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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.

6,463 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,463
Reviews: 2,192
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 206
Gots: 563 | 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: 6,463 | Reviews: 2,192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dasenebler
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber lacking a freshness date pours a hazy copper, with a solid head and great lacing.

Nose is big, hoppy and juicy, with lots of apricot. I love taking a whiff of that immediate release of aromas from an IPA bottle.

Flavor is very clean, bitter and hoppy. Lots of citrus, with the slightest bit of peppery spice. Fruity and perfumy, but not sweet. Definitely a dry, west-coast IPA. Mouthfeel is smooth, if a little thin. Great carbonation. No detection of the 7 percent ABV.

I would assume this bottle isn't too old given the level of hop flavor, but I wouldn't call it super fresh, even though my review yields an "A". Sky's the limit for this drinking man's IPA.

dasenebler, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of SDHoffers
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I call this beer "the most convenient backup." When I go into a bar for the first time I look at the lineup just like every other beer geek. I take my time to scope the varieties and countries of origin. If I see Racer 5 up there I at least know that I have a beer that I will enjoy and will keep me planted on a bar stool for a few minutes. Racer 5 is easy to drink and it's murky volume allows for a great texture. Although 7%, the alcohol is not incredibly present which generally leads to multiple pints. Hops are significantly present with a touch of citrus. I love that this brew can serve as an everyday choice or become a great session beer depending on how I'm feeling. I would always suggest Racer 5 as a great starter I.P.A. and Bear Republic has been consistent with this beer for many years.

SDHoffers, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of ken2cart1
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1.5 inch frothy head, light orange

s- piney, pungent grapefruit, solid sweet pale malt backbone

t- much like it smells. pungent grapefruit, sweet malt backbone that is apparent. good mix between pine/grass and fruit.

m- leaves mouth dry from bitterness, invites you back for more.

d- very good. decent malt backbone, makes it a lil less drinkable than some west coast ipas

ken2cart1, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Chambic
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01.09.10 at Burger Bar SF.

A: bright, orange-y gold; it definitely looks like a winner

S: smells both malty and hoppy

T: needly hops softened by rich malt

M: just the prickle and kick I'm looking for in an IPA

D: especially good after something softer, like the Avery Kaiser

Chambic, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at the brewpub in Healdsburg.

Pours a clear dark golden color with pale yellow hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy white head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sheets of sporadic lacing behind.

Crisp citrus and earthy pine hop aroma with some subtle malt and hints of lemon, grapefruit and biscuit.

Lighter end of medium body with a clean crisp dry hop presence. Light malts provide a nice balanced backbone. Dry piny notes with lemon and grapefruit as well as some subtle biscuit and graham cracker malt. Sweet with a dry lingering finish.

corby112, Jan 15, 2010
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: Average-size head, fizzy, white in color with decent retention. The body is a clear golden yellow. Average lacing.

S: Respectable malt presence of hay/straw. The hops are a mixture of Columbus and Cascade and provide a heavy dose of grapefruit, orange rind, flowers and, odd as it may sound, I picked up on a wild onion grass aroma. There is a pleasant earthy yeast character to add to the aroma's complexity.

T: The alcohol is almost completely masked, but not quite. Very subtle tropical fruit suggestions of honeydew melon, guava and passion fruit. Lightly acidic and leaning towards the bitter end.

M: The Racer 5 is light in body and on the thin side. The alcohol comes through more than one would expect from a 7% brew (and particularly so on the finish). A fizzy carbonation adds some structure to the mouthfeel. Finishes bitter.

D: A go-to/fall-back kind of IPA for me. While it will never offend, it certainly won't excite either.

FeDUBBELFIST, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint. From a 22oz bottle.

A - Pours a gorgeous strong golden color with some copper and light amber hints. There is a nice white head that is about .75 inch tall with nice dense bubbles and active carbonation that moves slowly from the bottom of the glass.

