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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.

6,255 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,255
Reviews: 2,181
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 192
Gots: 488 | 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
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Ratings: 6,255 | Reviews: 2,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of musicman575


4.47/5  rDev +6.7%

Just an update from my previous review:

This is delicious! Disregard all that I said before....

It's hoppy enough, but not as pungent as a lot of other IPAs. There shouldn't be a gray area with IPA. Get it crazy hopped up or call it something else.

There's something primitively masculine about drinking a beer that has solids floating around in it. My Western Civilization professor once described a beer from feudal Europe that contained chewable chunks and was considered part of one's daily nutrition. Gimme some of that! I was able to get an inch or so of head, but I really tried. After the initial pour, a nice bubbly film stuck around to see the last chug.

This is a very light beer. A light sweetness accompanies the grapefruity hops. There isn't much else to it, which makes it rather dry. I might have got an old beer (maybe they should put a date on the bottle). There was bit of a stale, sour taste and the alcohol was rather strong when I breathed out from my nose. The hops never cleared themselves, obscuring the subtleties with every drink.

09-13-2010 05:01:22 | More by musicman575
Photo of hardy008


2.68/5  rDev -36%

Dark gold with less than one finger of white foam, and decent retention. The aroma has some citrus hops, and pine. Not as strong of an aroma as I expected.

The taste is just like the aroma. Very bitter, no balancing malt. A little too bitter for my taste. Grapefruit peeling and pine flavors, not much else

High carbonation, dry, with a long bitter finish. I like hoppy bitter beers, but not bitterness which lacks complexity. I also don't like for a beer to be astringent. Not something I would seek out again.

09-12-2010 18:57:50 | More by hardy008
Photo of Vaison


3/5  rDev -28.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic tumbler.

A smooth golden color with a nice fluffy white 2 finger head. The smell was overwhelming with hops and I was unable to detect anything else. My wife commented from across the table that my beer smelled like flowers. The taste was just like the smell, an overkill of hops and and bitter citrus bite on the back end. Carbonation was average and it went down okay. It was an okay drink but not something I would purchase again.

09-10-2010 00:34:43 | More by Vaison
Photo of carpezytha


3.6/5  rDev -14.1%

A: Honey colored with large-bubbled head which leaves a bit of lacing after sinking to a thin coating.
S: Grass, pine, tarweed.
T: Crisp with good body and decent malt.
M: Lively, smooth.
D: Great daily drinker for 4.50 a 22oz bottle.

I am not a huge IPA fan, but this one does the trick especially at this price.

09-08-2010 21:00:59 | More by carpezytha
Photo of supra429


2/5  rDev -52.3%

It is my moral duty to let you guys know that racer 5 recipe has changed. Do not waste your time with this beer. It is not longer an "A" grade beer. All the reports you see here are BS by people who dont know what they are talking about. It is disgusting and nothing compared to what it was prior to april 14th batch. I am here to tell you DO NOT BUY so they can make the old one.

I'm not lying.

I demand the old racer 5 come back!

My review

The beer is dry and lighter than before. Is lacking body.

The beer is now clear and not hazy

The aromatic hops are way weaker now and smells falt. Before it had cirtus and even orange aroma.

Please do not support this companies.

09-08-2010 07:03:16 | More by supra429
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Yellow and light tan, almost pilsner looking in my glass. Unfiltered stuff floats around :)

Smell - Hops, citrus, light alcohol and malts, some spices

Taste - Piney hoppy kick starts off. Some oranges and grapefruit overtones. The malts are tangy and yummy. This is a standard hoppy ipa done very well. Pretty strong, about as strong as you can get before treading into imperial territory.

Mouthfeel - Bitter hops cover your whole mouth. Your palette will be a little wrecked, but not ruined. The aftertaste leaves your mouth a little dry and begging for more.

Drinkabilty - I took a chance on this since hop rod is soooo good, i grabbed a 6- pack of this and man im happy. This is right up there wwith all my favorite ipa's. Will drink again

09-08-2010 03:04:28 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of beergod1


3.98/5  rDev -5%

Poured into a Stone pint glass, Deep gold color, some sediment floating around. Hop aroma is instant, and from 2 feet away, packs a punch. A slight ring around the glass as the foamy head gives way.Taste starts out with a bitterness that blends into a smooth malty body and eventually turns into that hoppy, grapefruit, piney finish that you expect from an IPA. It's not one of The big boys, But this is a very good IPA.

