1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

6,611 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,611
Reviews: 2,199
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 212
Gots: 621 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

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

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,611 | Reviews: 2,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Drafting Room, Exton; served in an imperial pint

Hazy, golden body with an eerie thickness to it. A bone white head sits proudly on top.

Sweet candied grapefruit, orange rind, lightly toasted biscuits and a touch of evergreens.

Citrus rind and pine needles come to forefront, then a sweet rush of candied grapefruit followed by a mild bitterness. Doesn't push the extremes.

Full bodied and chewy. Cask does great things for the mouthfeel of IPA's.

A pretty solid IPA that doesn't push the envelope of sweetness or bitterness. I could drink a few of these on cask.

ColForbinBC, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of mmcave
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber, with high lights around the edges. Pure white head that is decent, looks as though it might stay a while. Smell is floral, mild bitter hops presence, some citrus, maybe even hints of pine apple and mango. Taste is well balanced, bitter hops and mild spices shine through the fruit favors nicely finishes with a hint of bitterness right before the fruit. A little sticky, but just the right amount. This is a swell beer, I was a little thrown buy the packaging's unappetizing colors scheme, but once I tasted the beer I could careless. This is a super IPA, one of the better California beers I've had. I will definitely be drinking this in the future..

mmcave, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of mtrentm
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden copper color with off-white head which reduces to nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit initially jumps out of the glass then leads to pine & more sweet citrus hops.

T: Citrus upfront leading to a sweet malt with a little bit of bitterness at the end.

M: Medium-bodied smooth & creamy with a slightly bitter & dry finish.

D: Extremely drinkable & smooth. I was expecting more bitterness for an IPA, but still very good.

mtrentm, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of tony223366
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Some clarity. Nice golden yellow color with a white fluffy head. 1 finger. Nice action from the carbonation.

S: Citrusy hops and hop oil primarily.

T: Floral hops with a great citric hoppy finish. I get some light bready malts but it's mostly overpowered by the delicious hops.

M: Great feel! Big bodied. I'm getting lots of those hop oils. Prickly carbonation.

O: This is not a balanced beer. That being said I love hop forward IPAs. The prickly carbonation really keeps the bitterness from being too strong. Extremely refreshing. I could have this beer any time of any day. Love it!

tony223366, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of roadhouse
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appears a slightly hazy orange-amber with a one finger off-white head. A bit of particulate matter floating around in there but that may just be because of the moron at Binny's that put my bottle in the box upside down when I wasn't looking.

Aroma is west coast hops all the way. Nice and citrusy, a bit of pine, and a biscuity malt undertone.

Taste is more hops. A bit more piney than the aroma first suggests. The pine comes in first then I get a big kick of grapefruit-like citrus. Towards the finish there is a nice dose of sweet caramel and biscuity malt but that quickly gives in to the bitterness of the hops that coat the tongue in their oils and linger on.

Medium mouthfeel, good amount of carbonation.

Damn good IPA, just enough malt to keep it from being overly bitter, just where I like it. Good stuff.

roadhouse, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of freed
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer came in a 22oz with a cool label. The beer poored a beautiful copper color, which was a surprise for an IPA. The smell and taste are all IPA though. Great Citrus smell and flavor. Also, the maltiness isn't sublte, which I like. This is a big beer, though most of the bitterness is actually in the aroma. There isn't a strong bitter body to it, though i'm not sure what the IBU level is. I'll definately have this again.

freed, Feb 28, 2003
Photo of willjschmidt
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 220oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A golden color with an orange hue as well. Large thick white head forms on top.

S: Your standard IPA aromas; piney hops, light citrus, pale malts.

T: Delicious hops dominate the palate. The hops are not bitter, but instead very flavorful and tasty. There is a small fruit middle, but not as dominate as a lot of other IPA's. The aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Lots of hop oils in there as well.

