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Apex - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

250 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 250
Hads: 946
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 70
Gots: 100 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.25% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2005

Apex: The highest point, the culmination or climax. In racing, the apex of the turn is approached differently as conditions dictate, but always with a forward looking mindset. This beer is the culmination of years of brewing and drinking hop forward IPAs. We reserve the right to move forward to the next Apex.

2009 California State Fair - SILVER
2009 The Bistro Double IPA Fest – BRONZE & PEOPLE’S CHOICE
2009 Night of the Living Ales Cask Festival – 3rd PLACE & PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 250 | Hads: 946
Photo of kels
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap, poured into a tulip at the Comet last night. Heard it was one of only two barrels that made it to Ohio, so I got to feel special for a moment :)

Appearance: Color is golden apricot flesh with some golden-honey undertones. Little visibility in the liquid. 1 finger white, soft foam fades and retains at a skim with traces of sticky white lacing left behind.

Smell: Delicious aroma of light, sweet, juicy citrus and dry grass. HUGE alcohol as the beer warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very sweet and bitter all at once. Lots of sticky, bitter pine, sweet honeyed citrus and malts and BIG, warming alcohol. Feel is somewhat full thanks to the moderate carbonation, and the after-feel is very sticky.

Drinkability: Moderate - take it slow for sure and enjoy all the flavors that come out as it warms.

This beer was described to me as more like a barleywine, which I can agree with in many ways. The sweetness and alcohol that come through are very reminiscent of the style, while the bitterness and stickiness definitely puts it in the DIPA realm as well. Very interesting and well-worth the experience.

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Photo of pwoods
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Comet served in a tulip.

Pours golden amber with great clarity. Decent white head with some retention and lacing. Very piney in the nose. Plenty of citrus and malt sweetness. Alcohol is detectable but not interfering. Taste is much the same with massive pine backed with a good dose of citrus. The sweetness is nice as it doesn't taste or feel thick or chewy. Body is medium to medium full with good carbonation. Finishes dry with some lingering bitterness but not too much. Alcohol is there but not too much. Pretty easy to drink. Bitterness wasn't too much and the alcohol added a nice touch. I thought the ABV would have been a bit higher but definitely drank easy.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Comet.

Pours a light gold in color, with just the slightest head on top. Smell is piney, grassy hops. Very green and bitter. Taste is very smooth. The piney hops dominate the flavor, but is overall very balanced with the rest of the beer. The description says that this is a DIPA or Imperial IPA, but this is just a good, balanced, IPA. I did tire of the piney hops near the end of the glass. Drank very easily and was for the most part pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of bamadog
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I was pretty excited when I got to order this as I was told by Dave at The Comet that this glass of beer was poured from one of only two kegs that were in the great state of Ohio, so yeah, not only was it special to be able to get it, this is also my 50th review... How's that for fate? Poured from the tap into a tulip

Appearance: A dark coppery color, with very miild carbonation, almost none to speak of. A very thin skim of head, yet it appears to be very sticky though because of the the lacing between the lip and even level of beer in the glass. A little cloudy as well.

Smell: Grassy/hoppy, piney. A slight alcohol is present as well in the back, and a mild sweetness, perhaps honey? Very reminiscent of Hopslam, so perhaps that's why I mention the honey. As this bad boy warms, the alcohol became much more prevalent in the smell, as did the sweetness.

Taste: Very big, piney hops right up front, yet balanced well with the sweetness - honey-esque, malty caramel. Alcohol is also very present and as it warms, the sweetness and alcohol really pick up - a very smooth drink though.

Mouthfeel: Burning from the alcohol - you can feel it evaporate right off the palate and that leaves it nice and dry, yet it also feels like it's trying to be sticky from the hoppiness as well. The body is a little chewy and very nice, and the warmer it gets the stickier and chewier it gets -- very smooth.

Drinkability: Low. ABV is pretty high and this is definitely a sippin' kind of beer - there's no way I'd be able to sit through more than one serving of this, but still an amazing beer.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Luscious, like a Racer 5 on steroids.

Pours deep amber with a big fluffy head. The aroma is rich, plummy, and full of citrus hops. The flavor has that muscular, round amberish malt character that Bear republic specializes in, with a big wet slap of citrusy hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and viscous, warning you are pouring some power down your throat, but the whole package is balanced so nicely you might not realize the ABV until it is too late.

