1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

6,346 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,346
Reviews: 2,187
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 196
Gots: 529 | FT: 9
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,346 | Reviews: 2,187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of calise1122
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been my one of my favorites for years, but just got around to really sitting down with a pint, a pen and a pad. Poured a bomber into a pint glass while rewatching the Obama speech... man, he can certainly talk to a crowd!

A: Hazy and cloudy blonde with a rich white rocky head that seems to grow peaks and valleys by the second. Lines and tracings of lacing hang onto the glass the whole way down.

S: Hops on the nose, nice fresh citric hops that scream of grapefruit and lemon, with some caramel notes binding it together. Really nice, it is what I think a West Coast IPA should smell like (most likely because this is the beer that brought me to the dance)

T: It's a picture. It's a picture that is painted on a canvas of hops. It's a picture that is painted with flavors of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, raisins, and prunes. It's a picture that you don't walk past... you stop, appreciate and most likely buy. It's a nice picture, it's a great beer.

M: It's sticky and smooth... it's clean and leaves you wanting to take another sip. Just a well constructed body

D: As I mentioned, this has been a bridge for me in the beer world. I was lucky enough to have my first pint of Racer 5 at the Moan & Dove in 2004... It, along with stone and DFH, carried my journey into the wonderful world of IPA's... so yes, this review may stink of sweaty sentiment... but there is no denying the quality of this beer. A fantastic west coast IPA!!!

calise1122, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of treyrab
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jac5084 for bringing this out last night. Poured into a standard pint glass...

A: Pours a pretty clear, semi haze, light copper. A nice white foamy head that sits for a while before settling down to a nice ring.

S: The smell is fantastic on this. Very bitter hop aroma, but that is complemented nicely with nice hints of fruit: apricot, lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

T: This is a very nice balance of bitterness and sweet fruit flavors. Not extremely bitter like some other IPAs, but the perfect amount of bitterness to sweet malt/fruit flavors.

Overall, this was a very, very good IPA and another good beer by Bear Republic.

treyrab, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of usmittymc
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Hazy golden oak pour with a rocky off-white head that reduces to a thick cap and leaves gobs and gobs of lacing.

S: Pepper, citrus. Very, very hoppy nose. I like.

T: Just as advertised by the nose, peppery, citrusy hops. Nice bready malt back balances things out nicely.

M: Moderate. A little bit of hop oil makes it a tad slick, but not in a bad way.

D: This is a great IPA to have around. I tend to prefer the bottle conditioned IPA's (2H Ale, Bridgeport, et al), so I will add a few more bottles of this to my beer cabinet. Actually, the similarities between Bell's 2 Hearted Ale and Racer 5 are striking, both even have numbers in their name...hmmmm

usmittymc, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of Chugmonkey
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try it. Well worth waiting for. Light golden color, somewhat hazy, nice off white head.

Very inviting citrusy aromas. Yummy citrus taste, nice smooth bitterness, finishs with a nice pure citrus note. Very tasty, made me want another sip immediately. Extremely drinkable, lacks a bitter bite of some IPAs.

Well done. I loved it. This beer is right up my alley and I can't wait to get some more.

Chugmonkey, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful golden body with a white head.

S: The trademark aroma of a West Coast IPA: Citrus hops are the cornerstone of the bouquet with notes of grapefruit and fresh hop oils.

T: Sweet pale malt is nicely balanced with the classic citrusy, piney, resiny, juicy hops. Drying, spicy bitterness in the finish.

M: smooth with a long and bitter finish that leaves sticky hop resin on the tongue.

D: Very tasty IPA. Doesn't do much to separate itself from the multitude similarly delicious IPAs, but it is a quality beer. Hope the rumors are true about these guys coming back to the Colorado market, this beer would do very well here.

BradLikesBrew, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of praufs01
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cloudy amber with a nice creamy, pillow like tan head. This is one good looking brew.

Aroma - Sugar and pink grapefruit

Mouthfeel - Light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Fruity, grapefruit and orange zest, that rests on a nice malty base.

Overall - Wow! One of the best well balanced IPA's I've ever had.

praufs01, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of chaz410
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty stand up IPA. I had the pleasure of having this at the Common Market here in Charlotte NC. Very typical IPA appearance. This beer uses a Columbus hops which is a new hybrid hop that typically would only add bittering aromatics but this also ads some taste. The smell is obviously hoppy with a little citrus zip in it. It isn't overwhelmingly hoppy like a lot of IPAs but it's a nice floral smell. The taste leads in with the bittering hops but the cascade hops really balance it out well and the after taste is not super bitter like your typical IPA. I enjoyed it and really like the contrasting hop notes.

chaz410, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of riored4v
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8/25/08

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, copper colored body. Off-white head about 1 finger thick.

