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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.

6,837 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,837
Reviews: 2,231
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 249
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: 6,837 | Reviews: 2,231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JMad
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottel to a glass goblet...
Pours a murky golden yellow, had some yeast floating around.
Smells mostly of grapefruit hoppiness.
Tastes of citrus, grapefruit, has a nice subtle bitterness.
Feels medium bodied and is nice and tangy.
This one of the great IPA's it's bottle conditioned hoppy nectar.

Photo of hoptrip619
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 is solid and has been one of my go-to IPA's for years. While consistency suffered a bit during their expansion, the beer is back to being an awesome session IPA.

A - Bright sunny golden color with a nice thick off-white head.

S - This is a cascade & chinook bomb with tons of floral and grapefruit hop aroma. Love the aroma on this beer!

T - Very much the same as the aroma, great balance of grapefruit and floral hop flavors with just enough malt backbone. Dry enough in the finish to be refreshing but not TOO BITTER.

M - crisp medium body w/ good carb - makes for easy drinking

D - one of the better and more consistent IPA's on the market. A welcomed tap option at many places that don't have the best beer selections.

Photo of LiquidBread219
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= It poured a golden yellow color a little hazy. I didn't notice any head on this beer and just a little lacing.

S= I smell some pine and some citrus flavors in this beer.

T= Piney hoppy kick starts off. Some oranges and grapefruit overtones. The malts are tangy and yummy. This is a standard hoppy ipa done very well. Pretty strong, about as strong as you can get before treading into imperial territory. I really liked the taste for this beer.

M= Semi-dry hop bite through out sip spices.

D= Didn't know what to think when I first poured the beer but this beer is one that kind of sneaks up on you really enjoyed it.


Photo of gopens44
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy deep yellow gold with a shy laced remnant of what was a short lived half finger head as the result of a moderately agressive pour.

S - knock me the hell out with deep inhalations of this baby. Juniper maybe? Something is riding this hop roller coaster.

T - Same same. Juniper, hops, clean yet malty. Great balance of uniqueness and predictability.

M - straight up. Not too dry, heavy or effected by aftertaste.

D - Yep! I enjoy this thing and expect more soon!

Photo of ZDub
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Duvel glass. No best by/bottled on date.

A - Pours a very clear golden straw color. A nearly white two finger head reduces to half a fingers width after a minute and leaves minimal lacing.

S - Smells of pine-resin-hoppiness with some floral notes. Possibly a hint of sweetness. Not overly complex but nice and inviting.

T - Very nice. It has a good balance of hops to malt. It's not cloying at all but it is sweeter than I expected. The hops are there, but they don't hang around long.

M - Medium mouthfeel. Very crisp, refreshing, and smooth.

D - Very drinkable. Perhaps this bottle is a little old. That could explain the mellowness of the hops. Of course, having been drinking mostly imperial IPA's lately my palate could be off. No matter, this is a very good beer.

Photo of rembrant
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour...well...it's a cloudy yellow. You can get head with an aggressive pour but soon end up with a small island of foam. It does some lacing and viscosity film on the glass. This looks a lot like a pour of Founder's Double Trouble...or a urine sample. Not a "picture book" .

Aroma Oh...never mind the looks. I've yet to meet a more aromatic brew. In my wide wine chalice this is like a flower garden next to an Italian restaurant surrounded by pines,cedars,junipers and sweaty naked women. Great scents and I'd had a cold all week so my last few reviews I had to work to define any aromas.

Flavor The Malt bill sneaks in to do a moments tease of caramel,brown sugar,coffee,but the hops are the headliner act and as best I can tell almost every type I'd ever encountered seems to be playing in this band. Floral,Fruity,Pine ,Cedar..whatever, they all get their moment. The "Wine Country" aesthetic keeps Bear from taking this to excess,it's not as big as a Hop Wallop but is at least that complex

Mouthfeel....The malt bill is backup vocals but does the job in mouthfeel, which is rather rich for an IPA. Carbonation is just perfect. Aftertaste is good with multiple hops and a bit of dark roast coffee at first,then a lingering cascade type finish.

Drinkability. Bud,you could pound these till they drag you away. Not session ABV but it's built to drink. They did the hop stuff more for complexity and elegance than sheer bitterness. Refreshing yet profound.
I regret I'd skipped over this so many times. I'd had several Bear Republic beers in my decades in N Cal and now, after moving away I finally tried Racer.

Photo of dubc19382
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the Racer 5 IPA had a nice golden/amber hue with a head that fizzled out after about a minute.

Good taste for an IPA, but I have had hoppier beers that were considered an "IPA".

As for drinkability, it is highly reccommended, but I would at least try it on tap first. Like previous comment(s), I wish it had a date on it as to when it was bottled. Perhaps it might have been affected by the long ride east.

Photo of newk340
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a yeasty orange gold color with a thin head and some mild carbonation.

