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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.

6,397 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,397
Reviews: 2,190
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 201
Gots: 541 | 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: 6,397 | Reviews: 2,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of happybear
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- dark golden color with good lacing

S- hops, hops tons of hops, clean citrus smell heavy with grapefruit and pine follow through

T- bitter hops, well balanced

M- left my mouth dry and sticky? if that makes sense

D- drinks well and despite ABV of 7%, you can drink in session

happybear, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of wnh
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy copper with a small-ish, short-lived light cream head. Floral, bitter orange, and grassy hop aromas dominate the nose. Light, bitter orange on the palate, balanced quite well by the malt presence, followed by a lightly bitter finish of moderate length.

Good enough, but lacks the depth and intensity of flavor as other IPAs in this price category. Solid and inoffensive, but a beer I'd be quite content to do without.

wnh, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of McDiddyPop
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up for me at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Washington, DC. Poured into my Stone IPA stemware.

This one pours a bright golden color with perfect clarity. Two fingers of thick off-white head rise quickly with the pour. As it slowly settles, a dense ring of lace forms. This will happen with each sip. The rocky head slowly dwindles to a quarter inch of foam.

Like a good West Coast IPA, this one smells very citrusy. Lots of grapefruit. A bit of peach or apricot in the nose as well. A slightly minty aroma pushes through in the back end. I would love to see what this beer has in store fresh from the brewery, because the bottle I got is smelling wonderful.

Tastes just like it smells. A full-frontal hop assault hits the palate right off the bat. Then an amazingly well-balanced malt sweetness rounds the whole thing out. There's that peach I was smelling. This is a damn good beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty well spot-on. Maybe a bit more prickly than I would ask for, but it doesn't do anything to hurt the drinkability. Without any alcohol making its presence known, I know that this would be dangerous if it were regularly available. Good job, Bear Republic.

McDiddyPop, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz fresh bottle poured into a regular kitchen glass. I seem to be revisiting alot of Bear Republic products this company, they do good work.

A- Racer 5 has a light golden color with some sediment seen in suspension. A nice frothy white head with small bubbles within rose up to an inch than faded into nothing, Light lacing on the top of the glass.

S- Big burst of citrus hops giving off the usual characteristics. This is backed by some malt, some bread and even lighter caramel which is a nice change.

T- A damn fine IPA, pretty balanced to, although my bottle is about a month old, so Im assuming the hops have faded just a bit. Some grass taste in the middle followed by a nice malt kick but that is light as well. A small earthy aftertaste, not so bitter.

M&D- Below medium bodied with light carbonation as well, but it is felt on the mouth. Kind of a slick feel going down. Not sessionable at 7%, but who cares, this is good stuff and a sixer would not be a problem in the course of a day.

BARFLYB, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of montageman
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Schlitz chalice.

Can't get this beer in Michigan, so I'm kicking myself for not getting more of it when I was recently in Toledo. This is a powerful IPA. Huge bitter hop kick in the pants - relentless. Not balanced, but that's OK. It's all about the hops. Not something I could drink all of the time, but definitely one I'd love to have in my normal rotation. Highly recommended.

montageman, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of david18
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best India Pale Ales but i have to say i think it used to be better. Like some of the other beers from this brewer, it is very good but I think they used to be better. Good hops/sweetness balance. Strongish for a single IPA but always great to see on tap on the east coast.

david18, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of hosehead83
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams "bubble" glass
Golden orange with a big rocky head
Aroma-Big, piney hops and citrus
Taste-Big initial onrush of piney hops and then juicy citrus. Well-balanced and very flavorful start to finish.
Overall, an excellent American IPA: Plenty of well-balanced hops and citrus, very drinkable and delicious.
Get Some!!!

hosehead83, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle picked up as a single. poured into and drank from my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours a clear golden colored body with a small, lasting, bright white head that leaves sticky walls of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- a faint odor of caramel/toffee malt is detected and then...woah! hops! loads of citrus coming from this one. tons of grapefruit. lots of pine as well.