Smell is fantastic. Slight spicyness but mainly a citrus aroma. Mild malt sweetness with caramel notes.

Taste.. hops! Hops definitely make themself known in this IPA. Strong citrusy, grapefruit bitterness upfront. Nice malt sweetness to back it up in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light in body with and oily texture. Good carbonation.

Drinkability is god/excellent. No real alcohol presence and very well done IPA.

Overall its a good drinkin IPA. Stong on hops but enough maltiness to mellow it all out.

riored4v, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of srandycarter
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My Halloween party keg.

A -Nice bright mostly clear golden amber, 1 inch near white head. Reduces fast to ring. Lacing a little sticky and a little sudsy.

S - Mostly pine and some citrus Hops slam in first, malt is evident as well.

T - Definite focused malt center, with hops squashing all, leaving pretty neutral finish.

M - Balanced, coating, kegerator is carbed perfectly.

D - I hope everyone wants to drink this all night. I think I will!

srandycarter, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of theboozecruise
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn... had one all typed it out and it was wiped out.

Anyway, poured from a 22 oz. into a pint glass... milky orangeish color with a creamy 2-finger or so head. The aroma is mostly hops, but also some sweet citrus breaking through. The taste is more of the same, very well balanced.

This is probably my favorite Bear Republic offering to date, and one of my favorite IPAs as well.

theboozecruise, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Offa
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fully flavoured IPA that has hop dominated character yet is fairly balanced.

Slightly hazy orangish gold, it has a medium-big off-white head that slwoly shirnks to a lasting, thin foamy top. It leaves some pretty good lace.

The aroma is mostly citrusy hops, primarily grapefruit in character, with a little raisin and grape juice and a faint hint of bread crust underneath.

The taste is better, more complex, and less grapefruity but still clearly dominated by citrusy hops. It has fairly strong citrus, leaning to grapefruit, hitting up front but immediately tempered with underlying slightly caramelly raisiny, malty sweetness and an interesting yeasty quality, making it sweeter before a somewhat bitter finish. It's full bodied in flavour and feel, with quite a bit going on, with a silky, creamy feel.

Offa, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of AltBock
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a black and gold label that has a checkered flag in the background with the name of the beer in big bold red letters and with the number "5" in the middle of the label. To the right of the picture is the Government warning and the barcode. To the left of the picture is a paragraph about the beer, Brew Master Notes, refund values, and a small map with the brewery's location marked with a white star. I have so far never seen a Bear Republic bottle with a date marked on it and "Racer 5" is no different.

Appearance: I decided to pour this big bold IPA into my Sly Fox Imperial pint glass. This Bear Republic beer poured a golden orange that had a small tint of amber mixed in with it. Sitting on top of this golden brew was a 3/4 to 1 inch head of pure white foam. This nice white head of foam had really good slow retention that left behind a small white film and a few tiny white streaks of lace around the glass. Overall, it was a nice little above average IPA appearance.

Smell: I thought the aroma was going to be hugely hopped. It was highly hopped, but it wasn't aggressively hopped. This beer's aroma was very hoppy with piney hops, citrus hops, a hint of tart grapefruit, a few pine needles, a tiny touch of sweet yeast, a splash of lemon peel, and then finishes up with a dash of orange peel and coriander. When the beer was swirled, the aroma becomes sweet with yeast, sweet grapefruit, and a lot more orange peel. I tried to find some malts in the aroma, but I guess all the hops in the beginning of the aroma and all the citrus aromas following them completely covered up the malts.

Taste: After reading on the label that "Racer 5 is an aggressive styled IPA," I thought it was going to be an aggressive in your face tasting IPA. It was hoppy but it really wasn't that aggressively hopped. Instead, this beer went down the well balanced path instead of the punch you in the face hoppyness. There were 3 parts to the taste. The first 2 were controlled by all of the hops and citrus flavors. The first part consisted of the citrus and piney hops and a hint of lightly tart grapefruit. The 2 part consisted of lemon peel, pine needles, and a small touch of coriander. The last and final part of the taste consisted of toasted caramel malts and a subtle taste of sweet yeast. I liked this type of IPA. It wasn't aggressivley hopped, but still hugely hopped with an ending of toasted caramel malts. Great IPA!

