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Red Racer IPA (India Pale Ale) - Central City Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

885 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 885
Reviews: 444
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 168
Gots: 65 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Central City Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: canucklehead on 04-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 885 | Reviews: 444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kwjd
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%

Pours a rich copper colour with great head and lacing down the glass. The glass is just coated with lacing. Smell is a blast of piney hops, with some citrus coming through. Taste is just a hop blast of juicy hops and pine oil resin, but it has caramel malt backbone in there too. Carbonation is spot on. I bought 48 of these through a private order to Ontario and I am going to have no issue finishing these off.

This isn't just the best Canadian single IPA I've had, it may be the best one I've had period.

kwjd, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of cratez
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

355ml can from a 12-pack purchased through the HMH Negotiants private order. Pours a hazed amber orange with slight golden hues, one finger of cream coloured head, and strands of lacing on the pint glass. Smell and taste are resinous pine needles, spruce, perfume, tiniest trace of toasty grain, citrus fruit (tangerine, grapefruit), nectarine, and boldly bitter hops. A weak caramel backbone adds more body than flavour. Mouth feel is oily, medium, not quite slick, delicate carbonation, some prickly spiciness, juicy and acidic, dry bitterness lingers in the finish. This is so drinkable it makes me chuckle. I could pound a sixer in no time, but Red Racer is meant to be savoured, so pacing is necessary. A dynamite IPA that stands up to the very best of them. Rock on Central City!

cratez, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of sublimesipping
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%

I had heard a bit of the buzz, and being a hophead and also a former Canadian expat, had to try this beer. Canada doesn't make a real IPA right- always a british bust? well now I am wrong? Wow, what can I say??
If it was possible, this would be by go to beer, but alas in Philly how available is this beer? takes a big corporate bemouth like Whole Foods to bring it in and a I snag a six at $12 and pop the top in anticipation....
Great amber color, good head on this one, great piney floral aroma and then the taste-yea, yes, as I look in love, great long finish, goes on and on and as the previous review states it morphs into so many essences, pine, grapefruit, caramel, pear, honeysuckle, what a great balanced beer, great drinkability, may be the best IPA so far of 2010...
So if you can find this, partake, the myth is dispelled, the Canuuks know hops and have put out quite the quality product, makes my top 10 all time IPAs as I finish can 3 of six
9-20-10 found a case here at the beer yard and what do you know, well it was what I thought took it down to the NJ shore and friends we have THE PERFECT BEACH BEER-if you are a hophead. mid 80s sunny at the shore and water 72f/21c-sitting with my toes in the sand my nose in an amazing book beautiful wife at my side and Red Racer and a case can you believe that- PARADISE.
-in seriousness, this is one hell of an awesome beer, hoppy for me, balanced for me, got some sort of great mineraly water taste in the complex palate and finish and my wife thinks it drinks like the English bitters she loves- how about that, great beer- will be looking for future cases to drink shine or rain, beach or snow.

sublimesipping, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of asabreed
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%

I didn't realize this brew has been so insanely hyped up, but it was a nice surprise to find a little note about it being so highly rated on BA at Julio's Liquors, so for around $10, I decided I wouldn't take the chance of not seeing it again, at least for a while.

12 oz. can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice copper color with some amber darkness coming through, nice bubbles coming to the top, and a slightly off-white head bubbling up around the edges of the glass. Slight raindrops left streaking the areas just above the body.

Smell: Big resiny and citrus hops coming through, along with a bit of caramel and orange marmalade and candied citrus topping the bitter grapefruit bitterness and earthiness.

Taste: The reason it's getting this high of a rating is because of the ridiculously long finish, that goes from insanely bitter to caramel to wildflower honey to candied oranges to lemon and back and forth for a while, and the resiny hops linger on the tongue. For a brew like this, that isn't even a DIPA, to have this much power, they're doing something right. One of the longest finishes I've ever had with an IPA. Initially, though, there's a good balance of resin, a little sweat sock, and a ton of earthiness, with some caramel and lingering apples. But again, wow, the power of the resin and rind and morphing in the finish is what gets this going above many others.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good creaminess, and a ton of bubbles that maintain that creaminess, rather than feeling spritzy and over-the-top. You can probably see what I mean by how many bubbles trail the brew as you tip the glass, and how many recharge atop the body once the glass is again on a flat surface. Beyond my expectations.

Drinkability: I have a feeling this will become a staple for many folks if, or maybe once, it's more widely available. I wasn't going insane about it, but for complex brew like this that's actually sessionable, and clearly shows the quality put into it, you can't argue for the price. The only thing is: now I have to conserve the last five cans, which isn't going to be easy.

asabreed, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

I picked up a 6-pack of this while on vacation in Vancouver; our honeymoon, actually! It was the one beer I was really looking forward to trying from Canada and was really excited to find it. Not so excited to pay $16 for the privledge but oh well. Such is being a BA.

