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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.

6,900 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,900
Reviews: 2,236
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 256
Gots: 809 | FT: 11
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
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Ratings: 6,900 | Reviews: 2,236
Photo of EnVinoVeritas
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber from Total Wine. A nice golden yellow with great head and nice sticky lacing that trails throughout. Medium-strong carbonation with very light sediment in the bottom of the bottle.

Fruity and citrusy - cali hop supreme with great balance. Grapefruit hop nose with some floral and pine notes as well. Light pale malt definitely takes a backseat to this well hopped IPA. Light mouthfeel and easy to drink considering its ABV. This is one of the better IPAs I have tried and if I find it on the shelf, I always try to pick one up. You won't be disappointed here.

Photo of lovindahops
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a bomber. Ready for that west coast love

A- a golden straw yellow that posseses a "colorado rockies" type head. The foam recides and leaves a sticky lacing. The carbonation is intense and there is some sediment that is evident. This has west coast ipa all over it

S- grapefruit! Pineapple! Citrus! A tropical fiesta captured in a brew. The piney hops cross with the fruit. This brew screams the themes of caly hops

T- the same scent is involved in the taste. Grapefruit dominates, while the pine and earth hops dominate next. The experence is side stepped with bitter, bitter flavors. Some sweetness coats the tongue during the tasting. The last piece of the brew is some grassy spiced remnants

M- full bodied and carbonated

D- racer 5 is an off the chart west coast ipa that can be dunked anytime. The brew exhibits properties of a tropical hurricane that develop into a bitter hopfest. Any ipa lover will dazzle in the characteristics. I can drop a racer 5 sixer in a instance. So worth it

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

Appearance - Beautiful, gold/orange hue. Zero haze. Thick, creamy/foamy head that faded to a small but consistent film, which leaves sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell - Yup, this is pretty much how an IPA should smell. Biting hop aroma, with light notes of apple cider vinegar and bready malt.

Taste - Hooray hops! Citric hop taste flows over the entire palate. Quite bitter. Slightly burnt malt on the finish with a note of sweet, but the malt profile on this IPA is minimal. A true Californian IPA.

Mouth Feel - Medium on the body, with a good, strong carbonation that fits the style well. Not overwhelming with the bubbles, just about on par with your average, lighter ale.

Drinkability - This is an everyday IPA...and I mean that in the best way possible. Very strong hop presence is well done, and putting away a bomber is no problem. Thank you sir, may I have another?

An all-around great IPA, especially if you are a hop-head. Definitely NOT true to the UK style, but just how I like it. Also, this beer is widely available, at least here in San Diego. I can usually pick up a bomber or ten when I go grocery shopping, or my trips to Bevmo and Holiday. I think I paid about $5-$6...

Photo of larryi86
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass

A- A yellow/light copper color with a big white head.

S- Hoppy pine/earthy with hints of grapefruit. Make me think that this is a great IPA that need you to drink it.

T- Very well balanced. Hoppy citrus taste at the beginning, followed a very big hoppy flavor and finishes with sweet malts getting you ready for more.

M- Full-bodied, smooth, and refreshing.

D- This beer goes down very easily and is easy to enjoy. I believe that this is the best IPA that I have tried and will never just walk by a 6 six pack of this.

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

On tap at Toronado in San Fran. Poured into pint glass with a small off-white head. Aroma is piney and grassy, not too over the top. Soapy, sticky lacing sticks to the glass. Taste is bitter in the front with mild malt sweetness on the back end. Nice balance, easy to drink. Not the most delicious ipa on earth but solid.

Photo of JamisonM
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: bright orange not much of a head with good lace but head and head retention could be better

S: grapefruit and grapefruit rind and zest along with a bit of pine

T: fresh clean hops well balanced with a crisp finish taste is way better then smell, taste is unreal.

M: med to light body perfect with good carbonation

D: drink this all night long it wont get old

overall: one of the best IPA's I have ever had this beer is sick easy to see why so many BA's love this beer because its great and one of the best IPA's I have ever had.

Photo of Sam21
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into pint glass.

*Note* I'm a hop head so if this thing tastes anything like it smells as I pour then I'm going to love this.

Appearance - Deep gold copper body with a nice white head that leaves nice lacing. Some suspended sediment.