S: a sharp smell of citrus and hops.

T: a crescendo of flavor that culminates in an amazing blast of hops and lemons.

MF/D: smooth to start with an increase in carbonation that fizzles on the tongue well after the swallow.

Photo of musicman575
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just an update from my previous review:

This is delicious! Disregard all that I said before....

It's hoppy enough, but not as pungent as a lot of other IPAs. There shouldn't be a gray area with IPA. Get it crazy hopped up or call it something else.

There's something primitively masculine about drinking a beer that has solids floating around in it. My Western Civilization professor once described a beer from feudal Europe that contained chewable chunks and was considered part of one's daily nutrition. Gimme some of that! I was able to get an inch or so of head, but I really tried. After the initial pour, a nice bubbly film stuck around to see the last chug.

This is a very light beer. A light sweetness accompanies the grapefruity hops. There isn't much else to it, which makes it rather dry. I might have got an old beer (maybe they should put a date on the bottle). There was bit of a stale, sour taste and the alcohol was rather strong when I breathed out from my nose. The hops never cleared themselves, obscuring the subtleties with every drink.

Photo of hardy008
2.7/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark gold with less than one finger of white foam, and decent retention. The aroma has some citrus hops, and pine. Not as strong of an aroma as I expected.

The taste is just like the aroma. Very bitter, no balancing malt. A little too bitter for my taste. Grapefruit peeling and pine flavors, not much else

High carbonation, dry, with a long bitter finish. I like hoppy bitter beers, but not bitterness which lacks complexity. I also don't like for a beer to be astringent. Not something I would seek out again.

Photo of Vaison
2.97/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic tumbler.

A smooth golden color with a nice fluffy white 2 finger head. The smell was overwhelming with hops and I was unable to detect anything else. My wife commented from across the table that my beer smelled like flowers. The taste was just like the smell, an overkill of hops and and bitter citrus bite on the back end. Carbonation was average and it went down okay. It was an okay drink but not something I would purchase again.

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

A: Honey colored with large-bubbled head which leaves a bit of lacing after sinking to a thin coating.
S: Grass, pine, tarweed.
T: Crisp with good body and decent malt.
M: Lively, smooth.
D: Great daily drinker for 4.50 a 22oz bottle.

I am not a huge IPA fan, but this one does the trick especially at this price.

Photo of supra429
2/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It is my moral duty to let you guys know that racer 5 recipe has changed. Do not waste your time with this beer. It is not longer an "A" grade beer. All the reports you see here are BS by people who dont know what they are talking about. It is disgusting and nothing compared to what it was prior to april 14th batch. I am here to tell you DO NOT BUY so they can make the old one.

I'm not lying.

I demand the old racer 5 come back!

My review

The beer is dry and lighter than before. Is lacking body.

The beer is now clear and not hazy

The aromatic hops are way weaker now and smells falt. Before it had cirtus and even orange aroma.

Please do not support this companies.

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

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Yellow and light tan, almost pilsner looking in my glass. Unfiltered stuff floats around :)

Smell - Hops, citrus, light alcohol and malts, some spices

Taste - Piney hoppy kick starts off. Some oranges and grapefruit overtones. The malts are tangy and yummy. This is a standard hoppy ipa done very well. Pretty strong, about as strong as you can get before treading into imperial territory.

Mouthfeel - Bitter hops cover your whole mouth. Your palette will be a little wrecked, but not ruined. The aftertaste leaves your mouth a little dry and begging for more.

Drinkabilty - I took a chance on this since hop rod is soooo good, i grabbed a 6- pack of this and man im happy. This is right up there wwith all my favorite ipa's. Will drink again

Photo of beergod1
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone pint glass, Deep gold color, some sediment floating around. Hop aroma is instant, and from 2 feet away, packs a punch. A slight ring around the glass as the foamy head gives way.Taste starts out with a bitterness that blends into a smooth malty body and eventually turns into that hoppy, grapefruit, piney finish that you expect from an IPA. It's not one of The big boys, But this is a very good IPA.

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

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Cloudy orange and gold color with a haze of head. Spotty lacing litters the glass along with a light head and a small filmy retention of foam.

S - Nice bouquet of citrus, hops, malt, caramel, and assorted tropical fruits.

T - Begins with a wave of hoppy citrus which carries from beginning to end. Bitter juicy hops explode from the inital sip, and eventually emitting pineapple and grapefruit. A slightly sweet malt backbone balances everything out but still allows the hops to cry out. The booze is masked well with a dry, yet bitter finish.

M/D - Medium body, bubbly, dry with hops, but still goes down incredibly easy considering the style.

Awesome IPA. Dont sleep on this beer, especially since youre probably wasting money on something far less tasty.

Photo of DJED69
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome. One of the finest examples of West Coast IPA I have had. Enjoyed many bottles before this review. Pours a golden amber, lighter than typical. Nose is unreal---fresh juicy hops and tropical fruit. Taste follows suit. It's just flat out delicious. Word to use here is "balance". Perfect harmony of malt, hops and grain. This and Stone are my go to IPA's. A must try.