Mouthfeel: This highly hopped IPA was medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation and with a toasty and lightly hoppy aftertaste of toasted caramel malts, a hint of grapefruit, a splash of coriander, and a dash of piney hops. Surprisingly, this aftertaste doesn't last very long. It will last for about 5 seconds and then it's gone for good.

Drinkability: I just had to give this beer a high drinkability score because it's a well balanced IPA and it's easily affordable. You're not going to break the bank buying this IPA. There's those factors and that it's a Bear Republic beer. They always do an excellent job on their beers and this is another one of those beers that shows it.

AltBock, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of itcomesnpints
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one on-tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston. I had tried it before in the bottle, not exactly impressed. This was a completely different experience.
Golden orange standard IPA hues with a lively head and really sticky lacing.
Smell is big and juicy floral and citrus hops with sweet grapefruit.
The taste was tremendous. Besides the incredible hops and citrus, I even found a sweeter sensation of peaches and mangoes.
I am very impressed with Racer 5 on this second try. I'm a lover of DIPAs and I find this IPA almost there. Lots of hops. Lots of character. Great IPA.

itcomesnpints, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of scoobybrew
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a snifter glass from the bottle.

A - hazy golden color with a fabulous ice-cream-like head; nice lacing

S - hoppy, hoppy, hoppy American varieties; very faint trace of malt and some alcohol evident as it warms

T - extreme hop flavor up front with a touch of malt; malt balance is good in comparison with the hops due to the relative smoothness of the overall flavor

M - medium to full body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a very nice double IPA and comparable to my favorites of the style.

scoobybrew, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of marcobrau
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

What I have here is a good looking hoppy, blonde IPA. The bright, white foam is dense as it sits on top of clear yellow ale. The head leaves a lot of lace behind as it falls. Pretty. The nose is citrus hoppy with a touch of honey. Fresh and leafy citrus hop flavors dominate. Crisp fresh malt is detected up front, but it is quickly followed by an assault of spicy, citrusy hops push the malt into the background and merely support the hops all the way to the dry, spicy, slightly hot (alcoholic) finish. A very drinkable IPA despite the 7 percent alcohol. It goes down very easy no doubt in large part due to its dryness. Body is surprisingly light. Methinks I have a fresh bottle of this stuff. Lucky me. I can't believe I hadn't reviewed this beer. I first tried this several years ago at the Real Ale Festival in Chicago.

marcobrau, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic really caught be off guard...for a brewery that I have never heard of, they have now provided me with two amazing beer drinking experiences!

A: Pours a deep amber into my pint glass. There is a little bit of head on the pour but it dissipates quickly. The only thing left is a thin film of bubbles with little pockets of concentrated bubbles on the top of the beer. I love it when my beer looks like this. I find it generally is a sign of a hoppy beer.

S: Smells like a mountain of cascade hops. Wow. I think I might be in heaven.

T: The smell and my predictions from the appearance proved right on. Ho. Lee. Shit. The hops tingle on the tongue and kick you right in the teeth. This beer has more than just hops though. There is some real character in there. There is a good balance and sweetness that comes from the heavy malts in the brew. The hop bitterness lingers on the palate long after the swallow.

M/D: The taste and light carbonation, coupled with the medium to light texture of the beer make this very drinkable. If you wrap that all up into the fact that I love hops, this beer ranks really high on my list of favorite IPAs.

NittanyBeerFan, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of tburkhart
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice golden color with decent head that disappears quickly. What little head is left laces the glass very nicely throughout the beer.

Smells of citrusy hops, can't quite put my finger on the type.

The taste is right on for an IPA. Hops linger on the tongue for quite some time.

All and all not a bad IPA, it has been quite a while since I've had one, but this one may get me back on that horse.

tburkhart, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of katan
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber

A - Pours a nice and clear golden to golden brown color. Very little head retention, although there is a small amount of lacing. Not a ton of carbonation present.

S - Wowee that is a floral nose. Heavy on the orangy, grapefruit, and other sweet hop notes. No way I could smell anything else here.

T - Starts off very balanced. The sweetness of the hefty malts is perfectly in balance with the bitterness backdrop. For as many hops are in this beer, it doesn't overdo the bitterness. Mid stream is more of balance - turning more bitter. Only at the end does those marvelous smells come through in the flavor.

M - Has a strong backbone of unfermentables and oils. Coats the mouth and clings a little bit. Carbonation is non-present.

D - The beer is a one at a timer. The amazing flavors, plus the higher than average ABV, would make this one of my favorite beers to drink slowly at the beginning of a night.