Smell - Big juicy grapefruit and a malt presence with hints of grape and caramel. Nice lively aroma that jumps out of the glass.

Taste - Very hop-heavy balance with the caramel malt poking through the citrusy bitterness where it can. Flavors mingle nicely and the bitterness lingers for a while. Big juicy IPA.

Mouth Feel - Full bodied with delicate carbonation. Coats the mouth in sticky bitter hoppy heaven.

Drinkability - An all around kickass IPA. Right up there with Smuttynose IPA and 90 min on my list. Great grapefruit dominant hop balance with a big body. A big, burly, lip smacking IPA. Unbalanced, but this is how I want my IPAs to taste.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pint on the hand pump at memphis tap room.

A- a perfect pull this guy know how to pull a pint. A solid finger of dense creamy head on top of golden orange yellow sunshine.

S- sweet malts and big time citrus hops. Grapefruit and orange zest. Caramel. Covered whole grain bread.

T- super well balanced. The hops take the lead but right on its ass the malts jump in. Candied orange suprems and torn open ruby red grapefruit. Cinnamon toast with bruleed brown sugar. Lots of back and forth between the two and its a beautiful dance. I can't get over the balance not to beat a dead horse but damn.

M- well this brew and a hand pump are made for each other. So silky smooth and just the right temp.

5- I love this stuff. I've enjoyed it many times but on cask this shines. All day every day racer 5.

Photo of djhowell
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It has a hazy amber body with a good sized, bright white, thick head that fades quickly. Leaves lots of lacing.

S Not very aromatic, mostly pine, a hint of citrus.

T This is sweeter than I expected. Piney hops dominate up front, a little more citrus next, and finishes with some mild bitterness.

M Smooth, and lighter than most IPAs I've had. The carbonation is ample and works well with it.

D I like it, it's very drinkable and I would not have guessed at the 7% ABV. It's not as hoppy as I had anticipated based on what I read here. I bought a single bottle but I think I'd like to try and find a few more.

Photo of EagleTalon
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bottle.

Pours to thick, rocky white head with lacing and clear dark gold color. Aroma is strong on citrusy hops backed up with sticky sweet malt aromas. Flavor is rather complex. Strangely the malt sweetness-mostly caramel and biscuit notes-leads with the hops coming in toward the finish to balance it out. It tastes like the brewer took care to let the malt come through. Mouthfeel is creamy and CO2 is just right. Overall, a complex, well made IPA with depth of character that sets it apart from the pack of American style IPAs.

This sampling was not as intense as some reviewers reported. Maybe the bottle is a bit old (but not over the hill)?

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: Pours a light amber color with a decent head that dissipates quickly, but leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: Not as strong as expected, but citrusy and piney with some fruit as well.

T: A nice hoppy taste, but similar to the nose, not as hoppy as expected. A nice balance of hops and sweetness, very good.

M: Very light for an IPA with good carbonation

D:Extremely drinkable, especially compared to some heavier IPAs and DIPAs. Extreme hopheads might not find it to be their favorite, but an extremely enjoyable beer.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly clear golden color (especially considering it's bottle conditioned), decent sized head but fades fast, leaves a ring of lacing along the glass.

Smell is dominated by piney hops with only a slight hint of sweet malt.

Taste is similar to the aroma in that piney hops with accompanying bitterness controls the flavor, not much balance, bitterness stays for quite awhile and doesn't let up, the lack of balance makes it a bit lower on the drinkability, carbonation is good as it should be.

A bit one sided and on the stronger side for a "regular" IPA, there are better IPA's to get that have more dimensions of citrus and grapefruit, whereas this is all pine.

Photo of andyfrancis
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear golden pour with a white head that laced and left a creamy foam around the sides of my glass. Floral, citrusy, hop dominated aroma. Taste is smooth up front, with a bitter hoppy finish. It's no secret that this is one of the more popular IPAs these days, and no surprise how it became that way. Great example of the style and loads up on the hops without being too bitter to enjoy.

That being said, it has almost become the Sierra Nevada of 7 years ago for me. I rarely buy it in a store or at a place with a wide selection, but at a bar with 6-10 taps, Racer 5 being the most exotic, I'll often go with it by default.

Photo of albertjr21
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass, the settled a clear golden amber color with a light layer of head that left a nice web lacing.

S: Light citrus undertone to a huge hop aroma.

