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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.

6,616 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,616
Reviews: 2,200
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 213
Gots: 623 | 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: 6,616 | Reviews: 2,200 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Jmoore50
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a kick ass beer. Just had it for the first time and now I just drank a second. Really really good. Like really good.

I will do this how I want. I got this because of Beer Advocate, and honestly because of the label was hesitant to buy it. The reason I did buy it was because I was doing a beer run anyway and it is honestly pretty hard to mess up a IPA for me.

So the appearance was a nice golden color that is something that you come to expect from this style. It was all in the taste and smell that floored me. I gave it a 4 for smell because without the taste it would be lower, if that makes any sense. The taste and smell have exactly the same characteristics. They compliment each other so well it was amazing. The mouthfeel is high as well as drinkability because I could seriously have a few of these brews. I finished one bomber and wanted another really bad. This is seriously a unique and amazing brew that I just loved. I highly recommend.


Jmoore50, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of Briarscratch
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you Bonsreeb85 for this incredible IPA.

Cloudy orange, big aggressive head, leaving thick sticky lace all over the place.

Stong grapefruit and piney hop aroma, smells very strong and resiny.

Oh sweet sweet nectar of the beer gods! Its like a hop orgy in my mouth. Beautifully flavorful and balanced. Bitter citrus packing a little after burn from the alcohol but it's good.

Smooth, light, crisp.

Drinkability? YES YES YES. I've now officially got my buzz on! I really wish I had another.

Briarscratch, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber color with a nice white head that slowly subsided and left a lot of lacing.

Aroma hits hard with some nice citrus hops upfront as well as some lighter notes of piney and earthy hops in the background.

Taste again reveals a burst of citrus with the grapefruit notes upfront along with some more floral hops and a slight earthiness in the back. Some malt comes through in the end but this is mostly dominated by the hops. Very flavorful and quite satisfying.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Despite the higher ABV, this is still highly drinkable. Having this on tap is a real treat and I'll absolutely be drinking this again.

Vengeance526, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of Kraken
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 1/30/09

Poured from a 22oz into the girl friends prized oversized wine goblet. Firm pour yields 1/2 inch of very fine white head. head drops rapidly forming a thin skim that concentrates around the edges of the glass. Moderate lace. Color is a clouded deep orange amber with very fine suspended sediment.

Nose- Orange zest, ruby red grapefruit, and some very light biscuit.

Taste- Very nice. Smooth at first with lots of vibrant bright citric hops. Orange and grapefruit are very prominent. Some light biscuit notes, although just a hint. I wouldn't go so far as to call this balanced, but it is meatier then quite a few IPAs that I have had. Finish is very, very long and substantially bitter.

Mouthfeel- Active, acrid and tangy.

Drinkability- Great.

Kraken, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of blackc5
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap during a local happy hour.

A - Pours a quite dark (for an IPA) reddish amber, pretty cloudy, with minimal head (served with almost none, but I gave it a good swirld) and respectable lacing.

S - Very, very faint actually. The one area this beer disappointed, as I really had to inhale strongly to even catch a whiff of anything at all.

T - I wasn't expecting too much given the aromas (not) coming off, but it actually tasted quite good. It was a mild IPA hop-wise, but had a very nice balance of different hop flavors, with no particular aspect overpowering the others. Some caramel malts there as well that matched up great with the balanced floral, citrus and earthy hops. Pretty mild bitterness, but just enough in the aftertaste. Overall, quite good.

M - Slightly on the watery side for me, but it still had a nice level of carbonation and bitterness.

D - The beer shines here - it could easily be made sessionable despite the ABV.

blackc5, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of charlieos
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this beer hard to approach the first time I tried it. The second time, after warming up with a lighter beer, I found it much more enjoyable. Very nice hop flavor range. Balance is very much on the sweeter side. Pours an orangish color with minimal head. As pretty serious hoppy beers go, this one is on the heavier, maybe even clunkier side. More of a beer for the dedicated ipa person than a generalist.

In all a good beer, but a forceful beer.

charlieos, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of maddogruss
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle fo this from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours a hazy, orange amber body with a small, white head with pretty decent retention and lacing.

