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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

6,393 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,393
Reviews: 2,190
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 200
Gots: 538 | FT: 9
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,393 | Reviews: 2,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah...Racer 5. My gateway beer into pungent sticky hops. This beer is responsible for letting me know the potential Hops and IPA's had to offer after a few so-so ones.

A - Golden orange, a bit cloudy but not murky. Good head retention

S - The first beer that let me know beer could smell and taste similar to chronic dank weed. Now I know why the tap-handle is colored Rastafarian. Awesome, I love it. Pine, oranges dominate, hemp and a sweet malt backbone that holds it together. A musty citrussy nose for sure.

T - Showcases hops upfront. Oranges are the main focus of fruit, followed by hints of grapefruit, sticky pine and hemp. This beer fresh is a treat and 100% walks the line of bordering DIPA territory in terms of a heavy hop forward profile for a single IPA. Before Pliny was bottled, this beer is what Northern Californians bought to satisfy their quality hop fix with. To me, this beer is like a sloppy Pliny in flavor. Many similarities.

M - Very nice and crisp. Sweet malt backbone is there but overshadowed by the hops. Just a bit resinous...lingers like a DIPA would on the palate which is aces for me.

D - Very good. Can put down numerous pints in a sitting without batting an eye.

Final Thoughts - This beer used to get much more praise from hopheads 3 years ago and before. Along came the Sculpins being bottled and the Blind Pigs and Union Jacks and I feel Racer 5 fell a bit by the way side the these. Make no mistake, a fresh racer 5 is arguably as good as all the other over hyped single IPAs mentioned here on BA. I'd never turn one down.

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of jc85
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a hazy golden color with 1/2 finger of white head. The yeast sediment could be seen floating, there was alot of it.

Smell- Nice hop aroma, with some citrus notes.

Taste- Really sweet hoppy beer, some bitterness on the backend, but not too much to be bad. It was a good mix.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation, and a little sticky. Medium light bodied.

Drinkability- This was a really good beer. It went down smooth, but you could still feel the slight burn of the alcohol.

jc85, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a - decent. Nice copper, slightly cloudy (hello!) w/ not much carbonation although enough for me. The shittiest label I have ever seen. It looks like a poor take on a retro label that just was anything but enticing - but heck, it's just a label. Wouldn't have touched it had it not been recommended to try.

s - a little piney, hops not very sharp at all but sweet smell with some breadiness in there. A little wheaty for me as an IPA but regardless, still very nice.

t - delicious. very well done. hop-forward, piney sweet hops with some balance and malt. All in all a very nice beer.

m - coats the mouth heavily and stays with you for a bit.

d - drinkability is very good. I'd drink it again but have to deduct just a little bit for the mouth-wrecking it gave me. I'd drink it again but would stop at 1.

Hellabeerguzzler, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of BaronRogue
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my chalice. Avoided this one because of the cheesy label graphic... lesson learned.

Not too much head, solid lacing. Clear dark gold color with little bits of yeast suspended within.

Popped the top and put my nose to the bottle. Instantly knew this was going to be an excellent beer. Hop oil to the point it almost smells bitter, sweet citrusy and wonderful.

Tastes like a true IPA, bitterness abounds and changes flavors as it warms. Grapefruity bitter goodness, raisins, etc... it's hop-tastic.

Feels nice and thick on the tongue, lets its presence known.

7 is my favorite number, and i could drink a few bottles of this easily. Each time i put the glass down i find myself reaching back for it. Shame i went for the bomber and not the six pack.

BaronRogue, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. This brew appears a pale golden color that is clear with some small particulate floating around in suspension. Almost 2 fingers of fluffy white head swells atop this brew and slowly recedes leaving an entire wall of webbed lace upon the glassware.

The aroma of this brew is citrus hops that comes across a little sweet with some fruity and floral indications and a very light malt backing. It has a faint tingle of alcohol included.

The taste is grassy bitterness, lightly herbal and rind like with quite a bit of citrus fruity bitter flavoring. It has a mild malt sweetness which balances this brew out before it finishes dry and a little sharp. The alcohol is readily evident and increases the sharpness of the finish.

This is a well rounded brew that is medium in body with a modest amount of carbonation. It is quite drinkable and balanced. This is another bear republic offering that I have passed by multiple times without giving a try. I have no idea how fresh this offering is but I would love to have this again as fresh as possible.

stakem, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of MikeyMikee
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12. 0z into a pint glass.

The look is a hazy golden yellow with particles floating homogenously throughout. The head is white and creamy with a decent lacing.

Smells ridiciously sweet, I can tell its going to be quite viscous. Caramel malts with fruity hops taking a backseat, I can barely tell that there are any hops present through the smell. This would be an interesting beer to smell in a blind taste test.

