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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.

6,611 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,611
Reviews: 2,199
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 212
Gots: 621 | 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
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Ratings: 6,611 | Reviews: 2,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwinship83
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle picked up as a single. poured into and drank from my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours a clear golden colored body with a small, lasting, bright white head that leaves sticky walls of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- a faint odor of caramel/toffee malt is detected and then...woah! hops! loads of citrus coming from this one. tons of grapefruit. lots of pine as well.

T- just like the smell, this one is dominated by hops. nice. lots of resiny pine and grapefruit. very bitter.

M- medium bodied, well carbonated, and sticky. leaves my mouth feeling very dry.

D- easy to finish and i wish i had grabbed a bomber. a great example of american IPA. ultra hoppy. check this one out if you havnt had it before or in a while.

jwinship83, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of velosuds
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.69.

A-Pours a deep golden, almost orange color with a one finger, off-white head with average retention and modest lacing. Beautiful in appearance. A gorgeous beer.

S-Very pronounced juicy citrus hops. Grapefruit is most prominent. I love the smell of this beer.

T-Very, very balanced, IMO. Hops are aggressive without being overpowering. Nice malt backbone in finish is pleasantly sweet. Atypical for a West Coast IPA. Very distinctive and a real treat. This beer may cause me to change my favorite style. No bitter after taste and alcohol taste is absent, even at 7% ABV. Extremely well crafted.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced, yet complex.

D-A great IPA. May be my favorite beer. Dangerously smooth given ABV. I'm satisfied sipping this beer, but if I am especially thirsty on a hot summer day, I can readily down this in big swallows.

This is my go-to IPA. I can buy this for $1.69 a 12oz single year round. When in Northern California for vacation earlier this month, I bought a half-case of 12oz bottles for $15.99. An exceptional value! Especially compared to Stone and Russian River offerings. I am stingy when giving praise, but this beer garners top scores across the board for me. I like variety, but if this was the only beer I was permitted to drink, I would not be an unhappy camper.

velosuds, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of dgilks
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours a wonderful deep gold with a nice fluffy white head. Very good head retention.

Great, clean citrussy hop aromas. Lots of powerful grapefruit and passionfruit. Really, really good.

Really well balanced with a not overpowering bitterness which is at a good level with lots of candy like mandarin, passionfruit and citrus sweetness. A good sweet malt bill also holds up well here. Really good and one of the best IPAs I've had.

Good full body with average carbonation holds the flavours up well here.

A great drinkable IPA with lots of flavour, great aromas and good bitterness. A really top notch IPA.

dgilks, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of jera1350
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber dated 3-9-09. I need to do a better job of checking dates. Nice lacing down the glass.

Pours into a nonic a golden orange with fluffy one and a half fingers of cream colored suds.

Smells wonderful. Huge pineapple smell up front. Sweet citrusy hops. Some caramel and toffee.

Starts off with sweet candied pineapple followed by a crisp hop bite. The hops are bright and citrusy sweet. Sweet and bitter hops linger in the aftertaste.

About medium bodied. The carbonation lends a slightly creamy texture. Nice and smooth.

I could enjoy this all night long. I can't imagine how much better this would be fresh. This is definitely going in my top ten beers. One of the best IPA's I've ever had. Will definitely be seeking this one out again.

jera1350, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of LieutenantWort
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 22oz bomber into an imperial pint glass. Color is a light, coppery amber, slightly cloudy. Very little head.

S: Really nice nose. Usually I'm pretty bad at differentiating citrus variants, but I have to agree with the other reviewers that there's a definite, specific grapefruit aroma here. Also maybe a tiny bit of lemon and pine.

T: Very nice. Initially both hoppy and fruity at the same time, with wheaty, grassy notes as well. Slightly bitter finish and aftertaste. My palate adapted really quickly to this one, though (maybe it was all those deep inhalations trying to pinpoint the nose?), and by the fifth or sixth sip it was basically a smooth hop delivery system.

M: Also good. Smooth without being creamy. Carbonation is very subtle (which I guess explains the minimal head), makes for a highly drinkable brew.

Overall this beer reminds me a lot of the fabulous Stone Ruination IPA. It's a little less complex and more straightforward in its flavor profile, but both beers have a terrific fruity nose and sustained drinkability despite their hoppiness. I'll think of this as Ruination's little brother, which is quite a compliment.