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Photo of bsend
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a 13 oz. tulip at a local bar.

Upon receiving it from the bar, I noticed the rich, dark color and creamy 1 inch layer of head. The copper color was definitely enticing, and I was more than excited to dive into it.

The beer had a heavy hop aroma, and an almost pine aroma.

The taste was definitely good, though some what over powering. This hoppy beer is great for hopheads. The amount of hop flavor really makes it stand out as IIPA. There was a definite alcohol after taste, that made me drink this very slowly.

The mouthfeel was decent. The beer is thick, and coats the tongue/mouth. That being said, it had a dryness to it that required me to order a glass of water wit it. This feature also decreased the drinkability a bit, as I could only take one.

Final Thoughts - A decent IIPA entry. The beer was a little over powering, and not as complete as Harpoon's Leviathan, but still decent. It was my first beer from Bear Republic, but it definitely won't be my last. Well worth it.

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Photo of Deuane
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Bright, clear golden copper with a medium off-white head that held on well and left decent lace.

S-Pine and citrus hop combo with a resinous and a bit of sweetness.

T-Great combo of piney and citrus hops dominate with a bit of resin and caramel malt sweetness.

M-Medium body with a slightly sticky feel and a long lasting bitterness.

D-Another great West Coast DIPA from BR. A solid overall brew with a different hop profile than their other hop bombs. A nice addition to the family.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Growler into shaker pint on 2/23/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a clear amber/orange body with virtually no carbonation and about one finger's width of bubbly off-white head that retained fairly well and left sticky lacing around the glass.

S - Piney and citrusy West Coast DIPA nose with some resiny notes and a whiff of alcohol. Malt is sweet and caramely.

T - Piney hops abound with a bit of resin and a splash of citrus to round out the hop profile. There's also a touch of caramel malt sweetness, but the hops win out with an aggressively bitter finish.

M - Medium body with a somewhat watery texture and soft carbonation. Finish is quite bitter and a tad dry on the palate.

D - Not as enjoyable as Racer X or even Racer 5, in my opinion, but still a pretty solid West Coast DIPA.

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Photo of philbe311
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden color copper... Darker at the bottom of the glass, lighter at the top of the glass... Huge rich white foam head... Moderate carbonation... Sticks to the glass the entire way down...

S - Grapefruit... Floral aroma... Citrus and piney hop aroma... Surprisingly strong malt scent... Well balanced and mildly complex...

T - Taste follows closely to the scent... Citrus... A nice blend of hops... Caramel... Malt...

M - Medium bodied... Creamy and lush... Slightly chewy... I expected oily hop resins and was pleasantly surprised to find how muted they actually were... Nice amount of carbonation... Crisp... A wonderful experience...

D - A wonderfully well craft and well balanced DIPA... The hops aren't overpowering, but there are enough to keep you wanting more... The 8+% ABV is well hidden... A very strong offering in the crowed field of California DIPAs...

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at capone's

A- This came to me with the regular bright gold with bronze hints. Nice white capped head (1/2 inch)with some staying power before it left. Good sticky lacing on the way down.

S- A very Bear Republic smell to it with the usual pine and citrus qualities with very faint bready qualities from the malt. Very hoppy in the nose and very west coastish.

T- Everything that i love from bear republic is present in this DIPA. Sharp citrus notes with a hearty helping of pine. Hoppyness is the mainstay of this brew but the malts do override that to a degree. The hop assult on the taste is not present with the mouth as not much bitterness gets through. Oh believe me that some bitterness gets through but is drowned out by the sweet malts. This is a lot easier drinking than racer X. A bit flowery with a bit of caramel and some grassy hop aroma.

M- for a DIPA this goes down incredibly smooth with only a hint of the bitterness. The malts in this realy balance out this hop bomb as any less malts would make a hop assult. Not getting any alcohol from this 8%er. MF is good enough for two pints or so.

D- Expecting something along the lins of a Racer X, this was surprisingly very easy too drink, even with the 8%. Just the right amount of bitterness balanced with smooth malts. A very floral appeal, A treat to drink.

This is along the lines of say a racer x but not as much of a hop assult. Imma have to do a side by side to comapre. Another excellent example of a "hopbomb" from bear republic, just a bit smoother, for sure a winner.

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Photo of chefmonty
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap At Capones

A: Pours a hazy light amber with a light off- white head.

