1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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

5,583 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5583
Reviews: 2158
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%


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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,583 | Reviews: 2,158 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Cobrito
Cobrito

Georgia

2.7/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A popular but in my mind mediocre West Coast IPA. In some cases, like with BR's Hop Rod Rye, balanced is good in that the ingredients all contribute to a nice, complex brew. In Racer 5's case, it has been balanced into insipidness. Not nearly enough hop complexity for hop-heads, and there is an odd brackish taste at the front end of the palate as well. Very disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 02:10:16 | More by Cobrito
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.73/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this hopped up beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was hoppy smelling and poured a cloudy wheat looking color. The smell and taste also was like it had pineapple in it and was fruity beyond what I like tasting. I will not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 21:43:11 | More by Minkybut
Photo of ajayma
ajayma

Maryland

2.78/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

LOOK. Nice honey-colored tones. Dense head on the pour but short-lived.

AROMA. Green, zesty, fresh hops. Like hops right off the vine that you crush between between the palms of your hands.

BODY. Medium-heavy in body, oily, with a firm carbonation.

TASTE. Grabs you by the tongue right off the bat with a bitter, resinous, pine sap attack. Finishes with an oily, medicinally bitter finish. Malt is there, but feels like it's just hanging out, not really bringing enough to balance the harshness of the hops.

AFTERMATH. Not my favorite. I would have liked a little more balance. It smells really, really wonderful though.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 18:07:50 | More by ajayma
Photo of Bugsey
Bugsey

District of Columbia

2.78/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big disappointment.
I really didn't want a second one.

The after taste is just too bitter. The overall taste is not balanced, but is rather harsh.

The astringent quality in the taste and the mouth feel are overwhelming.

Pine, resin, grape fruit, just too harsh.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 15:39:39 | More by Bugsey
Photo of LPorter33
LPorter33

Massachusetts

2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Purchased 22oz bomber from Martignetti's

Appearance = Good looking murky, dark peach colored golden browm. Decent head which fades quickly but leaves some intricate lacing. Small bubbles rise up giving a mild sense of carbonation

Smell = Very piney fresh hop scent. Super clean and crisp. Citrus flavors are there although not as dominating as the pine flavor. Still a great, strong intense scent.

Taste = Hmm...strange tasting. My initial impression was one of severe disappointment. It's way too sour, almost like the hops have faded away. There's no umph or kick...just a bitter sourness like someone squeezed lemon juice in here. Mouthfeel is flat and has little carbonation which surprises me. I think this. As I drink more of this, I see the taste isn't awful, but it is WAY below the IPAs I'm used to drinking and contains absolutely nothing special or unique.

Overall = a serious disappointment considering Bear Republic's reputation. I had high hopes for this beer but I can think of 15 IPAs of the top fo my head that I'd buy before I try this one again. I hold IPAs to an extremely high standard and this one did not meet my constaints. Did I possibly get a bad bottle?

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2006 02:27:19 | More by LPorter33
Photo of DrewSnyc667
DrewSnyc667

Massachusetts

2.85/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz into a pint glass

A - Light amber to yellow, slightly hazy, almost no head

S - Strong citrus and floral hops

T - Big sweet sticky hops upfront, peaches and grapefruit Too much for. Almost no malt at all

M - Thin and heavy, cloying sweetness

O - Not my beer, just far to sweet

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 23:39:09 | More by DrewSnyc667
Photo of JRdaSconnie
JRdaSconnie

Wisconsin

2.89/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

S: bottle from mix & match, not refridgerated, poured into New Belgium globe and allowed to warm.

S: light piney, typical West Coast hop profile. Not strong on aroma. Stale crackers, musty grass.

A: bright gold, slightly hazy. Soapy, large bubbles drop from two finger head to just a layer. No lace, no legs.

T: again, not much going on. Some pine, citrus, orange pith bitterness. Malt is flat. Finishes slightly bitter.

M: thin body, no alcohol warmth, slick finish but bitterness coats mouth. Feel a trace of acid on teeth.

O: disappointed. Thinking this one hung out on a shelf for too long. May try again but not rushing to do so.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 19:19:51 | More by JRdaSconnie
Photo of minnunderground
minnunderground

Wisconsin

2.9/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber

clear amber color very light tan soapy head with some retention clinging, smells like pine and grass clippings, really a odd smell not like other ipas I have had. Seriously the smell reminds me of something more earthy. taste is a huge dissapointment. Malty with some pine hops at the end to back it up but very weak. Easy to drink since the flavor is weak. Not going to lie, my least favorite IPA I have had.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 03:43:05 | More by minnunderground
Photo of mschind
mschind

California

2.9/5  rDev -31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured from a bomber straight down the center and got a huge fluffy off white head. Nice retention and lacing. Great color, light copper and clear although there is some particulate in suspension. Had this upright in the fridge and everything looked well settled.

S- Tangerine and grass with malt in the background and some phenols. Complex.

