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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.

6,605 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,605
Reviews: 2,199
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 212
Gots: 615 | 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: 6,605 | Reviews: 2,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timers
4.95/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is the peak of the "California IPA" style of brewing and is without a doubt a best in genre brew. Like other beers in the class, it pushes the hops and alcohol content to a very high level, however this beer restrains enough to still preserve the delicious taste left from the wort. Although it doesn't punch you with alpha acids it does pique your tongue with more than a little enthusiasm. For West Coast emigres, it's a reminder of everything good about beers in the Golden State and the influence of all the ingredients.

Now available in some East Coast locations, hopefully more soon!

timers, May 16, 2011
Photo of syrupjoe
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Decent one finger head that quickly settles into the glass, but leaves excellent off-white lacing.

I get grapefruit, pine, and sweet grass on the nose, and it is slightly perfume-y (but not in a bad way).

Lower carbonation than many other comparable brews. The citrus isn't as pronounced in the taste as in the nose. I get some bready notes and a slight bit of dried fruit in the taste, as well as continued pine and grapefruit.

Overall, a delicious beer that I would love to smell every day. As far as the taste goes: it doesn't blow my mind, but is a very solid specimen.

syrupjoe, May 14, 2011
Photo of BierFan
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Thin off-white head and very good head retention. Hazy golden colored body with a lot of tiny yeast particles. Good hoppy aroma. Mostly grapefruit, slightly minty. Has a nice acidic twang from the fruity hops. I'd like the malts to play a bigger part in the taste, but that's a minor gripe. Overall a good IPA if that's what you're in the market for.

BierFan, May 13, 2011
Photo of Sevoking
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

I was first taken back how little carbonation it had. Too a point that I thought something may be wrong. No need to worry, though...it was there & in perfect balance. Color was a mild copper w/ loads of particles floating throughout. Smell was pleasantly citrusy. The taste was complex to say the least. I was expecting to be blown away by bitterness, but the hoppiness was well-balanced w/ a smooth, citrusy aftertaste. I could barely even detect any alcohol content. Each drink left me w/ wanting more. Unlike some IPA's that overwhelm you w/ bitterness to where you might stop at one 12oz, Racer 5 leaves you wanting more.

Definitely would try this again. Top 5 IPA for me.

Sevoking, May 13, 2011
Photo of jboucher
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

75+ IBU's

Appearance: Hazy golden amber color with a very nice, chunky two finger head, which settles down quickly. Thick and chunky lacing. Mediocre visible carbonation. Bottle conditioned, although no visible sediment.

Smell: Very nice citrus/floral aromas on the nose. Nice hop/malt balance. Smells a little like buttered bread in the background. A little on the sweet side.

Taste: Wow! This beer is amazingly balanced. The bitterness is there, but it's not overwhelming. Toasted biscuit notes take up the rear while grapefruit, pine, spice, and other citrus notes take the lead. On the sweeter side as IPAs range. The finish is comprised of lemon notes accompanied by butter. I think this would pair very well with baked haddock sprinkled with buttered bread crumbs and lemon juice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with average carbonation. Not dry, and not oily. It's right in the middle where a beer belongs.

Ending notes: This is one of my favorite IPAs. It's on the complex side, and it's very sessionable. I will definitely be getting this one again.

jboucher, May 13, 2011
Photo of daliandragon
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up today at the Beer Dispensary in Apex. I didn't realize I haven't reviewed it yet. Pours golden colored and full of sediment with modest head but budding lace. The nose is pine and citrus based but not overpowering.

Taste is compact and clean with nice balance. Flavorful but not overwhelming bitterness has heavy tints of pine against a solid amber malt backbone. The whole package is neat and well crafted. Alcohol is hinted at but is nigh undetectable. Carbonation could maybe be tweaked down a notch but its hardly a problem.

For seven percent this is extremely drinkable and satisfying. Also for only five bones for a 22 oz this is good value .

daliandragon, May 12, 2011
Photo of taulpepper
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz into a pint glass (nonic).

Appearance: Small head, great clarity and golden-amber color.

Smell: Noticeably hop nose, not the biggest or most complex I've had, but a good aroma, great for an American IPA.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness hits you right up front, but it's very well-balanced with sweetness and a strong citrusy flavor, maybe some grapefruit.

Overall: A very refreshing beer and a great example of an American IPA, big American hop smell and flavor, but very the bitterness is very well-balanced with malty sweetness.

taulpepper, May 12, 2011
Photo of DannyDan
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours out a golden yellow-orange body with a thick white head that quickly disappears. Has good retention and lacing and moderate carbonation.
S. Has a citrus, yeast, floral and pine aroma to it.
T. Taste starts off with a citrus taste that follows with some floral and pine with a bite of spices in the back. It finishes off with more citrus. The hops and spices seem to be nicely balanced as no taste is off on this IPA.
M. The mouthfeel is a nice smooth creamy feel that melts in your mouth and is a very good beer to relax and enjoy on a nice summer day.
O. A very good IPA that I'd now rank in my top 5 IPA's. A must try.

