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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.

6,773 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,773
Reviews: 2,223
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 232
Gots: 720 | 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:
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: 6,773 | Reviews: 2,223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dpcoz
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

Photo of thatsfine
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap poured into a pint glass. Pours a beautiful dark gold color with a one-finger head. Nice lacing down the glass.

This smells very nice. It's got a strong scent of the West Coast hops. Citrus and pine. There is also a scent of sweet malts. Excellent.

Oh man... this is just about perfect. There's a lot of hops in this, but the sweet malts in this make it quite delicious. Even without the sweet malts this would be outstanding.

The mouthfeel is normal for the style. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation with a nice coating on the tounge. Well done.

This is a great West Coast IPA. Might be the only IPA I like more than Union Jack, which is why I had a few pints. Very happy this is available at my bottle shop. Will buy this often.

Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, orange brown in color

Smell: citrus hops, pine hops, and brown sugar

Taste: floral hops, slight pine hops, bread, and caramel malt

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, sweetish start with a moderately bitter middle and end

Drinkability: I could have a couple of these. A decent IPA that is very true to style.

Photo of Spider889
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Golden straw colored and crystal clear. Very light head with minimal retention. The lacing was fairly impressive for an IPA.

I found the smell to be a little lack-luster. Not very potent or inviting. What I could get were hop oils and grapefruit rind.

The taste is very crisp and clean. This is a very balanced beer that really showcases the hops. Little to no malt profile though.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp. The beer is well carbonated and delicate enough to allow the hop profile to dominate while leaving no after taste or unwelcome lingering bitterness.

This wound up not being my favorite IPA but the drinkability is pretty good. The beer is light and easy going for 7%. While I might limit myself to 1 or 2 of these in a sitting, I could easily see others drinking much more than that.

Overall I am just not a huge fan of this west coast style of IPA that has very little malt profile. This is a very good beer but I prefer a little more complexity in my IPA.

Photo of begforme4484
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 pours a very attractive golden amber color. Has roughly a fingers width of a white head. Leaves a good lacing on the glass.

A nice citrus hop fragrance. Most immediate to my nose was orange/grapefruit. Alsot has slight smells of sweet doughy malts.

A great blend of citrusy/piney hops and sweet malts. First notes are of the citrus, followed by the sweetness of the malts and bitterness of the piney hops. Finishes slightly bitter and very clean.

The mouthfeel is better than most IPA's. The flavor is strong and well balanced without having a nagging lingering feeling.

Drinkability is great! As I had this on tap and had a few more!

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden copper orange with a finger of head. Leaves nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Pungent. Pine and citrus dominate the nose.

T: Piney, a little sweet and very smooth. I don't know quite what it is about the hop flavor on this one, the pine and citrus is there but there's something else too... earthy perhaps. Some caramel malt is in there giving it a bit of honey sweetness, but it's pretty well masked by the hops.

M: Creamy, medium body, restrained carbonation.

D: Very drinkable beer, very enjoyable. I didn't dig earthiness on the palate but it didn't get into the way too much, there's plenty of other hop flavor there to satisfy.

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over sized snifter.
Listening to: Phil Lesh and Friends 4.17.99
A: A golden body, with a slight haze sits under a white layer of foamy head. Thick drapes of lace line the glass. A head that thins out, but holds a foamy characteristic thought.

S: A bold, blast of hops. Notes of orange and alcohol come through. An aroma that does not have the diversity of many fruits, I am just finding orange. An aroma which does not jump out of the glass, but does balance nicely with the beer as a whole.

T/M: A great hop/malt balance, the front of this beer is a great hop explosion, the finish is a smooth malt kick. On the finish the malt is not over powered by the hop presence, which kicks back in on the lingering taste. I think this maybe the perfect hop profile in an IPA. I think just shy of perfect due to its lack of bitterness. This is a sweet hop profile, unlike many other IPAs.

D: A very good overall beer, blending all aromas, tastes and sweet hop, lingering sensations, this is an all around beer. Nice to have a bomber of this stuff, and at a good price, not bad.

Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a standard pint. Pours golden with a one finger white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of malt and hops. The flavor is of malt and a slightly sour hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was very nice and easy drinking. The hop profile and intensity was very nice and the malt counterbalanced it almost perfectly. If this brew had some more complexity to it, it could be a world-class brew, but it is still VERY nice to say the least. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of ryanmac06
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden hazy color that's very typical of west coast IPAs. Pored from a bottle into a pint glass and left about a finger of head. The head didn't last through the entire drink but that was fine with me.

S - This beer has a great smell. A strong citrus/hoppy smell hits first followed by light malt that balances the smell very well. In my opinion Racer 5's smell is slightly better than many of it's American IPA counterparts

T - This is one of the best tasting single IPA's I've ever had. It's perfectly balanced without being overly bitter and doesn't destroy my pallet. The smell and taste compliment each other making them almost dependent on each other.

M - Coats the mouth very well. No problems at all with the feel of the beer. The 7% alcohol is present but very well covered by the balance of malts so your pallet and mouth can handle more than a couple.

D - This can easily be a session brew. It's an easy to drink 7% beer that is a bit deceiving. I will keep coming back to this as a "go to" AIPA

Overall - Set's itself apart from many IPAs that I've had. The combination of smell and taste are the 2 attributes that distinguish this brew. This is a must have if you're an IPA fan.

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

A - Light gold on color when poured into a pint glass, with a good two inches of head that sticks around for quite some time and shows great lacing.

S - Hops, citrus - grapefruit and apple, malts.

T - Really nice IPA. Balanced of hops, bitterness and malt is great. I really get a fermented apple citrus taste when enjoying this beer.

M - Pretty light and crisp, nice carbonation and very smooth.

D - Drink it, enjoy it, and drink another!

Photo of berpwillie
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a copper orange color with average off white frothy head that recedes at a moderate rate. average lacing and lively carbonation. strong fruity citrus smell. taste is similar with some piney floral hints. lifgt body and a thin slick texture. long flavor duration. goes down very smooth and is very easy to drink. excellent brew.

Photo of zoso1967
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly amber yellow with a resiny white head that leaves nice lace on the sides of my pint glass. The aroma is lovely, and the fact that I could smell it right after popping the cap is always a good sign. It is quite perfume like with plenty of citrus, both lemon and ruby red grapefruit, a hint of pine and some nice flowery aromas. I also detect a hint of earthiness and pale malt sweetness. The flavor is bursting with hops. Lemon, grapefruit, pine and floral flavors mix with the sweet slightly caramel malt character and a bit of earthiness. This beer is quite bitter, but seems to have just enough sweetness to keep it from getting out of control. Not as balanced as a east coast or Midwest IPA mind you, but I am not one to be overly concerned about that, especially with a hop flavor and aroma as great as that possessed by racer 5. The body is medium with a good amount of carbonation, yet a fairly smooth texture. The finish is very dry with a lingering hoppy flavor on my tongue. A very drinkable IPA, and one of my go-to favorites. I am surprised it took me this long to get around to reviewing it.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden orange with yellow highlights that had a nice finger of head and left good sticky lacing on the glass. The aromas given off from the beer were quite enjoyable with the hops dominating the nose but had a good sweet malt presence and hints of citrus grapefruit and slight caramel notes. As far as the taste the piney hop were a little bit more punchier but still maintained a decent balance between the sweet malts. The citrus grapefruit also helped out some to enhance the bitter flavors on the palate and I could also detect a caramel undertone. The beer was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation for an IPA and had a slight sweet but sticky bitter finish. Overall the beer was good across the board and drank exceptionally well without a huge alcohol punch considering the ABV.

Photo of ncfranklin
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber into a pint glass. No freshness date.

A : Pours a dark orangey gold color with a very large two finger foamy off-white head with some solid lacing on the edges.

S : Big citrus hops, with little malt underneath. It's an IPA... it's what you expect...

T : Wow. This is far more balanced than I thought it would be. Nice citrus bitter hops (i can literally taste orange peel on my lips..) are up front but go down smooth with a rich maltiness.

