1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

6,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,687
Reviews: 2,206
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 221
Gots: 646 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,687 | Reviews: 2,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nukem5
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:First pour differs from 2nd pour, 1st is clear and bubbly fine lacing and nice head; 2nd is mostly the same but has yeasty bits floating around.

S: Very hoppy and citrus aroma resonates throughout nice floral

T: Very hopped up and smooth. Every sip is a mouthful of grapefruit and lemon ... mmm

M: Creamy and rich nice body, medium.

D: Like this one could drink a few on tap and would be liking it very much.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden to amber in color, with a white head that settles to a thick film on the surface. Lacing and carbonation are both quite good.

S: Mainly piney, citrusy, and floral hop aromas along with biscuity malt and a bit of honey.

T: Very balanced, as this brew displays notes of grass, cedar, pineapple, and citrus, along with bready, honey-like malt notes also with a bit of caramel. Finish is crisp and dry.

M: A bit light for what I was expecting, but still flavorful with a very long finish.

D: This is a damn fine example of an American IPA. Very balanced, yet on the hoppy side, it goes down easy. It's a shame that this beer is not available here. Thanks Tyler!

Photo of Seanibus
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a luscious beer.

Pours clear orange with a fluffy but short-lived head (though I have seen it on draft where it is quite cloudy. I have yet to have anyone explain this to me, but it seems far too extreme for chill haze. But maybe).

The aroma is quite hoppy, fresh and crisp, with pine and grapefruit. The flavor is clean and hoppy, strong pine, strong grapefruit, maybe some simcoe there? The malt is just a backbone for the gorgeous West Coast hop bombing, but the overall effect is not out of balance for the type.

The mouthfeel is clingy, highlighting the deep hop bitterness that lingers. There may be a hint of alcohol heat in there too, but nothing unbalanced.

Dangerously drinkable.

Photo of climax
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 poured an amber/yellow with a good rocky off-white head. It had good clarity for the most part, considering the bottle fermenting yeast floating around in there.

The nose had excellent hop complexity. Oily grapefruit and orange, pine, and some soapiness. The malt balances pretty well but doesn't take the emphasis from the hops. It wasn't overly strong though, but fresh and clean.

The flavor had that extra oomph to it, lacking from the smell. Very resiny and soapy, the hops had everything; floral, spicy, piny, and citrus. The complexity of the hop profile was excellent, covered every base I could think of. The malt backbone kept out of the spotlight but the presence was none to shabby to say the least. It was toasty and semi-sweet, with even some chocolate and coffee tones chiming in as it warmed up. The alcohol was well masked.

The feel was very lively. It had a good chewy thick feel to it, the bubbly carbonation kept it crisp and interesting. The dry finish lingered long and kept me wanting another sip to quench and ponder. It is definitely a no dillly-dallying IPA, awesome flavor.

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

Thanks to mentor for sending me this one as an extra!

A- pours a hazy gold, with about an inch of head from a bomber. The white head dissipates quickly leaving behind larger bubbles along the outer rim of the beer, along with lots of lacing.

S- I get lots of hops with a subtle malty and possibly a spicy zest in the background.

T- Lots of hops upfront, but the initial flavor is tamed by the malts that finish it. Lots of earth mixed in with the malts. Goes down very easy.

M- substantial mouthfeel, but very well balanced without leaning too much to any spectrum.

D- Dangerous. Good easily sit down and have a few of these.

Photo of mtyrrell
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark gold color with a small head that recedes fairly quickly leaving a patch of foam and some lacing.

S- Fruity and floral. Strong grapefruit smell with some floral components in the background

T- Mostly grapefruit with some floral background like the nose. malty sweet throughout, but especially in the finish

M- medium body, good carbonation. bitter, dry, medium long finish

D- This is a pretty good IPA. Nothing crazy going on here but definitley not boring either.

Photo of scottyshades
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the bottle: "Keep cold, respect life, don't D+D, real ale is alive, yeast is good"

A: Pours a slightly off-looking transparent straw/copper color. The head is small and fluffy and retains only for a few seconds. Slightly cloudy as well.

