Rubicon Brewing Company
Active Beers: 26
Beer Ratings: 452
Beer Avg: 3.71
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 36 | Show All Ratings:
3.78/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
On a tight schedule and unable to get a table at any of the swankier joints, I headed here with a small group on a Saturday evening.
What we got wasn't anything special. It's certainly not anyplace to make a destination. The IPA was fine but far from spectacular. They had about a half a dozen offerings on the board.
I enjoyed my burger and was excited to get blue cheese on it. Everyone else was happy with their meals too and they had a couple of vegan options, key for the lady.
The place was only about half full but service was a bit slow. My beer had been empty for a solid five minutes before I was offered a refill.
It's a great brewpub to have in the neighborhood and I'll certainly be back -- $10.25 craft brewed pitchers three blocks from home are a welcome sight.
05-31-2006 07:07:54 | More by devo
4.1/5 rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Rubicon turned out to be a cool little place. It gave off a neighborhood pub vibe, with the crowd at 10pm on a Friday being mainly in the mid 20's range just there to hang out with their friends and drink good beer. Noise levels were loud, but still conversational. I never got to see the surrounding area during the day, but it seemed like an older neighborhood and small business mix.
At first,we stood in the small open area behind the barstools to get the bartender's attention so we could grab a beer and sit down at one of several tables. There was no chance to sit at the bar, it was totally full.
Once the waitress saw us sit down, she made sure we always had beer, and was very good at making sure we didn't need anything else, like more chips for our homemade guacamole. We didn't have a meal, but the menu was loaded, and the food being served around us looked great.
As for the beer, the Winter Wheat Wine was excellent, as was the Czech Pilsner and Stout. If I lived in Sacramento, Rubicon would be my brewpub of choice.
11-21-2005 18:54:13 | More by germaniac
4.2/5 rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Easy to find in a cool little neighborhood. Locals were really friendly if not a little bit...unique?...it's N. Cali. after all. The bartender could have been a bit more helpful - he seemed to want to hang out & talk w/ his buddies instead of working...don't we all!!!
The food was really good. Had a chicken sandwich which had this funky marinade or something. The beer was ON! Hefe. was the most popular w/ the crowd but I tried the whole list...liked the IPA the most and will try more when I visit again in a couple of weeks. Just heard that the owners sold to a longtime friend...hopefully the only changes will be the invisible [and good] ones.
08-30-2005 16:31:33 | More by Fitzy
4.45/5 rDev +19.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
Located in a neighborhood business area this place has some local appeal. This building was once a type of business (maybe car) shop with upper metal walkways (not for customers). Different dining areas including a patio in the back.
All stainless steel tap nozzles appeared to be removables and the kitchen can be seen when walking to the restroom (clean) or patio. The bar has a stainless steel top with wood siding and there were wood tables and chairs.
Service was excellent, befriend your bartender.
All of their six or so beers available were possible notables, no cask, and other than ciders (one was made by the Brewmaster) no guest beers. Definite notables were the IPA (flagship 50% of beer sales), Amber, ESB, and the Stout. The Hefeweizen was not available.
Food was good.
06-20-2005 18:53:59 | More by Troyone
3.2/5 rDev -14.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5
Visited as often as five to six times a week for the last four months, and occasionally for about ten years.
Rubicon has been my quasi-local for a long, long time, and a person could do MUCH worse for their local.
ATMOSPHERE: The inside is, as other have said, a little cramped, especially in the bar area, which has about eight stools, and another half a dozen at the semi-bar (about four feet tall) that separates the bar from the dining area. In between the two, yes, you're elbow to elbow with people. The dining area, however, is average cramped for a smallish place, and rarely have I seen most tables filled. A patio seating area outside is gated off from the sidewalk by a waist-high gate, but smoking is allowed and done here to excess, so I've never sat there. Patio and window tables both have great people-watching potential on Capitol Avenue, since there front wall is enormous, floor to ceiling windows.
One big TV is at the corner of the bar, and another overhead in the dining area. Kings games become the undisputed center of attention, with hooting and loud pounding on the bar when they score and win; other times, it's easy to ignore the TVs.
Location is everything here: Rubicon is an easy walk from the Capitol and most downtown businesses, on-street parking is relatively easy (and free) most of the time, and Capitol Avenue is tree-lined, shady, and quite pleasant.
