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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,947 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,947
Reviews: 2,168
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 167
Gots: 383 | FT: 7
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:
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 added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,947 | Reviews: 2,168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyChicago


4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

A: Pours orange with a bright white head. Proper IPA appearance.

S: Grapefruit and citrus are strong with this one. There is a tad of pine and dryness, but its mostly the citrusy hops.

T: Yup, follows the nose. Suprising; this is much more a no-coast IPA than a dank, west-coast. A bit of sweetness in the back rounds out the finish.

D: Alcohol well hidden and flavours are nicely balanced, no complaints here.

Overall: I liked it! It was definitely out-of-style for an old school CA brewery (especially with the hop bomb that is Hop Rod Rye), but it is a first cousin of beers like Two Hearted. Solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 14:18:40 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of tjkinate


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My second offering from Bear Republic and like the first I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A: 1 Finger head with some retention, body is comprised of a orangish-red core that fades to a deep yellow around the edges. Highlight was the ample strings of lacing that wrap throughly around the glass.

S: Quite potent, lots of floral hops in this one, although I was also shocked by the amount of sweetness. Like sugar!

T: Very drinkable, I think well balanced is the way to describe this brew. The hops and the sweetness just combine so well that before I knew it my glass was empty.

M: Medium bodied, low carbonation, nice coating.

O: Impressed with this one, just tasted unique in this very competitive beer style.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 23:39:08 | More by tjkinate
Photo of ely2000k


4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark golden color, not much head, but looks really good overall. Mix between clear and cloudy, with some decent lacing.

S- Floral smell, a bit of caramel almost? Slightly sweet, and not too overpowering, smells good.

T- Slightly sweet for an IPA... but very drinkable and satisfying. Not strongly hoppy, almost citrusy like a hefe, but hops finish it off with a nice kick of bitter.

M- Mild to medium carbonation, overall enjoy the mouthfeel.

O- Great- kind of like a mix between an IPA and something more citrusy and floral. Definitely enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 05:13:17 | More by ely2000k
Photo of johnpmitchell

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance is nothing special. Very little head, although decent retention.

What it lacks in appearance it more than makes up for in smell. The smell is somehow all hops yet not overwhelming. A bit floral This is what beer should smell like.

The taste and mouthfeel is more of the same. This is a big beer with a very hoppy flavor, yet not sticky. No bitter aftertaste.

Overall this is one of the best IPA's around, and worth drinking any chance you get. Does not get old.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 01:50:27 | More by johnpmitchell
Photo of BucannonXC5


4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a pint glass at KnB Wine Cellars in San Diego, Calif. Color was golden honey orange, a lot like apple juice. Minimal head. Minimal lacing on the on the top, but a circular spot. Pretty sweet. Some film, too, which stayed throughout the glass.

Hops led the way in the whiff. Pine seemed to be leading the way, but it wasn’t too strong. Some floral flavors as well.

Initial taste was a strong alcohol bite with some citrus and pine hops in there. It ended with a floral/fruity aftertaste. Slightly bitter on the tongue at the end.

Medium body. Soft carbonation. Smooth and refreshing.

After a disappointing start, this beer really improved for me as soon as I tasted it. Don’t hesitate to give it a chance.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2011 07:47:54 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 IPA
bomber poured into a mug
no born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours a slightly hazy light golden amber, with just over 1 fingers width of bubbly egg shell white head, which takes a moderate about of time to dissipate and leaves lots of cob-web lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Big citrusy hop aromas, most notablely grapefruit and tangerine. There is also a malty sweetness, and a subtle hint of alcohol which is rare for me to pick up on in the scent of an IPA.

T: First off, the flavors are not as strong as the aroma. Also, not as much bitterness as I like in an IPA, and what is present is mostly piney hop bitterness on the backend. The upfront taste is citrus hops, but it is mild, almost subdued. No flavors really stand out strongly, but if I had to pick one I’d say lemon zest is the most prominent. I’m not saying the taste is bad, but its nothing special IMO. It lacks the complexity and depth of flavor that I look for in a great IPA. To me, the taste is very similar to a weaker version of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Again, not bad, but not as much going on with the palate profile as I would like.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with a good moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink.

