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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.

5,583 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 5,583 | Reviews: 2,158 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of B33R501


3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

interesting on the hand pump but i prefer the regular bootle version. thats ok.

light amber, pale look. aromas of floral hops, taste follows, better than the smell. lots and lots of floral hops, nicely malted for balance.
very refreshing, drinkable.


Serving type: cask

05-07-2012 12:43:03 | More by B33R501
Photo of Tucquan


4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-03-09 at the Drafting Room in Exton, PA

A - Almost clear straw-amber with a 1.5 finger, pillowy head with good lacing.

S - Light citrus pulp, pine, biscuit and hop floral. Not overly strong.

T - Grapfruit, biscuit, mild caramel, pine, naval orange sweetness, which quickly yields to the grapefruit.

M - Light to medium body and carbonation (more than I expected on-cask). Smooth and a little prickly.

D - Very good but I like it better on-tap, which improves the mouthfeel and aroma.

Serving type: cask

07-11-2011 21:18:01 | More by Tucquan
Photo of HoustonTX


4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is amazing on Cask, had the rare opportunity to try it at the Texas Beer Festival yesterday.

It's like velvet sweet loving hops coating your entire palate. Very intense complexity, but something just amazing to partake in. Grapefruit and pineapple in the nose. The flavor is just something to behold. It's indeed hop centered lots of orange and grapefruit but there is also this unique malty oak background. The cask makes this stuff dangerously drinkable. It's really a great beer.

This is something to definitely seek out if you get the chance. I'm honored to have tried it.

Serving type: cask

05-09-2011 07:35:07 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of TheBrewo


4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was served to us at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY, from a cask. It arrived in a tulip glass, the color or rich, deep gold, with darker hues of amber-red. It had a one finger foamy tan head that retained through to the bottom of the glass. It left little lacing as is slowly dissipated. Low carbonation was noted, and chunky sediment was found to be suspended throughout the syrupy-looking liquid. Most of this debris was found in the top half of the glass. Upon sniffing, the nose was filled with the aromas of sweet, apricot nectars, and sugary florals. Notes of honey were noted, to enhance the sweetness. Pale malts were there for a balance to the floral, piney hops that dominated the rest of the nose. On the very back there was spice, of spicy brown mustard seed, and a bit of grapey booze. As we sipped, the mouth was bombarded with sweetness, of fruit, and a grapey, woodiness, like a Chardonnay. Infused here were also clean hops. Through the middle there was a peak of sour, hoppy citrus. More wood appeared, and more bitter spice, but most notably cinnamon. Hops washed us through to the finish, with bitterness and bite, while that winey astringency comes back to dry the mouth, with a souring touch. The final things to leave the taste buds are clean malts, which washes the mélange of competing flavors away. The aftertaste breaths sour, woody, and with faint hops and booze. The body is medium and the carbonation nears nonexistent. Each sip goes down coolly, and smoothly, with slick hop oils helping things along. The head retention gives a nice and creamy slurpability to it. By the end the mouth is left dry, but not overwhelmingly so. The abv is standard, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we found most enjoyable about this brew was the aroma. It was nectary sweet amongst a bouquet of flowers, with some oddities, like that spicy mustard seed. Unlike many others in the style, here the hops took a delicate back seat, making this more than the typical IPA. One criticism is that it was a bit on the sour end, but this ultimately didn’t take much away, but rather gave it another unique aspect for the style.

Serving type: cask

04-27-2011 22:48:27 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of orangesol


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint. No info was given as to what type of hops were added to the cask. If I had to guess, I would say "TONS!"

A - Pours hazy sunkist orange with a thick pillow of two finger tall white head leaving thick rings of sticky lacing down the glass.

S - I knew I had to get this one when I smelled it from across our table. HUGE pungent hop punch right off the bat with hints of pine resin, grass, and grapefruit. A tiny bit of sweet caramel malt comes thru but this one is really all about the hops.

T - Nice grassy hop bite up front never really leaving the pallet. Light caramel malt and grapefruit acidity offer as much contrast as they can but this one is truly all about the hops. A bit dry in the finish with some lingering hop bitterness. The taste wasn't as good as the nose but I still really enjoyed this one. One of my all time favorites revved up a few extra notches.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice light feel with a bit of dryness toward the end. Plenty of hop bitterness in the finish but it doesn't linger for very long.

D - Very good. I really like racer 5 quite a bit and this version was even better. A touch one dimensional with all those pungent hops but that really isn't a bad thing.

Serving type: cask

03-07-2011 19:54:26 | More by orangesol
Photo of Slatetank


4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on cask at Al's of Hampden, served in a Nonic.