D: A very drinkable IPA due to the great flavor of the hops. Not a lot of bitterness in this brew so it goes down east. A classic IPA in my book, one of the best out there.

willjschmidt, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of canucklehead
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of those big IPA's that has balance and class by the truckload. Like Smuttynose or Stone this is the Ivy league of the style; in your face with a pedigree. I had 3 of Bear Republic beers in a tasting with Malto and all of them were highly impressive. Complex and powerful with a sense that the brewer has the chops.

canucklehead, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of Lldeegan
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Nice hazy deep burning orange color. Minimal white lingering head, leaves a finely bubbled lace on the glass.
The nose is caramel and hoppy, followed by a very dominant deep malt. Not sure what malt was used but reminds me of the bags of Munich malt that a lugged around the NOLA brewery for a day or two this summer. I am surprised by the smell of this, I was expecting more hops than malt in the smell, but besides the initial floral hop note, malt is the lead here. Bit of a buttery smell as it lingers.
Taste has a quick bitter roll into the back of the mouth, followed by a nice sweet malt taste, immediately erases my presuppositions about IPAs. A few sips in and I have already decided to buy it again next time I go to Steins.
This beer has a really smooth feel to it in the mouth, it is crisp and has a quick finish that leaves you wanting more. I think this beer has the perfect level of carbonation, not too much, but it's there and it has all liveliness on my tongue to let me know it's a fresh beer.
Finding a beer with such drinkability is like having an epiphany. Just had Brooklyn lager the other day and it was the same. This is another very pleasant surprise. I have always avoided IPAs, but I had a feeling that this one would turn the tide.

Lldeegan, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured crystal clear light amber golden. The head was white and very compact and lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was muted hops and slight caramel. Hop aroma was low and there was also present a fruity and spicy aroma.

The flavor was malty and sweet yet well balanced with hop bitterness. The hop bitterness and flavor increase while the maltiness fades leading to a complexity in the flavor.

The finish was slightly sweet then trailed off to dry with a slight hop bitterness which increased into the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium full.

Great beer!

22 ounce bottle. (I think I have had this beer awhile and the hop aroma has faded somewhat.)

GCBrewingCo, May 22, 2004
Photo of hoppytobehere
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 07/01/2013. Usually difficult to find this fresh.

A: Pours light orange/golden with nice head. Lots of lacing. Tons of retention.

S: Typical of West Coast IPAs, full of citrusy hops. Little malt in there as well.

T: Excellent example of a West Coast IPA. Pineapple and orange with a wave of mellow bitterness. A stronger malt presence compared to say, Stone's IPA, but it still manages to finish pretty dry. This is a great alternative if you can't find Pliny.

M: Nice carbonation, dry.

O: If you can find this fresh, it's incredible. Unfortunately, that's not always easy to do.

hoppytobehere, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a nearly transparent rusty amber with big thick foamy white head. Head eventually dwindles to 1 finger and leaves behind plenty of lacing in the glass. Lots of bottle conditioned yeast is at the bottom of the bottle-when that is poured in it adds lots of flaky yeast sediment and more of a translucent haze.

S- Before I even completely removed the cap a big whiff of citrus, mostly grapefruit, and piny hops hits the nose. This smell is a powerful smack in the face of hop aromas and great! The slightest bit of caramel malt also pops through at the end of the nose.

T-Surprisingly much milder than the smell. Lots of citrus hop flavor upfront with virtually no malt backbone (though I know it has to be there). The piny cascade hops really come out for the finish and are very refreshing-citrus hops take a backseat to these. What lingers is a light-to moderate bitterness and a big dose of refreshing piny hops. Hints of caramel malt sweetness too.

M-Low carbonation and oily body. Very smooth and creamy. Great.

D- Despite the near absence of balance this is a very good IPA. I love the bottle conditioning and the overall smoothness of the body. Not really the best tasting IPA I have had...but it's still very good; and probably in my top 5. Great West Coast IPA.

PittBeerGirl, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of Kadonny
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from cask into a nonic pint glass at TJs in Paoli.

A: A cloudy golden orange color with a one finger fluffy white head. Nice full glass lacing.

S: Nice citrus hops with some floral and pine notes and a sweet caramel malt smell. Nice and mellow.

