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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

6,508 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,508
Reviews: 2,194
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 208
Gots: 571 | 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:
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,508 | Reviews: 2,194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 7% ABV, "Brewmaster's Notes: Keep cold, respect life, don't D+D, real ale is alive, yeast is good, serve at 45°-50°F" No date.

A - Floaties fill the bottle so I just dump the whole thing into my pint anyway. For how vigorous the pour is, a modest two-finger white head is surprising. Nice lace coats the glass above the slightly hazy golden-yellow beer though.

S - A fantastic floral and citrusy American hop bouquet erupts from this beer. Notes of resiny pine, grapefruit, and even hints of orange peel come out. Malty backbone supports the hops nicely.

T - A big smack of hops hits the tongue instantly. It's predominantly resin-flavored but grapefruit is big too. A laid-back malt profile doesn't really show it's face but still provides a fantastic backbone for the hearty hops. The resin almost becomes slightly plastic-resin like though.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth initially with a nicely balanced carbonation level and an even better balanced semi-strong bitter finish. Lingering resin notes add some dryness.

D - A solid, very well-done IPA better my second time around for sure. It's best feature is the balance it carries with the hops and backing malts. This pint zoomed down the hatch but one is enough for this guy.

Rereview. Changed from a 3.3 B-

BeerFMAndy, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of citan133
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a smuttynose pint glass from a 12oz bottle purchased at Julio's in Westborough, MA.

Almost no head to speak of, just a very thin, bright white layer of foam that barely covers the beer and dissipates quickly, leaving a very thin ring around the edge of the beer as I drink it. Not a bad color, sort of a light orange. Looks like an ipa.

Smells pretty good, some citrus and fruit hops coming through. Not real intense but some nice smells going on.

Kind of basic, light mouthfeel, pretty bitter hops in the middle and the finish, a little sweetness in the front. Hops are just nice and bitter, not really any fruit coming through and the malt shows up a little in the beginning but is quickly overpowered by the hops. Not an intense bitterness but kind of subdued, just enough to please a hophead but not enough to turn on someone who doesn't normally drink an ipa.no alcohol to speak of.

Kind of nice, maybe light to medium. Hops leave that bitterness on your tongue for a while but nothing cloying.

I could definitely drink a bunch of these in a sitting when it comes to flavor, probably a very nice summer time ipa, refreshing. nothing crazy going on but a solid, drinkable ipa. I'd pick up a six for a hot day but nothing that floored me, even for a regular ipa.

citan133, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given and comes in at 7%.

A-Color reminds me of orange marmalade. Has a 1/2 finger white head that dissolves quickly, leaving scattered clumps of foam and a small ring.

S-Citrus hops as well as some floral hops hit fast giving this a really nice hoppy bouquet. Also pick up some sweet malt notes.

T-The hops hit fast. Once it hits my mouth orange zest comes quickly followed by grapefruit. Pine can also be detected. This beer leaves a really good level of bitterness.

M-Medium bodied with a light level of carbonation that works well for the beer.

D-The 7% is extremely well hidden and all those hops along with the fact that it is not sweet mean it is highly drinkable.

A great beer that can meet my hop demands and it is easily available.Along with SNPA, this has been my old standby for years when out at local restaurants and/or pubs with limited beer menus.

mjl21, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of steelerguy
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours golden with a 1 finger off white head. Head fades quickly leaving lacing on top. Lightly carbonated and quite clear, with heavy lacing as I drank.

S - Sweet malt and floral hops. If there were a such thing as a beer flower, this is how it would smell.

T - Sweet caramel malt taste, some unfermented sugars, balanced very well by the floral hop bitterness. Can definitely pick up some alcohol in there, but in a good way, lets you know this beer is packing. I would have guessed this beer to be a DIPA considering the strong malt backbone and hop counter punch.

M - Thicker than expecting, not heavily attenuated. Feels like a bigger beer than a regular IPA.

