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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.

6,186 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,186
Reviews: 2,176
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 186
Gots: 466 | 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
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Ratings: 6,186 | Reviews: 2,176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sinistrsam


4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

Picked up this bomber at Once Upon a Vine in Richmond. Poured a clear, amber-gold with some shampagne-like bubbles and a 1 inch head that stuck around my Duvel snifter and left great retention. The aroma was a fairly typical IPA, very piney hops and somewhat citrus-y, honey and some sweet fruits.
The taste was interesting; typically what I expect from these IPAs is a bitter and hoppy which peaks, shocking your taste buds for a split second before fading into a sweeter aftertaste. This had little or not "punch" or "peak", which I have to admit I enjoyed. It did start piney and hoppy, dry and a little bitter, but faded before the punch into a smooth mellow sweetness, possibly some caramel aftertaste. Very smooth, excellent transition, and I have a feeling it is a bit more complex than I'm explaining here. Very good taste in general.
The feel was bitter and dry at first, fading into a sweet smoothness as stated above. Not much carbonation.
I thought this was highly drinkable. A little higher ABV but I polished off this whole bomber and wanted more. This is my first Big Bear brew, and I sure hope its not my last.

04-25-2006 18:14:09 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of haroldp


4.8/5  rDev +14.6%

This beer has an ugly label. But don't be fooled, it hides a really fantastic beer. Yum. Smells great, tastes better.

Two hundred and fifty characters eh? Ok, um, dark amber, sort of like, beerish, color. Tastes like IPA. Great burp taste too. Do not discount that.

04-22-2006 07:45:45 | More by haroldp
Photo of doubleipa


3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Picked this up while on business in Maryland. Fair amount of hops in th earoma, but not a whole lot. Has a different hoppiness that most other IPAs, in my view, even though there is a lot of grapefruit present. Head disappears quickly.at recedes fairly quickly. Carbonation is good. Can't say that I would want to pick another of these up.

04-21-2006 17:14:08 | More by doubleipa
Photo of bignick


4.58/5  rDev +9.3%

On tap at The Publick House in Brookline 4/20/06. Served in a pint glass.

This is a huge kick-in-the-mouth American IPA. The smell incredibly pungent; the stong citrusy hop scent foreshadows what's to come. The taste of hops really nails the palate, and it is uncompromised in its dryness. This is one hell of a west-coast IPA, and has long been one of my favorites.

04-21-2006 05:17:24 | More by bignick
Photo of neonbrown82


3.63/5  rDev -13.4%

This is a decent IPA, but not something I would want to drink alot of. The hops kind of have that crushed aspirin flavor. Good in small doses, but not refreshing, which is a quality I tend to look for in an IPA.

The beer pours to a clear golden blonde color with a wispy white head that recedes fairly quickly. Carbonation is good. Lacing is alright as well.

The smell is good. Lots of grapefruity hops. Not much else. Sweet and malty. The taste is syrupy and grapefruity with a big crushed aspirin amarillo flavor. Doesn't seem to be too bitter, just very sweet and citric. Would probably be bitter with a little less malt (and thus a lower ABV). This formula seems to do well for them, however. Whatever.

The body is fairly light, but it has a sticky, syrupy hop flavor that dries out somethin' fierce. Not something I'll be drinking again, unless it's just a small sample.

04-20-2006 03:55:22 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of Shultzerdugen


4.55/5  rDev +8.6%

22 oz. brown bomber with no date I could find.

Clear light copper in color with a white clinging big bubbled froth that laces and rings down the glass.

Pine, pancakes, pineapple, grapefruit, and caramel notes in the nose.

Medium bodied, initially crushed velvet smooth, the mouthfeel turns oily and slick with a blasting grapefruit taste as it develops. Resinous pine sap, herbal notes, and candy sweetness show as it warms. A cracker-like malt backbone plus the sugary sweetness hold up well to the hop onslaught.

Although I favor the Amarillo/Warrior hop flavors, it's hard to beat the tried and true C-hop flavors for AIPA's. One of my favorite examples of the style.