SERVICE: As noted, it can be spotty. When the bartender is one of the nice (night) ones (one male and one female are great), it's great. When it's the daytime male bartender, I'll just call it like it is: he's an abrupt, surly prick. You apparently have to be part of his club of buddies to get any better treatment, and even for these regulars, he's pretty abrupt, just a little less rude. I've tried everything, being nice, etc., and always tip $1.50 to $2 for each beer, but to no avail. The dining area is definitely understaffed when they get busy, but they tend to be nice, just WAY too busy.
BEER: Selection is slightly limited (probably due to the VERY small space), but very reliable. Standards ($3.75/pint, $2.75 half pint) are Amber, Czech Pilsner, Hefeweizen, IPA, and Stout, also the local (and outstanding) Two Rivers Cider. Almost always on is a barleywine or strong ale of some type ($4.25 for 12oz.): for months it has been the excellent Blonde Bombshell Barleywine; they just finished it, and replaced it with a guest tap of Anchor's Old Foghorn. Previous to the Blonde Bombshell, the excellent Winter Wheat Wine was on, as it is each year. I'll try to review the beers separately, but a few notes:
Blonde Bombshell Barleywine is excellent: robust, young, light colored (medium straw), with obvious warm alcohol, this beer makes me happy every time I get it. The Winter Wheat Whine is also excellent, and similar: a little darker colored and deeper bodied, a little sweeter, a little less raw, and more mature.
The Stout is consistently excellent: dark and robust, thick, and bold, with a distinct hop presence. See my full review under the individual Rubicon beers.
The IPA is consistent, and good, but a little mild and average; I think it used to be much better in years past. See full review.
The Amber, Czech Pilsner, and Hefe are all good examples of their styles, but I rarely get them, as these aren't my favorite styles, nor are any is particularly exciting or inspired. On in the last months has been a good Irish Amber, but I've only sampled it a couple of times.
Also notable is the locally made Two Rivers Cider: dry and bright, semi-sweet, it's outstanding. The brewer of it (cider maker?) was a guest bartender a month or so ago, and I got to talk to him, and also taste an excellent, smaller batch cider he was pouring that night.
The FOOD is decent, standard pub grub. It used to be quite a bit cheaper ($5 sandwiches with chips) but has recently gone up some. I usually don't bother unless I'm really hungry: the food is far better at Brew It Up! and Sacramento Brewing Co., and other downtown/midtown restaurants.
SUMMARY: I like Rubicon, a lot, and go there often, sometimes four to five times a week. The daytime bartender is a dick, and many of the lighter styles are uninspired, but the stronger and darker styles rock, and it's a good place. It's a very pleasant place to sit and drink with friends, and easy to chat people up at the bar if you're alone. It's recommended, in addition to other great Sacramento brewpubs: Brew It Up! and Sacramento Brewing Co. being the other highlights.
(Side-note: Sacramento has one of the best brewpub scenes per capita anywhere in the country, right up there with Anchorage, Portland, OR, and the Bay Area.)
03-22-2005 01:12:30 | More by warmstorage
3.83/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Visited for dinner on a cool November evening (2004) with an IPA-loving friend on a business trip to town. Was a 15 minute walk from our downtown hotel- very nice way to work up a thirst!
Atmosphere was older converted brick-style open commercial typical of brewpubs in urban redeveloped areas- ok but nothing special. I agree with EyeChartBrew that is is small and cramped- I kept my elbows close to let waitstaff by and to keep hitting people at the next table.
Selection that night was: Czech Pilsner, Hefeweizen, IPA, Amber, Stout, and Blond Barleywine. We only tried the IPA (it was late and we had to be clear-headed in the morning), and it was quite tasty. I asked for a sampler taster of the Barleywine, but they were only selling it in Belgian-style glassware (good for them) as full servings. Too much for the circumstances. Oh, well.
Service was ok, not outstanding. Needed to let people know you wanted service, but they were pleasant and helpful. I've seen much worse.
Dinner (special turkey dinner, pre-thanksgiving) was pretty good.
To me, it's a toss-up of this place with the Sac. Brewing Co. in town- I tend to favor the Sac. Brewing overall, but this one is much more convenient to downtown, which makes a big difference. This one is recommended.
12-23-2004 01:58:27 | More by Dukeofearl
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Rubicon Brewing Company in Sacramento, CA
86 out of 100 based on 37 user ratings.