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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.

2,231 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,231
Hads: 7,129
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 295
Gots: 996 | 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: 2,231 | Hads: 7,129
Photo of UnionMade
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a coppery gold, a slight haziness adding a glow to it. A thick froth of white head billows up, settling into a rocky lump, leaving huge amounts of lace that coats the pint glass. A small pile of foam rests at the bottom when the beer is done.
The aroma is apparent from several feet away. It's like walking into a hop garden. Pungently floral and citric, with an incredibly fresh aroma distinctly akin to sticking your head into a bag of freshly picked hop cones. Good malt balance, incredibly, with a mild toasty quality. Faint fruity esters and a trace of alcohol round out the scent.
The flavor starts with a rich, sweet malty goodness. A bit of a dextrinous feel, creating a rather full mouthfeel. A bit of yeast adds both body and a mildly sweet breadiness. The hops settle in quickly, plopping themselves down with an insane amount of rindy hop flavor. A bit of flowery pear esters add a touch of fruitiness, continuing into the finish. The finish picks up considerable bitterness, barely kept in check with the malt. Intensely floral hop flavor, with a slight citric bite. Almost impossibly fresh tasting, like the hops were added while still live on the vine. A light fusel alcohol bite right in the end. The hop aftertaste continues for hours after the bottle is finished. A beefy medium body, slowly pushed along by slight, understated carbonation. A bit slick in feel, somehow finishing crisp and fairly dry. Great stuff.
This beer is really quite over the top, more in the double IPA category by my standards, but so endearing in it's jolly bigness. One of the most spectacularly fresh tasting IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking. Really amazing, considering it's from a bottle. Great stuff. (1,724 characters)

Photo of Shiredave
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep golden color, tall, off white head with excellent retention and lacing.
Aroma is BIG piney hop ( centennial Im thinkin) and marmalade on warm toast.
Great citrus and malty grain flavors up front with a sharp hop bite on the tongue. Malt sweetness doesnt hang around long as strong grass and pine needle hop takes over and dominates this outstanding IPA. Fresh raw grain character makes it taste just that; very fresh.
Medium - full mouth feel with a controlled, peppery bitter finish and a warming tickle of alcohol. Tasty hop burbs! (544 characters)

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellowish orange, with a quickly receding head, and leaves little spots of lace. The smell is grapefruity pine from the hops, with a subtle hint of musty groudcover, kind of like fresh mushrooms. The taste is, interestingly, strong with peanut flavor. There is a brief hint of syrupy sweet hops right before the peanut kicks in. The flavor melts into a blend of all these tastes, with a slightly astringent bitter taste. The beer feels both dry and lightly syrupy on the tongue. An interesting beer to be certain. (526 characters)

Photo of longpondbeerman
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bomber, this IPA poured a light sparkling gold topped off by a medium snow white head. The aroma of hops wafts potently up from the bubbles, and the grapefruit esters are prevelant as I bring the pint glass to the nose. The taste is tart and hoppy--very hoppy. The bitter grapefruit aroma dominates too in the taste, but there is a strong nutty current--this is nicely intricate, well-balanced, and with a substantial mouthfeel. Much like the Dogfish Head 60. I like. A lot. (483 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 is a damn fine IPA, one whose periodic on-tap availability is eagerly anticipated by regional beer quaffers throughout the Pac Northwest. It pours with a tall head of soapy white suds that leaves thready lace garlands as it recedes. The crisp hop nose is a genuine standout feature owing to a hearty infusion of Northwestern grown Columbus hops. Racer 5 is golden and clear but yeast particles will not stay in the bottle. They pour out in thick chunks and gobs that might appear unappetizing to some. The body is smooth with a bitterness that is striking but not excessive. Hearty, drinkable and clean. Racer 5 delivers everything you might expect from a good IPA. (673 characters)

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

Pours a clear copper color, and is topped by a 3 finger tan head. Nice aromas of orange, apricot, and a general pungent fruitiness course through my nose as I take a big whiff. Interestingly enough I also get some notes of just over-ripe plum as I go in for another sniff. The first sip, ahhh, this was the hop fix that I have been looking for. This beer is ripe with hop notes from beginning to end. There is a medium level of sweetness, and a toasted maltiness in the finish. The sweetness helps to pick up and accentuate the fruity hop notes that are in this beer. The hops taste of apricot, lychee, and ripe citrus fruit. It finishes with a solid bitterness that ties the whole beer together and demands that you take another sip. This is the beer I was looking for tonight, it just hits the spot. (801 characters)