Dayummm, this beer is sweet. Very sweet caramel malts with some dark fruity character, maybe fig or a rasiny influence. The sweet, fruity malts are immediately met with a strong citrusy hop character that seems to slowly aasimilate into the malt. This is very interesting, the hops and malts are both extremely powerful, it's as though the hops wrap themselves around the malts and then slightyyyy overpower them giving a pleasantly strong bitterness that almost anyone can enjoy. The finish, is silky smooth, sweet, bitter, earthy and overall fantastic.

The mouthfeel is great, viscious, and creamy for an ipa due to the high concentration of malts. I would even venture to say it has a slightly chewy quality to it. The carbonation is perfect as well.

If the beer wasnt so sweet I could drink this all day. The profound malt character gives it a heavy feel which is very enjoyable, however, a drawback is that it makes it nearly impossible to drink more than 2 in a session.

Overall this beer is fantastic, definitely a unique ipa thats a similar to a double ipa. If it had not been for the overwhelming malt character, this beer may have been 5's all across the board. While the hop character was strong, it was a little disappointing to see some of the the hops hidden behind the sweetness. I feel like a little less sweetness could be a literal perfect ipa. BUT, it still made for a truly fantastic beer that I would recommend to anyone.

MikeyMikee, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of FreshHawk
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy apricot color with a moderate sized, creamy, slightly foamy, white head. Good retention leaving a nice, creamy lace.

S - Great citrusy aroma of grapefruit and orange along with a large floral aroma. Some peach and other fruity aromas as well. A touch of caramel backbone and only the faintest of pine. Very juicy and a great aroma making my mouth water.

T - Very floral flavor with citrus playing a close second. Has a good lasting bitterness as well. Has a decent caramel and bready malt in the background. Nice hoppiness with some lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body with a good level of carbonation. Has a slightly slick feel.

D - Goes down very easy with a nice hop and malt balance. A slight astringency and a lingering bitterness.

Notes: Pretty good IPA. Solid with a good level of hoppiness with a decent level of bitterness and malt to balance it out. Pretty strong floral/herbal flavors with citrus being second. Very tasty and would gladly have another. It may not be my absolute favor IPA, but it is up there.

FreshHawk, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of Nugganooch
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1st Review

A - Pours that golden straw IPA color with some slight orange hues. Medium frothy head with nice lacing.

S - Hop aroma is amazing. You get that great citrus-tangerine zing from the heavy late and dry hop additions associated with many of the great West Coast style IPA's. Touch of bready caramel malt sweetness underneath.

T - Tastes as good as it smells with an inital citrus and pine hop combination from the heavy use of American C hops. Has a nice bitter bite to it with the balance of soft caramelized malts. Lightly floral with some slight alcohol spice in the end but really well hidden otherwise. Just a great all around IPA.

M - Moderate to lighter body with a nice creamy texture. Residual sweetness and resinous with an upper level of hop bitterness. Finishes with a nice drying which balances things nicely.

D - A classic West Coast style IPA that never dissapoints.

Racer 5 is definitely a staple in my lineup. A great all around IPA. Being in CA it is a relatively cheap purchase for a bomber ($4) and never dissapoints when I need my Lupulin fix!

Nugganooch, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Avantyawn
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice coppery ambery murky IPA look to it. Very good. Nice head and lacing as the beer goes down.

S: The smell is truly impressive! More piney than citrusy. Very earthy, with bright floral notes. Fresh, sharp hops are the name of the game here.

T: Bright hoppy. earthy, grapefruit citrus at the end. Bitter and smooth finish, almost toasty at the end. The smell is slightly more interesting than the taste, yet still, a very solid IPA.

M: Starts thick, hoppy, and bitter. Ends thin , clean and watery. I like the start more than the finish.

D: I could easily pound 3 or 4 of these in a row. The clean smooth finish and the surprisingly undetectable alcohol taste at 7% leaves this a dangerously drinkable brew. Well done!

Note: I wish this were more readily available in 6 pack form in NYC. 5.99 a bomber , I don't think so, especially when their superior and stronger Hop Rod Rye is 5.99 a bomber, but a 9.99 6er I'd pick this up to mix it up once in a while. Hard to say I would pick this up over Smuttynose IPA at 9.99 'round here.

Avantyawn, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Glibber
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer with some carbination and a decent head that left plenty of lacing on the glass. Plenty of hops and a nice subtle pine taste that was not overpowering. Felt very good in the mouth and was quite smooth going down despite the up front hoppiness. Some citrus flavors helped this beer stand out among other IPAs I had recently.

Glibber, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark golden with a finger of fluffy off white foam.

