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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.

5,933 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,933
Reviews: 2,168
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 166
Gots: 375 | FT: 7
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,933 | Reviews: 2,168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBuckeye


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy apple cider orange with very puffy 3 finger head that thickens and dissipates very slowly, leaving a good amount of lacing. Beautiful beer.

S - Good amounts of grapefruit, orange, and zest up front. A bit of piney hops in the background. Some hints of banana in there as well.

T - Very, very sweet up front, I even puckered just a bit. But then the piney hops force their way in and remind me how much of an IPA this is. I love a good IPA that takes the chance to try and knock me on my ass. The sweetness was again that grapefruit and zest. Very nice.

M - Quite thick, leaves a thick coating in the mouth. Alcohol completely hidden. Kind of leaves a bit of a phlegmy feeling the back of the throat.

Overall - A fantastic IPA. I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was a little too sweet at the beginning but the bitter hops really helped balance it out. The mouthfeel left a bit to be desired, but I thought this was a top IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 00:39:52 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of Bonis


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A nice thick white one finger head. Hazy light golden with floaties. Leaves a beautiful lace like many IPAs i've tried.

S - Sweet candy citrus/tropical hop explosion. Resinous piney hops work their way into the nose as well.

T - Wow, it's definitely hoppy, but I get an intense burst of sweet caramel malts moreso than I would've expected. The hops are citrusy and almost taste like candy.. Not much pine. This one tastes really good... Not sure how fresh the bottle is though.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Bitterness lingers in the mouth until the next drink. Not great, not bad.

D - Pretty impressive for an IPA, especially at 7%. Couldn't drink this all night like Columbus, then again there's nothing like Columbus IPA. This came from my first six pack of Racer 5. Definitely one i'll purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 06:49:19 | More by Bonis
Photo of Crotor


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium gold with some yeast floaties, with one finger of white head with good retention and some slight dimples.

The aroma is all sharp grapefruit rind, big and bad and swaggering.

A quintessential west-coast IPA, the taste is predominantly cirtus hops, with a respectable but not extreme bitterness. I can feel a hint of caramel sweetness after a grapefruit-hop burp, but the malt feels mostly crisp, and maybe slightly grassy. Not exactly balanced, but not overwhelming. Excellent hop flavor without heavy bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and clean, especially for a 7.0% brew. This makes for dangerously easy drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2005 22:01:59 | More by Crotor
Photo of unHipHopHead


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: lighter orange, decent sized head with larger bubbles.

S: sweet citrus and floral notes with a underlying fresh cut grass.

T: first sip is sweet citrus and honey that quickly is taken over by a punch of hops that finishes with a nice piney flavor. Overall a very refreshing taste that lingers quite well.

M: smooth and light and refreshing. a tiny bit oily, a good balance.

D: very drinkable brew, nice and light and refreshing... drinks like more of a pale ale than an ipa.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 08:33:57 | More by unHipHopHead
Photo of Wheelinb


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first thing that attracted me to this beer was the graphics on the tap. A tribute to Speed Racer no doubt. So naturally I ordered a pint and enjoyed the light amber color and the distinct citrus smell. When you taste it you get grapefruit but it is not overly tart or fruity. This has become one of my favorites and I always have it on hand. Everyone I have sampled it with has become a fan as well.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2009 02:12:38 | More by Wheelinb
Photo of pburland23


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Beer pours a coppery amber with a faint head that quickly recedes and leaves a generous amount of lacing.

In my opinion, Racer 5 is one of the best smelling beers on the market. One whiff revels a cascade of piney and citrus hops aroma. It's the quintessential West Coast IPA aroma.

Taste is highlighted by an aggressive hops bitterness but is balanced out my the malt.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. For a beer topping out at 7.0%, Racer 5 is ridiculously drinkable. In my opinion, this one of the best IPAs available at the moment. It never fails to deliver.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 00:54:39 | More by pburland23
Photo of BigJTrucker


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear orange/amber color, solid whit head, good retention and lacing. Nose is absolutely huge, very piney. Taste is surprisingly malty for such a big IPA, along with some bready notes. mouthfeel has a high amount of texture, possibly due to being a bottle conditioned beer. A very nice, well balanced IPA. Flavor is well rounded, abv is just right, would definetly not mind having this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 07:00:13 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of birderbeerer


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden, mostly transparent. Very thin head, minimal lacing.

S: Grapefruit and pineapple. Sweet hoppiness and nothing else.

T: Hops, citrusy, some pineapple, and a very faint pine. Light malt follow through (in flavor and amount). This ipa is slightly more bitter than sweet. While the malt is detectable, it approaches a pretty clean hop taste.

M: Smooth, no sticky residue.

D: Easy drinking. A perfect session IPA. Big hops and easy drinking. Could easily toss a few back.

This is an IPA that competes with Doubles/Imperials. Huge hops and very fruity.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 23:32:39 | More by birderbeerer
Photo of chetripley


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You just know with the first look how good a beer is going to be sometimes, and sometimes it is the smell that lets you know what to expect.

