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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,577 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5577
Reviews: 2157
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%

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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,577 | Reviews: 2,157 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Arw56


5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a world class beer, it is absolutely the best beer ever brewed. It has the perfect balance of hops and bitterness. It is smooth and smells amazing. Color is an amber golden. Smell has definite hop presence and just a bit of citrus. Pour it a glass and let it breath for a few before tasting perfection.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 00:54:01 | More by Arw56
Photo of Celtics17


4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very sweet tasting IPA. Very strong grapefruit. Very well balanced and pleasing. This tastes like a west coast IPA. This IPA has a peach backbone, but it's a nice mix of bitter grapefruit and sweet peach.

A - pours up medium gold, hazy in a tulip glass.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 06:35:18 | More by Celtics17
Photo of WheelsPSU

New York

3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bomber from Beverage Barn in Long Island.

Racer 5 pours a clear golden color with a soapy head and good lacing. It initially smelled of grapefruit but as the beer warmed, it took on more of a pine smell. Pine is also the first thing I tasted followed by malty caramel. Then the bitterness took over. It totally dried out my mouth and tongue. A little too much for my liking. But overall this is a pretty solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2013 15:18:11 | More by WheelsPSU
Photo of Mojo


4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle -> World Market tulip glass

A - pours up medium gold, hazy at first then clearing, one finger off white head, not much in the way of retention, and plenty of residual lacing.

S - Nose is fairly pleasant and is about what you expect for an IPA. I pick up the obligatory citrus, pine, floral, and bready notes.

T - An excellent tasting IPA. Spicy bitter hops, some grapefruit and a sweet malty finish. Very well balanced and pleasing.

M - adequate carbonation with a bit of an aftertaste.

O - very nice offering. Deserving of its splendid reputation.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 02:44:02 | More by Mojo
Photo of smpeterson327


3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm a big fan of Racer 5... on tap. For some reason, I'm not loving this bottled experience. The aftertaste is a little more bitter than I remember, and a little too harsh for my liking. I still drinks very nicely, and smells great.

The initial taste is surprisingly smooth for the harsh aftertaste. Overall, very solid beer that I will have another one of tonight. I'll probably hesitate next time when buying in a bottle, but would definitely get again on tap.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 02:51:24 | More by smpeterson327
Photo of Duane_Opfer


3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bomber poured into an IPA glass. No date visible on the bottle.

A - Golden amber color. Cloudy with suspended sediment. Light lacing around edges of glass.

S - Hints of tropical fruit, orange, grapefruit, and apricot. Initially hard to isolate, but presented themselves better as the beer warmed.

T - Beer initially present a piney sweet citrus and tropical fruit flavor followed by a bitter grapefruit finish. Completely masks 7% ABV. Unfortunately, sweetness dominates other flavors, which ties into mouthfeel...

M - Both initial presentation and finish are syrupy, corresponding to the dominating sweetness of the beer. After the finish is complete, mouth felt slightly sticky. Appropriately carbonated.

O - My overall opinion is greatly influenced by the tropical fruit sweetness and syrupy consistency. I love the bitter hop finish with hints of grapefruits, but those flavors are in the minority.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2013 01:34:05 | More by Duane_Opfer
Photo of stacket1


4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft outside at Baltimore harbor

Appearance: pale straw, cloudy, glistening

Smell: hops and sweetness came through

Taste: strong hops up front, but also nutty and sweet aftertaste

Mouthfeel: excellent full bodied

Overall: great hoppy IPA on the sweeter side that pairs well with sunshine and might work with creamy pasta too

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2013 02:18:23 | More by stacket1
Photo of C_Reid_S


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This *used* to be my favorite beer. Like cars, women, and cheese . . . tastes changes in growth, acquired; this used to be the one.

A good cheap six pack, these days... I get it for most friends, I know enjoyment to prevail, typically.

I feel like this is a true Brown Beer, something you can pull off the shelf, pour into a glass, and piss out knowing itwas't'n joyed.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:31:01 | More by C_Reid_S
Photo of joe1510


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

22oz Bomber

Pop from the carbonation when I cracked this beer.

Racer 5 poured a hazy orange/golden. Lots of carbonation coming up from everywhere on this one. Two finger dense eggshell head sits up top and doesn't want to budge. This is a lively beer. The head lingers throughout and leaves sticky white lacing.

Smells very good. I drank the Red Rocket last night and there was all kinds of unexpected smells. The same thing with Racer 5. The first thing that comes to mind is oatmeal. Then the hops come around. There's citrus, orange rind along with a small touch of grapefruit. Just smells really fresh and refreshing.

The taste is excellent. There's a very solid caramel malt upfront that falls back when the hops hit but stays as a nice balancing point throughout. The hops come in as a refreshing and crisp citrus bite. This is some good stuff.

The mouthfeel is close to perfect. Medium bodied with a really nice carbonation that pushes through and tickles the tongue.

