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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.

6,591 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,591
Reviews: 2,198
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 209
Gots: 602 | 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:
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: 6,591 | Reviews: 2,198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chinchill
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle served in a Highland Brewing pint glass.

A - clear (top of bottle) becoming hazy (bottom of bottle) golden with creamy white head that, as is typical for IPAs, has limited retention.

S - strong aroma of hops; fresh, piney/sprucy, floral and nicely complex. There's probably some roasted malt lurkering in the aroma too, but the hops just jump out.

T - Frankly, the strong piney hop aroma, while very pleasant, is a bit forbidding as it suggests an intensely bitter and piney taste. Such is not the case. This is a refreshing, easy-to-drink IPA that has modestly strong hop flavor together with a quite strong aroma. Moderately bitter grapefruit/pine finish and aftertaste.
Very nice!

M - good body and carbonation

O - an outstanding Amer. IPA, particularly suitable for those who prefer a strong aromatic contribution from hops more than a strong flavor or pronounced bitterness. Quite different than, but overall about on par with, the local Sweetwater IPA I had (for about the 20th time) earlier this week.

chinchill, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of beerdown77
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a nice light brown/orange. The head is moderate with larger pebbles and acceptable retention; the lacing is good as well. The nose isn’t super strong, but the usual smells are there. I wouldn’t call this a hop bomb, but it has a fairly large hop presence, but then a smooth malt finish. This is a solid beer that has a great well-rounded taste and feel. My only criticism is that it seems a little heavy and slimy and I wish there was a little more distinction. Then again, not all beers need to taste like a grapefruit I suppose.

beerdown77, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of awesomeandrew
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: copper gold, thin white head, good lacing

smell: toasty, herbal scent, extremely hoppy scent

taste: flowery, biscuity, nutty, piney, very hoppy as expected

mouthfeel: smooth while drinking, bitter aftertaste, very drinkable

Overall: Very drinkable IPA not excessively hoppy, great to sip on. One of the better IPA's i've ever tasted.

awesomeandrew, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this last time I was out in Arizona, really enjoyed it. Got this one in a trade. I can't find a bottling date anywhere on the bottle so I'm not sure of the freshness. Enjoyed on 06/17/11.

A - Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a DFH snifter. Almost totally clear very pale orange color. One finger white head that recedes very quickly. Leaves decent lacing.

S - Grapefruit! And some sugary sweetness. The two balance each other quite well. Also present are some citrusy/floral hops that compliment the battle going on in the front. Excellent aroma on this beer.

T - Once again, very grapefruit forward. Like I've just taken a sip of juice once I swallow. Balanced by that nice sugar sweetness and just a tinge of alcohol burn. Citrus also in the background. Finish is very balanced and stays on the tongue for a while.

M - Mouthfeel is good. High carbonation and medium creaminess.

O - Overall, I really like this beer and if it were easily accessible I would drink a lot of it. The only offering I've had from Bear Republic, would love to try more.

Janderson91, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 was a beer that a friend of mine suggested that I try. I ran to my local Wegman's and grabbed a bomber of it the next day. Opened it up and it poured out as a really nice yellowish gold color. The head a lacing were very nice. The smell of the beer was really hoppy for just a regular IPA. The taste was also much hoppier than I expected it to be, lots of citrusy pine flavors that fade into a strong bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very drinkable. Overall this beer kicks ass. I could drink this one over and over again. I'd love to try Racer X one day.

Knapp85, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark golden, perhaps lighter amber, with a thin white head that drops down to a slick pretty quickly. A little bit of lacing.
S- Smell is C-hops all the way. Citrusy, with a bit of pine and grass. Pungently hoppy.
T- Same here. Big citrus up front, more of a pine character in the finish. I'm also getting just the slightest bit of tropical fruit flavor.
M- Smooth, almost but not quite creamy at first, pretty dry in the finish.
O- A very good IPA and one worth seeking out. It certainly is a hop-centric beer, but it never pretended to be anything else. Aggressive, yet refreshing.

jsprain1, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of rundocrun
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12-oz bottle. Very thick, loose layer of yeast sediment on the bottom of this bottle-conditioned beer. I unavoidably got a little bit in the glass during the pour but hey, a little yeast never hurt anyone right?

