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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.

6,360 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,360
Reviews: 2,188
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 199
Gots: 532 | 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: 6,360 | Reviews: 2,188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jayna
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everyone loves the Racer 5. It's no secret.

I was fortunate enough to get this on cask at Local 44 in West Philly and I kind of wanted to either get naked or punch everyone else in the bar, or maybe just sit quietly and enjoy my beer, after I tasted it.

It's got a lot going on; obviously it's going to be hoppy, but the hops' malty buddies are just sitting right along side the hops giving you a big grin and all their thumbs up. Orange & caramel seem to star here, book ended by a drier hoppier taste typical of most IPAs as well as some lighter citrus and if you smell, if you really sniff just hard enough, some floral notes. Seriously, this beer has everything.

All I can tell you to do is get a beautiful cask pour. Just get it! GO. BYE.

Jayna, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of bundy462
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden with orange hues. Huge hanging frothy off white head.

S: A hop monster, spicy and in your face. I think that I detect a toasted malt barely sneaking through.

T: Big hop assault. Great roasty malt pulling off a nice balancing act.

M: Prickly on the palette. As expected with the style.

O: Great brew, highly recommended.

bundy462, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of AlvinStraight
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Killed the cask at Bierkraft for this one and it was well worth it. This is one of my favorite IPAs and I've never had the chance to find it on cask before. I'm not sure how to define the hoppiness/fruitiness of this one; it's not just big hops, but rather has a unique flavor that I haven't found anywhere else. Simply put it's excellent. The taste is delightful, but the color and smell are particular appealing to me.

If you like IPA's and hoppy beers, this one is worth finding.

AlvinStraight, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Soonami
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I decided to review Racer 5 again because it was served in a different format than before, on cask, which contributed to a unique experience of the beer.

Bear Republic makes some great beers and racer 5 is definitely one of them. The IPA was served at cellar temperature from a hand-pumped beer engine. This service resulted in ale with warmer temperature and lower amount of carbonation, which really allowed the taste of the resinous hops and biscuity malt to come through. Moreover, lower carbonation improve the mouthfeel, making it silkier and easier to drink without feeling as full. The warmer temperature did also make the beer seem to taste sweeter, but the lingering bitterness kept it from being cloying.

Racer 5 on cask was delicious with abundant pineapple, peach and mango flavors, with assertive bitterness and a sweet cracker-like malt background.

Soonami, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Green's Beverage Warehouse in Columbia, SC.

A- Pours a golden, light amber color. A nice white head sticks with the beer and also nicely laces the glass.

S- pine and citrus hops. Very typical of a west coast IPA.

T- Very good. Bitter, but not to bitter. Not hop forward, but a lot of hop aftertaste.

D- This IPA is very good and very drinkable. Great amount of carbonation. I can see drinking this beer on a hot summer day, or on a cool fall day. Very good example of a west coast IPA. I will seek this on out again! For sure!

cbak999, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of jampics2
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Melt. Needed something nice and hoppy for my Spicy Italian sandwich! This went perfectly with the gourmet grilled cheese.

This pint has a dark golden color with a thick white head. Looks really nice, could be a touch lighter to meet my ideal, but still a beer that's well above average.

Smell is citrus hops, pine, and a pale malt sweetness anchoring the whole thing. Citrus hints include orange, grapefruit, and pineapple.

Taste was fantastic. The citrus is ripe and juicy, the pine gives it depth, and the malt is light and sweet. The Columbus and Cascade here are rocking the park, each lending their juice to the mix. Bitterness is there, but it's well balanced and any ruin is well rewarded with taste.

Mouthfeel is light to medium light. Carb is perfect and finish is clean with lingering hops. Excellent body and feel. Drinkability is really nice too, this was a great beer to enjoy with lunch. When it's fresh on tap, this is just about as nice a widely available IPA as the world has seen.

jampics2, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours golden in color with a slight amber hue and a large off-white head that dissipates slowly and doesn't leave much lace, but leaves a lot of floating foam.

Smell: Buttery sweetness with citric hops and slight floral notes.

Taste: Begins buttery and sweet with a mild citrus hint, finishing with more toasty malt and a balanced hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with balanced carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: A very good IPA. Not quite the best, but this is a beer that's definitely worth a try and is one I would be more than happy to drink again.

Mosstrooper, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of MysticRuler
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A surprisingly nice IPA. I wasn't expecting much given the high volume production, however, the West Coast Hops shine, as usual. Nice balance of sweet maltiness (but not too sweet which is a problem with alot of IPAs) twinned with hoppy bitterness; its a very drinkable IPA. Superior to a number of higher rated IPAs out there.

MysticRuler, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of beerhan
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For being what appears to be a very mass produced IPA this gem is delicious. I cannot really say that this is very unique but I love it regardless. It pours a golden semi carbonated color and has a very piny smell to it. Taste is the same as the smell but the alcohol is definitely hidden. Regardless this is a great intro beer.

beerhan, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of dpcoz
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5

A - amber/ copper complexion, hazy appearance, two fingers of an alabaster head that fades away

S - sweet malts, strong citrusy hops, some piney hops as well

T - intriguing balance between the sweet of the malts and the bitter of the hops; neither is dominant yet both are easily identifiable. Grapefruit and pine bring the hops while a light Carmel comes out in the malts. 

