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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.

2,230 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,230
Hads: 7,125
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 293
Gots: 990 | 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: 2,230 | Hads: 7,125
Photo of IceAce
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light-copper body poured with less than one finger of foam due in large part to a lack of skill behind the bar. Lacing was exceptional (80%) all the way down to the last drop.

Aroma: Hoppy / sweet nose with a delightful citrus undertone. The high quality malt also makes an appearance.

Taste: Very bright foretaste with a refreshing role played by the CO². Light on the palate for an IPA with a very good West Coast style finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice malt / hop balance with a complimentary CO² level.

Drinkability: A pleasure to consume from start to finish...definitely recommended. (606 characters)

Photo of longarm
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear and orange. Good carbonation. The bottle conditioning (22 oz.) makes it somewhat difficult to achieve clarity at the end of the pour, but this is not a big deal.

Aroma balances citrus hops with a foundation of caramel malt. Has a typical NW-U.S. hops character to it.

Flavor is mildly bitter, but like the aroma, hops is balanced with a solid dose of caramel malt. A slightly astrignent aftertaste and bite in the finish diminishes the overall quality. Hop flavor weighted more towards pine than citrus.

Lots of body and lingering sweetness make it a little heavy, but also not bad for the style.

Drinkability. This is basically a hophead's delight, but it's also on the moderately flavored for an American IPA. For anyone attempting an American IPA for the first time, it's a good example of the style that won't overwhelm. (859 characters)

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

I first had this on-tap at the 2002 Oregon Brewer's Festival in Portland. I visited the brewery the next year and this year I brought a bottle back from San Diego to share with two friends in Florida.

As I remembered, this is a good IPA. It's a real West Coast styled IPA: nice and hoppy. My friend and homebrew partner Alec said he tasted blueberry in this brew! I can't say I tasted the same but there are complex flavors in this brew.

Bear Republic is a great little brewery and brewpub. If you live in their small distribution area I'm guessing you've already tried their brews. Too bad the rest of us can't enjoy their good beer. (640 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Go speed racer go speed racer go,sorry.Pours a light golden with a orange tint to it as I neared the bottem of my bottle the chunks and floaties came.A very floral aroma poured a foot and a half away from my nose and picked up the citrus and piney aroma very tantalizing and bold.Taste is a hop heads dream but there is a firm malt backbone very piney almost medicinal in its hop character with a light nuttiness coming thru late.A hop fix for me really liked this beer wish I had more. (486 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazey orange/amber colored ale with a nice off white head, no lace. A lovely hop boquet both piney and a sweet grapefruit intertwined. A sharp piney hops at the start of the taste with a smooth hint of grapefruit sweetness on the finish. Another good west coast IPA. (277 characters)

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

Bear Republic is becoming one of my favorite breweries, and it's all because of the hops. Anyway. Racer 5 pours an orange-golden with a fluffy, off-white head. Smells of big, piney, resiny, citrus-tinged hops. But there's also a sweet, sugary malt backbone. Taste is much like the smell. Nice, sugary malt backbone up front, followed by big, fresh evergreen logs, dipped in grapefruit juice. Dry finish, with lingering maltiness. Full-bodied, chewy malts, yum. One of my favorite West Coast IPAs. (496 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap, Toronado, San Francisco. Pretty hoppy and bitter, citrus rind, lychee, pine. Intense, but nice softness round the edges, and really good balance, which setes it apart from the slightly stickier versions of the style you find in the US, really well made and just plain tasty. Yummy stuff. (292 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a crisp orange colour with a bubbly, foamy head that sticks all over the glass. smell is a balanced mix of caramel, other sweet candy, hops, bread, coconut and bubble gum. no one thing dominates here. the flavour weighs a bit mor eto the hop/bread side than the sweetness picked up in the nose, though that characteristic is still here in the flavour. starts out a bit sweet and juicy even, then moves into a touch of malt biscuit flavour before being hit with a full on hop attack that, while not huge, is a nice kick in flavour and mouthfeel. an overall tasty ipa from bear republic. (591 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amberish color with a fluffy off-white colored head. Big sprucy, Columbus hoppy nose and some bready, grainy, caramel-like malt sweetness in the nose. Malty sweet and grassy up front and a hop smackdown that puts you in the Figure Four leglock and doesn't let go. Dry resiny, hop oily finish. Alcohol is noticable, but behind all those delicious hops, who cares. Finely crafted IPA, and hands-down one of the finest IPAs in the country. Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries, and we've desperately trying with our Pennsylvania distributors to get in contact with these guys and get their great beers here. The sound of dragging feet is deafening. Good thing I stocked up on a recent trip to New York. I don't want to get to into the East Coast/West Coast thing because it sounds like early 90's gangsta rap, but this the real deal in what would be classified as a West Coast-style IPA. (908 characters)

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber hue, paper thin bright white head, decent lacing maintained. A decent hop/citrus nose, you can nearly smell a 1/2 pound of beautiful hops awaiting to be destroyed! Pine and citrusy offerings, very well balanced up front; the obvious hop presence is felt, thick and creamy. Juicy hops in the body, backed with a decent malt-base. Finishes a touch piney and dry, yet very satisfying, a top-five IPA in my book! (427 characters)

Photo of Southernbrew
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark bronze color, very minimal head.