09-07-2010 23:28:47 | More by beergod1
Photo of xnicknj


4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Cloudy orange and gold color with a haze of head. Spotty lacing litters the glass along with a light head and a small filmy retention of foam.

S - Nice bouquet of citrus, hops, malt, caramel, and assorted tropical fruits.

T - Begins with a wave of hoppy citrus which carries from beginning to end. Bitter juicy hops explode from the inital sip, and eventually emitting pineapple and grapefruit. A slightly sweet malt backbone balances everything out but still allows the hops to cry out. The booze is masked well with a dry, yet bitter finish.

M/D - Medium body, bubbly, dry with hops, but still goes down incredibly easy considering the style.

Awesome IPA. Dont sleep on this beer, especially since youre probably wasting money on something far less tasty.

09-06-2010 06:19:21 | More by xnicknj
Photo of DJED69

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +11%

Awesome. One of the finest examples of West Coast IPA I have had. Enjoyed many bottles before this review. Pours a golden amber, lighter than typical. Nose is unreal---fresh juicy hops and tropical fruit. Taste follows suit. It's just flat out delicious. Word to use here is "balance". Perfect harmony of malt, hops and grain. This and Stone are my go to IPA's. A must try.

09-06-2010 04:24:56 | More by DJED69
Photo of bohemiandonut


4.55/5  rDev +8.6%

The nuances of IPA are really getting to me lately. Bottle after bad bottle it seems there are too many amazing cali IPAs to count and too many bad bottles to cry over. This particular bomber of Racer 5 has some sort of cryptic freshness code but it tastes so sweet and drinks so g.d. gushy I've got the urge to verbal.

Perhaps the perfect look for standard IPA. Honey pale, active head and damn near masterpiece lacing. Smells like Bubbalicious - Mango, Cotton Candy, or something equally nostalgic. If this were a strain of chronic it would be all I'd buy.

Taste is arctic wind, cleansing citral grains all blown out in a storm replacing Greenland with South Florida.

I could drink this all night long.

09-05-2010 03:47:12 | More by bohemiandonut
Photo of mdcrouser


4.05/5  rDev -3.3%

Golden amber, with a bit of fluffy white head that fades to leave rings.

Highly floral, with a clear hops bite in the nose - really great. Looking forward to this one.

Reminds me somehow of a farmhouse ale - seems a little funky. Squarely hopped - it doesn't mess around in getting straight to the point. Floral, bitter, no spice. It is though a bit of a tongue-slap, not being as smooth as I'd prefer, instead being mildly sharp at the end.

Dry, but sparkling on the tongue.

I feel like I should have enjoyed this one much more than I did - no doubt, it's a good beer. Really solid in its merits. But it's not one that I'll crave, as it doesn't seem distinctive enough to earn the right.

09-05-2010 03:44:32 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of gfreed


3.83/5  rDev -8.6%

On a hot night this is a nice thing to drink. Very piney aroma; leathery smell with a very sharp edge. There's even the smell you get when you pull a strip of scotch tape from the roll-- something you will remember from your grammar-school days, I'm sure. Very tight flavor, full of little pins from the abundant carbonation. It starts out resinous and loaded with pine needles, but mellows into a peachy taste when it warms up. I couldn't drink such a thing in the winter but it's welcome in August.

09-04-2010 21:07:31 | More by gfreed
Photo of infi

New York

3.88/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured into a nonic pint.

A light golden orange pour with a foamy and frothy white head with retention of about a minute or so. Within the actual liquid are some floating bursted vesicles, like from an orange or lemon. Pretty ghastly looking, but not a problem. Lots of webby lacing throughout the glass. Smell is incredibly malt and hop balanced. It begins with a nice malt sweetness and then falls back upon the power of the Cascade and Centennial hoppage and grapefruit. Very California IPA.

The taste is thoroughly and beautifully hoppy. All the way around. Double rainbow. The hoppiness isn't very overpowering either: it's bitter, yet smooth with subtle hints of citrus pith and skin. Very herbal and remedying in character for the night. At the end, the brew leaves a nice clean and slight dry feeling, along with some alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel is more partial to being more medium-bodied, with the carbonation at a moderately light level. Drinkability is decently high - quite flavorful and easy drinking. Admirable example of a Cali IPA; worthy of your buy.

