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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.

6,770 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,770
Reviews: 2,222
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 232
Gots: 719 | 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:
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: 6,770 | Reviews: 2,222 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glaze0101
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a HUGE hop fan, just so happens I was raised in the hop beer capital of the world, San Diego. This is what I would call a San Diego style beer. smooth, hoppy and little aftertaste. The BR website says that this IPA is "The best in the USA" I'm not sure if that is the same "best" as in Pabst winning a "blue ribbon"? I sure hope not.

Overall this was a fine beer to have with wings. Not a session beer, a bit to strong for that. Not mind-blowing, as the website might imply, but a good solid hoppy IPA. I'd have this one again for sure.

Photo of alleykatking
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Pecorasc. Thanks for everything once again Sam! Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice hazy almost burnt orange color. Good size 1 1/2 finger cloudy white head that stayed around for a short bit. Nice streaking lacing on the sides of the glass. Wonderful looking beer.

S- This IPA leans more toward bright citrus (grapefuit and orange) hop tones right off the bat. I really enjoyed the front end of this one. More earthy piney hops come crashing in the nose after the first citrus hops. Some light bready sweet malt backbones comes and goes during a sniff. This is quickly overtaken by hops almost right away though.

T- This is a nice tasting IPA. Something I haven't had in a while...just a nice tasting IPA. Citrus hops make the first apperance fast and strong...this is followed by a quick flash of piney resiny hops. The malt backbone comes through a little more in the middle to ending of this beer. It makes with a nice bready balance. The ending has some bitter hops to it...and they last!

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Nice hop resin left on the palate and on the teeth. Citrus and piney hops left on the palate and deep into the aftertaste. Crisp in most aspects during drinking. Very clean tasting.

D- This was was a very drinkable IPA. I was actually quite shocked as to how much I enjoyed this beer. The drinkability on this is good but not over the top. After about 3 of these I would like to move onto something else.

Photo of wknight167
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours a cloudy (with suspended particles) amber orange with a 1 finger white head with decent staying power and some really nice lacing.

Nose- Sweet orange, grapefruit and pineapple all jump out individually and are accompanied by a floral presence.

Palate- The large amount of hops is not quite enough to hide the generous malt bill as it seems a good amount of emphasis was on hop flavor which is by no means a bad thing. Spicy citrus with toasted notes. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation level

Drinkability- I'm going to have another right now.

Photo of kylejohnson03
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz botle into an imperial pint glass. A hazy burnt orange pour, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smells are hoppy, pine, citrus, just a touch of orange peel.

Incredible hop flavor, with grapefruit and malts following close behind. The finish is very dry, not a touch of alcohol to be found. Without looking at the bottle, I would think this is a weaker IPA, maybe 5.0 ABV. Medium carbonation. Such a creamy texture, goes down smooth and rich.

All around, a great beer! Love the taste, texture, and the value. A reasonably priced bomber that I would put up against some higher priced IPAs that I have had.

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

Bear Republic: Racer 5, India Pale Ale (Tasted 01/27/10)
22 oz. Bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass.

Received as an extra in a trade with Alen, thanks for the fresh goodness man!

Appearance: Hazy golden liquid, like freaking sunshine, I tell you. Loads of bubbles rushing up from the bottom of the glass, feeding the bubbly, fluffy head. Blotches of bubbles chill out on the edges of the glass and the head fades down, but there's still a giant iceberg of foam that stays intact.
Odor: Well rounded citrus aroma, pineapple richness on top of tangy grapefruit with a blanket of resiny, fresh aromas in the background.
Consistency: Smooth and slick, definitely the hop oils are responsible for making this light bodied beer feel like it is on the verge of medium. Carbonation is not as aggressive as the bubbles would lead one to belive, but it's certainly lively and low enough to give a juicy feel.
Taste: Hops make short work of showing their strength, a rush of grapefruity bitterness and flavor with the pungent herbal background noise I expect from the dankest of the dank, Columbus. Some sweet fruitiness from the Cascades in the background. Malt peeks in here and there, white bread, slightly crackery. Finish is long and hoppy, with plenty of bitter resin on the tongue.

