Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

6,697 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,697
Reviews: 2,210
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 223
Gots: 658 | 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: 6,697 | Reviews: 2,210 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickd717
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap.

Pours a great bright clear golden-orangish color with a lasting two-finger white head.

The aroma is intense hops - citrusy mainly with slight piney and floral notes - as well as a little sweet malt.

Sweet pale and caramel malt form the flavor base, but the hops really stand out. Grapefruit, orange, pine, and resin smack you in the face.

Rather palate-wrecking with considerable resins. Medium-bodied and well-carbonated.

Always a joy to drink, this beer. An underappreciated west coast IPA that's up there with Pliny when fresh.

Photo of cbutova
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled May 24, 2010, hopefully I can find a fresher one soon enough.

A- Orange amber with a off-white head that doesn't reach impressive heights. Dies down at a fairly quick to a cloud and ring that sustain themselves. Some big chunks float around in this one. Somehow my entire glass is coated with lace after a sub-par head.

S- If someone wanted to know what a hop smelled like, this is where they should go. A blast of that Cali citrus, almost sweet fruity hop right off the bat. A strong caramel backbone supports the hops. Great overall aroma strength.

T- Once again, you have to come back to this beer to experience the true staple of a modern IPA flavor. Opens with general earthy, pine hop flavor and finishes with a great citrus, fruity hop flavor unlike almost anything else. Caramel notes come in the beginning and bread hints support the finish. Pine becomes more and more prevalent as I sip onward but it only adds to the great balance. Some sweetness but it is just divine.

MF- Moderate body supports a very flavorful beer. The carbonation is fairly high and slightly stings the taste buds. Creamy. Fairly bitter, at a level that does not interfere with the great flavor.

DB- I have had this one several times before but I have never really sat down with it until now. This beer is in every store for a reason, it is a truly iconic IPA. One that will probably outlast 99% of the style during the inevitable test of time. This one joins the ranks of Weihenstephaner and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the true staples of beer.

Photo of zimm421
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a golden yellow, with a decent white head which leaves great lacing.

The smell of this beer is great. When you open the bottle and begin to pour, it really jumps out at you. The aroma is full of grapefruit and citrus, as well as pine. The taste is very similar. Starts out with a great citrus flavor, moves towards a good malt base, and has a nice crisp, dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, and has an above average amount of carbonation. This is a fairly drinkable beer, something that goes down pretty easy, but not overly sessionable. Over all, a great beer, something I will go back to again.

Photo of mklinger
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass. Poured a deep golden bronze. Somewhat hazy. With a vigorous pour only a small head developed. Some decent lacing left behind.

Aroma was bright grapefruit and orange dominates. Nice. Not overly complex but really strong, fresh, and clean.

Flavor is strongly bitter married to a light caramel sweetness. Some grapefruit, too, and some mild dankness at the end. Nice robust IPA.

Body was beautiful & light/crisp. Well, carbonated. This beer is just full enough to balance out the hops. A really nice IPA.

Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this for $1.99 a single. Nice all around, but nothing to special. Grapefruit notes, some alcohol warmth, but easy enough to consume. Less malt balance than some other seven percent IPAs. However, nothing blew me away but would try more from Bear Republic.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear caramel, copper pour with quickly fading head and great lacing. Big West Coast piney, citrus nose with a nice caramel malt background. The taste is perfectly balanced with the sweet bready malts complementing the bitterness of the hops. Tangerines dominate the citrus side. The finish is crisp and dry with with a slightly resiny, chewy mouthfeel. The balance makes this extremely drinkable. A great beer from a great brewery!

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Racer 5 (should it be called Racer V?) appears a very clear yellow hue with many particulates meandering about the vessel. The scents are floral and hops, with just a hint of citrus. The taste is quite good, though not in the uppermost echelon of American IPAs / DIPAs. The alcohol is hidden pretty well. There is a nice, sticky hop feel, especially noticeable in the aftertaste. I'd happily drink this again.

Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Surly shaped pint glass. Poured clear and amber in color. It started with a very nice frothy white head that quickly started to leave chunks of lacing on the glass. The head had average retention but left excellent lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a very juicy hop presence to it with some grapefruit, pineapple, mango and a hint of pine coming through. Excellent hoppy aroma overall.

The taste also shows some of the juicy, tropical hoppy flavors. Some pineapple, grapefruit and a bit of peach all come out in the intense hoppiness. A moderate bitterness comes through in the finish. Beautiful hoppy flavor overall.