09-03-2010 00:50:21 | More by infi
Photo of lester619


4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Pours a somewhat hazy orangish amber brown IPA color. Some small sediment floating around. The head was a little thin on the first one, even with an agressive pour. The rest of the six pack was a little thicker. Average lacing for an IPA. It has a really good fresh hoppy herbal/floral grapefruit smell. Nice. Taste starts out with a hard bitterness that blends into a biscuity malty body and eventually turns into that hoppy grapefruit piney herbal flavor that you expect from an IPA. This reminded me of Stone's IPA with that little hint of burnt rubber on the back of my tounge. All in all this is another example of the greatness that is very hoppy west coast beer. Not the best, but close enough.

09-02-2010 22:41:23 | More by lester619
Photo of SamuelJackson45


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

A- A nice golden amber look.

S- Hops with fruity notes screaming out.

T- Fresh strong bold flavor of citrus from the hops pouring out the pours. Spices come out at the end.

M- Semi-dry hop bite through out sip spices.

D- This beer have some bite. Hops are strong like a hammer to my taste buds but thats OK I'm like every part of it. I'm really starting to like IPA in a big way. Got to get more of this beer.


09-02-2010 13:45:57 | More by SamuelJackson45
Photo of EgadBananas


4.3/5  rDev +2.6%

Light golden in color, big fluffy 2+ finger head that sticks around for the duration.

Smell is very floral, bitter, with some grapefruit and slight malts.

Taste is in your face bitter, earthy, with some sweet citrus and floral notes. Can't really ask for much more!

Feel is solid medium in body. An easy "good".

This is a perfectly balanced, and superbly drinkable IPA.

09-01-2010 00:11:49 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +6.7%

Fairly golden color with an orange tinge lets me know I'm in for a real WC IPA, none of that amber caramelly crap. Modest head leaves some nice clingy lace.
Aroma is full of hop goodness. Pink grapefruit, orange, apricot, hint of tropical and some pine resin.
Taste does not disappoint the high expectations the nose presages. Smooth citrus and melon flavors start off a tad sweet but end up drying out a bit on the piney hop fade. Lots of good juicy hop flavor without much astringency at all.
Smooth carbonation makes this hop juice ultra quaffable for it's respectable 7% abv. When this stuff is fresh it is one of the best everyday IPAs around.

08-31-2010 23:21:17 | More by BeerZack
Photo of Mooch273


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

A: 1/8" head retention, light gold color.

A: citrus, but mostly piney hop aroma.

T: slight honey with hints of an over-ripe orange that adds a sweet citrusy flavor. Bitter pine after-taste.

M: smooth with good bitterness; not much alcohol presence; appropriate carbonation for the style.

D: Great warm weather beer; easy to finish several at a single sitting. Overall, a very enjoyable beer that I would be happy to share with friends.

08-31-2010 03:00:01 | More by Mooch273
Photo of IPAescotch


3.9/5  rDev -6.9%

A: Hazy, not much head retention, light lacing. Not very impressive.

S: Rather fruitful for an ipa, and a delectable hop aroma, earthy like fuggle hops.

T: More like a pale ale than an ipa, but more flavorful than either. tastes like a belgium its so fruity. Hops are noticeable, but more of a cushion for the yeasty flavor than the dominating element.

M: Light and smooth.

D: Extremely. A perfect beer to go with either eating, smoking, or more beer.

08-28-2010 23:34:19 | More by IPAescotch
Photo of btorsdog


4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

"The West is the Best, Just get Here and We'll do the Rest" - Jim Morrison
Should be the slogan for this brew, really good West Coast style IPA
Foggy Golden amber in color, sweet head & lacing
Lots of fruity floral hops in the nose, some malt
Taste is very nice,lots of hops with a nice citrus kick in there,in your face yet balanced
mouth is medium to slightly heavy, smooth
This beer is about as drinkable as it gets love to drink this alongside GreenFlash,FlowerPower, 2-Hearted & Columbus Brewing IPA(Latter is Hardest one for me to get!) GREATLY CRAFTED BREW!

