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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

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Ratings: 6,839
Reviews: 2,232
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: 6,839 | Reviews: 2,232 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Mooch273
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/8" head retention, light gold color.

A: citrus, but mostly piney hop aroma.

T: slight honey with hints of an over-ripe orange that adds a sweet citrusy flavor. Bitter pine after-taste.

M: smooth with good bitterness; not much alcohol presence; appropriate carbonation for the style.

D: Great warm weather beer; easy to finish several at a single sitting. Overall, a very enjoyable beer that I would be happy to share with friends.

Photo of IPAescotch
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, not much head retention, light lacing. Not very impressive.

S: Rather fruitful for an ipa, and a delectable hop aroma, earthy like fuggle hops.

T: More like a pale ale than an ipa, but more flavorful than either. tastes like a belgium its so fruity. Hops are noticeable, but more of a cushion for the yeasty flavor than the dominating element.

M: Light and smooth.

D: Extremely. A perfect beer to go with either eating, smoking, or more beer.

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

"The West is the Best, Just get Here and We'll do the Rest" - Jim Morrison
Should be the slogan for this brew, really good West Coast style IPA
Foggy Golden amber in color, sweet head & lacing
Lots of fruity floral hops in the nose, some malt
Taste is very nice,lots of hops with a nice citrus kick in there,in your face yet balanced
mouth is medium to slightly heavy, smooth
This beer is about as drinkable as it gets love to drink this alongside GreenFlash,FlowerPower, 2-Hearted & Columbus Brewing IPA(Latter is Hardest one for me to get!) GREATLY CRAFTED BREW!

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

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--1999 22 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. (4.75 / 5.0) Huge floral hop aroma on pour. Clear light red amber color. Rich floral hop front gives way to rich lightly sweet thick rich malt body. Hints of fruit. Finish has minimal hop spiciness. Sampled 7/27/1999.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--2005 22 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 69 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Big lacy head. Hazy bright golden orange color. Big floral ester hop front. Smooth rich mild sweet balanced caramel mellow ester fruit citrus body. Hot balanced hop spice mild citrus end. Good Hoppy brew. Sampled 6/12/2005.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--2006 22 oz. Plastic Stick On Label Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 69 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Lacy head. Slightly cloudy bright gold color. Rich earthy floral hop front. Tangy dry sweet grapefruit caramel mild fruit biscuit body. Rich clean hop spice citrus tangy end. Well made hoppy IPA. Sampled 1/10/2006.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Racer 5 India Pale Ale--2008 12 oz. Plastic Stick On Label Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 69 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Thin light lace white head. Clear thin bright light gold color. Crisp rich floral hop front. Tasty dry sweet crisp grapefruit citrus grassy pine pale malt light caramel body. Tangy clean crisp rich bitter hop spice mild citrus end. Hop Infused Floral tasty IPA. Sampled 10/30/2008. 6-Pack $10.99.

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

On tap at Tops, served in a pint glass.

Looks: perfectly clear pale golden-orange, poured almost to the brim with very little head save a tiny, frothy white layer that quickly becomes film and a ring. Nice webs of lace speckle the glass at first, but they too dissipate.

Smells: super citrusy. Tart lemon and grapefruit, light burnt sugar and honey.

Tastes: like grapefruit peel. A blast of citrus is followed immediately by a startling pithy bitterness that coats the tongue. Tons of grapefruit juice, a bit of lime, some grass, and a hint of honey and strawberry in the back.

Feels: carbonation is medium-high, assertive but not distracting. The body is surprisingly full and syrupy. It's a pleasure to swirl about the mouth. Alcohol warmth is noticeable as it rides down the throat.

Drinks: like a happy accident. I have to admit, I came here looking for Racer X and found 5. But I'm glad I gave it a try. An all-around solid IPA.

Photo of Jeffo
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at Binny's Downtown Chicago on our recent baseball trip.

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-thick white head with good retention. Orange-red in color but more tangerine when held to the light. Clear with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a decent foam cap and leaves some lacing right away. A good wisp remains until the end and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass. Second pour from the bomber is a cloudier version of the above. Very nice looking brew.

SMELL: Pale malts with some sweet pineapple and a good dose of citrus and piney hops. Grapefruit and floral hints in there as well. Medium strength and pleasant.

TASTE: Pale malts with lots of citrus and piney hop flavors. Lots of bitterness on the finish, with some sweet pineapple to balance out the bitter hops. A bitter and mostly piney aftertaste is bold and lingering. Pretty tasty and very bold for an IPA.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth and full on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a little mouth-coating. A bit of a bite at the finish. Good feel for the style.

OVERALL: A very good IPA. This is probably one of my favorite in the style, and if it were local to me, I'd probably drink it all the time. Bold flavors with a great look and feel, really only the aromas need to be brought up a notch. Regardless, this is a very good example of the style and worth checking out if you get the chance. I'll get a couple more if I see them on next year's trip south of the border.

