Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6: Karl and the Tale of the Ruhstaller 1881

Sunshine on my shoulders (and beer) makes me happy

1881: The year that James Garfield was both inducted and assassinated, the Savoy Theater in London opens as the first public building lit through the wonders of electricity, and, fittingly for our current theme, Clara Barton founded the Red Cross. Also established in 1881 was the Ruhstaller Brewery, who provides me with today’s red ale. Made from local hops and barely, this beer proudly represents California’s capital of Sacramento. The bottleneck is covered in burlap, and that combined with its old-timey feel have led me to pair this beer with John Denver’s Greatest Hits. Quick music fact: John Denver was one of the key artists in the 80s who spoke out against musical censorship. Speaking on behalf of the artists, John’s wholesome image helped to fight for artist’s right to produce their art as he helped convince all the ancient members of the Congress to lay off the arts. Thank God for the country boy.


For the beer, it pours a worn-out copper in appearance that glows ruby red when held up to the light. The nose does not fill up your senses like a night in the forest or the mountains in springtime, but rather smells like a barn, and not in the good way like some saisons or sours smell like a barn. This is a very simple beer palate-wise, with some pine, light caramel malt and a thin body that would make this beer easy to drink. The key word in that last sentence is “would”, as unfortunately there is a strong aftertaste here that is like a mixture of rubbing alcohol and cheap olive oil that leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. My tongue seemed to adjust to this taste about halfway through the beer, but I think I would rather drink a beer I didn’t need to adjust to. There are plenty of delicious reds out there that require you to simply enjoy them from start to finish.

Rating: C

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