M/T: Mouthfeel is at first tame and a "calm before the storm," so to speak, because of the loud bitterness that soon overwhelms the taste buds and leaves the palate in shambles from a remarkable hop invasion...

D: Rejoice hop heads! This is a crisp and refreshing Hop Hop Hoppy blast to the palate that doesn't get old...

Photo of zoso493
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Stone straight-sided pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden-amber color that is sufficiently hazy in spite of the the lighter hue of the beer. The beers is crowned by a thick and foamy two-finger head that subsides quickly and leaves a decent amount of lacing on its way down.

Smell: The smell consists of a nice but somewhat subdued assortment of hops that go from citric to floral to juicy. While the hops do dominate the nose, there is an equally impressive scent of glutenous, caramelized malt balancing the hops that give the impression as if the hops are coated in sugar.

Taste: The juicy and citric hops reign supreme in the taste and provide a much-appreciated amount of bitterness. They are just a tad too underwhelming for me, though. But, by no means are they not delicious. The malts are less discernible but do again provide a nice sugary undercurrent to attempt to check the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is only slightly on the thicker side of things, which is just about where it should be for an IPA. The carbonation seems to be about spot-on as well. I can't say this is a crisp IPA, but it's flavors are sticky in a good way.

Drinkability: The alcohol is extremely well-masked in this beer, which is a good start for drinkability. At 7% ABV, it's not too hefty to have a few of, and I can say that this bomber is disappearing pretty rapidly.

Overall, Racer 5 is a very nice example of the style and is yet another good product from Bear Republic. Unfortunately, the dating code is, to me, completely unintelligible, so I can't say whether or not this is a fresh bottle. I'm inclined to think it isn't because the hops seem a bit faded, but regardless this is a very nice IPA and one that I will drink again.

Photo of wesclaypool
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Pete's Brass Rail in Danville.

a - Good color, slightly cloudy (the way I like it) yellow/gold.

s - Very mellow pine and citrus. And of course the indication of hops to come.

t - As someone who isn't crazy about the really strong IPAs, I love this one. The hops are there, but they're not strong to the point that they feel like they're ripping your mouth apart. Very balanced and, like the smell, mellow.

m - Like the taste, for an IPA, this was a little surprising. Fairly thin feel compared to some others I've had.

d - Could break the bank putting these away.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

A- pours a...light amber, dark yellow with a paper thin white head that quickly fades. Leaves some nice lacing. Looks a lot like apple juice...I like apple juice. Good opening.

S- oh wow, this is fantastic. Very fruity and citric. Smells like something you could drink at breakfast. I'm getting some citrus and grapefruit...regardless, smells really awesome.

T- not overly bitter, nor overly sweet. Has the right amount of pine bite near the back, not enough to kick you in the face, but it lets you know its there. The bitterness from the hops are lovely. Really good.

M- really light. Unlike some IPAs, which can be overbearing, this isn't heavy at all. There is carbonation there which gives you that fizziness you look for sometimes. Can't complain about the mouthfeel at all.

D- Really drinkable, if only it wasn't for that high alcohol content. You don't taste the alcohol one bit. Its like drinking some alcoholic juice thats more bitter than sweet. In other words, totally awesome...I should actually try pairing one of these with an omelette or something

Photo of irishking1977
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, dull gold with a less than one finger head, that disperses quickly, leaving some moderate lace. Not bad.

S: The usual combination for an IPA, which includes pine, grapefruit and a hint of a malt background. Not as potent as would be expected for an IPA; I don't expect the bitterness or hoppiness of this one to be bracing or difficult to handle.

T: As I surmised; a well balanced IPA, with traces of citrus and pine, a mild herbal/medicinal aftertaste along with a hops bitterness that lingers on the palate for a spell. Bold, yet balanced and easily drinkable.

M: Good carbonation, which is expected out of most good IPAs. Less than expected creaminess and less than moderate oily mouthfeel on the palate. Perhaps slightly watered down in comparison to some of the top of the line IPAs and DIPAs. The good news is that the balance of malt and hops is close to nirvana.

D: Drinkability is better than most IPA's in that the palate paralyzing hops are not in abundance in comparison to most IPA's, probably somewhat of a disappointment to many of the hopheads out there. I like my hoppy brews, but those brews that are in excess of 100 IBU's (Stone's Ruination, pretty much any heady DIPA) are beers to drink maybe one or two of, and the palate is decimated. This one could be that rare moderately sessionable IPA. Seek it out, moderate hopheads.

