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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.

2,238 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,238
Hads: 7,166
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 303
Gots: 1,028 | 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: 2,238 | Hads: 7,166
Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bear Republic 'Racer 5 IPA' @ 7.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $7

A-pour is a pale clear gold from bottle to glass with a small off white head leaving
a streaky lace along the stein

S-big pine smell on the opening & first pour

T-big bitter taste dominates from start to finish

MF-low/mild carbonation , full bodied , for such a bitter tasting IPA
it doesn't linger on the palate

Ov-ok beer , not the greatest IPA butt ok , I will sample again

prost LampertLand

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Photo of john1947
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just got this from my neighborhood growler shop. It goes down smooth and just hoppy like I enjoy. Used to drink Balantine Ale back in the day. Reminds me if this! Glad my carryout just tapped it finding out on facebook. Now to find some good and hot chicken wings to go with it.

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Photo of twizzard
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Read about R5 on a recent 'top xxx" thread. Went to my local bottle shop today, not necessarily looking for it, but was thrilled to find it nonetheless! Now one of my top 5's. Actually reninded me a bit of ZD(easy, ZD heads). Going back today to grab a another 6 or two...

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

props to IanSpindler for including this in a random trade a while back
A - slightly hazy golden, splenty of rising carbonation, one thumb of creamy white head retained nicely with plenty of sticky lacing
S - light citrus, fresh grass, bubble gum, mild biscuit, and buttery bread, well balanced aromas
T - gentle tropical citrus with some mellon, fresh floral and grassy hops, buttery biscuit malt support, this is definitely a treat
M - refreshingly carbonated and relatively light, super crisp up front, somewhat savoury with mild dry bitter finish, brightens up the palate without attacking it
O - this is incredibly tasty while being delicate and balanced, super sessionable, and all around outstanding brew

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle with racing inspired Bear Republic labeling. I really dig this brewery's logo. Unique and eye candy. Poured into a standard American pint glass

A - golden colored amber or one could say copper, but this is a darker golden ale for me. Head wasn't as big as some ipa's I've had but it did have some fluff to it and settled into a nice ring of lace with pretty good stickiness.

S - solid aroma. Not as big on the hops as typical west coast style ipa's are, but the overall aroma has some hoppiness to it. Citrus, grapefruit, some pine and somewhat floral hop aromas. A caramel and lighter malt background makes this aroma pleasing to take in. The pine really takes control after a few whiffs but its soft and refreshing to the nose.

T - man, is this a good flavor or what? Pine to start things off with hints of citrus and grapefruit flowing over the mouth nicely. Some caramel malt holds everything in place and really keeps the bitterness in check. Sure, it has some awesome mouth puckering hops but the bitterness never really grabs you. I love a well balanced ipa that still get its big flavor across without busting balls. The hop spice and bitterness gets a bit more pronounced in the final stage and supports the semi dry finish. This flavor is so classic and simple yet done to perfection.

M - medium bodied and smooth texture. It may be a touch on the thin side for an ipa of this style, but surprisingly does an excellent job of providing a good texture and an even better job of coating the entire feel. This is one of the easiest going ipa's you'll ever have.

O - throughout this experience I was shocked at just how laid back and simple Bear Republic kept this though its so good I never became bored with its perfect balance and simple flavors. It has the hoppiness and bitterness to allow yourself to take in a real world class American ipa while letting you take big, flavorable drinks. I'd recommend this to anyone and this lets me automatically love Bear Republic. What a California gem this thing is. The highest of marks from me

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

So after having some amazing IPAs it's always tough to have a new one after Heady, Pliny and Ghandi. This is a respectable and really tasty beer. Drank it out of the bottle and would explain it as bitterness that hits on the front and back but not too intensely. Can definitely smell and taste some piny hops with less citrus than some other ipas. I viewed it as a good session IPA and would buy again

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

A: Light gold color with one full finger head. Foam settles quickly.

S: Pine with a slight hint of malt.

T: Refreshing with a slight bitterness to it. Very enjoyable taste, and smoothness to it.

M: Medium bodied, well balanced, some carbonation, slight hops presence.

O: Outstanding beer. Purchased only one in a self chosen 6 pack. Will definitely purchase a six pack in the future.

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Photo of ChrisKayler
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Golden-orange, crystal clear.

Smell: Mango sweetness with strong pine thrown in. Citrus lingers on the nose as well.

Taste: Very citrus forward, followed by a strong piney bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A tasty citrusy IPA. It's a bit one dimensional and unbalanced, but if you happen to like the flavor (like I do), it's delicious and refreshing.

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Photo of _alex
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA is a fantastic "gateway" beer for those considering new styles of beers. If you are interested in trying craft style American brews, this one opens the doors to a new take on beers. The taste is mild hoppy, no bells and whistles, and is a solid IPA.

