Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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6,699 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,699
Reviews: 2,210
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 223
Gots: 659 | 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: 6,699 | Reviews: 2,210 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of funkyspunk87
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Style: American IPA
ABV: 7.00 %

A Good to Great American IPA...more solid and smooth than Green Flash or Stone, IMO. Really a good beer for any situation.

Still waiting to try Racer X - it's never a given when you take these solid IPAs and make them doubles.

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

Pours a clear, pale gold with a 1 finger white head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is of floral hops and citrus. Hops hit the palate immediately - floral and piney, white pepper, tangerine. Light and clean, this one is at the upper limit of being an IPA without becoming a DIPA/IIPA. Another excellent offering from Bear Republic - if you like this one, try their Racer X.

Photo of yzer
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Racer 5 is an exemplary West Coast IPA.

This is a full-bore brew that puts more mild-mannered "IPAs" like Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada Anniversary to shame.

This IPA has all the creamy off-white head and lacing you could possibly want. The body is smooth and big, leaving me with sticky lips between eager gulps.

The appearance is nothing special and does little to indicate the bold and perfectly balanced taste to come. It's an amber brew with medium clarity and a cream colored head. There is a generous load of yeast on the bottom of each well-conditioned bottle. This IPA is ready to drink right from the store.

The taste is not to be missed. This is a true West Coast IPA with loads of hops that dominate some very sweet and lingering malt. The aroma is a well-crafted balance of pine and malt fragrence. Flavor tones include pine, coffee, and chocolate.

I compare Racer 5 very favorably to the seasonal Sierra Nevada Celebration, but Racer 5 is available all year long.

The Bear Republic label graphics are a little esoteric and reflect the racing proclivities of the owner. I must admit that for me, the label evokes imagery of Bakersfield, comic books and trailer taste which prevented me from trying this marvelous IPA much earlier. Sure, a book can't be read from its cover, but why shoot yourself in the foot and limit your market appeal with label graphics that proclaim, "teen-aged redneck?" For a brew of this quality, WRC or Formula 1 symbolism would be more appropriate.

The tall bottles are nice. They chill quickly.

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty I really don't care how the label on an ale bottle looks. I can't say that for the first-time buyers of premium IPA. Bear Valley Racer 5 is a truly great West Coast IPA and one of my new favorites. Thanks to some very talented and uncompromising brewers at Bear Republic!

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

Why the hell has it taken me so long to try this one? What was I waiting for!? This is exactly what I have been looking for in my search for a ridiculously good IPA.

A- Lighter than expected golden color. Fluffy white head, pretty large, and a shitload of lacing.

S- First whiff. Damn. There is an amazing aroma of fresh wet sticky resiny hops. Floral would be accurate but then again, it's more than that. Citrusy and lemony but the hops are completely dominating and obliterating any other scent.

T- Attention all hop heads, you will surely enjoy this one. My palate is quickly hit with a tornado of hops. Taste like cascade hops on steroids. This is liquid flowers. I dont even want to talk about the malts because its pointless. All hops here, citrusy.

M- Slick and resiny. Smooth going down.

D- Easy drinking IPA for all my fellow hop heads out there. An exceptional brew thats a must have for any fans of the IPA style.

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

Had one of these after a hard days work. The hops were definitely prevalent but not overpowering. There was enough malt backbone to balance it out and keep it out of "hop bomb" range for my taste. Nice 1/2 inch head. Great copper color. Tight bubbles coming out of solution. It had a great, floral hop nose that really invited you into the glass. Very nice beer.

Photo of gau8a
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this beer has to be tried! if you like "hop bombs"then this beer will turn into an every day pleasure. not quite stones ruination ipa but is still a superb brew!! after being exposed to the breweries that brew these double ipa creations & their other varieties, everything i've had before is not as appealing.

