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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
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Ratings: 6,360 | Reviews: 2,188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ballz50401
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Pours a crystal clear golden color with a nice dense head and moderate carbonation. Strong caramel aromas dance very elegantly with the bright citrusy hops. After a nice palate saturation I get waves of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar with some spicy/citrus hop flavor. Mouthfeel feels nice, full, and creamy with a mellow hop bitterness. Love the taste and aroma on this one, more please.

ballz50401, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of sheikyerbouti
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This used to be my favorite beer, but it is typically better on tap than in the bottle. copper orange color, earthy hop nose, medium bitterness with a moderate mouthfeel.

My favorite american IPA's include stone IPA, Great Divide Titan, Avery IPA and Racer 5. Though after having yesterday at Lord Hobo on tap and today in a bottle, I have to say, it doesn't compete with the aforementioned others anymore. Great Divide, Stone and Avery are very close to each other, and from now on, I will buy whichever is the cheapest out of the 3. Racer 5 lacks the complexity and mouthfeel it used to have. I have even travelled to the brewery itself 2x, and although it is still a very good beer, I can no longer call it great.

sheikyerbouti, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Naugros
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An orange glow fills the glass, hazy and bubbly. An off-white head quickly recedes to a ring with sticky lace and floaters.

The hops dominate the nose, four of the big Cs of the Pacific Northwest bringing grapefruit and orange and pine. The big hop aroma does not overpower the sweet malt which comes through as whole wheat bread on the nose. I'm hoping the taste is as well-balanced as the smell.

The malt sweetness comes out again, but is entirely subdued by the hops in the wash. The blend of hops continues to bring the grapefruit and the pine and also delivers a hint of pepper and clove on the palate. The aftertaste does away with the pine and leaves behind pink grapefruit with just a bit of pith and spice.

A nicely balanced IPA that smacks you in the face with hops, but they're wrapped in a velvety malt sweetness that deadens the blow and doesn't leave much bruising. That's just a fancy way of saying that the hops bitterness is balanced by the malts and that the aftertaste lingers, but not in a bad way.

I've noticed that the more recent reviews have been below the average. Perhaps Bear Republic's quality control has decreased. This is the reverse trend of Weyerbacher's beers. Their controls have improved and their recent reviews tend to exceed the average. I wish I had had this one when it was getting more As. I heard so much about it and was a bit disappointed.

Naugros, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of Khazadum
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber on my latest incursion into a Chicago Binny's. Was looking for a new IPA to try and heard good things about Bear Republic. Why not try it? Poured many times into my brandy snifter.

The pour leaves a beautiful amount of head that does not leave much lacing as it dissipates. The body is a stereotypical amber color, and when held to the light it matchs commerical apple juice. Not bad, but not the best.

The nose on this is quite enjoyable. It foreshadows a delicious brew. The spicy bitterness of the hops comes through in the very first breath. A slight citrus note is balancing the bitterness. Perhaps, grapefruit in nature.

Flavor Profile
The bouquet was not lying for this beverage. The liquid sloshes around and releases the fruity flavors upon my tongue. They quickly change over into the bitterness of the hops which seems to linger into the finish. The end isn't anything to be ashamed of. It hits the bitter portions of my tongue and seems to hug the sides of it while leaving the rest clean. For a 7% beer, this definitely doesn't show up at all. Not even in the last pours of the bottle do I find a hint of alcohol. This is not to say that it needs it, but it was unusual to not find it.

Oral Sensations
AS IPAs go, I don't expect them to be syrup and I don't expect them to be bottled water. However, this one tends to lead more towards a watery texture than what I've become accustomed to. I think this actually benefits the beer rather than hinders it. As its texture isn't any thicker, it leaves a possibly cleaner finish. I put it somewhere just below some German Pilsner's I've had.

For the price that I paid for this brew, there is no doubt in my mind. Buy it! Now! It is delicious, affordable, and comes in a great size. I will definitely be purchasing this beer again, if not for its solid offering to the IPA style than for its price tag.

Khazadum, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft countless times at the Maproom, it's a classic IPA in my mind.

12 oz. bottle poured into a tapered Hamms goblet.

