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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.

2,242 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,242
Hads: 7,208
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 311
Gots: 1,057 | 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
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Reviews: 2,242 | Hads: 7,208
Photo of Sammy
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For my medal round (higher site honour) I was fortunate to pick a masterpiece. A terrific American IPA of yummy refreshing grapefruity lemon citrus and high hops, little bitterness. Like Marsela Mamma in a fussy mood. Greatly drinkable. balanced aftertaste.
Had on tap very fresh 8.5 years later and this classic with juicy orange this time worked just fine, long finish, lacey.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a 1 inch foamy white head that settles to a small cap. Nice tight rings of lace line the glass on the entire drink down. Smell is all about the hops: grassy, herbal, earthy, and some slight citrus zest. Taste is mainly of grassy and herbal hops with a malt backbone to support everything. There is a mild bitterness that lingers on the palate with each sip. This beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good IPA but it features a hop profile that I am not all that crazy about.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a lovely clear orange amber with a short white head.

Asssertive nose of cooked pineapple and hints of grapefruit. Some lemon and lemon cream in the nose.

Great big mouth feel, with a medium/heavy body and an almost perfect balance.

Big flavors of bitter pineapple/grapefruit that gives way to gigantic strong but rich pine/pine resin flavors and character.

Finishes with sweet malt that quickly gives way to to strong pine resin finish. An extremely well balanced, flavorful Double IPA. Just great with all kinds of food.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head with awesome lacing on a clear bright golden body.

S: Grains and pale malts with citrus and earthy hops.

T: earthy and citrus hops throughout which are tart. Caramel malts form a nice base. A slight burnt toast character to this one.

M: lighter side of medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this one is very nicely balanced. The hop character is not all that complex but it's still good.

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Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured clear golden amber with a thin, white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible and the head quickly dissipates into lacing on the surface.
S: There is a moderate aroma of citrusy, piney hops.
T: Like the smell, bitter piney hop flavors dominate the flavors, but these do not overpower the taste and are balanced to some degree by the underlying hops.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is lots of dryness in the finish.
D: If you drink this before it warms up, any hint of alcohol is completely masked. The beer packs a lot of punch in the way of flavor and is very drinkable.

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

one of those ipas that you just keep on buying, this has everything. it pours mostly clear honey colored with a long lasting thick white head. like marshmallow fluff. it smells like resinous piney hops, bitter, with lighter english malt only in supporting position. full bodied bitter flavor with plenty of forest hops. not citrus or floral at all, just stright hop oil in bitter form. still theres some sweeter element in the finish, the mouthfeel is velvet, and the alcohol is strong enough to buzz you out without too much potency to lay you out for the evening. great carbonation and just an all around aggressive hoppy happy delight. again and again for me

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Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 was a beer that a friend of mine suggested that I try. I ran to my local Wegman's and grabbed a bomber of it the next day. Opened it up and it poured out as a really nice yellowish gold color. The head a lacing were very nice. The smell of the beer was really hoppy for just a regular IPA. The taste was also much hoppier than I expected it to be, lots of citrusy pine flavors that fade into a strong bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very drinkable. Overall this beer kicks ass. I could drink this one over and over again. I'd love to try Racer X one day.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a thick, rocky head that leaves great lacing

Smell: Cascade grapefruit and a bit of crystal malt caramel, underneath

Taste: Lays down a malty backbone that is quickly joined by bitter and citrusy tones; a touch of residual sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body, slightly sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An all around fine IPA; not out there like some more recent IPA concoctions but excellent, nonetheless