LieutenantWort, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of beerbully
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A-Copper color minimal head that could be from a non-aggressive pour. Fair amount of lacing

S-Smells of greatfruit

T-Tastes of hops and greatfruit. Alot of greatfruit in the back of the mouth which stays there for a while.

M-slight carbonation.

D-very good. could easily down a couple of these on a hot summer day. very refreshing brew.

Very good IPA that has alot of citrus smell and flavor.

beerbully, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of whynot44
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear apricot gold color with some hints of pink and a decent foamy white head that lingers and produces some ice lacing.

The aroma is Grapefruit and crushed pine needles with just a hint of malt.

The taste is similar starting with a kick of grapefruit, then light bready caramel malt, finishing dry and piney with a lingering pine aftertaste that somehow makes you want more. Seriously hoppy, not for the faint hearted light beer fan.

Light/medium bodied, nicely smooth, crisp and refreshing, nicely drinkable. Definitely worth a try for the hop heads out there.

whynot44, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A beautiful golden color and lots of lacing.

S: Tons of citrus hops, some pine, great balance with the malt, though.

T: Very similar to the nose. The grapefruit and floral flavors from the hops are great, and there is a very present bitterness. Not quite as malty as the scents might indicate.

M: Good medium body, and no unpleasant bitter aftertaste.

D: A great IPA that you could drink all day.

womencantsail, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden amber color. A two finger white head forms, and leaves lots of sticky lace behind.
S: A wonderful hop aroma. Citrus, piney, floral, and grassy hops. Light grapefruit, and bitterness. A good sweetness in the nose to balance everything out.
T: Well balanced between the citrus and floral hops and malty sweetness. Actually one of the best balanced IPA's I have had.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A good creaminess as well. An easy beer to drink. One of the few IPA's I can session.

This is a great IPA. That is coming from someone that is not a great fan of the style. Really well balanced. Highly recommended.

champ103, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of Bluetick
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep Golden

S - Pine Hops

T - Complex Hops. Biting at first with a very floral finish. Kind of a sweet flavor as well.

M - Surprisingly light for 7.00 ABV

D - Extremely drinkable. Easy to slam a few of these on a hot summer day. Very smooth.

Perhaps one of my favorite IPAs. I regularly get these for home.

Bluetick, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

The color is a light amber with a nice white foamy head and some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit hoppy with some nice cirus hop flavor. Some nice slight caramel feel and a bit of pale malt in the background.

The taste is a nice hoppy poke at the beginning with some nice malt flavor rounding out the flavor and evening out the taste. Some nice hints of citrus and some floral hop. The malt flavor is also presented pretty nicely here as well.

The feel of the beer is a nice crisp taste. A bit sharp at first but not overpowering. Some hoppy aftertaste.

Duhast500, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of tyanow
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am addicted to Racer 5. I recently called Bear Republic to arrange for some kegs and I told the lady who works there about my addiction. She replied, "I hear that a lot".

Lighter than expected orangish yellow with a nice puff head that lingers and laces.

Overwhelming (in a good way) citrus hop aroma. Distinctly grapefruit and a slight pine note. The taste is a lot more hop than malt but both are very apparent. The word that always comes to mind is fresh.

It is crisper than you'd imagine a 7% beer to be.

This is a bold beer but remarkably drinkable.

I am not a huge hophead - or should I say I wasn't before Racer 5. In my mind this is right up there with Pliny.

tyanow, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of argock
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased as 6-pack at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.99.

A: Soft hazy peach-amber with slightly off-white, 1-2 finger rock head with good retention and substantial lacing.

S: Crystal and caramel pale malts are bigger than expected in the nose, but floral and citrus hops do lead the way.

T: I did not appreciate the huge maltload of this beer with the on-tap version. Crystal and caramel malts are abundant, and the floral hops have their work cut out for them to overcome. The C-type hops eventually do win out witha strong citrus showing, but I would still consider this a "balanced IPA," and a very good one.

M: The feel is exceptional -- coating and crisp all at once with a long, malty but sharp citrus hops aftertaste.

D: An excellent American IPA with huge maltload that screams top-shelf and classic American hopping to create a superb brew. The hits just keep on coming from Bear Republic. If you are a hops lover, check out the Hop Rod Rye.

argock, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of longbongsilver
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't had an IPA in awhile, why not?