A - Pours a coppery golden color with burnt orange highlights. A finger of white head forms and then fades to a thin layer on the top of the beer. Moderate amount of lacing on the glass as I drink it.

S - Piney, resinous hop aroma is most noticeable with undertones of honey sweetness. Overall, not an extremely pungent beer though.

T - Creamy, malty sweetness up front that's almost honey-like in it's smoothness. The bitterness, piney-ness and citrus peel character of the hops hits hard in the middle and lasts through to the aftertaste. This is unlike any IPA/APA I've ever had, honestly. I've never experienced something so smooth and drinkable (a by-product of the bottle-conditioning) yet still maintaining the über-hoppy presence that one hopes for in this style.

M - Medium body with a juicy, lush finish. As mentioned earlier, this beer has an incredibly smooth, creamy character to it that lends to its drinkability.

rundocrun, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of TheBear11D
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Pours a mostly clear faded gold color with a creamy off-white head that did not set evenly and leaves pretty nice lacing.

Has an abundance of hops in the aroma with citrus hops being the foundation and floral hops also added in.

The flavor is pretty good, but a little let down from what the nose made me believe I was going to experience. The citrus hops are the first thing I notice, but the floral hops take over the flavor on the back of the tongue and flow into the aftertaste.

Has a very smooth and full body.

This is a very nice brew and I intend on enjoying my six pack. I recommend you do the same.

TheBear11D, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of ddean
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An attractive amber-orange. Not much head, but oddly enough, it tastes more carbonated than it looks, if that makes sense.

A nice piney hop note, though more subtle than I'd like, even when the beer is warmed up.

Quite a delicious West Coast style IPA. Big, crisp, piney hops, but with a slightly sweet maltiness---I get orange with maybe a little brown sugar.

Smooth, with a nice, long lingering of the malt.

If you like Lagunitas, Stone, and other big West Coast IPAs, I'd recommend this one, and like these other representatives, it has a substance to back up the hop punch. Cheers.

ddean, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 3 floyds pint glass.

A- One finger head dissipates quickly to nice bubbly ring around the glass, moderate carbonation, hazy yellow orange color
S- Very nice aroma, hops, citrus, pine, malt aromas, peach, grapefruit, good west coast representation.
T- Sweet bitterness upfront, citrus, grapefruit, big malt backbone, little too malty for an IPA in my opinion.
M- Light/Medium mouthfeel, dry aftertaste.
O- Nice solid IPA, little too malty for my taste, was expecting the hops to be more pronounced, still overall it was a tasty beer.

Chriscrundwell12, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of SFGuy187
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one fell a bit flat for me. Appearance and smell are alright, but the taste is just not quite there. I expect a west coast IPA to have a certain hop-forward character and this did not at all. Perhaps this 6-pack was old, but this just did not satisfy my hop craving. A solid beer overall, but lacking in hops.

SFGuy187, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of mvforegonian
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

As soon as I cracked this open wafts of hops hit me and it was incredible. this is the classic IPA. The hops were not listed, my pet peeve with IPAs... Hoppy, amazing aromas and lingering finish! I was expected something huge though based on the aromas.

mvforegonian, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of Roke87
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance- Pours a very hazy golden yellow, average pour yields a tiny half a finger of white head that very quickly dissipates to a very small ring that does leave lots of lacing throughout the glass till finish.

Smell- light hop aromas mixed with some pine as well, fruity grapefruit citrus aromas as well and a strong malt smell dominate the aromas.

Taste- Just like the smell this one is not overpowered by the grapefruit and hop although it is much more present in the taste, on the contrary the malts take over this one from the start then give way to a resiny pine flavour mixed with that citrusy hop flavour as well. Finishes kind of sweet and a bit bitter with more of that bready malt flavour in there.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with below average to almost no carbonation in sight, this is a crisp and easy drinking IPA, and finishes a little dry though.

