Red Racer IPA (India Pale Ale) - Central City Brewers + Distillers

Not Rated.
Red Racer IPA (India Pale Ale)Red Racer IPA (India Pale Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

988 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 988
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 177
Gots: 113 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Central City Brewers + Distillers visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: canucklehead on 04-10-2009

A style of ale that was fashioned to survive the long voyage from England to India during the British colonization. Hop, hops, and more hops! This ale has an intense aroma and a long lingering finish. A beer for the connoisseur, this is the Brewmasters choice.

Known as Red Betty IPA in the United States.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 988 | Reviews: 469
Photo of hops1337
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from lunch on a recent trade.
Poured from a can into my SA perfect pint glass. Nice copper color with medium white head that dissipates into a decent sticky lace. Nice grapefruit aroma. Taste is slightly metallic im sure due to the can but is still quite good. I got a faint tea flavor in the background that was real unusual. Weird that i live 30 minutes from B.C. but i have never seen this beer in my town. Thanks again lunch!

Photo of dc55110
3.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received courtesy of slentz!
Can with a date code of F0711, which I think is June 7th, 2011.

Pours a cloudy golden with slight orange-ish hue to it. A vigorous pour yields a solid inch plus of pillowy white head, a small amount lacing is left behind.

I'm greeted by a the familiar aromas of pine and citrus... but there is something else there behind the hops but in front of the hint of sweet malty-ness is an off smell... I cannot place it, somewhere between medicinal and cleaning supplies. I still enjoy the aroma, but this unknown element has thrown me for a loop.

A burst of piney resin! Somehow it is full of piney hops but isn't all that bitter. After the deluge of pine, a bit of citrus makes a brief cameo followed by a uncredited role by a slightly sweet malty-ness.

Surprisingly the hops don't destroy your tongue, it is very smooth for a such a hop forward IPA. The carbonation is good, slightly low, but not enough to be detracting.

A very good IPA. Nothing amazing, just a well balanced "west coast" style IPA from the Canuck land.

Photo of Rifugium
3.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: Philly Beer Scene Tasting panel with Matt Falco at Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

I was privileged enough to be on the tasting panel for PBS Magazine, along with Bill Covaleski of Victory and Greg Ramirez of Exton Beverage. This was one of 21 beers we sampled during the session.

At least an extra 0.5 on the appearance because I love the artwork on the can! Who drew my wife on there?!?! Clear amber pour with a small white head that retained and laced well. Crisp hop aroma, lemon and apple skins. More citrus hops in the taste, with the malts taking a seat far in the back. Tasty, but lacks complexity. Light-medium body, and a very nice drink overall.

Photo of nkersten
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from can into new belgium snifter. Pour is a reddish orange, similar to the color of dying leaves. Small white head that fades but leaves some nice lacing. Smell is bitter C hops, very piney, with a slight pale malt sweetness. Taste follows smell, a bitter pine hop flavor up front with some fruity hops following. A grassy hop finish with a weak malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light carbonation, slightly sticky. Drinkability is decent but mouthfeel could be cleaner. This is the best Canadian IPA I have had so far - I lived an hour and a half from the brewery for years and had to go to Chicago to get it. If you are in Canada this is a must, but in the states it is a so so IPA.

Photo of robwestcott
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a can a hazy burnt orange to a sun king shaped pint glass with a full finger nearly white long lasting head that leaves just a bit of lace to the rim.

strong grapefruit aroma with a hint of other citrus behind.

crisp, bitter grapefruit forward fading to sweeter citrus. very enjoyable.

medium to strong carbonation, not particularly smooth, fairly bitter bite.

low abv, very crisp, very good cold. quite drinkable.

Photo of Bubba83
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to barnesy148927 for hooking this one up in a recent trade.

Poured in the low 40 degree range into a tumbler. A normal pour gave me a good two finger width offwhite head with good retention and excellent lacing. The body is colored fairly dark compared to most IPAs, sort of a dusty dark orange, lots of haze.

Huge piney resins in the nose. I also get grapefruit zest, tangerine, and some butterscotch. Kind of a mish-mash, but pretty nice smelling.