04-20-2006 02:11:30 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of MarineHokie


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

A - Redish gold color slightly hazy. Ample head sticks around & leaves light crystal lacing.

S - Pine, fresh garden veggies and hints of juniper. A little scent of malt sweetness sneaks by as well.

T - Soft piney hop bitterness attacks the tip of the tongue with spreading out across its breadth. The malt fights through briefly and futiley before being crushed by a bitter hop finish.

M - Light body, smooth carbonation, nearly mouth puckering bitterness.

D - Amazingly drinkable considering the ABV & IBUs. Like this brew in a 22 oz bottle, but nearly amazing on tap.

04-07-2006 22:18:35 | More by MarineHokie
Photo of OStrungT


4.15/5  rDev -1%

This beer pours a light golden yellow. The head is light yellow. It fades slowly, leaving many lac es.

This beer has a grassy aroma. It smells slightly piney. It has a little cirtus to it, but not much else. None of the aroma is too strong.

This beer tastes a lot like it smells. Grassy, with a slight pine flavor. The citrus flavor makes a slight apperence.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It goes dowm smooth, leaving a grassy hop aftertaste. It is carbonated well.

I think this beer would be a good session beer. It is not overbearing. It is just slightly high in alcohol, so that wouldnt be too much of a problem. I will have this one again.

04-01-2006 23:51:01 | More by OStrungT
Photo of electrified


4.8/5  rDev +14.6%

Orange/copper in color, a little hazy. Nice head, some lacing. Smells of high-grade cannabis and grapefruit. Smells wonderfully hoppy. Full-bodied and smooth and somewhat creamy. Very nice. Taste is hops and more hops -- citrus and grapefruit -- and a malty, biscuity background, but hops dominate. Wonderful.

04-01-2006 23:38:21 | More by electrified
Photo of IntriqKen


4.38/5  rDev +4.5%

I like Bear Republic Brews even though I know a lot of people find them 'unique' versions of style
This pours a nice clear orange amber with a craggy white 2 finger head that melts to a wonderful lacing that follows the drink throughout the glass.
Aroma is slightly sweet hops with light fruit and maybe pine.
Taste is all hops to start with then a sweet grapefuit that leaves a dry aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is smoothly buttery or oily with tiny carbonation and light alcohol burn as you swallow.
Very nice west coast IPA....not as smooth (or mild) as Bridgeport IPA, but not meant to be.
I can drink several of these

03-30-2006 06:15:06 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of Maestro


4/5  rDev -4.5%

This is a cloudy orange beer with a foamy, tan head that leaves a creamy lacing on the glass. The smell and taste are both strictly hops. Mouthfeel is a bit oily but makes for a smooth drinking beer. I understand the whole west coast vs. east coast debate, but I know many east coast IPAs that are just as good, if not better. I drink this again and it is a good IPA, but I can do just as well in the east.

03-30-2006 02:28:05 | More by Maestro
Photo of Birdiebeagle


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

Bottle Pours a clear golden with a fizzy white head, that produces good lacing and lasts fairly well. Has a good hoppy aroma of spruce. Has an oily texture with good carbination. Has a real good duration with a nice strong bitter finish.This is what I love in an IPA. Bold and powerfull. Very well done. Has a very smooth ability to hit you with a solid bitterness. I highly recommend this one

03-29-2006 20:55:23 | More by Birdiebeagle
Photo of numenor1

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Fairly clear light golden orange in color with a fluffy, thick bubbled sticky white head that laces exceedingly well. Smells like fresh cut pine with a citric quality to it. Starts with a dry bitterness which is fleshed out with nice caramel and toasty malt through the middle with scales moving back toward pine sap and orange through the finish. A very nice even keel bitterness is present throughout and lasts long on the palate. A bit of alcoholic spice bite near the end too. This is beautifully balanced, definitely avoiding the candied hop taste that some IPA's lean to. Body is medium full with creamy carbonation. Fairly drinkable, i'm finding, i'm taking no time with this bomber...

