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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,231 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,231
Hads: 7,129
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 294
Gots: 996 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,231 | Hads: 7,129
Photo of Mike_Moe
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark golden color light brown head.
Aroma: Very good spicy smell. Fruity banana hops aroma coming through.
Flavor: Spicy banana flavor, ending slight sweet and hoppy. This is a full bodied smooth beer.
Overall: This is a very flavorful smooth IPA. Has a very good spicy banana flavor, with quite a hoppy finish. Bold, smooth, delish. You can't stop drinking them. (378 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a clear plastic hotel cup, honey amber colored with a nice white head that dissipates leaving good lacing, clear

S: floral and citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, bright light pine

T: bitter grapefruit peel up front, middle sweetens with citrus orange pineapple lemon, finish is bitter with light floral

M: medium with good carbonation

O: very solid West Coast IPA, good balance of bitter and sweet (432 characters)

Photo of Isrealite
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best I.P.A.s, and one of the best overall beers I have ever had! This one is as hopped up as Rob Ford at a crack house during one of his drunken stupors. Much like the Toronto Mayor, this one will knock you down if you are not careful! The look and the smell are just as intoxicating as the brew itself. I would like to proclaim that it possesses the perfect I.P.A. aroma! I love the racer theme bottle and pretty much everything about this beer...except for the price unfortunately. It is definitely worth ten dollars for a six pack, but just as much as steak dinner is worth the price, it is not practical to have all of time. This is worthy of being called the steak dinner of beers, and I would highly X 5 recommend it. (734 characters)

Photo of patpbr
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden colored pour with a small head
S - Big on citrus and grapefruit, a little orange and pine
T - great flavor that is simlar to the smell with grapefruit and citrus. Bitter with pine and a good addition of malts
M - lots of carbonation and a body on the light side of medium. Leaves a nice hoppy flavor
O - I had a bomber of it years ago and never reviewed it. I just found it in a six pack and will be going back and picking up another. (448 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Golden body with a few floaters mixed in. Frothy white head that fades slightly, but stays around for a while. Very clear transparency.

S- Piney hops with hints of citrus and tropical fruits. Sweet malt presence is there as well, but the hops are at the forefront.

T- Piney hops with hints of citrus and pineapple. Sweet malt sneaks in about half way trough, but the pine and tropical fruit flavors take back over in the finish.

M- Medium carbonation, medium bodied, somewhat creamy, very smooth.

O- Very nice IPA. A great example of being hop forward, but having enough of a malt backbone to balance it out. (615 characters)

Photo of hopflyer
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this before about 2 yrs ago. Actually a sixtel for my kegerator. Liked it but not sure why I haven't revisited now.

Bottled 10/13/13

Pretty clear gold/copper mix with some suspended sediment. Soapy head dissipates quickly.

Not overly pungent but hops are there in form of mostly orange rind to me

Really well balanced in the taste. Touch of bitterness, touch of citrusy hops, touch of piney hops, all backed up by bready malt. Some diacytl in the aftertaste.

Syrupy and thick. Coats the mouth from the first sip. could use a bit more carbonation.

I remembered this being really hoppy but maybe my palate has adjusted since I had this 2 years ago. Nonetheless, I like the balance in this and would certainly have again. My tendencies now though lean towards something a bit hoppier. (792 characters)

Photo of berlinabb
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This full bodied 2nd Tier IPA is exceptional on tap, one of my favorites. In bottles it tends to loose some crispness. Similar to Green Flash West Coast IPA and Ruination, but I'd take Racer any day.

Anthill Pub & Grill sells $12/pitcher $4.50/pints (250 characters)

Photo of pinyin
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finally found this on draft at Newberry's Yard Of Ale in Stroudsburg. I had previously tried it in bottles in a six pack found at Key Foods in the city.

This IPA is definitely a top 5 in my book. I have never tried any of the Pliny's but right now I would rank this third in my top 5 IPA's.