T: Hops shine through with hints of citrus, floral, grass and some slight pine. Along side the hops the malt in this really melds in perfectly with caramel sweetness and creamy smoothness. Finish is clean and crisp, but not real bitter.

M: Medium and creamy. No hint of alcohol and of course light carbonation. Not much bitterness either.

D: Unfortunately, very high. These are so creamy smooth and oh so delicious.

This is a great beer from C02, kick that up a notch with the cask conditioning. Simply superb. What a west coast treat that we are lucky to have here in PA. Thanks to Jeff at TJs for bringing in this gem for us to try.

Kadonny, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of Chugmonkey
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try it. Well worth waiting for. Light golden color, somewhat hazy, nice off white head.

Very inviting citrusy aromas. Yummy citrus taste, nice smooth bitterness, finishs with a nice pure citrus note. Very tasty, made me want another sip immediately. Extremely drinkable, lacks a bitter bite of some IPAs.

Well done. I loved it. This beer is right up my alley and I can't wait to get some more.

Chugmonkey, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of GallowsThief
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bomber into tulip.

A – Slightly hazy golden pour with a finger of foamy and clingy white head that left lacing down the glass.

S – Hops, floral, citrus, grapefruit.

T – Solid hop punch right out of the gate. Bitterness from the hops sticks right in. Has a nice balanced citrus following with orange and grapefruit. Almost a slight caramel malt flavor. Bit of piney flavor to finish.

M – Medium bodied with solid carbonation. Creamy palate.

O – I am growing fonder of IPA’s everyday and this one really has great tastes. It ranks high on my list with a nice balance of light sweet and hop punch. Winner from Bear, wish they sent these east.

GallowsThief, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from The Man...Gusler! A hard pour produced a voluminous, ever-so-slightly off-white head, which settled into a lasting 1/4" topping. Bubbles were tight and fine, and lacing was ample down the glass. The color was a medium golden, with a bit of particulate hovering about within (though not enough to distract in any way, at least for me, anyhow).

The nose was quite pleasant, with a suggestion of bready malt trying to come forth. It was put in its place by a healthy dose of grapefruity hops. A real nice combo.

Body was well within the medium range, and it had a bit of chewiness to it. The golden nectar slid smoothly over the tongue and belly-wards.

I just received this via parcel today, and being impatient, I didn't give it much time in the fridge to chill. Nonetheless, enjoyed at about 50-55F, it had a wealth of flavors. A bready, crackery aspect is present at the outset, yet the dominant driver here was the hops. A plethora of Cascade-like tastes bombard the tongue, and just linger and linger. There's no getting rid of the hop aftertaste, not that you'd want to. A pleasing, warm sensation develops in the belly, too! This one can park in my winners circle!

Thnx again to Gusler for supplying me with my first taste of the Bear! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

533

Bierman9, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of Reeks
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was fairly new to the craft beer world when I was introduced to Racer 5. That was over 6 years ago and this beer has been a staple in my rotation.
It has a harsh bite at first sip. Nothing subtle about the boldness of its flavor.
The texture gets stickier as the temperature drops. Its very sweet and bitter all at once and leaves a very hoppy after taste.

Reeks, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of StoryOfTheGhost
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden orange, a bit hazey with a decent white head, and leaves plenty of lacing

S- pine, citrus, bubble gummy

T- Grape-fruit, bubble gum, pine, very hoppy and fresh tasting, with a nice malty balance

M- Medium body, high carbonation, can feel the hop oils. Only complaint is that taste does not stay with you for long

O- I really appreciate how readily available this beer is, and how little it costs for the quality. The only thing that I would change is that I would have it have a bit more body, and be a bit chewyier, but overall, and excellent beer.

StoryOfTheGhost, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of mjl21
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given and comes in at 7%.

A-Color reminds me of orange marmalade. Has a 1/2 finger white head that dissolves quickly, leaving scattered clumps of foam and a small ring.

S-Citrus hops as well as some floral hops hit fast giving this a really nice hoppy bouquet. Also pick up some sweet malt notes.

T-The hops hit fast. Once it hits my mouth orange zest comes quickly followed by grapefruit. Pine can also be detected. This beer leaves a really good level of bitterness.

