revisit!

Mar 03, 2009
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stoad from California

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Great looking old brick building and cozy insides. It is in a residential area, but don't be fooled, It gets very busy at lunch as it's 2 blocks from 2500 state employees, and it has been pretty busy other times I have been there (e.g. Sunday 6-8 pm). The parking can be difficult, especially on weekdays.

That said, food is about average for pub fare - not as much beer influence featured in it as I would hope. Proximity to San Francisco would bring expectations that they might push the food level a bit, but not so much. For example the Reuben could have been on artisan instead of "store bought" bread and the onion rings had a rather bland batter.

The beer is great however. They offer a pretty regular (from my few visits) cask ale option, a dry hopped version of their IPA was available on my last visit. Had a few pints of that. Their standard brew offerings - Rosebud, IPA, Monkey Knife Fight - are all well crafted and consistent in quality. I was there for the beer and it did not disappoint. My favorite stop in Sacramento.

Jan 02, 2009
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ndolover from Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I was in SAC-town on business and after seeing the 2 brewpubs near my hotel in the tourist area I was not impressed. I checked beeradvocate and found this gem. I took a long walk past the state capitol and found Rubicon.

It would seem that this area has a more uptown feel. Upon sitting at the bar I was greeted and asked if I wanted to try a sample of the 2 ciders I was pondering. I was impressed that they had ciders (however, they were not brewed by Rubicon). I also found the following:

1. Customers that were talking about politics and the upcoming Big Lebowski fest. I interjected a few times and was greeted warmly by the regulars at the bar.

2. The growlers were in plastic "cubes" which I had never seen before.

3. The happy hour crowd really packed the place after 4.

4. The hop juice was good, but a bit over priced.

5. The servers were nice, but I need to re-state what other reviews have said about being less then attentive.

Overall a brewpub that does not fit the corporate brewpubs that you see around SAC-town. Good vibe with good drinks...I would visit this place again!

Aug 29, 2008
Rubicon Brewing Company in Sacramento, CA
Brewery rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 771 ratings