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.

6,050 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,050
Reviews: 2,173
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 174
Gots: 407 | FT: 7
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,050 | Reviews: 2,173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkinnyElvis


4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Stateline. Amber in color. Pours with some foam that settles quickly. Big hoppy smell & taste which is mostly citrus. A classic West Coast IPA. Mouthfeel is smooth and this is a very drinkable IPA. Cheers to Bear Republic for making an affordable and available excellent IPA. It is even better on tap than the bottle to boot.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 02:11:15 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of Keitherduder


4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer filled the room with a very nice hop aroma. Citricy hops. That, along with the beautiful head and slight cloudyness of the beer made me real excited about the first sip. The taste is very complex. Very good. The bitterness lingers nicely. One thing I look for when tasting an IPA is the ballance between the Bitterness and Sweetness. The bitterness of this IPA does overpower the malt. The sweetness of the malt is subtle. But, since I'm a hop-head! This is just fine for me!

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2007 21:08:08 | More by Keitherduder
Photo of franksnbeans


4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a sizeable head that looks great. Sticks and laces like the best of em. Smells of strong hops, grapefruit rind, citrus, a little dried fruit. Tastes delicious. Lots of hops complimented by citrus fruit and a little malt. Finishes dry and a little hop bitterness, fantastic. Feels medium in the mouth and extremely drinkable. Strong characteristics for a single IPA with perfect drinkability. Sessionable, you bet your sweet butt. Ill be coming back to this one many times.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2007 04:09:15 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of goochpunch


4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out a faded, clear copper with a thinnish head and loads of raised, bumpy lacing. Aroma up front is a hop assault of grapefruit peels and fresh mowed grass. A caramel malty backbone is there, but the hops are running this. Flavor starts off sweetish with toffee and fruity esters, accompanied by a Bear Republic house flavor. Hops come in with loads of pine resin, grapefruit, and aspirin. Finishes really bitter with that lingering aspirin flavor. Mouthfeel is a tad light compared to other IPAs, but, on the other hand, it helps the drinkability. Smooth carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 02:53:50 | More by goochpunch
Photo of BeerTruth


4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a somewhat hazy burnt copper hue with a nice two finger fluffy white head that dies down to a thin layer. Stickiness is all over the place, just how I like 'em. Smell is a nice citrus burst, mostly orange and pineapple. Noticable caramel malt in the nose as well. Taste is a very crisp citrus hop with a hint of dirty pine hop as well. Midway there is a good biscuity malt balance. This one finishes somewhat dry and a bit creamy too. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Pretty solid west coast hop bomb of an IPA, glad this is easily available here in CNY.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 04:11:24 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of rajendra82


4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many thanks to BA TexIndy for this bomber of Racer 5 from our recent trade. The pour was clear pale, and the head atop was large and retained well, as is typically the case with IPAs. The smell was quite strongly hoppy for a single IPA. The alluring smell of grapefruit and apricot just begged me to take the first sip. As I did it, a spicy and generously bitter taste tingled my tongue as the ample carbonation amplified it. Following this was the malt, but it was not candy sweet like some other beers of this strength, but more caramelized, drippy, and soft. The aftertaste was salty and citric. The hop oils coated every part of the tongue after each swallow, leaving a long drawn out tingly aftertaste. Mouthfeel was medium full and quenching. One of the most pleasing beers to drink if you are ever drawn towards hops like I am. All I can say is the following:

I pledge allegiance to the checkered flag of Racer 5 and to the Bear Republic for which it stands, one brewer underdog, independent, with deliciousness and hops for all.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2007 02:14:47 | More by rajendra82
Photo of hero27


3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
7.0% abv

Hazy golden-orange..particles of yeast (some rather large) seem at home floating about. Bold floral hop aroma that demands attention. Orange & lemon flavors thrown in the mix as well. The grainy malt flavor actually has much more staying power than I remember this beer having. It's been over two years since I've had had a Racer 5, and I gotta say, I think I should be drinking this more often..just wish I could find the damn thing within 1000 miles. A beer deserving of it's many accolades.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2007 04:58:39 | More by hero27
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So freaking psyched to finally get ahold of this one....

A - Poured a deep orange amber, great two inch head formed on top and left a ton of lace down the glass once it finally decided to let go. Nice carbonation, great overall look, just like an IPA should.

