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:
2.69/5 rDev -27.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | $$$
Second stop on my way up to Redding, it was a pain to get to this place with the street construction that was going on at the time, I went for one reason and that was to try the Hop Sauce and it was delicious, other than that this place did not do for me, the employees were pretty rude and in a hurry at all times despite the fact that I was one of maybe six people in the entire place, the atmosphere was really plain with not much of an ambiance, their beers are pretty good but nothing to go crazy for, thankfully there was a nice guy at the bar who helped me with my further beer travels, then I was on my way after finishing my small glass after about twenty minutes, did not see any food or even look at a menu, other beers on tap at the time were a pilsner, amber, their IPA, and a Sierra Nevada guest tap, prices were in the four to five dollar range, they need more beer offerings, probably will not go back to this place unless I am in Sacramento and happen to stumble across, not recommended
08-23-2008 16:15:41 | More by Floydster
2.98/5 rDev -20.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Some good beers, but disappointing as an overall experience.
Rubicon's a nice enough place to visit for a pint and sandwhich. Pub-style food is not bad, and fairly reasonable.
But it's sort of disappointing from a beer geek perspective. To begin with, they don't offer a sampler deal: if you want to try several beers, you have to buy a "half pint" (actually looked more like 10 oz or so) for $3-4 each. I don't think I've ever gone to another brewery that didn't offer some sort of taster's platter.
The day we visited, they didn't have much of a selection, anyway. We had really hoped to try one of their cask ales, but they were out. They were also out of their "featured beer," SN Celebration. They had a measly five beers on tap: APA, IPA, a red, a stout, and a BPA. (There are probably at least two dozen establishments in Sac that offer 20+ tap beers.)
Having had their IPA many times, we sampled the other four, and very much enjoyed the stout and BPA, each of which is highly recommended. The others were good, if nothing to write home about.
The service was mediocre. I asked the waiter if the stout was treated with nitrogen and he had no idea what I was talking about. I later noticed that, yes, according to info printed right in the menu, it was. Now, I don't expect every person waiting tables in a brewpub to be super knowledgeable, but wait staff should at least know what's in the menu.
I don't mean to be so harsh. But these guys could be doing a lot more. As it is, it's not someplace I'd go out of my way to visit.
01-24-2011 19:08:51 | More by MLucky
3.13/5 rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2 | $$
A small brewpub tucked back in a pretty setting in the city, lots of trees and parking in the area. Quality of the beers: I've never been let down by the IPA, which seems to be their flagship and the one they put the most TLC into; as for the other beers, well, they range in quality from week to week. Service has been pretty slow and rude every time I've been here. It's hard to get the bartender's attention when it's busy (sometimes a 20 minute chore) and even when you do, it'll be while till he/she pours it. Servers are friendly, but slow and unattentive, and the harder you try to get their attention, the more they ignore you. Food is pretty crappy anyway, mostly just fried bar food, so I'd recommend eating elsewhere and coming in for some IPA's. Practically no vegetarian options. Good deals when you buy pitchers. Well worth the stop for the beer.
Interesting beers to go: the "Rubi-Cube" is a one-gallon container in a box that you can buy and get refills fresh from the taps ($16 1st time, refills are $13). Never saw that before.
09-18-2006 17:04:44 | More by rayjay
3.16/5 rDev -15.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
The drive from San Francisco to central Colorado is plagued by long stretches where craft beer remains a thing of the future (are you listening Nevada and Utah?), so a stop in Sacramento seemed in order before I headed past Tahoe and into a dry, beer wasteland.
Just east of the capitol building, Rubicon is an unassuming neighborhood brewpub. It's interior is done in typical pub-style with a few televisions hanging around and views onto the brewing facilities. They had a nice outdoor patio as well.
They only had seven brews on tap during my visit, but the fact that one of them was a (very good) wheat wine made my day. Had I had more time to spend in Sacramento, I would have tried a few more of their brews. In addition to their own offerings, they had two taps of cider (apple and pomegranite) from nearby Two Rivers cidery--a nice touch and shout out to another local fermenter.
Save the wheat wine, there was nothing exceptional about this place, but nothing off-putting either. I certainly recommend it to anyone who's passing through the area; as I would certainly peak in again if I were nearby. Next time, though, I'll sit on the patio.
06-17-2006 02:12:30 | More by benito
3.18/5 rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
Rubicon is located in the same region as the general mass of overlooked Sac breweries. Midtown is a good location, if the brewery isn't for you, there's plenty more alternatives (not necessarily breweries) around the corner. It's a small place with a pretty cold bar area, seating can be scarce and tight. The crows is middle aged with a casual atmosphere. The bar is not isolated, can be loud.
Rubicon beers are good, not great. I had the pale ale and the Irish red. The pale was mediocre, not sufficient for the hop head. However, the Irish red had a lot more body and bold flavor. The food (I had fettuccine) was very good, and portions were plenty.
There were not a whole lot of beers to choose from upon my visit, but we made due. The prices are pretty cheap, worth a try for Sacramento. However, the beer nerd may want to seek an alternative location.
02-25-2011 03:22:46 | More by climax
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
3.28/5 rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
I like this place. I eaten here about twice. A nice, friendly atmosphere and good customer service. I wish they had more of a selection of their beers to choose from. They let us have a sample of their hard apple cider which was pretty good. Nice place in downtown Sacramento
08-25-2013 03:09:19 | More by Tiffany88
3.3/5 rDev -11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Nice joint, cozy inside. Good beer selection. Enjoyed an amber ale and an IPA, both were very tasty. Wish I could've stayed longer, got quite comfortable enjoying the beer and visiting the locals.
As for service, the bartender was friendly, but the girls serving tables were downright terrible. Did I visit on an off night? I was ignored for several minutes and finally flagged one of them down. She was very short and treated me like I was a bother. :( Wound up not ordering food. Shame too, since the menu looked pretty good.
So if you feel like having a good brew and not interested in waiting around for food service, then this joint may be for you.
05-25-2010 05:03:43 | More by Siggy125
3.3/5 rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25 | $$$
We stopped in for dinner on a Friday night. The place never had more than a table or two empty. The Black and Blu burger was good, the chili was not. The children's fish and chips order was 50/50: fish was good, waffle fries were bland. We had the pale ale, stout and barley wine. The pale was great and the other two decent. The service was good, but a little slow. I probably would have had another pint if the server had come near our table again. They had about six of their beers on tap and another four guest taps. 22 oz bottles of their IPA and pale ale to-go. Stop by if you're in Sacramento.
01-19-2013 05:06:37 | More by Fatehunter
3.5/5 rDev -6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $
Stopped in for lunch and a beer after a business meeting.
Atmosphere was quiet. It was pretty early, they had just opened, and there were only a couple of other people inside.
Service was pretty good. Not overly friendly or helpful, but it was good enough.
Selection was I think 6 or 7 beers. I only had one, and it was pretty good. They also had just ran out of 2006 Sierra Nevada Celebration. According to the board, they had saved one keg for July.
My food was pretty good. I had a sandwich and soup. Nothing special, just pub grub. But not bad...
My whole lunch was just over $10. Prices were very fair.
Overall this place just screamed "above average". Nothing really stood out in a great way, or a bad way.
07-23-2007 23:50:19 | More by flexabull
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Rubicon Brewing Company in Sacramento, CA
86 out of 100 based on 37 user ratings.