Smell: Bitter earthy hops, resiny, citrus aroma and some sweet malt notes come through as well.

Taste: Bitter hops, grapefruit and a hint of tangerine mixed in there, finished with a malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and drinks very smooth.

Drinkability: Often gets lost in the talk of all of the great west coast ipas, but this is a very good ipa that is a good deal for the price. Very enjoyable.

Axic10, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of pumptrick
4.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this stuff is highly underated. pured hard into tulip and sniffed with deligh. resin hops. delicious in every sense. more resiny hops and a strong bite. not off balance quite delicious. I will drink many more of these. always easy to find and cheaper than many other choices.

pumptrick, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of whatthehull
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Beautiful! Golden sunset with tiny yeast flakes floating. Some head and decent lacing

S - Hay, citrus zest, candy sugar, a flower I can't pin point and a bit of pine

T - Awesome. Not to big or to small. Lots of hops, nice amount of malt. It explodes with citrus, sugar and pine and never quits

M - A bit to fluffy and carbonated for my taste but still good

D - Middle of the road. Easy and not so easy. Depends on palate and mood

Final thought - I used to think this beer was just okay. Now, I am starting to think it is pretty neat

whatthehull, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of JSchn0w7
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

By far the best recommendation someone has ever made to me at a bar. I'm always willing to try new beers as the come on tap at my local bar, but this was by far one of the best. By far is the most drinkable IPA i have ever had. Not an overly alchol taste, sweet with citrus and balanced with hops. It was the perfect combination, about 7.5% ABV and it can sneak up quickly. Another must try.

JSchn0w7, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of JonathanG
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Variability within the 6-pack, as far as some sediment in one of the bottles. Would've rated appearance higher if there was consistency in the appearance.

Mouthfeel is lighter than some IPAs at the same strength, so this one is a bit easier to drink overall, i.e.: you can drink more than one fairly easily. Not as viscous or syrupy, and a bit drier/cleaner mid-palate overall.

With that being said, the first one I drank, I was only O.K. with. A bit different flavor profile than what I had been drinking lately in the IPA category... a bit more grain/cereal notes to it, so that threw me off. I had another one yesterday and liked it a bit better, even though it had minor yeast/sediment inclusions at the bottom of the bottle when I pulled it out of the refrigerator. I didn't remember seeing sediment a couple of days earlier in the previous 2-bottles?

JonathanG, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of HopHed
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Pours a beautiful, slightly hazy, dark amber with a thick two finger head with great lacing that you have to wash off.

AROMA: A noticeably piney and citrusy hop scent permeate this beer.

FLAVOR: A definitely noticeable strong grapefruit, citrus hop note with a lighter piney hop taste. A great sweet, honey, caramel, malt flavor to finish, with some continued hop bitterness. Flavors definitely pop more as this warms, ideal temp is 45-50º per the bottle.

PALATE: A great IPA, with noticeably piney hop bitterness, balanced perfectly with a nice sweet malt note and dry finish. It's no wonder this brew has won many awards.

MOUTH FEEL: A light to medium carbonation, very creamy feeling.

NOTES: An enjoyable light to medium carbonated 7.0% ABV IPA that keeps you coming back. The alcohol is hidden until it's too late, and the beer is smooth as can be.

HopHed, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of robbrandes
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, poured to an initially marginal head, but pretty good retention. Nice bronze-orange color, smell is a great blend of citrus, pine and just enough maltiness. Taste - paired this with some chicken divan and french bread - de-freaking-licious! Well-rounded palate with more than enough hoppy goodness to cleanse the palate.

robbrandes, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of Hatzilla
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle dated 11/24/10 into a tulip. Bottle pours a nice 2 finger head with decent lacing. Yeast/hop particles float about the liquid, due to bottle conditioning. The scent is a pleasant medley of pine and grapefruit. Taste is citrus/pine with some bready malt and bitter grapefruit on the back end. Mouthfeel is medium with nice carbonation and very smooth. Drinkability is top-notch. I can always knock down several of these. One of my favorite IPAs, and always easy to find in my neck of the woods.

Hatzilla, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of CuttDeez
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- very nice golden amber pour with an incredibly lacy head.
S- Huge nice citrus smell and some sweet malty notes taht are mixed with incredible pine.
T- Awesome amount of hops and a great complex citrus forefront. There is definately a good malt backbone to this not overly bitter brew
M- Very very smooth medium bodied brew and a good level of carbonation
D- not the most drinkable ipa I have ever had but still very easy and enjoyable. The smell really brings you in and your not left with an incredible bitter aftertaste

CuttDeez, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of zodiak3000
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- golden/honey in color. strange, ive had this both clear and w/ hop haze out the ying yang. did they change the recipe or brewing techs? lacing is the best ive ever seen, spider-web all the way through. i think this comes from the amount of wheat they use in this recipe...