Big citrus hoppy aroma, balanced by the malt. Definite floral and sweetness as well.

Medium body, lots of prickly carbonation. Very crisp floral and citrus hop blend that quickly shows a light caramel sweetness. Becomes slightly bitter in the end and leaves a dry, citrusy aftertaste.

A very nice IPA, more than just the big piney/citrusy IPA's so common. (408 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ample fruity hops are backed by sweet malt notes which make Racer 5, for as big a beer as it is, suprisingly well balanced. It's not about the IBUs with this beer, it's about the flavor, and Racer 5 drinks as though the brewers thought long and hard about which hops would match with this concentration of malt. Floral, green, and spicy at first, the beer develops into a honeyed, even somewhat grapey brew that fumes with herbal hop oil.

The bittering is almost unbearably ripening and unlike anything I've ever had. Instead of striking the back of my tongue, the beer floats right on by and the bittering doesn't kick in until this jet fuel hits the back of my throat. The latent finish from the bittering is oddly of grass and mentholated licorice.

This is a tightrope walk above an orchard of fruit and a pit of wildfire crackling pine needles; the wind is calm, the feet secure.

Relax, relax.
ng (910 characters)

Photo of carln26
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper, with a nice head. No lace to speak of from the bomber I had. WOW, citrus, grass, flowers from the nose. This is a hops forward beer. An explosion of fresh hops on your tongue when you drink. Because it appears so fresh, the flavor is of grass and flowers, with a slight bitterness on the back, It has a nice mild mouth feel, and a great dinkability. (371 characters)

Photo of oggg
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a gorgeous brown yellow, with a tempting dense tan head. The nose is a little lacking. I get malt and alcohol and a little bit of hop aroma. The hop taste is also underwhelming. Lots of nice malt and a fair amount of alcohol. The hops are complex with a little citrus and little something else. I could not find a freshness date, so I definitely need to try this again, maybe on tap. (399 characters)

Photo of dmbfrat420beers
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - 22 oz. bomber with racing flag background and golden bear. Nice logo. Hales itself as "an aggressive styled India Pale Ale." Grammar police would tell them that it is aggressively, as it is being used as an adverb.

Appearance: poars a thick white, slightly tan tight head. Slightly tanslucent, orange/amber hue. Nice, nothing special I guess.

Aroma: Hops

Mouthfeel: fairly light carbonation feel. light/medium body with a kind of interesting, silky? mouthfeel. Different from other stuff I have been drinking lately. Exceptional.

Taste: Definitely strong hop profile. I am finding it a bit hard to discern some of the other flavors. Starts out a bit sweet, then the hops kick in with very good flavor. Definitely some bitterness, but suprisingly in control given the overall hop character of this beer. Bitterness hangs on, very good in my opinion. Slight warming sensation down the throat from the alcohol. Felt like there was a little bit of fruit in there, want to say orange, but not really sure.

In conclusion, I don't quite have the expertise to say why this beer was particularly good, but stands out a bit from some of the other IPA's I have had. More balanced than many, has the taste I expect from a California IPA, but not quite as good, IMHO, as DFH 60-minute and some other premiere IPA's. Nonetheless, very drinkable, but then again, American IPA is my favorite style. (1,412 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber, into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a thick foamy head. The smell is a nice citrus hoppiness. The taste is a more mellow citrus hop (Amarillo?) that doesn't completely overwhelm the malt backing. Mouthfeel is a bit oily. As for drinkability, a very nice IPA and one I could have several of.

Another great beer from Bear Republic. A solid IPA that manages a very nice balance and doesn't become hop juice. Quite good, and one I'd have when Bear Republic makes it into Pennsylvania! (521 characters)

Photo of mschofield
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper-amber, filled with floating particulates. Topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves thick webs of lacing.
Pine and floral aroma. Notes of leather, pear, and peppery alcohol.
Wood, caramel, pine, floral notes in the taste, a citrus note, leather, fruit, and pepper. Not as bitter as all the hop tastes suggest.
Medium bodied, a touch oily. (368 characters)

Photo of oracle
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer exhibited a split personality. I was pouring the bomber bottle into a 16oz shaker style glass. The first half of the pour was noticably different from the 2nd half.

The first half was a typical light copper, clear with small head that left no lacing. The second (containing all the yeast in the bottle) was quite opaque, with extensive lacing all the way down.

Nose was about the same for both halves with hops predominating (as expected for an IPA) with a strong undertone of fruit, possibly plums.

Taste was remarkable different from the first half of the bottle to the second. In the first half, the overall impression was sharp, with the hops dominating, but also a strong tartness that I just didn't care for in an IPA.
The second half was much more smooth, with a delightful finish, pleasantly bitter with just a hint of sweetness.