O: Overall, this is a good IPA but nothing special. A nice appearance and aroma aren’t really backed up in the taste which to me comes off as generic and middle of the road. I will say though that you can’t beat the price (around $5 for a bomber) and I do plan on trying the Hop Rod Rye which most seem to agree is the best Bear Republic offering.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 01:53:59 | More by zac16125
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review adapted from notes taken 6/3/11

Appearance: A hazy, golden orange - pours with a frothy white head, fades, leaves some sticky lacing

Smell: Great - hoppy, with a lot of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit flesh - a base of sweet (crystal?) malts along with some caramel malts - adds noteworthy balance considering how hoppy it is

Taste: Hoppy, with a great malt base - a nice, dry bitterness - grapefruit and tangerines, with some resin and pine - some leafiness - juicy - the malts are dominated by the hops, but they put up a fight - sweet, but not excessively so, like sweet biscuits

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, light to medium body, extremely easy to drink

Overall: This blew my mind when I first had it and still holds up years later

I have had many bottles of this; I nearly burned out on its magic after splitting a case a few years ago. Fortunately, after taking a break, it still holds up. In a way, it's a hop bomb, but it also respects the notion of balance with its interesting malt profile. This is a classic, in my book.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 15:30:17 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of paxchristi


4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an ever so slightly hazy light amber color with sun yellow hues. Below average head retention, but I can see that if head were present, it would pour a good looking IPA. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt, because I've seen Racer 5 pour excellent head.

Smell: Pretty intense hops for an IPA that doe snot claim DIPA status. Floral hops at that. I catch hints of honey, citrus, pineapple, and a sweet malty backbone-- though it is a faint backbone. But I like it that way; balance while still going for the hophead appeal.

Taste: Earthy, floral, piney hops, tropical citrus, and a slightly dry bitter finish. Smells like quality fruits...rich more than sticky. As it warms, the dry seems to stick a bit more.

Overall: Way above average for an American IPA, and definitely true blue to the west coast IPA style. Its a prime west coast IPA flavor. A palate destroyer. Will drink more before I decide if I will seek this out again. Its a total "go to" beer. I don't like it more than Two-Hearted, but its a close second as far as "go to" IPAs go.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 01:44:18 | More by paxchristi
Photo of kennylopez

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: a fingers worth of head that did last to long. a golden yellow that was hazy.

Taste: hops are the first bitter taste(hint IPA) but it dials more towards the hops. a floral hint in the end comes to me.

Mouthfeel: a mild burn, but good and flavorful aftertaste.

Overall: a good everyday IPA. I would like to keep a case of 12oz bottles if it wasn't so hard to get by me. the bombers are abundant, but I like the single servings.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 23:50:30 | More by kennylopez
Photo of MrVonzipper


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orangey-amber color with a 1 finger bubbly white head with good retention and lacing.

Very delightful floral hops on the nose with light citrus, orange zest and caramel malt.

Flavor has a nice sweet caramel malt character balanced very nicely with floral hop notes and a candy-like sweet finish.

Light-med. bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Overall I've had this a few times and I really like it along with every other Bear Republic beer I've had. This one didn't seem quite as fresh as others I've had in the past but still a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 23:59:15 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of Humulus85


4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go to tjkinate for this one...

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my trusty nonic. Produced a very nice, fluffy, white, two-finger head. Good retention that left some sticky lace rings after each sip. It's a slightly hazed, honey gold.

Smells of fruity hops; citrus and tropical, maybe a touch of pine. There is some bready malt stashed away behind the hop that lends a welcome sweetness to the nose.

Tastes like it smells, good. Grapefruit and tropical fruit upfront, with a nice sweet malty middle balanced out by moderate to low bitterness. The finish is still dry with a touch of piney hop.

Mouthfeel is relatively heavy. It seems a lot of brewers are trying to make their IPAs really light and carbonated. Racer 5 seems more traditional in that it is moderately thick and moderately carbonated. It's a good thing.

Overall this is a solid brew from a brewery I am finding to be just as solid. I think it could have been more aggressive, as it lacks a certain complexity and depth for me to rate it any higher (recommend their Hop Rod Rye). I look forward to trying more from Bear Republic. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 01:58:49 | More by Humulus85
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of my favs, thanks for the bomber honey. pours golden hue, good foamy head ok retention. nose and mouth are caramel overbalanced by citrus. Yum! mouth is slightly sticky but a very drinkable 7%. always get me in trouble when more that 36 oz is down the hatch.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 00:41:03 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of blackcompg


4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from their cool "checkered flag" 12oz bottle into my 12oz glass - now off to the races!