S: Starts off with a fragrant sweet note; honey, residual sugars, and a slight whiff of brown sugar. The hops are definitely intense, but the malt background balances very nicely. Smells more like a DIPA than a classic rendition of an AIPA. Nice notes of citrus (lemon peel)

T: Very nice flavor profile. All of that sweetness seems to disappear into a hop heaven. Earthy, floral, fragrant, and bittering aspects of the hops come out. The malt backbone is a slight bit biscuity, and gives a firm balance, but hops are definitely dominant. Not as bitter as some of the other Bear Republic brews (Hop Rod in particular), but definitely intense in its own right. The alcohol (which I just noticed now) is actually very nicely hidden. You get the warmth as it goes down, but not noticeable as you drink.

MF/D: Medium/heavy in body for the style, lingering honey/piney hop finish. Very balanced and highly drinkable.

Really good with a spicy dish. I tried this with homemade Panang Curry and it was perfect!

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

Medium amber, thick one inch of off white head. Great retention and beautiful cylindrical lacing.

Prominent floral nose, tropical fruits, subtle citrus fruits...very sweet hop aroma.

Light herbal hop taste, followed by hints of orange and grapefruits. This is a very hop centric brew, that grabs you from the get go and doesn't let go. Biscuit malt sweetness and grain help keep some semblance of balance. Somewhat dry finish with a bitterness that dawdles, albeit smoothly.

Light to medium carbonated with a thin body. Light on the tongue and good for the style.

No harshness or woodiness, coupled with intense hop flavor and good mouthfeel makes this brew a good sipper.

Photo of bosox941827
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into imperial pint glass; served cold and warmed as I tasted it...Recommended by clerk at the great Sam's Quik Mart in Durham, NC.

A - It's "alive", so has a cloudy look to its (light) orange color. Soapy head dissipates fairly quickly. Lighter (looking) than most IPAs.
S - NICE nose to this; soapy, grapefruit-y hops; promising...
T - Pervasive hoppiness, balanced with a nice, continuous backbone of malty sweetness. Just before you get of alcohol at the end, there's a hint of orange/grapefruit pith, that is really distinct. Hangs around for a bit too...
M - Smooth, as a result of low carbonation and un-filtered-ness
D - Could easily down a few of these and enjoy the helll out of them.

Overall a very solid IPA and wil be looking for more from this brewery.

Photo of fastsrt
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle in a tulip
A: golden orange with a soap like one finger head
S: Piney, earthy, citrus hop aroma.
T: balanced this tastes wonderful malt up front carbonation carries on to a dry hoppy finish. ipa's that taste like liquid hops with no malt backbone are a big turn off for me.
M: lighter body, refreshing, finishing dry. the sweetness of the malts are just enough to off set the hops yielding a perfect finish, driving me to go for another swig. this is a wonderfully crafted ipa.
D: ipa's are my least drinkable style, but I could put these down, due the fact this beer has balance and tastes refreshing.

Photo of lumikuuro
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle.

Appearance: Cloudy orange, with no hint of head forming at all during the first half of the pour, so I poured the rest very aggressively. Formed a small head that rapidly receded to large bubbles around the edges but left good lacing.

Aroma: Very citrusy hop, nothing else. Standard but decent.

Taste: Lots of grapefruit, lots of orange. This gives it lots of flavour, and the orange mellows and smooths the beer. Impressed with this aspect. Bitter hop finish doesn't stay strong as long as you would expect for the style, however. 7% abv is decently camouflaged. Moderately crisp, slight dryness.

Mouthfeel: Well. There is sensible carbonation in this beer, so what was the problem with the head? Also, this beer is refermented in the bottle, so some natural sediment is to be expected... but I unexpectedly got a chunk the size of a raisin. That's a bit much. Otherwise functional.

Drinkability: Maybe I was unlucky with the size of sediment; if that's how this beer is, along with the poor head and retention, they need to print on the label that the beer should be gently agitated first. As it is, I really liked the fruitiness, but found the length of hop finish too short and the appearance and mouthfeel a bit lacking.

Worth a try for the lovely orange and grapefruit flavour, but shake the bottle first.

Photo of Gribbs23
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pour into your run o' the mill pint glass.

