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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,837 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,837
Reviews: 2,231
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 249
Gots: 777 | FT: 10
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,837 | Reviews: 2,231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of albertjr21
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass, the settled a clear golden amber color with a light layer of head that left a nice web lacing.

S: Light citrus undertone to a huge hop aroma.

M/T: Mouthfeel is at first tame and a "calm before the storm," so to speak, because of the loud bitterness that soon overwhelms the taste buds and leaves the palate in shambles from a remarkable hop invasion...

D: Rejoice hop heads! This is a crisp and refreshing Hop Hop Hoppy blast to the palate that doesn't get old...

Photo of zoso493
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Stone straight-sided pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden-amber color that is sufficiently hazy in spite of the the lighter hue of the beer. The beers is crowned by a thick and foamy two-finger head that subsides quickly and leaves a decent amount of lacing on its way down.

Smell: The smell consists of a nice but somewhat subdued assortment of hops that go from citric to floral to juicy. While the hops do dominate the nose, there is an equally impressive scent of glutenous, caramelized malt balancing the hops that give the impression as if the hops are coated in sugar.

Taste: The juicy and citric hops reign supreme in the taste and provide a much-appreciated amount of bitterness. They are just a tad too underwhelming for me, though. But, by no means are they not delicious. The malts are less discernible but do again provide a nice sugary undercurrent to attempt to check the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is only slightly on the thicker side of things, which is just about where it should be for an IPA. The carbonation seems to be about spot-on as well. I can't say this is a crisp IPA, but it's flavors are sticky in a good way.

Drinkability: The alcohol is extremely well-masked in this beer, which is a good start for drinkability. At 7% ABV, it's not too hefty to have a few of, and I can say that this bomber is disappearing pretty rapidly.

Overall, Racer 5 is a very nice example of the style and is yet another good product from Bear Republic. Unfortunately, the dating code is, to me, completely unintelligible, so I can't say whether or not this is a fresh bottle. I'm inclined to think it isn't because the hops seem a bit faded, but regardless this is a very nice IPA and one that I will drink again.

Photo of wesclaypool
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Pete's Brass Rail in Danville.

a - Good color, slightly cloudy (the way I like it) yellow/gold.

s - Very mellow pine and citrus. And of course the indication of hops to come.

t - As someone who isn't crazy about the really strong IPAs, I love this one. The hops are there, but they're not strong to the point that they feel like they're ripping your mouth apart. Very balanced and, like the smell, mellow.

m - Like the taste, for an IPA, this was a little surprising. Fairly thin feel compared to some others I've had.

d - Could break the bank putting these away.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

A- pours a...light amber, dark yellow with a paper thin white head that quickly fades. Leaves some nice lacing. Looks a lot like apple juice...I like apple juice. Good opening.

S- oh wow, this is fantastic. Very fruity and citric. Smells like something you could drink at breakfast. I'm getting some citrus and grapefruit...regardless, smells really awesome.

T- not overly bitter, nor overly sweet. Has the right amount of pine bite near the back, not enough to kick you in the face, but it lets you know its there. The bitterness from the hops are lovely. Really good.

M- really light. Unlike some IPAs, which can be overbearing, this isn't heavy at all. There is carbonation there which gives you that fizziness you look for sometimes. Can't complain about the mouthfeel at all.

D- Really drinkable, if only it wasn't for that high alcohol content. You don't taste the alcohol one bit. Its like drinking some alcoholic juice thats more bitter than sweet. In other words, totally awesome...I should actually try pairing one of these with an omelette or something

Photo of irishking1977
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, dull gold with a less than one finger head, that disperses quickly, leaving some moderate lace. Not bad.

S: The usual combination for an IPA, which includes pine, grapefruit and a hint of a malt background. Not as potent as would be expected for an IPA; I don't expect the bitterness or hoppiness of this one to be bracing or difficult to handle.

T: As I surmised; a well balanced IPA, with traces of citrus and pine, a mild herbal/medicinal aftertaste along with a hops bitterness that lingers on the palate for a spell. Bold, yet balanced and easily drinkable.

