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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
Reviews: 2,242 | Hads: 7,208
Photo of theecaleb
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled from a 12oz Brown bottle no date.

A: Pours a beautiful golden copper colour. Fairly light. Very small amount of head from pour. Amazing lace on side walls of glass, almost leaves a film on the glass like oil and water.

S: Smells of a good quality home brew. Hops stand out, with hints of fruits and spices. Smells slightly better than the average IPA.

T and M: Just right, easily drinkable. Not to bi
tter but just right. Tastes almost creamy. Small hint of alcohol but not over powering.

O: First beer I have had from Bear Public. After reading so many good things I had to give it a try, and I must say I'm not disappointed. This is a high quality IPA.

I would recommend this beer to a friend.

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Photo of HopJ
2.98/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have drank Racer 5 on multiple occasions and often hear it acclaimed but I can't say it has ever inspired me. I finally decided to pay more attention to Race 5. While enjoying the aromatics, I find the rest of it rather ordinary and a bit out of balance. It also leaves me wanting a more complexity. The bitterness on the finish seems out of place. Happy to drink if it is served to me but not a beer I will be purchasing with my own money.

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

a-golden/orange with a nice bubbly white head

s-nice hoppy citrus and pine aroma, not much else comes through

t-bitterness takes over, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's not too bitter though, and finishes really nicely. Although for being a West Coast IPA it's definitely on the more mellow side of things, and does a nice job balancing the hoppy bitterness.

m-medium body, good carbonation, good balance followed with a nice dry, bitter finish.

d-a solid beer which goes down pretty easy, but not enough complexity of flavor and hops to keep me coming back for more than a bomber.

overall-being one of the easier to find IPAs around here, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this one up again.

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Photo of KevBrews
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Somewhere between a straw-gold and tangerine with crisp, white head and clean, tight carbonation. The photo above doesn't do the beer justice (so much for trying out the camera phone!).

Smell: Huge citrus hops, reminiscent of Bell's Hop Slam. Pineapple and grapefruit, with the slightest earthy hints deep below and whiffs of caramel as it warms.

Taste: Huge hop explosion--pineapple and mango citrus flavors that demolish the taste buds; well-supported by a solid but unobtrusive moderate malt flavor. The sweet citrus upfront transforms into a dry, earthy hop flavor in the finish--reminds me of the taste of raw hop pellets.

Mouthfeel: moderate--carbonation supports hop flavor

Drinkability: Easy to drink, despite high alpha acids; well-balanced and hides the alcohol well. The finish is a tad much for me towards the end of the glass. That being said, I could still drink a couple of these, although it would have to be toward the end of the evening, so that I don't suffer palate fatigue.

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Photo of FlyFisher2782
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer pours with an awesome amount of light and fluffy head that stays around a long time. No kidding, I got at least 3 fingers of head, with a conservative pour.

Carbonation in this particular brew was very high, in fact a bit too much for me, it interrupted the srinkability slightly.

As far as IPA's go, this one is a cadillac, very smooth, the grassy hop smell hits you when you open the bottle and doesn't dissapoint. However, the hops do bite you late in the palate and they give way to an ultimate finish of malty biscuit.

Definitely a piney IPA finish that is very nicely rounded out for a smooth drinker. Rare case of a very drinkable IPA

This is a very smooth and drinkable IPA, personally a little too soft for my tastes but nonetheless a good brew.

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Photo of bringonthehops
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: 2" dense head. Racer 5 is caramel colored, with a hint of hazy orange. The head left substantial lacing down the glass as the beer was consumed.

Smell: Hello hoppery!! Nice orange and grapefruit notes weave their way through the waves of hops that pervade the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied. A bit resinous.

Taste: Immediately, the hops are bracingly bitter (they do soften out a bit as the beer warms). The hops quickly step aside to reveal a resinous mid-pallate that is predominated by hops. It's really hard to find any element of sweetness in this beer. Grapefruit rind predominates a finish that lasts more than 30 seconds, with hints of the 7.0% ABV providing sturdy support. Racer 5 is surely one of my favorite IPA's. It's full and bold enough to shine above many Double IPA's I've had, and at 7.0% it doesn't hit you quite as hard.

Drinkability: I could easily drink 3 or 4 of these in an evening...but I'd probably pay for it the next day. This is not a light beer, and probably wouldn't be the best choice for a session beer, no matter how badly you want it to be. Besides not being a wimpy IPA, this beer is entirely drinkable!

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Photo of citan133
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a smuttynose pint glass from a 12oz bottle purchased at Julio's in Westborough, MA.

Almost no head to speak of, just a very thin, bright white layer of foam that barely covers the beer and dissipates quickly, leaving a very thin ring around the edge of the beer as I drink it. Not a bad color, sort of a light orange. Looks like an ipa.

Smells pretty good, some citrus and fruit hops coming through. Not real intense but some nice smells going on.

