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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,276 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,276 | Ratings: 7,427
Photo of ybnorml
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazey orange/amber colored ale with a nice off white head, no lace. A lovely hop boquet both piney and a sweet grapefruit intertwined. A sharp piney hops at the start of the taste with a smooth hint of grapefruit sweetness on the finish. Another good west coast IPA.

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

Bear Republic is becoming one of my favorite breweries, and it's all because of the hops. Anyway. Racer 5 pours an orange-golden with a fluffy, off-white head. Smells of big, piney, resiny, citrus-tinged hops. But there's also a sweet, sugary malt backbone. Taste is much like the smell. Nice, sugary malt backbone up front, followed by big, fresh evergreen logs, dipped in grapefruit juice. Dry finish, with lingering maltiness. Full-bodied, chewy malts, yum. One of my favorite West Coast IPAs.

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

Tap, Toronado, San Francisco. Pretty hoppy and bitter, citrus rind, lychee, pine. Intense, but nice softness round the edges, and really good balance, which setes it apart from the slightly stickier versions of the style you find in the US, really well made and just plain tasty. Yummy stuff.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a crisp orange colour with a bubbly, foamy head that sticks all over the glass. smell is a balanced mix of caramel, other sweet candy, hops, bread, coconut and bubble gum. no one thing dominates here. the flavour weighs a bit mor eto the hop/bread side than the sweetness picked up in the nose, though that characteristic is still here in the flavour. starts out a bit sweet and juicy even, then moves into a touch of malt biscuit flavour before being hit with a full on hop attack that, while not huge, is a nice kick in flavour and mouthfeel. an overall tasty ipa from bear republic.

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

Pours a golden amberish color with a fluffy off-white colored head. Big sprucy, Columbus hoppy nose and some bready, grainy, caramel-like malt sweetness in the nose. Malty sweet and grassy up front and a hop smackdown that puts you in the Figure Four leglock and doesn't let go. Dry resiny, hop oily finish. Alcohol is noticable, but behind all those delicious hops, who cares. Finely crafted IPA, and hands-down one of the finest IPAs in the country. Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries, and we've desperately trying with our Pennsylvania distributors to get in contact with these guys and get their great beers here. The sound of dragging feet is deafening. Good thing I stocked up on a recent trip to New York. I don't want to get to into the East Coast/West Coast thing because it sounds like early 90's gangsta rap, but this the real deal in what would be classified as a West Coast-style IPA.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber hue, paper thin bright white head, decent lacing maintained. A decent hop/citrus nose, you can nearly smell a 1/2 pound of beautiful hops awaiting to be destroyed! Pine and citrusy offerings, very well balanced up front; the obvious hop presence is felt, thick and creamy. Juicy hops in the body, backed with a decent malt-base. Finishes a touch piney and dry, yet very satisfying, a top-five IPA in my book!

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

Nice dark bronze color, very minimal head.

Big citrus hoppy aroma, balanced by the malt. Definite floral and sweetness as well.

Medium body, lots of prickly carbonation. Very crisp floral and citrus hop blend that quickly shows a light caramel sweetness. Becomes slightly bitter in the end and leaves a dry, citrusy aftertaste.

A very nice IPA, more than just the big piney/citrusy IPA's so common.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ample fruity hops are backed by sweet malt notes which make Racer 5, for as big a beer as it is, suprisingly well balanced. It's not about the IBUs with this beer, it's about the flavor, and Racer 5 drinks as though the brewers thought long and hard about which hops would match with this concentration of malt. Floral, green, and spicy at first, the beer develops into a honeyed, even somewhat grapey brew that fumes with herbal hop oil.

The bittering is almost unbearably ripening and unlike anything I've ever had. Instead of striking the back of my tongue, the beer floats right on by and the bittering doesn't kick in until this jet fuel hits the back of my throat. The latent finish from the bittering is oddly of grass and mentholated licorice.

This is a tightrope walk above an orchard of fruit and a pit of wildfire crackling pine needles; the wind is calm, the feet secure.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of carln26
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper, with a nice head. No lace to speak of from the bomber I had. WOW, citrus, grass, flowers from the nose. This is a hops forward beer. An explosion of fresh hops on your tongue when you drink. Because it appears so fresh, the flavor is of grass and flowers, with a slight bitterness on the back, It has a nice mild mouth feel, and a great dinkability.

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Photo of oggg
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a gorgeous brown yellow, with a tempting dense tan head. The nose is a little lacking. I get malt and alcohol and a little bit of hop aroma. The hop taste is also underwhelming. Lots of nice malt and a fair amount of alcohol. The hops are complex with a little citrus and little something else. I could not find a freshness date, so I definitely need to try this again, maybe on tap.

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Photo of dmbfrat420beers
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - 22 oz. bomber with racing flag background and golden bear. Nice logo. Hales itself as "an aggressive styled India Pale Ale." Grammar police would tell them that it is aggressively, as it is being used as an adverb.