Bear Republics strength as a brewery, seems to be getting the most out of their hops. The distinctive qualities of three relatively similar hop varieties all come out in this beer. Love.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden orange with a white head. The aroma is floral hops with some citrus and some malty sweetness. The flavor is grassy, piney hops. There is some hop bitterness, but it is secondary to the hop flavor. A nice, fruity well-balanced American IPA. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Photo of mgbickel
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a small, single finger, white head. Very little retention time and lacing. The body is a hazy gold color with yellow and amber hues. Lots of floaters present!

Piney hops up front of the nose with a sweet malted backbone. Citrus also present...grapefruit specifically. Refreshing.

The taste is similar to the nose. Sweet malts fade into bitter hops for a balanced palate.

Light mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable, well balanced beer...greatly refreshing!

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

A: nice clean, golden refreshing appearance to it. huge sticky head and nice lacing.

S: Some very noticeable piney and resinous smell to this. Some citrus and a little bit of other sweet fruit.... strawberry maybe?

T: Again, pine, citrus, and a nice hop slam packed full of bitterness. Sweet and bitter at the same time on the aftertaste. Not much of a malt presence on the front or back end of this beer. Finishes dry and stays on the palate for a while.

M: Smoothe and sticky, a nice soft body on the tongue.

D: Pretty drinkable. The dry finish and large amount of hop presence doesnt' balance as well as if it probably had more of a malt backbone. Still a very good ipa worthy of the high marks it has recieved.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Poured light amber with 1-inch head. Lots of lacing.

S: Hops, hops, hops! Some cut grass and floral esters. Smells really nice.

T: Hop bite right away, quickly followed by some nice piney/citrus notes. Medium bitter aftertaste. Tastes amazing.

M: Super smooth. Just the right amount of hops without being tongue-scrapingly bitter.

D: Pass the bottle, please. This stuff is really good.

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

Pours a nice, light golden amber color with a soft of white head that thinly laces the sides of the glass. The aroma could be stronger, but it is good. An apple cider sweetness that suggests a good deal of malt for an IPA mingles well with piney, citrusy hops.

The flavor is the equivalent of the smell, with some malt sweetness up front followed by a blast of west-coast IPA hoppiness that is almost offensive to the palate. This particular bottle is over 3 months old and the hops are still kicking some major ass. Piney and citrusy through the middle (with a hint of orange), with a pure, slightly alcoholic, grapefruit bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. This one borders on DIPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but a little under-carbonated, which is fine in the winter, but takes away a bit from its feel/drinkability in the summer when the exploding carbonation of a well-made IPA is just so refreshing.

Overall, a very good IPA

Photo of Stimack
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured to a cloudy dull golden color with a good sized white head that has nice retention and left thick lacing. I see a lot of floaties suspended in the beer, I am not sure if they are pieces of hops or yeast but I would think it could be due to the bottle conditioning? I will say this the smell of this brew is great, a nice mix of hops as pine is clearly there but also a nice juicy citrus aroma. The malt is faintly there but it is hard to pick up. The taste is great, the hops are in the forefront and give a nice flavor, more on the citrus side of things with a slight tea like finish. Has a somewhat sweet feel to it as well as a slight toasted character and does feel slick on the mouth. Adequate carbonation and the 7% ABV seems to be completely hidden. Overall this is a excellent brew, now for my taste the bomber is the perfect size for me as this hoppy style is usually a one and done for the evening. Very impressed with the Bear Republic beers I have been able to try.

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

Bomber lacking a freshness date pours a hazy copper, with a solid head and great lacing.

Nose is big, hoppy and juicy, with lots of apricot. I love taking a whiff of that immediate release of aromas from an IPA bottle.