D - This is a beer to sit down and savor. Enjoy one or two, but it got a bit tiring as I drank more. This is called an IPA, but felt like a DIPA to me and because of that it is only so drinkable even though it is quite good.

steelerguy, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of jizdepski
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from tap into an imperial pint glass. appears a golden orange with a very nice looking thick white head that slowly dissipates, but leaves beautiful webs of sticky, crystaline lacing. smells as advertised, floral hops, herbs (particularly oregano), some grassy notes, slight citrus sweetness. taste follows smell, though it is VERY herbal tasting when it warms; almost in a medicinal way.i have drank this beer several times, and cold and room temp glasses make a big difference here. i think i'd opt for the cold normally, but its just a nitpick. has nice lively hops, some citrus notes, with the alcohol barely noticed. the mouthfeel is medium bodied, not overly carbonated but has a nice zip going on. tasty bitter finish. fairly drinkable. a very interesting and bold (though not traditional) ipa. recommended.

jizdepski, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of DNICE555
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an english pint glass. Decent white head with an average amount of carbonation. Hazy grapefruit color. Some nice lacing rings the glass even after I've finished.

This beer smelled very good. Citrusy, tangy, piney hops.

Taste was right on point. Crisp clean hops with some zing to them. Not overly piney and not very bitter.

Medium body with some nice citrusy high notes.

Very drinkable. Just have to be careful of the 7 percent abv that is barley noticeable.

DNICE555, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of cavedave
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautifully clear medium amber with a densely grown thin layer of light beige foam. A swirl of the tulip leaves a clinging gargoyle arm of lace.

The nose is heavenly citrus/pine, sweetest essences, running from from spruce fruit/orange peel to lemon to grapefruit all wrapped in hints of sweet malty goodness that are teasingly and complexly aromatic.

Taste is a bold assault of flavor. Grapefruit leads the attack, passing command of the sip to orange peach lemon pine and herbal florality into a tasty finish. As it warms the floral sweetness and bitterness balance into an even better and longer finish.

Mouthfeel is very good for the style, just shy of overly resinous.

Drinkability is amazingly good, the abv 7% is present only in the mind not on the tongue.

cavedave, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of CMW
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a crystal clear straw yellow color. There is a tall white head that carries good retention throughout. Lacing is also present on the side of the glass.

S - Floral hops dominate the nose, with some slight grapefruit notes.

T - Almost all hops in the taste but it is not overly bitter. Good balance between floral and grapefruit hop flavors. I didn't find this bitter at all.

M - Medium carbonation and on the thinner side.

D - Wow, this goes down easy. I could drink a few of these.

CMW, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of jdense
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured in Kapittel chalice.

2 finger lingering white head with nice lacing over slightly opaque amber orange body. Hops are pretty noticeable in the nose but not overwhelming. Spicy hops on the back end of taste balanced by sweetish malt up front. A nice example of NoCal IPA, though my preference runs towards Racer X in terms of complexity and taste. Maybe it's a carbonation issue related to the bottle conditioning, but I'm not having any problems with the yeast. Worth a shot, though definitely better on tap and superlative on cask at the Horse Brass

jdense, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle pours a light orange, lighter than many good IPAs, with light head that quickly dissipates. Lots of particles at the bottom.

Smell is a bouquet of hops. Grapefruit and citrus dominate with a mix of floral notes with generous dashes of pine. Some malty sweetness, hints of a caramel malt - very nice.

Taste doesn't deliver the complexity that the nose suggests, although this could be because the bottle is a few months old. The hops is there but not vibrant, and the malt doesn't have enough body to impress on its own. It also seems a little under carbonated which makes it feel a little dull. There's still a nice bittering punch on the finish.

Overall, definitely not on par with some of Bear's other offerings, though I am willing to grant it some slack because of the age of the bottle and because it's still a very drinkable brew.

ritzkiss, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of PhxHorn
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one is a medium yellow with a quarter inch of white head. Plenty of lacing on the glass. Smells of grapefruit with some orange thrown in. Solid citrus aroma. Tastes of grapefruit, orange, and some other fruity hints in there. Finishes with a medium bitter aftertaste, but not overwhelming. A good solid IPA, very drinkable. Glad I tried this one at Papago.

PhxHorn, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of WilliamD
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Light amber color with a thin white head.
Smells of malts is stronger than the hops. Faint pineapple and strange, musty aroma.
Mild hop presence in the taste. Citrus-y and watery. Little bit of an alcohol bite.
Mouthfeel is crisp and watery.
Good drinkability. The alcohol presence surprised me though.
Not that impressed with this one. Decent IPA.

WilliamD, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of Kadonny
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from cask into a nonic pint glass at TJs in Paoli.

A: A cloudy golden orange color with a one finger fluffy white head. Nice full glass lacing.

S: Nice citrus hops with some floral and pine notes and a sweet caramel malt smell. Nice and mellow.

