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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.

6,260 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,260
Reviews: 2,183
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 192
Gots: 491 | 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: 6,260 | Reviews: 2,183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -12.9%

UPDATE 11/23/11: Had this on tap again lately, and it was a more pleasant experience, with 2 notable points since last time: 1. the head retention and lacing was much better; 2. much more citrus midpalate (yet a thin'ish finish).

This review was for a 22oz bottle poured into an American pint glass, but I have also had it on tap, with varying results. As such, my big knock on this beer is inconsistency.

A: Orange/amber, with a thin head that dissipated quickly and laced spottily.

S: Very subtle citrus on the nose with an earthy/pine undertone. (The pint I had on tap was much more pronounced in citrus diversity.)

T: Ditto the aroma. Very lacking in citrus flavor, with earthy/woodiness dominating. Too much so for an ipa. Hoppy bitterness doesn't enter the equation until the dry aftertaste hits you. (Again, this was better on tap as well.)

M: Creamy, like most of the BR offerings, yet lightly drinkable.

D: Light to throw a few back, but needs more flavor. Again, the big knock on this beer is inconsistency.

09-11-2009 05:13:52 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of ipazilla


4.35/5  rDev +3.8%

I had this beer on draft at a local seafood place, they are known for having great beers and this was no exception.
Bright orange golden color with a nice head.
Very very floral and grapefruit flavored extra bitter and crisp.
It goes down smooth and leaves a great pine after taste.
Perfect for a hot day.

09-05-2009 14:04:58 | More by ipazilla
Photo of Kitt


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a beautiful golden color with a two-finger thick head that rapidly dissipates. Thus, lace develops quickly but remains thick and persistent. Aroma, piney, hoppy, with equal parts citrus.

Palatte greeted with a blast of bitter piney hops with a distant hint of straw! Hop flavor is strong and lasting but does not over-linger. A background citrus flavor is brief at onset but drowned by hops within moments. Overall, a very bitter IPA.

Mouthfeel of moderate wieght. Drinkability smooth, light, refreshing. This is a fine -- albeit heavy-hopped -- IPA. The "heavy hop" works well here and is balanced by the beer's refreshing drinkability. A great summer evening brew.

09-05-2009 01:51:46 | More by Kitt
Photo of Durge


4.18/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured cold at Moe's in Lee, MA this one shows a clear amber color with a slight bubbly white cap and good lacing. The aroma is not very strong but suggests piney hops and caramel bread. The flavor jumps out bold and delicious with a tangy pine hop and orange toffee complements. Solidly mid-bodied for a smooth feel with modest carbonation. This leaves a decided lemony bite but it's mostly a beautiful bready hop blend that's plenty drinkable but may be a bit much to session for some. Nice...

09-03-2009 21:34:57 | More by Durge
Photo of HalfFull


3.6/5  rDev -14.1%

From a bomber into a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy golden orange with a thin head. Settles to a surface cap in a couple minutes, then a surface ring, and offers light lacing throughout the pint.

Citrus and pine notes on the nose with some malt lingering in the shadows. A bit too clean however with notable dead spots. Rather rich and malty on the tongue, particularly given the color of the pour. Reduces to a rather simple IPA, and somewhat sweet as the carbonation diminishes too fast.

Have had this on tap a number of times. Anywhere from blah to beautiful, this brew is too unpredictable to buy again. It's all over the place and too dependent on carbonation for success. I'll stick to more reliable options in the future, and this 'bottle conditioned' serving seems no different. Buttery, sweet and unpredictable in the hops/carbonation/feel.

09-03-2009 05:38:29 | More by HalfFull
Photo of rowew


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, ABV is marked but I don't see a date.

Appearance: Poured with a bit of sediment, tried to leave most of it in the bottle. Orange and hazy, average head with good retention.

Smell: Tons of hops - pine and a sticky sweet aroma.

Taste: Fairly thin, and just like the aroma, this is lots of hops flavor, but not much bitterness.

Overall impression: Nice example of a west coast IPA - lots of hops, highly drinkable.

09-03-2009 01:10:29 | More by rowew
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.95/5  rDev -5.7%

Started the night off with this one at Kennedy's Irish Pub in San Francisco two nights ago. The following review is based on notes taken that night.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy, pale gold body showed consistent and active carbonation within. Head wasn't much to speak of - only a small, white, sticky halo - though it did drag massive amounts of web-like lacing.

Smell: Lots of pine and toffee, accompanied by earthy and woody aromas. Tons and tons of flowery hops invade the nostrils. Very pungent.