M: Good carbonation, which is expected out of most good IPAs. Less than expected creaminess and less than moderate oily mouthfeel on the palate. Perhaps slightly watered down in comparison to some of the top of the line IPAs and DIPAs. The good news is that the balance of malt and hops is close to nirvana.

D: Drinkability is better than most IPA's in that the palate paralyzing hops are not in abundance in comparison to most IPA's, probably somewhat of a disappointment to many of the hopheads out there. I like my hoppy brews, but those brews that are in excess of 100 IBU's (Stone's Ruination, pretty much any heady DIPA) are beers to drink maybe one or two of, and the palate is decimated. This one could be that rare moderately sessionable IPA. Seek it out, moderate hopheads.

Photo of Zekezilla
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be my favorite hoppy beer right now. I'm just now getting into hoppy beers and this is the best one I've tried so far.
Tried it, based on the recommendation of the authors of The Naked Pint (highly recommended). Nice juicy hops come through, from the very beginning, incredibly citrusy, balanced with a malty biscuit flavor throughout. This is a beer that I"d like to always have around. Good for nearly any occasion.

Photo of DAllspaw
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass on tap in San Francisco restaurant.

Orange color with small head, less than half inch upon pour with very little lacing. Who cares, this stuff tastes incredible.

Incredible citrus aroma, not an in your face grapefruit smoothie, just a wonderful citrus, hoppy smell.

I am an IPA novice, not having yet had the opportunity to try some of the better examples, but can't imagine any being better than this. The bitterness, the smoothness, drinkability were all exceptional. I wish it were available in Indiana, this would be a regular without question. Great beer.

Photo of axeman9182
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH signature glass. Racer 5 is a hazy orange, with a disappointingly small head that quickly fizzled out. The nose makes up for it though nothing but unabashed citrus hop goodness. The taste follows the nose pretty much exactly, No real malt presence to speak of. Racer 5 is a little bit undercarbonated, which I should have anticipated given the lack of head. Despite that, it's eminently drinkable, and the ABV is hidden well. There's just something about it that doesn't put it in the same league with some of the other hop forward IPAs I've had.

Photo of MCfunkyJ
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the best beer I could choose from the store I got it at.

I have had this about a year ago but forgot how tasty this brew truly is. Not a bad pickup for $9.99 + tax.

I would rather drink Hop Rod Rye but this was the only option available at the time.

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

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange with a nice creamy off-white head which leaves a nice sheet of lacing.

S- Getting some faint scents of citrus maybe some fresh cut grass maybe a little alcohol and some bready malt aroma.

T- Great subtle taste of citrus and bitter hops competing with a sweet caramel malt flavor with a little bread or biscuit taste also.

MF- Medium body with a bitter tongue at first but followed with smooth finish.

D- A very nice I.P.A. by Bear Republic brewery, bought a 22.oz of this ale drank it with my wife and we both enjoyed it very much.

Photo of PintOHops
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Pint

A - Slightly hazy orange/gold color with about a 1-finger head, soapy & sticky looking with not so good retention. Lite Co2 can be seen, left some splotchy lacing.

S - A bit floral with a dry pine & mild sap like aroma. Some fresh & fruity mango & pineapple are about as pronounced as the dry/floral/pine like notes. A bit of rind like notes, some underlying biscuit/cracker like malts are there but are so soft there hardly noticeable until it warms.

T - Fresh orange & mango juice flavors upfront. Some semi bright citrus is noticeable as it rolls to the sides of the tongue, as well as some puckering rind flavor. Moderately sweet, finishes with mild toasted malt flavors, touch of sap, and burnt like hop bitterness that lingers on the back of the tongue. Bitterness isn't over the top but pretty high.

M - Smooth with with lite-moderate crispness. Around medium-full but allot closer to medium bodied.

D - I'd sit down and enjoy a couple pints I'd say. This is a pretty damn good IPA, maybe not my favorite but I'd buy this one again sometime. Definitely recommended. Cheers!