This IPA reminds of a lot of east coast style IPAs that I've had. It actually tastes a lot heavier than a 6.5% IPA, seems almost more like a double IPA. There's a big butterscotch component up front. I don't really like butterscotchy IPAs in general. The hop profile comes in quick though and rescues the flavor. Juniper, spruce, pine, and slight grapefruit are the main components. Not getting much citrus here at all. I'm guessing they used a bunch of Simcoe.

Mouthfeel seems a bit heavy for a regular IPA. It also seems a bit wet and chewy. I'm thinking the Final Gravity is not very low. Nice oilyness here makes it feel silky in my mouth.

Overall this felt like a solid IPA, and I understand the high scores. With that said, I love the west coast style which showcases brighter, cleaner flavors and less sugary malt on the backend. Still, really happy I was finally able to try this one and definitely enjoyed it.

Photo of deapokid
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from an attractive green can painted to reflect 1950's Americana. An interesting choice of design for a Canadian brewery.

Liquid is calm and lightly carbonated with thin head and almost no lacing. Color is a bright, nearly neon, red with hints of a straw gold.

Scent is of warm hops and tart citrus. Aroma is well balanced between sweeter smells & dryer scents and manages to be quite appealing.

Taste is malty with an almost biscuit-like quality. An amber sweetness is in the forefront and it ends up being a bit sweeter than expected. Unfortunately, the hop strength fades as it warms, which throws off the delicate balance.

This brew is smooth on the tongue and low on the hop scratch meter. It's more of a display of balance than power, most of the time, before it gives way to grapefruit sweetness.

I could see this being the go-to beer for IPA fans who prefer something a hint maltier, and, as a nice alternative to the traditional American IPA, it succeeds.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.71/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a rich orange hue with the slightest sudsy white head. Halfway through the pour I feared that the can was still.

Smell -- Things are getting better. Pine resin wafts from the glass along with tangerine, split grapefruit and a bit of green onion.

Taste -- Definitely the highpoint of this offering. Citrus zest, grapefruit pith, sticky tropical fruit, peach and apricot, and a hearty dose of resinous hop bitterness. Caramel malt backbone is gently sweet, giving those juicy/zesty hop notes a nudge closer to the forefront. Lingering flavors of peach nectar and resin. All in all, quite balanced.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light with mild carbonation. Canning issues?

Drinkability -- Man, I was really hoping to love this one. I really needed a top-notch IPA tonight and this one left me wanting slightly. The flavor was on the money, but the carbonation was woeful: no head and a very still mouthfeel. If the carbonation were bumped up I'd say this would be a top-tier American IPA, but it is what it is.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a pint glass. Glad to see this now being distributed to Chicago. Thanks for picking up this sixer, Derek!

Pours a clear, deep, golden orange color with a one-finger head. Head retention is very light, as is lacing. Pine, orange citrus and floral hop notes lead the aroma with a mild bready malt backing. Orange citrus hoppy bitterness leads on the palette with a substantial caramel malt and bread component (for an IPA) on the midpalette and finish. The finish is fairly dry and bitter with lingering earthy and floral hop flavors and light boozy heat. Medium-light-bodied with moderate carbonation and a dry, slightly hot finish. Not overly drinkable because the flavors are not that interesting and it's a bit hot, but it's pretty easy on the palette for an IPA with its mild maltiness. This is the best hoppy beer I've had from Canada, but that's not saying much. Well worth trying and a decent IPA, but nothing worth going out of your way for.

Photo of tbart428
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

copper in color with thick white head that fades quickly. The initial smell is strong of citrus hops but fades quickly as well. The taste is like biting into a centennial and cascade battered orange rind. The flavor is good but kind of weak and watered down. The beer is extremely drinkable and is what I consider a upscale sierra Nevada. Overall decent beer.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.69/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From can to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/18/11

A: A clean and clear ambery orange. Not much in the way of head, a mere one finger or so. Retention and lacing are meager.

S: Fresh cut cedar. The heavy hop oil also strikes a bitter chord here too, but it's faint. Without question this is the highlight of the beer.

T: Red Racer initally comes off slightly citrusy and sweet. By the time the brew reaches the mid-palate, the hoppy bitterness catches up like a dog on a leash. As it goes down, the malt bites my tonsils. It's really quite unique how all of these different and equally enjoyable aspects come together.