Taste: Tons of pine and bitter floral hops. Grains and subtle spices also caressed the palate, but this one was definitely pine and hop heavy. Finished on a very bitter, alcoholic note.

Mouthfeel: Oily, prickly, sticky, and very dry. This IPA was also medium-bodied and peppery at times. The finish was long-lasting, bitter, and dry - maybe too dry.

Drinkability: I really wanna give this one an A-, but I can't seem to find a category where I would rank it higher than "Good" (4.0). This is a very solid IPA that I would recommend to anyone, and I myself will likely be ordering it again. For those that like piney IPAs, you'll especially enjoy Racer 5.

08-31-2009 16:28:23 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of inhopswetrust


4/5  rDev -4.5%

Just enjoyed this one on tap.

Appearance: light amber; very slight head and lacing.

Smell: moderate floral hops; nothing spectacular but pleasantly subtle nonetheless.

Taste: very smooth front; slight sweetness of light malts; fades into nice citrus/pine hops finish.

Mouthfeel: light but not watery; leaves slight oily residue of hops on tongue.

Drinkability: excellent standby brew; well balanced but with enough hops to keep my hop head gears turning.

08-31-2009 03:46:22 | More by inhopswetrust
Photo of OldYoda


3.68/5  rDev -12.2%

Pours a cloudy, hazy golden amber with a small head that rapidly disappears leaving some nice residual lacing.

Smell is subdued with an overlay of hops and a whiff of malty sweetness.

Taste is initially hops with a nice dry finish and a good balancing sweetness.

Mouthfeel is clean and dry.

Drinkability is fine - several of these is no problem. For a hophead, this is a very nice effort from Bear Republic. Bravo!!

08-31-2009 02:21:43 | More by OldYoda
Photo of GordonQuid


4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured into a dimpled pub mug.

Golden orange sun with a frothy one inch head that dissapates to a quarter inch head with ample lacing.

Smells of the typical American IPA; citrus and pine with an orange rind note.

Taste is fresh citrus hops and sweet malt blend. The hops linger in the finish. Quite appetizing and satisfying.

Easy drinker very smooth.

08-29-2009 14:20:40 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of JordonHoltzman

New York

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

22oz bottle

very orangy amber, with a white bubbly pinky's head. pretty translucent. bubbly lace follows the path of the height of the beer. (EDIT: the last pour turned the beer from a very clear body to hazy, i'm guessing thats the yeast from the bottom)
this beer has a citrusy aroma as well as very floral. the website says columbus and cascade hops are used. no traces of alcohol come to the nose.
this is a great tasting IPA. aroma matches the taste very well. citrusy and very hoppy. i get a small lemony taste in there as well.
the cardonation is slightly higher than medium, but i wouldnt say its high and i wouldnt say its too much either. its on the dry side but not too dry.
i'm in an IPA tasting phase, and i don't like to compare, but i had abita's jockamo IPA yesterday, and this certainly tops it.
this is my first bear republic brew, and i have to say its pretty good. i have no clue where i can get a hold of their racer X, but who knows maybe i'll find that in a glass of mine in the future, but i'll be trying other bear republics for certain.

08-27-2009 22:03:09 | More by JordonHoltzman
Photo of saztheorybook


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

A- Beautiful golden brown with a thick yellow-cake head that drops off pretty quickly but leaves some pretty nice lacing.
S- Reeks of fresh hops, spicy and herbal with the tiniest fruit character.
T-There is a surprisingly deep malt character, a low hop bitterness but loads of fruit and floral tastes in the hop itself. A nice rounded and subtle yeastiness is there in back as well.
M-Pretty smooth and rich. For the number of streams of bubbles on this beer, there is very little carbonation bite. This is how I dig 'em.
D- Dangerously quaffable. Now I know why people talk about this one so much. I'd probably take a 90 Minute over this, but for the price, yeah, I'll have another twelve.

08-25-2009 20:02:11 | More by saztheorybook
Photo of adamette


3.48/5  rDev -16.9%

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Purchased a few months ago at Giant Eagle in Painesville, Ohio. The second of 4 Bear Republic beers that I bought a bomber of and will be drinking and rating this week.

