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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.

6,682 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,682
Reviews: 2,204
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 220
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: 6,682 | Reviews: 2,204 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've heard about this brewer being a leader in the West Coast Way, so I jumped at the opportunity to procure a bottle of this whilst checking out the retail beer scene in friendly Austin, Texas a few weeks ago. Best not to let the purported aromas of the the style fade away by neglecting it, so here we go, into an American pint glass...

Pours a slightly hazy pale copper colour, with a few fingers of thick puffy white head, that persists for a good while, slowly leaving a solid ring of lace around the glass. The smell is big grapefruit citrus hops, with a little bit of pine in there too. I'm not getting much in the way of specific malt, other than a general sweetness mixed in with the hop essence. The flavour is a large smack of citrus and pine hops at the front, which are quite astringent. They carry through right to the finish, dancing the watusi on my tastebuds. The malt body is there, but I only detect it in the mouthfeel, which is actually quite full, with a moderate carbonation. Any warming from the elevated alcohol is hard to discern: I'm all warm and fuzzy from a hop coma. This is indeed tasty, and obviously unbalanced at first due to all its bitter goodness. But as it warmed and I became accustomed to the bitterness, the sweet malt finish became much more evident. This slow to arrive balance would make for a decent drinkability, once suitably primed.

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer is tan with a small head, but pretty damn good retention. There is a small head during the entire beer, with great lacing. The nose on the beer is sweet and hoppy, and pretty balance. Mostly a fruity aroma from the malts and yeast though. It was different than I expected. When taking a drink the beer hits you with a large amount of hop flavour and bitterness. A bit of alcohol comes through with the hops as well, which is okay. Behind the huge amount of hops comes a slightly fruity flavour, but it's hidden by the slight watery mouthfeel. The beer is pretty god damn drinkable!

Photo of blackjack000
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Deep honey gold. Beautiful, frothy head--thick-looking, like the head on a root beer float.

Smell: Citrus and sugary. Grapefruit rolls into my nose and singes my nosehairs.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Grapefruit comes out right off the bat. Big time. Wow. Overwhelming grapefruit flavor. Very strong grapefruit aftertaste. A sweet, malty backtaste sits in the background. The grapefruit is turned to 10, it's hard to notice anything else going on. The tingly carbonation works well to highlight the citrus puckering flavor. The overall feel almost makes me feel like I'm drinking some kind of grapefruit soda/beer drink.

Drinkability: A very nice IPA. Very distinct. However, that being said . . . I don't know if I would be down to drink more than one at a sitting. The citrus tends to blow me away. I don't think I'm man enough to sit through another wave.

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

22oz bottle.

Poured a deep, hazy amber color with a large off white head. A couple of floaters. Nice hoppy, piney aroma with light citrus. Tastes for pin citrus (Grapefruit) and some light caramel in the tastes as well. Nice and bitter. Overall a very good IPA.

Notes from 10/20/04

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass:

P: Pours light-copper out of the bottle and sits a very clear, deep golden-copper (almost orangish) color in the glass. Produces a fluffy, tooth-white colored head made up of medium-sized bubbles, which has great retention! It finally dies down to form a nice cap of foam on top that never quits. Leaves great, chunky webs of lacing down the glass as well.

A: Smells of ripe grapefruit, citrusy hops, and toasted malts to compliment.

T: Starts with a citrusy-twang that tastes a bit like grapefruit rinds with a toasty malt backbone that provides the trunk to which the big hop flavors seem to branch out from. Upon the dry, and quite smoooth finish, the hops provide some significant spice to the back of the throat and tongue. Racer 5 leaves an aftertaste of those same citrusy, spicy hop flavors for what seems like forever and a day. Delicious!

M: Body is medium-full, smooth, massaging, and perfect for an IPA of this character.

D: Drinkability is very high with this one. A 22 oz. bottle just seemed to vanish into thin air in a matter of minutes. Very easy drinking!

