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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.

2,243 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,243
Hads: 7,214
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 312
Gots: 1,056 | 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: 2,243 | Hads: 7,214
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer at the Yardhouse in Long Beach, served in a pint glass. The appearance was pale orange with no head (maybe due to the bartender's technique).

The smell is overwhelmingly hops, and the flavor is mostly hops but with some malt balancing it slightly. Almost no bitterness in the after-taste, so it was really easy to drink. A very good IPA.

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Photo of asabreed
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Huge head that keeps building and turning into almost what a Belgian would look like; the carbonation keeps pushing it up, and it's clumping around the middle and bubbling around the edges. Huge amount of bubbles too, as I said. The color is a light golden yellow. Lacing continues to clump and look like a Belgian and the head is indomitable.

Smell: Huge floral and perfume from the hops. Not much citrus or pine, but tons of welcoming sweetness. The sweet malt characteristics are also balanced well. Aromatic and effervescent stuff.

Taste: Awesome balance between the malt and hops. The sweetness from both comes through very well. I get some fruit from the malt and the perfume from the hops. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, but the carbonation has settled down from the initial pour. For how sweet it is as an IPA, though, which I'm not used to really, it never becomes cloying.

Drinkability: It seems to be easy enough to make an IPA, but likewise it seems hard to make one that's singular in nature. This brew, however, is pretty awesome for the style. As I said, it's sweeter than most I've had, but for the balance it ends up working well. Still, if you're a hophead as far as the bitterness goes, you may not dig this as much.

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Photo of tempest
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Blue Tusk.

Poured into a weizen glass, this beer looks awesome. As I drink it down, its possibly the best look IPA I ever seen, let alone beer I've seen in the past few months. A hazy orange with white head and lacing all the way down the long weizen glass.

Smell and taste, however, are less amazing. Smells and tastes of west coast hops, very cascade like. Piney, citrus, grapefruit together at once. It was a good and balanced flavor, but lacks the complexity that would make this a great beer. Not overly bitter for the sake of being bitter like some IPAs, it earns it bitterness and flavor.

Very good mouthfeel and drinkability. I had no idea this was 7%, felt like any other good IPA. If I had this all night, I might end up on the floor.

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

Brought this back from a mid-March trip to sunny CA. I'm glad that I did, and I'm glad that I will be moving out there soon.

A: Hazy goldenrod body topped with 3+ fingers of rocky, white head. One of the most exciting IPAs to watch. Bubbles zip to the top and the head sticks around forever. As I drink it down, huge waves of lacing cling to the glass. If it doesn't get rinsed immediately, it will take a sandblaster to wash the lacing out of this glass.

S: Muted but fresh hops. Mostly sweet citrus with touches of pine. Sweet malt underneath that provides a background to the hops.

T: Probably the most balanced IPA I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Seems to be working backwards. Fresh, tasty, bitter hops up front finishing with sweet malt. Bitter (piney) hops in the aftertaste.

M: Carbonation is great. Light feeling, but enough body to give something to taste.

D: Tasty and fun to drink. I'm drinking it a bit too fast because it is so enjoyable.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber. Bottling date unknown. It's quite possible that this beer had been at the store since last fall, since I purchased a few others that did have that kind of age on them. But hey, I can't get this where I live so I was willing to risk picking up a past-its-prime beer.

Mostly clear orange-copper with creamy white head. The nose offers clean, fresh citrus, albeit on the light side. Sweet hops jump to the front of the palate, offering juicy, crisp citric flavors. This leads right into a firm and focused bitterness that rides right into a bitter/slightly tart finish. The alcohol begins to stir in the gut, and that sense of well-being begins to set in. Aahhh... Racer 5 is a clean, enjoyable brew with all the credentials of a great West Coast IPA.

As I said, this beer might be on the old side. Not that it's gone bad mind you -- at 7% ABV it has a decent shelf life, but it seems to me that, as good as this beer is, it's likely even better and hop-licious when fresh.

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Photo of jhu1995
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very pale orange color. Medium, white head, with plenty of lacing as the beer is consumed. Smell was mostly citrus with some peach flavors showing in the background. Taste was similar to the smell. Light to medium body and pretty drinkable. I have a tendency to get bored with hoppy beers after one or two of them, but this one kept my interest long enough that I would grab another.

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Photo of soultrain
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into an Ommegang Chalice.

A-Opaque golden-orange with great "straight line" carbonation. Some chunks of hop/yeast goodness present. 1" white merangue foam on top, excellent lacing: by the finish sides of glass are coated all the way down with thick ropes of lace. Mmmmm.
S-This beer smells fantastic. Citrus/Grapefruit hop lovers dream come true= My dream come true, too.
T-This is my idea of a great California IPA, an orchard of citrus, some pine, some grass, malts there in a hop supporting role, but mostly beautiful let-me-appreciate-this-moment citrus hops. Did I mention citrus? The bitterness in this IPA just rules, and I could make some uneducated guesses to which high I.B.U. west coast hops were involved in making this awsome IPA (Columbus and Cascade?), but no, I think i'd really rather enjoy this beer....sometimes writing a review is more fun that drinking the beer, but with this Bear Republic Gem, that is not the case. This beer is one on the reasons I entered "American IPA" in my profile; it's better than looking at "apparently, none," right? Right. This beer finishes semi-sweet/semi dry, and if that's a peculiar statement, so's the fact that 7% alcohol is nowhere to be found. Christ, I want more...
M-Good mouthfeel. Smooth light/medium body.
D-An IPA lover's wet dream.

