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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: 7,211
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: 7,211
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 garthwaite
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with a white creamy head. Smell is pine & gentle hops. Initially I taste rich, rich malts - but not to worry loads of cascade & columbus pour in soon after to balance this bad boy out very nicely. The mouthfeel is nifty - slick & buttery. Well balanced & highly drinkable.

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


Big creamy head - 2 fingers that fall, leaving a sticky high water mark of lacing and creating a bulbous crannied head.

The head feels like whip cream on thelip - nice green nose, hoppy - fo course.

Mmmm-mmm, a sweet maltyness. Nose candy, and mouth candy. Like sucking on a malty-hop lolly-pop. Quite drinkable.

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

Many thanks to garthwaite for allowing me the chance to try this fantastic IPA.

Am amazing dark golden colour out of the bottle, I cannot remember a brew that offered such a heady and rocky head, at that. The aroma was just the kind of amazingly hoppy herbalicious backbone that I enjoy so much. The flavor is smooth and crisp, with notes of faint citrus, but make no mistake about it, this one is all about the hops. A fantastic IPA and, if I may say so, one of if not the best I have had in some time.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of GreenCard
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: low to no head, amber, good clarity

Aroma: passion fruit and pine needles, caramel, devil's food cake, hint of roast and an even smaller hint of diacetyl

Flavor: up-front lime peel bitterness concedes to a mellow caramelly malt flavor, green and grassy hop flavor, nicely layered hop profile, finishes pretty dry with a long-lingering limey bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, gentle carbonation, smooth, some warmth

Overall Impression: Quite balanced. Better than I thought it would be (wasn't impressed with Hop Rod Rye... the only other Bear Republic beer I've tried). This is an IPA's IPA. Very recommendable!

22 oz. bomber delivered by LBB and tasted by myself and BelgianBeers.

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

From a 22oz bomber.

Pours a hazy orange copper with a thick orangey-white head. Persistent lace. Smell is big citrus and floral hops. More sweet smelling than bitter.

Taste is fruity and citrusy. Nice malt backbone to lets the lupulins shine. Hoppy bitterness but lots of more complex flavors in there too. Dandelion and daisy flavors if you can believe it. Grapefuity citrus and a slow assertive lingering hop bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied and rounded hop profile. Very drinkable IPA and refreshingly complex. A good bet for sure.

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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 HardTarget
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: I’m getting a collection of hop smells. It’s almost overwhelming, and it’s a bit worrying, seems like this will cause my head to implode. Some minor fruit smells, mainly apple.
Appearance: Great looking beer, a hazy golden orange. Two finger head settled down to about a half finger of thick, fluffy, creamy white head that left tidemarks and impressive lace.
Flavor: There is enough malt to bring all the hops back to somewhere in the area of balance, but as the beer warmed, the hops really picked up and came close to a hop burn. A touch of sweet malt poked though to give a nice overall taste. The hops seem to be noble, Hallertauer perhaps.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, a thick fluid that triggered a chew.
Overall Impression: A very drinkable big brew. Quite easy on the eyes, it’s a beautiful beer. The noble hops kinda threw me, I’m used to more of American cascade, but different is good.

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Photo of edchicma
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wham! What great hops! Smell was extremely hoppy with a nice pine essence. Coppery appearance with a great head and outstanding lacing. Taste was fantastic.Extreme hop presence with a great bitterness....but smooth.. a great combination! Mouthfeel was rich, with some creamy quality that I was not expecting...great! Strong on the abv, but not overwhelming....could drink a couple but then...This is my second Bear Republic offering and certainly not my last....their brews are at the top of my list.

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Photo of Crosling
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish-Peach. Lovely color. The head is creamy and dense and stays aloft for a long while.

Fresh, crisp, juicy and clean aroma. Lots of butterscotch in the nose with lemon, other citrus notes and pine.

Rich and floral throughout. Heavily bitter. Orange, lemon and other citrus notes combined with a whole lot of floral and pine qualities all demolishing the caramel from the malt. The caramel that is their is lovely.

This is a highly hopped IPA. Not excessive and very drinkable. I definately am getting my alpha acid fix here as well.

A great beer to start off the night. Now I need to clean my palate with some cream havarti cheese and ge ready for De Dolle Oerbier Reserva 02.

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

Pours a hazy copper colored brew.

Smell is malt and hops that tickle your nose. The hops are a mellow citrus smelling variety.

Taste is a well-balanced ale with the hops and malt just about perfectly balanced against one another. The hops give this a dry astringent after taste.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A very drinkable brew. The label on this reminds me of "Speed Racer." Go Speed Racer Go!

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Photo of ADR
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright dark gold color with tiny brown flecks caught in suspension. Nice head, pale in color and lasts about 45 seconds or so. Sheet-like lacing. Bright orange citrus aroma, little else. Mouthfeel is just shy of medium. Hops assert early, juicy and chewy in the American style, and backed by aromatic essence. Straight-up orange rind is the biggest imression here. The malt backbone just doesn't punch through much, but the hops have enough depth to give some interest and a complexity of sorts on the bittering side. Clean finish, but definitely pithy. Well-done beer for a hop mood, but how many IPAs tread the same road?

Source: Liquid Solutions

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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