08-28-2010 19:56:27 | More by btorsdog
Photo of philbertk


4/5  rDev -4.5%

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--1999 22 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. (4.75 / 5.0) Huge floral hop aroma on pour. Clear light red amber color. Rich floral hop front gives way to rich lightly sweet thick rich malt body. Hints of fruit. Finish has minimal hop spiciness. Sampled 7/27/1999.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--2005 22 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 69 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Big lacy head. Hazy bright golden orange color. Big floral ester hop front. Smooth rich mild sweet balanced caramel mellow ester fruit citrus body. Hot balanced hop spice mild citrus end. Good Hoppy brew. Sampled 6/12/2005.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--2006 22 oz. Plastic Stick On Label Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 69 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Lacy head. Slightly cloudy bright gold color. Rich earthy floral hop front. Tangy dry sweet grapefruit caramel mild fruit biscuit body. Rich clean hop spice citrus tangy end. Well made hoppy IPA. Sampled 1/10/2006.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--2008 12 oz. Plastic Stick On Label Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 69 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Thin light lace white head. Clear thin bright light gold color. Crisp rich floral hop front. Tasty dry sweet crisp grapefruit citrus grassy pine pale malt light caramel body. Tangy clean crisp rich bitter hop spice mild citrus end. Hop Infused Floral tasty IPA. Sampled 10/30/2008. 6-Pack $10.99.

08-27-2010 01:03:35 | More by philbertk
Photo of Phelps


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

On tap at Tops, served in a pint glass.

Looks: perfectly clear pale golden-orange, poured almost to the brim with very little head save a tiny, frothy white layer that quickly becomes film and a ring. Nice webs of lace speckle the glass at first, but they too dissipate.

Smells: super citrusy. Tart lemon and grapefruit, light burnt sugar and honey.

Tastes: like grapefruit peel. A blast of citrus is followed immediately by a startling pithy bitterness that coats the tongue. Tons of grapefruit juice, a bit of lime, some grass, and a hint of honey and strawberry in the back.

Feels: carbonation is medium-high, assertive but not distracting. The body is surprisingly full and syrupy. It's a pleasure to swirl about the mouth. Alcohol warmth is noticeable as it rides down the throat.

Drinks: like a happy accident. I have to admit, I came here looking for Racer X and found 5. But I'm glad I gave it a try. An all-around solid IPA.

08-26-2010 23:00:05 | More by Phelps
Photo of Jeffo


4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Got this at Binny's Downtown Chicago on our recent baseball trip.

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-thick white head with good retention. Orange-red in color but more tangerine when held to the light. Clear with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a decent foam cap and leaves some lacing right away. A good wisp remains until the end and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass. Second pour from the bomber is a cloudier version of the above. Very nice looking brew.

SMELL: Pale malts with some sweet pineapple and a good dose of citrus and piney hops. Grapefruit and floral hints in there as well. Medium strength and pleasant.

TASTE: Pale malts with lots of citrus and piney hop flavors. Lots of bitterness on the finish, with some sweet pineapple to balance out the bitter hops. A bitter and mostly piney aftertaste is bold and lingering. Pretty tasty and very bold for an IPA.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth and full on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a little mouth-coating. A bit of a bite at the finish. Good feel for the style.

OVERALL: A very good IPA. This is probably one of my favorite in the style, and if it were local to me, I'd probably drink it all the time. Bold flavors with a great look and feel, really only the aromas need to be brought up a notch. Regardless, this is a very good example of the style and worth checking out if you get the chance. I'll get a couple more if I see them on next year's trip south of the border.

08-26-2010 10:37:28 | More by Jeffo
Photo of scottfrie


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

22oz bottle into oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a hazy bright golden-honey orange with a thin bright white head that quickly disappeared into a faint collar and film leaving some streaks of sticky lace. There were some tiny flakes of sediment present in every pour.
S: Big grapefruit and citrus aroma with notes of pine. Most of the malt is overpowered.
T: Follows the nose with a more balanced malty taste. Light cracker-like flavor. Good bitter punch at the finish. Loads of lemon notes as well. Nectar like quality. Aftertaste is a tad sweet like tropical fruit.
M: Medium body with a slick and slightly watery mouthfeel. No alcohol present.
D: Amazing for an IPA. One of the best go-to beers out there.

08-26-2010 02:49:00 | More by scottfrie
Photo of bound4er


4.13/5  rDev -1.4%

From a 22 ounce bomber - $3.99.

A. Light amber to medium straw appearance with a fluffy white head. Laces very nicely.

S. Almost a saaz-like hop aroma - herbal spiciness that is quite appealing and clean. I don't get the typical citrus of many IPA's.

T. That clean, crisp aroma carries over to the palate. Atypical IPA flavors that work well start things off - spice, herbs, and bready malt followed by a pine infused lingering finish.

M. Silky smooth - this stuff leaves a lingering feel in your mouth.

D. This is my first Bear Republic beer and I am not disappointed. Maybe not an upper tier IPA but a damn good one nonetheless with excellent drinkability. One bomber could easily lead to two with this stuff.

08-25-2010 01:50:03 | More by bound4er
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,255 ratings.