1. Heady Topper
2. Stone Enjoy By
3. Racer 5
4. Ballast Point Sculpin
5. Two Hearted

Racer 5 reminds me of Stone Ruination but not as sugary, and definitely more floral. Has a very similar mouth feel and aftertaste, but less filling and more balanced. For whatever reason I really do like the flowery hops, and the hop blend in Racer 5 is very well balanced. Coloring isn't the best, nor is the smell, but it is a really great tasting IPA. If you haven't yet tried it, do so asap. You won't be disappointed.

I never took this brewer seriously because I always looked at the packaging on Racer 5 and thought theres no way that an IPA with a simple gimmicky logo could taste this great, but I was certainly wrong, and now this is one of my goto's. (1,040 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Straw coloured with a juicy juicy citrus nose and dry limes. Taste is full on hops with a deep rich character, earthy, herbal hops and a sharp start and then a dry herbal bitter finish
Mouthfeel has a sharp citrus start then mellows into herbal hops and mildly nutty malts, mod carbonation. Good all round session ipa, quite bitter but nice balance and really fresh. (367 characters)

Photo of Maltenbach
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle. Pours golden with a frothy head that dissipates to a one-inch rocky head. Good retention. Nice aromas of pine and citrus, but also biscuit, caramel and herbal tones. Upfront flavors of butterscotch, herbs, leather and grapefruit. Finishes with a hint dried apricot, citrus and some resiny notes that are less than pleasing. Noticeably higher alcohol content. There are some significant herbal flavors in this beer that don't seem to work too well. I was expecting a traditional IPA, but this is maltier and not as strongly hopped. Creamy mouthfeel that leaves a syrupy coating on the tongue. Not your typical IPA, and not the best IPA I've had. Not a bad beer, but it's almost as if this beer can't decide what it's supposed to be. (746 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeah, this is the one. This is the one that you hope you can always go back to. Double double from In-N-Out (back in my meat days), fresh squeezed juice from Mother's Market, that girl that...yeah, her. It's always nice to have those "go to's" that you know will always be there. And Racer 5? Yeeeep!

Juicy, smooth, balanced like the Beatles in Stereo...

Go my children, go now. (381 characters)

Photo of Glennlawless
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A - hazy yellow with a one finger head. Awesome lacing all over the glass.

S - smell peaches,grapefruit,Carmel malt, little pine.

T - wow this is good- it reminds me a lot of southern teir double ipa- hoppy as hell, but no bite at the end at all- so smooth. Just a citrusy pine hop bomb that dies right after the swallow replaced by sweet malt.

M- medium body, highly carbonated.

Overall, this is my style beer all the way- not over the top bitter at the finish but still super hoppy. This is great. Fresh it has to be awesome!? (576 characters)

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aroma - Faint pines, grapefruit, hops, mango, sugared caramel.
Appearance - Really pretty yellowish orange with some great lacing.
Taste - Nice bitter hop bite with a really nice juiced grapefruit, peach, lemon fruity characteristic. Sweet orange peel, caramel, grains and slick syrupy molasses.
Overall - Really just a fantastic beer. It's my favorite. A great introduction to IPA's and craft beer. Just never any going wrong with this one. (443 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Racer 5 pours a clear gold with a two finger head. The smell is hops all the way, citrus and pine and even with some minor allergies it just comes through. The taste follows the nose and there are malts present. Mouth feel is medium body and sticky.

A nice beer, but I fear my bottle was a little past its prime. Would love an opportunity to have this fresh. (401 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Clean light golden color with a monster 2.5-3 finger pure white head. Impressive retention. I really like the look of this one.

S- Big citrus and some melon notes. Honey dew, grapefruit, orange pith. Balanced comes through with the malt base of sweet pale malts and caramel.

T- Follows nose well. A flavorful, sweet ipa. with an absolutely sensational finish that leaves me wanting more with each sip. So balanced. Could use a little more IBU bitterness, but don't mind where its at.