M: Not what I was expecting. It's lighter then I would've liked, and had they left this one unfiltered and pulled back on the prickly forced carbonation, this could be (and I stress "could") an outstanding American IPA. As it stands, this is the beer's weakest link.

O: This is one I've been hunting for, and I'm glad to tick it off of my list. The nose on this one is simply marvelous, and if Central City ever gets into the air freshener business, I'll be first in line.

As I mentioned above, the mouthfeel really doesn't do this one any favors. If they would cut back on the intense level of carbonation, it would really allow the subtle nuances of the hops to shine through.

Regardless, this is a good beer. Here's to hoping that Central City's Red Racer find it's way to the DC market on a consistant basis.

Photo of ChristianBlack
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light amber color with a nice colored head. Pretty good lacing.

Aromas are of strong grapefruits. One of the more grapefruity aromas I've ever smelled.

Taste is of bitter grapefruit hop flavors up front, beer then settles into caramel malts. Finish is okay, with bitter hop notes.

Mouthfeel is nice, and well carbonated.

Drinkability is good. Expected a little better when I saw the reviews, but still, quite tasty, and very pleasant.

Photo of beerluvr
3.64/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Sam Adams tasting glass it exhibits a nice white head that fades after a few minutes leaving patches of floating foam, clear light amber beneath. Fresh and flowery nose filled with hoppy aromas then light malt is noticed. Light bodied but with assertive spicy hop bitters right off the bat then light yeasty fruitiness then the malt is tasted. It's a long and bitter finish, delicious and easy drinking thanks to the lightness of body. One of the better IPA's I've had in some time.

Photo of xnicknj
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

review from notes

Pours a lighter copper orange with a foamy white head, leaving some filmy lacing on the glass.

Juicy, piny hops with a bit of tropical fruit and sweeter malt in the nose.

Biting hops right up front, coupled with lighter caramel malt. Continues with some juicier hoppiness and more citrusy fruit notes, although the malty backbone stays present throughout the profile. Finishes very dry and bitter.

Medium body, lingering dryness and sticky feel. Easy to drink and abv is masked well, although I'd like some more complexity in the flavor.

Photo of louis3
3.62/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red Racer IPA is in a new can; the beer is now being filtered. I suppose the new presentation is designed to widen the appeal of the beer to the uptown crowd.
Fortunately I discovered the change and was able to buy a few cans of the older stock.

Filtration doesn't impress this customer; it is an additional process which subtracts from flavour and texture and is a waste of energy. But the uptown crowd doesn't care about such things. People either accept the style or they don't. Filtration isn't going to win someone who doesn't like hoppy beer, and there are many such people.

The yeast residue grounded the beer and now the entire flavour is different.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a mason jar

Pours a beautiful orange color with a huge off-white cap. Slow to recede, leaving huge chunks of lace all over the glass. The aroma is balance. Earthy, pine and spruce, and some grapefruit rind over top a strong bed of light caramel malt. The flavor profile matches the nose. Earth, pine, and spruce up front, light caramel malt through the middle and some grapefruit and pine in the finish. Medium body with a mild lingering bitterness of pine, spruce, and grapefruit rind.

If your looking for a balanced ipa with some good bitterness, this is your guy. I wouldn't exactly call this world class.

Photo of bs870621345
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a Sam Adams glass, canned in September 10, 2010

Pours a beautiful pale amber color with a half inch head. Head fades to a collar leaving lacing down the glass.

Smells like caramel, citrus (grapefruit and orange), with a slight pine scent.

Taste is a let down for me. It follows the smell with a caramel citrus taste all over the tongue. It is just too light of a flavor with a slight astringent taste.

Mouthfeel is moderate with low carbonation.

Drinkability is good, very easy to drink and nothing lingers on the palate.

Photo of mjl21
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade...thanks Rob. 12 ounce can poured into a SA perfect pint glass. C1910 is stamped on the bottom. Comes in at 6.5%.

A-Pours a fairly clear amber and has a thin layer of head that covers the top. Leaves a nice ring of lace around the top of the glass.

S-It smells of musty citrus hops. It smells like a 3 month old IPA.