Appearance: poars a thick white, slightly tan tight head. Slightly tanslucent, orange/amber hue. Nice, nothing special I guess.

Aroma: Hops

Mouthfeel: fairly light carbonation feel. light/medium body with a kind of interesting, silky? mouthfeel. Different from other stuff I have been drinking lately. Exceptional.

Taste: Definitely strong hop profile. I am finding it a bit hard to discern some of the other flavors. Starts out a bit sweet, then the hops kick in with very good flavor. Definitely some bitterness, but suprisingly in control given the overall hop character of this beer. Bitterness hangs on, very good in my opinion. Slight warming sensation down the throat from the alcohol. Felt like there was a little bit of fruit in there, want to say orange, but not really sure.

In conclusion, I don't quite have the expertise to say why this beer was particularly good, but stands out a bit from some of the other IPA's I have had. More balanced than many, has the taste I expect from a California IPA, but not quite as good, IMHO, as DFH 60-minute and some other premiere IPA's. Nonetheless, very drinkable, but then again, American IPA is my favorite style.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber, into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a thick foamy head. The smell is a nice citrus hoppiness. The taste is a more mellow citrus hop (Amarillo?) that doesn't completely overwhelm the malt backing. Mouthfeel is a bit oily. As for drinkability, a very nice IPA and one I could have several of.

Another great beer from Bear Republic. A solid IPA that manages a very nice balance and doesn't become hop juice. Quite good, and one I'd have when Bear Republic makes it into Pennsylvania!

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

Pours a hazy copper-amber, filled with floating particulates. Topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves thick webs of lacing.
Pine and floral aroma. Notes of leather, pear, and peppery alcohol.
Wood, caramel, pine, floral notes in the taste, a citrus note, leather, fruit, and pepper. Not as bitter as all the hop tastes suggest.
Medium bodied, a touch oily.

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Photo of oracle
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer exhibited a split personality. I was pouring the bomber bottle into a 16oz shaker style glass. The first half of the pour was noticably different from the 2nd half.

The first half was a typical light copper, clear with small head that left no lacing. The second (containing all the yeast in the bottle) was quite opaque, with extensive lacing all the way down.

Nose was about the same for both halves with hops predominating (as expected for an IPA) with a strong undertone of fruit, possibly plums.

Taste was remarkable different from the first half of the bottle to the second. In the first half, the overall impression was sharp, with the hops dominating, but also a strong tartness that I just didn't care for in an IPA.
The second half was much more smooth, with a delightful finish, pleasantly bitter with just a hint of sweetness.

An interesting beer and one I hope to try again.

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

22 oz. Bottle

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear, golden-orange that seemed very bright in the glass. Dense off-white head rose up huge and took a long time to settle down, becoming fluffy as it did so. The density and staying power of the foam was amazing. Tons of sticky lace was left on the glass. Flawless appearance.

Smell: Raw, juicy, citrus hops dominated right after the pour. A little bit of sweet malt peeked through at times, but the hops totally dominated. Smelled great.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth upfront, with a little carbonation bite in the back of the mouth. A slight numbing from the alcohol as well.

Taste: A good dose of citrus hops started things off. Then the hops transformed into a more herbal flavor, and that's when the bitterness really kicked in. There was quite a bit of malt sweetness present to help balance the hops, but the two opposing flavors didn't seem to blend well. Some light alcohol made itself known at times.

Overall, an extremely solid IPA. There are some IPAs that I have rated lower that I would prefer to drink, but the wonderful appearance and smell of this brew pushed the numbers up.

Thanks Bruiser81!

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

Pours cloudy light copper color, aroma of pine and citrus, hops and hops and more hops, nice white head with large bubbles that leaves good lacing in my glass, some malty sweetness to balance the loads of hops, medium body with a thick and sticky mouthfeel, very nice.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep golden-amber body, clear with little sediments surfing accross the bottom of the glass. Aroma is mostly constituted of grapefruity C-hops. There are also floral hop notes, but really, grapefruit is totally dominant. On the tongue, you’re hit by more of this high acid alpha hop fest, a bit of flowers and a decent malty body which comes out as peachy and cookie-ish. Good balanced american type IPA, but the style doesn’t do much for me. While the mouthfeel is very well rounded and display high carbonation a bit like a belgian, the flavors still feel rather simple, akin to grapefruit juice with a very warming finish where the 7% gets felt. Thanks to Mzwolinski for the opportunity!

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

Brewed with Columbus and Cascade hops.
OG=1.070, 7.0% ABV, 69 IBU.

