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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.

6,839 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,839
Reviews: 2,232
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 250
Gots: 779 | 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: 6,839 | Reviews: 2,232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vandemonian
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 India Pale Ale has a slightly-cloudy, light-orange colour and a good head and lacing. The smell is quite strong and is mostly of citrussy hops. Some malt is noticable to begin with followed by bitter hops and a delicious citrussy tang. This is a really good IPA.

Photo of krausenman
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-The beer pours an amber/dark golden color with some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. It appears that the sediment is hops rather than yeast.

S-The beer has a strong hop nose. In one sniff, you can pick out resinous vegital aromas in the background that follows a ripe fruit smell that is further surpassed by the citrus aroma of domestic style American hops. It's complex to say the least.

T-You can taste and initial malt sweetness that is followed by a definate hop bitterness that fills your mouth. As you swallow the beer, the bitterness fades towards the back of the throat.

M-It has a medium body that is accompanied by a moderate to low carbonation.

D-The beer is approachable for a new beer drinker but still retains enough characteristic hop aroma and flavor to be unique. It is a solid example of what an American style IPA should be.

Photo of fourplayed
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle to 12oz sam adams glass. 1 finger creamy off-white head, good lacing beginning to end of drink, Mildly hazy golden honey color clears up in a few minutes.

Smells of Big piney Hops, mildly sweet/sour orange zest, grapefruit, malts and mild fruit sweetness...very nice!

Taste is pine hops, then mild orange zest, orange peel with a nice smooth malt. Orange and malt sweetness lingers nicely with the hops.

Mouthfeel is lite-med body, tight tiny carbonation zip, hop bite and dryness on tongue with mild alcohol warmth.

Great Drinking ipa. flavors are well balanced. I especially enjoyed the lingering mild sweet orange peel notes & hops that linger after the finish. A definite keeper!

Photo of SuperNova777
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 10/21/10

A:Pours a hazy orange color with a fingers worth of bubbly white head, very nice
lacing left down the glass.

S:Fills the nose with delicious citrus, tropical, and grapefruit hops. Nice sweet malts are included in the mix, very inviting.

T:Just as the nose suggest big juicy citrus/tropical hops hit the palate up front followed up by some balancing sweet malts. The backend is left with a small but pleasing
bite of bitterness.

M:A very nice body with excellent carbonation, refreshing to say the least. Palate is left a little dry but begging for more.

D:This was a super enjoyable bottle that I received in a trade, juicy hops really come
thru but are balanced out quite nicely. Easy to drink, very tasty, and as far as I know
reasonably priced. I wish Bear Republic was distrubuted in Indiana because this
would be one of my go to beers.

Photo of Messiahbolical
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Here's my first Beer Advocate review, picked this one up in a 22 oz bomber at Bevmo for around $4.

A - Pours a beautiful cloudy light orange color, massive amounts of lacing sticking down the sides of the beer indicating that this beer is extremely fresh. Mild carbonation. Looks great... one of the best looking beers I've had.

S - Picking up lots of citrus notes right off the bat, orange and lemon peel present with large pine undertone throughout each sniff. Not the most intense smelling IPA out there, but smells pleasant nonetheless. I just wish the smell was a bit stronger though.

T - A mild, malty sweetness hits right away for split second then fades away with a following pine bitterness that sticks to the back of your tongue and slowly fades away. This really reminds me of a hoppier Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it's damn good. Not themost balanced IPA I've had, but it tastes damn good and is right there near the top as far as flavor goes.

M - Surprisingly light for the style and goes down smooth.

D - Despite it being light for the style, the beer looses points here for moderate ABV% and bitterness that stays around for a while. It has decent drinkability, but also definitely not sessionable. Mid of the road for this category. Also, it's a bit pricey compared to some other comparable beers so I don't know if you'd want to spend that much to session this anyways.

All in all, it's a pretty good beer though. I'd definitely pick it up again if I wanted a solid IPA that goes down smooth and isn't overly bitter. I liked it alot and I'd recommend it to any IPA fan. It's worth a try, pick it up if you see it.

Photo of Jemonster
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: First of all, I don't know if I got a funny bottle or what, but this beer was straight up chunky. Not "just a little sediment at the bottom", but large off-putting blobs of what I hope and assume was yeast throughout the glass, in suspension, after I poured it into a stein. I actually strained it into a another glass.

S: Good mostly. Sweeter smelling than most IPAs.

T: Very good! Clean and sweet with the hops coming through strong at the very end in the aftertaste.

M: Creamy and rich.

D: I could session these, but I would have to take the time to strain it. Ugh.

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

Had on tap last night.

Appearance - Given to me in a standard pint glass, with about a finger of head that dissipates relatively fast leaving little lacing.

Smell - Grapefruit, pint, and hops. Slight malt backbone.

Taste - Similar to the nose. Bitter fruits, pine, hops. Not much malt backbone. A very hop forward beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability - Relatively so. Drank this quite easily. Yes, as I always freaking say, I would chose many other IPA's out there rather than this, but hey, not bad on tap and would get again if there was nothing better to drink.

