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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.

6,831 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,831
Reviews: 2,229
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 246
Gots: 771 | 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
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: 6,831 | Reviews: 2,229 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopJ
2.98/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have drank Racer 5 on multiple occasions and often hear it acclaimed but I can't say it has ever inspired me. I finally decided to pay more attention to Race 5. While enjoying the aromatics, I find the rest of it rather ordinary and a bit out of balance. It also leaves me wanting a more complexity. The bitterness on the finish seems out of place. Happy to drink if it is served to me but not a beer I will be purchasing with my own money.

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

Served in an English style pint glass. Bright copper color with about 2 inches of foamy overflowing head. Strong smells of hop aromas both grapefruit and pine. The flavor comes forward with strong citrus hops, flavors of grapefruit, orange and lemons. Hop flavor profile added pine-like nature. No real malt balance. Mouthfeel is smooth and very drinkable. Very drinkable, a second or third, yes very possible.

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

22 oz Brown bomber, no freshness date.

A- Pours a nice hazzy dark honey colored ale with 1/2 finger white head that settles quick but laces nice. visible carbonation.

S- Hops hit the nose first with a hint of honey and grass. sweet hints of malts pull through the end.

T- bittering hops all the way, grapefruit rind with a grassy quality to it. not fruity at all but earthy and strong. If i didnt know any better i would say this is an Imperial due to the amazing strength the hops put off.

M- Feels like an IPA should always feel, Medium/thick/oily mouthfeel with moderate carbonation that tingles on your tounge but is not overwhelming.

D- Amazing taste, amazing abv, amazing everything. Extremely solid brew that i will drink over and over and over again.

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

Pours an orange with a thick foamy white head. The retention is okay, and it leaves a layer of foam that stays, with lacing, the whole way down.

Aroma is of pine and citrus hops

Taste is piney, citrusy and a good level of bitterness from the hop profile. Malts balance this one out fairly well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Drinkability is good for a beer of its bitterness and ABV, but then again, I love American IPA's.

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

Poured into a snifter

A: Transparent yellow/light orange color with about a half inch of head. The head completely disappears after a few minutes.
S: Aromas of citrus on the pour. Nose is that of a strong citrus with a touch of pine on the back end. The beer smells of grapefruit mixed with lemon, then pine.
T: The front flavor is that of a citrus hop, lemon/grapefruit. The back end of the flavor is a pine that turns into an earthy note. The flavor as a whole is light, and refreshing.
M: Mouth is light and slippery with a little carbonation.
D: Very drinkable IPA with a nice citrus hop and light body. Slightly complex hop flavor makes it fun for the hop head to try and distinguish.

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

A: Clear golden/amber body with a foamy white head and generous lacing. Looks good, but maybe the head could stick around longer...whatever.

S: Hoppy, very hoppy. Nice citrus notes in there, pine and a sweetness from pineapple and caramel.

T: Amazing hop kick that mellows very linearly with a refreshing, dry finish - a little bitter. That said, it's very well balanced - sweet malts and the slightest hint of alcohol prevent this form being a one trick pony.

M: Medium bodied with nice mellow carbonation.

D: Yes. Pretty much the prototypical IPA perfectly executed. One of my favorite IPAs.

Photo of abrand
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. No best before or bottled date noticed on the bottle.

The Racer 5 IPA pours an orange color with good clarity and brightness to the pour. A nice frothy 1 finger head and good retention on the glass. Smell and quaff are mostly sweet lemons and grapefruit with a subtle hop finish. In between are characteristics of malts and pines. Very light and delicate tasting but nice and refreshing. Mouthfeel is thin bodied but good carbonation and quite refreshing. Drinkability is solid. A very sessionable style of ale and the taste and abv are par compared to others.

Photo of imperialstout27
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pub glass.

A: Nice golden orange with off-white 1 finger head. Hazy with a little bit of very tiny fuzz floating around. Head dissipates in a couple minutes and leaves a decent collar that remains throughout. Medium lacing.

S: Lemony citrus. Also some tangerine. Sweet maltiness lightly appearing under the hops.