M - medium body, again, excellent balance, light hop and sweet at the beginning, finish is slightly bitter. Warming finish Diego the ABV.

D - this isn't going to be a hophead's delight, still, this is an interesting West Coast take on an IPA. great balance, attractive combination of hops and malts and at $5 for a 22oz bomber, it's not going to break the bank. Racer 5 may become a new standby on my list!

dpcoz, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of thatsfine
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap poured into a pint glass. Pours a beautiful dark gold color with a one-finger head. Nice lacing down the glass.

This smells very nice. It's got a strong scent of the West Coast hops. Citrus and pine. There is also a scent of sweet malts. Excellent.

Oh man... this is just about perfect. There's a lot of hops in this, but the sweet malts in this make it quite delicious. Even without the sweet malts this would be outstanding.

The mouthfeel is normal for the style. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation with a nice coating on the tounge. Well done.

This is a great West Coast IPA. Might be the only IPA I like more than Union Jack, which is why I had a few pints. Very happy this is available at my bottle shop. Will buy this often.

thatsfine, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, orange brown in color

Smell: citrus hops, pine hops, and brown sugar

Taste: floral hops, slight pine hops, bread, and caramel malt

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, sweetish start with a moderately bitter middle and end

Drinkability: I could have a couple of these. A decent IPA that is very true to style.

tigg924, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of Spider889
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Golden straw colored and crystal clear. Very light head with minimal retention. The lacing was fairly impressive for an IPA.

I found the smell to be a little lack-luster. Not very potent or inviting. What I could get were hop oils and grapefruit rind.

The taste is very crisp and clean. This is a very balanced beer that really showcases the hops. Little to no malt profile though.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp. The beer is well carbonated and delicate enough to allow the hop profile to dominate while leaving no after taste or unwelcome lingering bitterness.

This wound up not being my favorite IPA but the drinkability is pretty good. The beer is light and easy going for 7%. While I might limit myself to 1 or 2 of these in a sitting, I could easily see others drinking much more than that.

Overall I am just not a huge fan of this west coast style of IPA that has very little malt profile. This is a very good beer but I prefer a little more complexity in my IPA.

Spider889, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of begforme4484
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 pours a very attractive golden amber color. Has roughly a fingers width of a white head. Leaves a good lacing on the glass.

A nice citrus hop fragrance. Most immediate to my nose was orange/grapefruit. Alsot has slight smells of sweet doughy malts.

A great blend of citrusy/piney hops and sweet malts. First notes are of the citrus, followed by the sweetness of the malts and bitterness of the piney hops. Finishes slightly bitter and very clean.

The mouthfeel is better than most IPA's. The flavor is strong and well balanced without having a nagging lingering feeling.

Drinkability is great! As I had this on tap and had a few more!

begforme4484, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of aggiearcher13
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden copper orange with a finger of head. Leaves nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Pungent. Pine and citrus dominate the nose.

T: Piney, a little sweet and very smooth. I don't know quite what it is about the hop flavor on this one, the pine and citrus is there but there's something else too... earthy perhaps. Some caramel malt is in there giving it a bit of honey sweetness, but it's pretty well masked by the hops.

M: Creamy, medium body, restrained carbonation.

D: Very drinkable beer, very enjoyable. I didn't dig earthiness on the palate but it didn't get into the way too much, there's plenty of other hop flavor there to satisfy.

aggiearcher13, Jul 28, 2010
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over sized snifter.
Listening to: Phil Lesh and Friends 4.17.99
A: A golden body, with a slight haze sits under a white layer of foamy head. Thick drapes of lace line the glass. A head that thins out, but holds a foamy characteristic thought.

S: A bold, blast of hops. Notes of orange and alcohol come through. An aroma that does not have the diversity of many fruits, I am just finding orange. An aroma which does not jump out of the glass, but does balance nicely with the beer as a whole.

T/M: A great hop/malt balance, the front of this beer is a great hop explosion, the finish is a smooth malt kick. On the finish the malt is not over powered by the hop presence, which kicks back in on the lingering taste. I think this maybe the perfect hop profile in an IPA. I think just shy of perfect due to its lack of bitterness. This is a sweet hop profile, unlike many other IPAs.

D: A very good overall beer, blending all aromas, tastes and sweet hop, lingering sensations, this is an all around beer. Nice to have a bomber of this stuff, and at a good price, not bad.

GDBEERMAN, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a standard pint. Pours golden with a one finger white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of malt and hops. The flavor is of malt and a slightly sour hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was very nice and easy drinking. The hop profile and intensity was very nice and the malt counterbalanced it almost perfectly. If this brew had some more complexity to it, it could be a world-class brew, but it is still VERY nice to say the least. Definitely worth trying.

thagr81us, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of ryanmac06
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden hazy color that's very typical of west coast IPAs. Pored from a bottle into a pint glass and left about a finger of head. The head didn't last through the entire drink but that was fine with me.