Glowing sunset orange, darker in the center, fading to gold around the edges. Slightly hazed with micro sediment, otherwise it has some good clarity. Frothy, sticky head on it, sheets of lacing around the edges. Retains a good skim for the duration of the glass.

Light hoppy aroma, fruity cantaloupe, mellow sweet pale malts.

Fruity notes lead off, melon or cantaloupe again, some resinous bitter hops in the middle giving it a dry grassiness in the finish. The fruit lingers behind it, which is a nice combination. Medium bodied, almost slippery, not too heavy or sweet. Easy to have another if so inclined. Today I just have a single for the purpose of this review. Will drink again many times hopefully...

emerge077, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7-04-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy orange copper color, 1 finger of foam which didn't last real long. Decent lacing ring with carbonation present

S - Hoppy aroma with a hint of apricots and orange peel, slight malt

T/M - Real tasty brew, taste apricots and orange peel and hops, not a lot of malt, a little gritty due to the hops but smooth's real easy

D - Very easy drinker. I will get this again and recommend it

FreshmanPour77, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of aquaphiliac
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer for $9.99.

A: Nice dark gold color with a decent head. Very Pretty

S: Smells of hops mostly; some sweetness in the scent.

T: Kinda the opposite of the smell... dominating malt sweetness and a little bit of hops. Still pretty bitter on the finish, I guess I was expecting something totally different. Not bad though.

M: Perfect body IMO; on the full side.

D: Didn't really want more than 2 of these in a row, definitely not the most drinkable IPA I've tried.

Overall decent value but will probably not buy again just because I'd appreciate a little less malt.

aquaphiliac, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of Duttonic
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle, poured into a dogfish head pint.

A- Hazy orange, 1 1/4 fingers of head (off-white), excellent lacing.

S- Floral, hops, grapefruit, maybe a hint of lemon.

T/M- Exceptional flavor, mouth-puckering hops, extremely enjoyable. Creamy, grapefruit, leaves that patented sticky & bitter aftertaste of a quality IPA.

D- Not for the faint of heart. If you don't care for IPA's, this will be way out of your league. Great benchmark of the style. These can definitely be enjoyed one after the other in a sitting.

I know that since it is 7% abv it probably shouldn't be a session, but this is one of my favorite IPA's to drink in numbers if I'm at a pub or bar. Highly recommended for hop-heads.

Duttonic, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of gameface23
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Hazy orange body with a minimal head that does leave a surprising amount of lacing.

S: A blast of citrus hops (mostly orange and grapefruit) along with a supporting role from a honeyed caramel sweetness and slight earthy mint notes.

T: Surprisingly soft citrus fruit bitterness up front. This is certainly a bitter beer, but it seems like it's restrained just at the verge of crossing over the threshold of a throat thrasher.

M: Medium bodied, but the carbonation is lacking.

D: That English BA user that always yells at people for referring to beers over 4% ABV as session ales is going to be pissed in 3...2...1: This is the closest I've ever found to a sessionable beer at 7% ABV. It is easy drinking and very flavorful.

gameface23, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of Lakes
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My oh my I love Racer 5.

I have this frequently both from a 22oz bottle at Enoteca and on tap at Capone's.

Both from bottle and on tap it's appearance is exceptional. It's color is a bright vibrant golden orange that seems not content to sit in the glass. It's full frothy head beckons to be sipped.

Racer 5's aroma is room filling. It's a buoyant citrus full of grapefruit, tangerine with mild pine notes at the back.

The taste follows the aroma perfectly, filling the mouth with strong rich American hops. A bold grapefruit/citrus blast with bright spots of pine, orange peel and tangerine. The malt backs up the hops but doesn't take away anything. It's like a framework for the hops to rest on. Just wonderful

Mouthfeel is full and satisfying and it's drinkability has been tested and proven outstanding many MANY times.

Lakes, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of appenzeller
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy drk gold with a modest head. Aroma is HOPS and citrus, standard West Coast IPA/DIPA. Taste is the same, this beer is all hops, just a hint of light bready malt underneath. Nothing complex here, if you like hop bombs, this is yet one more beer that'll do the job for you. Occasionally I enjoy that and on those occasions, I'd buy another.

appenzeller, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of Nerudamann
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - Very orange in color, looks kind of like a Blue Moon. Good carbonation. 1 finger's worth of foam.