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

I didn't find this IPA as nice as the other Bear republic brews.. but still an excellent brew. Deep copper color with ample froth which lightly laced the glass. Nose is hoppy with pine really standing out. A gentle bitterness which is nice and the way I personally like IPA's to be. Good to the finish with consistent flavor throughout.

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

First off, let me say that IPAs are usually not my go-to style. More often than not, I reach for a porter or a stout. That being said, on to the review.

I've had this on tap as well, but will be reviewing from a 12oz bottle pour. Settled nicely into my Milwaukee Brewers pint glass. A dark golden orangish glow filled it immediately, with about an inch or so of white, foamy, crackling head. Glorious.

Fruity notes of pine, lemon, and a blast of fresh hops overload my senses immediately. The freshness literally packs a wallop.

The taste, oh the taste. At first, your tongue gives way to a piney citrus character. It sits for a few sweet seconds, then gives way to a sharp, bitter note in the finish. This beer is remarkable. So much complexity upon first few sips. Drinking this beer is like riding a carousel. Hops, sweetness, slight bitterness; repeat. (For best results, do not drink riding on a carousel)

A medium-body to the beer just makes you want to drink more. The perfect amount of carbonation here. Not overbearing as some IPAs tend to be.

By far my favorite IPA. Could drink these forever and not grow tired of it. Alcohol is VERY well masked at 7%. If you can pick some up, I highly recommend doing so.

Photo of jbowers56
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pretty nearly white head which fades to a thin bubbly layer. Leaves nice lacing but head retention isn't superb. Pieces of hop material floating around too. I like that, lets me know what I'm in for.

As soon as I popped the bottle the aroma jumped out at me. Reminds me a little of stone ipa, however the citrus notes have more juice and apparent sweetness to them. I also get a peach note, as well as some caramel and apricot. Very god damn good.

At this point im pretty annoyed that this is only the first time i've had this. This is god damn awesome. First up is a juicy peach/apricot/citrus hop flavour, backed up by some slightly short-bread and caramel like sweetness. Following that is a big slap of pine and grapefruit and some bitterness. Love it.

Thin, but not watery. Clean and zesty on the palate. Near perfect for an IPA.

I am going to have to chain myself down after this to stop myself grabbing another. It's that delicious.

Photo of JWU
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle

A- Orange tinged light amber, a nice head that doesn't quite fully dissipate, and leaves beautiful lacing down my mug.

S-Piney/Grapefruit Hops. That's about it, the low spot of the beer.

T- LOVE the flavor complexity of racer five. Initial Pine/Grapefruit hops, much like the nose, but then it smooths out to a biscuit malt flavor with that wonderful apricot sweetness. Ends with a bitterness/dryness that's just enough to make you want the next sip.

M- feels thicker than it looks with just enough carbonation. Almost creamy initially in the mouth.

D- Really, really nice change up from most IPA's. Highly drinkable.

I really enjoy this as a change up to the normal Dogfish Head 60 min, Smuttynose, and Victory Hop Devil that are readily available in my area.

Photo of juhl31
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-what an IPA should look like. lighter in color than most...like it's supposed to be. (yellowy gold in my irises) tall white fluffy head with awesome retention and lacing

-hops right up front with a little malt in the back

-good apricot hop taste. a bit bitter in the end but not too hard

-pretty big body and somewhat thick for the style. i like it. rich, not too carby

-solid go to IPA in my area. better than lagunitas, obviously not as good as russian river, but i always enjoy it

Photo of nataku00
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a 16 oz straight sided bar glass. Nice golden orange with intiial finger head that dropped to maybe half a finger, then dissipated completed when I was half way through the glass. Good carbonation visible through the clear beer.

Citrus peel dominates the nose, mostly grapefruit and orange peel.

The taste follows the nose exactly, nicely bitter from the citrus like hops. Not quite as vibrant in those qualities as I've had with other west coast IPA's, but still pretty good. The carbonation did a good job of cleansing the palate, with only a very brief bitter aftertaste.

A light bodied beer with good carbonation. Very drinkable, and affordable as a session beer. Pretty widely available here in the Bay Area.

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

Got this on a Wisconsin beer run. Pours with a nice big head that stuck around for quite a while. The flavor is mostly hops with a light bready malt that barely fought its way through - you get more malt as this warms which I think improves the flavor. The hop here are mostly bitter with a very little sweet charatcer that helps to round it out. I thought this was a very good beer but I don't know if I'd make it a regular. There are just too many others that I prefer to it.

Photo of Buggabeer
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a very good IPA! The color is a nice amber with a nice head which quickly diminishes leaving a beatiful lacing around the glass. The smell is awesome not over powered by hops as some others do. The taste is exceptional one of the best IPA's I've had. I wish I had another one however sadly I don't. This beer is truely worth getting.

Photo of mirish72
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Pours an orange amber with a decent head, nice lacing. Fruity, hoppy aroma, lots of great piney and grapefruit smells going on here. Really solid beer from start to finish, probably much better fresh on the West Coast, but a really nice beer overall.

Photo of LairdChisholm
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy golden color. There is a little bit less of a one finger, cream colored head that has decent retention. There is some pretty good lacing here also.