Served cool into a globe, Red Racer is a hazy copper orange color with thick white head. Nice retention to the head which settles slowly leaving stick lace behind.

The aroma is spectacular. It's clearly very heavily hopped with tons of resiny citrus hops. I would love to know what they used in dry-hopping because it has a to-die-for aroma.

Flavor is excellent as well with just tons of hoppy goodness. It doesn't have extreme bitterness as some IPAs. It's more like a Racer 5 that just comes across as clean crisp citrus. A solid malt body is present to stand up to all those hops. Very fresh tasting and something I think of as candied or sugared orange rind. It's nicely balanced from beginning to end but definately has the hops that an IPA lover craves.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. It actually has a really soft feel that might be partly due to the can. Smooth carbonation almost makes it seem like it was served on tap. Speaking of which, I had it at the Alibi Room on tap and it was just as exceptional as it is from the can.

Overall a fantastic IPA - probably one of the best I've ever had... and it's from Canada! Please bring this one stateside. It's not like we need another IPA but this one is top-notch.

GilGarp, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Chilled can into a glass. Thanks Ted.

A: Pours a clear amber body. It's well carbed, with good retention and some spots of lace.

S: Pine, grass, caramel. It's maltier than I was expecting (given how some West Coast hopheads raved about it), but I'm not pretending that's terrible. It is just unexpected.

T: It's malty, with a substantial caramel backbone, but it's obviously very fresh, with a bright green hop flavor. Pine needles, fresh-cut grass. A small grapefruit (pith and rind) flavor. It has noticeable lingering bitterness; I'm guessing this is why the malt is played up a bit.

M: I prefer something with a cleaner finish, but it's still good. It's a little thick for an IPA.

D: It's good stuff! I don't think I'd go out of my way to track it down since I can buy better stuff locally, but it's quite enjoyable.

EDIT: On reading other reviews, I see that there was supposed to be a huge citrus burst in this beer. I barely got any citrus at all. Makes me wonder if I had an old can after all.

Arbitrator, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%

Pours an amber/orange color with a perfect sized head that fades slowly enough, also leaves quite the cap on top and some sticky lacing along the glass.

The smell has that perfect balance between citrus and piney hops and compliment each other, in the back there is some caramel malt.

Taste has a nice crisp body to it yet the carbonation is also rather soft and creamy, the hops are the show but the bitterness isn't overwhelming either, I like the citrus the most from this beer but there's also a piney presence so it isn't one-sided when it comes to the hops, there is a significant caramel malt backing but in the end it makes this beer more balanced and far more drinkable.

It's weird that a canned Canadian beer can turn out to be such a great IPA, I'm just glad Maine happens to be one of the states that receives it right now.

deltatauhobbit, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of H1N1
4.93/5  rDev +15.7%

Picked up a growler from Central City. I've been waiting for this for a while. I'm not the biggest IPA fan, but here goes.

Poured this into a pint glass.

A- Like a golden honey colour. Got about a finger and a half of frothy head. Not bad retention and it holds on to the sides of the glass beautifully. Really nice looking.

S- Holy cow! It smells like I just had a pine tree shoved up my nose. I really didn't expect this. Hoppy and a touch of citrus. I would use this stuff as an air freshener if I could. I wanna smell it all day.

T- Tastes great. The pine is there, but in a good way. I wouldn't have thought that chewing a pine tree would taste good, but this is incredible. Its not overwhelming, but the taste really lingers. There is a citrusy taste that backs up the hops nicely. Very good.

M- Medium body. Definitely fuller than most IPAs I've tasted. Good carbonation that feels good passing over my tongue.

D- Very good. I'm very excited to live so close to the brewery, because this will hold a permanent place in my fridge. I usually don't like really hoppy beers, but this has won me over. Thank you Central City!!

H1N1, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%

Can from the MLCC in Winnipeg. Additions based on further samples.

A - Amber/orange colour. Thick head, slightly darker than a white. Lot's of carbonation. Good lace rings and half finger of retention.

S - Great pine as soon as poured. Really strong aroma. Some maltiness in there too but it's fainter than the hops. Toffee, citrus, pineapple.

T - Huge piney hop character. Lot's of citrus. Pine character is strong. Nice.

M - Good bitterness. Medium body. Carbonation is really noticable and it coats the entire mouth.