M- Soft, palatable, drinkable, mid body. Stays true to the style. On the high side with the carbonation, but I actually prefer it.

O- One of the better IPAs i have had recently. I understand why this one is so well regarded. It competes with the best of them in a very competitive class. (780 characters)

Photo of tmm313
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is gorgeous. Bright amber color with 1 finger, creamy head. Great lacing.

Smell is amazing. Tropical fruit, tangerine, orange, malt, pine, and a little lemon.

Taste is hop forward, but you taste the malt almost immediately following. Good mix of sweet grapefruit and pine. Finishes with slight booze and lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Gradually morphs into a sticky, oily coating.

Overall: Very satisfied. My favorite feature was the smell, but very well balanced as a whole. Would definitely have again. (531 characters)

Photo of brewbattles
3.19/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

We did a blind taste test between this beer and 4 others to determine which was a better IPA. The beers that were competing were: Stone IPA, Big Sky IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5, Lagunitas IPA, and Full Sail IPA. Here is the video:

http://youtu.be/AAPlYzFD4m8 (258 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

120z bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Bottled date of 8/14/13, so a little under 2 months

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a generous 2 finger frothy white head. Head diminished to a little under a finger and maintained to the end. Excellent small carbonation bubbles. Some lacing.

Smell is fresh & fruity citrus hops

Taste is outstanding. Mostly grapefruit. Incredibly refreshing.

Mouth is between full & medium, really nice on the tongue.

This is a top notch IPA, and a no-brainer go to beer. (510 characters)

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottles 8/27 so just over a month old, not bad for this beer around these parts, had previously reviewed it in my younger days but decided to see if my tastes have changed and delete my old review for a new.

Pours a hazy light orange color, half a finger of white head, nice lacing.

Smell is orange, lemon, grapefruit. apple, pine sap.

Taste is damn near perfect, lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, resin, pine bitterness, almost a minty hop coming through in the backend. finishes very bitter, with underlying sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, fine carbonation fills it up nicely.

Great beer, wish I could find it fresh around here more. Would be a staple for sure if I could. (704 characters)

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

A beautiful, well balanced IPA that is full of flavour.

aroma: spice, malt, grapefruit, citrus. slight pine and some Christmas tree

Taste: pine sap, slight spice, slight eucalyptus, grapefruit, slight citrus and orange marmalade with nice malt to balance it all.

big hoppy beer with big flavour and variety of flavours - very well balanced (342 characters)

Photo of Act25
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A favorite. Up there with Ballast Pt Sculpin, Stone, Titan, Dales Pale Ale.

A - Pours a glowing orange amber, sudsy two inch head that leaves islands and lace down the glass. Nice carbonation, great look. Shining. Lighter in color and glowing!

S - Huge citrus hops, multi-layered due to many hops genres, and a gobs of pine sap. Like a fresh cut saw mill .Some sticky light cracker sweet notes as well. Very fresh, lots of resin. Inviting!

T - Fresh, sticky, resin hoppy delight. Fresh cut grass, hay, coastal trail herbs, and orange peel. Some light sugar, but hops all the way up the trail. Sunny, bright, nice coastal sting, like a dive into 54 degree pacific.

M - smooth and sticky. Good weight, nice carbonation, perfect finish.

Overall - one of the top IPAs, must try. Perhaps will become your favorite. (819 characters)

Photo of joeworrall
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

tonight I am comparing this beer vs. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid vs. Great Divide Hercules in my search for the perfect IPA.

poured from a bottle into a lager glass, it's honey colored with a nice head. Very un-hopped aroma compared to the other two beers, but the flavor is very balanced: it has a subtle hop flavor with just the right amount of malt. Very easy to drink, in fact, you need to be careful not to drink too quickly because this is not a low alcohol beverage.

of the 3 beers I'm tasting tonght, this is the most balanced, but least IPA-like: the hop flavor is so subtle.