DannyDan, May 10, 2011
Photo of HoustonTX
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is amazing on Cask, had the rare opportunity to try it at the Texas Beer Festival yesterday.

It's like velvet sweet loving hops coating your entire palate. Very intense complexity, but something just amazing to partake in. Grapefruit and pineapple in the nose. The flavor is just something to behold. It's indeed hop centered lots of orange and grapefruit but there is also this unique malty oak background. The cask makes this stuff dangerously drinkable. It's really a great beer.

This is something to definitely seek out if you get the chance. I'm honored to have tried it.

HoustonTX, May 09, 2011
Photo of jables7
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a nice golden color with decent head retention. the thing that stands out the most in this category is the particles suspended throughout the entire glass.

S- strong hop aroma indicative of a west coast ipa. the citrus aromas definatly come through in force.

T- the citrus notes in the nose come on even stronger in the taste. the hops are assertive but not overpowering. there's a good balance that is missing from many hop-forward ipa's.

M- good amount of carbonation and just thick enough to coat the mouth.

O- one of the best american ipa's I've had. I may be a little biased because the west coast style is my favorite. regardless of that, this is a solid ipa that any fans of the style will like.

jables7, May 09, 2011
Photo of match1112
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured bomber into sam adams glass. had 2 fingers head with a good amount of lacing. cloudy orange in color. smells of citrus and spice and everything nice. theres grapefruit, orange, pine and big floral hops. taste follows the nose with a slightly bitter bite left on the tongue. mouthfeel is slightly over carbonated. overall this is an excellent ipa.

match1112, May 08, 2011
Photo of mater
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into my newly acquired Stone imperial pint glass.

A-Pours a hazy orange color with lots of floaties. A nice 1.5-2 finger head that leaves a nice layer and excellent lacing.

S-Smells delicious, but it isn't overpowering. Grapefruit, Orange, pine and hops.

T-The hops get you first, then I get a strong grapefruit and orange taste. Can't taste any alcohol at all.

M-Leaves a nice coating in the mouth. The carbonation could be tamed a little, but it doesn't really hurt the tastiness of the beer.

O-Probably one of my top 5 most readily available IPA'S in Ohio. If you haven't tried this yet, get some!

mater, May 08, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly more orangy than golden, with a bunch of yeasties floating around. Is this normal for this beer? Unfiltered? The slight head disappeared within seconds.

S: Pine, orange... West Coast hop profile in spades! The model Westie IPA scent....

T: Wow, what a hop sizzle! I especially the citrus content: grapefruit, orange, mild lemon... all without being sugary in the least.

M: Certainly not much malt, but I'm pretty sure that was intentional. The carbonation was perfect for the style and the hop profile was picture perfect.

O: Ask any hophead: this is one of their staples. I have to say.... I'm a fan.

Chaney, May 07, 2011
Photo of sendsilk
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a recent trade with drummermattie02, thanks Matt!

A- Looks great, straw colored like an IPA should be

S- Great as well, looking pretty promising here....

T- VERY good. I could drink these all night. perfect IPA

M- consistent with the style.

O- Send me more. I only received 1 22 oz. yesterday and this bitch is now gone.

sendsilk, May 06, 2011
Photo of ludachris
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its peachy orange body is very murky. Some hop haze could account for this but it's mostly due to the bits of sediment suspended from top to bottom in the beer. A finger's worth of white bubbly head recedes quickly to a thin ring but leaves ample amounts of patchy lace as it does so.

Overly ripe pineapple with healthy doses of candied grapefruit give the nose a tropical punch. Papaya adds an extra layer of sweetness while sublte earthy hops make sure it doesn't get too out of hand. Caramel drizzled toast is far in the back, barely showing itself but with its presence, the beer stays true to the staple characteristics of the style.

Pineapple and mango dance along the tongue as soon as it enters the mouth. The bitter hop component to this beer, which follows right after, surprised me. It's more floral, spicy and well rounded instead of overly pronounced and tropical. Toasty malts with a sweet edge do almost too well at keeping the floral hop bitterness tamed in the finish. I purchased this only a week and a half ago from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo but I wonder if this IPA is still at its best.

Light to medium bodied. Smooth with a light creaminess. A great balance is struck throughout but great balance between malt and hops isn't what I look for in an AIPA. The carbonation is unobtrusive, clean, and does well at making this beer refreshing.

