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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,268 Reviews
For Trade:
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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: 7,375
Photo of smanson56
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass a medium yellow orange color. Not as dark as a lot of west coast IPA's. The nose has some tropical fruits along with some piney resins. The malt was not really present in the nose. The taste was that of a good American IPA lots of citrus from the hops along with a nice bitter finish. The mouth feel was good. A better than average American IPA IMO.

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

Really nice basic IPA. It didn't blow me away, but it did hit all of the things you want in a good IPA. Nice nose with fruity notes and good balanced flavor with backend bitterness.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a bronzed golden amber to orange color with a light transparency allowing a fine carbonation to be seen rising at a moderate pace. One finger white foamy head displaces and is replaced by some messy stringy lacing.
The smell had a wonderful burst of bitter piney/resinous hops to citrusy hops. An evenly settled caramel malt is pretty far in the background of this beer.
The taste was purely bittersweet all throughout the entire consumption. Never lost a step in the movement of this down my throat.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium in body with a fantastic sessionability. Carbonation feels good for an AIPA and for me as enough hops burst on the scene to lead the charge for who's to claim the harshness on my tongue - hops win - which is good!
Overall, AIPA fans in the distro of this, you'd better "race" out there to get this when its fresh. Why? Because you don't have to stand in line just to try it.

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Photo of cyguyjg
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate to have this on draft. However, the lights in the pub were low so I didn't get a good look at it. Nonetheless it had a light but persistent head. The taste was amazing. Very smooth and thought the hops were evident, they were also subtle... satisfying to perhaps all but those who must have the hops forward Double and Imperial IPAs. This would make a great session IPA if not for the moderately high ABV.

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

I have had the pleasure of drinking many IPAs and this has been my favorite for over a year and a half. My liquor stocked the 22oz. and I requested the 6 pack glass bottles which is $11.29 out the door. The 22s are $5.40 so obviously the 6 pack is a better deal. This beer has it all. It has those amazing citrus notes as well as a deliciously bitter taste. Not for those who don't like a strong beer as 2 12oz. bottles will leave you buzzed if you down it fast enough. Whenever this is not in stock (which pisses me off) I reach for a Ruination as it's the only other beer that satisfies my IPA craving. Super reluctant to grab anything else (and feel like I am cheating on Racer) and you better believe my glass recycling is all racer bottles!

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a pint glass at steiners in sonoma. Solid overall IPA, and one of the 1st....but not refined or enough depth to be the best. Strong citrus pine and resin smell with a bitter undertone to the taste. Needs better balance of hops and possibly a mix of hops smell/taste to take to the next level

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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 Franziskaner
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Copper colored with good clarity. There's an inch of off white to light tan rocky head. Aroma is pungent citrus and tropical hops. I taste plenty of citrus hops, but this is also balanced with plenty of light malt. The mouth is a bit chewy and sticky.

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Photo of ksimons
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber color with white head that sticks to the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, tropical fruits, and citrus. Taste is similar to the smell, super drinkable with caramel malts, tropical fruits, citrus, and earthy hops. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Overall a very enjoyable and drinkable IPA, the glass is empty before you know it.

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Photo of DaveDay5
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. . The latest in my IPA taste comparison (bottles). Heads and shoulders above any others I've tried. Amazing from first sip to finish. Deep gold with clear, subtle carbonation. Piney citrus hops presence in the nose and a rich malt backbone. The flavors mixed and mingled on the tongue in a way that I couldn't wait for the next sip to see how it would taste. Excellent IPA. Definitely recommending this and drinking it again.

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Photo of Safa1
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Somewhere in between the last spring sample and the newest autumn sampler rush at the beer store, this beer became my go to. Its a pale ale more in the style of Sierra nevada pale ale as opposed to the torpedo...Get it? Its a like India Pale ale that is the absolute BEST BEER THAT YOUR MONEY CAN BUY. It clocks in at 7.5 and is usually less than 5 bucks. Its good. Its so good that I usually buy one with whatever else I am buying at the time, Like today. I bought sixers of ace pineapple, and Michelob Amberbock, as well as the new DOGFISH PUNK...I got a 22 of Racer 5. Its perfect for that, get beer, start or enjoy a racer 5 somewhere early or middle. Its good/great and cheap. Ballast Point is worth every fucking penny, but sometimes it hurts to spend 50 bucks on 5 22 ounce beers, or 14 god damned dollars a 6 pack, of cans....[email protected] six pack....Next time you want to do that...Get a couple of 22's of racer 5. Thank me later.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy orange golden color with a one finger off white head that hangs around for a little bit before gently dieing. Lacing was kinda messy.
The smell had a really nice blend of tropical and citrus fruits with a really light sweet malt in the background.
The taste follows the smell very nicely and leads into the aftertaste and finds it's way into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a decent drinkable feel to it. Bitterness does hit nicely as an AIPA.
Overall, really nice AIPA, super glad to try, I'd definitely have again.