M-Medium bodied with a light level of carbonation that works well for the beer.

D-The 7% is extremely well hidden and all those hops along with the fact that it is not sweet mean it is highly drinkable.

A great beer that can meet my hop demands and it is easily available.Along with SNPA, this has been my old standby for years when out at local restaurants and/or pubs with limited beer menus.

mjl21, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle

A: Copper, hazy red with thin sticky white head with good retention.

S: Grapefruit, citric hops, with malt and some tropical fruit, mango and papaya.

T: The tropical fruit shows its stuff, but also brings a more bracing pine bitterness, not overpowering, very balanced, especially for a West Coast IPA.

M: Creamy, full bodied, with almost a chewy bitterness.

D: Very good, a delicious example of the West Coast IPA style, its balanced character makes it a good anytime beer, the alcohol level does not show at all. Another great offering from the fellas at Bear Republic.

Halcyondays, Jul 07, 2007
Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Surly shaped pint glass. Poured clear and amber in color. It started with a very nice frothy white head that quickly started to leave chunks of lacing on the glass. The head had average retention but left excellent lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a very juicy hop presence to it with some grapefruit, pineapple, mango and a hint of pine coming through. Excellent hoppy aroma overall.

The taste also shows some of the juicy, tropical hoppy flavors. Some pineapple, grapefruit and a bit of peach all come out in the intense hoppiness. A moderate bitterness comes through in the finish. Beautiful hoppy flavor overall.

The mouthfeel is on a little below medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is very good, it had some great hoppy flavors to it and went down very smoothly. Excellent beer overall, and one of my personal favorites.

billab914, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of kylehayworth
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for this brew.

A: It pours a nice rich golden color, with hints of orange. Nice slightly white head.

S: Piney hops racing with orange/tangerine notes, as well as a slight sweet maltyness.

T: The piney taste is there along with a healthy dose of orange. There is a mild taste of grapefruit and pineapple. Well balanced, the sweet malt and bitterness play along very well.

M/D: Great mouthfeel, very smooth and clean. Good carbination, refreshing! I rather enjoyed this beer.

kylehayworth, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Green's Beverage Warehouse in Columbia, SC.

A- Pours a golden, light amber color. A nice white head sticks with the beer and also nicely laces the glass.

S- pine and citrus hops. Very typical of a west coast IPA.

T- Very good. Bitter, but not to bitter. Not hop forward, but a lot of hop aftertaste.

D- This IPA is very good and very drinkable. Great amount of carbonation. I can see drinking this beer on a hot summer day, or on a cool fall day. Very good example of a west coast IPA. I will seek this on out again! For sure!

cbak999, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of DenverHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance - Orange with a nice, thick white head. Everything about the look is bad ass, especially the unfiltered snow globe in the glass; awesome! Lacing is excellent!
Smell - citrus hop aroma with some noticeable oily hops. Some toasted malt presents itself underneath the hops!
Taste - lots of hop flavor, but the strength of the malts provides enough of a calm biscuit flavor that lasts!
Feel - bitterness from the hops linger but never overcomes the balance from the malt!
Overall - a classic IPA that will please any IPA fan!

DenverHopHead, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of NCBeernut
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy translucent golden amber that gets a nice deep orange color in the middle of the glass. Nice solid dense head, leaving a thick chunk of lace at the top, but not really much more as it works its way down the glass. Nice color. Aroma has some fruit candy-like sweetness. Complex hop aroma, but not potent - citrus with a little grassy earthiness that comes out more when you swirl it. A little biscuity malt, but sweet-smelling. Nice balance, not a puckering bitterness, but not syrupy sweet, but the hops still get to shine. A touch of white pepper spiciness, with grassy, citrus hops that lean toward sugar dusted grapefruit flavors. I'm pretty sure there are definitely some Amarillo in there. Malt is sweet caramel that never gets in the way of the hop show. Finishes with some bitterness, but right in the middle of the dry-sweet spectrum. Perfect amount of carbonation and not too syrupy or bitter to enjoy on a summer day.

NCBeernut, May 28, 2009
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,611 ratings.