S: Smells of pine and citrus, especially grapefruit with a malt background.

T: Taste much like the smell. Slightly piny, but not to much nice citrus flavors and a malty presence.

M: Very smooth and crisp to the finish with med. carbonation

D: Very drinkable for a DIPA and at 8.10% could sneak up on you. I stopped at 2 pts, but could have easily had more.

Bear Republic never dissappoints. Another solid offering and new addition to my top 5 favorite DIPA's

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a robust copper with golden hues and an off white head.

rich rich hops blast through the nose, starting with lemon and grapefruit citrus, pine, massive fresh floral hops, smells like freshly added hops to a wort

spicy, floral, slight lemony citrus, spicy, toasty maltiness, sturdy pine notes leading to more floral and somewhat dry hops on the enduring finish, green hoppy notes as well

fresh lively body with a party of hop flavors bouncing around. one sip last for quite some time, about 2 minutes with the floral and dry hops enduring and increasing, but its not overly dry, just sturdy with its hop profile, yet balanced with the slight malt

big and bold, yet so crisp, fresh, and smooth this is a true hop heads dream. its got all the goodness you can get from a boatload of hops and there just enough malt to give it balance, yet not cloud the glorious hops. by the way its 8.5ABV and goes down uber smooth. If you see this beer on tap, its an absolute must!

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap at Fatheads, southside, pittsburgh. Served in a standard pint glass, color of honey with good carbonation and glass lacing.
Amzing smell of pine, earth, pear, pineapple. Hops, hops and more hops. conjurs images of dry creek valley and lake sonoma.
the taste blows me away. Wow. excellent hops through and through, noticable but with a complexity and sublety and balanced. So smooth- a delicious bitterness that fills my mouth and makes me sip and sip again. And again. Excellent beer that I will drink hands down anyplace that I find it, no matter what else the taps may offer. this a great beer from a geat microbrewery. Best Bear republic beer I have had to date, including quaffs at the source in Healdsburg, CA. kudos to Fatheads for supporting and tapping so many of their beers

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Photo of Nickls
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Hazy orange in color as expected from the style, with a thin white head

S - Pine and citruisy hop bitterness. Solid malt sweetness to back it up

T - Wow, hops and more hops with more of a piney/resiny type of hop presence. Still a solid malt backing

M - Pretty fat mouthfeel, and a little less viscous than the Mach 10 the brewery offers

D - Hugely drinkable for the style, and had no trouble at all with the sample.

Overall, I really hope that I can find this in bottle form. At the very least, I would trip over myself getting to it on draught again! Highly recommended.

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Photo of BrewMonkey
3.82/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours cloudy light amber with sticky fluffy head.

tons of grapefruit aroma with a flavor that follows suit. very high levels of bitterness but not over done. slight cotton candy after taste. crisp, fresh, and easy to drink, though the bitterness levels may imapct drinkability.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap @ The Blind Tiger 10-11-08

A: Pours an orange/brown, not very clear, with a large foamy head that says with the beer for the 1st few sips and leaves a thick lace

S: The aroma is very hoppy with a good background of citrus and caramelized malt. reminds me of 90min

T: Starts and finishes very hoppy with a caramel malt in the middle. The hops stay with ur tongue long after your last sip

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very easy for a DIPA, the hop attack keeps you coming back for more. One of the best DIPA ive had, I had their mach 10 the same night and doesnt even come close to measuring up to this one. Please Bear Republic bottle this or make it available on tap more!!

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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oohfaaa this is the good stuff....happy to enjoy this on tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC this evening. Pours semi cloudy orangy amber, under a fluffy light tan head that leave plenty of ringed and splotchy lace. Nose is all about the citrus and resiny hops. On the tongue and in the mouth, the hop crunch here is outstanding and unmistakable, one sip and the brain says high quality DIPA.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly fogged orange amber brown with a creme head. Damn that is one fine looking beer. Nose is piney citrus tones. Flavor is a bit bright. Vibrant citrus leaning on an orange-ish edge. Very balanced even though it's quite distinct. Feel is good on carbonation and the liquid is slick and smooth. Extremely easy to drink. Interesting to try this right after the Mach 10. Opposite ends of the hop spectrum. One earthy. One piney citrus. Both damn good. A sign of brewing prowess.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Bear Republic tasting at the Rubicon tonight. Another winner from Ricardo @ the bear.