S- resin, floral, pine, grapefruit, touch of candy sweet malt coming through, but mostly hops. not really as pungent as i remember a few years back...

T/M- bitter hops really hit with a nice punch on both the front and back end. very clean, mouthfeel is really smooth with a mild caramel body. hops dominate in a balanced good way...

D- if you like hops this is your ipa. drinkability is awesome for 7%abv. almost session like. not too heavy, but not light either. have no problem achieving my hop fix with this bad boy...

zodiak3000, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a light orange-copper with a a finger of white head. Nice retention and lacing. Looks nice.

S - Sweet grapefruit hops and a bit of pine. A background of caramel malt is also present.

T - Blown away by tropical fruit hops and caramel sweetness. Perfect balance. One of the best of the style. Approaches Sculpin territory, but not quite. Similar to a Double IPA.

M - Medium body and impossibly smooth. Nice carbonation. Goes down so easily.

O - One of the best IPAs around. I'm actually excited when I see it on the draft list. That said, it is a huge under-performer in the bottle. I've never had a bottled Racer 5 that can come close to comparing to having it on tap.

greenmonstah, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of musicforairports
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled on 11/18/2010, reviewed on 1/22/2011.

Pours a dark golden, not quite amber...decently pale-looking, with a head that isn't too big but leaves some good lacing.

Smells like grapefruit, pineapple and other citrus-y fruits.

Taste is heavy on the citrus without being either sweet or particularly overwhelming. No real malt components going on here, but that doesn't mean it's an intense hopbomb. I've had this on draft before and recall the hops being a lot more pungent. This is crisp and dry start to finish and full of citrus flavors without a sweet, mouth-coating aspect.

Mouthfeel is quite thin. As mentioned, none of the sticky-ness you expect form some West Coast IPAs.

This is a fantastically drinkable IPA--not something that makes me go "wow," but good enough that I'd want to go for another once I'm finished and good enough to make me wish it were cheaper here.

musicforairports, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark yellow/light-orange with thin,white head that fades quickly,leaving good-sized sticky lacing.

Aromas of hops up front, with malt sweetness backing it up. Sweet bready malt, citrusy hops kick in upon first sip. With a medium body,average carbonation.

A solid IPA, another great West Coast/California brew. And coming from wine country,no less. Would have again, when I see it. Hope to acquire some of their other brews as well.

happy4hoppybeer, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of spree92
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice yellow-laced, golden IPA. Not a very big head but did leave nice lacing behind. A lot of citrus hops on the nose brought up on the end by a bit of oak. Had a very floral flavor. Bitter on the taste buds and smooths out to a great balanced finished.
At 7%, you can tell it is a big IPA but not overwhelming the food at hand.
Bear Republic is on par with any other brewery in Cali (in my opinion).

spree92, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of trevorjn06
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 20th 2011: The first time I had this beer I hated it and it got my lowest rating of all the beers I've reviewed, however this is a highly rated IPA with a lot of hype around it so I decided to give it another shot.

Pours a golden/light copper color with a thin head the recedes to a fothy layer on the surface.

Aroma is quite nice, lots of fresh hops, grass, fruit, citrus, flowers, pine, spiciness and a bit of pungent-ness make up the nose. There is very little malt showing up here, but it's a strong IPA so to be expected.

Taste is some pale malt, grassy/hay-like hops and plenty of bitterness (though not so much as to overpower the sweetness). There are some pungent, flower-like flavors and a slight hint of caramel. The finish leaves sweet, grassy hops, spice and bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with average carbonation.

Overal this is a much better beer than the first bottle I reviewed. It is not quite up to the hype that I have heard but it is an inexpensive 22 oz. Bomber at $4.50. I would drink this again but wouldn't seek it out.

June 22 2010: Pours a nice IPA color :P It's golden/amber with one finger of head that recedes quickly.

Smell is up front West Coast hops with citrus, grapefruit and pineapple. There is a distinct cheddar aroma that I find very unpleasant, it seems to overpower most of the malt aromas though I detect a bit of sweet maltiness back there.

Taste is pretty well balanced, lightly sweet and grainy with moderate hop bitterness (for the style) and some nice floral and citrus notes. HOWEVER the cheddar aroma comes through here too, it's just not pleasant. There is a bit of pine on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall I was very let down by this beer, I had high expectations and there are some good things going for this brew but the cheesy/cheddar thing ruined it. I bought a bomber and couldn't finish it.

trevorjn06, Jan 20, 2011
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,393 ratings.