I could easily drink these all night long and I would if I would have bought more than just one of these bombers.

Racer 5 is an excellent IPA. I'm very impressed. This beer is so smooth and easy to drink. It hides the alcohol so well you can't even tell it's there. One of my new favorite IPAs.

Reviewed: 10/14/06

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 03:31:55 | More by joe1510
Photo of ThirstyFace

New York

4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Born 4.5 weeks ago

A little darker than I recall, but still golden

Old school west coast IPA smell.

Taste follows. Juicy. Piney. Some alcohol burn.

Prickly, but mellowed enough.

Very good IPA. Nothing more nothing less. I'll always say yes to Racer 5

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 01:23:54 | More by ThirstyFace
Photo of CA_brewster


4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Poured a slightly hazy golden, copper color with a small white head. Very thin lacing. Unfiltered with quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. Hoppy aroma that tickles the nose and smells delicious. Citrusy, mostly grapefruit. A little resiny and has a slight malt sweetness to the smell as well. Smells nice, no doubt. On to taste, this is a real hop bomb IPA. A strong malt backbone fueling the 7% abv but the hops really dominate this brew. Bitter, but once the palate adjusts there is a bouquet of hoppy flavor packed into this beer. Fruity, grapefruity and some pine. A delicious IPA! but a definite hop head's brew. Light carbonation, bitter but very smooth, some resin in the aftertaste. Bottom line, I love this beer. As far as I'm concerned, It's a damn masterpiece!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 08:34:49 | More by CA_brewster
Photo of damndirtyape


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

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Hazy gold amber color. Thin white head upon pouring which died back to a very thin skin across the top. Delicate strands and islands of lacing noted.

Smell: Not a strong smelling beer at first, but with a good swirl I got a perfect citrus smell (nice blend of grapefruit, orange, and lemon) and as the foam died back I got some pine and another nice hit, stronger, of grapefruit.

Taste: Citrus grapefruit and orange at first, but not super tart, then a quick malt middle (very quick - couldn't pick out any distinct malt flavors) and then a citrus and piney bitter finish. A hoppy beer, but not excessively bitter. The citrus hop flavors slowly build up over time in the mouth, lingering longer and longer with each sip, but not becoming too much.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, but very smooth and slick. Some stickiness to the teeth but not a lot.

Overall / Drinkability: Definitely a good beer, but I wonder if this one sat on the shelf too long and some of the hop aroma and taste has been lost based upon other reviews I've read about this beer. A solid AIPA, but not as flavorful as I thought it would be. Very balanced though, with distinct hop flavors. I found this beer to be more of a slow sipper rather than something very drinkable that I wanted to reach for another when I was done. One was enough, but glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 22:28:12 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of retry4z


3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served cool from a bomber bottle into a Delirium snifter glass.

Very hazy, light orange color with a tenacious tan head.

Smell is a little musty, hints of malt, hops, citrus, and slight pine.

Initial bitterness is followed by a pine sweetness, some citrus notes, some warming alcohol.

Medium to full bodied, light carbonation, buttery consistency, some astringency.

Overall, the musty smell threw me off, while the hops don't provide the complex flavor I came to love in such IPA's as Lagunitas or Alesmith.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 07:31:51 | More by retry4z
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A good IPA that tends just a little to the sweet side of a well balanced IPA.

A: golden clear with large amount of head with great retention and lacing
S: little floral, little earthy
T/M: little bit of a few things with not too much of any: molasses, lemon, grass.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2013 23:47:41 | More by cjgiant
Photo of Aaron_Ramson


4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a plastic hotel water cup. Dark golden hue, quickly dissapating head that left lacing on the sides of the cup, with a medium mouthfeel and aggressive carbonation. Pine dominates the nose with some herbal cattiness noted. Taste is of pine and citrus, herbal pungency, caramel and toffee; beginning and ending with the pine, pine, piney goodness of chinook hops. I prefer a more citrusy hop profile but this is a different and welcome IPA that I'd like to have again.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 02:22:27 | More by Aaron_Ramson
Photo of Dsimenson


3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsner. It has 1/8" head which quickly reduces to thin lacing. It has a cloudy golden color, perhaps unfiltered, which i don't mind. Aroma is rich hops and pine. Flavor is rich, complex, balanced. Mouthfeel is moderately thick and tingly--I like it. This is an outstanding IPA.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 02:48:48 | More by Dsimenson
Photo of FLima


4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

To end IPA weekend...
Amber color with an one finger head with low retention.
Nice grapefruit aroma with notes of pine and resin and slightly toasted malts on the background.
Elegantly bitter (although it has a good 75 IBUs) and fruity taste, predominant citric flavor with notes of grapefruit, flowers and pine. But still quite malty. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation, 7% ABV is well hidden.
Very well crafted. A very pleasant and balanced IPA, relatively delicate and flavorful, but that knows how to bite. Gods’ juice.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 22:29:44 | More by FLima
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bear Republic 'Racer 5 IPA' @ 7.0% , served from a 650 ml bttle purchased for $7