With this one the look was dark golden, poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass, but the smell that it gave off was a little spice and a whole lot of hops. I had a feeling it was going to be good from that smell.

The taste was a sharp plucking by the hops, smoothing out quickly leaving behind that familiar dry feel at the end. But the hops were a blast, but the finish was just so smooth it didn't completely blow you away like others can.

Drinkable and medium carbonation left me thirsty for more.

This was a really good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 03:47:12 | More by chetripley
Photo of muddyriverduck


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this one for one of those special evenings when you're home alone, sipping a fine beverage and watching a good mafia movie in your pj's. Well that didn't happen. Instead, a friend of the wife came over, cracked open my bomber, took a sip and almost puked. I took this as a good sign since her idea of a good beer is a Blue Moon, so I proceeded to partake of my fine beverage so it wouldn't go to waste.

Needless to say, I was very hoppy with this one. The color was a beautiful copper color with a pure white head and several floaties in the bottom of the glass. The smell and taste were pure hops, but that's what we buy these for now isn't it? It was extremely smooth and drinkable for a hop bomb and will definately have to revisit this one again.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 01:00:38 | More by muddyriverduck
Photo of mckeowbc


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer at Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted, OH. Was served on tap in a pint glass.

A - Racer 5 is clear and light gold in color. Mine came with a light foamy head that produced decent lacing on the glass. Overall the appearance pleasing, but nothing impressive. It looks like a much lighter beer than it is.
S - The nose on this beer is a little lighter than other comparable IPAs like Bell's Two Hearted. It has a nice piney, citrus hop smell with really no detectable malt.
T - Taste is much the same as the nose. Piney, citrus, hoppy with a little sour finish. The flavor reminds you of grapefruit. Overall the flavor is very clean.
M - The mouthfeel of this beer is light and crisp. The slightly higher alcohol content doesn't seem to give this beer any heaviness and really you get no sense of malt in the mouthfeel. Overall it's actually refreshing.
D - Drinkability is where this beer really shines. The lightness and crispness of this beer, combined with the citrus hop bite that isn't overdone makes this beer enjoyable without being tiring. This would definitely be a good session beer, although the 7% ABV might make it a shorter session.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2011 17:09:38 | More by mckeowbc
Photo of rtaps


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip glass, very light caramel in color with a nice thick head. good retention leaving thick lacing around the glass.

sweet and hoppy aromas with a hint of citrus

taste is similar to the smell but better. floral and sweet and first with a minor hit of the hops then leaves with citrus. not what i expected out of an IPA but is very good

medium bodied, little carbonation and goes down very smooth

overall I WANT MORE (sums it up)

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 06:44:42 | More by rtaps
Photo of perrymarcus


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a slightly cloudy, dull yellow tone with a finger, finger and a half of a frothy, off-white head. very good retention and lacing, but ultimately the presentation is middling to slightly above average; nothing really to write home about in a style chalked full of great ones.

strong citrus hops (grapefruit) are out in front in the nose, followed by a few pine and floral notes and then a malty presence in the background. solid, inviting aroma.

taste IMO exceeds everything else about this beer... which, if you're going to excel in one category this would be the one to do it. nice balance between the citrus/pine hops and the malts. very tasty.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation... great drinkability. i could easily session this beer. not to be confused with a session beer...

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 05:28:13 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of rye726


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light cedar color. Silky beige head with perfect lacing. Nose has a bouquet of floral and fruity malts over caramel malts. Taste has nice citrus and piney hops over bready malts. Well balanced ale. Nice medium body has a crisp carbonation and lingering bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 02:09:10 | More by rye726
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear copper color. No head, no retention, and very thin lace.

Very bright aroma. Pine and lemon dominate.

Strong hit on the tongue. Very bitter up front. Gets a little fruity in the finish, with pineapple and grapefruit.

Excellent feel to match the flavor.

I can drink this one all day.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 12:36:53 | More by beer2day
Photo of scotvega18

New York

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint Glass

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden color with some yeast sediment and a thin off-white head. Standard for a bottle conditioned IPA.

S - Some great, great, sweetness and fruitiness. The classic "Bear Republic spicy flare" is in there, and works incredibly well with the overall citric mango, pineapple, and grapefruit in the beer.

T - Rather than being a "classic west coast IPA" that finishes dry and bitter, this starts out bitter and just builds to a fruity- and sweet flavor. The hops works so well with the malt that it ends up being very difficult to pull individual flavors out.

M - Nothing special, the carbonation helps the yummy nectar go down.

Notes - There are some who would choose to knock this beer for lack of complexity, but the truth is that this beer really is one of the great in the single-ipa department for how well everything is blanced and melds together. That may contribute to a lack of depth, but honestly, how complex do you want thing thing to be? A great example of a bottle conditioned IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 20:39:31 | More by scotvega18
Photo of eduardolinhalis


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

A: Pours a clean orange golden color with a small beige head. Good retention and many lacings left around

S: Smells like a traditional American craft IPA. Very citric, earthy and mainly grassy smell of fresh hops.

