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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.

6,689 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,689
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: 6,689 | Reviews: 2,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pittpenguin
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear amber orange in color. Thin off white head that retains throughout, nice lacing. Very nice.

S: Lots of citrus, but a little too much pine for me. I would prefer the citrus to be bursting out, but alas... Malts are represented with some honey-breadiness.

T: Decent malt back with some caramel toffee smoothness. Hops are the dominate breed in this brew. Your likeable citrus, and less so piney tones. Alcohol not complicating the fine finish. Finish is long and bitter.

MF: medium bodied good carbonation, goes down well for this hophead.

D: Good and smooth.

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

Draft pint on tap at the Yard House in Glendale.
Slightly hazy, orange amber colored off white white head that left thin lace sheets, and lasted the entire glass. Citrus hops present as soon as you get close to the glass. The citrus fruity hops are also present in the taste, but also more earthiness come out, especially in the aftertaste. There is enough malt to keep the spicy bitterness in check. The finish has lots of resinous hops. Body and mouthfeel is full, a bit prickly yet smooth. Could almost be a Double IPA (not sure of the exact specifications), higher (7%) alcohol is not noticable at all. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. Paired well with a hot and spicy dish.

Also have tried the bottled version.

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

Had 12/4 on tap at Baggy's in Oakland.

A: This beer pours a murky amber color with a one finger of offwhite head. Head recedes at a modest rate and leaves nice thick sticky sheets of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of major citrus and piney hops.

T: Taste starts with a huge dose of citrus hops. The grapefruit really comes through on this beer. Middle is filled with a nice malt backbone that is present throughout the beer but really comes through in the middle. Finish is of grassy and piney hops.

M: Lighter side of medium body, moderate carbonation, oily resin feel with a dry finish.

D: I'm glad that I took notes on this one, I thought that I had tried Racer 5 before, and hadn't. Nicely balanced, good bite, goes down easily and we certainly made a night from this beer!

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a clear copper. The head is 2 fingers deep, rock solid and sticky as hell. Really strong aroma for an IPA. The piney hops really hit hard. The flavor is hop forward, copious amounts of pine and citrus. It has enough malt for some balance. The beer has a sticky mouthfeel, is medium bodied and generally a well done brew.

Photo of Augustiner719
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Guiness Pint

Appearance: 1 finger head, nice honey comb head shape with bubbles of foam in peaks. Amber orange color that is slightly hazy.

Smell: Smells fantastic. Almost like Nugget Nectar with the fresh hops aroma comming through. Pine, lemon grass, rosemary, grapefruit.

Taste: tastes very crisp and fresh. Great grapefruit and citrus components. Nice leathery, woody midpalate. All in all a great IPA. Bordering on the level of hops of many DIPAs out there.

Mouthfeel: Nice viscous, sticky texture that coats the palate well.

Drinkability: Solid IPA. Over the top in terms of hops for most IPAs out there and it borders on the flavor and intensity of DIPAs but its delicious so that makes this very drinkable and sessionable.

Photo of californiakulak
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at a pizza joint in SF.

A. Lighter than I would have expected for the style. Lots of bubbles and good head.

S. Very hoppy. Pine and floral notes. Fresh smell.

T. Not as bitter as the smell would have you believe. Not much else is going on either. A little bit of a let down. It also doesn't hide the alcohol as well as some other similar IPAs.

M. Light and not too bitter. Fairly dry aftertaste. Nice oily feel as well.

D. Smooth beer that is quite drinkable. Didn't quite live up to my expectations but good non the less.

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

Served into a Bruery tulip glass at about 40 degrees.

Shows a golden color in the glass with a thick white front, excellent head retention, and an above average lacing. There is sediment in the glass...wish I knew that the 12 oz bottle was bottle conditioned. Yep...there's hops in there. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, orange, lemon-lime, subtle mango, some hop spiciness, fresh hop flowers, carmel maltiness, & a touch of biscuit. If you're looking for a great example of a west coast IPA...look no further. In terms of flavor, everything that you get on the nose, you get on the palate. The bitterness of the beer is unavoidable, but smooth and tingly from beginning to end. Well balanced from the malt character to the overwhelming hop presence. Long finish. Overall a great IPA! if you haven't had the racer 5 before....it's about time you did!

