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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.

6,471 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,471
Reviews: 2,192
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 208
Gots: 565 | 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
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Ratings: 6,471 | Reviews: 2,192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joshuadlight
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. My rather fancy 100 year anniversary Shiner pint glass if you care to know.

First pour was clear, second was cloudy due to the yeast in the bottom of bottle. Small head consisting of tiny bubbles reminiscent of a nitro bottle. I cannot concur with most reviewers of this beer, I just feel that there are too many IPAs that are better than this one. Sure there are citrus notes and carmel notes, but they are a little subdued up next to the bitterness. To me, the test of a truly awesome IPA is whether or not the beautiful flavors that define the style can come through and coexist with the bitterness. Here, I think, the bitterness takes too much of the stage. I want bitterness, don't get me wrong, but I feel there is a perfect medium where IPA flavors live in perfect harmony with bitterness. And this beer doesn't achieve that.

All the while, its still a beer that many enjoy and I agree that it is a well crafted beer. I have my first Hop Rod Rye in the fridge and look forward to trying it soon and I hope it surpasses the Racer. If you are an IPA lover, you do want to get your hands on this. If not, there are better beers out there.

joshuadlight, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A copper color with a slight more reddish tinge to it. A small head that quickly disappears.

S: A good amount of citrus hops, mostly grapefruit and orange. Also some detection of pine. There is a slight malt scent as well.

T: A very well put together flavor of hops. At first sip, a good amount of citrus hops, mixed with a little caramel malt. Finishes strong with more hops, mostly pine.

M: A medium body beer, but missing some carbonation.

D: A really good IPA offering. Although a 7% abv, worth having more than one in a sitting!

IronCitySteve, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of brewdoc75
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to pint glass. Bottled on 12/12/08.

A: Golden yellow in color. Quite light appearing. Crisp, bubbly white head atop.

S: Not a lot initially, but after it warms up I get a strong grapefruit aroma. Kind of one dimensional, but solid. I do get some faint sweetness from the malts as well.

T: Hoppy bitterness assaults the tongue initially. Once again, the grapefruit component really shines here. For those who like a grapefruity IPA, this is a great example. I do get some other citrus flavors as well, with a hint of tangerine and even some orange. The bitterness is long lasting and reaches to the next drink. The malts are not really there in this beer however. I am longing for a bit more balancing sweetness.

M: Crisp, light, and clean.

D: A pretty solid IPA. Not the best I've had and definitely not a bad one. I tried this after the Hop Rod Rye, which really overshadows this beer. It is worth a try, but there are some others I would drink on a daily basis before this one.

brewdoc75, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from Belmont Station.. glad to get it. This review is after having a Leafer Madness.. and then a Ninkasi Tricerahops bomber... yes, a 3 bomber night. And still feel like I could drive a car just fine... not that I would!

- Rather basic copper appearance, nice foamy head that quickly shoots down to a swirl of lacing. Poured into a tumbler.. as usual for me.

- Nice sweet caramel and floral hop scent.. seems well balanced to the nose. Hint of honey in this too?

- Super fine balance in hops and malts here.. sweet caramel, honey.. and a drinkable citrus/pine.. mellow hop complexion.. yet it is an IPA.. I strive for an IIPA with this suit. Tastes a bit stronger than it really is.

- Great floral and warm alcohol afterlash.. enough water to keep going..

- Very drinkable... somewhat bubbly and filling.. but a great strengthy basic IPA. Would buy again.. but there are others that come before it.

Docer, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of StrangeBrewer76
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours perfect straw to orange color, a little hazy with textbook head and lacing. Lacing could be reproduced and sold as art for doilies. This could not look better.

Smells of pine and spicy hop that would meet your imaginations expectations of a California IPA.

Taste is amazing. I may be a little biased for having had this before but as a beer geek or BA I tend to gravitate toward the best stuff, which this brew clearly is, hands down. Whatever malt is used in this beer compliments the bitterness profile of the hops so perfectly that the taste transition is seamless.

M- Hop resins top to bottom make this one of the easiest things to drink.