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

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Color is in the orange-mango range with a bubbly 1/2 finger head that quickly went to a thin ring. The appearance is noticeably cloudy with a bit of small yeast floating around.

The aroma has a lot of fruity notes, pineapple, orange, mango and little grapefruit rind. The hops are definitely there though, pine, and small amount of tree sap notes come through. Letting it sit a bit brings out the malt character, i get a bit of underlying earthy and doughy notes.

The taste is dominated by hops, floral, slightly dry and with a distinctive lemon rind flavor. it is bitter throughout but not over the top, just the right amount of bitterness. The malt comes out toward the end and in the aftertaste, lingering dough-like malt on the tongue only appears after the rush of hops and bitterness have faded some. Medium-bodied and light to medium carbonation.

A great IPA! I like my IPAs to be generously hopped but have the malt to just slightly bring the balance back. This beer does that perfectly.

Photo of ebin6
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my staple beers, not going to go too in-depth on this one. It doesn't pack the best punch for an IPA, but is better than average IMO and for the price is better than say, Stone IPA; definitely a mid-range IPA. I am happy to see that it is becoming more and more available in Southern California at places that are not necessarily "beer bars". The beer zeitgeist moves forward...

Photo of pvsob
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pale gold color with a half inch head. Head fades rather quickly leaving average lacing.

S- Pungent grapefruit, pine resin, fresh floral hops, biscuit aroma, candied citrus peel, and just a touch of alcohol vapors as the beer warms.

T- Light bitterness intertwined with a nice bready malt to start with. Malt gradually fades and gives way to a steady building up of grapefruit bitterness. Ends with a dry, crisp finish with just enough hop bite. Very well balanced.

M- Medium feel with very little carbonation.

D/O- A great beer that is clean, crisp, and gives you everything you need and want in an American IPA. Just another great, easily obtained, and very affordable beer from Bear Republic. Give it a try. Cheers.

Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured clear golden amber with a thin, white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible and the head quickly dissipates into lacing on the surface.
S: There is a moderate aroma of citrusy, piney hops.
T: Like the smell, bitter piney hop flavors dominate the flavors, but these do not overpower the taste and are balanced to some degree by the underlying hops.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is lots of dryness in the finish.
D: If you drink this before it warms up, any hint of alcohol is completely masked. The beer packs a lot of punch in the way of flavor and is very drinkable.

Photo of BeardFacePhD
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured 12oz Bottle Into Glass

A - Hazy golden yellow with a thin white head. Nicely carbonated.

S - Strong citrus smell, predominantly grapefruit.

T - Grapefruit flavor prevails. Nice crisp finish. Dry.

M - Nice bitterness. Dry with a subtle malt sweetness.

D - Very drinkable IPA. Nice beer as Spring comes around.

I would definitely recommend this beer to a friend. A nice, very drinkable IPA.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer recommended to me by the BA community to be a highly drinkable IPA

A - Hazy light copper in color. Golden could easily be seen with a nice foamy white head. Slight yeast bits hope doesn't inflict review.
S - Grapefruit straight up. Then citrus and other malts are smelt.
T - Wow an overwhelming yet great hops taste. Loved it!
M - Refreshing yet dry. Just what expected from this IPA.
D - Man I need a case of this! A+!

Photo of Banger530
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured a golden orange into the glass. A solid white head with a orange tint. A nice lace all the way down the glass as I drank it.

I didn't get much from the nose. I was a citrusy and maybe a little piney, but not overwhelming.

The taste was citrus up front. Left a pine flavor lingering in the back.

A nice medium body. Light to medium carbonation.

Overall very good. Looked amazing in the glass. I didn't get much aroma from it but the taste made up for it. Above average ipa. Will get this again.

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

I just had Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye, which I really liked, so I was expecting alot, the grade as well helped contribute to this expectation. I don't like going in with expectations, but I did in this case.