T: Hell ya! Very juicy hop flavors with a good malt structure that's not overly malty. The hops are very forward but nicely balanced for the style. The sweetness knows just how to be the canvas without usurping the stage from the very prominent hops. The hop profile of this IPA really works for my palate; it's not super bitter, but it is super flavorful with a nice spicy, resinous characteristic. Alcohol asserts itself as it warms. There's also an enjoyable graininess in the aftertaste, along with the predictable bitterness.

M: Very nice feel that's medium to full for the style. Unlike some IPAs, there's actually some grain in this recipe. Smooth on the palate with an adequate carbonation level.

D: Quite high, although it can get a little sweet and boozy as it warms. But at optimal temperature, I can easily drink the bomber and more.

Overall, a very good IPA that has a good malt backbone without being overly sweet. Delicious hop profile.

Photo of Ezone024
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at gales in petaluma CA. pours a hazy orange color with a 1 finger head..lots of lacing as you go. smells of earthy grapefruit and slight booziness.

the taste is very full it really punches you in the face with your first sip. the maltiness isnt very distinguished but it hits the back of your throat right before the citrus hops take over.tastes like a wide variety of hops were used in making racer 5.

very good west coast IPA a little boozy though. can drink a few but not too many.

Photo of keithmurray
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a chalice

Beer pours a light golden color, straw coloured head that lingered

aroma is of hops, pine and citrus

taste is bitter hops up front, with a follow up of citrus flavor (grapefruit/lemon)

mouthfeel is average, mildly carbonated, fairly easy to drink this

drinkability - could definetly drink this for a bit

I'm just starting to get an appreciation for the Pale ales, APA's/IPA's and DIPA'S. I feel like I got a good start with this entry, a reasonably priced bomber (~4.50) and a beer with good flavor.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Bright light orange pour. One finger of bubbly white foam. Decent retention. Nice rings of lacing.

Citric hop aroma that is very perfume-y. Not a whole lot to the nose aside from that.

Hop flavor touches both citrus and pine, with the pine being more prominent in the finish. Malt flavor is somewhat bready and sweet.

Medium bodied. Fairly light carbonation, not very active on the tongue. Very, very drinkable. An approachable West Coast IPA.

Photo of jdrury245
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright copper/orange color. It had creamy 2 finger off white head.

The aroma of pine orange, pineapple and lemon filled my nose with delight. Th aroma was smooth and fresh. A very fresh smell.

Nicely hopped with a sweet bitter citrus malt taste in the beginning and then the hops bite back. Some notes of pine.

Medium bodied. Highly carbonated. The bubbles tickle my mouth.

Great drinkability! This tasty gem can be enjoyed anytime.

Photo of Minkybut
2.75/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this hopped up beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was hoppy smelling and poured a cloudy wheat looking color. The smell and taste also was like it had pineapple in it and was fruity beyond what I like tasting. I will not buy again.

Photo of beer2day
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear copper color. No head, no retention, and very thin lace.

Very bright aroma. Pine and lemon dominate.

Strong hit on the tongue. Very bitter up front. Gets a little fruity in the finish, with pineapple and grapefruit.

Excellent feel to match the flavor.

I can drink this one all day.

Photo of Chico1985
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(just copy and pasted notes from notepad, didn't feel like editing it)

pours a beautiful pumpkin orange, bubbly creamy white head. hazy sediment visible when held up to the light. leaves sporadic, sticky lacing. 4.5

excellent classic IPA smell. fruit and hops up the wazoo, grapefruit and citrus heavy especially. 4.5

such a great balance of hops and malts here. grapefruit and pine, biscuit, caramel, warm baked goods. a tropical candy like sweetness. the hops aren't overpowering which lets the flavors truly shine, something I really look for in an IPA. 5

mouthfeel is so good, super creamy. works very well with all the flavors here. absolutely no alcohol taste, truly drinks like a dream. carbonation level is perfect. 5

drinkability is obviously great here. 12 bucks is maybe a tad much for a 6-pack, but I will continue to buy this again and again. Bear Republic certainly knows how to make an American IPA - Racer 5 and Hop Rod Rye are both among the best, most notable ones available. This is easily my favorite go-to for this style. 5

Photo of micromaniac129
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a generous thick foam cap that is dense and lingers through session.
A nice golden orange color that is clear.
Citrus and pine resin can be scented in this hoppy brew.
Hoppy, yes, with citrus and pine coming through with some malt character for balance.
This is a full body beer with a slightly dry or bitter ending.