Drinkability is off the charts. This is a 6. When you raise this glass to your lips you take a sip but the sip is them followed by a larger sip, then by a gulp. It's really that good.

I would consider this a go-to beer which I would always have on hand if I didn't just run out of it.

Truly exceptional. Get some!

StrangeBrewer76, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of mcsquint
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz brown bomber into pint glass:
A - Golden amber and crystal clear. Beautiful slightly off-white head leaves spotty lacing on glass.
S - Grapefruit citrus and pine followed by grassy and a bit of malt.
T - Gold malt, piney and citrusy hops. Yeasty. A bit of a bite on the finish. Somewhat metallic aftertaste.
M - Light to medium. A bit slick at first but finishes remarkably dry and crisp.
D - Definitely a full flavor brew. 7% ABV gives it some kick. I could drink a couple of these....at least!

mcsquint, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of maskednegator
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden. Agressive pour results in puffy head, which slowly deflates, leaving great lacing on the glass.
Smell: Floral, citrus hops. A ton of them.
Taste: Big grapefruit up front fills the sinus, mellow maltiness follows, balanced by a pine-sol hop bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, slightly acidic
Drinkability: I love IPAs, so this is an all-night beer for me. Others may be put off by the a lingering metallic finish. Some would think it's like sucking on a rusty penny, but I compare it to licking a 9 volt battery.

Verdict: 8/10. You can find this in many bars in San Diego, so I often recommend it to my friends. It's only a $4 bomber (insane for a bottle-conditioned beer). Reserve a little in the bottle, and drink it separately. Yeast is good for you

maskednegator, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Genghis22
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful gold color with a small white head that did not last long. Nice little bits of lacing.

S - Hops, hops and more hops. Sweet and piney all at the same time, this is an IPA!

T - Starts off sweet and finishes with a nice bitter hop aftertaste.

M - Thick and syrupy with minimal carbonation.

D - This is a drinkable beer. The first time I had it, I didn't like it, but it's been a while and I've grown as a beer drinker. This is a fine example of a good west coast IPA. Lots of piney hops in the nose and they come through on the taste as well.

Genghis22, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of deereless
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A coppery gold with a hint of pink, light and frothy head, lots of resiny foam on the glass - 4.50, S: Fragrant citrus and bubblegum, some tropical fruits - 4.50, T: Pine sap, extremely bitter, faint flavors that remind me of a barrel aged beer, malt plays second fiddle to the hops - 4.25, M: Silky - 4.00, D: This has been one of my go to IPAs for a while, very West Coast style of IPA, loads of hops, very drinkable in my opinion - 4.50

deereless, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of mempath
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance is just fine, nothing 'special' but nice, nearly clear golden. settles very fast, very little if no lacing

smell steps up the ante...a nice floral-herbal sense

taste etc places all the cards on the table...slam! not overly hoppy at all, but quite a punch with a continued herbal sense keeps the balance in tow. glad i have the big bottle to savor and further unravel the mystery. the expected grapefruit is more like a fresh, slightly grilled grapefruit. something a bit caramelized or something. i really love the unique malt-hop twang that is at once creamy sweet and tangy bitter.

the moderate ABV will keep this from being a deep session brew (as well as it richness)...quite drinkable, esp. for the hopsters...but one i'd rather savor over several hours (as i am doing now)

very recommended. i really scored on my brew hauls this past weekend. can't wait to try the rye hop rod from Bear Republic

mempath, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of jimj21
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single of this in New York. 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Pour produces about one finger of fluffy, white head. Fades pretty quickly but good lacing. Beer pours a light, golden color. Fairly clear with a little haze. Some bubbles rising in the glass.

Lots of citrusy hop aroma. Mostly grapefruit with some orange and tangerine. Some bready malt character in the background.

Taste starts out with citrusy hops as well. Mostly grapefruit. Good malt backbone in the middle provides some sweetness which helps the balance. A little piney on the finish. Drying. The alcohol makes itself known on the finish a little in the taste as well as some warming.

Good mouthfeel. Carbonation level is excellent. Very crisp on the tongue but goes down smooth.

