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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,268 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,268
Ratings:
7,377
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.42%
 
 
Wants:
333
Gots:
1,231
For Trade:
7
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,268 | Ratings: 7,377
Reviews by Brewnami:
Photo of Brewnami
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very clear amber color. Not much head, little lace.

S- Pine, citrus, maybe some floral scents.

T- HUGE hop taste. Tastes very similar to smell. Pine, citrus (grapefruit and may some orange peel). If you want to know what hops taste like, this is the beer. Very refreshing... if you are a big IPA fan.

M- Kind of sticky. Very bitter after taste.

D- Not a beer I would ever session with. I bought a 22oz bottle and that is perfect. The hop bitterness is pretty intense. In my opinion, I would say even more so than the DFH 90min. Awesome beer for IPA lovers, will absolutely purchase again.
Highly recommended for anyone with a huge hop pallet.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Strat58cat
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Solid. The only word that I can think of to describe this classic IPA is solid. It's solidly in the middle of the IPA paradigm. The execution is solid. It's one of the most famous west coast IPAs for very good reason.

The look is very promising. This India pale ale pours a golden orange color, moderately hazy. The head is a delicious foamy eggshell color that foams up elaborately, retains, and laces. They've spared no expense on the malt, the head makes clear. All kinds of good stuff seems to be in store.

The aroma is a strong point of Racer 5. They've nailed it. It achieves the tropical grapefruit aroma that I'm looking for. I know tropical grapefruit is not a thing, but in the best IPAs they achieve it anyway. The aroma is perfectly modulated - neither overbearing nor weak. It stays righteous until the bottom of the glass, never fading or getting catty. Barely detectable, just behind the citrus scent of the hops, the malt conveys a pleasant biscuit aroma.

The taste of Racer 5 is solid. It's a mainstream west coast IPA flavor, initially strongly citrus from the hops but backed up proportionately with a subtle yet very appealing biscuit flavor. The description biscuit is overused in my experience, but this is truly it. I've never really enjoyed a biscuit-like malt except with Racer 5. As you might expect, since both are from the California wine country, Lagunitas and Racer 5 have a similar aesthetic, sharing their beautiful citrus hops bouquet and the effort to balance the hops with a significant malt. Racer 5 out runs their wine country competition in the Stone-like appealing dankness of their IPA and the flavorful biscuit malt that backs the hops up. Like Lagunitas, Racer 5 is a very easy drinking, pleasant and enjoyable IPA. The fabled bitterness of IPAs is no doubt present, but it's in sync with the expectations from the flavors and so is purely enjoyable.

The feel of Racer 5 is fine. It's not watery, but medium-bodied. It does not come across as thin-feeling like Rebel can, but doesn't quite have as much body as I seem to feel with Lagunitas.

Overall, Racer 5 is a fabled west coast IPA for good reason. It's extremely good. Like Stone, it costs a few dollars more for a 12-pack than some other appealing and widely available options, but it's worth it. Maybe it's not worth springing for one of the true paragons every trip, but every now and then . . .

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Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer almost looks like an unfiltered Belgian white, except it is a little more translucent. Slight orange tinge with a small white head
S: Could not smell too much besides the decent dose of hops
T: Almost exactly how I want an IPA to taste. Not overly bitter, not overly hoppy, with the right amount of malts to keep it tasting like a normal IPA. Smooth and extremely drinkable, especially for a 7.5% abv. Nice biscuit-y flavor that is mellow but hoppy enough at the same time. One of the most perfect balances of malts and hops in any IPA I have had
M: Crisp, but not too much of a bite. Very smooth
O: One of my favorite IPA's and one of the most drinkable Indian Pale Ales there is. Everyone should try it at least once

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Photo of bisonfort
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had at lobster place in SF

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle without a date. Equally parts hazy and carbonated, a golden-tinted beer with some sudsy lacing and a thin, retained head. Smell is pretty average at best, basic malt and hop profile, not that pungent. But this was stored at room temperature so I could see how it may have fallen off. Taste is a little more complex with several different hops highlighting what is a very refreshing, semi-dry finish. A little bitter component at the end, standard of many good IPA's. This is simply a good beer. Nothing too mindblowing, but definitely like it and would drink it anytime. Cheers.

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Photo of sderenne
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Kegged 5/08/15 Tapped 5/23/15 Wow the aroma is amazing. Flavor is a buttery,citrusy , hoppy treat for your mouth. I had a 5 gallon keg of this last fall and it was good. This keg is exceptional. Bear republic is creating some amazing beers that may rival or beat their neighbors to the south Russian River.

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Photo of wowthatbeerisgood
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is mild and flavorful. At 7.5%, it's pretty strong, but you can't tell. Goes down smoothly. Very pleasant and mild. If I hadn't had Stone's Enjoy By DIPA last night, I probably would have rated this higher. A solid IPA. Now that I am in California, this will be my go-to 6 pack.