T- just like the smell, this one is dominated by hops. nice. lots of resiny pine and grapefruit. very bitter.

M- medium bodied, well carbonated, and sticky. leaves my mouth feeling very dry.

D- easy to finish and i wish i had grabbed a bomber. a great example of american IPA. ultra hoppy. check this one out if you havnt had it before or in a while.

jwinship83, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of velosuds
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.69.

A-Pours a deep golden, almost orange color with a one finger, off-white head with average retention and modest lacing. Beautiful in appearance. A gorgeous beer.

S-Very pronounced juicy citrus hops. Grapefruit is most prominent. I love the smell of this beer.

T-Very, very balanced, IMO. Hops are aggressive without being overpowering. Nice malt backbone in finish is pleasantly sweet. Atypical for a West Coast IPA. Very distinctive and a real treat. This beer may cause me to change my favorite style. No bitter after taste and alcohol taste is absent, even at 7% ABV. Extremely well crafted.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced, yet complex.

D-A great IPA. May be my favorite beer. Dangerously smooth given ABV. I'm satisfied sipping this beer, but if I am especially thirsty on a hot summer day, I can readily down this in big swallows.

This is my go-to IPA. I can buy this for $1.69 a 12oz single year round. When in Northern California for vacation earlier this month, I bought a half-case of 12oz bottles for $15.99. An exceptional value! Especially compared to Stone and Russian River offerings. I am stingy when giving praise, but this beer garners top scores across the board for me. I like variety, but if this was the only beer I was permitted to drink, I would not be an unhappy camper.

velosuds, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of dgilks
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours a wonderful deep gold with a nice fluffy white head. Very good head retention.

Great, clean citrussy hop aromas. Lots of powerful grapefruit and passionfruit. Really, really good.

Really well balanced with a not overpowering bitterness which is at a good level with lots of candy like mandarin, passionfruit and citrus sweetness. A good sweet malt bill also holds up well here. Really good and one of the best IPAs I've had.

Good full body with average carbonation holds the flavours up well here.

A great drinkable IPA with lots of flavour, great aromas and good bitterness. A really top notch IPA.

dgilks, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of jera1350
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber dated 3-9-09. I need to do a better job of checking dates. Nice lacing down the glass.

Pours into a nonic a golden orange with fluffy one and a half fingers of cream colored suds.

Smells wonderful. Huge pineapple smell up front. Sweet citrusy hops. Some caramel and toffee.

Starts off with sweet candied pineapple followed by a crisp hop bite. The hops are bright and citrusy sweet. Sweet and bitter hops linger in the aftertaste.

About medium bodied. The carbonation lends a slightly creamy texture. Nice and smooth.

I could enjoy this all night long. I can't imagine how much better this would be fresh. This is definitely going in my top ten beers. One of the best IPA's I've ever had. Will definitely be seeking this one out again.

jera1350, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of LieutenantWort
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 22oz bomber into an imperial pint glass. Color is a light, coppery amber, slightly cloudy. Very little head.

S: Really nice nose. Usually I'm pretty bad at differentiating citrus variants, but I have to agree with the other reviewers that there's a definite, specific grapefruit aroma here. Also maybe a tiny bit of lemon and pine.

T: Very nice. Initially both hoppy and fruity at the same time, with wheaty, grassy notes as well. Slightly bitter finish and aftertaste. My palate adapted really quickly to this one, though (maybe it was all those deep inhalations trying to pinpoint the nose?), and by the fifth or sixth sip it was basically a smooth hop delivery system.

M: Also good. Smooth without being creamy. Carbonation is very subtle (which I guess explains the minimal head), makes for a highly drinkable brew.

Overall this beer reminds me a lot of the fabulous Stone Ruination IPA. It's a little less complex and more straightforward in its flavor profile, but both beers have a terrific fruity nose and sustained drinkability despite their hoppiness. I'll think of this as Ruination's little brother, which is quite a compliment.