This is a great IPA. Excellent taste and drinkability. Tons of hops, but still some balance. Between an IPA and DIPA in strength. My first beer from Bear Republic and it's fantastic.

jimj21, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of Liverpool08
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper/orange with a nice foamy head.
Great hopy aroma. Smells like a good IPA should.
Has the taste to match, full hop taste, nice bite. Has that crisp smooth mouthfeel you want in an IPA. Not a super hopy IPA, just a clean and well made one. This is super drinkible, nice and chilled these go down great. Will want to keep these in my fridge on a regular basis.

Liverpool08, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of skrib09
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours off a nice burnt orange color with some slight haze. the head is perfectly forming and textured and is off white.

smells hopped up front and maybe a hint of some malt backbone. darker malts maybe.

a hit of hops right from the start but mellows out nicely with some malt flavors at the end.

maybe a little too carbonated but otherwise a great product. mouthfeel is good and i enjoy the acidity from the hops.

good drinkability.

skrib09, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of tittymcj
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours out a copper red with quickly dissipating head and good lacing. Very little carbonation in the glass.

Smell is very much citrus, lots of grapefruit, but it is very well blended with the sweet malts for a very smooth, flawless smell.

Taste is also citrus, and a lot of dough flavor.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavy but extremely smooth. Not a lot of sting or carbonation, but it goes down smoothly and leaves a nice hoppy coating.

Extremely drinkable. Very tasty, and not too heavy.

tittymcj, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Drafting Room, Exton; served in an imperial pint

Hazy, golden body with an eerie thickness to it. A bone white head sits proudly on top.

Sweet candied grapefruit, orange rind, lightly toasted biscuits and a touch of evergreens.

Citrus rind and pine needles come to forefront, then a sweet rush of candied grapefruit followed by a mild bitterness. Doesn't push the extremes.

Full bodied and chewy. Cask does great things for the mouthfeel of IPA's.

A pretty solid IPA that doesn't push the envelope of sweetness or bitterness. I could drink a few of these on cask.

ColForbinBC, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Local 44 on 3/7/09 during Philly Beer Week.

A - Slightly hazy golden/orange amber-tinted body with two fingers of rocky, off-white foam that deposited attractive lacing around the glass.

S - Veritable garden of fresh hop aroma featuring citrus, pine, resin and floral notes. Very pungent and fresh. Oh yeah, there's some caramel malt sweetness too.

T - Surge of hop goodness with equal parts pine, citrus and resin with a touch of floral character as well. Hops are supported by a sweet caramel malt base. Lots of piney hop flavor in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a slightly syrupy texture and smooth cask mouthfeel. Touch of alcohol heat. Fairly aggressive bitter finish.

D - One of my favorite IPAs out there. And how do you make an incredible beer even better? Cask condition, of course! Simply an excellent West Coast IPA.

ffejherb, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of SeanRedd
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oooh...thick malty IPAs, I f*ckin love them. The sticky, sappy, wood; hint of caramel, creme brulee scorched sugar ceiling, spicy toffee building a supportive foundation for the hops that hop out the glass. The head rests for a while then slips out the back door, leaving a thick ring of residual sucre lacing. The aroma is so inviting, fresh damp greens and cinnamon bread pudding. The ending bitterness is refreshing and lingers way after the pint is set down. These are the IPAs I crave, the malty backbone IPAs dominate the realm. Hail the perfect relationship of tough malt and aggresive hops.

SeanRedd, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of JRed
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden amber hue with large frothy head. A nice aroma of pine, hops, and some citrus. A tad thick in mouthfeel, tastes of hops, pine notes, alcohol, and some tang in the finish. A very good IPA that holds down the fort against the competition. My first Bear Republic but definitely not my last.

JRed, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Tolann
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle obtained in a trade with jleblanc! Crazy I get a CA beer from in a MA trade when I'm in CO.

A - Cascading bubbles at a happy pace. This shoulda maybe gone into my Sam Adams glass rather than a simple pint. Great IPA toasty golden color. Fluffy thick off white head that leaves a great tight lace as it settles.