Notes: This is one excellent version of a West Coast IPA. Citrusy hops, grapefruity flavors, toasted malt backbone, with just the right amount of bitterness without being overpowering. The touch of spice on the dry, and long-lasting finish just puts a nice little ribbon and bow on this great brew! Predictable. After all, does Bear Republic ever make anything less than a stellar beer?

West Coast!!!

Photo of tpd975
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a small tight head. Very little retention with sparse lacing.

S: Bold citrus aromas with hints of cut grass. There is a sweet caramel malt character as well which balances things out nicely.

T: Nice hop profile without being overthetop. Great grapefruit flavors with hints of lemon zest. There is a real sweetness beneath, which slightly cuts thru the hops, but is a real compliment..

M: Medium in body with good carbonation.

D: Very, wonderful beer.

Photo of beerbart
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a strong ale with a very citrusy smell and taste. it's sweet, but it's not.

How much sugar did you put on your grapefruit when you were a kid? A lot? Well, this is less than that.

It's bitter but it's not actively angry. It's piney, but it's not sticky.

It's good, but not a favorite.

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass (two actually, shared this one with my girlfriend).

Nice cloudy amber coloration. Beer provided a small head which fizzled out kinda quick, but there was good carbination and lacing throughout the drinking period.

I was surprised (and so was my girlfriend because she likes sweeter beers like Lambic's and heffe's) at the sweet aroma of this beer, in a good way. There was a citrus-sweet aroma like a floral arrangement; grapefruit scenet was strong.

The taste was a good combination of malts, though the hops do come through big time, like a good IPA should. Very well balanced and not too hoppy.

Racer 5 was medium bodied; the taste sticks around on your tounge but it isn't heavy or overpowering.

I found this to be very drinkable and could definitely have more than one (my girlfriend thought so too ... good, maybe I can get her to drink more beer this way). I wouldn't go as far as to say this is a session beer because it is 7% abv, but I wouldn't mind having this one all night long.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to newtonty for letting me snag this 12 ouncer while watching the Bengals game.

Pours a cloudy, rusty brown with a white, attractive head. Nice lacing on the walls of my glass.

Smells of sweet grapefruit and other citrus.

Like the nose, the predominant flavor is moderately bitter grapefruit. Bitter through the middle and end of the drink. Nice and hop forward with just the right amount of malts to keep things in check.

Medium bodied and medium to full flavored beer. Very drinkable and worth trying!

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

My initial pour of this was underwhelming - a copper orange with really minimal head. Nose was of stale hops, pine and citrus alike. Flavors mild and subdued. To me it was a bit above average.

However, after it had sit for about 15 minutes before I filled my pint again, what a complete turnaround. Huge 2 finger head, that had some incredible peaks and valleys. Extremely frothy and just providing a second layer to the glass.

Nose really came alive, and some really sweet hops jumped out at me. Taste was much more fresh and had a nice wooden character to it. Big biscuity malt backbone moved to a nice array of hops. Great texture and just really was a delight.

Pop this one open and let it sit in the bottle for a good 10-15 minutes before serving this one - and you'll have one of the better IPAs you've ever had.

Photo of hiikeeba
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours up a hazy orange/amber with a rocky white head.

S - Citrusy hops dominate. Slight malt sweetness in the background.

T- Sweet malt at the back of the tonue, slightly nutty with citrus hop finish on the back of the tongue. Nice balance.

M - Medium mouthfeel.

D - Very nice. Hop aroma is slightly betrayed by the aroma. I was expecting more hops. Tastes more like an English pale ale than a California pale ale.

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

pours a solid IPA look. amber clear with a slightly off white head. thick head that taste really delicious upon first sip. sort of leaves the rest at a stand still. when dissipated. nose is that quintessential IPA citrus candy. similar to the marsala mama... great body but i am left wishing for the body in the first pour. taste is pine, particularly grapefruit and pineapple blend. orange mandarin... nice. well rounded. with a great malt backbone. a good session IPA. not as sweet as some.

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

Poured into glass.

Appearance Beer is a light amber that is neither clear nor really cloudy kind of in the middle of the two. Head is white. Decent lacing on the glass.