Kind of basic, light mouthfeel, pretty bitter hops in the middle and the finish, a little sweetness in the front. Hops are just nice and bitter, not really any fruit coming through and the malt shows up a little in the beginning but is quickly overpowered by the hops. Not an intense bitterness but kind of subdued, just enough to please a hophead but not enough to turn on someone who doesn't normally drink an ipa.no alcohol to speak of.

Kind of nice, maybe light to medium. Hops leave that bitterness on your tongue for a while but nothing cloying.

I could definitely drink a bunch of these in a sitting when it comes to flavor, probably a very nice summer time ipa, refreshing. nothing crazy going on but a solid, drinkable ipa. I'd pick up a six for a hot day but nothing that floored me, even for a regular ipa.

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Photo of crzyc
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Small head, off white, little lacing. Typical IPA color, amber/red/brown.

S: Excellent, citrus hops, nothing complicated.

T: Pine after taste. Hops up front. Very balanced, not bitter.

M: A bit dry. Average carbonation.

O: I think this is really balanced, not over the top with the hops, not too bitter and no burn. I think this may be one to show my friends that did not like the IPA's from Stone they tried recently.

Bottle in my mix 6 at Nikki's in RI, $2.29 before discount.

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Photo of smpeterson327
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm a big fan of Racer 5... on tap. For some reason, I'm not loving this bottled experience. The aftertaste is a little more bitter than I remember, and a little too harsh for my liking. I still drinks very nicely, and smells great.

The initial taste is surprisingly smooth for the harsh aftertaste. Overall, very solid beer that I will have another one of tonight. I'll probably hesitate next time when buying in a bottle, but would definitely get again on tap.

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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 jomo
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light orange with a 2" head that disipates quickly.

Smell is light but pleasant. Piney and hoppy. I also smell a little malt in there.

Taste is pretty much like the smell. A little citrus added. Pretty light, but refreshing. Finish is lightly bitter.

Nice, fine carbonation. Medium viscosity.

Drinkability? Oh my yes.

This is a good, refreshing IPA. Not quite as "big" as advertised on the bottle.

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Photo of happybear
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- dark golden color with good lacing

S- hops, hops tons of hops, clean citrus smell heavy with grapefruit and pine follow through

T- bitter hops, well balanced

M- left my mouth dry and sticky? if that makes sense

D- drinks well and despite ABV of 7%, you can drink in session

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Photo of LieutenantWort
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 22oz bomber into an imperial pint glass. Color is a light, coppery amber, slightly cloudy. Very little head.

S: Really nice nose. Usually I'm pretty bad at differentiating citrus variants, but I have to agree with the other reviewers that there's a definite, specific grapefruit aroma here. Also maybe a tiny bit of lemon and pine.

T: Very nice. Initially both hoppy and fruity at the same time, with wheaty, grassy notes as well. Slightly bitter finish and aftertaste. My palate adapted really quickly to this one, though (maybe it was all those deep inhalations trying to pinpoint the nose?), and by the fifth or sixth sip it was basically a smooth hop delivery system.

M: Also good. Smooth without being creamy. Carbonation is very subtle (which I guess explains the minimal head), makes for a highly drinkable brew.

Overall this beer reminds me a lot of the fabulous Stone Ruination IPA. It's a little less complex and more straightforward in its flavor profile, but both beers have a terrific fruity nose and sustained drinkability despite their hoppiness. I'll think of this as Ruination's little brother, which is quite a compliment.

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

This is delicious... I highly recommend it.

Nice foam head that last... leaves foam rings through the drink. Pours golden-yellow with a slight cloud.

Beautiful aroma. Nice citrus notes of grapefruit and pineapple. There are also hints of pine.

Taste is crisp. Has a lemony-citrus finish.

Medium body... true to category.

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Photo of SeattleAdam
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours golden with amazing 1.5 finger foamy white head. Pretty damn clear.

S- Citrus, floral, piny. Everything you want to smell in a hoppy American I.P.A.

T- Takes a second to bloom. Hits cold and explodes into piny, citrus, goodness. Finishes very clean.

M- Effervescent, medium bodied and carbonated perfectly. Not heavy in the least and not thin and fizzy by any stretch of the imagination.

D- Very drinkable. This is a great American I.P.A. This is is my favorite stlye so I'm a little biased but the great crisp, refreshing, piny taste is there. Pour me another please!

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Photo of jxhill
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy deep orange color. Nice white head. Well balanced hops and toasted malt smells, citrusy and herbal. Flavor much the same. Very tangy, earthy hops flavor that is not at all aggressive or bitter. Nice maltiness and medium body. Slight citric sourness towards back of tongue. Nice long pleasant finish fading to soft grassy hops, then biscuity malt. Good lacing. A delicious and well-balanced IPA.

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Photo of aquaphiliac
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer for $9.99.

A: Nice dark gold color with a decent head. Very Pretty

S: Smells of hops mostly; some sweetness in the scent.

T: Kinda the opposite of the smell... dominating malt sweetness and a little bit of hops. Still pretty bitter on the finish, I guess I was expecting something totally different. Not bad though.