Smell - Very citrusy, but I couldn't make out any other distinct aromas.

Taste - Typical IPA taste, very hopy, but with a good balance, probably from the citrus taste. It really hits the top front of the palate.

Mouthfeel - Pretty light, not too creamy.

Drinkability - Pretty good beer in general, maybe a little too IPA for me though. But a worthy beer nonetheless.

Nerudamann, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is currently my go-to for a session beer. MAINLY because I am in the mood for IPAs and this is the best one I can get in a case at my local liquor store. For the record I just opened my.. 5th 12 pack case of it tonight. Thought it proper to give it

Vigorous pour yields a less than impressive head, and nothing is worse than bad head.. but is there really such think? Where were we? Oh yes, a beer review. On the up side, lacing is usually good with this beer. I'm on my 5th case of the stuff, trust me : )

Smells good. Not overpowering. Pine and citrus are the dominant scents coming through.

OK. Taste. Wow. It's got everything you could want in a session IPA. Hops are there, and tangy, but beautifully balanced by the malt backbone. It's really as simple as that. And this is why I am on my 5th case of the stuff.

Mouthfeel is nice. Medium body. The malts hold the hops in check and it never develops into a sour twang that some IPAs can evolve to.

Stupidly drinkable. This is my 5th case of the stuff. Until Russian River starts selling Pliny by the case, this WILL be my go-to session beer until the weather starts to cool off and I start looking for browns, porters, and stouts.

AWolfAtTheDoor, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My notes from last summer rear their ugly head. This will be my third different serving style of this beer! I do not think that even any of LNCBC's beers hold that distinction.

My server, to be named later, brought this to me with a finger of bone-white head with good retention, Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose was redolent with pine-y hops. Mouthfeel was medium with a palate-cleansing hoppiness. Don't hold back! Finish was gaspingly bone-dry. More, please, Raquel!

woodychandler, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of zebco
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, golden orange color. A sticky, ivory colored head tops this brew. All the carbonation bubbles look like they're having a party. A great and inviting appearance. Aromas of strong, delicious hops. Pine. Hop oils. Citrus. The taste is sweet with intense hops. Intense in an awesome way. The head was thick and creamy and laced amazingly through the 22oz. Great balanced between the hops and sweet malt. A good bitterness lingers. I very muched enjoyed this brew. Will look to pick up another.

zebco, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours decently to produce a finger and a half thick off white head. The body is copperish gold in color, and has slight chill haze.

In the aroma freshly cut grass and pine dominate with a slight lemon presence.

The taste is of spruce with lemon and other citrusy notes.

The feel of this brew is kind of dry and coarse upfront, but the citrusy finish leaves the palate wet.

TheSarge, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of NightINgale
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 US fl.oz bottle poured into a globe glass...

A - A very nice hazy orange body to it, with a one-finger beige head. Very nice lacing!

S - Juicy citrus hops, some caramel, and a bit of pine. Smells very inviting and intense.

T - Loads of grapefruit-like hoppiness; definitely packs a solid hob bite! Quite sweet. Hints of pine, butterscotch, and tropical fruits. The after-taste has got some breadiness to it, as well as some lingering bitterness. Tastes very good and balanced!

M - Quite thick; medium-to-full body to it. Mildly carbonated, with slight hints of alcohol. Very smooth.

D - Goes down alright, but I've had more drinkable IPA's.

NightINgale, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of Natural510
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle; dated 4/22/10 (packaged)

Lighter orange-copper color with tons of sediment, and an ivory-white head which is thin but sturdy.

Bright citric hoppiness and sweet maltiness to the nose.

Sweet, citric, spicy, hoppy, piny. Notes of orange & grapefruit meld with a distinct herbal character (basil/cannabis leaf). Great flavor.

Nice body; full, quenching, bitter.

Very good IPA; not quite up there for me as the best West Coast IPA (or best offering from BR) but still a solid go-to option for a citric hop blast.