Overall, a good solid IPA, would I put it in the elite class, I think it is borderline. I think it is good, great pour, looks nice, good amount of head dissipated nicely, chunks of hop in the bottom of the bottle, all the makings of a great IPA.

Nice pine and citrus, hoppy, but it's a little lacking in the bitterness department, didn't have the bitter finish and that bite you are left with afterwards, I like that about an IPA.

But everything else was there, flavor, hops, a nice tang when its going down, but I want that bitter taste as well, that is my only complaint.

I'd probably get this again, but there are other IPAs I would get before this one so maybe not. If I could get it on tap somewhere I'd definitely order it.

Had to edit this in the end, as you get down to the bottom of the beer, where the gunk and the chunks are, you do get that bitterness, so it does get you, but it does not resonate through the whole beer, gets better as you go on.

Photo of ben68cat
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i was recomended to try this ipa ffrom a fellow that works at u-pick 6 on peach street erie,pa. he has never steered me wrong and sure was on the money with this one!it pours an orangeish amber color,nice half inch head on it,leaves a bit of lacing around the glass,and tastes of hops,and citrus.this beer is excellent deffinate top five india pale ales i have ever tasted.this has become a must have for me,though i have to travel 25 miles to get it definately worth the trip!

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

22 oz bottle into glass; served cold and warmed as I tasted it...Recommended, because it got better as it got warmer.

A - It's unfiltered, so has a cloudy look to its (light) orange color. Soapy head dissipates fairly quickly. Lighter (looking) than most IPAs.
S - NICE nose to this; soapy, grapefruit-y hops; promising...
T - Pervasive hoppiness, balanced with a nice, continuous backbone of malty sweetness. Just before you get of alcohol at the end, there's a hint of orange/grapefruit pith, that is really distinct. Hangs around for a bit too...
M - Smooth, as a result of low carbonation and un-filtered-ness
D - Could easily down a few of these and enjoy the helll out of them.

Overall a solid IPA and wil be looking for more from this brewery.

Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap from a fresh keg my friend ordered for a party. I've had this many times in bottle and on tap. This is a review from sitting around the keg.

This is a perfect example of a West Coast-style IPA. In the smell and taste, it's citrus (orange and lemon peel and grapefruit) and pine. There's a malty backbone present but only to hold up the hops and keep them from being too bitter. This is flavorful to the extreme.

The mouthfeel and finish are dry and bitter. However, this is not a palate killer. It hits the mark. The medium carbonation keeps this from being too syrupy despite the hop resin presence.

Photo of bump8628
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark gold and hazy with a dense white head that leaves rings all the way down the glass.

Bitter grapefruit rind and strong, coarse herbal hops lead the way and are supported by a fair amount of malt sweetness. Bitterness is considerable and lingers into a long finish along with a slight medicinal alcohol note.

Not as bright and juicy as the bottled version. Still, a solid West Coast IPA.

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours from 12oz. into pint glass a straw, golden-orange color with a slight haze. A modest white head settles out pretty quick.
Great lacing though all the way down the glass.

S: Pine sap, grapefruit, lemon peel, and fresh grassy aromas from the fresh hops. Toffee, bread and toasted grains fill in the malt profile. Some peppery spice in there too.

T: Bitter first with a mouthful of wet hops flavored piney, citrus, herby and grassy. Roasted malt is noticeable but overtaken by all the hops in there. Finish is tilted toward the bitter side and spicy.

M: Medium body and crisp, tight bubbles and some alcohol warmth.

D: Almost like drinking liquid hop juice but yet not overwhelming. There is a decent malt backing but the flavor comes off all hops. It is easy to drink and pairs well with aged cheddar or other aged hard cheeses.

Photo of donteatpoop
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I will buy this beer for the rest of my life. I want to make sweet sweet love to it and raise a family together. I want to wake up every morning to have this beer staring back at me. I want to mount it from behind and ride it into the sunset. Nothing can compare to the passion that I have developed upon first taste. I will always remember this moment of my first Racer 5.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,837 ratings.