I'll keep searching for the perfect IPA, but I will definitely be drinking Racer 5 again! (671 characters)

Photo of brurevu
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Bear Republic Racer 5 was a flat out excellent IPA. It poured a great golden color with a nice white head and plenty of citrusy hops in the aroma. It was a perfectly balanced IPA with plenty of citrus hops and a slight hint of pine bitterness to keep it interesting. It has to be one of the top IPAs for me. There is not much else to say about the Racer 5 other than it is Fantastic. (387 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Could not locate the yellow-ink bottle date, but this was purchased nearly three months ago and got lost amongst others, so the hop profile is likely weaker than a fresher batch.

Poured into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Semi-clear dark gold/light amber with a finger thick white head which dissipated quickly to heavy surface foam and considerable lacing.

s: Moderate floral/pine.

t: Medium strength pine hops over a light malt base. Somewhat bitter aftertaste lingers at the back of the tongue but not bothersomely so. Improves in tastiness near the end.

m: Lighter than many IPAs without being watery, which is one of this brew's strong points as a drink for warm summer weather. Not so warm now where this reviewer is, so that is not as impressive as it might have been.

o: Despite the age of the sample bottle tested, this is a tasty and refreshing middle level IPA. (902 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

"Racer 5 is an aggressive styled India Pale Ale. Handmade from a brewery whose motto is "Bigger is Better". This golden, well hopped, bottle-conditioned ale demands your attention. Try the next generation of I.P.A. Racer 5...Go..Go.."

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip. Served north of 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a pale golden eggshell white head of a whipped creamy consistency over a golden amber body. There is moderate accelerated carbonation and medium flecked sediment for a subtle haze. Retention is good, lacing is thin and drooped, spotty in places. Overall it's a pretty solid-looking IPA. 4.5

(Smell) Aromas of big citrus and floral hops. Orange peel, lemon pith and lesser grapefruit forward, great values of hop aroma as well as perceivable bitterness. Malt body is pale with a very clean caramel, providing a mellow sweetness to pair. The balance is very bright, very few perceivable imperfections and alcohol is well tucked away. Potency is medium/high. It's a really fantastic smelling IPA, great big happy hop notes that are definitive for a west-coast style IPA. 4.5

(Taste) Malt profile gives a bit more notice to the flavor, with a very clean, modestly sweet caramel pinch. There's very little toasting of the grain, clean and to-the point but the sweetness comes through more in the flavor. The strength of the hops tones down a note or two in the flavor, a little less citrus brightness but a remaining big flavor, with a more refined citrus and floral balance, still lots of juicy full hop flavors. Very clean, incredibly drinkable and with a welcome humble bitterness that pairs ideally with the spot-on flavors of this IPA. Nothing is over the top here. It may not be the most in-your-face showcase of west coast hop flavor and bitterness, but this does a great job at balancing the flavors and promoting drinkability. There's no question to whether I'm going to be able to finish this bomber by myself as this is an incredibly quaffable beer. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, clean and smooth with a very faintly dry finish. Carbonation adds a bit of froth and creaminess to the texture, nothing stings the tongue here. Body is medium for an India Pale Ale, just shy of medium overall. Alcohol profile is low. There may be some scoffers at Bear Republic for not going the spritely and sharp carbonation route, as it may have enhanced the citrus somewhat, but the enjoyment lies in the balance of this beer. 4

(Overall) Apart from competing west-coast IPAs this beer has some unique qualities that make it stand out. I draw attention mostly to the use of a simple, yet flavorful clean caramel malt build, a smooth, quaffable texture against other IPAs and a great balance of hop flavor and bitterness that amicably showcases the juiciness of these flavorful citrus and subtle floral hop notes. A deserving champion amongst thousands of India Pale Ale contenders, and a beer that I don't regret picking out from California. I do, in fact regret grabbing only one. 4.25

Bear Republic Brewing Company's
Racer 5 India Pale Ale
4.4/5.00 (3,078 characters)

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,231 ratings.