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

At the Henrietta MacGregor's I had one of these today. It wasn't my first time, but I haven't reviewed this one yet.
Bear Republic is a brewer that defines quality. They take great time and effort in the concocting of every beer that leaves the brewery. Racer 5 is no exception.
Pouring a wonderfully hazy copper colour and blanketed in a beautiful white, frothy head, it is everything a good IPA should look like. The head lasted quite a while and left a spider web of lace as I drank the beer.
The head released a strong floral aroma of roses and also a soft citrus scent. This led to an easy to drink, yet complex taste. At first I noticed a sweetness accented by a floral and grassy feel. It finished with a bittersweet citrus taste. It's wonderful what hops can do.
Racer 5 is one of the IPA's that is really putting micro brews on the map. It is a quality ale that is, without a doubt, everything a good IPA should be. I found it easy to drink and rather refreshing.
Who is this beer for? The people who would enjoy this most are the more discriminating drinkers. Someone who truly appreciates a complex ale such as this. I would also suggest that someone who is just starting to build their palate stay away from this until they develope a strong palate for hops. This is a true west coast IPA. There is little balance in order for the hops to make their pressance known. (1,383 characters)

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

This was a very nice sampling. It kept me interested and on my toes with a nice floral taste. It's definitely hoppy, but not excessively so. This is my third beer from this brewery and they've all been of suprising quality and had a very nice taste. It's substantial, but not overwhelming. (289 characters)

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

Pours a clear dark golden color with a big thick creamy head with nice coating sheets of lace.

Smell is sweet and aromatic. Citric hops with sticky sweet malt.

Taste is a well balanced blend of citrus fruit, more lemon less grapefruit, and biscuity malt that holds throughout. The flavor of this is never lacking and never too big. It is very drinkable because of that. Leaves a lingering sour/bitter note.

Mouthfeel can be best described as perfect, It's heavy enough to provide support for the flavors and never taste watery but doesn't bog down the beer either, makes it real smooth and creamy.

Overall, a very enjoyable brew. Thanks to WVBeerGeek! (663 characters)

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

Appearance: Golden copper with heavy carbonation. Creamy, sticky white head with clinging sheets of lace. (This is a characteristic that all BR beers I've had tend to possess.)

Smell: Definitely an IPA, with the typical citrus hop notes. Not really that "big"as far as IPAs go, particularly left-coasters.

Taste: Nice citric hops initially, well balanced by the maltiness. A little green in the finish, and quite bitter and drawing at the end. A good IPA, but not one of my favorites. (490 characters)

Photo of twilight
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yum. Yum. Yum.

I have to gush about beeradvocate turning me on to good beer. The appearance was this golden reddish colour, with hop schmutz floating around the glass. Being a homebrewer, I appreciated this touch, even though it was probably unintentional, and would have settled to the bottom had I kept the bottle in the fridge longer. The smell is slightly sweet with a clean and crisp hop aroma. The taste- yum yum yum- a sweet malt flavor that coats the mouth with a great balance of hops. More hops than in normal beers, but deliciously balanced by the malt. While drinking it, the phrase smooth bitterness popped into my head. This feels full, rich, delicious with light carbonation and a dry hop aftertaste. I love this beer. Can't wait to try more. Am particularly lucky to have found this in NYC. Let's hope my supply doesn't dry up. (846 characters)

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

Purchased a 22 ounce bomber at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours solid gold with a cloud-white half-inch head. Thick, foamy ring of lace left on the glass.

The nose is an elegant explosion of hops -- pine trees, orange and lemon rinds.

Aggressive hops adroitly come through on the tongue, bordered by some citrus accents, leaving a clean, tart aftertaste. Alcohol is in the taste, too -- well masked by the other flavors -- pleasantly warming the back of my throat.

Mouthfeel is silky yet full-bodied enough to bear the bounty of hops without falling on its ass.

As a big fat hop head, I loved drinking this. I mean, I'm loving it -- not finished the bottle, yet!

Not my favorite of the big and bold IPA's, but it ranks high.

p.s. After some deliberation, I want to add that this tastes a lot like Hop Rod Rye without the rye (also by Bear Republic). I'm thinking of Racer 5 as the delicious, inferior twin. (945 characters)

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber. Poured a clear golden color with a frothy, eggshell white head that receded into a ring around the edge of the glass and tons of sticky lace on the sides. Smell was super citrusy coupled with an orange sweetness and other fresh citrus fruits. The taste was brutal in the hop department which smoothed into a very malty profile for the color. As the beer warmed the 7% ABV really takes hold. However, with the adition of the sediment the taste mellows considerably to a grassier flavor with a honey-baked sweetness and the hops took a more subdued floral approach. Quality IPA and glad to have it in the Rochester area. (633 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have saved this awesome gift from Boilermaker88 for a special event.. and I need it tonight for luck and comfort. This is the pre-NFC championship beer.

Musty sweet hop flowers with a touch of pine on the tip of my nose. Nice airy white head on the pour with a very filtered golden color look in the glass with a touch of amber color. Initial blast taste-wise of orange rind, sweet malt, pine, and grapefruit juice in the bitter dry finish on the tongue. Fullish soft mouth upfront this then turns dry on on the back of the tongue in the finish. The finish could be slightly better balenced (malt wise).. but that is just me being picky. Overall this is a wonderful ipa that impacts the mouth and tongue with its hop presence. Very good! (743 characters)

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

5-25-02 Slightly skunky European hop smell...very frothy creamy head...cloudy light orangish in color...light-to-medum bodied..no skunkiness on taste...strong hops present but very balanced..big grapefruit taste but an adequate malt profile as well...a very good/excellent IPA

1-10-04...excellent citrusy IPA with a great nose and flavor....raised scores slightly after really having an enjoyable second experience.. (419 characters)

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

Appearance: Golden with a hint of caramel amber color. Great head retention.