Photo of Silenus89
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

POured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A. Hazy gold in color with a nice one finger head that left lacing

S. Fruity hops smell with alittle malt to it

T. Pine and fruity hops finished with a malty sweetness

MF> Medium bodied with good carbonation

D. This has a good drink ability i need more, definitely!

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

poours extremely cloudy with unbelievably sticky head. nice golden slightly orange color.

smells extremely hoppy, piney and spicy hops.

wow this is hoppy, but still has a decent balance with the malt. piney hops, tastes a lot like simcoe and cascades.

smooth on the mouth, but a bit oily, a spicyness really helps bring the bitterness to the tongue. easily drinkable but would probably move to something different after a few.

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

Oh ya. Last night I found that one of the local liquor stores had this stuff in all the time along with other Bear Republic Brews...

A: Woah, Dark Orangish Red Color, very Hazy with very little light that pulled thru. I could not see my fingers thru the glass after my initial pour although it did lighten up as it settled. Solid one finger head fairly thick with sticky lace.

S: Grassy, sweet citrus notes. Floral notes as well with a very slight "dirt" smell.

T: Delicious!!! Hoppy Grapefruity yummyness. Hops are certainly present without being overbearing, more balanced then many west coast IPA's. Very good, taste seemed more profound at the colder tempetures. As it 'warmed up' it was still good but i got more out of it cold.

M: Medium body, slightly "chewy" pretty wet on the finish but smooth. The bite from the hops was felt on the side of my tongue and back of palate Nice finish.

D: Very High for an IPA, I could have had a couple more easy. Very smooth not too bitter and not too dry which allowed for a very refreshing IPA.

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

Pours a cloudy orange with ample tight, white head that leaves a nice lace after several minutes. There are floaties in the glass, showing a non-pasteurized, non-filtered, REAL LIVE BEER!

Aroma is of biscuity, honey-caramel malt, and tons of grapefruit and piney hops. A somewhat typical but exceptionally well done beer. Nothing really stands out about the aroma except that it's wonderful. Not out of the ordinary in any element other than its exceptionality (if that makes any sense at all...).

Flavor is much the same... well balanced at first, then turning towards citrus hops that overwhelm the rest and finish very grapefruity. The grapefruit-citrus flavor lasts long after each swallow, and leaves you wanting more.

Carbonation is medium-high, body is pretty full and lightly creamy, with a dry, lightly astringent finish.
An excellent, well-balanced, very drinkable IPA. Highly recommended.

Photo of lhaqq
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy orange color. Small amount of head once I received it.
S: Smell is citrus and especially grapefruit. Not very overpowering, but definitely noticeable.
T: Taste is also of grapefruit, and also has some malty sweetness to it.
M: Mouthfeel was surprisingly creamy. Was expecting something sharper with a much more pronounced aftertaste, but was pleasantly surprised with its feel and the slowly fading aftertaste.
D: Very drinkable, may not get again on tap but will likely pick some up to enjoy at home.

Photo of jdg204
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this bad boy on tap at Porter's Pub in Easton PA, saw it on the tap list and had to try!

A: Hazy copper with a healthy fluffy white head that stuck around for the ride.

S: Blended citrus, grapefruit and hops with a sweet note fruit.

T: Balance, balance, balance! Big hop start as you take a drink with nice citrus middle and the good hoppy bitter finish, also to be noted the very clean finish as well extremly well balanced not overlly alcholly seems to have just the right amount of everything.

M: Very smooth, good carbonation level, nice medium body. Pretty easy drinker for an IPA.

D: Excellent balance for an IPA, extremely impressive. I continue to fall deeper in love with the West Coast IPA's. My first offering from Bear Republic, a new fav brewery who's other offerings I'll be trying soon!

Photo of garyc2112
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this on recommendation from the store owner. I'm a big fan of IPA's. This one doesn't disappoint.
A - Hazy reddish copper.
S - Hoppy but not overpowering.
T - Great balance of hops with very little bite. Doesn't leave a lingering aftertaste that you get with some other IPA's.
M - Mild carbonation.
D - A very balanced IPA. Great hop taste and just enough malt. This is a great beer to sit and chill with at an afterwork happy hour, yet hoppy enough for hardcore hopheads!

Photo of SpecialK088
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Tulip

A-Cloudy copper with a big fluffy white head, amazing head retention.