S - Gorgeous flowery hops come up front. I love the hoppy beers from BR. Roses and pine come to mind first. Refreshing. Some sweet malty tones at the beginning along with a nutty character. Some sweet grapefruit and citric hints as well.

T - Initially there is a nice malt grain character with some hints of almonds and walnuts. Then it quickly turns into a citric bomb of hop flavor. Wow! Very nice and at the same time light bodied and refreshing. One of the nicer IPA's out there that could be a gateway IPA for newer hop heads.

M - A little on the light side for my taste but still very good and nice combination of flavors. Crisp refreshing and with great citrus dryness.

D - very high. Overall delicious well rounded. good hop notes. Balanced malt notes.

JoEBoBpr, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of MURF0320
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden honey colored, minimal head but nice sticky lacing. Crisp piney and floral hop scent. Taste is much like the smell, very clean bitterness. Feel is smooth, light but nicely balanced carbonation, and finishes bitter on the tongue. Great beer to have a few of.

MURF0320, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of idResponse
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden color with a frothy head and lovely lacing that seems to be sticking around quite well so far. Scents of citrus and alcohol, standard IPA smell coming off of this. The First Swig reveals a really smooth balanced standard IPA taste. Very nice mouthfeel and drinkability seems to be right up there with many of my favorite IPA's. I think this is a solid brew, but I am not convinced it is anything to really go crazy over. If you see it on the shelf and haven't tried it, give it a go. It won't disappoint, but won't make your jaw drop. A Solid IPA, Bear Republic!

idResponse, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, vibrant orange with one finger sticky white head with impressive and intense lacing.

S - One of the best aromas I've encountered. Citrusy with pine and grapefruit; yeast is detectable; considerable hop scent.

T - A little bit flatter than I expected but still very stellar. Follows the nose but to a less extreme extent. The pineyness and grapefruit flavor show off more than expected. Pretty hoppy with a nice alcoholic finish.

M - Moderately bodied, not very carbonated - carbonation is overtaken by this beer's considerable hoppiness. Moderately bitter and considerably dry finish.

D - A great IPA. One of the best I've tried. Stone and Victory's Hop Devill are probably of the few that compete with this. Super sessionable.

jmerloni, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of yippieIPA
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bomber in to pint glass.

A: Pour a finger of light head that quickly disapated. Nice golden orange color

S: Like heaven. Citrus and all hops.

T: Strong hops taste at first followed by a mouthful of citrus and piney undertones.

M: Very smooth, a little more carbinated than I remember from my last tasting, but now overpowering.

D: VERY drinkable, goes down easily on a warm "winter" night in California! Fantasic IPA.

yippieIPA, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of Jeebs
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours an orangish yellow with about 1.5 fingers of head that leaves nice lacing down the entire glass.

S: Smells of piney hops and citrus

T: I love the taste of this beer. Starts out with piney hops and a hint of citrus. There seems to also be some malt to balance it out. Finishes with a nice clean bitter bite.

M: Medium bodied with medium combination, smooth and crisp finish.

D: This is the best IPA I have had to date.

Jeebs, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of capra12
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at the Gotham cask festival from notes taken,
This was the super hopped version.

Appearance: Orange/tan with no head.

Smell: Piney and floral hops

Taste: Opens with piney hops as floral hops come into the flavor profile as a hint of citrus settles in but briefly as the floral and piney hops finish the sip leaving a piney simcoe aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied withe minimal carbonation and smooth.

Drinkability: Wow I would definitely have this again and recommend this to those hop heads out there who enjoy different hop profiles in their brews.

capra12, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of TubaManJack
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally time to drop the $5 on a bomber to revive my love of the hops, and it was worth it. A 22oz. behemoth yielded a glass and a half serving into a generic pint class.

Appearance: An orange hardwood body. A light whispy foam head crowned the beer, with huge lacing. A quite clear pour but a little haze from how cold the fridge was working.