T: Hops shine through with hints of citrus, floral, grass and some slight pine. Along side the hops the malt in this really melds in perfectly with caramel sweetness and creamy smoothness. Finish is clean and crisp, but not real bitter.

M: Medium and creamy. No hint of alcohol and of course light carbonation. Not much bitterness either.

D: Unfortunately, very high. These are so creamy smooth and oh so delicious.

This is a great beer from C02, kick that up a notch with the cask conditioning. Simply superb. What a west coast treat that we are lucky to have here in PA. Thanks to Jeff at TJs for bringing in this gem for us to try.

Kadonny, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of Wheelinb
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first thing that attracted me to this beer was the graphics on the tap. A tribute to Speed Racer no doubt. So naturally I ordered a pint and enjoyed the light amber color and the distinct citrus smell. When you taste it you get grapefruit but it is not overly tart or fruity. This has become one of my favorites and I always have it on hand. Everyone I have sampled it with has become a fan as well.

Wheelinb, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of webbcreative
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep golden color, with great 3 finger head. smell is ridiculous, the aroma hit my nose before i could even finish pouring the beer. Smells of wonderful clean hops, and hops, and hops, and hops. Taste - Nice big hop flavor of the bat, which sweetness from the malt midway through, then finishing with a nice hop punch in the end, but the bitterness lingers a little but not uncomfortably long, its really nice. Just a bit of biscuit flavor in there also. Mouthfeel is really, really smooth.

Overall, this is an EXCELLENT IPA, would get this one again, and for $5 and some change a pretty good deal also.

webbcreative, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy orange-tan color. The off-white head is large, somewhat thick, and fluffy, with hints of tan color. Retention is excellent, as is lacing.

S: Spicy, fragrant hops in the nose - mostly somewhat sweet citrus. A piney/floral background as well. Some biscuity malt aroma as well.

T: Moderate caramel malt sweetness up front. Quickly followed by a rush of juicy hop flavors. Orange peel and sweet grapefruit, along with an unusual candied floral and piney notes. The hop flavors start off like many other top-notch IPAs, but then they depart into something just a touch different. Bitterness is fairly mild, with some hints of alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium-firm body. Carbonation is tingly and fairly creamy. Very nicely balanced overall, with an especially dry mouthfeel into the finish.

D: For such a big, hoppy IPA, this manages an impressive balance. A nice malt backbone along with some unique hop flavors makes this a very nice beer indeed.

Clydesdale, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of joshuadlight
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. My rather fancy 100 year anniversary Shiner pint glass if you care to know.

First pour was clear, second was cloudy due to the yeast in the bottom of bottle. Small head consisting of tiny bubbles reminiscent of a nitro bottle. I cannot concur with most reviewers of this beer, I just feel that there are too many IPAs that are better than this one. Sure there are citrus notes and carmel notes, but they are a little subdued up next to the bitterness. To me, the test of a truly awesome IPA is whether or not the beautiful flavors that define the style can come through and coexist with the bitterness. Here, I think, the bitterness takes too much of the stage. I want bitterness, don't get me wrong, but I feel there is a perfect medium where IPA flavors live in perfect harmony with bitterness. And this beer doesn't achieve that.

All the while, its still a beer that many enjoy and I agree that it is a well crafted beer. I have my first Hop Rod Rye in the fridge and look forward to trying it soon and I hope it surpasses the Racer. If you are an IPA lover, you do want to get your hands on this. If not, there are better beers out there.

joshuadlight, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A copper color with a slight more reddish tinge to it. A small head that quickly disappears.

S: A good amount of citrus hops, mostly grapefruit and orange. Also some detection of pine. There is a slight malt scent as well.

T: A very well put together flavor of hops. At first sip, a good amount of citrus hops, mixed with a little caramel malt. Finishes strong with more hops, mostly pine.

M: A medium body beer, but missing some carbonation.

D: A really good IPA offering. Although a 7% abv, worth having more than one in a sitting!

IronCitySteve, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of brewdoc75
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to pint glass. Bottled on 12/12/08.

A: Golden yellow in color. Quite light appearing. Crisp, bubbly white head atop.

S: Not a lot initially, but after it warms up I get a strong grapefruit aroma. Kind of one dimensional, but solid. I do get some faint sweetness from the malts as well.

T: Hoppy bitterness assaults the tongue initially. Once again, the grapefruit component really shines here. For those who like a grapefruity IPA, this is a great example. I do get some other citrus flavors as well, with a hint of tangerine and even some orange. The bitterness is long lasting and reaches to the next drink. The malts are not really there in this beer however. I am longing for a bit more balancing sweetness.