03-28-2006 22:14:14 | More by numenor1
Photo of ultralarry2006


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

This was poured from a 22 oz. bomber leaving a 2 inch head that subsided into an inch by halfway down, to 1/2 inch the rest of the way, leaving thick lacing all the way. Hazy golden orange amber. Aroma of pine and more pine, slight malt sweetness. Taste was exactly like aroma- pine, and citrus, with slightly underrepresented malt backbone, but good nonetheless, finished with more pine. Mouthfeel was full and smooth with thick (oily?) bitter (good) taste on tongue and in mouth. Drinkability- I enjoyed this- a very good IPA and one I will get often.

03-28-2006 21:44:31 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of RoBotGod


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

One of the many good beers from this series. This beer gives off a very light rustic color, but packs a good punch. The nose is strong and very potent. To me, it gives off the smell of 2 different kinds of finishing hops. Its like drinking liquid copper. The supper hop flavor is complimented by smooth malt and grains. Goes down smooth with not to much of a citrus bite. The boiling hops are a little more calm. It doesn’t leave your mouth dry. Sharp finishing/aroma hops matched with mellow boiling hop makes the best combination. This is the IPA that drinks like a golden ale with a kick ass hop combination.

03-28-2006 03:19:44 | More by RoBotGod
Photo of Suds


4.05/5  rDev -3.3%

This brew has a huge white head, foamy and rocky, that sits atop a golden-amber colored liquid. It’s fairly clear, makes for an attractive beer. Smells like a whole lot of hops…grapefruit and pine…hugely West Coast. The hops almost wholly eclipse a faint malt character. The taste is centered on bitterness, with a detectable malt sweetness in the foretaste that offsets the hops. Lots of hops and edgy sharpness in the finish. Medium body and very pleasing…certainly a hop monster!

03-23-2006 11:00:04 | More by Suds
Photo of rousee


4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Another fine beer by Bear Republic. Pours clear amber. A small head of foam diminishes to a wisp in a matter of seconds. Some nice looking lace remains on the sides of my glass.

Smell is sweet and fruity. Some woody elements too.
Taste is a smooth well balanced blend of malt and hops with a nice piney and citrussy hop kick. Quite smooth --almost peachy or apricot-ish. Excellent.

A velevet like mouthfeel and a great smoothness make this an excellent version of this style. One of my favorite IPAs. Even better on tap.

03-15-2006 22:13:08 | More by rousee
Photo of Rezzin


4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

A - Amber orange with some tiny floaties if you look close. The head is white and fluffy and just looks wonderful. The floaties don't bother me at all and just remind me that this is a craft brew.

S - Smells great. Piney and citrusy. Clean maltiness peaks it's way through but the hops are still the star here.

T - Piney and resiny with a little sweet malt. Lemons, grapefruit... there's just enough malt to balance things out but the hops are the dominant flavor.

M - Moderately carbonated. Goes down smooth and finishes crisp from the bitterness. Refreshing in an IPA kind of way.

D - This one of my favorite IPA's. Very well balanced with just enough snap to remind you that you're drinking an IPA and not an APA.

03-15-2006 02:43:40 | More by Rezzin
Photo of ressletr


4.18/5  rDev -0.2%

This beer poured a nice amber like color, with an awesome head. You can definitely tell that this beer was bottle conditioned. Extremley smooth for an IPA. I would actually consider this beer to be quite dangerous, no alcohol taste at all. The malt in it is outstanding, it laced the glass all the way down. I never had such a smooth IPA, if you haven't tried it yet, be sure to do so. I'm an Alesmith IPA freak but when you are looking for a smooth IPA please look at the Racer 5. I was pleasantly surprised with this ale. This beer is awesome, can hardly imagine it being an IPA,. I have seen a beer that laces all the way down to the bottom,. :-)

03-12-2006 21:52:18 | More by ressletr
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.55/5  rDev +8.6%

This beer poured a glowing apricot with a few suspended clear bits floating around in it. The head was slightly off white and looked like a frothy meringue that left a little lace behind.