Smell Very nice citrus/grapefruit/lemon smell. I also get a bit of carmel. Very pleasant beer to smell. Very nice hops.

Taste I like the taste of Big IPA's and Racer 5 is a great example of this style. The low carbonation with the citrus up front finishes a little bitter which I really like. I also note the spiceness and a touch of sweet carmel taste. I reall think this beer has a lot going on and its well balanced.

Mouthful: Low carbonation with the tanginess in the mouth is reall cool. Very pleasant.

Drinkability. So refresing I really like drinking these IPA's like this one.

Photo of charlesw
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear pale amber with a very low head that’s gone in a flash. Interestingly, a completely covering lace is there and hangs out for a long time. Smells like it's going to taste like cascades. Oh. Well, interesting. Crisp, bitter at the end (in a throat clearing kind of way), lingering citrus peel aftertaste. Not so dry or bitter as, say, a Pliny. And, golly, it’s a good thing. This is an IPA. Hello! Anyway, I’m not thrilled with the after taste (makes my mouth water – and that’s not a good thing in this case). As an IPA, I’d say it would be better with more rounded hops to it – a little less of the citrus and a little less bitter at the end. Of course, I’d probably not change this recipe and make it more of my perfect IPA – I’d change it to make it a better beer. So I’d up the body and take the alcohol up about a degree. Not changing the current hops, the alcohol and body would probably make this into an excellent old ale…

Photo of calise1122
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been my one of my favorites for years, but just got around to really sitting down with a pint, a pen and a pad. Poured a bomber into a pint glass while rewatching the Obama speech... man, he can certainly talk to a crowd!

A: Hazy and cloudy blonde with a rich white rocky head that seems to grow peaks and valleys by the second. Lines and tracings of lacing hang onto the glass the whole way down.

S: Hops on the nose, nice fresh citric hops that scream of grapefruit and lemon, with some caramel notes binding it together. Really nice, it is what I think a West Coast IPA should smell like (most likely because this is the beer that brought me to the dance)

T: It's a picture. It's a picture that is painted on a canvas of hops. It's a picture that is painted with flavors of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, raisins, and prunes. It's a picture that you don't walk past... you stop, appreciate and most likely buy. It's a nice picture, it's a great beer.

M: It's sticky and smooth... it's clean and leaves you wanting to take another sip. Just a well constructed body

D: As I mentioned, this has been a bridge for me in the beer world. I was lucky enough to have my first pint of Racer 5 at the Moan & Dove in 2004... It, along with stone and DFH, carried my journey into the wonderful world of IPA's... so yes, this review may stink of sweaty sentiment... but there is no denying the quality of this beer. A fantastic west coast IPA!!!

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

Thanks to jac5084 for bringing this out last night. Poured into a standard pint glass...

A: Pours a pretty clear, semi haze, light copper. A nice white foamy head that sits for a while before settling down to a nice ring.

S: The smell is fantastic on this. Very bitter hop aroma, but that is complemented nicely with nice hints of fruit: apricot, lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

T: This is a very nice balance of bitterness and sweet fruit flavors. Not extremely bitter like some other IPAs, but the perfect amount of bitterness to sweet malt/fruit flavors.

Overall, this was a very, very good IPA and another good beer by Bear Republic.

Photo of usmittymc
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Hazy golden oak pour with a rocky off-white head that reduces to a thick cap and leaves gobs and gobs of lacing.

S: Pepper, citrus. Very, very hoppy nose. I like.

T: Just as advertised by the nose, peppery, citrusy hops. Nice bready malt back balances things out nicely.

M: Moderate. A little bit of hop oil makes it a tad slick, but not in a bad way.

D: This is a great IPA to have around. I tend to prefer the bottle conditioned IPA's (2H Ale, Bridgeport, et al), so I will add a few more bottles of this to my beer cabinet. Actually, the similarities between Bell's 2 Hearted Ale and Racer 5 are striking, both even have numbers in their name...hmmmm

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

Finally got to try it. Well worth waiting for. Light golden color, somewhat hazy, nice off white head.