All around, this is a very good AIPA. I do like a more assertive hop presence in this style but I am iffy on how fresh this is. As already stated, I purchased this at PG on a shelf at room temp. I would love to try this knowing it was fresh and will take the opportunity if it presents itself. Again, a very good AIPA but far from the best in the style.

ludachris, May 05, 2011
Photo of zrab11
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a Really nice orangey color with nice 1 1/2 finger off white head.

S-Has Grapefruit smell upfront followed by some hops and maybe alittle pine.

T- Has a citrusy grapefuit hops taste throughout with alittle bit of carmel sweetness at the end

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation

D-Overall this was just ok for me. Too much grapefruit came through. But it was still enjoyable. Just not somehting i would pick up everyday.

zrab11, May 04, 2011
Photo of DelMontiac
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was glad to have finally caught up with Racer 5 at Goebel Liquor in Wichita, KS. Poured from a 12 Oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass.

A careful pour yields a clear rather pale gold color with lots of tiny pure white bubbles producing a 2 finger head. Lace is sticky, thick, and everywhere leaving a new tier with each gulp.

Aroma is good old American West Coast IPA - citrusy fresh hop bombs with underlying mildly sweet malt.

Huge in taste as well. Grapefruit/fresh hop bombs from the getgo. That continues on through the finish followed up by some dainty sweet toasted maltiness and a faint buiscuity premonition lingers. They must really load this stuff with the cascade and centenial hops as they totally infiltrate the senses.

I really like the feel of this IPA - full bodied and smooth. Carbonation is spot-on.

This is a winner. I'll buy it again without hesitation.

DelMontiac, May 04, 2011
Photo of tubacharlie
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fresh hop aroma with citrus notes emanates from the half liter glass mug as the white, one-finger head subsides to a skim, with lacing stuck to the sides.

The brew is a burnt orange color, clouded by a hazy suspension of micro particulate.

Drawing a good mouthful reveals more citrus up front, with not as much hop bitterness as the aroma suggested. Some Pale Ales have as much hop presence, but this offering has enough alcohol content to make the IPA grade. Brisk carbonation pulls the alcohol esters to the nose, allowing the lightly malted grain flavor to peek through.

Not a top-of-the-line IPA, nor as good as the in-house draft, but worth the price of admission.

tubacharlie, May 03, 2011
Photo of kevanb
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Really nice color, reminiscent of an orange peel. Nice head, a bit foamy, but really welcoming. Nice texture, you can definitely see the sediment floating around in the glass.

S: Smells incredible, grapefruit is really prominent as well as a lot of floral notes with underlying hop aroma. I could just smell this beer all day.

T: Citrus, a nice tang of grapefruit but an enjoyable sweetness of an orange or tangerine right off the bat, but with a nice amount of hop flavor, amply bitter, but really balanced.

M: Crisp and sharp at the start. Carbonated, yet more emphasis on the full texture. Super smooth going down.

O: Really amazing brew, certainly one of the best IPAs from California, and it's on tap pretty much everywhere I've been that has a decent beer menu here in LA. Really top notch beer and I am looking forward to finishing this 6 pack this week.

kevanb, May 02, 2011
Photo of yesferro
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this in a surprise box from an BA'er here who's screen name I don't know.

Pours a light orange with a little bit of head, beautiful! Smells very citrussy, little hoppy but overal extremely inviting. Tastes so many things at once, buttery, citrus, hoppy ooo this is nice! There is an alcohol kick toward the end that I didn't expect but it's not bothersome at all. Overal a great beer, wish we could get it in MS!

yesferro, May 02, 2011
Photo of malty
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This just became available in Mid-MI a few weeks ago in 6-packs as it's been available on draft for a couple/few months though. After having it on draft last month, I'm glad to have a sixer for home.

Poured into a std. nonic pint glass a dingy gold color with lots of teeny-tiny suspended particles. The off-white head settles to 1/2" with a craggy, creamy and somewhat loose texture. A moderate amount of large-bubbled uprising carbonation is visible. Gobs of globs in the lace dept. A lacy massacre all over the inside walls of the glass.

The scent is heavenly. Lots of citrus, grapefruit rind cascade hops captivate the nostrils. Succulent, fresh and perfectly pungent. Bright, lemon zest and other zesty citrus fruit blast a beautiful bouquet that my nose just keeps going back for.

Very bitter and lush aforementioned hop goodness keeps rolling along. This time a more earthy, rustic element takes a more dominant role in the flavor area. I was surprised at how quickly the flavor drops-off as I was trying to discern the different nuances and characteristics. A bit more of a sharp/perfumy slant of hop flavor rubs nicely against the soft, malty undertow.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and definitely lower on the carbonation level of most (if not all) commercial IPAs I've tried. The carbonation, albeit modest, is very fine and lifting. The nice bitter/chalky, estery zingy finish.