Initial sniff after pour was fantastic- got that really piney hop hit. Golden color with minimal head. Admittedly surprised at all the hype given to this IPA because I honestly didn't get it in the taste. Malty with some floral and pine hop aftertaste- expected more. Overall a decent enough IPA, but somewhat middle of the pack for me.

Photo of minnunderground
2.9/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


clear amber color very light tan soapy head with some retention clinging, smells like pine and grass clippings, really a odd smell not like other ipas I have had. Seriously the smell reminds me of something more earthy. taste is a huge dissapointment. Malty with some pine hops at the end to back it up but very weak. Easy to drink since the flavor is weak. Not going to lie, my least favorite IPA I have had.

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

Aroma: Floral, citrus hops dominate. Fresh. Sweet malt undertones play with the citrusy, resiny hops.

Appearance: Golden honey colored. A bit hazy from suspended yeast from bottle conditioning. Finger and a half white head. Tight bubbles.

Flavor: Malt forward with floral hop flavor. Somewhat dry finish with loads of hop flavor lingering.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Creamy malt with slight astringency (not unpleasant).

Overall: Nice example of an American Pale/IPA - not a punch-in-the-gut, over the top IPA. Very drinkable.

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

Poured from a 12oz with no freshness date

A: Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a small white head that has dissipated into a thin layer.

S: Very strong citrus hop aroma with grapefruit dominating. Also a healthy scent of bready malts.

T: Starts out with a good dose of orange and grapefruit bitterness. Quickly followed up by sweet, biscuity malt.

M: Medium bodied IPA, not too heavy, but very flavorful and refreshing.

D: Great flavor and not too heavy or overpowering in any specific area. Very nice beer and very drinkable.

Photo of Kaiser81
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. No bottle date.

A - Pours a golden-orangish color with a finger+ worth of creamy head. Lots of legs on the lacing, and sticks nicely to the glass

S - Lemony zest and lots of citrusy hops. Some sweet, maybe slightly tropical, fruits are mixed in at the end as well. Very refreshing.

T - Similar to the nose. Floral and citrusy tastes come up front balanced nicely on the back with just a touch of bitterness lingering as an aftertaste.

M - Medium creamy body with plenty of carbonation. About as good as you can get for an IPA

D - Goes down easy, could drink a lot more.

Photo of unclejimbay
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 India Pale Ale
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Style: American IPA
ABV: 7.00 %

Had this with a buddy in Puerto Rico during a visit in 1/2010. There is a budding craft distribution market starting up in PR, and it was nice to see this on the island.

This brew surprised me as a very approachable IPA for non hopheads. It has a very solid malty backbone with noticeable hops for support in IPA fashion. It reminded me a full body amber with the hop schedule dialed up to IPA status. Malty sweet without being cloying. I enjoyed this brew much more than I expected.

Photo of glaze0101
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a HUGE hop fan, just so happens I was raised in the hop beer capital of the world, San Diego. This is what I would call a San Diego style beer. smooth, hoppy and little aftertaste. The BR website says that this IPA is "The best in the USA" I'm not sure if that is the same "best" as in Pabst winning a "blue ribbon"? I sure hope not.

Overall this was a fine beer to have with wings. Not a session beer, a bit to strong for that. Not mind-blowing, as the website might imply, but a good solid hoppy IPA. I'd have this one again for sure.

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

Got this in a trade with Pecorasc. Thanks for everything once again Sam! Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice hazy almost burnt orange color. Good size 1 1/2 finger cloudy white head that stayed around for a short bit. Nice streaking lacing on the sides of the glass. Wonderful looking beer.

S- This IPA leans more toward bright citrus (grapefuit and orange) hop tones right off the bat. I really enjoyed the front end of this one. More earthy piney hops come crashing in the nose after the first citrus hops. Some light bready sweet malt backbones comes and goes during a sniff. This is quickly overtaken by hops almost right away though.

T- This is a nice tasting IPA. Something I haven't had in a while...just a nice tasting IPA. Citrus hops make the first apperance fast and strong...this is followed by a quick flash of piney resiny hops. The malt backbone comes through a little more in the middle to ending of this beer. It makes with a nice bready balance. The ending has some bitter hops to it...and they last!