Aroma: Fanciful enormous citrusy hop aroma. Aroma is very nice. Caramely citrus blend. Candied hops.

Taste: Upfront a bit of maltyness, with a tiny hint of vegital hop flavor. Great mouthfeel. Citrusy hops overpower what little vegital flavor is present. Finish is nice dry and quick. Flavor isn't quite as hoppy as expected from the wonderful aroma. But it's still a great beer.

Notes: Very nice. Should be better from a fresher bottle. (523 characters)

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

The white head went fast, but the bubbles kept showing up.

Has a rich golden colour.

Has a strong hop aroma.

Starts with an agressive hop flavour up front that seems to cover the tounge, then has a hint of sweet malt that finished with a slightly dry roasted flavour. (276 characters)

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the five best IPA's I've ever tasted and a beer that continuously delivers excellent quality. The balance of hops and malt is fantastic. This is what the robust California IPA is all about. I can only think of a few IPA's that rival this one. Unless you've tried one, you have not achieved beer nirvana. (310 characters)

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

Great big cream colored fluffy head with really thick lacing that was more like a solid blanket on the side of the glass. Smell was huge with a lot citrus notes and serious piney notes. Taste followed suit with a somewhat lighter malt side and great hop character of sweet citrus and resonous pine with a nice peppery, spicy finish. Very clean and dry. This is a great session IPA cause it's malt body is not over the top and it is not to heavy, although it is bottle conditioned to 7% so you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Like this one alot and will grab it when I can. (574 characters)

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

Phew, this one was something else!
Pungent hop aroma, like smelling fresh hop pellets. Poured a clear copper color, with two finger thick head that slowly dissipated and left an impressive lacing all over the place. Carbonation was minimal.
They must have dry hopped the hell out of this brew. I braced myself for a hop overload, but was surprised to taste a pretty well balanced beer (balanced for an IPA anyway). There is an initial bite, mixed with a bready malt tone, then hops all the way through to the finish. Every sip was an explosion of flavor! (557 characters)

Photo of DagFishHead
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber pour. Voluminous, creamy, eggshell-white head hangs in there like meringue on a lemon pie. Thick, creamy spider-web lace.
Smell: Holy hops! Olfactory assault of floral and citrus hops, hop oils, piney, toasty malt in the background with a decent whiff of alcohol and breadiness.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied caramel malt followed by a sharp whack of piney/pitchy hops, clean crisp carbonation at the top, bitter/citrus hops dry to the bone leaving a flowery and oily/acidic hop aftertaste. Better balance than implied by the nose.
Drinkability: A superbly balanced IPA. I'll be looking for this again and again. (642 characters)

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

An excellent IPA from Bear Republic. This pours out a creamy orangey/peachy colour with a large white head of foam. The aromas are all fresh cut piney/citrusy hops with a nice malt backbone to boot. The taste is a hop explosion with some great bready malts on the finish. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and reminds me of real ale. Bottle conditioned magic, I tell ya. The drinkability is excellent as well. All hail the bear! Why is this stuff SO EASY to get anywhere in NYC, but impossible to get in PA, why....why....why....!? (527 characters)

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

Clear light copper. Very fine white head settles to a complete cap leaving nice lacing.

Nose is citric hop over a slightly rich biscuity malt. Very well-balanced.

Balance carries through to the palate. Lots of malt, and lots of wonderfully extracted hop flavor. Finish is long, and well-balanced between hop bitterness and malty sweetness.

Very soft beautiful bottle-conditioned mouthfeel really keeps the hop bitterness in check. Simply excellent. Its nice to find an American IPA that has the malt to balance, not just support, the hops. (548 characters)

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

Pours amber/copper with a large white creamy head that somewhat lasts and leaves a fair amount of lace. Aroma has hints of sweet maltiness, but is dominated with strong citrus hoppiness. Flavor starts with some fine malts, then comes a pile of chewy, juicy, super fresh tasting hops that linger around for a while. Medium-full bodied, slightly acidic, ends pretty dry. (368 characters)

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

I usually don't go for IPAs unless I have companion food to fend off the hops, but as I take a single taste of this stuff I know that it will be fine on its own. My pint arrives with a small head which soon diminishes to a foamy strip winding its way across a thin film of suds. The beer has a pleasingly mellow, coppery tinge that softens it from amber to something reminiscent of pumpkin. It carries a happy, crisp, moderately hoppy scent.

The taste is amazingly full and round for an IPA. I am very impressed. It has a big, lovely, solid body backing up a hoppiness which brings green, growing things to mind. Its metallic bite is embedded in an overarching rounded taste which protects me from what might otherwise be a harsh experience. Toward the end of the pint I notice a slightly woody element. This beer is not all that complicated but its fullness provides an enjoyable drinking experience. (904 characters)

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,231 ratings.