This week’s Beer of the Week comes to us from a newer brewery from Sacramento, CA, Ruhstaller. The brewery opened up in 2011, and is named after Captain Frank Ruhstaller, a brewing pioneer in the Sacramento area. He opened Ruhstaller Brewery in 1881 (hence the name of this beer), and the new Ruhstaller is an homage to the man and his beer.
1881 is a “California Red Ale,” 5.6% ABV and 35 IBUs. It is presented in a 22 oz bootle, with the neck wrapped in what appears to be a portion of a grain sack. Nice touch. There is no bottling date.
The body is a deeply dark red color. A thin yet dense, dirty white head sits atop the brew. It retains a good amount of foaminess and leaves some nice lacing.
There’s a good amount of hops to the nose, with aromas of pine and citrus. The malt profile is strong, with aromas of molasses and caramel, with an undercurrent of roasted malt tones.
Sweet, caramelized malts with some chewy molasses flavors. Roasted nuts and some full, bready flavors. The finish is hopped up very nicely, with bitter pine flavors as well as a tart, grapefruit twinge. Finish is semi-dry, and leaves some lingering bitterness in the mouth, but there’s a big enough malt profile that makes this beer a nicely balanced treat.
This is a good opening salvo from this newer brewery. Has nice malt flavors to it, but also has a good amount of hops. This is a beer that could appeal to malt lovers and hop lovers. I definitely will pick up other beer’s from them to see what else this brewery is capable of.