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am very impressed with this brewery so far. Not distributed to my area, I have to pick these up when I travel to Ohio. So far, every beer from this brewery has been finely attenuated, but rich in proteins and all have supurb head retention / formation. Racer X is no exception. The onset brings a rich, but clean looking copper / amber color, thick foamstand, and lively co2. The beer takes on a rich, biscuity malt character in the aromas and flavors. I was really impressed with the clean attenuation, with no harshness-- a perfect balance. Great hop balance for IPA-- I would prefer a stronger sharper hop influence, but I think I got an aged bottle where the hops have settled out a bit. At any rate, this is a truely expressive, hop-oriented IPA. Citrus notes hinge more on oranges than grapefruits due to the sturdy malt base and ester profile. Very full to the palate, again close to a Double IPA. The finish is very clean, crisp, and cracker-like, but with a long dry hop flavor and a touch of caramel. An extremely nice beer. I'll take a few points off because of the sediment in the bottle which may come from too much age, but look forward to trying a fresher bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden with an orange hue; excellent lacing and a good head.

S: Lots of citrusy hops. For an IPA, lots of malt to intrigue what's coming to the palate.

T: Plenty of hops at the outset. A smooth, slightly caramel malt behind all the hops. A bready/biscuit flavor is there, but the hops certainly dominate.

M: Nice and creamy for an IPA. Goes down incredibly smooth.

D: Ask for another! This is one terrific IPA, and I can't wait to get out to CA to try more of Bear Republic's brews.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (Courtesy of Hogtownharry): Poured a dark beige color ale with a big foamy head with good retention. Aroma of fresh citrusy hops is totally dominating. Taste is also dominated by fresh C-hops and can be best describe as chewing on a grapefruit. This is truly the most ‘’grapefruit’’ I have experience in an IPA. While this is a very interesting beer, it is also a one-dimensional beer lacking complexity IMO.

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

Appearance: Golden-amber, transparent with a long-lasting head.

Smell: Citric hops with a sweet, malty backbone - it's like a ripe grapefruit.

Taste: Slightly grainy and bready. Lots of hops, but they're by no means overpowering. They have a nice citrus quality, sharp but balanced, with a subdued but distinct sweetness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much perfect for the style. Medium-bodied, very crisp, fine bubbles, not at all harsh.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, but not exactly sessionable due to the fairly high ABV.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've heard about this brewer being a leader in the West Coast Way, so I jumped at the opportunity to procure a bottle of this whilst checking out the retail beer scene in friendly Austin, Texas a few weeks ago. Best not to let the purported aromas of the the style fade away by neglecting it, so here we go, into an American pint glass...

Pours a slightly hazy pale copper colour, with a few fingers of thick puffy white head, that persists for a good while, slowly leaving a solid ring of lace around the glass. The smell is big grapefruit citrus hops, with a little bit of pine in there too. I'm not getting much in the way of specific malt, other than a general sweetness mixed in with the hop essence. The flavour is a large smack of citrus and pine hops at the front, which are quite astringent. They carry through right to the finish, dancing the watusi on my tastebuds. The malt body is there, but I only detect it in the mouthfeel, which is actually quite full, with a moderate carbonation. Any warming from the elevated alcohol is hard to discern: I'm all warm and fuzzy from a hop coma. This is indeed tasty, and obviously unbalanced at first due to all its bitter goodness. But as it warmed and I became accustomed to the bitterness, the sweet malt finish became much more evident. This slow to arrive balance would make for a decent drinkability, once suitably primed.

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft countless times at the Maproom, it's a classic IPA in my mind.

12 oz. bottle poured into a tapered Hamms goblet.

Glowing sunset orange, darker in the center, fading to gold around the edges. Slightly hazed with micro sediment, otherwise it has some good clarity. Frothy, sticky head on it, sheets of lacing around the edges. Retains a good skim for the duration of the glass.

Light hoppy aroma, fruity cantaloupe, mellow sweet pale malts.

Fruity notes lead off, melon or cantaloupe again, some resinous bitter hops in the middle giving it a dry grassiness in the finish. The fruit lingers behind it, which is a nice combination. Medium bodied, almost slippery, not too heavy or sweet. Easy to have another if so inclined. Today I just have a single for the purpose of this review. Will drink again many times hopefully...