Smelled of juicy nectarines and grapefruit with a little pineapple sourness along with a pleasant hint of bubble gum.

The taste began with a dry citrus hops that immediately fell to a peach and apple fruitiness. It then picks up some almost lager like doughiness giving this beer a superb clean finish.

The mouth feel was light with a full mouth of bubbles.

Although this is an IPA, it was the smoothness of the malt in this beer really stole the show. This one’s delicious, and I highly recommend it.

03-10-2006 16:29:32 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of LPorter33


2.8/5  rDev -33.2%

Purchased 22oz bomber from Martignetti's

Appearance = Good looking murky, dark peach colored golden browm. Decent head which fades quickly but leaves some intricate lacing. Small bubbles rise up giving a mild sense of carbonation

Smell = Very piney fresh hop scent. Super clean and crisp. Citrus flavors are there although not as dominating as the pine flavor. Still a great, strong intense scent.

Taste = Hmm...strange tasting. My initial impression was one of severe disappointment. It's way too sour, almost like the hops have faded away. There's no umph or kick...just a bitter sourness like someone squeezed lemon juice in here. Mouthfeel is flat and has little carbonation which surprises me. I think this. As I drink more of this, I see the taste isn't awful, but it is WAY below the IPAs I'm used to drinking and contains absolutely nothing special or unique.

Overall = a serious disappointment considering Bear Republic's reputation. I had high hopes for this beer but I can think of 15 IPAs of the top fo my head that I'd buy before I try this one again. I hold IPAs to an extremely high standard and this one did not meet my constaints. Did I possibly get a bad bottle?

03-08-2006 02:27:19 | More by LPorter33
Photo of ridedammit


4/5  rDev -4.5%

I have had this on tap at Publick House and Redbones. Both times I was pleasantly surprised. I was unfamiliar with Bear Republic and this was my first of their offerings. Granted most of this is from memory, but I do recall enjoying the well-balanced hop and alcohol. I did not realize that this was a 7% beer, the mothfeel is nicely rounded since the amount of hops and alcohol do not overwhelm the other. The brewer did a good job with the full flavor. They did not just hop-up a beer for hops sake

03-04-2006 19:49:27 | More by ridedammit
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +11.7%

Appearance: pours a orange color with dark yellow highlights. A large 3" head lasts forever. Carbonation bubbles slowly rise to the top. Mild lacing develops.

Smell: oranges and a strong bitterness are easily detectable.

Taste: nice malt layer, balanced with some orange slices, lemon zest, and a perfect piney bitterness. This is a great example of what an American IPA should be.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a bite of crispness at the start and finish. The aftertaste is short with the flavor tones.

Drinkability: superbly drinkable. This should be a staple in everyone's refridgerator.

03-03-2006 22:36:36 | More by Gavage
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

Served on-tap with my lunch at RedBones on March 2. Poured a slightly brown-tainted orange. Thin white head that was a result of the batender's pour. Some spots of lace. Nose was fruitily hoppy--citrus and apples. really rose out of the glass nicely.

Flavor was a classic Californian IPA. Lods of hops up front that was loadied full of sun-warmed fruit. Oranges, lemons, apples and pears. The bitterness was balanced erfectly by a nice malty background. Actually, it was maltier than I was expecting from its appearance. Very full mouthfeel. Juicy and chewy. that 7%ABV really snuck up on me too. I could have staed at RBs all afternoon sipping a couple pints of this beer.

03-02-2006 19:58:28 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of Imstillthegman


4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

Racer 5 pours a hazy amber color with about one finger worth of off-white head that just doesn't want to go away. It dies down but never completely disappears...which is different from most of the IPA's I have had.
The hop aroma comes through as citrus with a little pine scent. Very nice smell.
The taste isn't as "hoppy" as I would have thought...but it does hit you as you swallow.Not too bitter. Very smooth IPA. Only a slight prickly feel on the toungue. ABV hidden nicely by the hops.
I could easily have more than one of these. Excellent example of an American IPA.

03-02-2006 17:51:46 | More by Imstillthegman
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,186 ratings.