T- Doesn't quite deliver on what the nose promises. Citrusy bitterness up front but there is a significant phenolic banana taste from the middle to finish which is not working for me. There is some harsh alcohol in the finish too.

M- Maybe it was the pour but this is a bit flat. Took it easy with the second glass but same result.

O- This is one to review again, maybe I got an old bottle or there was some other issue. Hope this is not typical because I have heard great things about this IPA

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 21:27:32 | More by mschind
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

2.91/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A-clear and golden with an oily surface
S-hops. Citrus and pine
T-very hop forward. Pine and grass this bitch is bitter
M-nice body fairly smooth given the in your face hop character
O-a in your face beer that loosens up after a few drinks but still is resiny and bitter in the finish that limits its drinkability

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2013 05:00:28 | More by deebo
Photo of HopJ
HopJ

California

2.93/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have drank Racer 5 on multiple occasions and often hear it acclaimed but I can't say it has ever inspired me. I finally decided to pay more attention to Race 5. While enjoying the aromatics, I find the rest of it rather ordinary and a bit out of balance. It also leaves me wanting a more complexity. The bitterness on the finish seems out of place. Happy to drink if it is served to me but not a beer I will be purchasing with my own money.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 21:05:23 | More by HopJ
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

2.95/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a three-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Fairly clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grassy/piney hoppy nose. Starts balanced with a hint of sweetness but the hops kick in and dominate, bitter grapefruit finish. Good IPA but I don't like the hops in-your-face which the brewer has done all too well. $4.55 for a 22 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 23:25:29 | More by jdhilt
Photo of bamojr
bamojr

Virginia

2.95/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Lost Dog cafe in McLean Va.
Golden cloudy color with no head when it got to the table.
A bit of citrus with some malt notes in the nose.
Malty and a bit bitter in the flavor. Not much going on here
a lot of bitter flavor, it must have a high IBU.
Not the best BR I've had

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 21:50:12 | More by bamojr
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, no date.

appears a pale yellow golden color, almost no head, just some soapy white foam that quickly fades. smells grassy, slightly vegetal. corny pale malt too. taste has very little malt flavor, just a little grainy. floral, grassy light hop flavors dominate. thin body, medium to high carbonation.

overall - not my type of IPA. by the flavor and color, it seems like its all base malt. needs more malt flavor and body for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 01:49:55 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Vaison
Vaison

Delaware

3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic tumbler.

A smooth golden color with a nice fluffy white 2 finger head. The smell was overwhelming with hops and I was unable to detect anything else. My wife commented from across the table that my beer smelled like flowers. The taste was just like the smell, an overkill of hops and and bitter citrus bite on the back end. Carbonation was average and it went down okay. It was an okay drink but not something I would purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 00:34:43 | More by Vaison
Photo of breyton490
breyton490

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought a 12 pack of 12oz bottles in Jan 2011 on the east coast.

Nice hop aroma, similar to what I remember when having this on tap in Heldsberg.

Very clear appearance, nice big rocky head.

Nice bittering, very good IPA, but not very drinkable. Mouth feel was thick and syrupy. Alcohol taste evident.

I don't think I could drink more than one or two bottles in a sitting due to the heavy, sticky, syrup texture of the beer. Prefer the dryer finish found in a Sierra Nevada or Russian River IPA (RR IPA or Blind Pig)

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 20:19:51 | More by breyton490
Photo of TATTORSO
TATTORSO

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a generous gimme from Beereality...
12 oz. bottle into an Imperial Pint glass.

A short pout produced a creamy, butter colored 1 finger head. Beer pours a hazy, golden straw color. Spotty, dripping lace.

Smells of dusty, piney hops & citrus rind. Nothing special.

The taste is hop forward & a little unbalanced. Spicy & a little sharp on the front. Citrus backgrounds noted in the bitter, dry finish. Alcohol presence throughout.

Lighter bodied with ample carbonation. Crisp & tart with a manageable ABV.

It's taking a little while for me to appreciate IPA's. While not a preferred style, it wasn't too bad & I'm glad I had an opportunity to try it....

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 03:27:53 | More by TATTORSO
Photo of grannaniwa
grannaniwa

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma of spicy, sticky hops. Straight-forward American IPA profile. First taste is deep, earthy, pungent hops. Almost syrupy on the mouthfeel. A little bit of thin sweetness on the backend, and then the aftertaste is hardly hoppy at all compared to the nose and sipping flavor.

Well-made, but comes off as one-dimensional to my tastes.

“This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial.”

Overall: B

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 02:33:57 | More by grannaniwa
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have rarely seen a head this chunky. Super Chunk. So much lacing too. intriguing to watch. Very Clear pale golden body.
Aroma is less potent then i suspected, but citrus is the theme coming through the pipeline here. Same thing with the aroma, it's mostly a citrus show, but there is baked biscuit and subtle caramel in here. Wish i had a bottle date. Has good flavors but the amplitude needs to go up a few levels. I can tell this is a good beer, but i'll pass on it until they get me some bottle dating.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 02:50:32 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of chocosushi
chocosushi

Oklahoma

3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A ~ The definition of toffee with a creamy carbonated, yet lacking head. Looks like an EIPA.

