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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.

6,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,687
Reviews: 2,206
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 221
Gots: 644 | 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: 6,687 | Reviews: 2,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drabmuh
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is amber, clear until the yeast poured into the glass (my bad). Carbonation is steady, head forms full and white, falls away leaving a diffuse head behind and some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is hop filled wonderment. I love sniffing this beer. There are some beers that I wouldn't care if I never took a drink, this is one of them. I would love to just smell this beer over and over again, but I digress.

Full bodied, hits all parts of the palate, high bitterness on the back end, the hop oils coat your tongue. There is not a dominant aftertaste, amazingly. Some sweetness on the front, one of the best American IPAs I've ever had.

Hop heads take notice, track this down, find it. The hop character is a nicely balanced mixture of pine and citrus. A great great beer.

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

A - Served on tap in a pint glass. Nice copper color, clear, carbonation very visible. Two finger head that disappeared without too much waiting.

S - Lot of hops and citrus, very grapefruity with some pine notes. Very refreshing smelling.

T - Excellent taste, was worried that the grapefruit in this would be overpowering, but is not the case. Nice and clean in the middle and hits you with a late bite just when you think it's all gone.

M - Clean, refreshing, with nice carbonation. A little bit past light bodied, but not heavy at all.

D - Can definately do a lot of these, citris will become a little overpowering after a while, but it would be a while. This is a very fantastic beer.

Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a perfect light copper, clear as day and very appetizing. Head retention is ok but not great, only thing saving this from perfect. Nice lacing though.

edit- came back after leaving about quarter a glass in the kitchen after 3 hours....still had carbonation....crazy I know. But definitely made an impression, still tasted great too!

S- smells of citrus and pine, very yummy, a hint of sweetness as well. like putting your face in an orange and grapefruit while in the middle of a forrest. Reminds me of Skiing trees for some reason? needless to say unbelievable.

T- man this is good stuff. very hoppy but not over powering, definetly taste the pine, the taste lingers and still tastes good. would only need a little more sweetness to be perfect. but close to it.

M- well carbonated but a little slickness.

D- overall a very good beer, wish they had better availability, a go to IPA for sure.

Photo of apbarwood
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dull amber color with an off-white crown of foam and some light lace. The smell of hops is noticeable on the nose with a faint citrus aroma. Strong citrus flavors come through first dominated by a semi-sweet orange with a trace of grapefruit held in check by a malty backbone. A nice fresh, cleansing hoppy quality on the finish that's dry and snappy. Everything is blended to near perfection. For a relatively high ABV beer this one goes down easily and is delicious to boot. I could probably drink a handful of these before I knew what hit me, and I mean that as a nod to the beer and not my stupidity. At any rate, I highly recommend this one.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer rather cloudy and actually has floaties, which kinda kills the appearance. The beer has a dark copper color and an off white head. There was a finger of head, but it quickly dissipated leaving some nice lacings.

Smell: Man this is hops with a side of sweetness. The hops are really fruity with some passionfruit and citrus. There is some lemon aroma as well. There is some sweet malt backing the hops. Just a really balanced smell.

Taste: The taste starts out with bitterness, but really opens up to a sweeter, citrus hop based flavor and finishes pretty clean with an underlying bitterness. The taste is not very complex, but it has a nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin bodied beer. The carbonation is a little on the light side, but there is a very clean finishing helping make this a rather refreshing beverage.

Drinkability: This seems even more of an easy drinking beer than a good deal of the other ipas I have been having lately, like Ithaca's Flower Power.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A. Nice looking IPA pours golden in color with a 1 inch white head that has some staying power.

S. Heavy hops in a mix of delicious fruit. Powerful grapefruit and citrus with some more sweet tropical fruit joining in. Some malt but mostly a showcase of mouth-watering hops.

T. Taste is superb, the hops are not overpowering and there is just enough of a malt backbone to support them.

M. Great medium/light body, smooth and not overly carbonated.

D. Way drinkable, I could polish of a 6 pack easy over a few hours.

This is my go to IPA

Photo of Buebie
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

picked up this bomber from WF Bowery for $4.99

Poured the bottle into a pint glass. 1'' white froth comenses to sit there for several minutes. Receding to leave bubbly head of globby bubbles protruding from the surface. Nice sticky lace covering the glass in a sponge pattern.
Appearance of color is identical to an all 2-row and cara 20*L looking like a harmless little beer with nothing to show, but actually hiding a monster below the surface!