LieutenantWort, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of beerbully
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A-Copper color minimal head that could be from a non-aggressive pour. Fair amount of lacing

S-Smells of greatfruit

T-Tastes of hops and greatfruit. Alot of greatfruit in the back of the mouth which stays there for a while.

M-slight carbonation.

D-very good. could easily down a couple of these on a hot summer day. very refreshing brew.

Very good IPA that has alot of citrus smell and flavor.

beerbully, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of whynot44
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear apricot gold color with some hints of pink and a decent foamy white head that lingers and produces some ice lacing.

The aroma is Grapefruit and crushed pine needles with just a hint of malt.

The taste is similar starting with a kick of grapefruit, then light bready caramel malt, finishing dry and piney with a lingering pine aftertaste that somehow makes you want more. Seriously hoppy, not for the faint hearted light beer fan.

Light/medium bodied, nicely smooth, crisp and refreshing, nicely drinkable. Definitely worth a try for the hop heads out there.

whynot44, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A beautiful golden color and lots of lacing.

S: Tons of citrus hops, some pine, great balance with the malt, though.

T: Very similar to the nose. The grapefruit and floral flavors from the hops are great, and there is a very present bitterness. Not quite as malty as the scents might indicate.

M: Good medium body, and no unpleasant bitter aftertaste.

D: A great IPA that you could drink all day.

womencantsail, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden amber color. A two finger white head forms, and leaves lots of sticky lace behind.
S: A wonderful hop aroma. Citrus, piney, floral, and grassy hops. Light grapefruit, and bitterness. A good sweetness in the nose to balance everything out.
T: Well balanced between the citrus and floral hops and malty sweetness. Actually one of the best balanced IPA's I have had.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A good creaminess as well. An easy beer to drink. One of the few IPA's I can session.

This is a great IPA. That is coming from someone that is not a great fan of the style. Really well balanced. Highly recommended.

champ103, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of Bluetick
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep Golden

S - Pine Hops

T - Complex Hops. Biting at first with a very floral finish. Kind of a sweet flavor as well.

M - Surprisingly light for 7.00 ABV

D - Extremely drinkable. Easy to slam a few of these on a hot summer day. Very smooth.

Perhaps one of my favorite IPAs. I regularly get these for home.

Bluetick, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

The color is a light amber with a nice white foamy head and some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit hoppy with some nice cirus hop flavor. Some nice slight caramel feel and a bit of pale malt in the background.

The taste is a nice hoppy poke at the beginning with some nice malt flavor rounding out the flavor and evening out the taste. Some nice hints of citrus and some floral hop. The malt flavor is also presented pretty nicely here as well.

The feel of the beer is a nice crisp taste. A bit sharp at first but not overpowering. Some hoppy aftertaste.

Duhast500, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of tyanow
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am addicted to Racer 5. I recently called Bear Republic to arrange for some kegs and I told the lady who works there about my addiction. She replied, "I hear that a lot".

Lighter than expected orangish yellow with a nice puff head that lingers and laces.

Overwhelming (in a good way) citrus hop aroma. Distinctly grapefruit and a slight pine note. The taste is a lot more hop than malt but both are very apparent. The word that always comes to mind is fresh.

It is crisper than you'd imagine a 7% beer to be.

This is a bold beer but remarkably drinkable.

I am not a huge hophead - or should I say I wasn't before Racer 5. In my mind this is right up there with Pliny.

tyanow, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of argock
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased as 6-pack at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.99.

A: Soft hazy peach-amber with slightly off-white, 1-2 finger rock head with good retention and substantial lacing.

S: Crystal and caramel pale malts are bigger than expected in the nose, but floral and citrus hops do lead the way.