D - Quite a nice IPA. Really drinkable and tons of great hop flavour with a nice bitterness. Well done.

tbeckett, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%

I feel very lucky that I can get this one locally. Easily one of my favorites. Poured this one in a tulip. Pours a copper orange color with a rocky head about an inch high. Big bubbles and sticky lacing with this white head. Not much retention, but still good looking. Smells citrus and pine hops. Grapefruit and other tartness to the nose. Really dig the juicy smell. Hoppy! This is hard on the tongue. Immediately a big piney hop flavor with big bitterness to the finish. Not a juicy as the nose leads me to believe but still very good. The carbonation and big hop flavor make this a little aggressive in the mouth but the body is balanced well and this is an easy one to kick back regularly. Which is what I do.

Bendurgin, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%

Spotted this one many times, excited to finally try it.

A- Dark orange-amber with a creamy, slightly fizzy head that builds up to a few fingers in size. Good retention and random patterns of spotty lace.

S- Reminds me of the Pale Ale I just had by them. Hops up front, a lot of floral and peach notes. Some sweet light caramel malt in the background. Strength fades.

T- The hops lend a lot more pine than I expected and just a bit of floral, citrus and fruit notes, surprising considering the aroma. Biscuit, caramel and bready notes behind the hops.

DB- A very nice bitterness here, probably my favorite part of the beer. It is bitter but it doesn't feel offensive. Moderate creamy body with high carbonation and a bit of warmth.

MF- A solid IPA with a nice pine-forward hop profile. Nothing out of this world but a solid, balanced pickup for any craft lover, nice mouthfeel. Would probably be even better in the winter.

cbutova, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%

12oz can, standard pint glass

A - pours with almost an inch of loose and frothy, very light tan colored foam. the beer is slightly hazy, light copper/orange in color.

S - big piney hops, wet grass, lightly sweet caramel, lightly spiced finish...run of the mill, but solid

T - melded pine, grass, bitter grapefruit...big hop bite at the back of the tongue. ample yet secondary malts, caramel and toasted nuts. detecting a small amount of alcohol at the very end despite its low-ish ABV. finishes with lingering piney bitterness, soap, and earthy spice.

M - medium bodied yet nice and creamy with an oily dank finish. perfect tight yet not distracting carbonation aids in refreshment and propels the flavors.

D - very good, all around. though this might have a little bit of age on it, still holds up quite well. cures the biggest hop craving, yet quite drinkable and balanced. the best IPA i've had from Canada? you know it!

Stigs, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Anthony1
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Golden in the glass with a slight haze. Pours with two fingers of head that slowly settles to a crown. Raw hop aroma, grapefruit and pine, with some sticky malt in the background. There's a bit of tropical fruit too. Flavors of pine and citrus combat with strong resiny bitterness. There's a bit of crackery malt, but this is dry and bitter on the whole.

Anthony1, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of akorsak
2.95/5  rDev -30.8%

A 12 oz can from Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA has a gingantic head on first pour, exceeding 4 fingers in my tumbler glass. As it recedes, it settles on a steady two finger height that hangs around for a while. The remnants of the first pour are evident in lacing around the glass. The ale itself is an amber orange color, radiant at times and translucent.

S: Piney hops, albeit with a little age under their collective belts, jump out. Caramel malts are equally abundant. The intensity of the nose is average, nothing memorable on either end of the spectrum.

T: Piney flavors, a decent hop profile, lend a pleasing bitterness to the ale. That hoppiness sits atop ample caramel and pale malts. Aged is evident, the hops have lost a step or two. The malt body stands in, substituting its caramel bready sweetness for the hoppiness that has been lost. Too bad, this is the third Central City beer that I've had and I haven't been impressed.

M: The mouthfeel is, despite the huge head, still, allowing the hoppiness that remains to pool together. Those hops have, though, taken on a syrupy taste.

D: One and done. I was hoping this would break the Central City Curse but it didn't. In fact, I didn't finish the can - no need to choke down a beer I don't like. Hey BC, send us from fresh cans!

akorsak, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Had this on 2010-08-07 in Columbia, PA

A - Attractive, russet color with a generous 2-finger head

S - LOTS of pine, floral, some citrus and mild grain. Can smell it easily from 18" away. Very nice.

T - Again, lots of pine, grapefruit, oak tannin, caramel, orange candy, slight sourness with a sweet and lingering bitter finish. It's a very good tasting beer.

M- Buttery and just about right with a light-medium body and medium carbonation.

D - For beer in a can, this is great. I'd love to have a couple of these chilling in a mountain stream to go along with the trout I'm catching. Hmm, gonna have to do this!