A Nice orange brown body under a brief but creamy head. Good lacing too. Solid IPA look. 4.0

S Typical grapefruit hops, maybe some malt. One of maybe 30 of these IPAs that all smell the same really. 3.0

T Malt, hops, both with high concentration. Grapefruit and citrus is strong in this one. Reminds me of a Bell's Two Hearted but is more citrusy, more tart. I prefer the Two Hearted for sure but it is in the same genre. 3.5

M Full with big tastes, hops and malt. 4.0

D Maybe a bit above average for the style. 3.5

Notes: I decided a while ago to continue to try all styles but I am really getting bored of IPAs. To me they are too one dimensional and frankly, don't taste good. This one is a solid IPA with big tastes in the genre of Bell's Two Hearted but I am bored.

08-25-2009 05:09:14 | More by adamette
Photo of Morey


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a decent cream colored head that has some serious clinging action.

Aroma is a fantastic and powerful combination of grapefruit and hops.

Taste is more of the same. A very citrusy, well hopped flavor with lingering bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel.

I could definitely drink quite a few of these, I don't know if I consider it a session ale, but pretty close.

Morey's Bottom Line: VERY similar to Bell's Two Hearted, and I mean VERY similar. Which obviously means that it's darn good.

08-24-2009 21:02:24 | More by Morey
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.55/5  rDev +8.6%

Had this on-tap at the Rogue Public House in San Francisco. A lovely beer that seems to get better with time- or maybe that its really easy to find fresh these days, and this beer is just fantastic fresh. I actually like it better than the Racer X. Pours dark golden with a fine white head that fades to a thin cap and leaves some great lacing. Smells nicely of bitter citrus and pine with just enough malt to keep things balanced. Tastes great when fresh, like this is. Wonderful sappy pine and zingy, bitter citrus, along with some dill herbal notes, and a bracing bitterness throughout. Not watery at all, so there is enough of a malt component to keep the beautiful hops supported. A delicious beer.

08-24-2009 01:21:35 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of JEdmund


4/5  rDev -4.5%

Sunset orange glow with a healthy head that settles to 1/4" cap

Citrus and very fruity; nice, big aroma

Taste & Mouthfeel
Lots of sharp hoppiness throughout; seems to start off with piney hops but then more citrus flavors come in mid-way; the finish is of caramel sweetness--almost toffeelike with a hint of toasted flavor; medium bodied, velvety texture; the Cascade hops make the beer feel familiar, as many American IPAs use this variety; fairly big beer, so not something I could drink multiples of in one sitting

Racer 5 definitely competes with the best of American IPAs, but for some reason it doesn't seem to stand out. Maybe it's just me from having too many IPAs lately, or maybe there's not enough going on in the recipe to keep me interested. I'd recommend it to anyone, but I don't see it working its way into my regular rotation.

08-22-2009 22:23:24 | More by JEdmund
Photo of ocelot2500


4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

Pours a hazy orange amber color with a rising white head that falls into a ring. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

Smells of a big dose of citrus and pine hops.

Tastes of the big citrus and pine hops. Also a pale malt presence. A lot less bitter on the finish than I would expect given the nose.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium body. A good amount of carbonation to keep from being creamy or rough.

This is very drinkable.

08-21-2009 03:14:15 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of dac0152


4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Pours a nice orange, smaller head than I expected, maybe half inch. Love the lacing with all those hops.

Smells like piney hops, but there is a tint of sweetness peeking through.

Lots of hops up front, followed by a nice sweetness that really leaves no bitter aftertaste to be found. Overall not a huge kick in the face with hops, but that doesn't stop my from enjoying the beer at all. In fact, it tastes pretty heavenly.

Definitely full-bodied beer, but so smooth and nice. Goes down very easy. Hard not to gulp, it just drinks so easily.

Definitely something I'll be picking up again and again, I just wish I could get it in 6-packs. Delicious and a solid IPA.

08-21-2009 00:52:53 | More by dac0152
Photo of akorsak


3.85/5  rDev -8.1%

A tumbler glass served at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA is an amber orange color, translucent with a small band of head that doesn't lace.

S: The aroma is chocked full of hops, bitter pine primarily. The oily aromas stand out above the malt backbone.

T: Sweet mamma jamma, this is hoppy. Pine is resinous, oily as it coats me mouth. Bitterness is sharp, peppery without the a spicy finish. Underneath the hops, the caramel malts are more than up to the task, balancing out the ale with a bready body. The hops din't stay silenced for long though, returning to leave a sharp flavor on the tongue.

M: A heavily hopped IPA that seems too strong at times. A little more balance never hurts anyone.

D: I limited myself to one glass. It seems a little to boozy to be enjoyed in multiple servings.