Aroma is all about hops, bursting juicy fruity delicious hops, mixing with malt though and remaining sweet. My experience with these beers tells me the flavors will be nothing but bitter, destroy your pallet in your face hops.

I was wrong! This thing is balanced! Taste is soo hoppy, yet sweet, yet malty and caramel filled delicious! Hops bite all the way through, while malt and 2 row keep things somwhat sweet. Its crisp and refreshing. Hops in flavor are mostly bitter with not much in the way of citric floral taste. Its pine and bitter hops all the way through.
Mouthfeel is a bit more full bodied with a backing of mild creamyness. Carbonation tickle keeps the mouthfeel balanced even. God, this is a great beer. Its drinakeable without hop overload and still has great hop flavor and bitters.

You must consume atleast 1 of these in your life.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was delicious.

Appearance- golden honey color, good head, good lacing

Smell- Hops

Taste- Piney hops

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- This beer is very delicious. I loved it. Will drink it again. Bear Republic does a good job. Wonderful

Photo of MGL
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 and MNF, what a great combination.

A- Golden amber in color with nice head retention and moderate lacing in a Pinot wine glass.

S- Citrus and honey

T- This has become one of my favorite beers. Racer 5 has gained popularity in the Philly area and deservedly (sp?) so. Very hoppy , grapefruit, honey and nice malt spine holding it all together.

M- Moderate viscosity and carbonation. Very pleasing to the palate.

D- I could and have drank this beer all night long

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

Pours a deep straw to reddish yellow, smell is piney hops. Taste is fresh, lots of piney hops and citrus with enough malt to balance it just a bit, this is a hop bomb, almost a DIPA? Which was what I first thought. Mouthfeel is perfect, slightly oily and chewy. This did not get a chance to warm, very drinkable, but too high an abv to session. I would buy this again, really enjoyable.

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

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A: The beer itself is the a shade or two darker then golden straw. A lovely 1 finger head that seems to be holding up well. After the first couple of sips the head dropped to a thin covering, leaving some decent lacing on the glass.

S: Piney, floral hops, and also some citrus notes. Just a bit of bready malts show up here too.

T: As in the aroma, piney and floral hops dominate, with a lot of citrus hop flavor coming through too. A solid malt backbone does its job of balancing the brew. There's also a little spiciness, sort of a peppery undertaste which is little unexpected. This is very tasty overall.

M: Level of carbonation is adequate, really lets the hops hit my tongue. As soon as you swallow, you get a bit more of the malt flavor. The finish fades quite rapidly, almost enticing me to take another drink. A pepper and hop aftertaste invites another drink.

O: A very good IPA, and at 7%, this could get a person into trouble somewhat quickly. I would have guessed it in the 5% range. Alcohol is not that evident, although you do suspect it from the warmth in your throat. A tasty beer indeed.

Photo of slaters5050
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite IPA. Just claimed a permanent spot on the tap. Has a great orange color and an easy drink as far as IPA are concerned. It has become a favorite at the restaurant in a very short time.In fact, people have traveled to Slater's 50/50 for the sole reason that we have this beer on tap. Real bitter real hoppy real good!

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

A delicious west coast IPA, nothing more really needs to be said. The beer's intensity makes it a great choice for food, especially dishes higher in fat like pub fare. The strong bitterness will cut through those fats allowing you full access to all your food's flavor. The intensity also means one or two Racer 5's is all that is needed.

Very hoppy, floral yet resinous, fruity (citrus), and a tad spicy, beautiful

Beautiful golden color with strong hints of orange. Hazy due to bottle conditioning but I also detected some floaters. Strong white head with decent lacing

Pine and citrus, strong hop bitterness but not overpowering, medium bodied

Medium to medium low carbonation, lingering bitter finish that builds

Photo of ajayma
2.78/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

LOOK. Nice honey-colored tones. Dense head on the pour but short-lived.