Pours a blurry deep orange, and I immediately smell the hops off it. The white head looks kinda doughy & sticks around quite awhile. In fact, the last inch doesn't even budge until I take a swig. Speaking of which...For as heavily bittered as it is, it's got a really clean taste to it, nothing sticks out too far, maybe a hint of something that makes me think of butterscotch & yeast. Virtually no malt I can discern.

As far as drinkability goes, it reminds me of a good "malt liquor" oddly enough. Doesn't get annoying at all, though keep in mind the hop strength. Overall it's a nice casual IPA, the most session-worthy one I've had thus far.

longbongsilver, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of brianjay
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tall glass...
A crisp, glowing gold with a light brown hue, topped with a white lace which splashed around the glass, hanging on the sides, and slowly sliding down; low carbonation, just enough to keep it lively.
Notes are simple and complex: the subtle, earthy hops scent in front of a quiet biscuit malt. This combination also makes its way onto the tongue. The natural, pine and floral (with some bitterness) of the hops take over however. The bread flavor of the malt hangs around, only to be slowly washed away by the hops, whose dry, tart finish left me wanting more.
Easy and smooth in the mouth, yet exciting and invigorating the taste buds. Everything balances out perfectly in this IPA.

brianjay, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of dmamiano
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautifull bronze pour with a slight haze leading to a frothy tan head and abundant lacing.

Nose is dominated by hops, sweet bready malts and floral essence.
Taste is very nice, big on the feel with a lot of legs. Perfect balance of malts and juicy resinioius hops.
Great beer.

dmamiano, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of nycwinter
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap in a 16oz mug at a local pizza joint.

A= Cloudy at first, but generally translucent orange-brown, thin white head at first that left a thin ring and ringed lacing throughout.

S= Floral and citrusy, but with a unique dried strawberry note in front.

T= Very pleasantly tart. A very sharp citrus peel hits the tongue at first and mellows slightly through. The most prominent flavor is a refreshing floral arrangement of citurs blossoms. Hint of malt sweetness in the aftertaste. Minimal alchohol presence.

M= Light to medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

D= This is a very cool and refreshing IPA that did not lack any character or complexity. Great on a hot day with any flavorful cuisine.

nycwinter, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of Oxymoron
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crazy fives are alive. Pours a mostly cloudy orange hue color with a light amber almost reddish color. A fizzy white head with good retention and lacing though did hide to the edge of the glass. I did notice that the bottle was a low fill but no apparent off notes.

The nose is distinctly a west coast ipa. Big citrus, pine and grapefruit form the hops. Really dominates and lingers through the tasting and as it warms. Some minor malt notes but very limited. Some caramel and a hint of toffee. Some minor yeast notes but for the most part very clean.

The taste is similar. The hops really come out more on the finishing hops. The citrus note comes out with a good citrus lemon and grapefruit taste. Some minor pine and a lingering pine notes but limited versus the nose. A slight soapy note but no where near as would have expected per such a hop bomb. Some bitterness that lingers into the finish but very subtle. The malt comes out a bit more compared to the nose. Some bready and caramel notes. Would have liked a bit more malt but still good. A very nice beer.

The body is moderate to full. Would like a bit less body but does support the huge hop character. Carbonation is light, could use a touch more to help with bitterness. But overall a fantastic example of a west coast ipa.

Oxymoron, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of BDLbrewster
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy blood orange hued amber with tons of visible carbonation. Large pillow like head that has amazing retention.

Smells heavily of pink grapefruit and fresh citrus peel. The malts are subtle and pushed to the back, what I can pick up is sweet like toffee. Smells very fresh and good.

Taste is sweet and bready and lightly toasted on the front, the malt profile is awesome. Then the hops rear their head, big west coaster here. Grapefruit peel with no pithy bitterness yet, the flavor then morphs into a light pine resin that supports an ample amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good, enough carbonation to keep it from feeling too syrupy. Light-medium bodied and super refreshing.

Drinkability is fantastic! Big IPA, 7%, tastes great. What else can you honestly ask for. Wish I had year round access to this bad boy.