M : Nice medium mouthfeel, very smooth.

D : Very. Very. Drinkable IPA. So well balanced and delicious. At 7% you should take your time with it, but that's a challenge.

Photo of JeanO
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very light copper with a nice frothy white head.

Fragrant hop aroma with limited but available malt characteristics. Very pleasant.

Starts with bold malt and a little grassy hoppiness but gains in hop taste and bitterness and ends with a distinct grapefruit sweet bitterness. Delightful.

Perfect weighty mounthfeel that covers all surfaces and lingers but does not draw from the drinkability.

Most drinkable 7% beer I've tried. It's a sessionable big ipa.

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper-amber hue with an off-white frothy head and sticky lacing.

S - There is an aroma of great maltiness, especially for an IPA. It is such a good vehicle for the hop palette, especially for expressing the citric and dank-resiny elements.

T - Sweet and bitter; I am getting impressions of honey and caramel malt, bitter pithy grapefruit, and it has a long bitter finish.

M - IPA. Big and viscous.

D - Not my preference of flavor dynamic; I favor less malt, more dynamic hops. That said, it is definitely a good brew.

Photo of ballz50401
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Pours a crystal clear golden color with a nice dense head and moderate carbonation. Strong caramel aromas dance very elegantly with the bright citrusy hops. After a nice palate saturation I get waves of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar with some spicy/citrus hop flavor. Mouthfeel feels nice, full, and creamy with a mellow hop bitterness. Love the taste and aroma on this one, more please.

Photo of sheikyerbouti
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This used to be my favorite beer, but it is typically better on tap than in the bottle. copper orange color, earthy hop nose, medium bitterness with a moderate mouthfeel.

My favorite american IPA's include stone IPA, Great Divide Titan, Avery IPA and Racer 5. Though after having yesterday at Lord Hobo on tap and today in a bottle, I have to say, it doesn't compete with the aforementioned others anymore. Great Divide, Stone and Avery are very close to each other, and from now on, I will buy whichever is the cheapest out of the 3. Racer 5 lacks the complexity and mouthfeel it used to have. I have even travelled to the brewery itself 2x, and although it is still a very good beer, I can no longer call it great.

Photo of Naugros
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An orange glow fills the glass, hazy and bubbly. An off-white head quickly recedes to a ring with sticky lace and floaters.

The hops dominate the nose, four of the big Cs of the Pacific Northwest bringing grapefruit and orange and pine. The big hop aroma does not overpower the sweet malt which comes through as whole wheat bread on the nose. I'm hoping the taste is as well-balanced as the smell.

The malt sweetness comes out again, but is entirely subdued by the hops in the wash. The blend of hops continues to bring the grapefruit and the pine and also delivers a hint of pepper and clove on the palate. The aftertaste does away with the pine and leaves behind pink grapefruit with just a bit of pith and spice.

A nicely balanced IPA that smacks you in the face with hops, but they're wrapped in a velvety malt sweetness that deadens the blow and doesn't leave much bruising. That's just a fancy way of saying that the hops bitterness is balanced by the malts and that the aftertaste lingers, but not in a bad way.

I've noticed that the more recent reviews have been below the average. Perhaps Bear Republic's quality control has decreased. This is the reverse trend of Weyerbacher's beers. Their controls have improved and their recent reviews tend to exceed the average. I wish I had had this one when it was getting more As. I heard so much about it and was a bit disappointed.

Photo of Khazadum
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber on my latest incursion into a Chicago Binny's. Was looking for a new IPA to try and heard good things about Bear Republic. Why not try it? Poured many times into my brandy snifter.

The pour leaves a beautiful amount of head that does not leave much lacing as it dissipates. The body is a stereotypical amber color, and when held to the light it matchs commerical apple juice. Not bad, but not the best.

The nose on this is quite enjoyable. It foreshadows a delicious brew. The spicy bitterness of the hops comes through in the very first breath. A slight citrus note is balancing the bitterness. Perhaps, grapefruit in nature.