AROMA. Green, zesty, fresh hops. Like hops right off the vine that you crush between between the palms of your hands.

BODY. Medium-heavy in body, oily, with a firm carbonation.

TASTE. Grabs you by the tongue right off the bat with a bitter, resinous, pine sap attack. Finishes with an oily, medicinally bitter finish. Malt is there, but feels like it's just hanging out, not really bringing enough to balance the harshness of the hops.

AFTERMATH. Not my favorite. I would have liked a little more balance. It smells really, really wonderful though.

Photo of felipe2toes
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a golden orange, with a thick foamy head that left some nice lacing.

S: Smelled of resiny and piney hops. Some grapefruit and pineapple on the nose as well.

T: Dominant hops, but not incredibly bitter like I expected. Well-balanced though with bitter grapefruit up front and then some sweetness on the finish.

M: Good carbonation on this, resiny and sticky mouthfeel.

D: For me, this was an easy drinking beer. Refreshing.

Photo of mulder1010
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml poured into a red oak glass.

A-- almost a honey like color (yellowish orange). Very nice white head that left lacing after setteling. Moderatly carbonated

S-- Get the floral hops off the bat. Lemon, orange. A little bit of a sweet smell s well.

T-- Pow! Hops and more hops in first taste. Lively carbonation as well. Comes right after you.

M-- Letting it sit get the citrus afterwards. very hoppy but very nice in the ending. Cottonmouth is not as big as other IPA's. Goes to Citrus and sweetness at the end.

D-- Not bad. I am not a hop head and the first time I tried Racer 5 I struggled finishing it. 7% is barely there. Great beer but one is enough for me to do in a sitting. Good beer to build hop palate on

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

on tap, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: orangish amber color, clear, decent head that laces well

S: very hoppy smell. huge pine aroma that dominates the slight caramel sweetness underneath.

T: bitter and piney. the sweetness from the caramel malts was very subdues. big and bold hop flavor, bitterness lingers on the palate for the finish.

MF: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, resiny.

Drinkability: very solid offering. very drinkable. definitely would drink this again and look for it when on beer runs.

Photo of Lldeegan
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Nice hazy deep burning orange color. Minimal white lingering head, leaves a finely bubbled lace on the glass.
The nose is caramel and hoppy, followed by a very dominant deep malt. Not sure what malt was used but reminds me of the bags of Munich malt that a lugged around the NOLA brewery for a day or two this summer. I am surprised by the smell of this, I was expecting more hops than malt in the smell, but besides the initial floral hop note, malt is the lead here. Bit of a buttery smell as it lingers.
Taste has a quick bitter roll into the back of the mouth, followed by a nice sweet malt taste, immediately erases my presuppositions about IPAs. A few sips in and I have already decided to buy it again next time I go to Steins.
This beer has a really smooth feel to it in the mouth, it is crisp and has a quick finish that leaves you wanting more. I think this beer has the perfect level of carbonation, not too much, but it's there and it has all liveliness on my tongue to let me know it's a fresh beer.
Finding a beer with such drinkability is like having an epiphany. Just had Brooklyn lager the other day and it was the same. This is another very pleasant surprise. I have always avoided IPAs, but I had a feeling that this one would turn the tide.

Photo of woosterbill
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Radiant orange, slightly hazy body topped with half an inch of fine, white foam. Nice carbonation, decent retention and good lace.

S: Rich, cool, abundant hops: smooth citrus with some soft floral notes. Great.

T: The hops are dominant, but not overpowering, with a nice balancing influence of caramel malts. This is a straightforward and simply delicious beer.

M: Smooth carbonation and a medium body.

D: I still find it hard to believe that this beer is 7% - it's so smooth and balanced that I could drink it all night.

Notes: Racer 5 is undoubtedly a top-notch IPA, with juicy hops and just enough sweetness to keep things from being one-dimensional. I only wish it were available in CT - it might be my go-to IPA.