S - Huge citrus hops, and a ton of pine. Some sticky sweet notes as well. Very fresh taste, lots of resiny aromas. Really great smell.

T - Perfect. Just a phenomonal fresh, sticky, resin hoppy bomb of delight. Such a sticky pine fresh taste, lots of fresh cut grass and orange peel. Some light sugar, but a bomb al the way.

M - Super smooth and very very sticky. A bit thick. Very nice carbonation, could put this down all night long with ease.

D - Damn near perfect. Not strong enough to be a sipper, a little heavy though to throw down a ton, but otherwise just about perfect. I would love to try this one on tap, seems like it would be perfect.

Overall this totally lived up to my expectations. It was just great. I would love to have this again and again. I am glad I have a couple more bottles. Just a damn fine IPA if I have ever had one.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2007 00:17:23 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of letsgopens


4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Map Room in Chicago, this IPA pours a golden orange with a thick white head that leaves some nice lace.

Primarily citrus and hops in the aroma. Fairly typical for many IPAs. Some malt and a hint of cherry.

The flavor is crisp and clean with lots of good hops and some orange and lemon. A hint of pine and spice as well. The hops linger well.

Moderately high carbonation makes for a crisp, clean finish. Refreshing and fruity. Well balanced and a nice summer IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2007 17:48:57 | More by letsgopens
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange amber color with a big loose head that resists fading. Good lacing generated. The smell is big too...orange citrus, pine and grapefruit. Very sweet smelling. Full bodied, the mouth feel is adequately carbonated, smooth and creamy. It complements the full fruity hop flavor and is balanced nicely by a solid malt character. This is a really good drinker. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 18:20:57 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of beerphan


4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber -> pint
no date

Pours a clear orange with a modest sized thick white head that deposits thicks chunks of lace. Carbonation appears medium. Slight haze appears toward the end of the bomber.

Nose: Caramel, pineapple, light toffee, orange rind

Medium-full bodied with good balance. Slightly sweet and thick malt presence up front. Intense bitterness the rest of the way with some good earthy fruity hop flavor. The bigness of the malts and hops give a damn pleasing balance.

Overall a really good ipa, bottle conditioned to boot. Bitterness dries out the mouth so keep a glass of water handy.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 23:13:08 | More by beerphan
Photo of CharlieMopps


4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A transparent, golden-orange hue topped by two fingers of thick, white head. The density of the head left a considerable amount of lace along the sides of the glass.

S: A piney and citrus-tinged hop profile in the nose. A bit of spiciness in the background as well.

T: From front to back, a very smooth IPA with great hop characteristics that never kill the palate. Easy transition throughout, into a finish that goes out like a lamb, leaving a light hoppiness on the back of the tongue. I admire the subtlety of this IPA, very enjoyable.

M: Crisp and slightly velvety texture, carbonation is at an acceptable level.

D: Expecting more of a hop bomb, I was surprised by the calm nature of this IPA, and would gladly have more. Bringing out the lighter side of this style makes for a great take on a style that can be overly bitter. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 22:05:30 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of TexIndy


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle with no dating info into a pint glass at proper temp. It was a hazy orange color with modest visible carb. It had a small head that settled to a constant, broken film. Good lacing. The aroma was strong floral hops, some pine. Really had a good smell to it. The taste was solid. Good bite of hops with a great malty backing. Very well balanced. No overly bitter finish. Great creamy mouthfeel with good carb. Overall, an outstanding beer that will see some more time in my fridge. Glad that Bear Republic is finally in Texas. Highly recommend. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 04:01:44 | More by TexIndy
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. Bought at City Beer in San Francisco.

Murky orange, almost opaque and verging on brown, 1/2 inch head that recede and leaves a large amout of lacing. Medium carbonation. Aroma of floral and citrus hops with vanilla and a bit of butterscotch. Slight cellarlike mustiness that's pretty unique. Pretty subtle and subdued though.