08-20-2009 15:40:36 | More by akorsak
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Great US strong IPA with a sturdy hoppy backbone.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Recognizable racing design mixed with the Bear Republic branding, a bit kitschy and, true, the racing topic does not do it for me. Brief and assertive narrative with some nice brew master notes. Lacks date of bottling or freshness, neither shows IBUs or °Plato, only Alc. (7.0%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Nice golden orange color. Starts with a one inch head that turns quickly to a consistent ring on the beer and some traces on the surface. Minimum lacing as it goes down.

S - Dedicated hoppy aroma. Pine and resins predominate over the floral .

T - Hoppy bitter taste with a small sweetness lingering briefly. Quite assertive but nicely balanced.

M - A bit higher than what one typically would call medium bodied with some carbonation. It works great.

D - Very drinkable. Complex but with a sense of sturdy hoppiness that builds its character.

Notes: Not a DIPA but it is a great IPA leaning on the heavy personality side. I´m making this one a regular on my fridge for this style.

08-19-2009 21:39:04 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of jrallen34


4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

I drank this from a bottle into a chalice.

It pours a dark orange with a white head and decent lacing. THe color is a really pretty orange with and head lastes about 30 seconds.

It smells very bitter, the hops show through with a nice combination of orange and coriander peeking through. Great smell.

This tastes great, nice slow start with a citrus tinge and great smooth finish, with a very very late bitter finish. Wonderful tasting beer. Here.

08-18-2009 01:13:19 | More by jrallen34
Photo of kegger22


4.13/5  rDev -1.4%

The color is hazy golden with thousands of suspended particles of yeast adding body to Racer 5. The aroma was citrus, but instead of the usual grapefruit, I got a snoot full of lemon. The taste, more true to form, was grapefruit, but sweet. All those hops and no bitter aftertaste. With all those yeasties hanging around it was almost like drinking a gel, but actually just medium bodied. I'm guessing drinkability is about a 4 because by this time I've been over-self-served. Thank you very muck.

08-18-2009 00:43:22 | More by kegger22
Photo of alcstradamus


3.7/5  rDev -11.7%

Nice looking amber pour with a thick finger of head and solid lacing. Smell is caramel malts punctuated by sweet floral hops. Taste is malt driven with a bit of bitterness and some piney hop oils. This taste like it is perhaps past its freshness window, but since there is no bottling date I must assume it is meant to taste this way. Very solid and easy to drink, and actually somewhat tasty, but still it appears faded. Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and very oily. This one went down pretty easy but lacked the hop profile of a true standout IPA.

08-17-2009 16:17:38 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of TheFightfan1


4.35/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a golden color with thick fluffy white heading. Lot's of particulates floating in this brew. Lacing is in full force and stays till the bitter end.

Smell is more fruitier than I would have imagined a decent hoppy aroma is with hint's of biscuit and toasted malt.

Taste well the nose deceived me it is very bitter a floral tasting. Hoppy oiliness coats the entire mouth then kind of gives you a fruity punch to the palate.Until the aftertaste the hops really work overtime on the palate.

Mouth is light-medium bodied excellent carbonation. Finishes oily and with a heavy sting on the tongue from the hops.

Drink is solid. Not to crazy hoppy like some other IPA's but certainly has a nice kick for a hophead. Easy to enjoy a few of these.

08-16-2009 19:03:33 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of ABOWMan


4.83/5  rDev +15.3%

My mouth is watering in anticipation of tasting this beer. I've poured a small amount in my pint glass from a good height to bring our it's aroma, and it's wonderful. Fruit comes to mind ... orange, and apricot, both really ripe and also pleanty of piney hops.

I can't wait any longer and take a sip and am rewarded with an upfront sweet fruity note, followed by the wonderfully bitter bite of hops. They are in perfect compliment with one another. Not all hops like some of the IPA's out there.

Craving more than a sip, I pour the rest of my bottle into my pint glass and see an ample two fingers of fine bubbled tan head. The ale itself has an orange tint with a little bit of a yeast "halo" that develops into a slightly hazy brew. There are signs of uniform lacing around the walls of my glass.

The mouthfeel reminds my a little of a late harvest muscat, thick and full bodied, but not oberbaring or coating on my palate. The flavor lingers sufficiently and reminds me that I need another sip ... or perhaps a good swig better yet. I am not disappointed as the flavor profile keeps reminding me of why I like this beer so much.

If you haven't tried Racer 5 and you like IPA's, I encourage you to crack one open. You won't be disappointed. I beleive that this might be the gold standard of American IPA's.

08-15-2009 21:05:55 | More by ABOWMan
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,260 ratings.