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

Bomber (dated 12/11/13) to imperial pint glass - 2 finger fluffy white head , noticeable bubbles from carb, clear medium golden color with a slight orange hue

aroma - bursting with fruit--passion fruit, grapefruit

taste - bitter hops but nice malt balance, then good amount of citrus

mouthfeel - great carbonation, medium body, a bit slick, dry finish

overall - this is really a top notch IPA, I need to pick this up more often. I bought a bomber of this while I was on a ski trip in Cali to drink

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%

Appearence - 5.0
Aroma 4.75
Taste 5.0
Mouthfeel 4.50
Overall 4.75

Pours a hazy golden could with a 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are moderate. Grassy, citric aroma. Resin. Hoppy. Great malty flavor that blends nicely with a grassy hoppy bitterness. A slight grapefruit, citric taste at the end. Great bitter aftertaste. Slightly soapy. This has been and still is one of my favorite beers and breweries overall.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

pours a cloudy golden color with a slight, quickly dissipating head.

grassy, hoppy aroma on the nose. not a huge hop bomb like I expected.

taste is, again, quite subdued. hops and malts are both there but aren't in your face huge. good citrus aftertaste with no alcohol present. higher side of medium bodied with low carbonation. decent drinkability.

overall, like other bear republic beers I've had, this one is lacking on that big kick of flavor. its balanced but the flavors just aren't intense. this isn't a favorite of mine.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into becker pint glass; slightly cloudy golden yellow with a medium-thin tight white head that leaves tons of lacing. Smell is resiny hops with floral/citrus notes in the background, and lots of malt as well. Taste is delicious; hops hit first with bitter and fruity flavors, then smooth creamy clean malts come in and smooth everything over leaving just a bitter aftertaste. The bottle-conditioning really smooths this one out, the 7% is well-hidden and this is delicious.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a light golden with a one-finger white head that quickly fades to a nice cap. Subtle citrus aroma. Grapefruit bitterness hits the tongue first. Pine and sweet malt follow. Nicely balanced. Finishes hoppy bitter but not over the top like other West Coast IPAs. Body on the light side with slight carbonation. An extremely well crafted IPA. Matter of fact, its my favorite West Coast IPA to date!

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Photo of TheMarkE
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful golden hue with a perfect head and generous lacing.

Smell: Subtle. I can make out some citrus, pine and malt.

Taste: Pine and citrus, hints of spice. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy, with just the right amount of bitterness at the end.

The Verdict: Very good. One of the smoothest, well balanced IPAs I've had. Definitely a West Coast style. Plenty of hops without being a hop bomb.

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Photo of SDbrewerJake
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had hype behind the name. Got a bomber and was let down... Average IPA with a nice balance but if a beer is hyped and I get my hopes up and they are shattered by a par beer... I weap. It had some fruity notes to it with a balance of malt in there... Drank a Stone cail-belgi after and enjoyed that about 3 x more.

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

From: Commons Ground Food Coop, Urbana, IL
Date: None on bottle, bought 6/8/13
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Bear Republic's Racer 5 is a classic American IPA that's complex enough to stand the test of time and mass appeal. Easily drinkable for those with an interest in hops, the hop-derived citrus and bitterness pairs well with the yeast-produced fruity esters and residual sweetness and breadiness from the malts. An easy go-to IPA that many others have emulated.

Pours a 1cm tall mass of fairly clean, white foam, made up of small and medium-sized bubbles, which has average retention of about one minute. The head falls to a thin ring around the glass and a light haze of residue atop the body. Lacing is good, The body of the beer is a fairly bright orange color with copper undertones, light bringing out very bright, orange-yellow hues in the primarily transparent (30-40% opacity) body. Carbonation is visible streaming up from the center of the glass.

Aroma is of substantial citurs note, primarily grapefruit, but also slight orange, and a noticeable sweetness contributed by the malts. Modest peppery character with a light bready component fill out the backside of the hoppy citrus scents. Solid for an IPA.

Front of palate is of pale malt and caramel malt sweetness with notes of grapefruit juice and hints of pine resin. Mid-palate is of substantial hop bitterness and spiciness with balancing fruity esters in the way of grapefruit and orange, with moderating caramel malt and slight breadiness from the pale malt and yeast. Back of palate is of hop bitterness, black pepper, slight ethanol, modest grapefruit and orange. Aftertaste is of substantial bitterness with a lingering grapefruit and pine bite with a hint of caramel malt.

Beer is medium-bodied with medium-low levels of carbonation, leading to a gently foamy, smooth mouthfeel. Closes dry, with little stickiness remaining on the palate.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewing snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch white head that soon fades to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing clings to the side of the glass leaving a thick ring behind.

S- Incredibly sharp, zesty hop aroma. A bit of malt sweetness too with a hop fume that cuts like a knife. Very unique and enticing.

T- Flavor follows suit with more citrusy sharpness and juicy grapefruit notes. The bitterness has a very tangy attack which sort of complements the somewhat high alcohol presence. Decent malt backbone provides just the right amount of sweetness to back up the brightness of the hops.

M- Big bites of hops all the way through, actually more stinging but in a great way. Medium carbonation and a body that's just a tad on the lighter side.

