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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,837 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,837
Reviews: 2,231
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 249
Gots: 776 | FT: 10
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,837 | Reviews: 2,231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kevanb
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of yesferro
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

Photo of malty
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of Justin23060
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of chodinheaven
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. The American IPA poured a hazy orange color. It produced a thick creamy head and had excellent head retention. (Most impressive head I have ever seen on a beer.) There was a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma was dominated by hops and citrus. When I say dominated by hops, I meant this aroma is HOPTASTIC! The taste of the IPA was like a slap in the face with a hop club. BAM! The front, middle and finish of the taste was all about hops. This is a hopheads dream come true. Somehow despite all of the hop bitterness, the smoothness of the beer was off the charts. Awesome beer, one of my new all time favorites!

Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer generates just under two fingers of off-white head on top of a clear, copper colored body. The foam sticks around for quite a while before settling down and leaving a thick coating of lace on the glass.

S - The aroma is full of pine, grapefruit, and musty, sweaty hop notes. There is also some caramel malt in the background to remind you that it is beer rather than just hop tea.

T - Pine hops and bready malt up front with a little bit of caramel. More malt complexity comes out in the middle with notes of toffee and a hint of honey. The beer finishes with more pine and grapefruit hop flavor as well as fairly pungent bitterness that balances out the rich malt.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very nice, this is clearly an IPA with generous hop character and an emphasis on pine character. The malt, however, is by no means lost in the shuffle. There is plenty of rich bready grain character and just enough caramel to add complexity without drowning out or dulling the hops. Well worth trying, I only with it was available closer to home.

Photo of hopsolutely
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful orange-hued amber. Perfectly clear and very low carbonation, leading to subtle lacing without any real head.

Delightful aroma that actually pales in comparison to the robust taste! A very powerful mouthfeel and a lot of "oomph". Well balanced and embracing the entire palate; a range of malty sweetness to citrusy pine, with a pleasantly bitter & lingering finish.

Definitely a beer I will seek out again...

Photo of uustal
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, hazy pale orange with a one-finger slightly off-white head. Very good lacing and head retention. Hoppy aroma. Sweet orange, grapefruit, mango and pine. Tastes begins with an excellent sweet creamy orange flavor. Sugary grapefruit follows. Biscuity and caramel malt and a bit of pine resin finish it out. Extremely smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Awesomely sessionable IPA.

Photo of claminat420
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured in my melt cafe (cleveland, oh. best bar you'll ever go!!) pint glass. has a transparent but slight hazy golden color with a frothy white head. leaves a nice amount of lacing.

S- just a nice citrusy hop scent which an ipa should have.

T- at first the alcohol is undetected by the bitterness but after a couple it's noticable. has that nice citrusy hop taste like the smell. malt isn't that much of a star here which makes sence it being an ipa. 40 or 60 caramel malt i would guess.

M- solid medium bodied. good carbonation.

Drinkability- will def buy more down the road.

Overall- this beer is better than two hearted but behind huma lupa in my opinion. this is my first six pack but hope the rest i buy are all solid unlike my luck with two hearted's consistency. the only thing negativie i can really say is the $11.99 six pack isn't too great.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster.

Appearance: Beer is a clear, golden color with active carbonation visible through the glass. Head is a frothy, 1/2 finger coating on the surface of the beer. Lots of bubbles and medium lacing. Looks good!

Smell: This beer smells very, very beautiful. The word "creamsicle" comes to mind. A sweet malt base provides ample room on which citrus zest and a perfect mix of bitter/floral hops build a fortress of awesome.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The beer is creamy from the get go, with a tangy bitterness coming from the hop oils about mid-sip. Subtle sweetness from the malt (caramel) can be picked up in between attacks from the hops. Beer rinses rather smoothly leaving a hop-assault reminder on the tastebuds. Very bitter, you've gotta love hops to love this brew.

Overall: Definitely worth a try, but only if you're into IPAs and their compadres. I almost wish I had bought a six-pack of these (rather than the single that I found), but there'll be another chance, I'm sure.

Photo of abraxel
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - I don't know whether I was supposed to, but I decanted the beer into my glass, leaving the yeast sediment behind (I'll probably drink it later). It pours a transparent golden-orange with a top of white foam that's not in a hurry to leave and which drops nice trails of lacing down the side.