Appearance - Poured a quick finger of eggshell cumulus clouds. The beer is a gorgeous hazy lite copper-orange. Great lacing at the end of the session.

Smell - Mmmmm...big citrus and ripe ruby grapefruit, pineapple sweetness, slight pine.

Taste - Oh is this nicely balanced. You get the citrus, grapefruit, slight pine and perfect citrus & malty sweetness to counterbalance. After the sip there is some grapefruit rind and pine long into the finish, a llittle dry and bitter, enough to beg the next sip.

Mouthfeel - lite to medium, nice carb, not overly so at all - creating a very smooth and drinkable beer.

Overall - I really enjoyed this beer. Nice balance, really nice flavors, and just enough sweetness. Highly recommend, would defintitely purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 03:50:18 | More by blackcompg
Photo of crzyc

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Small head, off white, little lacing. Typical IPA color, amber/red/brown.

S: Excellent, citrus hops, nothing complicated.

T: Pine after taste. Hops up front. Very balanced, not bitter.

M: A bit dry. Average carbonation.

O: I think this is really balanced, not over the top with the hops, not too bitter and no burn. I think this may be one to show my friends that did not like the IPA's from Stone they tried recently.

Bottle in my mix 6 at Nikki's in RI, $2.29 before discount.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 22:23:15 | More by crzyc
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1/8" off-white head over golden amber liquid that is semi-cloudy.

S: Citrus hops, yeast and malt.

T: Citrus and floral hops up front which transitions to a bitter pine hops and some toffee malt. Quite refreshing.

M: Thin viscosity with low carbonation.

O: A drinkable and refreshing IPA that might not be bitter enough for some pine loving hop heads, but hits the spot for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 23:27:44 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of ibbjamin


4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great IPA I've had many times and keep going back to. A friend bought a bomber for me as a gift and when I went to drink it, just realized I have never formally reviewed it. I pour into a snifter.

Yields a white head of about an inch in height. Cloudy, murky and light orange in color. A nice layer of retention remains and there is thick lacing.

Strong grapefruit, citrus and pine aroma fills the room.

Taste is bitter and hoppy. Puckering hop juice, and a strong one for a single IPA. Strongest on the grapefruit with a lingering pine taste.

Smooth and very drinkable. Medium body, nice level of carbonation.

This is a hop forward, west coast style IPA that many use as a benchmark for west coast IPAs. Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 02:28:01 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold, almost amber, a gentle haze to it. Slightly off-white head.

S: Pungent combination of pine and citrus. More of a tangerine-like smell. Pretty much hop forward the whole way, an earthiness in the background.

T: Sticky, juicy citrus hops, combined with a sharp pine needle taste. Bits of bitter orange rind. The slightest toffee backbone is present.

M: Medium body, great carbonation. The tiniest bit hot.

O/D: Very enjoyable, finally glad I got to have it on tap, worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2011 00:42:52 | More by mostpoetsdo
Photo of TenHornsProud


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper/orange, with a big white head and some floaties.

Smells of some kind of tropical fruit or lighter fruit with a sweet malt undertone

Up front caramel and light fruit that fades into bitterness and almost an almost peachy character with a sweet and bitter finish that lingers somewhat. Bitter enough to be assertive but not overly done.

Medium to full body, slightly creamy, and smooth. A small boozy character comes in at the end but does not detract.

This is a nice citrus, light fruit, peachy beer that has a big, but not too big, hop kick in the end. It goes down smooth and is pleasing.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 21:51:36 | More by TenHornsProud
Photo of Floyd12


4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap poured into a pint glass.

A- A moderately hazy amber color with a thick foamy and creamy head of about two fingers. The head lingered for most of the beer and left fantastic lasing all over the glass.

S- Very hoppy with a slight malt. Citrusy underones with an earthy grainy smell as well.

T- Strong hard hop taste with a little bit of bitterness but not over the top. Again slightly citrusy but the hops take control without going overboard.

M- Very crisp and refreshing with a long dry hoppy finish.