The color is golden hued with amber accents and thick collar of light white w/ a light yellow accent. The clarity is lightly hazed and the bead is very fine. I love the array of fruit odors this ipa presents - very citrus and tropical tinged yet is has a moderately high amount of pine from the hops too. I like the grapefruity presence -it is so pungent it is like smashing your face into a pile of grapefruits. The feel is both bitter and yet smooth at the same time, plenty of natural carbonation with a blend of yeast and softness from the oils of the hops giving a slight dry and the malt body adds a gentle sweetness level.

This IPA is delicous, just so tangy and citrus flavored with some herbal elements giving a well round flavor of bitter orange/grapefruit notes that aren't hampered by the malt. The taste of the malt is very dry, only enough sweetness there to compliment the slight pineapple quality. The bitterness level is optimal with a low level of astringency and the hop goodness lasts for a while after the swallow. I could enjoy a quart of this IPA it is so drinkable on cask, I have enjoyed it equally in each delivery method -tap, bottle and now cask, just delicious in every way. I would prefer it on cask as the hops seem so much more vibrant and fresh this way.

Serving type: cask

03-06-2011 16:36:54 | More by Slatetank
Photo of tbrown4


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at Race Street Cafe in Philadelphia before a show at the Electric Factory with some other beer geeks. I've had this in bottle several times before, never before on cask.

A - Clear, gold, fluffy white two finger head.

S - Typcial IPA aroma, fairly floral. A mild sweetness.

T - Very focused and defined hop flavor. Quite enjoyable. Sweetness flavor matches the intensity of the aroma. Just enough to balance out the hop bitterness.

M - Feels about average.

D - I could drink this one all day. It was a nice treat on the hand pump.

Serving type: cask

02-24-2011 21:27:12 | More by tbrown4
Photo of Jayna


4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everyone loves the Racer 5. It's no secret.

I was fortunate enough to get this on cask at Local 44 in West Philly and I kind of wanted to either get naked or punch everyone else in the bar, or maybe just sit quietly and enjoy my beer, after I tasted it.

It's got a lot going on; obviously it's going to be hoppy, but the hops' malty buddies are just sitting right along side the hops giving you a big grin and all their thumbs up. Orange & caramel seem to star here, book ended by a drier hoppier taste typical of most IPAs as well as some lighter citrus and if you smell, if you really sniff just hard enough, some floral notes. Seriously, this beer has everything.

All I can tell you to do is get a beautiful cask pour. Just get it! GO. BYE.

Serving type: cask

08-09-2010 02:26:01 | More by Jayna
Photo of AlvinStraight

New York

4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Killed the cask at Bierkraft for this one and it was well worth it. This is one of my favorite IPAs and I've never had the chance to find it on cask before. I'm not sure how to define the hoppiness/fruitiness of this one; it's not just big hops, but rather has a unique flavor that I haven't found anywhere else. Simply put it's excellent. The taste is delightful, but the color and smell are particular appealing to me.

If you like IPA's and hoppy beers, this one is worth finding.

Serving type: cask

08-08-2010 00:04:17 | More by AlvinStraight
Photo of Soonami


4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I decided to review Racer 5 again because it was served in a different format than before, on cask, which contributed to a unique experience of the beer.

Bear Republic makes some great beers and racer 5 is definitely one of them. The IPA was served at cellar temperature from a hand-pumped beer engine. This service resulted in ale with warmer temperature and lower amount of carbonation, which really allowed the taste of the resinous hops and biscuity malt to come through. Moreover, lower carbonation improve the mouthfeel, making it silkier and easier to drink without feeling as full. The warmer temperature did also make the beer seem to taste sweeter, but the lingering bitterness kept it from being cloying.

Racer 5 on cask was delicious with abundant pineapple, peach and mango flavors, with assertive bitterness and a sweet cracker-like malt background.

Serving type: cask

08-07-2010 20:42:12 | More by Soonami
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pint on the hand pump at memphis tap room.

A- a perfect pull this guy know how to pull a pint. A solid finger of dense creamy head on top of golden orange yellow sunshine.

S- sweet malts and big time citrus hops. Grapefruit and orange zest. Caramel. Covered whole grain bread.

T- super well balanced. The hops take the lead but right on its ass the malts jump in. Candied orange suprems and torn open ruby red grapefruit. Cinnamon toast with bruleed brown sugar. Lots of back and forth between the two and its a beautiful dance. I can't get over the balance not to beat a dead horse but damn.

M- well this brew and a hand pump are made for each other. So silky smooth and just the right temp.

