BeerDorks.com: Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

 

Beer Reviews

Rustic Ale

Capital Brewery
Middleton, WI
USA
http://www.capital-brewery.com/

Style: Altbier
ABV: 4.5%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)


Comments:
Fresh off my bashing of Capital Brewery for their adulterating of the once incredible Autumnal Fire, I pulled tonight’s featured brew out of the fridge: Capital’s newest widespread release, Rustic Ale.

Capital has been promoting the bejesus of out their latest production, what with billboards, print ads, and even radio spots. A little uncharacteristic—maybe even unbecoming—for a craft brewer, if you ask me. They’re touting the fact that it’s brewed using local grain—from Washington Island, although that’s kind of pushing the term “local” with it being 250 miles from Middleton—and as a traditionally brewed, “throwback” beer, hence the “rustic” in the title. On their web site they call it an American amber ale, which is a little perplexing since they already have a decent amber. I have a feeling that things are really fucked up in Middleton right now.

Rustic pours with a lively, fairly sticky head crowning a pale, slightly hazy amber. The head hangs around for about half of the drink, and leaves not a whit of lacing. The color is pretty damn light for an amber.

The aroma is bready malt with a tiny bit of tinniness in the far back. A pretty unassuming nose overall. The sip starts with a hint of caramel-tinged maltiness, segueing into bone-dry, biscuity malt. A bit of the sweetish malt comes up for the end, with some barely noticeable, earthy hops providing a decidedably medium-length finish. Body is on the lighter side of medium, with a pretty hard mouthfeel. As the brew warms, the malt opens up more, becoming a little bigger on the front and back and drawing that finish out a tiny bit more.

This beer, Rustic Ale, is perfectly fine. It’s a little lighter and more drinkable than their Wisconsin Amber, making it a standard session brew. But … yawn. The beer I grabbed from the fridge right after this was one that, albeit in name only, was of the same style: New Glarus Alt, a beer that I’m beginning to realize deserved a five-mug rating instead of the four I gave it. Alt is mind-boggling in both complexity and craftsmanship, while Capital basically mailed in Rustic Ale. This is why New Glarus is still a vibrant, dynamic brewery with a big presence in the American craft beer scene while Capital is a fading star. You know what? I think I’ve had it with Capital. I’ll grab a singleton or maybe even a six pack of the Blonde Doppelbock when it comes out next month, but that’ll be it. Maybe, hopefully, the Blonde will get me reinvigorated with Capital. But I doubt it.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on January 15, 2009.
Agree with this review?
No
Yes

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...