Photo of bohemiandonut
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The nuances of IPA are really getting to me lately. Bottle after bad bottle it seems there are too many amazing cali IPAs to count and too many bad bottles to cry over. This particular bomber of Racer 5 has some sort of cryptic freshness code but it tastes so sweet and drinks so g.d. gushy I've got the urge to verbal.

Perhaps the perfect look for standard IPA. Honey pale, active head and damn near masterpiece lacing. Smells like Bubbalicious - Mango, Cotton Candy, or something equally nostalgic. If this were a strain of chronic it would be all I'd buy.

Taste is arctic wind, cleansing citral grains all blown out in a storm replacing Greenland with South Florida.

I could drink this all night long.

Photo of mdcrouser
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber, with a bit of fluffy white head that fades to leave rings.

Highly floral, with a clear hops bite in the nose - really great. Looking forward to this one.

Reminds me somehow of a farmhouse ale - seems a little funky. Squarely hopped - it doesn't mess around in getting straight to the point. Floral, bitter, no spice. It is though a bit of a tongue-slap, not being as smooth as I'd prefer, instead being mildly sharp at the end.

Dry, but sparkling on the tongue.

I feel like I should have enjoyed this one much more than I did - no doubt, it's a good beer. Really solid in its merits. But it's not one that I'll crave, as it doesn't seem distinctive enough to earn the right.

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

On a hot night this is a nice thing to drink. Very piney aroma; leathery smell with a very sharp edge. There's even the smell you get when you pull a strip of scotch tape from the roll-- something you will remember from your grammar-school days, I'm sure. Very tight flavor, full of little pins from the abundant carbonation. It starts out resinous and loaded with pine needles, but mellows into a peachy taste when it warms up. I couldn't drink such a thing in the winter but it's welcome in August.

Photo of infi
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic pint.

A light golden orange pour with a foamy and frothy white head with retention of about a minute or so. Within the actual liquid are some floating bursted vesicles, like from an orange or lemon. Pretty ghastly looking, but not a problem. Lots of webby lacing throughout the glass. Smell is incredibly malt and hop balanced. It begins with a nice malt sweetness and then falls back upon the power of the Cascade and Centennial hoppage and grapefruit. Very California IPA.

The taste is thoroughly and beautifully hoppy. All the way around. Double rainbow. The hoppiness isn't very overpowering either: it's bitter, yet smooth with subtle hints of citrus pith and skin. Very herbal and remedying in character for the night. At the end, the brew leaves a nice clean and slight dry feeling, along with some alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel is more partial to being more medium-bodied, with the carbonation at a moderately light level. Drinkability is decently high - quite flavorful and easy drinking. Admirable example of a Cali IPA; worthy of your buy.

Photo of lester619
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazy orangish amber brown IPA color. Some small sediment floating around. The head was a little thin on the first one, even with an agressive pour. The rest of the six pack was a little thicker. Average lacing for an IPA. It has a really good fresh hoppy herbal/floral grapefruit smell. Nice. Taste starts out with a hard bitterness that blends into a biscuity malty body and eventually turns into that hoppy grapefruit piney herbal flavor that you expect from an IPA. This reminded me of Stone's IPA with that little hint of burnt rubber on the back of my tounge. All in all this is another example of the greatness that is very hoppy west coast beer. Not the best, but close enough.

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A nice golden amber look.

S- Hops with fruity notes screaming out.

T- Fresh strong bold flavor of citrus from the hops pouring out the pours. Spices come out at the end.

M- Semi-dry hop bite through out sip spices.

D- This beer have some bite. Hops are strong like a hammer to my taste buds but thats OK I'm like every part of it. I'm really starting to like IPA in a big way. Got to get more of this beer.


Photo of EgadBananas
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light golden in color, big fluffy 2+ finger head that sticks around for the duration.

Smell is very floral, bitter, with some grapefruit and slight malts.

Taste is in your face bitter, earthy, with some sweet citrus and floral notes. Can't really ask for much more!

Feel is solid medium in body. An easy "good".

This is a perfectly balanced, and superbly drinkable IPA.

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

Fairly golden color with an orange tinge lets me know I'm in for a real WC IPA, none of that amber caramelly crap. Modest head leaves some nice clingy lace.
Aroma is full of hop goodness. Pink grapefruit, orange, apricot, hint of tropical and some pine resin.
Taste does not disappoint the high expectations the nose presages. Smooth citrus and melon flavors start off a tad sweet but end up drying out a bit on the piney hop fade. Lots of good juicy hop flavor without much astringency at all.
Smooth carbonation makes this hop juice ultra quaffable for it's respectable 7% abv. When this stuff is fresh it is one of the best everyday IPAs around.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,837 ratings.