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

poured from 22 oz bottle into standard pint glass

A- Pours a clear golden orange with a little bit of an amber tint. A big frothy head stays quite well and leaves a nice bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A nice bit of pine with some citrus fruit in there. A nice malty backbone helps balance off the nose.

T- A bit of grapefruit, some pine and a little bit of sweetness from the malt. Hops are somewhat subdued in this one. I was expecting more of a west coast hop bomb. Not bad nonetheless.

M- Medium bodied brew that has a bit of a smoothness to it. There is hardly any bite on the tongue meaning not too much bitterness.

D- This is a pretty easy drinking IPA. It is not bad but there is nothing that really distinguishes it from other IPA's.

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

From Notes

22oz, Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. $5

A: Gold in color verging on amber, cream colored head about 1/4" thick, sticky clumps of lacing. Somewhat cloudy, fair head retention, nice cap. 4

S: Big citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, fairly herbal, somewhat peppery as well. Malty undertones of caramel, slightly bready. Underlying passion fruit smell. 4.5

T: Taste follows nose nicely, grapefruit, passion fruit, citrus peel bitterness, think biting into a grapefruit through the rind, excellent lingering bitterness. Malt is really pushed to the side in this beer, slightly biscuity and a hint of caramel. Feeds the hop craving for tonight, but completely lacks balance. 4

M: Medium to light bodied, mild carbonation, very dry, slight alcohol warmth. Not too bad. 4

D: Easy enough to drink, nice flavors and a strong hop profile with a light bitterness is nice. Needs a little more sweetness to kick it up to the next level. Definitely will get again though. Recommended if looking for a hop fix.

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

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A-Slightly hazy, golden-orange, 2-finger white head with big bubbles on top, looks quite frothy.

S- Citrus, fruity and/or floral hops, bready flavor, orange rinds

T- Very floral, tastes of whole hop flowers with a bitter citrusy bite at the end. Very clean tasting. Slight biscuity flavor balances out the hops in the finish, but I wouldn't call this a "balanced" IPA by any means (to me this is a GOOD thing)

M- Very sticky with nice carbonation, slick hop oils coat my entire mouth and my lips are left sticky

D- All around, a phenomenal American IPA. I could drink these all night. I am aware that the boundaries are quite loose and pliable, but for an American IPA (not a double, imperial, "triple", etc.) this is one of the best I have had.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A really solid IPA, one of the first I can recall that started taking on the orange hue and do something that tasted different than the traditional and classic Cascade/Centennial/Chinook hopping.

Hop existence doesn't come right out initially, then you take that first sip, and bam, crisp, tangerine citrus zest, this is one of the classic beers that has a lot of similar influenced IPAs coming out in recent years.

I get some wildly inconsistent ones of these, probably because of the lack of bottle dating and large distribution footprint. When its on, its on. When its not, it lacks the hop vibrancy and takes on that vague woody bitterness.

Photo of berley31
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a nice, large, frothy white head that hung around for a while before dissipating to 1/2-finger or so. Nice lacing on the glass. Body is mostly clear with a little haze and some particles floating around, and a orange color.

S: Pleasant aroma of heavy hops, some pine, and a lot of orange citrus.

T: Awesome flavor here. The citrus (orange) bursts through at the beginning, with some pine in there as well, and a very hoppy, bitter finish. Still manages to be smooth, however.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy, with average carbonation.

D: This is an excellent IPA... very flavorful and hoppy, but still quite easy to drink.

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

A: Nice cloudy orange color with a little white head that disappears faster than Steinbrenner writes checks.

S: Fresh hops. Mainly citrus fruits, (not much pine or malt) with a little spicyness. Nice floral scents.

T: First and foremost, sweet juicy grapefruit. Along with citrus hop flavors, the breadiness and pale malt are apparent just before the enjoyable finishing punch of bitterness.

M: Very smooth. Could stand to have a little more carbonation, but that's really minor.

Very good IPA, up there with the best of them. Especially nice combination of citrus and bitterness. I would drink this regularly if I was fortunate enough to have access.

Photo of SausageTurkish
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I've had cask, on tap and from the bottle; neither tap nor bottle has a lot of head nor retains it for a particularly long time. That being said, what remains is off-white and laces quite well. Very bright copper color with some hop / yeast haze.