O- An excellent and unique IPA that I always love to drink. Has that west coast citrus bomb aspect to it but in a way that's still different and remarkable.

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Photo of apants007
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

poured form a bottle into a pint glass.

a: clear reddish amber. light head goes away pretty quick.

s: a little orange, some hoppy burn. not much.

t: more of the orange. nice blend of bitterness. tastes nice without leaving too much to think about. kinda like a dirty orange crush.

mf: decent carbonation. thick but not syrupy. again pretty good. not great.

not going to be my beer of choice. not mad at it but not super excited about it either.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Radiant coppery appearance under a billowy cloud like head, this IPA looks like poster boy.

Big notes of grapefruit and tangerines blend with a pine and malt aroma.

The taste is special with grapefruit, orange and tangerines taking the forefront. Mostly pine ends the sip with little to no malt base.

Overall, for a stock IPA and not a double, this packs a great deal into a little glass.

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Photo of CodyOebel
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect 5 for Racer 5.

Pours an orange amber as an IPA should. 5/5

Smells like hops, some sweet grassy tones, and I fingered the beer, lace is minimum. 5/5 for IPA smell. Not over hopped. Just PERFECT !!!

mouthfull is fizzy, carbonated, full breadth, and solid yet lightweight. It's a great beer 5/5

Taste is absolutely balanced. I've drank overly hopped IPA's, and this one is not overly hopped. It's strong hop presence is there. Much like cascade hops used strongly in the near end of the boiling process. The taste is piney, a light malt, bitter-sweet, and after taste is bitter hops, slightly acidic in a good way, leaving the lips slippery with a nice malt surface. When a little more warm I get a black pepper after taste. It has some nice complexity for an IPA 5/5

Overall I bought this beer at Trader Joe's a pint for 3.99$ One glass in and I'm buzzing good yet not over whelmed, or wanting to take a dive on the couch for a nap. The price and quality of this beer make it another game winner. I have tasted much more expensive IPA's and this matches or defeats them. I am not at all an IPA lover, but the occassional IPA drinker, and WOW I am impressed. I would suggest and buy this beer for friends and family who understand a little about beers, and could appreciate the price point, quality, and solid IPA Bear Republic produces with this liquid pleasure.

Thank you for reading my review.
Relax, have a home brew, and prosit !

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Photo of mtomlins
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Racer has a nice straw/hay color and pours to a white, cloudy (almost creamy) head. As the head falls, it leaves nice lacing on the glass. The beer is a bit hazy/cloudy, but as it is bottle conditioned, this is to be expected.

S: Racer has a big nose. Up front there is sweet fruit and citrus (oranges and a touch of grapefruit) with a touch of pine there as well.

T: Sweet malt and a blast of hops, bitter on the tongue but not overly. There is plenty of citrus and lots of juicy fruit. Racer finishes long and dry and begs another sample! Excellent balance and highly drinkable.

M: Full and round, smooth.

O: An awesome beer! A beautiful nose, sweet, fruity and a touch piney. It tastes fantastic, sweet and malty, hoppy, juicy, bitter and long. What impresses me the most is how balanced the beer is.

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Photo of dar482
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The color has a rich orange color and lots of carbonation.

The aroma has a nice juicy citrus, grapefruit and malt sweetness.

The flavor has a hoppy freshness with grapefruit, orange, pine, and then it finish with a bitter dry finish.

The body and malt backbone stand out for this beer. It's very well crafted with its drinkability. The refreshing grapefruit just keeps wanting you to drink more and more.

I'm re-reviewing this because I didn't care for this beer at all. Having this for the second time fresh on tap, this was fantastic.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden with a very slight orange tinge and very little cloudiness, low carbonation, a finger of off white slight sandy beach tinge, fades to a foam that lingers.

S: Floral, fruity, caramel, pine, hot red pepper, black licorice.

T: White grape fruit with lots of pith, pine, caramel, licorce, hot red pepper, follows nose really well. The alcohol is well hidden, with a little burning presence of it on the back of the tongue.

M: Medium thick body, somewhat bready and syrupy, but smooth finnish, little bitter grapefruit pith linger, little carbonation but enough to smooth it out.

O: A delicious representation of this style. Reminds me a lot of a double IPA, perhaps due to its weight in body and taste and alcohol, but its not quite there at a double. Would go well with spicy food, or enjoyed as I am on a hot day in Kunming China.

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Photo of bambam2517
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass after dinner, served at 45F.

A - Flat golden-blonde pour leaves almost nothing up top, looks lethargic and watery honestly. Lots of snowy unfiltered goodness though.

S - Mostly floral, some caramel sugar, a little hop pineyness.

T -Sweet honey citrus backed up by some hop bitterness.

M - Not at all unpleasant but pretty unremarkable. It just one of those.

O - Dialed back in every respect from my experiences in IPAs, I think that is exactly against the grain of West Coast IPAs in general. Not a fan. Heres one for people who say "I love IPAS, just dont like the hoppy tasting ones". What?

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,238 ratings.