S-Classic IPA citrus, grapefruit and hops also has a sweet note fruit.

T-Big hop start as you take a drink with nice citrus middle and the good hoppy bitter finish, also to be noted the very clean finish as well extremly well balanced not overlly alcholly seems to have just the right amount of everything.

M-Nice and smooth good carbonation level nice medium body

D-Easy to drink not nessarally the first IPA I would reach for but one i'll for sure go after againit should also be noted that the 750 was only 4.99 which makes it an exceptional value.

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

Purchased 22oz bomber at Brookline Liquor Mart, Sept. 30, 2008.

Presentation: Poured a translucent, burnt orange color into a traditional pint glass. Thick, foamy head quickly formed and clung to the glass, leaving a slight residue. It appeared slightly lighter than most IPAs that I've had. I thought that the beer retained its head very well (1.5 fingers) and looked appealing and approachable. It had a pleasant citric aroma with a hoppy undertone that became more pronounced as I took additional breaths.

Tasting: Sweet and tangy as it crossed the threshold of my lips, the beer's hoppiness came across as I drank more of it. With an aggressive hop character, this is a classic example of the American IPA. In my opinion, it is one of the best. It finishes very clean and doesn't overwhelm the palate with bitterness as some other IPAs do. The slightly higher alcohol content is present, but not overwhelming, on the palate. However, it does affect drinkability, as this would not be appropriate for a session.

I've enjoyed this beer on tap before, but I had never had the chance to review it. From memory, it's slightly better on tap, but the bottle is very good, too. If I can't decide when I'm at my favorite beer bar, I'll always go back to this beer. This is a fine example of the style and an essential for anyone seeking a broad understanding of American IPAs.

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

A - A reddish orange center with yellow edges. A nice white head that floats on top of the surface leaving lacing all the way down the glass. Some sediment floating about.

S - Citrus hops, pine hops and caramel malt.

T - Bitter up front followed by a citrus and malt sweetness and then bitter again. Very nice.

M - Pretty thick and enjoyable.

D - I would like to rate this a little higher but it is on the citrusy end of the IPA scale for me. Very bitter which is what I look for most in an IPA. I will come back to this one.

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

A light haze in the medium orange colored body. Half an inch of off white head faded over a few minutes. Only a small stream of carbonation in the center. Sticky sheets of lace.

A blend of floral and citric scents from the hops were strong right out of the bottle. Citrus scent is of a strong grapefruit aroma. Malt gets overpowered.

A very nice balance. Malt hits for half a second before a hop burst. Grapefruit taste reinforces the scents. A hint of resin like hops oil.

Sticky on the tongue. Carbonation effect is very minimal but helps the flavors in the mouth.

A very good brew. Works perfectly for a chicken tandoori dish. A great brew in the style. Well worth trying to find yourself a bottle.

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

22oz bottle received from hwwty4 in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly BIF. Thanks Bill! This has a date of 14th August 2008 stamped on the side. Into my trusted Duvel tulip

A: Hazy orange with a massive white head that settles to a disk, leaving gorgeous lacework,

S: Tons of citrus fruit on the nose with orange, orange zest, some pine. Excellent hop aroma.

T: Starts off with a ton of hop flavor with a lot of citrus fruit character - lots of orange, grapefruit and some sharp zest. Some pine bitterness is present at well. As with my favorite IPAs, there really isn't much malt present- it's a ton of hop flavor that carries on through the dry finish with a pleasing bitter character

M: Excellent for an IPA - light, mildly resiny, bitter, dry, ample carbonation

D: This is one of the better IPAs I've had. I do wish this was closer to the 6% range, I'd drink a ton. At it's price, there's few better

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

On tap at the Bear Republic tasting at the Rubicon tonight.

Note: This beer isn't worth drinking if it's not on tap. Truly a classic IPA.

A - Light golden, carbonated, slight head, with slight legs.

S - Malts, pine, flowers, and slight earthiness.

T - Pretty much the same.

M - Good. Balance between hops and malts with a nice bitter aftertaste you'd expect from an IPA.