CRUX: AWSOME WEST COAST IPA. As Stone Ruination has become impossible to find around here, this has taken it's place in my DBF where it's ALWAYS at hand, and my world is all the richer... With this and their masterpiece "Hop Rod Rye" in their portfolio, Bear Republic is indeed a WORLD CLASS BREWERY. REALLY, REALLY GOOD STUFF: I wish my voice was loud enough to sing their praises. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bomber at Once Upon a Vine in Richmond. Poured a clear, amber-gold with some shampagne-like bubbles and a 1 inch head that stuck around my Duvel snifter and left great retention. The aroma was a fairly typical IPA, very piney hops and somewhat citrus-y, honey and some sweet fruits.
The taste was interesting; typically what I expect from these IPAs is a bitter and hoppy which peaks, shocking your taste buds for a split second before fading into a sweeter aftertaste. This had little or not "punch" or "peak", which I have to admit I enjoyed. It did start piney and hoppy, dry and a little bitter, but faded before the punch into a smooth mellow sweetness, possibly some caramel aftertaste. Very smooth, excellent transition, and I have a feeling it is a bit more complex than I'm explaining here. Very good taste in general.
The feel was bitter and dry at first, fading into a sweet smoothness as stated above. Not much carbonation.
I thought this was highly drinkable. A little higher ABV but I polished off this whole bomber and wanted more. This is my first Big Bear brew, and I sure hope its not my last.

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Photo of haroldp
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has an ugly label. But don't be fooled, it hides a really fantastic beer. Yum. Smells great, tastes better.

Two hundred and fifty characters eh? Ok, um, dark amber, sort of like, beerish, color. Tastes like IPA. Great burp taste too. Do not discount that.

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Photo of doubleipa
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up while on business in Maryland. Fair amount of hops in th earoma, but not a whole lot. Has a different hoppiness that most other IPAs, in my view, even though there is a lot of grapefruit present. Head disappears quickly.at recedes fairly quickly. Carbonation is good. Can't say that I would want to pick another of these up.

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Photo of bignick
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Publick House in Brookline 4/20/06. Served in a pint glass.

This is a huge kick-in-the-mouth American IPA. The smell incredibly pungent; the stong citrusy hop scent foreshadows what's to come. The taste of hops really nails the palate, and it is uncompromised in its dryness. This is one hell of a west-coast IPA, and has long been one of my favorites.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent IPA, but not something I would want to drink alot of. The hops kind of have that crushed aspirin flavor. Good in small doses, but not refreshing, which is a quality I tend to look for in an IPA.

The beer pours to a clear golden blonde color with a wispy white head that recedes fairly quickly. Carbonation is good. Lacing is alright as well.

The smell is good. Lots of grapefruity hops. Not much else. Sweet and malty. The taste is syrupy and grapefruity with a big crushed aspirin amarillo flavor. Doesn't seem to be too bitter, just very sweet and citric. Would probably be bitter with a little less malt (and thus a lower ABV). This formula seems to do well for them, however. Whatever.

The body is fairly light, but it has a sticky, syrupy hop flavor that dries out somethin' fierce. Not something I'll be drinking again, unless it's just a small sample.

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

22 oz. brown bomber with no date I could find.

Clear light copper in color with a white clinging big bubbled froth that laces and rings down the glass.

Pine, pancakes, pineapple, grapefruit, and caramel notes in the nose.

Medium bodied, initially crushed velvet smooth, the mouthfeel turns oily and slick with a blasting grapefruit taste as it develops. Resinous pine sap, herbal notes, and candy sweetness show as it warms. A cracker-like malt backbone plus the sugary sweetness hold up well to the hop onslaught.

Although I favor the Amarillo/Warrior hop flavors, it's hard to beat the tried and true C-hop flavors for AIPA's. One of my favorite examples of the style.

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Photo of MarineHokie
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Redish gold color slightly hazy. Ample head sticks around & leaves light crystal lacing.

S - Pine, fresh garden veggies and hints of juniper. A little scent of malt sweetness sneaks by as well.

T - Soft piney hop bitterness attacks the tip of the tongue with spreading out across its breadth. The malt fights through briefly and futiley before being crushed by a bitter hop finish.

M - Light body, smooth carbonation, nearly mouth puckering bitterness.

D - Amazingly drinkable considering the ABV & IBUs. Like this brew in a 22 oz bottle, but nearly amazing on tap.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light golden yellow. The head is light yellow. It fades slowly, leaving many lac es.

This beer has a grassy aroma. It smells slightly piney. It has a little cirtus to it, but not much else. None of the aroma is too strong.

This beer tastes a lot like it smells. Grassy, with a slight pine flavor. The citrus flavor makes a slight apperence.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It goes dowm smooth, leaving a grassy hop aftertaste. It is carbonated well.