S - Earthy hops, biscuity malt. A nice, relatively subtle (for an IPA) aroma.

T - Lots of earthy hops, with some citrus as well. Not incredibly bitter, but plenty of hops flavor. It's balanced by a rather simple malt backbone. There's not a lot of complexity, but it's a very well-crafted, non-extreme IPA.

M - Smooth, punctuated by moderate carbonation.

Overall, I feel like this is a somewhat quintessential IPA. It's not extreme, not overly bitter or sweet, not pushing any limits; it's just a solid, well-crafted beer. Very "to style", but nothing that really makes it stand out to me.

Photo of azdback
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my favorite Surly pint glass. A bright orange that is clear and not cloudy at all. Medium carbonation bubbles. The head is not very large, maybe a finger, and bright white in color. Lace is starting out a bit sticky, and retains it's stickiness all the way to the end.

Smell is of citrus hops and sweet. It kind of smells like an orange.

The taste is at first a bitter and sweet hop punch. I think maybe a lemon with sugar flecks. There isn't much malt character, but that is what I expect from a west coast IPA. There is just a bit of bready tastes, way late.

Mouth is great for the style. A bit spritzy in the carbonation, but full bodied and there to the end.

I have mentioned in other reviews that I think my pallet is changing over the years. This beer is a perfect example of my theory. Racer 5 has been readily available to me for years and I have enjoyed it for as long, but as I sit here to write down what I am experiencing I realize it is kind of a one trick pony. Which at on time I really enjoyed, and still do, but not quite as much as I once did. I think that it is only fair to give it a score based on it's entire life with me not just tonight. Highly recommended!!

Photo of notchucknorris
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden color with almost no head at all. Kind of surprised by that.

S: Beautiful. Lots and lots of citrus hop aroma and a fair amount of mango as well.

T: There's a ton of really nice hop bitterness here with just enough malt to hold it down. The hops hit right away, hard and piny, and they are drawn out forever. There's a touch of tropical sweetness towards the end and then a nice and fairly clean finish. Really nicely done.

Photo of rsdaugherty
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – Slightly yellow 1+ finger head leaves nice lacing on the glass while receding to a thin layer, hazy orange/light amber 4
S – Dank grapefruit hops with pine & florals also, minimal biscuit/malt/caramel undertones 4
T – Hops are bountiful and lead here, slightly sweet bready middle with an orange zest/hop resin finish, nice balance for a hop-head like me and a taste I will seek out again for certain 4.5
M – Wonderfully smooth IPA, light to medium body with a whole milk viscosity, very good carbonation throughout the glass really added to the enjoyment of this beer 5
O – A contender and now on my best of IPA list, alcohol not even on the radar, very drinkable and (short) sessionable, looking forward to my next glass and more BR beers 4.5

Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I just finished trying a Schlitz...and simply needed to grab a beer I know I would like!

A - Pours murky tangerine with a healthy head. This bottle had an outrageous amount of yeast accumulated, which I guess adds a little something.

S - Not too powerful, but a sudsy soapiness is meshed with citrus tang for a healthy IPA aroma. Some yeastiness notes as well.

T - Spicy pine hop flavors come through at first with a thick butter flavor making this IPA a little bit creamier in flavor. Unabashedly a California IPA, with a bit more of oak and pine earthy flavor.

M - Creamy with the typical hop bite making Racer 5 unique. Almost chewy at points.

Overal Racer 5 is a standby in the IPA culture, worth a look.

Photo of beagle75
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with over one finger of lofty and persistent off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass, and suspended hop solids are distributed throughout the column.

S: Hoppy pine and herbaceous spice find balance with caramel and juicy orange citrus. Intensity is consistent throughout, perhaps even increasing as it warms in the glass.

T: Begins dry, with refined pale malt and aromatic hops--consisting of grapefruit and herbaceous flowering plants--in balance, unfettered by only very strained acidity. Mild astringency decorates the toasty middle, lending an impression of volatile fusel alcohols on the palate. Moderate bitterness emerges in the finish, lingering alongside the honest herbaceous grapefruit aromatics found in the beginning.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, simultaneously wet and creamy on the palate developing into a sublime smoothness, with moderate carbonation that keeps the texture from becoming heavy or lifeless.