S - Strong pine hops. Very nice. There might be a touch of grapefruit too.

T - Very smooth bitter, piney hops up front. This is follwed by a touch of grapefruit and other citrus. There is a slight bitter after taste. My only complaint would be is that I would like the flavors to be a little bit more bold.

M - Very smooth and balanced. Good amount of carbonation.

D - One o the easiest IPAs I've ever drank. Exceptional.

Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew was my homecoming for both the BRB and the american IPA brews. Not a IPA freak but this particular one its pretty awesome.

Pours a light amber brew with a nice brownish crown. Sweetish malts and hoppy aromas. Nice body with great drinkability. A little dry in the aftertaste but nice brew overall.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a light amber with a slim sudsy head.

Smell -- Pine, grapefruit, a modicum of tropical fruitiness, mild caramel sweetness.

Taste -- Pine and grapefruit zest up front, along with bready malt, and a mild underlying caramel sweetness. Long resin finish.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability -- This is certainly a solid IPA, but there are plenty others I would gladly take over this. Perhaps when I come back to this one it will excite me like it has so many other reviewers. Time will tell...

Photo of megahurts4
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic Racer 5

Appearance: Amber, small head, and good lacing.

Smell: Citrus, hops, and slight sweetness.

Taste: Orange peel, mandarin orange, lemon peel, and hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and bitter.

A refreshing and pleasant IPA. It has a good citrus and hops balance. This would go great on a warm day.

Photo of prdstmnky
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*review from notes on 9/17/10*

Nice golden pour yields a thick head. A nice array of hop aromas, grapefruit, lemon zest, as well as some floral and pine notes. Very fresh tasting, lots of hops upfront with a decent malt balance - the hops are the standout though, just how I like my IPAs. There is a slightly bitter and dry finish, but remains quite refreshing and drinkable. Solid offering from Bear Republic.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So...I've had this beer a few times on cask/draft and was at the beer store today when the guy brought a fresh case out to the floor. For $4.29 I said "what the hell" and grabbed a bomber. Only just now I looked at my old reviews to find out what I gave this beer a 3.25 and said "what the hell"? This beer is way better than that. Its time for a re-review.

Pure gold crystal clear body has a 3 finger creamy butterscotch head when poured down the middle into my Portsmouth snifter. A good but not great cap is a little wispy and great but not fantastic lacing decorates the glass as the drink recedes. I really do love these lighter colored IPA's.

Mmmmm...hoppy, hoppy, hoppy pine oils and bright citrus are the stars with no meddling malts to get in the way. Good stuff going on here.

Palate destroying hop oils, spruce tips, grapefruit peal, and bare minimal malt make this a stand out. Is this as good as IPA's taste? For my buds its a resounding YES!

Its a little sticky and gummy but the carbonation is spot on from the bottle. This is the one area where I believe the cask version falls short. The cask is just a little too soft in the mouth.

Damn, this goes down faster than a prom date who hit the spiked punch a little too hard! I really need to stock this more often when its as fresh as this. All I can think about my previous review is that the bottle must have been old. Since Sculpin isn't available around here, this might just be my IPA of choice at the minute!
Twelve ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. A couple fingers of fluffy white head show up atop the mostly clear gold body. Appropriate lacing shows throughout.

Earlier Review: 3.25 overall

Smell is sweet tangerine, hop oil, and wildflower honey. A little better than average but nothing I haven't smelled before.

Taste has a little old biscuit, sweet citrus, and grapefruit pith. Some metallic aftertaste rears its ugly head on the finish.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky on the finish with moderate mouthfeel and appropriate carbonation. Drinkability is a little gummy but the 12 ounce pour was not hard to finish.

I won't be buying this one again. There are to many other IPA's out there I prefer to this one. It was worth a try, but that's it.

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

Notes from 09/26/2010:

12 oz bottle served at 42* into a pint glass.

A: The pour is a gorgeous hazy, golden-orange with two fingers of soapy foam head.

S: The aroma consists of grapefruit, orange, a bold malty character, and even more powerful notes of floral hops.

T: Light citrus flavors, floral hops, and a balancing maltness.

M: The mouthfeel is foamy and soapy and becomes a bit of a distraction.

D: It's goes down rather easy.

Photo of LtCracker20
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes.

A- Clear golden color. Soft 2 finger white head that's very sticky with very good retention. Lace all the way around.

S- Wow. Pine, grapefruit, and pineapple. Also very sweet.

T- Citrus hop bite up front followed by a little sweetness. Not as bold as the the smell hints at.

MF- Good body and carbonation level.

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

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass, a slightly hazy golden body crowned with a 2-finger cloud-white head. Very good retention, and lovely lacing in rings. Assertive orange and grapefruit nose, with a smidge of pine and floral notes.

Medium body, thick for the style, slightly slick, with moderate carbonation. Sweet bitterness hits the tongue, reminiscent of orange peel and grapefruit, with pine notes. Long, dry, bitter finish is pleasing. Refreshing and balanced, very enjoyable. This will become a staple in my fridge.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,839 ratings.