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Photo of Bone53
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best By 12/01/15

Appearance: hazy orange golden color with a two finger creamy off white head that sticks around. Plenty of lacing. One of the better looking IPAs my eyes have laid on

Smell: A wonderful bouquet of tropical and citrus fruits and pine with a subtle sweet malt undertone

Taste: Tropical fruits upfront, pine midpalate, finishes piney and citrusy. I get more malt in the taste than the smell

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied; Super smooth and creamy with a dry bitter finish

Overall: I could see this being a top tier IPA back in the day, and i probably would have rated it higher even five years ago. There are newer IPAs with a better hop profile, but this is one of the better oldschool ones. The look and mouthfeel alone are worth picking this up.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look - A beautiful slightly hazy golden apricot color
Smell - Tons of floral, spice, citrus, sweet malts
Taste - Taste follows the nose. Very floral, spice notes, earthy, a splash of citrus, some dankness on the back end

Overall - If you love beers like DFH 90min, Two Hearted and Victories Hop Devil you'll definitely like this one. A very well done IPA. It's just not the tropical juice bomb that I personally love.

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

Pours a nice golden color with some yeast and little clarity. Smell of sweet piney and resinous hops, some citrus. Nice clean taste on the first sip. Some sweetness, but nothing overbearing, and a nice clean resiny pine taste. Goes down very smooth. This tastes more east coast style than west coast to me. Maybe just the style of hops, not overly malty though which is a plus.

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Photo of Srs5768
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can still think back to the first time I cracked a Racer 5 -- from the first sip to the last, I realized nothing would ever be the same again. In a beer world drenched with an astounding amount of outstanding IPAs, Bear's classic not only still stands strong, but continues to inspire and guide the path forward.

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Photo of TomChiari777
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Found some tiny floaties in it but didn't bother me. The aroma was fantastic and the taste was crisp with citrus notes and fresh hop goodness. One of my favorite beers for sure.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewpub. A very well done beer with complex flavor and nice aroma. Will seek this one out if available at the bottle shop. Highly recommended!

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Photo of fx20736
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 8/1/15 from Beers of the World. Served cold in a Duvel tulip. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.Hazy apricot. A pork pie mound of offwhite head, tatters of lacing. Aroma of tropical fruit and citrus. Flavor of orange marmalade and grapefruit atop bready malt. Mouthfeel is thick and full. This is a tasty beer. thick

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a hazy golden yellow color with a medium white head. The aroma is very citrusy, orange, grapefruit, very tropical,and some pine. The taste is more of the same.The alcohol is hidden quite well.

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Photo of DonnieHops
2.6/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The most overrated beer on beer advocate....

Had in a bottle and on tap..... Both underwhelming and non descript.... Sold as a bartender in a few spots and never had a repeat sale....

Don't get this one at all....

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

have had this in bottle and on draft.

this beer just has a great taste and feel. tastes like many other IPAs yet is way better. has a unique taste but seems to be the "model" for IPAs. great in so many ways.

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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 Beerds
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Excellent pour, great color and nice thick foamy head. Great taste and very smooth going down. Unique aftertaste still can't pinpoint exactly what the taste is. Leaves you smacking for another sip, which I don't mind taking.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, pale golden yellow. Fairly frothy and large off white cap that has excllent rentention.

Aromas are basically non existent. Faint pale malts and citrus. Doesnt smell bad or good. Somehow, just nothing there.

Tastes good, but nothing crazy either way. I read Chinook hops. I get that. Mainly just in the form of being bitter at the end. Othherwise, just a lot of muted flavor malt, pine, citrus.

Body is nice. Full and slightly creamy.

I am not sure of the age of this beer, but it was in a cooler. I say this because it is nowhere close to the ratings for me. I know I am in the minority. It just doesnt offer me anything other than not being offensive in any way. I would score this better as a pale ale truthfully.

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