Natural510, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of pmlondrigan
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a lovely tulip glass. Nice orange gold color to this beer. Pure white head, not the tightest of bubbles but nice. Lacing sticks to the glass a good bit. Pretty beer in the glass. Very citrus aroma forward ipa, great west coast hop aroma right on the nose. Very balanced malt to hop profile. Citrusy, flowery and bitter with a lingering bitter bit on the tongue. Crisp clean ipa taste. For a 7% by volume the alcohol is well masked and tastes like a lower abv ipa. Smooth beer in the mouth and over the tongue with the hop bitterness that makes your tongue take notice. Maybe could be a little more bubbly for me. Like most ipas this one is easy to drink and delightful.

pmlondrigan, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of DaveonBA
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip.

Appearance: Orange to gold with moderate head retention but weak lacing.

Smell: Smells great. Juicy hops and citrus. My first impression reminded me a lot of Hopslam, which was unexpected.

Taste: Slight sweetness up front. Followed by an attack of bitter, citrusy hops. Long bitter finish. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but I could have used a bit more carbonation. That's really my only gripe with this beer.

Drinkability: Overall this was a very enjoyable beer. The delicious lingering hoppy finish keeps me coming back for another sip, then another bottle. 7% is right in the middle of my ideal range of abv for a 6 pack IPA to drink during the week.

I will be buying this again as a steady drinker. Hopefully my next bottle has a little more carbonation.

DaveonBA, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of tweeder263
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large 24 oz pilsner type glass. poured out a nice golden/lightamber brew with 1 finger head. Head seems to dissipate quickly.Medium carbonation.Smells of beautiful citric/grapefruit hops. Very nice sweet hoppy taste.Nicely balanced,of course hoppy but not overbearing. Mouthfeel is slightly better then avg.A very good beer.

tweeder263, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of udubdawg
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazed peachy gold color, topped with the expected impressive creamy head. retention wasn't great, but while it lasted the lacing was quite good.
Citrus greets my nose, mixed with a sort of pungent cattiness. faint alcohol note, bare hint of lightly toasted is the only bit of malt bill I get. I dig it!
It's bitter but not over the top compared to it's IBU level. Ample hop flavor, no diacetyl. There is a little pine to the citrus, and a mild caramel flavor - doesn't finish dry and I guess that's what's hiding some of the hops.
Creamy soft body, barely sticky, carbonation perhaps just a touch low. There is little to slow me down here. A winner!

udubdawg, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of BeanBone
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nicely hazy golden-orange body capped by a little over a finger of whitish head that endures well and leaves great lacing.

Aroma: Lots of bright, juicy, citrusy, and mildly piney hops over a sweet caramel body.

Flavor: Up front, juicy, citrusy, slightly resinous, and mildly bitter hops take the lead. Underneath, a biscuity caramel malt backbone keeps everything grounded. It's a rather balanced proposition, though the hops are the primary focus here. The moderately-high alcohol content is masked well, leaving no trace. Biscuity malt and piney hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: For hop fans, this is as an easy drinker as any IPA with a seven percent kick.

Verdict: Racer 5 is a solid, balanced, and drinkable American IPA and another satisfying brew from Bear Republic. A little more focus on the Cascades, and this could really be up there for me.

BeanBone, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of alpineclimber
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I brought this beer back from Oregon recently. Fairly excited to review an IPA that seems to be well liked among BA's. The bottle has been sitting around for a few weeks so it's not super fresh but I am sure it's fine.

The beer poured a golden amber color with a small frothy white head that recedes to some lacing. I did not hold back on the pour and emptied all the yeast into the glass as well.

The smell is of fresh citrus and pine hops.

Taste is great! A nice big fruity blast followed by the citrus and pine hops. Would be interesting to know about the hops used and their flavor profiles. The bitterness is in the finish, the way it should be. The mouthfeel is slick and the carbonation is perfect.

This is a great beer. More pleasant to drink then some IPA's I have had, to me this is very well balanced brew, not to hop heavy. It's not my typical style of beer but it's one I would drink if I could get it.

alpineclimber, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of kwjd
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden colour with some floaties. Thick white head that leaves a nice layer after dissipating. Lacing down most of the glass. Smells of citrus hops as well as a yeasty aroma. Very bitter hop bite to this, with some bready malt backbone. I would drink this all the time if we had access to this in Ontario.

kwjd, Jun 04, 2010
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,360 ratings.