O- This is one of my new favorite beers. I love this but have only seen this at White Horse in Boston. This needs to expand on the east coast.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2011 04:40:42 | More by Floyd12
Photo of SykDoc


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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a hazy straw/orange color. A 1/8 inch almost white head forms and reduces to a speckled lacing.

The aroma is primarily orange citrus with perhaps a bit of pineapple. A malt sweetness makes a minimal appearance.

The taste is again an orange and pinapple citrus hops punch with a few earthy tones. Perhaps just a little caramel malt sweetness towards the end. Not much else, but good.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation seems to fall a bit flat for the flavor. It is clean and smooth with a nice dryness at the finish.

Nothing real flashy but a solid IPA with a good citrus hop forward presentation. It is quite easy to drink, part of which I attribute to the solid but not overwhelming components.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 02:54:56 | More by SykDoc
Photo of HopsKeepDroppin


4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Very pale orange color with a small one finger head that lingers on the top of the beer

S- Some malt up front that leads the way into some really citrusy hop flavor.

T- Lots of citrus from the hops right up front but the malt takes over and balances it very well.

M- A nice medium body on it, the carbonation complimented the taste. Hops dried it out, made me want another sip, great.

O- This is one of my favorite IPAs so far. Very drinkable and one of the most balanced in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 02:27:40 | More by HopsKeepDroppin
Photo of gdrydenc


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a much lighter color than I anticipated. I've had this beer several times, and I thought I remembered it being darker than this. Decent color, the head dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Smell is a little bit muted from what I've remembered as well. It's definitely there, a bit of juicy fruit, slightly sticky hops. Delicious smell, but a bit muted, like I said.

T - Well, the flavor makes up for any weakness in the smell. The fruitiness and bitterness kick hard at the beginning and don't stop until well after the finish. A great taste. The only improvement I could see would be a little bit more intensity, but at 7%, there's not a whole lot else you can do.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Good carbonation, great in the mouth. Not too watery, but not syrupy thick so as to make it undrinkable.

Overall, this is a great beer. Besides Harpoon (for the price) this is probably my favorite IPA to have around and drink a few of at a time. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 01:35:10 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of JDizzle


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a sixer tonight while out of town for $7.69 in East Lansing, MI. :):)

Poured from a 12 oz bottle and looks like a perfect IPA. Great copper, rusty, amber color with a thin white-off white head.

This smells great!! Citrusy, sweet malt, grassy-very hoppy. One of the better smelling IPA's with a great balance of hops and malt.

The hops are very "West Coast" style forward. It's a bitter beer that is balanced nicely with a breaded malt upfront and finishes with a blast of hops and grapefruit. For some reason I get a lactose flavor with this. Not complaining and can't really explain it, but thought I would mention it.
Superb mouthfeel with a medium body and a great aftertate that is not too bitter but creamy.
You really can't detect the alcohol in this one and it's very drinkable. Bear Republic makes great beer, just wish they sold it in Indiana!

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 23:13:42 | More by JDizzle
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, medium orange with a small yellowish head that fades to the edges.

S - Malts, grass, oranges.

T - Sweet malts with a floral finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a lighter body.

O - Sweet style west coaster.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 03:51:53 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of TangTKE402

New York

3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Rare Vos pint glass. Golden brown in color with a nice, 1-finger ecru head and a touch of lacing. Hazy without being opaque.

S: Dried pine needles and some fresh citrus rind. A malted barley undertone with a fresh hop aroma that lingers. It smells inviting.

T: A dry maltiness on the tongue with a rich middle and a hoppy swallow. A bone-dry aftertaste lingers. This beer is a bitter IPA with a strong malt backbone. Flavors of bread with pine nuts, grapefruit rind, dead pine needles, earth, leather, and a pine tar bitterness are the main flavors I taste. An interesting juxtaposition between bready malts and piney hops. Not always blended smoothly...

M: Thick and robust without being overpowering, this beer has a great mouthfeel until the arid swallow and resulting afterfeel suck all of the moisture out of your mouth. Some people may be looking for that, but I like my IPAs a little more consistent.

O: For those interested in a complex, chalk-dry and bitter IPA, this is it. It's tasty, but oddly disjointed and disharmonious. I'd rarely pass one up, but there are more superior IPAs out there. I wish it tasted more like it smelled.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 00:12:55 | More by TangTKE402
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,947 ratings.