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Photo of zeff80
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear orange color with flecks of red. It had a soapy, white, one-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of floral, sweet hops, almost candy-like. It also had a malty aroma.

T - It tasted very sweet with a citrusy hop kick. It was well-balanced between the hops and malt.

M - This beer was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D- This is a very good IPA. I loved the smell and it was well-balanced, not overpowering.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed tangerine-amber. Since the label says that the beer is bottle conditioned and that 'yeast is good', I imagine that my last few pours will cloud things up nicely. The head is the color of rich cream and is a little frothy, yet stiff. I anticipated a lot of lace and am not disappointed. The cap falls slowly and unevenly, leaving thick sheets and chunks of lace all over the glass. A superb look.

The nose is as wonderful as I'd hoped: big, juicy, citrusy hops running rampant. There's a second variety in there as well, something that gives a slightly more pungeant, earthy aroma. A quick check of the Bear Republic website tells me that Cascade and Columbus hops are in use. Cascade have the upper hand in the aroma; I hope the same is true on the palate.

I enjoy the flavor quite a bit, but the Columbus hops are too prominent. While they don't completely overshadow the citrusy goodness of the Cascade, they do change the flavor profile just enough to keep me from loving it. Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' is all Columbus hops and I learned from drinking that beer that it's not a hop that thrills me. There's a fair amount of sweetish pale malt that's not intrusive, but it is noticeable. The finish is long and increasingly hoppy and the body/mouthfeel is full and buttery smooth.

Racer 5 is somewhere between an IPA and a DIPA in terms of flavor, body and ABV. While I do have some quibble about the choice of hops, the quality of this beer is not to be doubted. A little heavier with the Cascade and a little lighter with the Columbus and this would easily be one of my favorite IPAs. Now, if they would only bottle Racer X.

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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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So freaking psyched to finally get ahold of this one....

A - Poured a deep orange amber, great two inch head formed on top and left a ton of lace down the glass once it finally decided to let go. Nice carbonation, great overall look, just like an IPA should.

S - Huge citrus hops, and a ton of pine. Some sticky sweet notes as well. Very fresh taste, lots of resiny aromas. Really great smell.

T - Perfect. Just a phenomonal fresh, sticky, resin hoppy bomb of delight. Such a sticky pine fresh taste, lots of fresh cut grass and orange peel. Some light sugar, but a bomb al the way.

M - Super smooth and very very sticky. A bit thick. Very nice carbonation, could put this down all night long with ease.

D - Damn near perfect. Not strong enough to be a sipper, a little heavy though to throw down a ton, but otherwise just about perfect. I would love to try this one on tap, seems like it would be perfect.

Overall this totally lived up to my expectations. It was just great. I would love to have this again and again. I am glad I have a couple more bottles. Just a damn fine IPA if I have ever had one.

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Photo of oline73
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden amber color. There is a two finger off white head of which a layer remains.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate with some mild herbal notes. Some of the sweetness comes from the malt.

Taste: Citrus hop bitterness hits the tongue pretty hard initially. There is some sweet malt in the background. The flavor is a bit peppery and the finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and an appropriate level of carbonation. There isn't any dryness at all.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer. I really like the hop profile and will visit it again.

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Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer generates just under two fingers of off-white head on top of a clear, copper colored body. The foam sticks around for quite a while before settling down and leaving a thick coating of lace on the glass.

S - The aroma is full of pine, grapefruit, and musty, sweaty hop notes. There is also some caramel malt in the background to remind you that it is beer rather than just hop tea.

T - Pine hops and bready malt up front with a little bit of caramel. More malt complexity comes out in the middle with notes of toffee and a hint of honey. The beer finishes with more pine and grapefruit hop flavor as well as fairly pungent bitterness that balances out the rich malt.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very nice, this is clearly an IPA with generous hop character and an emphasis on pine character. The malt, however, is by no means lost in the shuffle. There is plenty of rich bready grain character and just enough caramel to add complexity without drowning out or dulling the hops. Well worth trying, I only with it was available closer to home.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A beautiful golden color and lots of lacing.