Taste is lovely but less hoppy than I imagined. Hops are licoricelike and a bit piney and floral, but there's a very healthy balance of malty sweetness that has some nice vanilla and cakelike sweetness. Lemon peel bitterness rounds it off. Medium body and medium carbonation. This is a drinkable and balanced IPA, and a really lovely sipper for a chilly SF evening.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 05:39:42 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of mshallah

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber pours med-light amber with a dense rocky head. Looks great. Smells like lemon iced tea and a piney fresh hop. Spicey hop flavor that's upfront, big and fresh. Malt flavor is big to match. A toasted marshmallow(golden not black) caramelization. Fruitiness sneaks through with canned peach and apricot. Is there rye in this beer because it has a very spicey flavor? Slight bourbon comes and goes late in the fading finish. Overall it's big, bIG, BIG. Aftertaste is excellent and keeps you going back for the next sip. Big and aggressive but still somehow balanced to make an exciting flavor and aroma profile. Easy to drink, huge IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 01:23:48 | More by mshallah
Photo of crayphish


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Racer 5 IPA poured a golden copper liquid with a thick fluffy head that lingered and left a fair amount of lacing. Smell is strong piney hops. Some citrus notes as well. Some sweet malts. Taste is all hops, and quite wonderful. The hops are piney with grapefruit tones. An awesome tasting IPA. The malt is almost nondescript due to the hop overload. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, with a bit of the piney resin leaving the hops on the palate. I found this to be one of the most drinkable IPA's that I have tried in a while. Outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2007 16:38:37 | More by crayphish
Photo of Lothore


3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden red hue with a huge head that seems like it would stay forever. The smell is sweet, hoppy, notes of pine and berries. The taste is very full, bitter bready, pine. Mouthfeel is very thick with quite a bit of carbonation. This beer seems drinkable enough for an IPA. The bitterness makes me just want to sip on it but all in all a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 04:58:01 | More by Lothore
Photo of BWMKappaSig


4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving - 22oz bottle in a nonic.

Appearance - Slightly cloudy amber with a foamy finger thick head that rings the glass as the beverage is consumed.

Smell - Citrus/troical fruity hops to the extreme with a slightly piney note.

Taste - Immediate pineapple taste with a delicious hoppy characteristic that is not overly brutal or bitter. The bitterness is remarkably downplayed and well balanced for a West Coast.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied, almost slightly creamy. No astringency at all, despite the 7.0 ABV.

Drinkability - West Coast IPA's have no right to be this drinkable.

Overall Bear Republic put together one of the best West Coast IPA's I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 14:58:47 | More by BWMKappaSig
Photo of NEhophead


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.

Clear, bright copper coloration. Densely thick, rocky white head with tremendous retention. Walls of ringed lacing with good strength.

Juicy hop oils with a fragrant intensity; clean pine with a bright hint of tropical fruit. Creamy, toasted malt undertones.

Creamy, semi-sweet toasted malts; smooth, malted wheat and grains. With a warming alcohol, brings a pine-spiced intensity. Slick, rounded hop oils take over and provide a deep, lasting bitterness. An aftertaste of tropical fruit, resin, and a touch of heat.

Medium bodied; slick and smooth due to the careful balance of oily hops and creamy malts.

A beefed up IPA with wondeful flavors and body. One of my favorite Cali IPA's without a doubt.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 20:47:29 | More by NEhophead
Photo of acrawf6


4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear golden orange amber with a frothy white head. nice lacing.

Smell. lots of citrus hops, lemons and grapefruit. also has a small grassy bit to it.

Taste. Hops are citrusy and bitter. I get more lemons and grapefruit, but i also get a little bitter orange, like orange peel. malts are present to give it a nice backbone, but i dont get too many distinct malty flavors. Aftertaste is bittering.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium and crisp. nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very nice ipa. A nice flavored ipa when i want a heavy citrusy hop craving.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2007 01:29:58 | More by acrawf6
Photo of umustdrink


4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Bright dark orange color. Bright white head, very rocky and sits nicely at a thick eighth inch. Strong lacing.

S - Very fragrant hops, part citrusy and part piney. A faint sweetness plays in the back with peppery spices.

T - Starts thin feeling, slightly oily, with a bitter sweetness. Hops come through very sweetly and seem to increase in bitterness as they finish off the taste.

M - Thin to medium consistency and low carbonation. Sort of a creamy mouthfeel.

