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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 rfabian
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler it forms a 10 mm yellowish white head that leaves nice lacing. The color is light amber with slight cloudiness. The aroma is nice with spice and a bit of citrus hops. The taste is really good with strong spice and a little citrus taste with nice sweet maltiness and mild to moderate bitterness. The feel is full bodied, not at all watery, with moderate carbonation. The finish is as good as the start. I could drink this all day long.

I don't understand why they named it what they did. There must be a story there somewhere.

Photo of boogyman
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a light golden color with a small head that dissipates quickly and the the lacing looks pretty good .

S- Wonderful citrus with some piny notes are prominent on this brew as should be for any good IPA.

T- Strong pine with a fruity citrus taste mixed in to make this a awesome IPA. Bitterness is just right and lingers on the tongue for a good long while.

M- Has a good carbonation feeling but goes down smooth at the same time. There is almost no alcohol burn to speak of.

D- Quite an awesome beer indeed. Could easily have many of these in one sitting. Will definitely be getting more of these next time I get the chance.

Photo of mattloaf1
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is my favorite non-Stone IPA. A nice, west coast Hoppy beer for a session or for just a couple. Great citrus-y hops, perfect color and head, just an all around great beer at a reasonable price. Nothing bad I can say about it. Just try it out.

Photo of flagmantho
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first reviewed this beer back on 11/7/2009 and gave it a horrendously low 2.78 score, with a very low 2.5 score for flavor. I think I was just not used to funky IPAs at the time, so I decided to give Racer 5 a second shot.

Review updated 4/22/2012. Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: light golden-orange hue with a touch of haze and a thick finger of frothy ivory foam. Good.

Smell: lightly funky aroma with some nice earthy/citrusy hops underneath. Not bad, although a bit lighter than I expected.

Taste: rich, malty flavor with a good earthy hop flavor complemented by a hint of citrus which is very well balanced. Kind of like a strong English IPA, maybe, with a bit more citrus. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a bodacious carbonation and a big ol' creaminess I just can't ignore. I like it a lot.

Overall: I am very glad I re-approached this beer. My opinion last time was "this will definitely be a beer I revisit when I've got another hundred or two beers under my belt". Well, I've had on the order of 900 beers since then and I find this beer quite good. This beer doesn't seem a quarter as funky as I made it out to be the first time I reviewed it, so either the recipe has changed or my palate has. I will go with my palate -- at this point, I would gladly quaff Racer 5 regularly.

(Original review)

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: color is light golden, heading towards straw; head is ivory in hue and two fingers in size. Nice.

Smell: pungent is a good word to use here; hops are very earthy and a little grassy and metallic. The aroma reminds me of day old grass clippings. Perhaps "pungent" is not right; this beer trends far closer to "funky".

Taste: a lot like the smell. I am not sure how I feel about the funkiness factor here. Maybe this earthy, decomposing-plant-matter funk is intentional, but it is starting to grate on me. Either my bottle has a problem or I am not sophisticated enough for this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an appropriate level of carbonation.

Drinkability: the funkiness is getting to be too much. I will definitely finish the bottle; who knows, it might start to grow on me. This will definitely be a beer I revisit when I've got another hundred or two beers under my belt.

Photo of microbrew52
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours hazy tangerine a little foam cap that laces the glass.
The nose is big with citrusy hops. There's a second variety in there as well, something that gives a slightly more pungeant, earthy aroma. This has great flavor with grapefruit being prominent. The finish is long and increasingly hoppy and the body/mouthfeel is full and buttery smooth.

Photo of Casey10
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really liked this one picked up a bottle while in Mass. last week. So glad I did.

A bright orange color with slight lacing on the glass small one finger of foam.

S - Some pine orange citrus.

T - Really nice tart orange citrus not overwhelming really nice.

M - Similar to taste mouth is tart lingering a bit in the feel.

D - Definately will get another have to get a racer x next time I am down in MA as Bear republic is not distributed in Maine.

Photo of jsh420
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

pours golden orange with a 1+ finger head that coats the glass with lacing all down the glass

smells of pine citrus hops with a good amount of malt

taste - this is the best of both worlds - west coast pine & citrus hops but is very balanced - it has a nice malt backbone to fall on

mouthfeel is light/medium with low carbonation so pts off for that

drinkability is great - this beer is in my top 5 of all-time great ipa's

Photo of HappyBivouac
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottled on May 25, 2009.

a- pours into the chalice a hazy golden-orange with a thin off-white head sitting atop.

s- smells of fresh, juicy citrus and fruity hops-- mainly grapefruit, apple and pear. a slight but detectable honey sits in the back.

t- up front is a very fruity hop punch, with slight grapefruit and also sweet/tart apples and floral notes. A strong honey-like sweetness is present throughout, and the beer goes down leaving a sugary sweet feeling atop strong grapefruit and floral bitterness. The main things going on here are a very honey-like sweetness and fairly complex fruity/floral hops-- there is very little malt presence to speak of.

m- a tad watery, just short of that perfect level of oomph (in terms of body) for an IPA. I like the amount of carbonation-- tickles the mouth unoffensively and brings the beer to life.

d- all in all this beer is an unoffensiveand enjoyable IPA, but comes off a bit unbalanced with a lot of sweetness and not enough malt to carry it. The hops are fairly substantial but stay sharply to the fruity/flowery side. I would call it a decent to strong summer IPA, but drinking it in this season feels slightly out of place and unsatisfying.