Flavor Profile
The bouquet was not lying for this beverage. The liquid sloshes around and releases the fruity flavors upon my tongue. They quickly change over into the bitterness of the hops which seems to linger into the finish. The end isn't anything to be ashamed of. It hits the bitter portions of my tongue and seems to hug the sides of it while leaving the rest clean. For a 7% beer, this definitely doesn't show up at all. Not even in the last pours of the bottle do I find a hint of alcohol. This is not to say that it needs it, but it was unusual to not find it.

Oral Sensations
AS IPAs go, I don't expect them to be syrup and I don't expect them to be bottled water. However, this one tends to lead more towards a watery texture than what I've become accustomed to. I think this actually benefits the beer rather than hinders it. As its texture isn't any thicker, it leaves a possibly cleaner finish. I put it somewhere just below some German Pilsner's I've had.

For the price that I paid for this brew, there is no doubt in my mind. Buy it! Now! It is delicious, affordable, and comes in a great size. I will definitely be purchasing this beer again, if not for its solid offering to the IPA style than for its price tag.

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft countless times at the Maproom, it's a classic IPA in my mind.

12 oz. bottle poured into a tapered Hamms goblet.

Glowing sunset orange, darker in the center, fading to gold around the edges. Slightly hazed with micro sediment, otherwise it has some good clarity. Frothy, sticky head on it, sheets of lacing around the edges. Retains a good skim for the duration of the glass.

Light hoppy aroma, fruity cantaloupe, mellow sweet pale malts.

Fruity notes lead off, melon or cantaloupe again, some resinous bitter hops in the middle giving it a dry grassiness in the finish. The fruit lingers behind it, which is a nice combination. Medium bodied, almost slippery, not too heavy or sweet. Easy to have another if so inclined. Today I just have a single for the purpose of this review. Will drink again many times hopefully...

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7-04-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy orange copper color, 1 finger of foam which didn't last real long. Decent lacing ring with carbonation present

S - Hoppy aroma with a hint of apricots and orange peel, slight malt

T/M - Real tasty brew, taste apricots and orange peel and hops, not a lot of malt, a little gritty due to the hops but smooth's real easy

D - Very easy drinker. I will get this again and recommend it

Photo of aquaphiliac
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer for $9.99.

A: Nice dark gold color with a decent head. Very Pretty

S: Smells of hops mostly; some sweetness in the scent.

T: Kinda the opposite of the smell... dominating malt sweetness and a little bit of hops. Still pretty bitter on the finish, I guess I was expecting something totally different. Not bad though.

M: Perfect body IMO; on the full side.

D: Didn't really want more than 2 of these in a row, definitely not the most drinkable IPA I've tried.

Overall decent value but will probably not buy again just because I'd appreciate a little less malt.

Photo of Duttonic
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle, poured into a dogfish head pint.

A- Hazy orange, 1 1/4 fingers of head (off-white), excellent lacing.

S- Floral, hops, grapefruit, maybe a hint of lemon.

T/M- Exceptional flavor, mouth-puckering hops, extremely enjoyable. Creamy, grapefruit, leaves that patented sticky & bitter aftertaste of a quality IPA.

D- Not for the faint of heart. If you don't care for IPA's, this will be way out of your league. Great benchmark of the style. These can definitely be enjoyed one after the other in a sitting.

I know that since it is 7% abv it probably shouldn't be a session, but this is one of my favorite IPA's to drink in numbers if I'm at a pub or bar. Highly recommended for hop-heads.

Photo of gameface23
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Hazy orange body with a minimal head that does leave a surprising amount of lacing.

S: A blast of citrus hops (mostly orange and grapefruit) along with a supporting role from a honeyed caramel sweetness and slight earthy mint notes.

T: Surprisingly soft citrus fruit bitterness up front. This is certainly a bitter beer, but it seems like it's restrained just at the verge of crossing over the threshold of a throat thrasher.

M: Medium bodied, but the carbonation is lacking.

D: That English BA user that always yells at people for referring to beers over 4% ABV as session ales is going to be pissed in 3...2...1: This is the closest I've ever found to a sessionable beer at 7% ABV. It is easy drinking and very flavorful.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,773 ratings.