T: I did not appreciate the huge maltload of this beer with the on-tap version. Crystal and caramel malts are abundant, and the floral hops have their work cut out for them to overcome. The C-type hops eventually do win out witha strong citrus showing, but I would still consider this a "balanced IPA," and a very good one.

M: The feel is exceptional -- coating and crisp all at once with a long, malty but sharp citrus hops aftertaste.

D: An excellent American IPA with huge maltload that screams top-shelf and classic American hopping to create a superb brew. The hits just keep on coming from Bear Republic. If you are a hops lover, check out the Hop Rod Rye.

argock, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of longbongsilver
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't had an IPA in awhile, why not?

Pours a blurry deep orange, and I immediately smell the hops off it. The white head looks kinda doughy & sticks around quite awhile. In fact, the last inch doesn't even budge until I take a swig. Speaking of which...For as heavily bittered as it is, it's got a really clean taste to it, nothing sticks out too far, maybe a hint of something that makes me think of butterscotch & yeast. Virtually no malt I can discern.

As far as drinkability goes, it reminds me of a good "malt liquor" oddly enough. Doesn't get annoying at all, though keep in mind the hop strength. Overall it's a nice casual IPA, the most session-worthy one I've had thus far.

longbongsilver, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of brianjay
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tall glass...
A crisp, glowing gold with a light brown hue, topped with a white lace which splashed around the glass, hanging on the sides, and slowly sliding down; low carbonation, just enough to keep it lively.
Notes are simple and complex: the subtle, earthy hops scent in front of a quiet biscuit malt. This combination also makes its way onto the tongue. The natural, pine and floral (with some bitterness) of the hops take over however. The bread flavor of the malt hangs around, only to be slowly washed away by the hops, whose dry, tart finish left me wanting more.
Easy and smooth in the mouth, yet exciting and invigorating the taste buds. Everything balances out perfectly in this IPA.

brianjay, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of dmamiano
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautifull bronze pour with a slight haze leading to a frothy tan head and abundant lacing.

Nose is dominated by hops, sweet bready malts and floral essence.
Taste is very nice, big on the feel with a lot of legs. Perfect balance of malts and juicy resinioius hops.
Great beer.

dmamiano, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of nycwinter
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap in a 16oz mug at a local pizza joint.

A= Cloudy at first, but generally translucent orange-brown, thin white head at first that left a thin ring and ringed lacing throughout.

S= Floral and citrusy, but with a unique dried strawberry note in front.

T= Very pleasantly tart. A very sharp citrus peel hits the tongue at first and mellows slightly through. The most prominent flavor is a refreshing floral arrangement of citurs blossoms. Hint of malt sweetness in the aftertaste. Minimal alchohol presence.

M= Light to medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

D= This is a very cool and refreshing IPA that did not lack any character or complexity. Great on a hot day with any flavorful cuisine.

nycwinter, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of Oxymoron
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crazy fives are alive. Pours a mostly cloudy orange hue color with a light amber almost reddish color. A fizzy white head with good retention and lacing though did hide to the edge of the glass. I did notice that the bottle was a low fill but no apparent off notes.

The nose is distinctly a west coast ipa. Big citrus, pine and grapefruit form the hops. Really dominates and lingers through the tasting and as it warms. Some minor malt notes but very limited. Some caramel and a hint of toffee. Some minor yeast notes but for the most part very clean.

The taste is similar. The hops really come out more on the finishing hops. The citrus note comes out with a good citrus lemon and grapefruit taste. Some minor pine and a lingering pine notes but limited versus the nose. A slight soapy note but no where near as would have expected per such a hop bomb. Some bitterness that lingers into the finish but very subtle. The malt comes out a bit more compared to the nose. Some bready and caramel notes. Would have liked a bit more malt but still good. A very nice beer.

The body is moderate to full. Would like a bit less body but does support the huge hop character. Carbonation is light, could use a touch more to help with bitterness. But overall a fantastic example of a west coast ipa.

Oxymoron, Jul 16, 2009
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,397 ratings.