Another great offering from BR - especially if I'm looking for my hop bomb. Reminds me of HopWallop a bit.

katan, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of TrevorGW
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dirty golden color ...

Aroma is not as huge with hops as you would expect. I immediately anticipate an oily, slick hop flavor.

The flavor is unbelievably well-balance. The malt stands up to the hops and allows the bitterness to instantly bounce off the caramel malts instead of blasting you and lingering, like most American IPAs. Pine and grass are in the flavor, but are countered by a subtle and stable sweetness on the tongue and in the aftertaste.

A truly drinkable (double) IPA, with the strong malt responsible for the high alcohol. Not too intense, but with a killer taste.

Definitely a legendary American beer that deserves the hype.

TrevorGW, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of funkyspunk87
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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

A Good to Great American IPA...more solid and smooth than Green Flash or Stone, IMO. Really a good beer for any situation.

Still waiting to try Racer X - it's never a given when you take these solid IPAs and make them doubles.

funkyspunk87, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of kosmoraios
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale gold with a 1 finger white head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is of floral hops and citrus. Hops hit the palate immediately - floral and piney, white pepper, tangerine. Light and clean, this one is at the upper limit of being an IPA without becoming a DIPA/IIPA. Another excellent offering from Bear Republic - if you like this one, try their Racer X.

kosmoraios, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of yzer
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Racer 5 is an exemplary West Coast IPA.

This is a full-bore brew that puts more mild-mannered "IPAs" like Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada Anniversary to shame.

This IPA has all the creamy off-white head and lacing you could possibly want. The body is smooth and big, leaving me with sticky lips between eager gulps.

The appearance is nothing special and does little to indicate the bold and perfectly balanced taste to come. It's an amber brew with medium clarity and a cream colored head. There is a generous load of yeast on the bottom of each well-conditioned bottle. This IPA is ready to drink right from the store.

The taste is not to be missed. This is a true West Coast IPA with loads of hops that dominate some very sweet and lingering malt. The aroma is a well-crafted balance of pine and malt fragrence. Flavor tones include pine, coffee, and chocolate.

I compare Racer 5 very favorably to the seasonal Sierra Nevada Celebration, but Racer 5 is available all year long.

The Bear Republic label graphics are a little esoteric and reflect the racing proclivities of the owner. I must admit that for me, the label evokes imagery of Bakersfield, comic books and trailer taste which prevented me from trying this marvelous IPA much earlier. Sure, a book can't be read from its cover, but why shoot yourself in the foot and limit your market appeal with label graphics that proclaim, "teen-aged redneck?" For a brew of this quality, WRC or Formula 1 symbolism would be more appropriate.

The tall bottles are nice. They chill quickly.

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty I really don't care how the label on an ale bottle looks. I can't say that for the first-time buyers of premium IPA. Bear Valley Racer 5 is a truly great West Coast IPA and one of my new favorites. Thanks to some very talented and uncompromising brewers at Bear Republic!

yzer, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Why the hell has it taken me so long to try this one? What was I waiting for!? This is exactly what I have been looking for in my search for a ridiculously good IPA.

A- Lighter than expected golden color. Fluffy white head, pretty large, and a shitload of lacing.

S- First whiff. Damn. There is an amazing aroma of fresh wet sticky resiny hops. Floral would be accurate but then again, it's more than that. Citrusy and lemony but the hops are completely dominating and obliterating any other scent.

T- Attention all hop heads, you will surely enjoy this one. My palate is quickly hit with a tornado of hops. Taste like cascade hops on steroids. This is liquid flowers. I dont even want to talk about the malts because its pointless. All hops here, citrusy.

M- Slick and resiny. Smooth going down.

D- Easy drinking IPA for all my fellow hop heads out there. An exceptional brew thats a must have for any fans of the IPA style.

DavidSeanNJ, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of tozerm
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these after a hard days work. The hops were definitely prevalent but not overpowering. There was enough malt backbone to balance it out and keep it out of "hop bomb" range for my taste. Nice 1/2 inch head. Great copper color. Tight bubbles coming out of solution. It had a great, floral hop nose that really invited you into the glass. Very nice beer.

tozerm, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of gau8a
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this beer has to be tried! if you like "hop bombs"then this beer will turn into an every day pleasure. not quite stones ruination ipa but is still a superb brew!! after being exposed to the breweries that brew these double ipa creations & their other varieties, everything i've had before is not as appealing.

gau8a, Oct 10, 2008
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,346 ratings.