An interesting beer and one I hope to try again. (909 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bottle

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear, golden-orange that seemed very bright in the glass. Dense off-white head rose up huge and took a long time to settle down, becoming fluffy as it did so. The density and staying power of the foam was amazing. Tons of sticky lace was left on the glass. Flawless appearance.

Smell: Raw, juicy, citrus hops dominated right after the pour. A little bit of sweet malt peeked through at times, but the hops totally dominated. Smelled great.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth upfront, with a little carbonation bite in the back of the mouth. A slight numbing from the alcohol as well.

Taste: A good dose of citrus hops started things off. Then the hops transformed into a more herbal flavor, and that's when the bitterness really kicked in. There was quite a bit of malt sweetness present to help balance the hops, but the two opposing flavors didn't seem to blend well. Some light alcohol made itself known at times.

Overall, an extremely solid IPA. There are some IPAs that I have rated lower that I would prefer to drink, but the wonderful appearance and smell of this brew pushed the numbers up.

Thanks Bruiser81! (1,179 characters)

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

Pours cloudy light copper color, aroma of pine and citrus, hops and hops and more hops, nice white head with large bubbles that leaves good lacing in my glass, some malty sweetness to balance the loads of hops, medium body with a thick and sticky mouthfeel, very nice. (268 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep golden-amber body, clear with little sediments surfing accross the bottom of the glass. Aroma is mostly constituted of grapefruity C-hops. There are also floral hop notes, but really, grapefruit is totally dominant. On the tongue, you’re hit by more of this high acid alpha hop fest, a bit of flowers and a decent malty body which comes out as peachy and cookie-ish. Good balanced american type IPA, but the style doesn’t do much for me. While the mouthfeel is very well rounded and display high carbonation a bit like a belgian, the flavors still feel rather simple, akin to grapefruit juice with a very warming finish where the 7% gets felt. Thanks to Mzwolinski for the opportunity! (692 characters)

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

Brewed with Columbus and Cascade hops.
OG=1.070, 7.0% ABV, 69 IBU.

Pours out to a slightly hazy golden light amber with honey accents, forming a dense, thick and creamy yellow head with excellent retention and awesome lacing. Wonderful looking brew. Particulate yeast flitters about when added towards the bottom of the brew. Medium-light carbonation. Aroma is rich and not overly pungent with resinous, sappy and sweetly citric and floral hops. Nice pale and crystal malt backbone adds a touch of honey, vanilla, and orange in the mix. Mouthfeel is soft with a medium-dense body and clean finish. Taste begins with a nice assembly of the aforementioned hops, with residual malt and lots of white raisin sweetness followed by an interesting honey note throughout the middle. Crystal and/or Munich malt is predominate and adds a touch of grainy huskiness. BItterness is mild for the style. Slight astringency towards the finish with a lingering alfafa honey note in the aftertaste. Malt husk is detectable minutes after the last swallow. Alcohol and off-flavors are absent in aroma or taste. Drinkability is top-notch, particularly for the style.

Quite a nice IPA. The huskiness is a little much at times and the honey taste is quite strong. If you're not afraid of these things in an IPA, you've love it. A sweeter version of the style with a ton of hops, but very little pungency and resinous acidity. These guys are underrated in my opinion, and brew some world class brews. Alas, this is an wonderful brew, but not quite world class like their Big Bear Stout. (1,569 characters)

Photo of daledeee
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice big bottle of my favorite kind of beer. Pours a nice medium orange yellow with a nice head. The nose is troubling but I will let it pass. What smells strong to me is good to others. The taste covers my goals here. Nice hoppy and malt character with excellent mouthfeel. The alchohol is a little strong for 7%. Another fine IPA (333 characters)

Photo of faernt
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a nose! I try to do things in sequence but, this beer has an aroma that I expect only on tap, I'm in a bottle here and glad that Bear Republic has made it to Chicago. It's golden and today is big IPA day here at the ranch so Racer 5 howdedoo! What a beautful golden color.

This beer tastes wonderful. I enjoy Goose Island IPA on tap at the Clyborne pub and this is right up there with it except a bit stronger. A medium body mouthfeel and a high drinkability. Huge hops is such a hot weather thing. (506 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. Pours a golden orange color with pretty good clarity and a good-sized frothy white head that laces a bit. The aroma is strong pleasant one made of a citrus hops and lesser malty sweetness. There were notes of fruit as well as it warmed. The taste is mainly hoppy bitterness with a citrus flavor to it and a slight sweetness. Even though I didn’t taste much at all in the malt department this was a well-balanced beer. The aftertaste is a pleasant bitterness that lingers for a bit. No alcohol was detected anywhere in this brew but the effect were warming by the end of the bottle. It has medium body with good carbonation. I found this to be very drinkable, a good hop fix and went great with some spicy steak fajitas. (733 characters)

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,230 ratings.