Photo of Zekezilla
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be my favorite hoppy beer right now. I'm just now getting into hoppy beers and this is the best one I've tried so far.
Tried it, based on the recommendation of the authors of The Naked Pint (highly recommended). Nice juicy hops come through, from the very beginning, incredibly citrusy, balanced with a malty biscuit flavor throughout. This is a beer that I"d like to always have around. Good for nearly any occasion.

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

Pint glass on tap in San Francisco restaurant.

Orange color with small head, less than half inch upon pour with very little lacing. Who cares, this stuff tastes incredible.

Incredible citrus aroma, not an in your face grapefruit smoothie, just a wonderful citrus, hoppy smell.

I am an IPA novice, not having yet had the opportunity to try some of the better examples, but can't imagine any being better than this. The bitterness, the smoothness, drinkability were all exceptional. I wish it were available in Indiana, this would be a regular without question. Great beer.

Photo of axeman9182
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH signature glass. Racer 5 is a hazy orange, with a disappointingly small head that quickly fizzled out. The nose makes up for it though nothing but unabashed citrus hop goodness. The taste follows the nose pretty much exactly, No real malt presence to speak of. Racer 5 is a little bit undercarbonated, which I should have anticipated given the lack of head. Despite that, it's eminently drinkable, and the ABV is hidden well. There's just something about it that doesn't put it in the same league with some of the other hop forward IPAs I've had.

Photo of MCfunkyJ
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the best beer I could choose from the store I got it at.

I have had this about a year ago but forgot how tasty this brew truly is. Not a bad pickup for $9.99 + tax.

I would rather drink Hop Rod Rye but this was the only option available at the time.

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

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange with a nice creamy off-white head which leaves a nice sheet of lacing.

S- Getting some faint scents of citrus maybe some fresh cut grass maybe a little alcohol and some bready malt aroma.

T- Great subtle taste of citrus and bitter hops competing with a sweet caramel malt flavor with a little bread or biscuit taste also.

MF- Medium body with a bitter tongue at first but followed with smooth finish.

D- A very nice I.P.A. by Bear Republic brewery, bought a 22.oz of this ale drank it with my wife and we both enjoyed it very much.

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

Glass - Pint

A - Slightly hazy orange/gold color with about a 1-finger head, soapy & sticky looking with not so good retention. Lite Co2 can be seen, left some splotchy lacing.

S - A bit floral with a dry pine & mild sap like aroma. Some fresh & fruity mango & pineapple are about as pronounced as the dry/floral/pine like notes. A bit of rind like notes, some underlying biscuit/cracker like malts are there but are so soft there hardly noticeable until it warms.

T - Fresh orange & mango juice flavors upfront. Some semi bright citrus is noticeable as it rolls to the sides of the tongue, as well as some puckering rind flavor. Moderately sweet, finishes with mild toasted malt flavors, touch of sap, and burnt like hop bitterness that lingers on the back of the tongue. Bitterness isn't over the top but pretty high.

M - Smooth with with lite-moderate crispness. Around medium-full but allot closer to medium bodied.

D - I'd sit down and enjoy a couple pints I'd say. This is a pretty damn good IPA, maybe not my favorite but I'd buy this one again sometime. Definitely recommended. Cheers!

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

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Color is in the orange-mango range with a bubbly 1/2 finger head that quickly went to a thin ring. The appearance is noticeably cloudy with a bit of small yeast floating around.

The aroma has a lot of fruity notes, pineapple, orange, mango and little grapefruit rind. The hops are definitely there though, pine, and small amount of tree sap notes come through. Letting it sit a bit brings out the malt character, i get a bit of underlying earthy and doughy notes.

The taste is dominated by hops, floral, slightly dry and with a distinctive lemon rind flavor. it is bitter throughout but not over the top, just the right amount of bitterness. The malt comes out toward the end and in the aftertaste, lingering dough-like malt on the tongue only appears after the rush of hops and bitterness have faded some. Medium-bodied and light to medium carbonation.

A great IPA! I like my IPAs to be generously hopped but have the malt to just slightly bring the balance back. This beer does that perfectly.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,900 ratings.