T: Follows the nose: Bitter and refreshing. You can feel some malts and yeasts but its trademark is, of course, the hops. Very dry and bitter stuff... Simply delicious

M: Light body, medium carbonation and nice bitter and grassy aftertaste

D: High. To be drunk in gallons (preferentially, sitting in a pub around the San Francisco bay area :p)

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2010 03:39:34 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of InandOutBeerGuys


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an awesome IPA!!! As all of Bear Republics' beers they are beatiful when poured even gently it produces a fantastic head, thet lingers and leaves a sticky lace around the glass. 5 is generously hopped, but very drinkable for such a big beer. The aroma is great, flavor is right on, looks great, there is little to flaw here just a great IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 15:14:40 | More by InandOutBeerGuys
Photo of TrevorGW


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dirty golden color ...

Aroma is not as huge with hops as you would expect. I immediately anticipate an oily, slick hop flavor.

The flavor is unbelievably well-balance. The malt stands up to the hops and allows the bitterness to instantly bounce off the caramel malts instead of blasting you and lingering, like most American IPAs. Pine and grass are in the flavor, but are countered by a subtle and stable sweetness on the tongue and in the aftertaste.

A truly drinkable (double) IPA, with the strong malt responsible for the high alcohol. Not too intense, but with a killer taste.

Definitely a legendary American beer that deserves the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2008 20:11:24 | More by TrevorGW
Photo of welldigger888

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from growler to form a nice fluffy head that laced well, Good orange hue with maybe a touch of gold luster.
Ahhh the american IPA, nice malty tones that are complimentary of the american citrusy piney hops.If there is no AIPA in heaven, I do not want to go!
Resonous piney hop forward with smooth interplaying malt sweet bready. The lingering peppery finish drys just right.
Excellant carbonation and a nice creaminess.
The last time I had this I went late into the night in old sac town! Much to the chigrin of my wife, as she left me to stagger back to the motel, LOL. Good stuff here, seek and drink!

Serving type: growler

02-27-2011 01:51:22 | More by welldigger888
Photo of fbinla


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours white head that dissipates very quickly, amazingly clear light amber color. Nice bold hop smell. Strong but controlled bitterness, then easy malt flavors followed by the pine/citrus bitterness that lingers in your mouth with a touch of sweetness. Mouth feel is good, if the bitterness wasn't keeping it under control you could say it's slightly syrupy. Carbonation is perfect.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 07:21:54 | More by fbinla
Photo of kaseydad


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A golden colored ale with a nice fluffy head to it.

A fruity, sweet aroma with hints of pineapple and of the hop bitterness to come.

Major hoppy blast on the initial sip. As much as the hoppiness hits you, there is a smoothness on the swallow which makes for a nice combination.

I have always enjoyed this beer and though it took me awhile to review it, this is another great beer from the Bear Republic folks.

Job well done!

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2009 15:37:53 | More by kaseydad
Photo of patriot76

New York

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a pint glass

A- Cloudy amber in color with sediment. Nice 1 inch very dense head. Looks good and not too carbonated.

S- Great smelling beer. Floral hops combined with malt, brown sugar and rye. Smells more like a rye ale instead of an IPA. Can smell some alcohol as well. Extemely appetizing smell.

T- Right away you get the very nice floral hops with rye. A very smooth middle leads into a smooth yet nicely bitter finish. Although this is a full bodied strong IPA, it is very smooth. No grapefruit ending, rather bitter hops and lingering rye. Drinks a bit more like a rye ale.

M- Very smooth mouthfeel all around. This is not in the class of IPA that gives you cotton mouth. Low carbonation. Instead of the beer going to the back of palate as per usual with many, it seems to be everywhere.

D- Very nice, balanced and drinkable for a beer of this magnitude. All around a nice complex and flavorful beer that puts a different spin on an IPA. Not a traditional IPA, but very good none the less.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 03:00:18 | More by patriot76
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap. Same as my bottle review, just a wee bit more intense. Great hop flavors, great body, great drinkability. Piney, bitter hops dominate, but on tap more floral hops come through. Very good blend of bittering and aromatic. This beer is pretty damn good. I would recommend this one to any IPA fan. Went great with BBQ Chicken Pizza at Big City in Allston, MA.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2009 00:13:09 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of boogles


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Among the locally available Bear Republic bombers, I usually buy Hop Rod Rye. I couldn't remember why I don't alternate between Racer 5 and Hop Rod, because as good as Hop Rod is, this other beer must be outstanding. Well, it is, but it's not as good. It's not your typical IPA, which is good. It's nice and bitter, plenty of weedy goodness, with an extraordinary finish and aftertaste.

Its weakness is that it's initially sweet and a bit sticky, and the nose is not potent enough. Otherwise, it's great stuff. Not as good as the Hop Rod, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 01:48:07 | More by boogles
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,933 ratings.