D - Very excellent. Am always down to get a pitcher. I always use this IPA as the standard for comparison.

Photo of ironlung
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber color. Soft Pour resulting in 1/2" head that dissapated quickly.

S: Musty hops with a woodsy sweetness.

T: Nice bitterness comes thru,though a little sweeter than i like my ipa's.

M: Carbonation dosen't hit my tounge as much as other ipa's (maybe not bottle conditioned?)Lingers nicely on my palate. Pretty good balance.

D: At 7% it'll do the trick if your liver's not pickled. For a veteran a good session ipa.

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

Pours a nice copper, burnt orange color. Very light head, leaving a nice lace accross the back of the glass.

Smell: light caramel, rasted malt, very light hop aroma..expected more from a west coast IPA.

Taste: sweet caramel notes up front, alcohol accross the middle of the tounge, and just enough hop the clean off the pallet to take away the sweetness and leave a nice bitter dry finish in the mouth.

Mothfeel: Very full body, can really feel the heat from the alcohol in my mouth, I really like that! not a typical IPA in my mind, very unique without straying to far from the style.

Drinkability: Can see this beer being a problem for me! goes down very smooth and quick could lead to intoxication rather quickly.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one fine IPA. I have to say that at 7% it is drinkable and tasty. I loved it to the last drop.

I poured my Racer 5 into a duvel glass. The head formed quickly and remained from pour to pour from my 22 oz bomber. The warmer this one got the more robust the dry hopped aroma became.

The smell of west coast fresh hops and pine with an earthy background rip through you as you drink this excellent beer. I never thought I could like this as well as Hop Rod Rye, but I was definately wrong. This beer has huge character.

The taste is backed up by the aroma. The earthy taste, pine resin, and extra bitter finish make this an excellent IPA - strong within its class (a difficult style to stand out among such great beers.

The mouthfeel is strong but not too thick. It is just about perfect for an IPA. It may be, perhaps, a little too carbonated (it is bottle conditioned so it will have some variance).

This is a very drinkable beer that you will try to savor to the last drop, but no matter what you do you won't be able to have your cake and eat it too (it will end). Stop crying and buy some more Racer 5. Enjoy friends!

Photo of orangedive
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice appearance. 1.5 inch head, off-white that dissipated slowly. Orangish Gold in color. 75% clear.

S - Strong Apricots & Oranges (lots of citrus). Smells deliciously floral and sweet and somewhat hoppy. Not overwhelmingly hoppy, given it's an IPA.

T - Candy-ish. A little like an orange toostie-roll lollipop. It was a little too sweet to be a solid IPA; however, the aftertaste was slightly bitter.

M - Even. Not thin, not chewy, not thick...just average.

D - Easy drinking for a 7% IPA. Goes down smoothly. I imagine it would be a good beer for pairing with food.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, glowing golden orange body, with languous bubbles of fine carbonation. Head it creamy white, leaving amazing lacing. Great looking IPA.

Smell is also great, a beautiful tropical fruit hit - tastes of passionfruit, pineapple, menthol and pawpaw. It's not as overtly powerful as it could be, but it's very nice all the same.

Taste is a resinous bitter character, quite sharp, but clean and fresh, full of character. There's not a huge amount of complexity there, but it's tasty. Strong and robust hop bitterness that resonates through to the back palate. Mouthfeel is a little thin, surprisingly, but the sparkling character matches the hop bite nicely.

This is a pretty decent IPA - it doesn't knock my socks off, but it's solid, drinkable and enjoyable. At least it's a good example of the style.

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

Poured a multilayered copper with a monstrous frothy head and lacing to match. Really quite nice to look at. The head borders on legendary.

Very nice hoppy aroma, earthy and piney undertones.

A very solid and what seems to be balanced brew. Nice hop flavor but not overdone. Light tones of citrus. Mild hoppy aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel with low carbonation.

One of the more drinkable IPA's I have had. Not sure which is better this or the Hop Rod. Not sure I have personally ever had a head this impressive; at one point was two inches out of the glass without falling apart.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,699 ratings.