Photo of chetripley
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You just know with the first look how good a beer is going to be sometimes, and sometimes it is the smell that lets you know what to expect.

With this one the look was dark golden, poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass, but the smell that it gave off was a little spice and a whole lot of hops. I had a feeling it was going to be good from that smell.

The taste was a sharp plucking by the hops, smoothing out quickly leaving behind that familiar dry feel at the end. But the hops were a blast, but the finish was just so smooth it didn't completely blow you away like others can.

Drinkable and medium carbonation left me thirsty for more.

This was a really good beer.

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

A=color poured a hazy(bottle conditioned) golden color, with little head, and not any retention past about a second

S=great aromas of hops, specifically citrus and pine did not notice a strong malt presence

T=crisp pine notes, with grapefruit finish.

M=crisp, little carbonation, some oiliness

D=enjoyable, and very drinkable. nothing keeping me from downing a sixer of these.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bottle up from Chicone's in Hudson on my first trip there in nearly 2 months. I liked Hop Rod Rye a lot so I figured this was worth a shot.

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass. I can't find a freshness date anywhere on the bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange with a nice three finger chunky light tan head with sheets of lacing.

The nose is citrusy and fruity hops, very floral in nature. A very light malt backbone is present, but you have to dig through layers of hops just to get a glimpse of it.

A little more malty than I expected. The taste is dominated by fruity and citrusy hops, but there is a very defined maltiness that gives this nice balance and an added level of complexity. Good tasting stuff, I just wish it was more hoppy.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. Nice feathery carbonation adds to the experience. Lingering bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is good, I had no problem finishing this bomber myself.

Overall, another solid brew from Bear Republic. I definitely liked Hop Rod Rye more, but this is still a great beer.

Photo of MOShepp
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium gold in color with a big off white frothy head, lots of sticky web lacing.

Aroma of grapefruit, biscuit, peppery and maybe some pine.

Tastes malty at the beginning with bread then the hops kick in with resiny pine, citrus, herbal notes and very well balanced. Nice long finish.

Tons of hops but it doesn't rip your tongue out. Great beer.

Photo of kpoole25
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (from make your own variety pack) to glass. Color is about like apple juice, head was a bit thin. Classic IPA smells, fruitiness and citrus. Good balance on the taste, I usually get malt up front and hops in the back and no different here. Bitter but not the biggest, which is fine with me. Pretty standard west coast IPA.

Photo of thain709
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A bright, golden, almost transparent orange body...a creamy white head stands about 1.5 fingers and shows off some retention...nice lacing

S - A fresh hop aroma...filled with pine, resin, and lots of grapefruit

T - This is a hop dominated beer with a lot of malts backing up those hops...the sweetness of the citrus hits you first but it doesn't become cloying...the malt sweetness is also mixed in there but it's hard to tell...the beginning is where you'll only find the malts...a rush of pine bitterness comes rushing in to finish this beer...it never becomes dry or overly bitter

M - Medium bodied...creamy and bitter...a pleasant bitterness that makes you want another sip

D - That lingering hop bite just makes you want to keep going back...a fresh bottle of this is dangerously drinkable...a well balanced beer that never becomes to hoppy...if there is such a thing!

Photo of TripT
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at a restaurant, I erroreously thought I was ordering Racer X. Oh well. The beer arrived at my table in a standard pint glass, and by the time it got to me there was only a thin circle of white around the perimeter of the glass. The beer was nearly clear with just a slight haziness. Color was difficult to discern due to the low lighting. Certainly smells like an IPA. Pine and citrus are evident. The taste was consistent with the smell, but a bit more perfumey. Very hoppy. Apparently my palate is not sophisticated enough to comment on the malt character, as I really detected none. Just alot of juicy hop bitterness. That's not a bad thing. Went well with pizza. I enjoy the occasional super-hoppy beer, but only one per session.

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

This beer produces a thick, sticky, white head that floats over an unfiltered pale orange body. Lots of yeast floating around in this guy, wasn't really expecting that. Usually if I know there is going to be a lot of yeast I pour the bottle like a home brew. Anyways, the side of the bottle says "real ale is alive, yeast is good", so I guess I'll go with it.

Lots of piney, citrusy hops on the nose. I could smell them right away after I cracked the beer open. Always a good sign of a well crafted IPA. Some malts also come through, but the earthy, grassy hops dominate.