A-pour is a pale clear gold from bottle to glass with a small off white head leaving
a streaky lace along the stein

S-big pine smell on the opening & first pour

T-big bitter taste dominates from start to finish

MF-low/mild carbonation , full bodied , for such a bitter tasting IPA
it doesn't linger on the palate

Ov-ok beer , not the greatest IPA butt ok , Iwill sample again

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 22:22:48 | More by LampertLand
Photo of john1947


4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just got this from my neighborhood growler shop. It goes down smooth and just hoppy like I enjoy. Used to drink Balantine Ale back in the day. Reminds me if this! Glad my carryout just tapped it finding out on facebook. Now to find some good and hot chicken wings to go with it.

Serving type: growler

07-21-2013 17:04:13 | More by john1947
Photo of twizzard

New York

4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Read about R5 on a recent 'top xxx" thread. Went to my local bottle shop today, not necessarily looking for it, but was thrilled to find it nonetheless! Now one of my top 5's. Actually reninded me a bit of ZD(easy, ZD heads). Going back today to grab a another 6 or two...

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 13:11:37 | More by twizzard
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

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

props to IanSpindler for including this in a random trade a while back
A - slightly hazy golden, splenty of rising carbonation, one thumb of creamy white head retained nicely with plenty of sticky lacing
S - light citrus, fresh grass, bubble gum, mild biscuit, and buttery bread, well balanced aromas
T - gentle tropical citrus with some mellon, fresh floral and grassy hops, buttery biscuit malt support, this is definitely a treat
M - refreshingly carbonated and relatively light, super crisp up front, somewhat savoury with mild dry bitter finish, brightens up the palate without attacking it
O - this is incredibly tasty while being delicate and balanced, super sessionable, and all around outstanding brew

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 00:33:13 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of BradtheGreat7


4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle with racing inspired Bear Republic labeling. I really dig this brewery's logo. Unique and eye candy. Poured into a standard American pint glass

A - golden colored amber or one could say copper, but this is a darker golden ale for me. Head wasn't as big as some ipa's I've had but it did have some fluff to it and settled into a nice ring of lace with pretty good stickiness.

S - solid aroma. Not as big on the hops as typical west coast style ipa's are, but the overall aroma has some hoppiness to it. Citrus, grapefruit, some pine and somewhat floral hop aromas. A caramel and lighter malt background makes this aroma pleasing to take in. The pine really takes control after a few whiffs but its soft and refreshing to the nose.

T - man, is this a good flavor or what? Pine to start things off with hints of citrus and grapefruit flowing over the mouth nicely. Some caramel malt holds everything in place and really keeps the bitterness in check. Sure, it has some awesome mouth puckering hops but the bitterness never really grabs you. I love a well balanced ipa that still get its big flavor across without busting balls. The hop spice and bitterness gets a bit more pronounced in the final stage and supports the semi dry finish. This flavor is so classic and simple yet done to perfection.

M - medium bodied and smooth texture. It may be a touch on the thin side for an ipa of this style, but surprisingly does an excellent job of providing a good texture and an even better job of coating the entire feel. This is one of the easiest going ipa's you'll ever have.

O - throughout this experience I was shocked at just how laid back and simple Bear Republic kept this though its so good I never became bored with its perfect balance and simple flavors. It has the hoppiness and bitterness to allow yourself to take in a real world class American ipa while letting you take big, flavorable drinks. I'd recommend this to anyone and this lets me automatically love Bear Republic. What a California gem this thing is. The highest of marks from me

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2013 04:53:58 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of alaimoa


3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So after having some amazing IPAs it's always tough to have a new one after Heady, Pliny and Ghandi. This is a respectable and really tasty beer. Drank it out of the bottle and would explain it as bitterness that hits on the front and back but not too intensely. Can definitely smell and taste some piny hops with less citrus than some other ipas. I viewed it as a good session IPA and would buy again

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 00:16:35 | More by alaimoa
Photo of CorvetteMike

Rhode Island

4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Light gold color with one full finger head. Foam settles quickly.

S: Pine with a slight hint of malt.

T: Refreshing with a slight bitterness to it. Very enjoyable taste, and smoothness to it.

M: Medium bodied, well balanced, some carbonation, slight hops presence.

O: Outstanding beer. Purchased only one in a self chosen 6 pack. Will definitely purchase a six pack in the future.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 00:04:47 | More by CorvetteMike
Photo of ChrisKayler


4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Golden-orange, crystal clear.

Smell: Mango sweetness with strong pine thrown in. Citrus lingers on the nose as well.

Taste: Very citrus forward, followed by a strong piney bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A tasty citrusy IPA. It's a bit one dimensional and unbalanced, but if you happen to like the flavor (like I do), it's delicious and refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2013 04:23:09 | More by ChrisKayler
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,577 ratings.