S: A sweet, citrus smell with some hop and alcohol notes as well.

T: A bitter, hoppy, earthy taste with some sweet, grapefruit and citrus notes to balance. A nice, balanced IPA that was quite tasty. Some more earthiness was also noted in the aftertaste.

M: A medium-bodied beer with a pretty smooth mouthfeel on the palette. Nice for the style.

D: A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste made for a very nice drinking beer. A nice, smooth, IPA that was quite enjoyable.

maddogruss, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle.
Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow-orange nice head retention with thick sticky lacing.

Smell: Lots of citrus, pine, and some floral hops.

Taste: Great bitter hops with lots of grapefruit flavor on the back. Well balanced maltiness that's not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Full, almost creamy mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation with lots of effervescence.

Drinkability: This is great stuff. Could drink it all day.

rapidsequence, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle has a code of 06 03 09

This pours a hazy bright orange colour with a 1 finger head of foam. There's some nice lacing to go with this very good looking brew.

The smell is very hoppy with big notes of citrus and lesser of pine. It's not without some malt as I get a bit of caramel sneaking in as well as an earthiness.

The taste has a good grapefruit bitterness with some earthy tones which I'm not all that fond of, a light touch of pine, but not much of any sweet malt. This is pretty bitter....I don't remember it being this bitter from the times I had in the past, which must be a few years now. Oh well. It's still pretty good with the flavour.

Fairly light bodied, it has medium carbonation and finishes decidedly bitter with a long lasting aftertaste.

Drinkability? For me, it drinks stronger than the 7%abv it carries and the flavours don't tickle my fancy that much so....it will probably be a while before I revisit this brew.

Bitterbill, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a straight pint glass. Poured a lovely orange/yellow with a thin white head that left lots of sticky lacin

Crisp citrus hops greet the nose, and the flavors are very similar. I didn't find this IPA to be as good as BRs Hop Rod Rye.

The body was solid, which gave the hops something to cling to, a pleasant change from most thin west coast IPAs. A very drinkable beer, especially for an IPA, I recommend this beer, but find Hop Rod far superior.

beertunes, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of nc41
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew just affirms the goodness of everything Bear Republic makes at a terrific price. This was my second bomber and if you like IPA's there is no way not to like this brew. Pours nice, looks great, holds a nice head, nice lacing, about what you expect from a quality IPA. The taste is really where it's at and this one is a smack of hops on the tongue, but also feels light and refreshing in the mouth. I wouldn't call this one fruity, but it's definitely not sticky and overly piny tasting either. A really solid IPA that is dangerously drinkable, and the 7% ABV is perfect for the style. I wish I could get it in 12 oz bottles instead of bombers, but I'd very easily buy this one again, and it would be case worthy if I could get it.

Edit: I can and I did. Just an outstanding IPA in a world being driven by DIPA's. Modus, Racer 5, = the best everyday IPA's out there. Sculpin is great but it's seasonal.

nc41, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured In: Tulip Glass
Purchased From: Whole Foods (Madison, WI)

Appearance: Pours a very clear amber orange color. A finger of head at the top of my tulip glass. A nice layer of lacing is playing from head to toe on the tulip.

Smell: If I am reviewing an IPA from a pour from a bottle, I usually smell the cap once I take it off as a test to see if it's going to live up to its expectations. Once I got it into my tulip glass my assumption was correct. A very nice hop aroma from the Racer 5. A nice blend of malt, earthy and citrus hops. The smell of this beer is spot on.

Taste: Not as strong of a citrusy flavor as I was expecting. Starts out with a biscuit malt flavor, then moves into a mixture of citrus hops and earthy hops. Not a very strong citrus flavor until the aftertaste in which a grapefruit flavor presents itself.

Mouthfeel: A well put together beer. A nice amount of hop oils cover my mouth.

Drinkability: I could see myself having one or two of these in a night. Not a terribly strong beer, and a great tasting IPA that will undoubtedly end up in my crate again.