D: Certainly deserving of top-tier status amongst West Coast IPAs, Racer 5 may be one of the worthiest and most appropriate benchmarks by which to measure others of the style. Not only are flavors bright and clean in a way that is not at all self-conscious, they are nicely balanced. It bears similarities to Port Wipeout IPA and Ballast Point Big Eye IPA (especially to the former).

Photo of BeerPhan86
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has always been one of my favorites and a definite go-to when I want a really tasty, well balanced IPA.

A - Pours a hazy straw yellow with a 2 finger foamy white head. Appears to be very well carbonated with some noticeable sediment in the glass.

S - Grapefruit and earthy hops with a nice bready malt backbone. Slightly sweet aspect to the aroma as well.

T - Good amount of sweet malt up front followed by bitter, piney hops and citrus hops. More grapefruit and sweet citrus in the finish, which is dry and slightly boozy. Definitely a hop-forward IPA but surprisingly bitter and just slightly skunky but in a good way. It might cause you to make a funny face at first.

M - A bit overcarbonated and sharp feeling with a medium body. I could do without the sediment, careful pouring this one.

D - Perfectly sessionable IPA, if you're into that sort of thing. Too expensive for me to waste though, I want to appreciate each sip.

Overall, this is a great IPA and one of my all time favorites. There are better examples out there but this is in my top five. Give it a whirl!

Photo of SupaCelt
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely golden pour with a radiant orange glow. There are chunks of ingredient floating in suspension. White head fizzled up and rolled away. Sparse lacing drapes the glass.

The nose holds juicy lemon citrus and grass notes atop some really pleasant pale malt tones. Just a hint of caramel.

The flavor is delightfully light and fairly crisp in terms of the malt base. The citrus and grassiness flourish before the dry and bitter end resets the palate. There is a freshness that works very well without being vegetal or offputting.

The mouthfeel is light and works well with the flavor profile.

Overall, this is another great west coast ipa. The golden colour and lightness of the body as well as the fresh and dancing hoppiness exemplify this variation. Brews at this point in the spectrum allow enthusiasts to experience some dynamics within a style that can take on some interesting variances in characteristics, but often gets pegged as mundane. From the golden end, where this delicious treat marks its territory, to deep copper and all points in between, the ipa style can still raise an eyebrow. This is a very enjoyable brew. Glad to see it on the shelf in Michigan now!

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A-Pours a hazy dark orange with one finger of off-white head

S-Citrus, piney, and floral hop notes.

T- Excellent balance between juicy citrus, piney, and floral hops. This IPA has a very nice bitter hop bite. Good malt backbone on this hop monster. I am picking up on some woodiness as well.

M- Pretty smooth with nice sharp bitterness on the finish

O- This is a fantastic IPA that packs a nice bite and has great balance between all the different hop flavors. This is now one of my favorite IPAs.

Photo of chilidog
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap on vacation a year ago. Just bought it in the bottle, watch'n Nascar with Racer 5. Living the dream.

Good golden, slight unfiltered haze, white head, lotsa lace, balanced carbonation.

Smooth citric hop balance slightly with a sweetned malt, breadyness.

Very well balanced IPA with good ABV. Easy drinker. Good with a steak, burger or fried pub grub. Oh ya, a Nascar race works too.

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - A nice dark golden with sediment floating. Really nice head retention and tons of lace. Impressive.

S - Citrusy hops, delicous. Wow, smells great.

T - heavenly. Bitter up front at 1st taste, and then it moves into a floraly hops and citrus flavor. Just damn tasty.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Not crisp, but smooth.

D - fantastic. This is one of the best IPA's I've ever had. It's up there with Cigar City's Jai Alai in my opinion. A Tier 1 IPA. Give me more!

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy copper orange body. No head even with a hard pour.

S: A simple nose of grapefruit, caramel, & dry bready malts. Not as hop forward as I hoped.

T: Bitter citrus hops followed by sweet & bready malts. Although balanced, the flavor is slightly weak. Dry & bitter finish.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation, & crisp mouthfeel. Very refreshing.

O: This one seemed a bit off for the style. Got it from the store's cooler so I think it was fresh, but this one seemed slightly weak and more hop forward. I would drink this again, but believe there are much better American IPAs out there.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,837 ratings.