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Photo of redbaron2005
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Normally when I drink any sort of beer, including craft. I seem to get an undesirable after effect, or tired feeling. Bear Republic Racer 5 DOESN'T HAVE THAT WHAT SO EVER! Not to mention I don't feel inebriated at all! This is a #1 in my choice for go-to brews.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

More on the bittering end of the spectrum than the flavourful one, not that I dislike it. Extremely piney. A bit of bitter orange. Drinkable even if it's flirting with dipa territory

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Photo of Joe_Howard
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy gold color with a respectable white head. The aroma was mainly floral and piny with a tad bit citrus hops, but was pretty faint for a west coast styled IPA. The hop flavor was very reflective of the aroma, with a little malt sweetness on the back end. Overall it was a pretty tasty IPA and if it wasn't so pricy compared to other brews I would probably get it all the time.

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Photo of toronadotornado
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

MoMo's - San Francisco, CA - draft at Giants vs. Dodgers game

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Photo of BethanyB
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Poured from a bottle into a goblet. It was a cloudy medium amber, with a giant, fluffy white head that slowly melted into a snowy hillock. I throughly cleaned and dried another glass and poured a second to test the clarity. Still cloudy.

Smell: A masterfully balanced C-hop tree from top to bottom: earth, grass, wood, and citrus. Some tropical fruit scents and a piercing smell of white pepper make for a captivating garnish.

Taste: One of those nice, round balls of complexity that fascinates as a collaboration rather than a conglomeration. Toasted, buttery malt is topped with grapefruit, mint leaves, and rosemary. A small dose of peach juice and a squeeze of caramel add just enough sweetness to keep the medium-high bitterness from being overwhelming. It's so well done, but it still begs for a little something more to set it apart from other IPAs of good caliber.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, yet still smooth. Light alcohol warming and medium-high carbonation continue the theme of balance by creating an atmosphere that's both refreshing and intoxicating.

Overall: This IPA is undeniably good, but it's perhaps so well-balanced, that it becomes a little boring when compared to the wide varieties of recipes on the market today. Still, it's a sure bet, and one I will therefore continue to buy.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed tangerine-amber. Since the label says that the beer is bottle conditioned and that 'yeast is good', I imagine that my last few pours will cloud things up nicely. The head is the color of rich cream and is a little frothy, yet stiff. I anticipated a lot of lace and am not disappointed. The cap falls slowly and unevenly, leaving thick sheets and chunks of lace all over the glass. A superb look.

The nose is as wonderful as I'd hoped: big, juicy, citrusy hops running rampant. There's a second variety in there as well, something that gives a slightly more pungeant, earthy aroma. A quick check of the Bear Republic website tells me that Cascade and Columbus hops are in use. Cascade have the upper hand in the aroma; I hope the same is true on the palate.

I enjoy the flavor quite a bit, but the Columbus hops are too prominent. While they don't completely overshadow the citrusy goodness of the Cascade, they do change the flavor profile just enough to keep me from loving it. Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' is all Columbus hops and I learned from drinking that beer that it's not a hop that thrills me. There's a fair amount of sweetish pale malt that's not intrusive, but it is noticeable. The finish is long and increasingly hoppy and the body/mouthfeel is full and buttery smooth.

Racer 5 is somewhere between an IPA and a DIPA in terms of flavor, body and ABV. While I do have some quibble about the choice of hops, the quality of this beer is not to be doubted. A little heavier with the Cascade and a little lighter with the Columbus and this would easily be one of my favorite IPAs. Now, if they would only bottle Racer X.

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Photo of ZagZagg
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter

A: Half finger white head sitting on a hazy, unfiltered looking brew. Fine sediment, light/fine carbonation, body appears medium – lacing is moderate and retention is good.

S: Sweet and resinous simultaneously, strong presence of grapefruit with undertones of pineapple and mango. Somewhat of an astringent aroma that is clean as well as mildly dry. Light agitation coaxes out a sterile lemon zest with notes of pine.

T: Clean taste, lemon and grape fruit provide a crisp astringency. Pine needle presents toward the middle mouth and dominates the resinous feel. The middle mouth packs a lot of citrus zest and is drier than I expected. Sweetness arises on the palate as the beer warms, letting on mild notes of mango, honey, and muddled mint leaf. Quite bitter, but well balanced, even a bit tart. The finish has hints of coriander and ginger; hop florals and freshly cut grass.

M: Medium to light body, fine carbonation, good balance between juicy and dry – aftertaste has a coriander soapiness and is again rather dry. Pretty decent drinkability

O: If I did a blind tasting of this, I would think it’s a solid IPA. That being said, I had heard some pretty high praise of this beer and I don’t know that I completely vibe with that. Good drinkability, good full flavor, but I was looking for a juicier palate. Overall, I like this beer, and I like it better warmer.

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Photo of oberon
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Go speed racer go speed racer go,sorry.Pours a light golden with a orange tint to it as I neared the bottem of my bottle the chunks and floaties came.A very floral aroma poured a foot and a half away from my nose and picked up the citrus and piney aroma very tantalizing and bold.Taste is a hop heads dream but there is a firm malt backbone very piney almost medicinal in its hop character with a light nuttiness coming thru late.A hop fix for me really liked this beer wish I had more.