Ek0nomik, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of smithflipper
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at rattle n hum nyc.

taken me so long to review this beer, a long time favourite.

pours a light catching plae amber colour, great head, lovely sticky lacing down the side.

piney citrus hops on the nose, then some passionfruity aroma leads onto a sweet malt.

lychees, passionfruit and pine, so fruity, lovely biscuity malt flavour with a nice bitter finish.

could drink this all day long in any weather.

smithflipper, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of bwd110
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into 9oz snifter... How's that work?

A: Nice orange-y amber color, good frothy bright white head. Looks inviting.

S: Slightly citric nose, but mostly an earthy aroma. Reminds me a lot of Anderson Valley brews. Subdued bready sweetness in the background.

T: Heavy on the bitter, light on the citrusy hops. Very much an earthy beer with grass and pine notes. Well balanced, sturdy brew, but not extraordinary for me.

M: Typical mouthfeel for the style, slightly oily.

D: Could pack away a few of these. Goes down without a problem.

bwd110, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light copper colored body that only has a few lazy carbonation bubbles with a creamy, off-white head. The head is thick and has good retention and leaves some great sheets and rings of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is mostly hops. Lots of citrus and grapefruit with a touch of biscuity malt.

Hops come first; citusy with grapefruit and maybe a touch of lemon. A little bit of resiny, piney taste comes through the hops also. A good backbone of very slightly toasty, biscuity malt evens out the hops, providing good balance.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat oily with a dry finish.

Pretty drinkable, and overall a good beer.

Hojaminbag, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a very nice amber color with a nice thick creamy three finger head that's got great retention and awesome sticky lacing.
S= not as impressive as the look. A little weak. Some grassy hops come through as well as some citrus.
T= a little weaker than expected also. Just more hops I suppose. Some grass and mild citrus hops. Nothing bitter extreme or offensive about it. Decent but for an ipa I think it should bite back a little more.
M= very nice creamy and a little dry in the finish.
D= great. This beer wasn't what I expected it to be but its still very nice. I think its somewhat mild and tame but still very good and ill likely have it again.

jjanega08, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of CortexBomb
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a wonderful find that I made the last time I was in Pittsburgh. Fathead's had this on the hand pull and I had to give it a try. The pour was textbook IPA with big lacing. Nose is strong, floral with hints of grapefruit.

The flavour on this was perfect though, this is the kind of balanced IPA that I love, it has a huge grassy floral flavour from the hops that were used, but is is also balanced back by a strong malt presence. The hops are always there and you know you're drinking an IPA, but it's not completely out of balance like so many brews in this style are. The warmer temperature of the cask likely improved the depth, of course.

Mouth and drinkability both solid, I could have a few of these, decent bitters but not remarkable, it's not a gargantuan beer in your mouth, but it does its job.

Bottom line: I'd never even heard of this brewery, but I try almost anything that is put on a hand pull. Bear Republic delivered with a great IPA though, and one I'll definitely have again if I run into it.

CortexBomb, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of Norfawkers
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a well-balanced and quite flavorful IPA.

Appearance: Cloudy, golden, rich

Smell: Fragrant Hoppiness with hints of malt

Taste: Initially very full flavored with a balance of hops and malt that slowly tapers to a bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Smooth up front, lingering bitterness

Drinkability: A versatile beer that can be enjoyed as a stand alone or with a meal.

Norfawkers, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of GarrisWH
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a finger of frothy white head. Solid retention and leaves nice lacing.

S - Hop aromas dominate - mainly citrus with a floral, herbal quality as well. Subtle sweet maltiness in the background.

T - Nice, complex hop flavors, which hint at grapefruit and orange with some grassy, herbal flavors in there as well. Balanced with a slight caramel malt sweetness with a crisp, bitter finish. Has a nice, fairly strong bitterness, but retains its smoothness throughout.

M - Medium bodied with a resinous feel. Nice level of carbonation.

D - Full flavored, bitter, and well balanced. A very solid offering I will definitely have to try again.

GarrisWH, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of gory4d
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear orange with a dense white head that leaves lots of lacing down the glass. The smell is honeysuckle, grass, citrus, and pine. The taste starts off sweet, moves through some rich malt, on into a long, bitter grapefruit finish that hints at juniper or pine. It's mildly carbonated, rather viscous and thick. Delicious, but a sipper.

gory4d, Jun 15, 2009
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,616 ratings.