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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.

6,900 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,900
Reviews: 2,236
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 256
Gots: 809 | FT: 11
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: 6,900 | Reviews: 2,236
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.

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

Appearance: Golden with a nice cap of white head.

Smell: By the book IPA bouquet of grapefruit citrus, pine and floral hops.

Taste: Malty backbone carrying and balancing a classy IPA profile of grapefruit, pine and floral hops. Finish is dry and nicely refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a bit tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: Just the right ABV, hoppy enough to please, dry and refreshing. Very very good in the drinkability department. I only wish we could get it locally.

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

Pours a clear yellow gold, with a moderate head that dissipates to a fine layer leaving some lacing.

Interesting and intense aromas of piney/floral hops and grapefruit.

Taste is of piney/floral hops, nicely fresh and intense. Long hoppy finish.

Body is a tad thicker than typical IPAs, with a good carbonation level to give it a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

This was a nice beer to have from a tap on a hot afternoon, with an alcohol level that is sessionable. It ranks up there with the better tasting IPAs.

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.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,900 ratings.