I think this beer would be a good session beer. It is not overbearing. It is just slightly high in alcohol, so that wouldnt be too much of a problem. I will have this one again.

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Photo of electrified
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange/copper in color, a little hazy. Nice head, some lacing. Smells of high-grade cannabis and grapefruit. Smells wonderfully hoppy. Full-bodied and smooth and somewhat creamy. Very nice. Taste is hops and more hops -- citrus and grapefruit -- and a malty, biscuity background, but hops dominate. Wonderful.

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

I like Bear Republic Brews even though I know a lot of people find them 'unique' versions of style
This pours a nice clear orange amber with a craggy white 2 finger head that melts to a wonderful lacing that follows the drink throughout the glass.
Aroma is slightly sweet hops with light fruit and maybe pine.
Taste is all hops to start with then a sweet grapefuit that leaves a dry aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is smoothly buttery or oily with tiny carbonation and light alcohol burn as you swallow.
Very nice west coast IPA....not as smooth (or mild) as Bridgeport IPA, but not meant to be.
I can drink several of these

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

This is a cloudy orange beer with a foamy, tan head that leaves a creamy lacing on the glass. The smell and taste are both strictly hops. Mouthfeel is a bit oily but makes for a smooth drinking beer. I understand the whole west coast vs. east coast debate, but I know many east coast IPAs that are just as good, if not better. I drink this again and it is a good IPA, but I can do just as well in the east.

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

Bottle Pours a clear golden with a fizzy white head, that produces good lacing and lasts fairly well. Has a good hoppy aroma of spruce. Has an oily texture with good carbination. Has a real good duration with a nice strong bitter finish.This is what I love in an IPA. Bold and powerfull. Very well done. Has a very smooth ability to hit you with a solid bitterness. I highly recommend this one

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Photo of numenor1
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly clear light golden orange in color with a fluffy, thick bubbled sticky white head that laces exceedingly well. Smells like fresh cut pine with a citric quality to it. Starts with a dry bitterness which is fleshed out with nice caramel and toasty malt through the middle with scales moving back toward pine sap and orange through the finish. A very nice even keel bitterness is present throughout and lasts long on the palate. A bit of alcoholic spice bite near the end too. This is beautifully balanced, definitely avoiding the candied hop taste that some IPA's lean to. Body is medium full with creamy carbonation. Fairly drinkable, i'm finding, i'm taking no time with this bomber...

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from a 22 oz. bomber leaving a 2 inch head that subsided into an inch by halfway down, to 1/2 inch the rest of the way, leaving thick lacing all the way. Hazy golden orange amber. Aroma of pine and more pine, slight malt sweetness. Taste was exactly like aroma- pine, and citrus, with slightly underrepresented malt backbone, but good nonetheless, finished with more pine. Mouthfeel was full and smooth with thick (oily?) bitter (good) taste on tongue and in mouth. Drinkability- I enjoyed this- a very good IPA and one I will get often.

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

One of the many good beers from this series. This beer gives off a very light rustic color, but packs a good punch. The nose is strong and very potent. To me, it gives off the smell of 2 different kinds of finishing hops. Its like drinking liquid copper. The supper hop flavor is complimented by smooth malt and grains. Goes down smooth with not to much of a citrus bite. The boiling hops are a little more calm. It doesn’t leave your mouth dry. Sharp finishing/aroma hops matched with mellow boiling hop makes the best combination. This is the IPA that drinks like a golden ale with a kick ass hop combination.

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Photo of Suds
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew has a huge white head, foamy and rocky, that sits atop a golden-amber colored liquid. It’s fairly clear, makes for an attractive beer. Smells like a whole lot of hops…grapefruit and pine…hugely West Coast. The hops almost wholly eclipse a faint malt character. The taste is centered on bitterness, with a detectable malt sweetness in the foretaste that offsets the hops. Lots of hops and edgy sharpness in the finish. Medium body and very pleasing…certainly a hop monster!

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

Another fine beer by Bear Republic. Pours clear amber. A small head of foam diminishes to a wisp in a matter of seconds. Some nice looking lace remains on the sides of my glass.

Smell is sweet and fruity. Some woody elements too.
Taste is a smooth well balanced blend of malt and hops with a nice piney and citrussy hop kick. Quite smooth --almost peachy or apricot-ish. Excellent.

A velevet like mouthfeel and a great smoothness make this an excellent version of this style. One of my favorite IPAs. Even better on tap.

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

A - Amber orange with some tiny floaties if you look close. The head is white and fluffy and just looks wonderful. The floaties don't bother me at all and just remind me that this is a craft brew.

S - Smells great. Piney and citrusy. Clean maltiness peaks it's way through but the hops are still the star here.

T - Piney and resiny with a little sweet malt. Lemons, grapefruit... there's just enough malt to balance things out but the hops are the dominant flavor.

M - Moderately carbonated. Goes down smooth and finishes crisp from the bitterness. Refreshing in an IPA kind of way.

D - This one of my favorite IPA's. Very well balanced with just enough snap to remind you that you're drinking an IPA and not an APA.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,243 ratings.