The mouthfeel is on a little below medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is very good, it had some great hoppy flavors to it and went down very smoothly. Excellent beer overall, and one of my personal favorites.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear dark yellow with minimal head that stays as a thin layer of bubbles.

S - Very nice citrus and pine hop aroma. Caramel malts are there as well, smells like a very well balanced IPA.

T - And it is! Hop bitterness and sweet malts balance each other out perfectly. Citrus tastes from the hops meld well with the caramel flavors of the malts. Pine is a more dominant hop flavor in the taste. Very tame for a west coast IPA, but delicious all the same. It isn't a hop bomb, so don't expect it to be, it is just overall well balanced.

M - Medium to light bodied, finish is slightly bitter with a lot of sweet malts.

D - Very good IPA, doesn't kill your palate, you could go through a few of these easy in one sitting.

Photo of tlazaroff
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank from a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice honey-golden color with a 3-finger light tan head consisting of large and small bubbles. Lacing on the glass is exceptional, some floating particulates in the beer, though that could have been from improper cleaning of my glass.

S: Not as aromatic that I expected. Big pine notes on the nose though, almost all pine. I get a tad of light citrus (oranges) before the pine, but the pine dominates.

T: Again, it's all pine. Its as if I took a fistful of pine needles and pinecones and squeezed the essence of them into my mouth. There is a slight caramel/toasty flavor to it, but again, it's practically all pine.

M: Feels thin, with moderate carbonation. It doesn't foam up in your mouth.

D: I had a 22oz and it was plenty for one sitting, I think 1 22oz or 2 12oz would be my limit, the alcohol really comes through you can feel it before you're half way done.

Photo of pigdog
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a-golden/orange with a nice bubbly white head

s-nice hoppy citrus and pine aroma, not much else comes through

t-bitterness takes over, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's not too bitter though, and finishes really nicely. Although for being a West Coast IPA it's definitely on the more mellow side of things, and does a nice job balancing the hoppy bitterness.

m-medium body, good carbonation, good balance followed with a nice dry, bitter finish.

d-a solid beer which goes down pretty easy, but not enough complexity of flavor and hops to keep me coming back for more than a bomber.

overall-being one of the easier to find IPAs around here, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this one up again.

Photo of vkv822
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle into tulip pint.

The appearance is a clear golden hued yellow body with a thick foamy white head that leaves beautiful lacing.
The hop varieties used give forth predominately citric, floral and pine notes with a very light malt backing.
The flavor is also of citric and floral hops, though there are some slight herbal hop notes as well. The malts I can detect seem to be lending mostly caramel notes with some biscuit notes as well. The hops and malts are very closely balanced, though the hops do come through in the finish to give a bitter, slightly dry finish.
The mouthfeel is decent medium body with good carbonation.
This is a very drinkable and pleasant beer, though I do wish there was a slight stronger emphasize on the hops, as I could easily mistake this for an American Pale Ale.

Photo of boomer31
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours golden yellow with a tiny white head

S - Fruity, grapefruit, citrusy hops.

T - More fruity hops with a citrus middle and dry grassy finish. I love the hops here. Very hop forward but very drinkable

M - Nice carbonation, a little heavy to session but nice

D - The hops don't overpower but they definately stick around. I can taste this even after it goes down.

Overall a nice IPA. Good hop presence, dry finish.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Golden in color with a sturdy head.

S-Citrusy hops and a doughy malt combination. Quite fruity.

T-Delicious fruity hops. Swell bitter taste gives way to a thick dough malt. The fruity hop taste lingers exceptionally well.

M-Medium bodied. Light enough to consume several, heavy enough to make you remember its a beast.

D-One of my go-to brews. Love the taste. Not too much booze. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper in color with a small bubbly head. Some lacing dots the glass.

Smell: Strong malt aroma with floral hops chiming in.

Taste: Very well balanced. Prickly hops adding just enough bitterness to round out the malt bill. Toffee/caramel like malt. Distant herbal grapefruit hops. Zest. Even lightly spicy. Tasty. Good bite but not an overbite.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Carbonation is perfect. Makes me want another sip.

Drinkability: Well rounded. Could drink alot of this. Solid craft brewery in Bear Republic, who make a fine array of hoppy beers.

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

Pint out at a pub. Nice dark amber with a frothy head that never faded. Pretty good for a pub pour actually. Nice hoppy smell, without really standing out.

Very tasty beer. Great, mellow hops with a good malt backbone. Hardly any sweetness, but the hops don't overwhelm. Floral and slightly evergreen. Not huge depth.

Good medium body, and well balanced make this one of the most drinkable IPAs out there.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,697 ratings.