A - Copper-amber, good retention, with a bit of head. Slight lacing.

S - Heavy malts, flowery, grassy hops, with a touch of caramel.

T - See the smell. Always good when smell and taste match.

M - Incredible. Just right, with a slight bitterness you expect from an IPA.

D - Excellent, no sense of alcohol whatsoever. Clearly a standard for the double IPA.

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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was initially disappointed when I was unable to get Racer X on tap at the brewpub, but have to confess I was quickly mollified once this was placed in front of me.

The beer pours the proto-typical light orange peach color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer is all DIPA. One gets a blast of pine and citrus, with perhaps a touch of underlying lime and ginger. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, with hoppy bitterness overtaking the sweet maltiness on the finish. This is a very hoppy DIPA! Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is fair. The abv. is fairly well disguised, though you can tell this is a big beer.

Perhaps not quite as excellent as the Racer X, but it would run a close second. This is a very solid DIPA from BR.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 8/28/07 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky orange-brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very hoppy with a good background of citrus and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with your typical West Coast IPA flavors of hops citrus and caramel. The hops presence is very strong and ends up winning out. The malt character is hearty but not too sweet. The after-taste is hoppy with a touch of sweetness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not very filling, nice kick, excellent representation of style and perfect example of a West Coast hop bomb, this is a perfect beer to stick with and drink a lot of, I enjoyed it a great deal. I'm hopes Bear Republic starts bottling this one.

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Photo of xgabe
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at the Bistro IPA festival. 5 oz. taster.


Though this beer was at the IPA festival and totally rocked all others on their rears in terms of taste, body and aroma. It was the bully of the bunch. It is listed here as a double IPA which I would agree with.

That said let's get down to the essentials: excellent floral nose... one of the few where you just smell and smell just to really get every particle of the aroma. Body was nice and thick... again, more like a DIPA, with a nice balance with carbonation.

Extremely drinkable. I'm hoping they'll have it on tap at Healdsburg!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/11/07- Had on tap at the Bistro IPA Fest.

Presentation- Via the tap into taster glasses.

Appearance- Deeper orange color headed towards the amber side. Slight head which decreases quickly, but leaves nice lace patches.

Smell- Super fruity in the nose. Bucket loads of grapefruit and a handful of pine needles. Caramel malt comes through as well. A bit of a whiff of alcohol.

Taste- Another fairly well balanced brew! Sweet caramel malt plays a bit part in this, but really compliments the hop flavor which is extreme sweet grapefruit and pine.

Mouthfeel- About the perfect level of carbonation and a great fruity hop aftertaste.

Drinkability- Tied for my 2nd favorite beer at the fest. Technically it's a DIPA and not a regualr IPA, but I won't hold that against it. Wonderful brew along the taste of PtE, but a bit more fruity and a bit more alcohol presence.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

solid burnt orange in appearance, rather clear with some gravity haze.. blurriness pushes the color towards brown. one finger of solidly airy foam, which leaves thin and porous walls of sheet lacing. peachy hop aroma with burnt brown sugar caramelization beefing up the boozy sniff. nothing overwhelming in the scent, very mild with fresh, floral wafts. dreading a bit of excessive sweetness though.

mouthfeel initially starts bold and grassy with an even spread medium level of bitterness. hops, yep. grapefruit zest and hop vine leafiness emerge like oils from a boiling bud. some buttery diacetyl, not enough to interrupt the flow of the flavor. a little bit of oddly placed strawberry yeastiness and smooth, off malt presence which contributes to the caramel flavor.

aftertaste carries that strawberry and brown sugar, the hop flavor dissipates quick but the bitterness lingers. really quite drinkable, reminiscent of he'brew's bittersweet lenny's ripa without the extreme thickness. while this is no racer x, it is a nice deviation from what you would normally expect from BR. recommended, but not in lieu of a 5 or an X.

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Photo of carln26
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mildly hazy copper color, topped by a fluffy off white head. Delicate floral hop aroma, just a little grassy. There is a mild caramel quality late in the aroma. Taste has more of the floral hop, mild mandarin orange citrus. Light sweet caramel blends with the citrus hops on the finish. Mouth feel is slick, but the beer is remarkably robust. Very drinkable. This is another winning IPA from Bear Republic.

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Apex from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.