S - Fresh sweet hops. YUM! If you could smell hops in the dictionary this is what it would smell like. very much more the floral/citrus hops rather than piney

T - Not as sharp and aggressive that the smell might let on. It's much nicer than that. Big hop taste, but well rounded. This is why I like IPAs. This isn't an IPA that is going to knock your teeth out

M - Some dryness after the sip. I don't feel the as much carbonation that I could see after the pour. Light to medium mouthfeel. It's obviously a real beer, but you don't feel big alcohol.

D - very enjoyable and very nice IPA. Wish I didn't have to go trading for this one. It's what drinking an IPA should be.

Tolann, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of stephens101
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little over one finger of light tan head grows to the rim, stabilizes for a few seconds, and then slowly fades, leaving a spotted lace all around the glass. Has the color of aged brass. Smells of oily hops, citrus rinds, and sweetened grapefruit. The hops linger on the palate for a while, before some bitter sweet malts and oranges shine through, balancing everything out. Mouth-feel is medium, and it goes down in a sinewy wave that begs the throat for more. This is a well-rounded, tasty and quite drinkable IPA that truly lives up to it' billing as a top tier IPA.

stephens101, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of Gilgemesh
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Currently on tap in my dining room.

A brief sniff of this elixir is like plunging your head into a box of oranges and lemons. There is the faint odor of a few grapefruits down at the bottom. When you pull your head back you can sense the delicate odors of fresh cut wildflowers. The warm amber liquid, accented by a slight haze, is asking, no, screaming for you to take a taste. As the tender bubbles of carbonation play across your palate you are again reminded of fresh citrus fruits. Then a warmth passes across your tongue, like being curled up in a velvet blanket. This is followed by a tangy, pungent finish that completes the experience and invites you into the next. There will be no speed racing through this pint.

Gilgemesh, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of midnite2sixman
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Map Room in Chicago. Pours a hazy orange with a nice glow surrounding it. Chunky laciing. All over the glass.
Biscuits on the nose with a bit of orange.
Soft and balanced taste with some biscuits and hay. Very easy on the palate, and has a great soft feeling while still retaining the bold flavor.

I like this one.

midnite2sixman, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of mtrentm
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden copper color with off-white head which reduces to nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit initially jumps out of the glass then leads to pine & more sweet citrus hops.

T: Citrus upfront leading to a sweet malt with a little bit of bitterness at the end.

M: Medium-bodied smooth & creamy with a slightly bitter & dry finish.

D: Extremely drinkable & smooth. I was expecting more bitterness for an IPA, but still very good.

mtrentm, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of GimmeAles
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brilliant honey-yellow has the slighest haze from the bottle conditioning and perhaps massive residual hop matter. Billowing white head blooms
like a mushroon in a time-lapse video and hangs on for some time.

Resinous, piney hops dominate the olafactory experience adding some green-leaf, grassy and nearly tobacco-like pungency into the mix. Fleeting vapors of grainy, candy-like sweetness struggle to be noticed.

A raw, evergreen (spruce?) bitternes wallops the palate, but a grapefruit-like fruitiness lends some complexity before lightly toasted, bready-sweet malts bring some balance about. Hints of vanilla and toasted marshmallow are also in the middle. The finish signals the return of the citrus, tree-sap, and tobacco-like hop character. The beer finishes pleasantly dry leaving you to savor addtional fleeting complexities as the hops and malt playfully leave the palate. Just when you think the hops might be overdone, the sturdy malt character keeps things in check, begging another sip. At %7 ABV thought, you'll be taking it easy...right?

The dry finish, massive hop character and whimsical malts make for a spectacular combination - an amazing offering and one of my favorite IPAs.

GimmeAles, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Prostman81
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one from a 22oz bomber.

This was one of my first introductions to IPAs, and I think this has set the bar for me for this style. Beer has a great color, and the right amount of carbonation. The smell coming from this is awesome, great hop notes, floral, citrus, just wonderful.

The taste is good, again with the hops, man it sure does make its presence felt. Hops hops hops. But not over-powering at all. Each sip refreshes the hop vigor but never gets annoying. I would drink another bomber if I had it around. I'm going to buy this one again, this time in the new six-packs my local store started carrying so I can drink this more often.

Prostman81, Feb 27, 2009
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,471 ratings.