S: Very strong West coast hops but a clean malt base does come through slightly. Citrus (grapefruit) dominates but there is a faint amount of pine.

T: In my opinion, this is one of, if not the best American IPAs out there right now. The balance of the citrusy hops and clean malts produces an extremely enjoyable IPA experience. There are no off-putting aftertastes (e.g. soap / metallic) that I've gotten from some other strong AIPAs

M: Remarkably smooth for the style and the ABV. Well-attenuated fermentation; no stickiness lingers. Crisp and clean.

D: High ABV - you might not want to session with it if you aren't used to 7+ ABV but if you can hang with it, you will not regret it.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into pint glass.
A- Small white head, no real retention. Bright orange, clear body with some small particles of yeast in suspension.

S- Citrusy and hoppy. Lemon-lime and grapefruit along with some pine and a touch of pepper.

T- Pretty nice taste. Citrus rind, grapefruit. Its got a pretty big hoppy bite.

M- Smooth, low carbonation and crisp. Slightly resinous from the hop oils.

D- really drinkable IPA, larger than average ABV, but that doesnt stand out too much.

Photo of crossovert
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a 6 pack, not sure of the freshness on this one.

Pours into my American pint glass with a golden yellow, pliny-like, west coast all the way. THe head is white, tight, and foamy and rises above the brim ever so slightly. It takes a while to recede leaving behind some decent lacing.

Smells a bit Sierra Neavada like, with heavy lemon citrus and some herbally, spicy hops along with some pine and a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste is hoppy and sharply bitter, with more of a grapefruit citrus tinge along with grassy, herbal, piney hops. The malts are more prevalent in this one compared to other west coast IPAs I have had.

Overall it is a decent IPA, I was expecting more, but it is not bad.

Photo of jimiv73
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

well this beer falls in the category of least favorites of IPAs!!! i got this on tap @ barneys beanery in santa monica a great place for food too! lots of draft beers too! anyway it poured off an orangey gold yellow color! th esmell was amazing i loved it but then i tasted it and was not impressed! it smell very citrusy and grassy sorta!! i did not enjoy the mouthfeel too much it was a bit nippy and finished bitter!! i givve it a low drinkability because i was barely able to get this one down!! ugh!!

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

Consumed many times from bottle and on tap, but finally getting around to taking notes--12 oz. bottle.

A - Fairly hazy golden orange with some suspended sediment in the body. Slow moving tiny bubbles with 1/2" sticky head and webby lacing.

S - Light, fresh, and tangy with fruity citrus and sharp floral hops.

T - Bitting citrus and hoppy spiciness. Complex pineapple qualities including a nice tropical flavor with some sweetness and acidity. Sharp piney bitterness lingers through finish. Mellow malts and breadiness provide a good foundation.

M - Medium body and smooth with prickly spice from hops and carbonation.

D - In your face flavors, but so fun to drink. Solid.

Photo of MrDanno96
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an orange-yellow color with a big fluffy head that demonstrates pretty good retention. Lots of foamy, sticky lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.

S: Hops, pine, gradefruit, pineapple, citrus. Nice.

T: Sweet and malty up front. Tastes are similar to the nose. Bitter hops finish. Maybe just a little too bitter once the beer warms a bit. Instructions on the bottle say to serve this at 45-50 degrees. I don't think I would recomend drinking it quite that warm.

M: Fairly light body and pretty smooth. Appropriate amount of carbonation. Hops leave the tongue tingling like most other IPAs.

D: Not my favorite IPA, but it's very good. Very drinkable and lots of good flavor. Hops just a little too overpowering in the finish, but that's only a minor complaint.

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

App: clean, clear, orange/golden body with fluffed out head what dissipates slowly and leaves lots of lacing

Smell: fruity/piney/citrusy hoppiness; only the slightest maltiness in the undertone

T/MF: funny how this tasting unfolded. on the front end the hoppi/bitterness is disguised with some maltiness. Impacted afterwards by the hops and piney/citrusy goodness. Mouthfeel is Med. bodied with medium carbonation.

Drink: Pretty good brew here, could drink a few i am sure. This is a good IPA I have wanted to try, but Bear Republic grabbed me by the juevos with Mach X.

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

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a DFH specialty glass.