S ~ Heavy tree resins & bark with heavy burnt citrus. Hints of chili pepper spice & malt.

T ~ LOTS of tree resin with a heavy biscuit-malt backbone. Touch of grapefruit & honestly picking up vanilla & cocoa somehow. There's mango, orange peel, & spicy hops, as well. Booze.

M ~ Crisp & bitter, but it seems like it should have a higher ABV for the taste, as it is very "hot." I had to pour out the last 1/4, I just was not feeling the balance on this one. Too Resinous for a non-imperial IPA in my opinion.

D ~ It was poorly toeing the line between hop-bomb & malt balance. Boozy and very spicy, I was turned off but what they were going for with this one. As resinous as a IIPA without the cleverly masked ABV. Wouldn't recommend.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 03:38:17 | More by chocosushi
Photo of TAMU99
TAMU99

Guam

3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just can't get really exctited.

Pours a ever-so-slightly hazy dark yellow. Medium head dissipated slowly. Some lacing left on the glass.
Scents of bread, citrus and hops.
Taste is all hops, with a finish of alcohol. The hops aren't bad. Just simple. Like a canvas painted a single bright color. Not ugly, just doesn't hold your attention that long. There is a grapefruit rind taste that lingers on the back and sides of the tongue...because it's an IPA. There is a very slight alcoholic zing with every third sip or so. Mouthfeel is meh. That bitterness lingers a bit too long. Overall - good for a 6-pack. Well brewed, but not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 12:16:48 | More by TAMU99
Photo of juankzas
juankzas

Mexico

3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Served in an imperial pint glass from a 22oz bomber. Orangey gold with a clear beige head that dissipates quickly to a creamy froth. Very cloudy, lots of sediment.

S: Just hoppy bitterness, missed some citrus and floral aromas.

T: The same hoppy bitterness, a bit unidimensional, expected a more complex beer.

M: Good carbonation, as said before heavy on the sediments.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 16:19:12 | More by juankzas
Photo of DrewV
DrewV

New York

3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My rating system:
A to A+: An occasional treat. Don't destroy this brew's greatness by drinking it too often.
B to A-: Mid level brew. Good beer to keep around in the standard rotation as a better-than-average brew. Not quite top shelf, but really good.
B- to D+: Okay to drink every once in a while, but not part of a standard rotation. Nothing special, but not offensive.
D and below: Avoid this brew. Not worth drinking more than once, if only to experience the lower end of beer production.

A: Pours a cloudy orangy-gold (due to the sediment) with a half-finger cream colored head. Not much lacing.

S: Some citrusy aromas, traditional grapefruit/mango/etc. A decent enough smell, probably this brew's best characteristic.

T: Bitter grapefruity brew with some other underlying citrus flavors, without the balancing sweetness. One-dimensional flavor profile, but not offensive. Just nothing I would reach for again.

M: Watery mouthfeel, low carbonation. Doesn't refresh the palate.

O: A decent brew, but nothing more. Certainly one-dimensional, with the hops taking the lead from the start and never giving way to the malts. Bitter without being sweet, I didn't find much refreshment here. Oddly, this is slightly "watery", with a faded flavor profile, similar to Bear Republic's Big Bear Black Stout, which was equally unimpressive. I'm being generous giving this a B-.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 22:32:19 | More by DrewV
Photo of ManofWax
ManofWax

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Given the positive reviews on BA, I was pretty disappointed in this beer. I love Hop Rod Rye, so I thought I'd check out this other Bear Republic Brew.

A: A reddish gold with a buttermilk-colored head, about 2mm thick. Nice complementary colors.

S: Smelled of vegetables initially, before giving way to a portentious suggary quality.

T: I did not taste nearly as much hops in this brew as I expected. It was malt through and through. Hints of corriander (said my tasting mates) and fruits, but just too sweet. Not nearly bitter enough.

M: Goes down smooth as can be. Medium body, could stand to be more carbonated.

D: I can't think of too many situations in which I would want to drink this. Overall, a middling experience. Perhaps I had a bad batch.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2007 15:20:41 | More by ManofWax
Photo of C20Percent
C20Percent

Virginia

3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

*Review taken from notes*

A: Hazy golden orange with pieces of sediment visible. Poor head retention.

S: A standard citrusy, earthy hoppiness.

T: Hoppy with a poor finish. Much too boozy, IMO. Needs more flavor. Alcohol is just overpowering all other flavors.

M: Heavy body. Syrupy. Not very easy drinking.

O: Average IPA. In comparison, Yards IPA has the same abv, but with a better flavor with a better management of alcohol. I might try this another time just to see if I got an old batch.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 23:20:40 | More by C20Percent
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,583 ratings.