Overall this IPA is yummy. There is a considerable deviance fron the blossoming nose to a more two-dimensional flavor experience. The flavors aren't bad, just a bit narrow and restrictive. It reminds me of a terrific homebrew that I'd definitely scrounge a growler of. Very rustic and unrefined, but I believe this is the simple allure of this ale. I absolutely enjoyed it.

malty, May 01, 2011
Photo of Justin23060
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours exceptionally cloudy with lots of chunky sediment and an off white head with above average lacing. Smells mostly of pine with a bit of citrus. Not much malt smell getting through as expected. Surprised by a bit of nice floral hop in the taste. Warms the throat slightly but not boozy at all. Hop bitterness is dry but last for a long long time. A little astringent but in a good way. Pretty solid IPA and a good example of what this style should be. I'll get it again and would recommend it to any who appreciate hops.

Justin23060, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with lots of sediment floating around. Thin white head that does leave some lacing. Smells prominently of oranges and citrusy hops. Definitely mildly hoppy on the nose but nothing incredibly surprising yet. Very pleasant smell though.

Ooo this one is for hop heads. Very bitter on the palate as all taste buds scream to bitter citrusy hops. Under the apparent 80-something IBU's is a complex mix of citrus flavors that come together nicely as a complement to the huge hoppiness felt throughout every sip. There is a hint of alcohol if you're looking for it, but for all intents and purposes, the bitter hops distract from that booziness, but in a good way. I think I expected something more fruity from the orange-ish nose it let off, but really this beer is an IPA til the bitter end. The citrus notes are there but only add to the hop profile. The mouthfeel is carbonated and bitter, but surprisingly the bitter aftertaste seems to dissapate quickly.

I gotta say, this is one really good IPA. I'm an IPA guy and this one is heavy on the hops but also balanced in a way that is perfectly pleasant. Really good beer.

chodinheaven, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of TheBrewo
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was served to us at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY, from a cask. It arrived in a tulip glass, the color or rich, deep gold, with darker hues of amber-red. It had a one finger foamy tan head that retained through to the bottom of the glass. It left little lacing as is slowly dissipated. Low carbonation was noted, and chunky sediment was found to be suspended throughout the syrupy-looking liquid. Most of this debris was found in the top half of the glass. Upon sniffing, the nose was filled with the aromas of sweet, apricot nectars, and sugary florals. Notes of honey were noted, to enhance the sweetness. Pale malts were there for a balance to the floral, piney hops that dominated the rest of the nose. On the very back there was spice, of spicy brown mustard seed, and a bit of grapey booze. As we sipped, the mouth was bombarded with sweetness, of fruit, and a grapey, woodiness, like a Chardonnay. Infused here were also clean hops. Through the middle there was a peak of sour, hoppy citrus. More wood appeared, and more bitter spice, but most notably cinnamon. Hops washed us through to the finish, with bitterness and bite, while that winey astringency comes back to dry the mouth, with a souring touch. The final things to leave the taste buds are clean malts, which washes the mélange of competing flavors away. The aftertaste breaths sour, woody, and with faint hops and booze. The body is medium and the carbonation nears nonexistent. Each sip goes down coolly, and smoothly, with slick hop oils helping things along. The head retention gives a nice and creamy slurpability to it. By the end the mouth is left dry, but not overwhelmingly so. The abv is standard, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we found most enjoyable about this brew was the aroma. It was nectary sweet amongst a bouquet of flowers, with some oddities, like that spicy mustard seed. Unlike many others in the style, here the hops took a delicate back seat, making this more than the typical IPA. One criticism is that it was a bit on the sour end, but this ultimately didn’t take much away, but rather gave it another unique aspect for the style.

TheBrewo, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm always afraid to buy this beer b/c theres no freshness label on it. However asking an employee he assured me it came in 3 days ago, so we'll see.

Appearance-A light amber with some sediment floating around with the carbonation bubbles floating to the top. About one inch of white head that quickly becomes a film resting on top. Very nice lacing remains.

Smell-Lots of floral notes along with some grapefruit and citrus aroma. Some malt notes in the backround.

Taste-Grapefruit and more Grapefruit. You get some lemon as well with a great balance between the Hops and Malt. It's fairly hoppy, but not too bitter. One of the highest drinkability IPAs I've had.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, fairly sticky on the tongue, but leaves you wanting more. Just enough carbonation and just goes down perfectly.

Overall-Just an outstanding beer. It usually takes a higher ABV brew to get this much flavor. Probably the most flavorful and drinkable 7% IPA I've had.

SWMeyer4141, Apr 27, 2011
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,605 ratings.