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

Apperance: deep golden color with a relatively thick head that dissapates fairly quickly. A lot of lacing present.
Smell: crisp pine needles. Good malty sweetness present as well.
Taste: clean grassy hops. Citrus grapefruit bitterness. Slightly sweet malt present.
Mouthfeel: light and well balanced. Crisp and minimal aftertaste that can be present on some IPAs.
Drinkability. This beer is the bomb! So smooth and easy to drink. Excellent session beer

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

The color is a cloudy golden orange, not quite copper. A big, rocky bubble bath head sticks around and leaves a pretty intricate network of lacing down the glass.
There's a load of hops on the nose, fresh and raw, with the effect of whiffing grapefruit juice with piney and other notes as well. Citrus and a gentle spice are underlying. A very gentle malt adds a light balance to the aroma.
Hops straight up attack the palate first. There's something toasted underneath the whole thing, and a submissive malt gives way to the raw grapefruit of the hops.
The mouthfeel is smooth, and a moderate carbonation gives a crisp bite to it. The body is medium to full and really supports the creaminess.

Photo of rfgetz
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear orangy amber, fluffy, creamy hand pumped head.

S: Piney hops, faint hints of citrus and spice. Decent malt presence.

T: Piney hops with spicy flavors. Hints of citrus and decent malt backbone. Bitter and Earthy.

M: Big boddied, slightly oily and coating. Some aftertaste.

D: Good, but not great. Odd combo of strong piney hops and malt backbone. Cask is not my favorite IPA serving device.

Photo of whoneeds8
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass hazy orange with a thick white head, good lacing, but lots of sediment. Smell isn't too strong, but has floral hop hints. Taste is very smooth. A nice hop bite up front, could use a little more sweet flavor on the back end, but it doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste like most AIPA's do.n The mouthfeel is good.

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

This is just a brilliant beer. The sunset orange color, the malt supporting the ample lemony hop bite, near perfect. Sessionable too, unlike lots of bold IPAs these days.

We accidentally paired this with Asian pears and damned if it wasn't the best accident of the day. The crisp sweetness of the pear helped balance the bitterness of the beer, dancing toward a mix of vanilla, banana and tropical fruit. Wow.

Photo of Reaper16
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served into a 2009 Boulevard Smokestack Series goblet

Pours a golden, candied yellow with decent, one finger white head. Nothing sticks out as especially impressive or out of the ordinary. It looks like an IPA, basically.

The hop character of this beer is expressed in an abundance of pine notes. The nature of this beer opens up some damp, earthy notes as the beer warms. A gentle kiss of lemon sweeps through, faintly; otherwise this is one of the least citrus-centric IPAs that I've had in some time. What is here is pleasant and appetizing, but compared to top IPAs (even to Bear Republic's own Hop Rod Rye) the aromas are not in the same neighborhood of complexity.

On the palate, the pungency of the hops is immediate. They lend a moist, almost spoiled quality to the beer (in a good way, if that makes sense). There is a much more pronounced floral character on the tongue, with helps to temper the pine that otherwise dominates the hop profile. Racer 5, this bottle at least, is not solely about the hops, however. There is a burst of malt sweetness that keeps the pungent hops in check, and this maltiness maintains its strength throughout the drink. At times you can really catch the caramel malt like silk, working its way through the pale malt.

The mouthfeel is fine. It seems light, which I like in IPAs, but for some reason I don't feel that the mouthfeel works with the flavors here. I think that it might be the overactive carbonation. If you've read my recent IPA reviews then you know that I typically love a light-bodied, prickly IPA but Racer 5 is perhaps too prickly. The harshness of the effervescence takes away from my ability to perceive the subtleties of the beer. Drinkability has to be scored well. If there is a plus to the over-active carbonation its that it refreshes the palate quickly from its lingering pine flavors. I know that this comes in 6 packs now, and Racer 5 would be an ideal IPA for an afternoon on the couch watching football, say.

Overall, this Bear Republic offering is not an IPA that blew me away (unlike Hop Rod Rye, which ranks among my top 5 IPAs). There are other IPS that better showcase the totality of what the hop can be. But a solid, drinkable, tasty IPA is nothing to be ashamed of. I wouldn't throw rocks at this IPA. Its clearly west-coast in nature and would satisfy a hop craving. Its good stuff.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,687 ratings.