Flavor is very clean, bitter and hoppy. Lots of citrus, with the slightest bit of peppery spice. Fruity and perfumy, but not sweet. Definitely a dry, west-coast IPA. Mouthfeel is smooth, if a little thin. Great carbonation. No detection of the 7 percent ABV.

I would assume this bottle isn't too old given the level of hop flavor, but I wouldn't call it super fresh, even though my review yields an "A". Sky's the limit for this drinking man's IPA.

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

I call this beer "the most convenient backup." When I go into a bar for the first time I look at the lineup just like every other beer geek. I take my time to scope the varieties and countries of origin. If I see Racer 5 up there I at least know that I have a beer that I will enjoy and will keep me planted on a bar stool for a few minutes. Racer 5 is easy to drink and it's murky volume allows for a great texture. Although 7%, the alcohol is not incredibly present which generally leads to multiple pints. Hops are significantly present with a touch of citrus. I love that this brew can serve as an everyday choice or become a great session beer depending on how I'm feeling. I would always suggest Racer 5 as a great starter I.P.A. and Bear Republic has been consistent with this beer for many years.

Photo of ken2cart1
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1.5 inch frothy head, light orange

s- piney, pungent grapefruit, solid sweet pale malt backbone

t- much like it smells. pungent grapefruit, sweet malt backbone that is apparent. good mix between pine/grass and fruit.

m- leaves mouth dry from bitterness, invites you back for more.

d- very good. decent malt backbone, makes it a lil less drinkable than some west coast ipas

Photo of Chambic
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01.09.10 at Burger Bar SF.

A: bright, orange-y gold; it definitely looks like a winner

S: smells both malty and hoppy

T: needly hops softened by rich malt

M: just the prickle and kick I'm looking for in an IPA

D: especially good after something softer, like the Avery Kaiser

Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at the brewpub in Healdsburg.

Pours a clear dark golden color with pale yellow hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy white head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sheets of sporadic lacing behind.

Crisp citrus and earthy pine hop aroma with some subtle malt and hints of lemon, grapefruit and biscuit.

Lighter end of medium body with a clean crisp dry hop presence. Light malts provide a nice balanced backbone. Dry piny notes with lemon and grapefruit as well as some subtle biscuit and graham cracker malt. Sweet with a dry lingering finish.

3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: Average-size head, fizzy, white in color with decent retention. The body is a clear golden yellow. Average lacing.

S: Respectable malt presence of hay/straw. The hops are a mixture of Columbus and Cascade and provide a heavy dose of grapefruit, orange rind, flowers and, odd as it may sound, I picked up on a wild onion grass aroma. There is a pleasant earthy yeast character to add to the aroma's complexity.

T: The alcohol is almost completely masked, but not quite. Very subtle tropical fruit suggestions of honeydew melon, guava and passion fruit. Lightly acidic and leaning towards the bitter end.

M: The Racer 5 is light in body and on the thin side. The alcohol comes through more than one would expect from a 7% brew (and particularly so on the finish). A fizzy carbonation adds some structure to the mouthfeel. Finishes bitter.

D: A go-to/fall-back kind of IPA for me. While it will never offend, it certainly won't excite either.

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

Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint. From a 22oz bottle.

A - Pours a gorgeous strong golden color with some copper and light amber hints. There is a nice white head that is about .75 inch tall with nice dense bubbles and active carbonation that moves slowly from the bottom of the glass.

S - Gorgeous flowery hops come up front. I love the hoppy beers from BR. Roses and pine come to mind first. Refreshing. Some sweet malty tones at the beginning along with a nutty character. Some sweet grapefruit and citric hints as well.

T - Initially there is a nice malt grain character with some hints of almonds and walnuts. Then it quickly turns into a citric bomb of hop flavor. Wow! Very nice and at the same time light bodied and refreshing. One of the nicer IPA's out there that could be a gateway IPA for newer hop heads.

