Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rushtaller 1881 a Sacramento Original

Rushtaller 1881 is an American Amber Ale brewed by Ruhstaller Beer. Ruhstaller calls itself "Sacramento's Beer", with the credential that Swiss Captain Frank Ruhstaller was a prominent brewer in the early days of Sacramento's history.

Ruhstaller established the Buffalo Brewery, which was the largest brewery west of the Mississippi for sometime. Interestingly, Buffalo Beer will also be making a comeback with another new brewery, New Helvetia. The old Buffalo Brewery is now the location for the Sac Bee.

Ruhstaller does not have a taproom or location. The brewmaster uses Hoppy Brewing's equipment and their beers can be found at various local spots - Pangaea, Sam Horne's, and Bows & Arrows. Ruhstaller is also unique in that both the barley and hops used are from California.

I bought this in a 22oz bottle from the Pangaea Bottle Shop for $6.99. It has an ABV of 5.6%.

The beer pours a burnt orange, amber color with a bubbly head that soon dissipates to leave a ring of lacing. The aroma has strong fresh, floral hops with a light sweet malt backbone. The taste has fruit and floral hops up front with a grassy hop and toasted malt finish. There are caramel malts through out but they are subtle and add more body than flavor. The beer is light to medium bodied, average but active carbonation, and a dry, chewy finish.

Overall, I really like this. I had this beer twice on tap and it had less hops and a distinct metallic/coppery flavor. This is absent from the bottled beer and the hops are a lot more prominent.

I like that this is a hop-forward red ale, but has enough restraint to not allow the hops to not over power the subtle malts. The transition from strong fruity and floral hops up front to the grassy and earthy flavors at the end is also something I have not had in a red ale.  It's very drinkable. This beer is also a Sacramento hometown hero, so you should definitely Try It soon!

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