5- I love this stuff. I've enjoyed it many times but on cask this shines. All day every day racer 5.

Serving type: cask

05-15-2010 04:29:21 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of BeerGodz

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Cask @ The Grey Lodge

Look: Amber orange, clear, with thick head and excellent lacing

Smell: Citrus and pine - very floral!

Taste: Up Front: Sweet malt, citrus. particularly orange
Finish: Apricot, tropical fruit, and nice malt backbone

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a creamy and smooth body

Drinkability: Malty, fruity, and not too hoppy. Very easy to drink

Overall Impression: This is an excellent IPA from California! This beer should go over well with Newbeez that do not have an aversion to hops.

Serving type: cask

02-25-2010 12:47:46 | More by BeerGodz
Photo of capra12

New York

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at the Gotham cask festival from notes taken,
This was the super hopped version.

Appearance: Orange/tan with no head.

Smell: Piney and floral hops

Taste: Opens with piney hops as floral hops come into the flavor profile as a hint of citrus settles in but briefly as the floral and piney hops finish the sip leaving a piney simcoe aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied withe minimal carbonation and smooth.

Drinkability: Wow I would definitely have this again and recommend this to those hop heads out there who enjoy different hop profiles in their brews.

Serving type: cask

01-08-2010 04:24:51 | More by capra12
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear orangy amber, fluffy, creamy hand pumped head.

S: Piney hops, faint hints of citrus and spice. Decent malt presence.

T: Piney hops with spicy flavors. Hints of citrus and decent malt backbone. Bitter and Earthy.

M: Big boddied, slightly oily and coating. Some aftertaste.

D: Good, but not great. Odd combo of strong piney hops and malt backbone. Cask is not my favorite IPA serving device.

Serving type: cask

09-20-2009 17:24:38 | More by rfgetz
Photo of CortexBomb


4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a wonderful find that I made the last time I was in Pittsburgh. Fathead's had this on the hand pull and I had to give it a try. The pour was textbook IPA with big lacing. Nose is strong, floral with hints of grapefruit.

The flavour on this was perfect though, this is the kind of balanced IPA that I love, it has a huge grassy floral flavour from the hops that were used, but is is also balanced back by a strong malt presence. The hops are always there and you know you're drinking an IPA, but it's not completely out of balance like so many brews in this style are. The warmer temperature of the cask likely improved the depth, of course.

Mouth and drinkability both solid, I could have a few of these, decent bitters but not remarkable, it's not a gargantuan beer in your mouth, but it does its job.

Bottom line: I'd never even heard of this brewery, but I try almost anything that is put on a hand pull. Bear Republic delivered with a great IPA though, and one I'll definitely have again if I run into it.

Serving type: cask

06-17-2009 12:48:03 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of Kadonny


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from cask into a nonic pint glass at TJs in Paoli.

A: A cloudy golden orange color with a one finger fluffy white head. Nice full glass lacing.

S: Nice citrus hops with some floral and pine notes and a sweet caramel malt smell. Nice and mellow.

T: Hops shine through with hints of citrus, floral, grass and some slight pine. Along side the hops the malt in this really melds in perfectly with caramel sweetness and creamy smoothness. Finish is clean and crisp, but not real bitter.

M: Medium and creamy. No hint of alcohol and of course light carbonation. Not much bitterness either.

D: Unfortunately, very high. These are so creamy smooth and oh so delicious.

This is a great beer from C02, kick that up a notch with the cask conditioning. Simply superb. What a west coast treat that we are lucky to have here in PA. Thanks to Jeff at TJs for bringing in this gem for us to try.

Serving type: cask

04-07-2009 19:35:02 | More by Kadonny
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Drafting Room, Exton; served in an imperial pint

Hazy, golden body with an eerie thickness to it. A bone white head sits proudly on top.

Sweet candied grapefruit, orange rind, lightly toasted biscuits and a touch of evergreens.

Citrus rind and pine needles come to forefront, then a sweet rush of candied grapefruit followed by a mild bitterness. Doesn't push the extremes.

Full bodied and chewy. Cask does great things for the mouthfeel of IPA's.

A pretty solid IPA that doesn't push the envelope of sweetness or bitterness. I could drink a few of these on cask.

Serving type: cask

03-11-2009 22:02:04 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of ffejherb


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Local 44 on 3/7/09 during Philly Beer Week.

A - Slightly hazy golden/orange amber-tinted body with two fingers of rocky, off-white foam that deposited attractive lacing around the glass.

S - Veritable garden of fresh hop aroma featuring citrus, pine, resin and floral notes. Very pungent and fresh. Oh yeah, there's some caramel malt sweetness too.