After a couple of sips I can say that this is an excellent IPA. This beer is extremely well balanced. With a lot of IPA's and DIPA's I usually taste hops up front followed by some degree of maltiness, but with Racer 5 the flavors come all at once. Delicious, robust malts mix with hoppy bitterness letting you know this is indeed an IPA, but then the finish is very smooth with a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect for an IPA and almost starts to border on what I would expect from a DIPA. Sticky, sweet, smooth and bitter all in one. This beer is highly drinkable. I could drink this all day and all night. I will definitely be seeking this beer out again and looking for more Bear Republic brews.

Photo of abuliarose
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Holy cow there are a lot of yeast floaties in this one. Was unaware they would not have settled after keeping it upright for weeks but... bottle says yeast is good so... will keep those little guys in mind when tasting. Beautiful thick head, golden amber color otherwise. The yeast do detract from the overall appearance.

Smells crisp and hoppy (almost fresh hop-hoppy)with floral honey notes. Tastes very sweet for an IPA with distinctly not-bitter orange notes. Almost like I'm drinking it and sucking on an orange slice. Otherwise there is definitely the nice hoppy IPA bitterness, though not too assuming. I'd have thought there'd be a little more yeast taste but it doesn't come through as bready, instead rounds the beer flavor out a little more. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, carbonation is not peppery and compliments the orange flavor well. Fairly medium-bodied. Quite drinkable. Extremely refreshing.

The bottle-conditioned thing had me a little at first, but this is a pretty solid beer. I'm gonna poke around now for some Racer X!

Photo of kingcrowing
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a golden color with no head and a bit of lacing. Nose is light but sweet and slightly hoppy, very plesant.

Pow! Really nice light hoppiness with a good amount of sweetness but just the right amount of bitterness for a west coast IPA. Good thick mouthfeel, slightly syrupy but still good!

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

Poured into my X-Mas in July Winking Lizard glass. This beer is a nice golden color with arousing smell. I just love IPAs but this wasn't just any other beer. It's smooth with a great finish. Would be great with steak dinner. Described as an "agressive IPA" this is no joke. Try it if you get the chance. If you like IPAs then this is a must.

Photo of vdread
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
bottle to glass

a beautiful hazy orange with a tight little off-white head. amazing lacing! rings all down the sides of the glass. the smell punch you in the face. strong orange and citrus in the smell as well as the taste. sweet and spicy citrus hops steal the show while bready malt balances it out. the mouthfeel is smooth and easy going down. i could drink these all day. damn good beer.

until recently i'd never heard of Bear Republic. i've only had two of their brews and i'm already a huge fan! i love the bold hops flavors they bring to the table. racer 5 and hop rod rye are now my IPA of choice, if only they were a bit cheaper.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 26, 2009
22oz bomber. Pours a nice hazy orange colour. So smooth, nice amount of bitterness. So delicious...did I say how smooth and delicious it was? Fantastic beverage. God, I need this beer again. Can't wait to go back to Buffalo for more of this beautiful beer.

Photo of OlRasputin989
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Schlafly nonic...

A: clearer than most IPAs, this one is golden in color with tiny bits of sediment under a decent head. Leaves behind small streaks of lacing

S: A strong grapefruit and oarnge hop scent, followed by caramel malt aroma.

T: brown sugar and oranges upfront followed by a grapefruit and bitter grassy flavors

M: a medium full bodied beer with a fizzy yet smooth entry. leavs mouth feeling resiny. also has a slight drying affect

Overall, This beer is definitely "an aggressive styled India Pale Ale", as the bottle describes it. Although it is straightforward, I can't help but desire more complexity in an American IPA.

Photo of truknon
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a Bomber and poured into a Pint Glass.

The initial whiff hit me with strong fruity flavors, particularly Banana. After pouring the first glass it had an exceptional golden color and ridiculous foamy head. It actually stuck out over the top of the glass with beautiful Peaks and Points, reminiscent of a Mountain range. The creamy foam head actually never dissipates and the first sip is intense with the fore mentioned fruity flavors and ends on the bitter side. It is medium to full bodied and not to carbonated.

The overall drinkability is very smooth and not overpowering, which makes you want to have another glas!!. I highly recommend this IPA and it may just be the best I have had in a while. To the store...for more!!!

Photo of confer
2.3/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Still do not have a taste for these overly hoppy IPAs. I like the look, nice gold with lots of floaties from the bottle conditioning. The piney aroma is not overbearing. The taste gets better as you go but I am still not a fan of chewing pine needles. I would never buy any of these, but will drink one occasionally when offered in a trade.

Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper color with a 1.5-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and tropical fruit hops with an underlying earthiness and good amounts of pale malts.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors up front are joined quickly by citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors turn somewhat herbal and all flavors carry through to a mildly bitter and crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more.

Overall this is a standout among standby's in the world of IPA's. Worth a shot if you haven't had it.

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