Racer 5 pours an amazing muted orange color, pretty much the exact color of apple juice. The bottle boasts that 'yeast is good', and yet although there is a minor amount of sediment floating around, it's actually crystal clear. There is a wonderful stream of lively carbonation running up the middle of the glass, stemming from the etching on the bottom. This beer boasted a beautiful, sticky white head about an inch high that left some pretty amazing lacing all around the glass. Just a sexy looking beer.

This beer gushes citrus scent into your nose. Those citrusy hops just go wild in the aroma. Can't wait to taste this.

Like the nose, a lot of citrus hops up front and in the finish. There is also a little earthiness in the flavor, pretty muted underneath all the citrus. Pale malt is also present, it squeezes itself into the middle of the medley, balancing things, then lets the hops take back over.

Smooth, light mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation to tickle the tongue. Very nice mouthfeel for an IPA.

Overall this is a very drinkable IPA, even at 7%. It's also a real looker, and the flavor definitely doesn't disappoint. I'll buy it again, for sure.

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

I've had this beer before, and its a great IPA, but never reviewed it. I felt like a nice big IPA which I haven't had in a while, so here it is.

A: Pouring into my oversized DFH snifter leaves a nice 1 finger head spread out with lots of big bubbles mid head, making it look like a battleground. It's pretty hazy with a golden pale beautiful IPA color.

N: Mmm, beautiful hop aromas billow out through the tapered top. Its full of citrus, juicy fruit hop aromas, and some pine. A very slight touch of malt and alcohol bite. Great nose, but I like a little more pine and grapefruit on a great IPA, but this is its own beast.

T: Surprisingly it starts with a fresh malt wort taste. That doesn't last long as a slew of hops and bitterness hit. More fresh citrus and juicy fruits, and some earthy grassy hop flavors. Even some piney hops build up and start to gain some ground. A slight tangy hop bitterness also strikes. A very slight malt sweetness and alcohol presence lets itself be known, but its dwarfed compared to the hop presence. A little bit of hop oils come out as well.

M: It has some body and slight oily feel, decent carbonation, and touch of spicy hop presence.

F: Finshes pretty bitter and semi dry. Its not super overpowering on the bitterness, but its presence is very obvious. Some floral hop flavors linger for a bit, and the bitterness slowly rises as the taste fades. A little more bitter earthiness finishes off the finish.

Final thoughts: A nice semi heavy IPA. It's not an imperial or double or anything like that, just a nice hoppy IPA. A slight malt and alcohol presence, and seems like a few different blended hops, but not much on the grapefruit end, so this is a completely different beast than most. But overall a good consistent IPA.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-coudy amber color with lots of off white head the lingers

S-great floral hops smell with citrus and grapefruit rind

T-lots of hops, bitter hops are prevalant with nice citrus and pine taste with some grapefruit in there as well

M-very smooth and lighter in body, fair amount of carbonation shows itself

D-so drinkable, one of my favorite straight IPA's and a go to. The carbonation and bitterness will tend to make it fizzle out after a couple; but one is never enough!

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

Appearance: Had on tap in pint, and it poured a translucent honey hue with just a lickin' of foam. The lacing however coats the glass like blankets.

Smell: The nose is amazing its got a one two punch of hops with just a waft of alcohol.

Taste: This one is a wonderful bouquet of liquid hops; the assault of the hops is there from the get go: at times earthy, slightly grassy, touch of apricot?, greatly citrusy. Overall: hop goodness.

Mouthfeel: Quite thin for such a massive palate attack but is is tingly and nicely carbonated non the less.

Drinkability: Quite delicious, and while it walks the line of IPA and DIPA it does what it sets out to and is easily sessionable.

Overall: Don't like hops? stay away from IPA's, Love hops? You'll ask for another in no time flat. I don't think I would change anything about it except maybe make it exist more in my fridge.

Photo of jamiesessions
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear amber pour contrasts with a nice tan head that almost looks like it could be used in an advertisement for beer. Citrus hops make me very excited to drink. Tastes as great as it smells. Hops are present, and not overpowering, but most certainly present enough to let you know that you are drinking an IPA, and a damn good one at that. I want to keep drinking this all day, and very well could. It's a perfect combo of taste and smooth feeling. This is one of the best beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting and i cannot wait to do it again

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,689 ratings.