Tucquan, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of Otterburn
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%

amber color, quite dark, active medium bubble carbonation activity, offwhite foamhead

smell: strong hop smell, citrus, some herbs

taste: strong hop taste, bitter but very mild and almost fruity,sweet. very good taste well balanced

mouthfeel: full body,round

drinkability is excellent, nice ipa moderate bitterness with attitude and punch

good stuff

Otterburn, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of LittleDon
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%

Served in a 16 oz. pint at the Alibi Room in Vancouver. Amber with good head retention. Medium white with expected amount of lace. Clear with no visible carbonation. Big grapefruit nose with some caramel malt. Carbonation bite up front, well balanced middle with both citrusy hops and malts playing well with each other. Finish is very bittersweet. Think dark chocolate on the back of the palate. Medium to medium-heavy mouthfeel.

LittleDon, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of WanderingFool
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

Red Racer IPA pours a slightly hazy, amber color with a medium sized creamy white head on top. The foam fades away quickly leaving behind some spots and patches of lace on the glass.

The aroma is loaded with floral hops including notes of orange citrus and pine. A hint of bready yeast and pale malt is mixed in.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and dry on the palate with a light carbonated fizz on the tongue. The flavor is hoppy and bitter with a nice malt balance. It begins with a bitter floral hop flavor of orange citrus, pine and a peppery spice. In the middle some toasted and amber malt moves in which helps balance out the hops. It finishes dry with a sweet malt flavor. Once gone the bitter peppery spice lingers on the palate.

This is a well balanced, very tasty beer. It may become my go to beer when I need a six pack for a party or to enjoy at home.

WanderingFool, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of Bubba83
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%

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.

Bubba83, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -6.1%

a: from the can into a tiny hotel water glass because the Brooklyn snifter (RIP) bit the dust last night in an unfortunate accident, light maple amber in color with an average head, light retention

s: bready caramel body, of modest sweetness under the balancing influence of pale base malts, nice potent hop aroma - mostly dark green pine and sweet citrus, but still in line with the malt profile, tangerine or clementine

m: carbonation on the low end, body on the lighter side of medium

t: caramel structure thinned with pale malts as to not be very thick or sweet, a touch of toasted bread, more sweet citrus, big hops of mostly west coast pine impart a nice sappy bitter to the finish, good stuff

d: a quality ipa, but it's a bit of a mystery as to where the A came from, others note the same good aromas and flavors I've found - but the intensity they found just isn't there for me

saw loads of this up in Canada this month, but picked up this single from OUaV, Richmond

blackie, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%

Awesome 4-pack of cans received from masterhomebrewer recently. Thanks, Dave! I've been wanting to try this one for awhile.

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a creamy off-white head resting on top. Pretty fair retention; leaves lots of sticky lace and sip rings on the glass. The nose is a little underwhelming. Some faint citrus, mild floral tones, and some grassy notes.

Great body on this one. Plenty of carbonation, but smooths out on the finish. Crisp hoppy bitterness right away. Starts out a bit spicy and peppery, but as I continue to sip, the harshness mellows to a semi-sweet citrus. Aftertaste is a bit bready and warm. Alcohol presence not really felt.

This was a splendid IPA. Spot on for my liking. Great job, CC! Recommend.

Onenote81, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Pours a hazed coppery oranage color with full frothy white head. Scent is of grapefruit and pine with touches of light carmel and even some nuts. First sip is aggresively bitter, the piney and earthy hops overshaddow the citrus and the malt backbone is fairly aggressive, not too sweet, maybe a little nutty and bready. Medium bodied, fully carbonated, drying. A good solid IPA, but maybe not as big as the hype dictates.

rfgetz, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of robwestcott
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%

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.

robwestcott, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of alpineclimber
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

This beer was poured out of a 355ml can with some cool art that depicts a racey redhead riding a bike. A nice copper colored brew with a small white head.

Smell of pine and some malt in the background. A sip brings a bitterness to the back of the tongue. The pine comes through in the taste, a very light citrus note, the malt is in there somewhere. The hop bitterness sticks around in the finish with a light mouthfeel.

This is a great IPA and probably the best IPA that is available in this area on a regular basis.

alpineclimber, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Big thanks to G311 for this one.

A - Deep amber hue, eggshell head.

S - Surprisingly, it seems very malty; loads of caramel, and even the hop profile seems to mimic the malt. The flavor proves an entirely different matter...

T - Whoa. This is an all out-flavor assault. Nothing is toned down here; it is all cranked up. Full flavored herbal, grassy and floral notes are dominant, and quite pungent. Just big beer overall.

M - IPA. Nice.

D - Really well done stuff here. I can't say I was expecting this good of a brew. Thanks Vince!

ktrillionaire, Jul 17, 2010
Red Racer IPA (India Pale Ale) from Central City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.