Pours out to a slightly hazy golden light amber with honey accents, forming a dense, thick and creamy yellow head with excellent retention and awesome lacing. Wonderful looking brew. Particulate yeast flitters about when added towards the bottom of the brew. Medium-light carbonation. Aroma is rich and not overly pungent with resinous, sappy and sweetly citric and floral hops. Nice pale and crystal malt backbone adds a touch of honey, vanilla, and orange in the mix. Mouthfeel is soft with a medium-dense body and clean finish. Taste begins with a nice assembly of the aforementioned hops, with residual malt and lots of white raisin sweetness followed by an interesting honey note throughout the middle. Crystal and/or Munich malt is predominate and adds a touch of grainy huskiness. BItterness is mild for the style. Slight astringency towards the finish with a lingering alfafa honey note in the aftertaste. Malt husk is detectable minutes after the last swallow. Alcohol and off-flavors are absent in aroma or taste. Drinkability is top-notch, particularly for the style.

Quite a nice IPA. The huskiness is a little much at times and the honey taste is quite strong. If you're not afraid of these things in an IPA, you've love it. A sweeter version of the style with a ton of hops, but very little pungency and resinous acidity. These guys are underrated in my opinion, and brew some world class brews. Alas, this is an wonderful brew, but not quite world class like their Big Bear Stout.

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

A nice big bottle of my favorite kind of beer. Pours a nice medium orange yellow with a nice head. The nose is troubling but I will let it pass. What smells strong to me is good to others. The taste covers my goals here. Nice hoppy and malt character with excellent mouthfeel. The alchohol is a little strong for 7%. Another fine IPA

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Photo of faernt
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a nose! I try to do things in sequence but, this beer has an aroma that I expect only on tap, I'm in a bottle here and glad that Bear Republic has made it to Chicago. It's golden and today is big IPA day here at the ranch so Racer 5 howdedoo! What a beautful golden color.

This beer tastes wonderful. I enjoy Goose Island IPA on tap at the Clyborne pub and this is right up there with it except a bit stronger. A medium body mouthfeel and a high drinkability. Huge hops is such a hot weather thing.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. Pours a golden orange color with pretty good clarity and a good-sized frothy white head that laces a bit. The aroma is strong pleasant one made of a citrus hops and lesser malty sweetness. There were notes of fruit as well as it warmed. The taste is mainly hoppy bitterness with a citrus flavor to it and a slight sweetness. Even though I didn’t taste much at all in the malt department this was a well-balanced beer. The aftertaste is a pleasant bitterness that lingers for a bit. No alcohol was detected anywhere in this brew but the effect were warming by the end of the bottle. It has medium body with good carbonation. I found this to be very drinkable, a good hop fix and went great with some spicy steak fajitas.

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Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz Bomber. Pours a clear golden color with a white head. Light clean fresh hop aroma, nothing assertive. Flavor is big in both hop flavor and bitterness, yet lets the malt sweetness shine through. The malt seems to coat the mouth nicely. Hops linger to the end. I am liking this....

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

Pours a hazy gold and orange with a voluminous slightly off-white head that deposits chunks of lace to the pint.
Aroma has a citrus hop aroma as the dominat feature with tinges of pale malt and some bicuit/bread like features coming through.
Flavor is dominated by floral hops but their is just enough sweet malt and some biscuity freshness to cut it a bit and produce a somewhat balanced beer.
Mouthfeel is bitter throughout but again cut with just enough sweetness to not be totally lip puckering. Nice beer.
Drinkability is very good with the 22 oz. flowing smoothly.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy golden peach color. Big dense and creamy off white head. Good retention and it left rings of sticky lace.
Smells of citrusy/perfumey hops. Earthy sweet malt, fruit (pears?)
and tea.
Excellent balance of flavors. The sweet malt, caramel and fruit backbone is balanced by a beautiful hop profile. Outstanding!
Medium bodied with a creamy rich mouthfeel and an outstanding level of carbonation.
Great balance and mouthfeel lead to unparalleled drinkability.
One of my favorite IPA's. Just a great effort by Bear Republic.

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Photo of joecast
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hazy, bright, orange/gold in color with minimal head. having only a 12oz. glass i had to pour the beer out a couple of times. while pouring the last bit out of the bottle (which was a bit warmer) a stable 1 finger head was able to form.

with a bit of a swirl of the glass, the aromas come through. similair to cascade (which is the only hop i can pick atm), but spicier. strong presence of pepper, and some apple.

first few sips give a fresh cut hop bitterness right at the start making the "well hopped" on the label a real understatement. as the temp comes up a bit, the contribution to flavor from the hops really shows well. any input from the malt must have been overshadowed by the hops, or they at least had me distracted. not so much in a bad way, as this is unashamedly a beer for hopheads. but at the same time it never seemed too overpowering or unbalanced.

a bit low in drinkablity only in that it would take a bit of work for me to get through more than one or two if my arm was twisted.

as my sister said "not as bad as stone old guardian". i thought the opposite.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,276 ratings.