Smell: Hops and a clean low key malt nose. The hops were as potent as fresh cut grass on a summers day. A great nose and a bit of citrus fruit also came through.

Taste: An wave of initial bitterness from the hops. Then a bit of sourness and crispness from the citrus nose. A long dry sapping end.

Mouthfeel: A slightly oily drying concoction. It has the typical textbook qualities of all great IPA. The beer is moderately carbonated and leaves your mouth dry for another sip.

Drinkability:A great West Coast IPA which for the price, can't be beat. This beer certainly has earned a spot on my shopping list of awesome IPA to rotate through my fridge.

TubaManJack, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of Ladybugger
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cellar-temperature bottle into two standard pint glasses. Beery is a crystal clear honey-amber color with a quickly dissipating off-white head that leaves plenty of lace. Smell is of hops, with some citrusy grapefruit and woodsy notes. The flavor is very hoppy, with the woodsy hop flavor dominating but other less identifiable notes present as well. There is a hint of malt at the end, but little to no sweetness - this is a dry beer. The ABV is high, but this brew doesn't taste strongly of alcohol - just a hint of heat indicates the strength. The carbonation really carries the hop flavor through my mouth, and the hop bitterness lingers long after I've swallowed due to the way it coats your mouth. This beer feels good in the mouth, with an appropriate amount of body, and plenty of carbonation. This is truly a great IPA, very drinkable.

Ladybugger, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a cellar temperature 22oz bottle, split between two pint glasses. It has a translucent golden orange color, with a pretty head of pure white foam. It leaves some good lacing on the glass. The aroma is all hops, both citrusy and woodsy. As you would expect, the flavor is also dominated by the hop character. It starts out dry, then builds to sharp bitterness that lingers on after you swallow. You can detect some alcohol, especially in the finish and aftertaste. There are flavors that remind me of fruit and forests. This is as good as an IPA can get. It has a medium body and a higher-than-average amount of carbonation. It leaves a coating to your mouth that evaporates while you let the bitter flavors linger. This is an impressively drinkable IPA. There are hops everywhere, but I never grow tired of them. I wish I had more than this one bottle.

ToasterChef, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of Brez07
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from a few days ago. 12oz bottle poured in a SA Perfect Pint glass

A: Light tangerine color. Not much head. Some nice lined lacing, mostly at the top of the glass

S: A good amount of hops and citrus. Accompanied by sweet fruit and a small malt presence

T: Follows the smell, which is what I was hoping for. Citrus and pine, with a bready malt appearing once the beer warmed a bit

M: Light bodied. Sticky finish but also leaves the back on the tongue dry

D: Just a rock solid IPA. Seems sessionable to me, but I see it listed at 7%. Already kicking myself that I picked up just one bottle instead of an entire 6 pack

Brez07, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of Gtreid
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear orangish, copper color. The pour produced one full finger of white sand that left some great spidery lace.

A: Big citrus, with orange, pineapple, and sweet mango. Pine resin and sugary caramel malt are also prominate.

T: Just like the nose would suggest. Big citrus and pine resin. The beer finishes bitter and super dry, just like an ipa should.

M: Medium to full body, good amount of carbonation. But a bit too creamy for the style.

D and overall impression: drinkability is just ok for me. I think it's a little to thick on the palate to be sessionalable, but the flavor is definately there. Overall this is a good beer but I'm not as high on it as some other ba's. Skal.

Gtreid, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of jbone78
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this one in Asheville, NC at Bruisin' Ales.

Pours a hazy/yellow with a good head retention. Smells a little sweet, but like a citrus/hoppy sweetness. The taste of this beer is on spot! This is my kind of IPA, it is full of hop flavors without tons of bitterness. This makes me like this beer. As for Mouthfeel and Drinkability, this is one to drink at a Happy Hour!

Great IPA. I am going to be in N.California in about six months, I will visit this brewery.


jbone78, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is my golden standard for IPAs. Now that a store a few blocks from me has started carrying it, it's finally time for a review.