M - A little on the light side for my taste but still very good and nice combination of flavors. Crisp refreshing and with great citrus dryness.

D - very high. Overall delicious well rounded. good hop notes. Balanced malt notes.

Photo of MURF0320
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden honey colored, minimal head but nice sticky lacing. Crisp piney and floral hop scent. Taste is much like the smell, very clean bitterness. Feel is smooth, light but nicely balanced carbonation, and finishes bitter on the tongue. Great beer to have a few of.

Photo of idResponse
3.56/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden color with a frothy head and lovely lacing that seems to be sticking around quite well so far. Scents of citrus and alcohol, standard IPA smell coming off of this. The First Swig reveals a really smooth balanced standard IPA taste. Very nice mouthfeel and drinkability seems to be right up there with many of my favorite IPA's. I think this is a solid brew, but I am not convinced it is anything to really go crazy over. If you see it on the shelf and haven't tried it, give it a go. It won't disappoint, but won't make your jaw drop. A Solid IPA, Bear Republic!

Photo of jmerloni
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, vibrant orange with one finger sticky white head with impressive and intense lacing.

S - One of the best aromas I've encountered. Citrusy with pine and grapefruit; yeast is detectable; considerable hop scent.

T - A little bit flatter than I expected but still very stellar. Follows the nose but to a less extreme extent. The pineyness and grapefruit flavor show off more than expected. Pretty hoppy with a nice alcoholic finish.

M - Moderately bodied, not very carbonated - carbonation is overtaken by this beer's considerable hoppiness. Moderately bitter and considerably dry finish.

D - A great IPA. One of the best I've tried. Stone and Victory's Hop Devill are probably of the few that compete with this. Super sessionable.

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

22oz bomber in to pint glass.

A: Pour a finger of light head that quickly disapated. Nice golden orange color

S: Like heaven. Citrus and all hops.

T: Strong hops taste at first followed by a mouthful of citrus and piney undertones.

M: Very smooth, a little more carbinated than I remember from my last tasting, but now overpowering.

D: VERY drinkable, goes down easily on a warm "winter" night in California! Fantasic IPA.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours an orangish yellow with about 1.5 fingers of head that leaves nice lacing down the entire glass.

S: Smells of piney hops and citrus

T: I love the taste of this beer. Starts out with piney hops and a hint of citrus. There seems to also be some malt to balance it out. Finishes with a nice clean bitter bite.

M: Medium bodied with medium combination, smooth and crisp finish.

D: This is the best IPA I have had to date.

Photo of capra12
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at the Gotham cask festival from notes taken,
This was the super hopped version.

Appearance: Orange/tan with no head.

Smell: Piney and floral hops

Taste: Opens with piney hops as floral hops come into the flavor profile as a hint of citrus settles in but briefly as the floral and piney hops finish the sip leaving a piney simcoe aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied withe minimal carbonation and smooth.

Drinkability: Wow I would definitely have this again and recommend this to those hop heads out there who enjoy different hop profiles in their brews.

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

Finally time to drop the $5 on a bomber to revive my love of the hops, and it was worth it. A 22oz. behemoth yielded a glass and a half serving into a generic pint class.

Appearance: An orange hardwood body. A light whispy foam head crowned the beer, with huge lacing. A quite clear pour but a little haze from how cold the fridge was working.

Smell: Hops and a clean low key malt nose. The hops were as potent as fresh cut grass on a summers day. A great nose and a bit of citrus fruit also came through.

Taste: An wave of initial bitterness from the hops. Then a bit of sourness and crispness from the citrus nose. A long dry sapping end.

Mouthfeel: A slightly oily drying concoction. It has the typical textbook qualities of all great IPA. The beer is moderately carbonated and leaves your mouth dry for another sip.

Drinkability:A great West Coast IPA which for the price, can't be beat. This beer certainly has earned a spot on my shopping list of awesome IPA to rotate through my fridge.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,770 ratings.