M: Perfect body IMO; on the full side.

D: Didn't really want more than 2 of these in a row, definitely not the most drinkable IPA I've tried.

Overall decent value but will probably not buy again just because I'd appreciate a little less malt.

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Photo of Bombers4Benedict
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For around $5 you can't find a better IPA, in my humble opinion. This one won't knock your head off like others but delivers all the heavy hoppyness you expect from an IPA while maintaining a light, drinkable side.

A - Gold, almosth lagerish body with a nice thick head that produces wonderufl lacing througout the glass.

S - A boost of citrus hops marry a grainy earthy finish, with hints of oatmeal.

T - What starts as a boost of orange on the tongue takes a slightly sour turn releasing a grapefuit precense and finishes with a malty alcohol salutation. Although I feel the alcohol is more present here than other IPA's it is balanced so well I actualy would be let down without it.

M - clean, fresh; a nice amount of carbonation boosts those sensations. Lingers in mouth for quite a while after a drink but not because of the odd IPA film that is sometimes left in the mouth.

D - All night long baby. Light enough to "keep em coming" and heavy enough to know you're drinking a real beer. If you are an Odell IPA or Two Hearted fan I feel this is right up that heavenly alley.

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Photo of gobseulmuhri
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured out of a bottle into a snifter.

a - hazy, golden hue with a half inch head. retention is decent and there's lovely lacing down the glass as it goes down

s - hoppy. first hit is piney resin followed by grapfruit, tangerine, and whiff of sweet tropical fruits. some light and sweet malt is present. overall, nose is not strong, but pleasantly light and airy.

t - again, piney hops and ripe clementines in the foreground with hints of mango and peach. the malt provides a subdued honey, bready background. whoa, this is a sweet ipa! the bitterness is subdued, and there is a very light feel to it - almost as if it's a summer version.

m - is on the thin side with limited carbonation. def wish there was some more carbonation and bitterness to make the mouthfeel more substantial. ehh, one may call it thin, another would call it sessionable.

this is a very pleasant beer. def not a hop bomb, but it's still enjoyable. by far the most sessionable ipa i've ever had.

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Photo of david23
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a hop lover's dream. Pours a light golden amber with an off white head that disapates to a thin layer but leaves a nice thin lacing as you enjoy. Hops is what this is all about.A lttle to cloudy for my taste. Initially just a wonderful wake up call to your taste buds and then settles down to a maltly feel but not for long. Get ready for a hop explosion that just continues and finishes with a dry hop flavor that just begs you to have another to quench your thirst.This is just a great example of an American IPA that has raised the bar of what can be done. A definite keeper. Bittering is a little heavy but i love that. Not for the uninitiated.

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Photo of ressletr
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice amber like color, with an awesome head. You can definitely tell that this beer was bottle conditioned. Extremley smooth for an IPA. I would actually consider this beer to be quite dangerous, no alcohol taste at all. The malt in it is outstanding, it laced the glass all the way down. I never had such a smooth IPA, if you haven't tried it yet, be sure to do so. I'm an Alesmith IPA freak but when you are looking for a smooth IPA please look at the Racer 5. I was pleasantly surprised with this ale. This beer is awesome, can hardly imagine it being an IPA,. I have seen a beer that laces all the way down to the bottom,. :-)

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Photo of jsimon816
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber - Production date of 10-16-07

A - Semi-cloudy orange rust color with thick creamy head

S - Pleasant not overwhelming hop bouquet

T - Smooth and creamy with hints of grapefruit, soothing hop flavor

M - Mellow with a nice hop finish on the back of the tongue

D - Fantastic IPA, very drinkable. A perfect balance of flavors, great first experience from this brewer. Sonoma wine country has some competition.

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Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this for the first time in SF and immediately fell in love with it because of its nice balance. Poured into a Duvel glass.

H: 1/4" head

A: beautiful dark amber

S: light, hoppy

T: wow, perfect balance of hops/yeast/carbonation

M: rico suave

D: i can drink this all night

this is a great beer to relax to over dinner or in front of the idiot box. this is one of my 'anytime' beers.

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Photo of FACSman
2.34/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark honey color with a decent head, slight haze. Head was quick to dissapate.

S - Rather astringent smell with little hop flower detecable.

T - Like an overhopped pale ale, not a very good IPA. No complexity to the hop character, just unpleasant bitterness.

M - Thin for an IPA, light carbonation.

D - I didn't want to finish my 22 oz. bottle.

I was really looking forward to this beer as I have heard many good things about the brewery. I was very disappointed.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle picked up at Top's Liquor in Tempe, AZ into an American pint glass.

Nice head and lace. Orangish color with medium amount of bubbles. Pours very clear and the bottle conditioned yeast stays in the bottle without any effort. Didn't leave a drop behind.

Huge hop nose but with a malt backbone. Tasted hops front middle and finish but was still balanced and driankable. Hoppy but not bitter. I could drink multiple of these.

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