Overall- To be honest this beer was overhyped a little too much by my go to liquor store guy, I guess I was expecting more from it although it was not bad in anyway at all. There is a big hop presence although not overpowered and equally balanced by a nice malty flavour. I would pick this one up again although I would not go out of my way to get it, happy I tried and didn’t overpay for it but unless it was under $8 a six pack I don’t think I would revisit it, there’s just too many other east coast IPA’s that are miles ahead of this one.

Roke87, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of wahhmaster
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, pale brownish-gold color. Has a large, frothy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of citrusy, piney hops with a bit of grainy maltiness.

Taste: Very hoppy up front with Cascade hops dominating. Finishes hoppy but with a balancing maltiness. Has a citrusy, grassy flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and flat but not overwhelmingly so.

Overall: A great IPA. I'm not sure that it live up to its enormous hype but it is still a well-made, well-balanced West Coast IPA. Worth a try at least...

wahhmaster, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of WankelEngine
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: An ever so slightly hazy pale golden color. A fairly vigorous pour yields only one fight of white head which disappears quickly. Small patches of white remain floating on the surface.

S: Smells most of hops. Bitter orange peel with a backbone of pine.

T: Again most of the flavor comes from hops. The citrus flavors are more detailed, with grapefruit being more pronounced. There is a very light malt backbone which does little to balance the hop bitterness. Bitterness and a pronounced alcohol flavor make up most of the aftertaste.

M: Dry and light with a noticeable alcohol feel.

O: A fairly decent IPA. Very hop oriented

WankelEngine, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of Yagman3000
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

Appears an orange gold with a dissipating head.

Smells and tastes like a hop bomber - I feel like it must be Cascade hops because of the grapefruit and pine.

Mouthfeel is nice with a hop blast and a smoother finish than I'd expect.

I'd grab this again but I think they're hop rod rye has a bit more going for it... Lots of hops with a balance of rye.

Yagman3000, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of alf212
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden yellow. Small but persistent head.

Smells florally with a buncha citrus

Tastes like the nose with a little malt coming in the middle. Bitterness is moderate and leaves a nice aftertaste. It's more citrusy than florally taste wise

Mouthfeels nice n slick nearly chewy. Goes down easy

Overall good IPA. Typical flavors done well

alf212, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of drummermattie02
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellowish orange; a bit hazy but with good carbonation and a thick head that shrunk to about a finger and stuck around for the whole point.

Smell is citrus forward, with a small amount of malts in the background -- seems to be a fresh keg.

Good hop bitterness with a lot of the same grapefruit flavors from the smell. Very minimal malt body, at least to my tongue. Alcohol is not noticeable at all, which is nice.

Lighter-bodied, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I found myself wishing for a bit more substance.

Overall a good beer.

drummermattie02, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice golden yellow with about 1/2 an inch of head taht dies down fairly quickly

S: Some nice citrusy hops along with some malts. I'm guessing this is pretty fresh because there is certainly no lack of hoppy goodness in the nose

T: All of the same, very nice grapefruit and orange notes from the hops that are balanced nicely by the malts. Deliciously hoppy for sure. Alcohol is barely noticed, nicely done for a 7% brew

M: Light-medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Not too slick and oily and not too carbonated, which is a nice mix

O: This is definitely a fine brew that I would associate more with the East Coast than Cali, but it is delicious for sure

BEERMILER12, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of WillCarrera
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy, amber honey color with a half-finger thick layer of sticky, white head.

S- Big blast of citrus and floral, just slightly piney hops. Not a lot else is going on in the nose, but its very clean and simple and smells like it's going to be a refreshing beer.

T- Lots and lots of hops, in a really delicious, not beating you over the head with it way, it's very well done. Hops are nice and bitter with floral and hop oil notes, lasting well into the finish. Hops are accompanied by loads of fruity citrus. Malts are light but do a good job of evening things out.