S: Tons of citrus hops, some pine, great balance with the malt, though.

T: Very similar to the nose. The grapefruit and floral flavors from the hops are great, and there is a very present bitterness. Not quite as malty as the scents might indicate.

M: Good medium body, and no unpleasant bitter aftertaste.

D: A great IPA that you could drink all day.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a moving company completely destroyed 40% of my meager belongings this afternoon, I dare say I could use a beer!

Appearance: Pours a light amber-copper color with a massive khaki-colored head and abundant lacing.

Smell: Rich, intensified floral-citrus aroma with a veritable basket of juicy fruits (grapefruit, oranges, pineapple). Lighter traces of pine and honey.

Taste: Honey and toffee sweetness progresses into a fruity, citrusy combination of apricots and oranges (and to a lesser extent, grapefruits). Again, there's pine and even some breadiness and mint roaming around the taste. However, the grapefruit and pine flavors really come to live and amplify on the assetively bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body that is at times chewy and oily.

Drinkability: In all honesty, this reminds me of Avery's Maharaja with the Racer 5 being just a bit more drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer before, and its a great IPA, but never reviewed it. I felt like a nice big IPA which I haven't had in a while, so here it is.

A: Pouring into my oversized DFH snifter leaves a nice 1 finger head spread out with lots of big bubbles mid head, making it look like a battleground. It's pretty hazy with a golden pale beautiful IPA color.

N: Mmm, beautiful hop aromas billow out through the tapered top. Its full of citrus, juicy fruit hop aromas, and some pine. A very slight touch of malt and alcohol bite. Great nose, but I like a little more pine and grapefruit on a great IPA, but this is its own beast.

T: Surprisingly it starts with a fresh malt wort taste. That doesn't last long as a slew of hops and bitterness hit. More fresh citrus and juicy fruits, and some earthy grassy hop flavors. Even some piney hops build up and start to gain some ground. A slight tangy hop bitterness also strikes. A very slight malt sweetness and alcohol presence lets itself be known, but its dwarfed compared to the hop presence. A little bit of hop oils come out as well.

M: It has some body and slight oily feel, decent carbonation, and touch of spicy hop presence.

F: Finshes pretty bitter and semi dry. Its not super overpowering on the bitterness, but its presence is very obvious. Some floral hop flavors linger for a bit, and the bitterness slowly rises as the taste fades. A little more bitter earthiness finishes off the finish.

Final thoughts: A nice semi heavy IPA. It's not an imperial or double or anything like that, just a nice hoppy IPA. A slight malt and alcohol presence, and seems like a few different blended hops, but not much on the grapefruit end, so this is a completely different beast than most. But overall a good consistent IPA.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Stone IPA flute.

Pours a hazy gold with a finger of creamy brite-white head that retains nicely across the surface and leaves some good lacing behind. The aroma is quite hoppy with fresh grapefruit notes, piney esters, light malt, and a touch of alcohol behind it.

The taste is a assertive piney hop bitterness mixed with a splash of grapefruit citrus that only seems to become more pronounced as it warms. This is nicely balanced by a backbone of sweet bready malt that helps temper all the bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an oily texture and easy feel to it.

A very solid West Coast IPA. It has a very pronounced hoppiness to it but the citrus element and malt really help keep things in check and make this one hugely sessionable affair.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Plenty of hops at Bliss today. This case-in-point pours a mostly clear sunrise golden-amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet flowers, light grass, greens, grapefruit zest, orange zest, lemon peel, and a few drops of honey in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, withe the citrus and greens really complimenting each other quite nicely. The malt is almost completely drowned-out, but the hops somehow don't o'erpower the tongue, even though they easily could. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very nice, hop-forward IPA that doesn't strangle the 'buds with lupulin. Pretty damn enjoyable.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.