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Nice hop resin left on the palate and on the teeth. Citrus and piney hops left on the palate and deep into the aftertaste. Crisp in most aspects during drinking. Very clean tasting.

D- This was was a very drinkable IPA. I was actually quite shocked as to how much I enjoyed this beer. The drinkability on this is good but not over the top. After about 3 of these I would like to move onto something else.

Photo of wknight167
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours a cloudy (with suspended particles) amber orange with a 1 finger white head with decent staying power and some really nice lacing.

Nose- Sweet orange, grapefruit and pineapple all jump out individually and are accompanied by a floral presence.

Palate- The large amount of hops is not quite enough to hide the generous malt bill as it seems a good amount of emphasis was on hop flavor which is by no means a bad thing. Spicy citrus with toasted notes. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation level

Drinkability- I'm going to have another right now.

Photo of kylejohnson03
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz botle into an imperial pint glass. A hazy burnt orange pour, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smells are hoppy, pine, citrus, just a touch of orange peel.

Incredible hop flavor, with grapefruit and malts following close behind. The finish is very dry, not a touch of alcohol to be found. Without looking at the bottle, I would think this is a weaker IPA, maybe 5.0 ABV. Medium carbonation. Such a creamy texture, goes down smooth and rich.

All around, a great beer! Love the taste, texture, and the value. A reasonably priced bomber that I would put up against some higher priced IPAs that I have had.

Photo of Walken
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic: Racer 5, India Pale Ale (Tasted 01/27/10)
22 oz. Bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass.

Received as an extra in a trade with Alen, thanks for the fresh goodness man!

Appearance: Hazy golden liquid, like freaking sunshine, I tell you. Loads of bubbles rushing up from the bottom of the glass, feeding the bubbly, fluffy head. Blotches of bubbles chill out on the edges of the glass and the head fades down, but there's still a giant iceberg of foam that stays intact.
Odor: Well rounded citrus aroma, pineapple richness on top of tangy grapefruit with a blanket of resiny, fresh aromas in the background.
Consistency: Smooth and slick, definitely the hop oils are responsible for making this light bodied beer feel like it is on the verge of medium. Carbonation is not as aggressive as the bubbles would lead one to belive, but it's certainly lively and low enough to give a juicy feel.
Taste: Hops make short work of showing their strength, a rush of grapefruity bitterness and flavor with the pungent herbal background noise I expect from the dankest of the dank, Columbus. Some sweet fruitiness from the Cascades in the background. Malt peeks in here and there, white bread, slightly crackery. Finish is long and hoppy, with plenty of bitter resin on the tongue.

Bear Republics strength as a brewery, seems to be getting the most out of their hops. The distinctive qualities of three relatively similar hop varieties all come out in this beer. Love.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden orange with a white head. The aroma is floral hops with some citrus and some malty sweetness. The flavor is grassy, piney hops. There is some hop bitterness, but it is secondary to the hop flavor. A nice, fruity well-balanced American IPA. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Photo of mgbickel
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a small, single finger, white head. Very little retention time and lacing. The body is a hazy gold color with yellow and amber hues. Lots of floaters present!

Piney hops up front of the nose with a sweet malted backbone. Citrus also present...grapefruit specifically. Refreshing.

The taste is similar to the nose. Sweet malts fade into bitter hops for a balanced palate.

Light mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable, well balanced beer...greatly refreshing!

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

A: nice clean, golden refreshing appearance to it. huge sticky head and nice lacing.

S: Some very noticeable piney and resinous smell to this. Some citrus and a little bit of other sweet fruit.... strawberry maybe?

T: Again, pine, citrus, and a nice hop slam packed full of bitterness. Sweet and bitter at the same time on the aftertaste. Not much of a malt presence on the front or back end of this beer. Finishes dry and stays on the palate for a while.

M: Smoothe and sticky, a nice soft body on the tongue.

D: Pretty drinkable. The dry finish and large amount of hop presence doesnt' balance as well as if it probably had more of a malt backbone. Still a very good ipa worthy of the high marks it has recieved.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,687 ratings.