T - Surge of hop goodness with equal parts pine, citrus and resin with a touch of floral character as well. Hops are supported by a sweet caramel malt base. Lots of piney hop flavor in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a slightly syrupy texture and smooth cask mouthfeel. Touch of alcohol heat. Fairly aggressive bitter finish.

D - One of my favorite IPAs out there. And how do you make an incredible beer even better? Cask condition, of course! Simply an excellent West Coast IPA.

Serving type: cask

03-10-2009 00:33:16 | More by ffejherb
Photo of JoeBloe

New York

3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i had this from the cask at the blind tiger, and i had just recently gone thru of a sixpack of bottles - i gotta say i like the bottled racer 5 better - my bottle review would be similar to other posts here - i enjoy this beer - the cask version was extremely mellow -
lighter carbonation and not so much of a hop bite - drank it like water against blind tiger's 7 pepper chili -

Serving type: cask

02-08-2009 15:20:20 | More by JoeBloe
Photo of Amalak

New York

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this off cask at Barcade in Brooklyn. It had a dark rust-red color to it. No bubbles (cask) and a nice foamy head. It also had a thick lace that covered the glass all the way around, all the way down.

It's a very bitter IPA. Has a lot of bite to it and is very thick on the palate. Excellent beer and well worth off the cask.

**Of note, I had out of a bottle a year later, and it was not quite as good as before...but still very nice. So I will keep the grade.

Serving type: cask

01-31-2009 17:52:56 | More by Amalak
Photo of mrandolph


4.93/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a cask version, and a case where the brewers made a great effort to match the beer with the medium. The beer presents as a very clear golden color capped with a dense, creamy white head, almost like cool whip, in a good way, which hangs out for a long time.

The aroma is citrus followed by malt. The flavor starts bitter, reminiscent of lemon zest. The middle is sweet malt and it finishes bitter but not dry with sweet flavors as an aftertaste. The mouth feel is dense with good head and a medium body, denser than the color suggests. My overall impression is that this beer is well crafted to excel in the cask beyond what it does in the bottle, and I feel privileged to have gotten a taste from cask.

Serving type: cask

01-03-2009 03:20:43 | More by mrandolph
Photo of 57md


3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear yellowish copper color. This offering is slightly effervescent with a finger of fluffy head that seemed to linger forever and left rings of lace behind reminiscent of a nitro-tapped beer. The malt profile seems solid, if not remarkable and the hoppiness is good for a single IPA.

This offering does suffer from an odd trace of booziness which makes it less drinkable than some higher ABV DIPAs that I’ve sampled in the past.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2014 04:49:30 | More by 57md
Photo of Reeks


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was fairly new to the craft beer world when I was introduced to Racer 5. That was over 6 years ago and this beer has been a staple in my rotation.
It has a harsh bite at first sip. Nothing subtle about the boldness of its flavor.
The texture gets stickier as the temperature drops. Its very sweet and bitter all at once and leaves a very hoppy after taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 19:40:56 | More by Reeks
Photo of Jnashed


3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured in a simple pint glass. Date on bottle 10/30/13, so maybe a bit dated for an IPA but kept in a cool fridge.

A: cloudy pale orange. Moderate head and retention

S: biggie and citrus notes. Muted compared to others but maybe because of age on it. Still lots of orange rind and piney notes

T: yum.... Solid pine hop notes upfront with resin on the back end. Some fruit but not as fruity as many newer IPAs. Nice malt balance though.

M: nice full body and moderate carbonation.

O: Soild if not exceptional. Hits all the right notes of a good West coat IPA which of course it is.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 00:52:54 | More by Jnashed
Photo of Premo88


3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

L: light gold ... yellow-gold with just hint of amber up to light; not 100% clear (bottle-conditioned debris?) but mostly clear; big 1-inch head or more of mostly white foam, really sticks and a bit of lacing

S: grapefruit; some definite malt and grain, pretty sweet

T: citrus, grapefruit; some grain in there, and for an IPA, there is a lot of malt trying like hell to push through all that bitter hoppy hops ... impressive

F: smooth and watery, almost silky ... the bottle conditioning possibly could use a bit more time to push the CO2 into this thing -- it's not bad at all but watery all the same

O: I could deal with this beer any day of the week, but with that said, there are other IPAs I enjoy more. I can see why this is considered by many to be a classic, for it's easy drinking and plenty tasty -- and the bitter bite here is not a crazy in-your-face deal that ruins your palate.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 07:32:44 | More by Premo88
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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,583 ratings.