Very inviting citrusy aromas. Yummy citrus taste, nice smooth bitterness, finishs with a nice pure citrus note. Very tasty, made me want another sip immediately. Extremely drinkable, lacks a bitter bite of some IPAs.

Well done. I loved it. This beer is right up my alley and I can't wait to get some more.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful golden body with a white head.

S: The trademark aroma of a West Coast IPA: Citrus hops are the cornerstone of the bouquet with notes of grapefruit and fresh hop oils.

T: Sweet pale malt is nicely balanced with the classic citrusy, piney, resiny, juicy hops. Drying, spicy bitterness in the finish.

M: smooth with a long and bitter finish that leaves sticky hop resin on the tongue.

D: Very tasty IPA. Doesn't do much to separate itself from the multitude similarly delicious IPAs, but it is a quality beer. Hope the rumors are true about these guys coming back to the Colorado market, this beer would do very well here.

Photo of praufs01
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cloudy amber with a nice creamy, pillow like tan head. This is one good looking brew.

Aroma - Sugar and pink grapefruit

Mouthfeel - Light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Fruity, grapefruit and orange zest, that rests on a nice malty base.

Overall - Wow! One of the best well balanced IPA's I've ever had.

Photo of chaz410
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty stand up IPA. I had the pleasure of having this at the Common Market here in Charlotte NC. Very typical IPA appearance. This beer uses a Columbus hops which is a new hybrid hop that typically would only add bittering aromatics but this also ads some taste. The smell is obviously hoppy with a little citrus zip in it. It isn't overwhelmingly hoppy like a lot of IPAs but it's a nice floral smell. The taste leads in with the bittering hops but the cascade hops really balance it out well and the after taste is not super bitter like your typical IPA. I enjoyed it and really like the contrasting hop notes.

Photo of riored4v
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8/25/08

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, copper colored body. Off-white head about 1 finger thick.

Smell is fantastic. Slight spicyness but mainly a citrus aroma. Mild malt sweetness with caramel notes.

Taste.. hops! Hops definitely make themself known in this IPA. Strong citrusy, grapefruit bitterness upfront. Nice malt sweetness to back it up in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light in body with and oily texture. Good carbonation.

Drinkability is god/excellent. No real alcohol presence and very well done IPA.

Overall its a good drinkin IPA. Stong on hops but enough maltiness to mellow it all out.

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

My Halloween party keg.

A -Nice bright mostly clear golden amber, 1 inch near white head. Reduces fast to ring. Lacing a little sticky and a little sudsy.

S - Mostly pine and some citrus Hops slam in first, malt is evident as well.

T - Definite focused malt center, with hops squashing all, leaving pretty neutral finish.

M - Balanced, coating, kegerator is carbed perfectly.

D - I hope everyone wants to drink this all night. I think I will!

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

Damn... had one all typed it out and it was wiped out.

Anyway, poured from a 22 oz. into a pint glass... milky orangeish color with a creamy 2-finger or so head. The aroma is mostly hops, but also some sweet citrus breaking through. The taste is more of the same, very well balanced.

This is probably my favorite Bear Republic offering to date, and one of my favorite IPAs as well.

Photo of Offa
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fully flavoured IPA that has hop dominated character yet is fairly balanced.

Slightly hazy orangish gold, it has a medium-big off-white head that slwoly shirnks to a lasting, thin foamy top. It leaves some pretty good lace.

The aroma is mostly citrusy hops, primarily grapefruit in character, with a little raisin and grape juice and a faint hint of bread crust underneath.

The taste is better, more complex, and less grapefruity but still clearly dominated by citrusy hops. It has fairly strong citrus, leaning to grapefruit, hitting up front but immediately tempered with underlying slightly caramelly raisiny, malty sweetness and an interesting yeasty quality, making it sweeter before a somewhat bitter finish. It's full bodied in flavour and feel, with quite a bit going on, with a silky, creamy feel.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,682 ratings.