M: Crisp, light, and clean.

D: A pretty solid IPA. Not the best I've had and definitely not a bad one. I tried this after the Hop Rod Rye, which really overshadows this beer. It is worth a try, but there are some others I would drink on a daily basis before this one.

brewdoc75, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from Belmont Station.. glad to get it. This review is after having a Leafer Madness.. and then a Ninkasi Tricerahops bomber... yes, a 3 bomber night. And still feel like I could drive a car just fine... not that I would!

- Rather basic copper appearance, nice foamy head that quickly shoots down to a swirl of lacing. Poured into a tumbler.. as usual for me.

- Nice sweet caramel and floral hop scent.. seems well balanced to the nose. Hint of honey in this too?

- Super fine balance in hops and malts here.. sweet caramel, honey.. and a drinkable citrus/pine.. mellow hop complexion.. yet it is an IPA.. I strive for an IIPA with this suit. Tastes a bit stronger than it really is.

- Great floral and warm alcohol afterlash.. enough water to keep going..

- Very drinkable... somewhat bubbly and filling.. but a great strengthy basic IPA. Would buy again.. but there are others that come before it.

Docer, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of StrangeBrewer76
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours perfect straw to orange color, a little hazy with textbook head and lacing. Lacing could be reproduced and sold as art for doilies. This could not look better.

Smells of pine and spicy hop that would meet your imaginations expectations of a California IPA.

Taste is amazing. I may be a little biased for having had this before but as a beer geek or BA I tend to gravitate toward the best stuff, which this brew clearly is, hands down. Whatever malt is used in this beer compliments the bitterness profile of the hops so perfectly that the taste transition is seamless.

M- Hop resins top to bottom make this one of the easiest things to drink.

Drinkability is off the charts. This is a 6. When you raise this glass to your lips you take a sip but the sip is them followed by a larger sip, then by a gulp. It's really that good.

I would consider this a go-to beer which I would always have on hand if I didn't just run out of it.

Truly exceptional. Get some!

StrangeBrewer76, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of mcsquint
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz brown bomber into pint glass:
A - Golden amber and crystal clear. Beautiful slightly off-white head leaves spotty lacing on glass.
S - Grapefruit citrus and pine followed by grassy and a bit of malt.
T - Gold malt, piney and citrusy hops. Yeasty. A bit of a bite on the finish. Somewhat metallic aftertaste.
M - Light to medium. A bit slick at first but finishes remarkably dry and crisp.
D - Definitely a full flavor brew. 7% ABV gives it some kick. I could drink a couple of these....at least!

mcsquint, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of maskednegator
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden. Agressive pour results in puffy head, which slowly deflates, leaving great lacing on the glass.
Smell: Floral, citrus hops. A ton of them.
Taste: Big grapefruit up front fills the sinus, mellow maltiness follows, balanced by a pine-sol hop bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, slightly acidic
Drinkability: I love IPAs, so this is an all-night beer for me. Others may be put off by the a lingering metallic finish. Some would think it's like sucking on a rusty penny, but I compare it to licking a 9 volt battery.

Verdict: 8/10. You can find this in many bars in San Diego, so I often recommend it to my friends. It's only a $4 bomber (insane for a bottle-conditioned beer). Reserve a little in the bottle, and drink it separately. Yeast is good for you

maskednegator, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Genghis22
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful gold color with a small white head that did not last long. Nice little bits of lacing.

S - Hops, hops and more hops. Sweet and piney all at the same time, this is an IPA!

T - Starts off sweet and finishes with a nice bitter hop aftertaste.

M - Thick and syrupy with minimal carbonation.

D - This is a drinkable beer. The first time I had it, I didn't like it, but it's been a while and I've grown as a beer drinker. This is a fine example of a good west coast IPA. Lots of piney hops in the nose and they come through on the taste as well.

Genghis22, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of deereless
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A coppery gold with a hint of pink, light and frothy head, lots of resiny foam on the glass - 4.50, S: Fragrant citrus and bubblegum, some tropical fruits - 4.50, T: Pine sap, extremely bitter, faint flavors that remind me of a barrel aged beer, malt plays second fiddle to the hops - 4.25, M: Silky - 4.00, D: This has been one of my go to IPAs for a while, very West Coast style of IPA, loads of hops, very drinkable in my opinion - 4.50

deereless, Mar 20, 2009
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 6,508 ratings.