BDLbrewster, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. Bomber poured into my Imperial Pint Glass

A - Poured a hazy deep orange/copper color. I didn't very much head just some bubbly lacing around the side of the glass
S - Wow, get strong piney hops in the nose, fresh hops, grapefruit

T - Ok, i thought the smell was strong. The taste follows the nose but I got the strong citrus hops upfront and some strong piney resiny hops in the back. I get the sweet malty background but the hops are much more, I wouldn't say this very balance but it is delicious
M - Medium body, not much carbonation. I got a real strong pine resin finish at the end
D - This was an awesome beer. I'll admit this was pretty complex for me in the beginning. But the more I sipped the more I could realize all of its beautiful complexities. This beer was great!!

BayouBengal1537, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of CanuckRover
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a shady orange with a big frothy head. Big webby lacings all the way down. Great looking IPA.

Piney hops on the nose, but not overwhelming, certainly leaves room for a slight malty sweetness.

Crisp citrus hops right up front strike the tongue an instant before piney bittering hops take over. A very faint fruity malt flavour lingers behind all the hops. Beer leaves a lasting bitterness on the back of the tongue and sort of numbs the mouth.

Nice smooth body with wonderfully understated carbonation. A good beer, fits the style to a T.

CanuckRover, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at Fins Raw Bar in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

A: Poured a thin and hazy orange-yellow color with a faint cap of dense white foam. Lacing was good and carbonation was plentiful.

S: Smells like big time grapefruit aromas and oily hops.

T: Taste emulates the smell quite accurately. Some lightly toasted caramel and even wheat flavor lend way to the rush of bittersweet stinging hops. Lots of herbacious, floal and citrusy hops, Racer 5 stings the palate with it's sweetened bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is light-medium, but is still pretty slick along the mid-palate. Hops linger quite a while.

D: Holy crow, this is a strong tasting IPA! At 7% ABV and with a hop profile like this, it'd be tough to session this, but great to have one or two with a meal. I had mine with a light meal of steamed clams and raw oysters.

Gambrinus1184, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of burnstar
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours slightly cloudy gold with a small to medium persistent head. Nice lacing on the surface and sides of the glass. Smell is fantastic resiny piney hops. Really big aroma of fresh hops. Taste has very pleasant piney citrusy earthy hops from beginning to finish. Nice background sweetness provides some balance. Some bitterness but not as much as some other IPAs. This beer is full bodied and lightly carbonated which suits it well. Very easy to drink would be a (dangerously) good session beer. Overall an excellent IPA.

burnstar, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of Ralphus
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this beer as part of a trade recently. It's my first Bear Republic beer. I visited the companies website hoping to determine why it's called Racer 5 - but it's not mentioned that I could see. Anyway, on with the review.

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a tame slightly off-white head. It dissapates quickly to a small blanket of foam but it does leave some spider lacing down the glass as it goes down. Carbonation is very small.

The smell is surprisingly light. If you didn't know this was an IPA ahead of time I'd be interested to know if you could pinpoint the style. There is some light sweetness mixed with hoppyness but it's not very strong.

The taste is well done. Caramel like sweetness and some fruity notes are present initially and then it transitions well to a balanced and bitter finish. It's not over the top and you can still appreciate the complexities in the beer. Pine and citrus notes are present in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight prickle from the carbonation. Drinkability is higher than average.. you could put a few of these away without feeling you like you were sucking on a pine cone! Overall - a solid beer and one that I'd have no trouble reaching for again.

Ralphus, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of JAA
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BlueOkie for this one.

A rich gold hue with white one-finger head, laces astonishingly well. Looks like a good beer.

odors are relatively weak until it opens up a little. What does peak through is a sweet citrus character, perhaps oranges and a bit of pineapple. The hops aren't all that present in the nose. Juicy fruit chewing gum.

Taste is definitely grapefruit and pineapple along with piney hop characteristic. Both the smell and taste open up as it warms, drink this one slowly. The bitter hops subside with time and the juicyness dominates everything, even the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth until you swallow. bitterness attacks, but it eases up with the rise of the temperature.

A very nice IPA. Very easy to drink. You don't want to stop sipping. But it gets so much better when it warms, so serve at the proper temperature. Damn, i shouldn't have given the other half of the bomber to my girlfriend. I would like to get a case of this stuff, if it was distributed in Florida.

JAA, Jul 09, 2009
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,611 ratings.