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Photo of ddean
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance-
An attractive amber-orange. Not much head, but oddly enough, it tastes more carbonated than it looks, if that makes sense.

Smell-
A nice piney hop note, though more subtle than I'd like, even when the beer is warmed up.

Taste-
Quite a delicious West Coast style IPA. Big, crisp, piney hops, but with a slightly sweet maltiness---I get orange with maybe a little brown sugar.

Mouthfeel-
Smooth, with a nice, long lingering of the malt.

If you like Lagunitas, Stone, and other big West Coast IPAs, I'd recommend this one, and like these other representatives, it has a substance to back up the hop punch. Cheers.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very clear, thin-looking body with a tremendous, foaming head that laced and pitted my Ruination glass.

Smell – Sharp, piney hops lead the way here. If there’s a malt balance I can’t find it. This one is all about the hops. Very complex, actually, with some floral and citrus notes.

Taste – The taste sees through the promises of the nose. The complex hoppy flavor comes out at the tongue, but not overly sharp. There’s a tremendous smoothness to this ale that reminds me of NW style IPAs.

Mouthfeel – Very smooth and medium-bodied. This one is also exceptionally dry and refreshing.

Drinkability – Clean and distinctive offering of the style. I brought a few more Bear Republics back with me from LA and am looking forward to giving them a try.

Comments - The brewery is located in Healdsburg, home of the CA Wine Country. It's a beer island in a sea of vino, so woulid probably appreciate a beer-lover's visit.

 948 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of cam477
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Bmm281
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a very cool 22 oz bomber.

Appearance: Deliciously golden orange, great color. Lot’s of fun junk floating around. Beautiful froth. Looks great!

Smell: Clean citrus hops. Mild scents of inorganic salts, acid, and alcohol. Coarse.

Taste: Mild hops, mildly bitter citrus, oven baked biscuits

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Mildly warming. Not very exciting.

Drinkability: High. Very, very easy to drink only I won’t be drinking much of this one. I can think of at least 5 IPAs that are better and more affordable.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one has eluded me for a long time, mainly because I couldn't find a fresh bottle. Finally got one last week, looking forward to finally trying this one. Pours almost a completely opaque, bright amber and light copper color. Big eggshell head builds up nice and foamy-like, leaving lots of chunky lace on the glass nearly all the way down. Awesome looking IPA.

The nose is quiet at first, but I believe I served this one to myself a little too cold. Once it warmed up, the aroma came out strong; big-time citric hops immediately send your senses into a frenzy. Plentiful grapefruit and dense orange peel, thick layers of pine needles, with a light perfume-like characteristic that lingers about. The citrus is sweet, mildly bitter, and potent; the hops are humongous in character - sticky, oily, and brash... this is one goddamn wet and hoppy IPA. Not quite reaching "dank" status, but the piney hops have a largely resinous aroma.

Malt? Not too much. It's certainly underplayed on the nose, but that's to be expected. I take one sip and I'm strapped in for the hop-coaster. Big, wet, pine-encrusted hops glide across my palate and smack my taste buds - powerful and bitter without being too harsh or abrasive. Large, white-pepper sprinkled grapefruit peels and other various citrus rinds coat every corner of my mouth. Couple that with the thick and dense resins and hop oils, you've got yourself a sticky-delicious IPA.

Lots of pine in the finish with a nudge of bitterness that grazes the palate without completely raping it. It's actually quite mellow, really, and becomes even more mellow with time. Warming also brings out a large floral and perfume character that wasn't as evident before. Just like with many other IPAs, the malts coming in much more handy in the flavor than the aroma - biscuity and bready, the malts here perform a very nice balancing act with the aggressive hop profile, something I love to see. Fresh aftertaste with pines, oils, bread, and orange peels. The mouth feel is slick, clean, snappy, and lively; medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Wow, I can't believe this stuff went under my nose for such a long time, it really is a delicious IPA. Very good perception of extreme hoppiness while maintaining a great balance with the malt that keeps this beer drinkable as all hell. Goes down like a champ - and it helps that the 7% ABV goes primarily unnoticed. Delicious stuff, no joke.

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Photo of ExtraStout
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into glass; served cold and warmed as I tasted it...Recommended, because it got better as it got warmer.

A - It's unfiltered, so has a cloudy look to its (light) orange color. Soapy head dissipates fairly quickly. Lighter (looking) than most IPAs.
S - NICE nose to this; soapy, grapefruit-y hops; promising...
T - Pervasive hoppiness, balanced with a nice, continuous backbone of malty sweetness. Just before you get of alcohol at the end, there's a hint of orange/grapefruit pith, that is really distinct. Hangs around for a bit too...
M - Smooth, as a result of low carbonation and un-filtered-ness
D - Could easily down a few of these and enjoy the helll out of them.

Overall a solid IPA and wil be looking for more from this brewery.

 752 characters

Photo of PaulimusPrime
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,268 ratings.