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

Pours a nice dark golden color with a firm white head. Big citrusy aromas (grapefruit and maybe a bit of zesty lemon). Taking a drink, the big hoppy flavors assault the palate, but in a very good way. Mid palate I get citrus, followed by a lightly sweet maltiness leading to a lasting bitter finish. Eminently drinkable, this is a perfect example of the west coast ipa style. Highly recommended.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chickencoop for the bottle!

Pours a clear golden yellow color. Nice fluffy of white head falls to a sticky ring. Very nice lacing. The smell is citrus hops and a nice malt base under it.

The taste is as the smell would indicate. Not over the top hoppy pretty nice and mellow. Nice malt sweetness then fills the mouth followed by a sharp bitter dry aftertaste that just lingers on the tongue.

The body is medium. It has nice carbonation making it quite smooth drinking. Overall a very solid IPA. I don't know why it has taken me so long to try this one but I'm glad that I did.

Photo of billshmeinke
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a bit of orange. One finger fluffy white head. Quickly dies down to a bubbly ring around the glass and a thin layer of foam on top. A bunch of lacing left behind.

Smells of barley and honey malts. Some bread-y scents. Hops come through as bitter dank, resin and pine.

Taste follows smell. Honey malts and cereal/bread barley. Hops come through as dank, resin, pine, and a bit of lemon citrus. Nothing too crazy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Well carbonated, small prickly bubbles. A really nice hop bite in there as well.

Good drinkability. A beer that can definitely keep you entertained for a night of drinking.

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

A local beer for me. Brewed within 50 miles of my home. Short lived head, burnt copper color, nice hop come on with a slowly pleasant diminishing of the hop aftertaste. A beer to keep around! fairly persistent lacing, nice clarity. The brewery has recently started to distribute this beverage in six packs, as opposed to only in 22oz bottles.

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

Great smelling. Hoppy, floral, biscuit.
Poured into a red wine glass, the head dissipated fairly quickly but left some decent lacing. I got my nose in again, some butter, plenty of malt as well.

Taste was excellent, balanced, full mouth feel some hoppy crispness at the front, and an almost truffley taste.

Overall very good.

Photo of rrski198
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1 inch solid white head. Pale color, not amber.

S: Cascade? Chinook? Very good nose.

T: The smell really brings the taste home. Not overpowering, nicely balanced. For a regular IPA, this is quite nice.

M: Smooth. Again not overpowering. Feel the hops but not a palate wrecker.

D: Overall, excellent. A great version of an American IPA. Very drinkable. I love big IPAs, this is not one of those. But, it is a perfect example of this style of beer.

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours into a pint glass a beautiful hazy yellow-orange with a big off-white head.

Delicious notes of thick pine needles and lemon zest. Sweet malts balance against the assertive hop character very nicely. This is very easy on the nose.

I'm surprised by how bitter the Racer 5 ISN'T. Compared to the nose, the hops are more refined, less "in your face" than you would expect, but still pleasantly hoppy, and perfectly in line with the style. The sweet, fruity, thick bodied malt tastes roll along the tongue so smoothly, I almost want to compare it to a sweet milkshake (lol), but that wouldn't be quite appropriate. Very delicious, nonetheless. Easy drinking, medium-thick bodied, velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Photo of Flashsp2
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 12oz into snifter

A moderate pour gives a perfectly clear orange body with a half inch
white head. Thins down pretty quickly, bit leaves a thin film and nice

Aroma is big time grapefruit. Some ripe peach sweetness as well. Hops
are pungent and powerful in the nose.

Taste comes in layers, grapefruit, pine, peach (among other fruits),
pale malt, and a slightly oily hop bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light and drinkable, with carbonation being on the
lighter side for the style. It doesn't stand out as perfect, but
doesn't seem flawed either. It just works well.

Easy to drink with a solid hop forward flavor and enticing bitterness.
Could easily kick back a few, even at 7% abv.

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

A: Pours a burnt orange with a two finger head that slowly dissipated leaving a nice lace on the glass.

S: Notes of citrus and hops, simply put.

T: Very nice hop presence with a hint of citrus.

M: Has a light to medium body with a slight carbonation.

D: Quite smooth for a hoppy west coast IPA, an easy 7% ABV. Tastes just like an IPA should be, very tasty.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,831 ratings.