Poured from a bomber into my Swarthmore College pint glass.

A: A very nice amber, more orange than yellow. A big, foamy off white head that retains and leaves big league lacing. I like my IPAs hazy, and this one is too clear for me, but very attractive nonetheless.

S: Hops, naturally, rule the day. A big hit of pine (my dad: "It smells like a Christmas tree"), with a good deal of grapefruit citrus. Definitely gets my mouth watering.

T: Bitter, sweet and delicious. The hops come at you with pineapple, grapefruit, pine and floral notes. A little bit of bready malt in the middle. The finish is bitter, dry and looong.

M: Sticky and dry. Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: As I said, this is probably my favorite easily attainable IPA. A fixture in my fridge that I can (and do) drink all night.

CharlatanSin, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of pittpenguin
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear amber orange in color. Thin off white head that retains throughout, nice lacing. Very nice.

S: Lots of citrus, but a little too much pine for me. I would prefer the citrus to be bursting out, but alas... Malts are represented with some honey-breadiness.

T: Decent malt back with some caramel toffee smoothness. Hops are the dominate breed in this brew. Your likeable citrus, and less so piney tones. Alcohol not complicating the fine finish. Finish is long and bitter.

MF: medium bodied good carbonation, goes down well for this hophead.

D: Good and smooth.

pittpenguin, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of BigBry
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pint on tap at the Yard House in Glendale.
Slightly hazy, orange amber colored off white white head that left thin lace sheets, and lasted the entire glass. Citrus hops present as soon as you get close to the glass. The citrus fruity hops are also present in the taste, but also more earthiness come out, especially in the aftertaste. There is enough malt to keep the spicy bitterness in check. The finish has lots of resinous hops. Body and mouthfeel is full, a bit prickly yet smooth. Could almost be a Double IPA (not sure of the exact specifications), higher (7%) alcohol is not noticable at all. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. Paired well with a hot and spicy dish.

Also have tried the bottled version.

BigBry, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of Jayli
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had 12/4 on tap at Baggy's in Oakland.

A: This beer pours a murky amber color with a one finger of offwhite head. Head recedes at a modest rate and leaves nice thick sticky sheets of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of major citrus and piney hops.

T: Taste starts with a huge dose of citrus hops. The grapefruit really comes through on this beer. Middle is filled with a nice malt backbone that is present throughout the beer but really comes through in the middle. Finish is of grassy and piney hops.

M: Lighter side of medium body, moderate carbonation, oily resin feel with a dry finish.

D: I'm glad that I took notes on this one, I thought that I had tried Racer 5 before, and hadn't. Nicely balanced, good bite, goes down easily and we certainly made a night from this beer!

Jayli, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of bonkers
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a clear copper. The head is 2 fingers deep, rock solid and sticky as hell. Really strong aroma for an IPA. The piney hops really hit hard. The flavor is hop forward, copious amounts of pine and citrus. It has enough malt for some balance. The beer has a sticky mouthfeel, is medium bodied and generally a well done brew.

bonkers, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of Augustiner719
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Guiness Pint

Appearance: 1 finger head, nice honey comb head shape with bubbles of foam in peaks. Amber orange color that is slightly hazy.

Smell: Smells fantastic. Almost like Nugget Nectar with the fresh hops aroma comming through. Pine, lemon grass, rosemary, grapefruit.

Taste: tastes very crisp and fresh. Great grapefruit and citrus components. Nice leathery, woody midpalate. All in all a great IPA. Bordering on the level of hops of many DIPAs out there.

Mouthfeel: Nice viscous, sticky texture that coats the palate well.

Drinkability: Solid IPA. Over the top in terms of hops for most IPAs out there and it borders on the flavor and intensity of DIPAs but its delicious so that makes this very drinkable and sessionable.

Augustiner719, Dec 10, 2009
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,463 ratings.