T-It is a mix of grapefruit and earthy hops. It has a touch of metallic bite to it. Has a good amount of bitterness that lingers between sips.

M-Medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

D-Not bad, but it is hard to gauge this beer being as it is getting towards the end of its lifespan.

Photo of craytonic
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is an amber-orange, smallish head. Serious lacing. Nice citrus hops, but also a big seaving of malts. Taste is malts, pineapple and mango with bitter orange rind. Finish is very crisp and clean, mouthfeel is a bit malty and heavy though. Very drinkable, although a bit too much malt and not enough hops.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from blinded tasting notes.

A. Pours orange with a creamy white head that leaves bits of residual lacing.

S. Smells of orange and lemon peels.

T. Tropical flavors with lemon peel and caramel malt.

M. Medium body with medium carbonation - not nearly as carbonated as the other IPAs in the round (Sculpin, Stone).

D. Not carbonated enough nor hoppy enough for an IPA.

Photo of SHODriver
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a golden orange with an ample fluffy white head. this one started to make a break for the outside of the container as soon as I cracked it open(maybe infected?) hazy as hell as well
S: Very floral with a bit of pine and spicy character to it. A faint hint of caramel attempts to make its presence known
T: taste is bittersweet floral hops with a tinge of bisciut, a tinge of grapefruit with a resinous oily aftertaste with some grapefruit rind. the taste and aftertaste is a bit funky at points and tastes a bit off
M: slightly prickly carbonation, slick and a bit syrupy
O: Very flavorful, there's a bit of funk with this one so I'm a bit concerned it might be infected but that won't stop me from drinking it.

Photo of Seanibus
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, I am totally swimming against the stream here. This is far from the consensus "A" my fellow BAs have awarded it, in my view. This is a perfectly adequate IPA, but no better.

Pours a mildly hazy golden with a medium head. The aroma is fruity, a little spicy hop, but mostly smells of syrupy malt. The flavor is malty and a little earthy. The hops are flowery but overripe. There is a little sunny quality - lemony, some golden raisin. But the malt is syrupy, like a high-end homebrew. The mouthfeel is a syrupy.

Photo of Jeffo
3.49/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at the LCBO while at home last summer.

From a 355ml can into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with good retention. Head fades slowly to a splotchy wisp and ring. Clear burnt orange in color with a few floaties and no carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Same as their ESB really.

SMELL: Lots of pale malts, caramel and honeydew melon, with nice notes of grapefruit. Very nice citrus aromas and bold enough as well.

TASE: Pale malts, caramel malts, with lots of bitter floral hops and pine notes at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish with lots of bitter floral hops and pine flavors, then just a hint of caramel sweetness as balance. Nice stuff, though the flavor is a little more one dimensional than the nose. Caramel and floral, piney hops.

PALATE: Lighter body and higher levels of carbonation. Light on the palate, too light really, a bit airy going down, and finishes a touch dry on the palate. Too light and carbonated for the style. Same as their ESB, though a touch oilier perhaps.

OVERALL: The palate is a little too weak in my book and the hop profile is not exactly my style, but I can see how this one gets so much praise, as it is definitely a well-made beer. For my tastes, I'll take Nickelbrook's Headstock IPA while at home, but it doesn't surprise me that this one is so popular. Worth checking out for sure. Recommended.

Photo of Canslammer
3.48/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This IPA tasted really FLAT! The date on the can said "10/02/2012" I think all of the positive reviews must have come from Canadians, because this is not a good IPA! The warmer it gets, the worse it tastes. I spent $14 Canadian for a 6 pack and it was not worth it!

Photo of safaricook
3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I don't get the high ratings of this beer. I had 2 cans on separate occasions and in my opinion it is pretty standard. The hops are pretty green and floral to me with bit of pine, which I would expect from an English IPA, but the malts in the taste are not this wonderful british caramel balance that complements the rather boring hop taste that is mainly bitter and only a little (grape)fruity. American IPA do not need the malt balance as their fruity hops balance the bitterness. This beer is neither this nor that. It is not bad but also niot special. (FYI, the beer was consumed not even 3 month after production date and should have been fresh enough)

Red Racer IPA (India Pale Ale) from Central City Brewers + Distillers
94 out of 100 based on 988 ratings.