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

22oz bottle into oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a hazy bright golden-honey orange with a thin bright white head that quickly disappeared into a faint collar and film leaving some streaks of sticky lace. There were some tiny flakes of sediment present in every pour.
S: Big grapefruit and citrus aroma with notes of pine. Most of the malt is overpowered.
T: Follows the nose with a more balanced malty taste. Light cracker-like flavor. Good bitter punch at the finish. Loads of lemon notes as well. Nectar like quality. Aftertaste is a tad sweet like tropical fruit.
M: Medium body with a slick and slightly watery mouthfeel. No alcohol present.
D: Amazing for an IPA. One of the best go-to beers out there.

Photo of bound4er
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 ounce bomber - $3.99.

A. Light amber to medium straw appearance with a fluffy white head. Laces very nicely.

S. Almost a saaz-like hop aroma - herbal spiciness that is quite appealing and clean. I don't get the typical citrus of many IPA's.

T. That clean, crisp aroma carries over to the palate. Atypical IPA flavors that work well start things off - spice, herbs, and bready malt followed by a pine infused lingering finish.

M. Silky smooth - this stuff leaves a lingering feel in your mouth.

D. This is my first Bear Republic beer and I am not disappointed. Maybe not an upper tier IPA but a damn good one nonetheless with excellent drinkability. One bomber could easily lead to two with this stuff.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to friend zoso1967 for this bottle!

Poured into an oversized wine glass, an aggressive pour yields a small amount of head. A good collection of bubbles form on the side and swirl at the top to ease my mind. Small bubbles stick and slide down the glass forming moderate lacing. The color is copper-yellow with a slight essence of brown.

The smell is very pleasant reminding me of other California IPA's with its pine hop scent. Subtle citrus notes of pineapple with some peach gather with the pine. There is a solid malt backbone adding to the firm balance of smells.

The first thing I notice with the taste is its mild malt profile. The flavor starts very mildly with a slight crescendo into the pine hop profile. Some lemon flavors exist in the hop profile along with a very, very, slight skunkiness.

I believe one of the strong points of this brew is the mouthfeel. It was the first thing I noticed, creamy and non-obtrusive. The aftertaste is mild with a slight drying.

The mouthfeel really paves the way for an excellent drinkability. Multiples can be had in one sitting.

Photo of Bonis
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A nice thick white one finger head. Hazy light golden with floaties. Leaves a beautiful lace like many IPAs i've tried.

S - Sweet candy citrus/tropical hop explosion. Resinous piney hops work their way into the nose as well.

T - Wow, it's definitely hoppy, but I get an intense burst of sweet caramel malts moreso than I would've expected. The hops are citrusy and almost taste like candy.. Not much pine. This one tastes really good... Not sure how fresh the bottle is though.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Bitterness lingers in the mouth until the next drink. Not great, not bad.

D - Pretty impressive for an IPA, especially at 7%. Couldn't drink this all night like Columbus, then again there's nothing like Columbus IPA. This came from my first six pack of Racer 5. Definitely one i'll purchase again.

Photo of foogerd
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear golden color with a one inch khaki colored head
S- nice upfront grapefruit and fresh piney hops
T- really delicious fresh juicy hops coming through nice solid malt backbone
M- fills out the mouth pretty nicely carbonation tingling the tongue just right
D- very drinkable
A well rounded IPA done to perfection no groundbreaking work here, but no room for disappointment.

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

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a very thin layer of loose white film. the beer is slightly hazy, bright gold in color.

S - strong and assertive with tropical fruits...candied grapefruit and pineapple. nice kiss of pine and floral hops round out into subtle sweetness.

T - starts off with awakening bitter hops, flash of pine and grass before a more delicate pineapple, sugared grapefruit, and orange rinds. big and juicy. slightly noticeable alcohol at the end on top of crackery malts.

M - somewhat thickish and syrupy body, touched by lightly pirckly carbonation, almost lacking.

D - dont think i've ever realized what a great beer this is. west coast hoppy goodness all the way. this will be making more appearances in my fridge very soon.

Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent example of West Coast IPA!

The intense hop aroma is piney, floral and citrusy! It just lingers in your nose.

The grapefruit, pine, hop taste is well blended with the malt.
it really holds the flavor and as the beer gets warmer these become more pronounced. It is a beer that often gets served TOO cold.

But it's ok, just give it a little time to warm up and watch as the flavors emerge.

Photo of gtn80
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired through a trade with StarRaptor.

Poured into a Guinness tulip glass.

Visually, nice fluffly white head. Slightly cloudy, pale yellow color.

Smell has a slight malt, but mostly grassy hops.

Taste is lots of resinous hops, bit of malt, nice balanced bitterness. No citrus from the hops.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, almost viscous.

Drinkability is good, but one 22 is enough with this amount of hops, malt, and alcohol.

Photo of robwestcott
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a bomber - clean and clear, sunshine orange to a dogfish head signature glass with a rather thin white-ish head - minimal retention.

distinctive and straight up citrus hops aroma.

taste of citrus hops, very sweet and only a hint of bitter. I have a feeling this isn't a fresh bottle and the hops have faded - but that suits me just fine.

medium carbonation, fairly smooth and creamy, hint of bitter near the back of the tongue.

reasonably drinkable at 7% - I'll finish up the bomber no problem.

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
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
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
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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