S - This beer has a great smell. A strong citrus/hoppy smell hits first followed by light malt that balances the smell very well. In my opinion Racer 5's smell is slightly better than many of it's American IPA counterparts

T - This is one of the best tasting single IPA's I've ever had. It's perfectly balanced without being overly bitter and doesn't destroy my pallet. The smell and taste compliment each other making them almost dependent on each other.

M - Coats the mouth very well. No problems at all with the feel of the beer. The 7% alcohol is present but very well covered by the balance of malts so your pallet and mouth can handle more than a couple.

D - This can easily be a session brew. It's an easy to drink 7% beer that is a bit deceiving. I will keep coming back to this as a "go to" AIPA

Overall - Set's itself apart from many IPAs that I've had. The combination of smell and taste are the 2 attributes that distinguish this brew. This is a must have if you're an IPA fan.

ryanmac06, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light gold on color when poured into a pint glass, with a good two inches of head that sticks around for quite some time and shows great lacing.

S - Hops, citrus - grapefruit and apple, malts.

T - Really nice IPA. Balanced of hops, bitterness and malt is great. I really get a fermented apple citrus taste when enjoying this beer.

M - Pretty light and crisp, nice carbonation and very smooth.

D - Drink it, enjoy it, and drink another!

StoneBrewFanatic, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of berpwillie
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a copper orange color with average off white frothy head that recedes at a moderate rate. average lacing and lively carbonation. strong fruity citrus smell. taste is similar with some piney floral hints. lifgt body and a thin slick texture. long flavor duration. goes down very smooth and is very easy to drink. excellent brew.

berpwillie, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly amber yellow with a resiny white head that leaves nice lace on the sides of my pint glass. The aroma is lovely, and the fact that I could smell it right after popping the cap is always a good sign. It is quite perfume like with plenty of citrus, both lemon and ruby red grapefruit, a hint of pine and some nice flowery aromas. I also detect a hint of earthiness and pale malt sweetness. The flavor is bursting with hops. Lemon, grapefruit, pine and floral flavors mix with the sweet slightly caramel malt character and a bit of earthiness. This beer is quite bitter, but seems to have just enough sweetness to keep it from getting out of control. Not as balanced as a east coast or Midwest IPA mind you, but I am not one to be overly concerned about that, especially with a hop flavor and aroma as great as that possessed by racer 5. The body is medium with a good amount of carbonation, yet a fairly smooth texture. The finish is very dry with a lingering hoppy flavor on my tongue. A very drinkable IPA, and one of my go-to favorites. I am surprised it took me this long to get around to reviewing it.

zoso1967, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden orange with yellow highlights that had a nice finger of head and left good sticky lacing on the glass. The aromas given off from the beer were quite enjoyable with the hops dominating the nose but had a good sweet malt presence and hints of citrus grapefruit and slight caramel notes. As far as the taste the piney hop were a little bit more punchier but still maintained a decent balance between the sweet malts. The citrus grapefruit also helped out some to enhance the bitter flavors on the palate and I could also detect a caramel undertone. The beer was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation for an IPA and had a slight sweet but sticky bitter finish. Overall the beer was good across the board and drank exceptionally well without a huge alcohol punch considering the ABV.

Gobzilla, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of ncfranklin
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber into a pint glass. No freshness date.

A : Pours a dark orangey gold color with a very large two finger foamy off-white head with some solid lacing on the edges.

S : Big citrus hops, with little malt underneath. It's an IPA... it's what you expect...

T : Wow. This is far more balanced than I thought it would be. Nice citrus bitter hops (i can literally taste orange peel on my lips..) are up front but go down smooth with a rich maltiness.

M : Nice medium mouthfeel, very smooth.

D : Very. Very. Drinkable IPA. So well balanced and delicious. At 7% you should take your time with it, but that's a challenge.

ncfranklin, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of JeanO
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very light copper with a nice frothy white head.

Fragrant hop aroma with limited but available malt characteristics. Very pleasant.

Starts with bold malt and a little grassy hoppiness but gains in hop taste and bitterness and ends with a distinct grapefruit sweet bitterness. Delightful.

Perfect weighty mounthfeel that covers all surfaces and lingers but does not draw from the drinkability.

Most drinkable 7% beer I've tried. It's a sessionable big ipa.

JeanO, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper-amber hue with an off-white frothy head and sticky lacing.

S - There is an aroma of great maltiness, especially for an IPA. It is such a good vehicle for the hop palette, especially for expressing the citric and dank-resiny elements.

T - Sweet and bitter; I am getting impressions of honey and caramel malt, bitter pithy grapefruit, and it has a long bitter finish.

M - IPA. Big and viscous.

D - Not my preference of flavor dynamic; I favor less malt, more dynamic hops. That said, it is definitely a good brew.

ktrillionaire, Jul 18, 2010
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,360 ratings.