Ruhstaller 1881 Sacramento Red Ale is a beer in a bottle that looks too hip for me. The bottle is fitted with its own beatnik turtle neck sweater, and enough farm-to-bottle proclamations on the label - including "farm to bottle" - to border hipster parody. Looks are deceiving. This beer may scream bearded, skinny jean, flannel wearing hipster on the outside, but inside it's all straight-laced, clean shaven, three-piece suit.
1881 Sacramento Red Ale is a mild red ale with pronounced malt profile. Its hop bitterness was surprisingly muted, given the label's boast that the hops are from a single farm, Kuchinski Hop Ranch. The Sacramento Red Ale was more reminiscent of an English brown ale than a California red ale. It had a thin consistency (abv was only 5.6%), and the malt roast gave 1881 a smoked flavor and a mineral aftertaste, just like a good English brown ale. Even its opaque color was more mahogany than ruby. 1881 is ultimately smooth and drinkable, a pleasant, conservative beer despite its bottle's aspirations.