D - VERY easy drinking beer. Not too much going on in the taste, its nonabrasive, creamy and simple. A simple tasting IPA, with strangely high alcohol (not detectable). It would have amazing sessionability if the alcohol weren't so high. I could see drinking 5 or 6 of these if that were the case.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 00:12:03 | More by umustdrink
Photo of ccrida


4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Lagunitas shaker pint, Racer 5 is a clear copper with medium, oatmeal colored head that fades fairly quickly but leaves lots of very nice looking lace.

Aroma is moderate for a west coast IPA, resinous and earthy. I like to serve my IPAs on the colder side as far as ales go, which of course mutes the smell. As it warmed a bit, I picked up some lemony citrus, as well as alcohol.

The taste is much more of the hop smacker that I was hoping for, whew! Actually, the initial taste was a nice biscuit malt, but it immediately is overwhelmed by a ton of piny, spicy hops. I can't get enough of hops, at least aroma and flavor wise, and this one doesn't disappoint, but is in fact very satisfying in that regard. What's more, while the finish is satisfyingly bitter, it's not out of control, which ruins some of the hops bombs for me. Nice! The malt plays an ancillary role here, providing a nice touch of sweet bread. The only strike, is that it's a tad hot for only being a 7% west coast IPA, but it's not enough to upset a very enjoyable experience. It amplified as the brew warmed, but I like to drink my IPAs fridge cold, and only really let this warm to explore the aroma, so I won't really dock it much for that.

The mouthfeel is on medium side, with a very nice creaminess, but it leaves a sticky coating hop oils.

This is a great beer, a quintessential example of the west coast style. Next time I drink this, I will be sucking them down and probably getting drunker then I should, rather then take to much time breaking it down, because it's very good and every sip just beckons another.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 07:18:50 | More by ccrida
Photo of btcook007


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer scored #1 among 5 IPA's tasted. IPA's were rated as follows: Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (1); Port Brewing Wipeout IPA (2); Stone Ruination IPA (3); Samuel Smith's IPA (4); and Decadent Imperial IPA (5).

Samuel Smith's was the only English IPA in the tasting, and I intended to use it as a "baseline" against American IPA's. However, I found it much too malty and not hoppy to my tasting. I would suggest that it tastes like an IPA would have tasted at the end of the long English-India voyage for which it was designed. The American brews were all decidedly much hoppier and less maltier than the English standard.

I would also add that I am biased in favor of big hoppy flavor to my beers, and I am looking for less "balance" in an IPA.

The Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA was excellent.

A: It is a medium-coppery colored brew. Its head was one finger of white head which dissipated the 2nd quickest of the group.

S: It was well-balanced, with a pronounced hoppiness on the smell consisting of citrus and some lighter pine.

T: Very well balanced, with a wonderful sweet foretaste followed immediately by a pine citrus hop flavor. Fills the mouth with a nice, balanced pine and burnt flavor which melds nicely from the foretaste. A good amount of bitterness lingers on the aftertaste.

M: Nice effervescent mouthfeel from the foretaste, settles in nicely.

D: I could have this with anything!

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 04:34:34 | More by btcook007
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bomber and into an American pint glass. The beer is a deep golden/light amber color. Chunky, frothy head and very active carbonation. It smells like sweet grapefruit, chlorophyll, and apples. The taste is pleasant. The hops aren't as explosive as the smell hinted at leaving a very smooth, yet dry mouthfeel. Dry and bitter up front with sweeter, more forgiving citrus in the middle followed by a very sharp bitter grassy taste at the very end. Smooth and rich flavor profile, not overly teeming with flavor keeping it light and refreshing. Slight alcohol heat after a few more drinks. Great example of an American IPA. Quite similar to Southern tier IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 00:09:21 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of Halcyondays


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle

A: Copper, hazy red with thin sticky white head with good retention.

S: Grapefruit, citric hops, with malt and some tropical fruit, mango and papaya.

T: The tropical fruit shows its stuff, but also brings a more bracing pine bitterness, not overpowering, very balanced, especially for a West Coast IPA.

M: Creamy, full bodied, with almost a chewy bitterness.

D: Very good, a delicious example of the West Coast IPA style, its balanced character makes it a good anytime beer, the alcohol level does not show at all. Another great offering from the fellas at Bear Republic.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2007 04:33:21 | More by Halcyondays
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,050 ratings.