M- Medium bodied, very very smooth and just a bit chewy at the end. Great carbonation.

O- A solid IPA, very drinkable for 7.00% ABV, you seriously don't even notice it, drank another one of these while I was barbecuing some brats this afternoon, a great, refreshing summer beer.

Also a testament to the tried and tested wisdom that car-themed beers are usually good.

WillCarrera, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of bbkd3b
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Hazy body hits the glass with a color of hazy gold, with yeast just floating in the bottle. The conditioning is pretty obvious. Nice, 1/2 finger white head with good retention gets fed by the bubbles that keep floating to the top of the glass, taking an aromatic citrus scent with it. Nose has a nice balance in the hops department, with a lot of citrus and spruce scents brought along for the ride. Any malty tones are downplayed or covered up by the strand of yeast in the glass.

Heavy, thick body carries the hops on the tongue in a beautiful way. Lemon dances on the tongue while a bitter kick shifts towards the back. Really even character at first. As it warms, a slightly sweet underbelly appears to round things off. Alcohol is effectively covered up, and the finish is clean and easy.

Overall/notes - Really good IPA! The flavor, while perhaps a bit unbalanced, is spot-on in its citrusy tones. This makes me eager to dive into my bottle of Hop Rod in the fridge!

bbkd3b, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of depechemode1983
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice looking golden orange color. Head is like sea foam with excellent retention. Lots of sticky lacing as well.

S - The smell is mostly of bitter piny and citrus hops. A good amount of grains are noticeable as well along with fruits like apricots and sweet oranges.

T - Not as bitter as anticipated however very well balanced between hop bitterness and malt sweetness. Right away you get a fruity sweetness at the tip of your tongue which is immediately followed by grapefruit bitterness that takes the taste all the way to the finish. Pretty straight forward and simple but very delicious.

M - Medium bodied, smooth with some nice tingling carbonation. I dig it.

O - This is a straight up good beer. Very well balanced IPA. Well worth the 10 dollars I spent on the six pack.

depechemode1983, May 29, 2011
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surprised that I haven't reviewed this yet. 22oz poured into a Vertical Jewbelation glass. Orange, slight haze due to bottle conditioning and some noticeable carbonation. The head starts pretty nice but quickly goes the way of the ghost, nice lacing though.
I smell some yeasty fart, fresh cut grass, citrus (orange rind and slight grapefruit.) Bready malts follow.
The taste follows the smell very well, minus the fart yeast. I really like the grass/citrus hop combo, nicely backed by pale malts. Super nice going down.
I grab a couple bombers a month. It's a nice, affordable, West Coast IPA, and super easy to find. Just tried their Hop Rod Rye which I liked (and will review later). Go Bear Republic.

OBeerMeGreatOne, May 29, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a single from Total Wine in Richmond, VA - dfh snifter

Pours an orange tainted yellow with perfect head. Hazy appearance as a result of the yeast, looks nice though, no chunky floaters. Whippy head, amazing lace.
Smells a-freakin-mazing. Big, sharp citrus nose from the 4 C's (cascade, chinook, centennial and columbus). The nose on this is incredible. Taste follows, perfect hit of carb that tickles the tongue, then smooths out on the finish.

Overall this is an IPA for IPA lovers. Seriously, the label is just dern silly but you must try this beer if you like hops.

engagechad, May 28, 2011
Photo of Fillpott
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a Gulden Drak tulip glass hoping to focus the smell better. I cooled the beer to 45 degrees, and when it poured, it had a finger's worth of off-white head that left a faint lace on my glass. The smell was a very mellow citrus smell, like OJ from concentrate at room temperature. I wasn't beaten over the head with the hops, and I liked it. When I drank it, the whole beer seemed balanced. It was one of the few times that I wasn't focused on one specific aspect of the beer, and that made it extremely drinkable.

Fillpott, May 28, 2011
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,591 ratings.