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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.

6,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,687
Reviews: 2,206
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 221
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: 6,687 | Reviews: 2,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of popery
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bear Republic makes really good beer. Racer 5 is really good beer. I would give it a perfect 5 if BeerAdvocate didn't break up scoring into categories. The beer isn't perfect in all categories, but it is greater than the sum of its quite excellent parts. Racer 5 should be on tap at every pizza place and burger joint in the country. It's perfectly balanced and probably the most drinkable beer that I've ever had. Usually, I'm able to ponder a beer as I write my review, but this 22oz bottle is already nearing its end.

The beer has a great color, a deep gold or light amber that pretty much nails my mental picture of how an IPA should look. The head could stick around a bit longer, but that's really quibbling over details. The beer smells good. It's not as overtly hoppy in taste or smell as Hop Rod Rye, Racer 5's cousin, but it has some nice citrus notes, which Hop Rod doesn't. I feel a bit silly talking about each category for this beer, so I'll sum up my feelings quickly. The taste is well-balanced and dry. The mouthfeel is very nice with great carbonation that plays an excellent supporting role. Finally, it's just exceptionally drinkable. The beer is sweet, hoppy and dry. The flavors don't linger and the bitter aftertaste is just right. For me, Racer 5 is a perfect storm of drinkability.

Photo of changeup45
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of this at Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, VA and am I glad I did. Orange colored, pours with a nice off-white head and a little bit of retention. Aroma is wonderful, floral with loads of pine needles and hops. The flavor follows suit, citrusy with a blast of pine needles and hops up front. Crisp and bitter in the finish. There's a syrupy malt base that is noticed more as the beer warms a little. This is terrific stuff and a true top notch IPA.

Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy mellow gold color with hints of orange... Light white head quickly fizzles and fades... Minimal lacing... Coats glass well... Light carbonation is visible...

S - Hops... Citrus... Alcohol... Perhaps some mild peppery notes...

T - Grapefruit... Hops... Bitterness... Alcohol...

M - Oily... Surprisingly smooth... BItter, but not too much for an aggressive IPA...

D - Not as overpowering as I expected, but still packs a little bit of a wallop... Solid and enjoyable, but not spectacular...

Photo of philipquarles
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice cloudy copper with a thick off-white head. Good lacing. Smells primarily of grapefruity hops, though malt and spices are also present. This carries on into the taste, though the malt becomes a bit more prevalent. Nice roasted flavors. Mouthfeel is decent; thick and with a hint of carbonation. A bit too unbalanced for my taste, but I'm admittedly not a hophead.

Photo of unionturf
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally found this in SC and got a bottle.

Being bottle conditioned I fliped the bottle a few times to mix up the sediment from the bottom of the bottle. This beer poured a hazy dark orange color with a good floral/grapefruit aroma. Looking through the glass it's a nice cloudy beer with floating particles throughout.

First sip was "WOW"...this is a serious beer. Huge hoppy/grapefruit flavor with some alcohol taste following, a little think but very dirnkable. BR didn't hold back in making this beer, it's really good!

Photo of cameraman
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amber to golden color, with a half inch white colored head. The strong scent of grapefruit and pine strike the nose at first sniff, that is followed by the mellow fragrance of malt at the end. The malt comes out at the start of the taste, then it blends to an intense grapefruit, grassy, earthy bitterness takes over and dominates till the end. A thin watery feel at bthe front, it then gradually becomes more of a medium bodied feel. This a really good IPA, bringing a strong aroma and excellent flavor, which are the backbone of a great beer, makes this one outstanding.

Photo of ClavinCliff
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time on draft in Virginia and have been on a quest to find a place to buy it. Picked a few bombers up in Webster, NY a few weeks back.

Pours a deep orangish copper color. Hazy in clarity. Nice white head forms right away. Very good head retention for the first few minutes, it then settles down to a nice lacing on top of the beer. A good floral smell, hops are right up front. Maybe a little fruity note, apricot, maybe hint of orange? Mouth feel, slightly sweet start but the hops kick in almost right away. Oily feel going through the mouth. Good bitter hops note but not too much, alcohol (7%) is well hidden but does help balance out the hops, you do feel the hops on your teeth between sips. All in all I had forgotten how much I love this beer. May need to stack it up against the 90 min when I get home in a battle royal for my top IPA. If you are a hop and IPA fanatic then go get one of some Racer 5, a supreme example of a West Coast IPA. I have got to figure out a way to get this stuff in GA.

Photo of Hullabaloo2
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma - The first note that I get is a nice bouquet of floral, almost fruity hops. The fruit like aroma is not that of esters. This is by far the most dominate characteristic of the aroma, but the malt does come through. This aroma is not complex, but is still quite pleasant for the hop lover.

Appearance - A nice deep amber color with an eggshell colored head. The head poured about 1 finger width, but quickly dissipated to an uneven 1/4 finger width. The lacing is mediocre. There is a slight haze that appears to be from hop resins; always a welcome sign in an IPA. This gives clue that there will be an intense hop character to the flavor.

Taste - Very nice floral and spice hop flavor. The flavor of the hops is quite dominant, but the bitterness level is not very intense. The malt provides a nice balance to the hops, but doesn't make much of a showing in the front of the flavor. The hops are nicely balanced, but probably not intense enough for true hop heads. Some alcohol does make itself known.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with mid-level carbonation. There is no perceived alcohol, and the bitterness is on the lower end of the spectrum for an IPA. The beer goes down smooth. It is somewhat slick on the tongue. There is a small lingering bitterness, but this beer will not "blow out" your palate.

Overall Impression - This is a good IPA. It's very drinkable, and not overwhelming with hops, and bitterness. I see that as a detractor, but many others trying to develop a palate for hops, or who just aren't hop heads would probably love this IPA. The hop aroma, and flavor are very nice. For a 7% abv beer the alcohol is a little to noticeable. This is probably the biggest problem that I have with this beer. Long story short, solid, but nothing to write home about.

Photo of boralyl
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An aggressive pour creates 2 fingers of off-white head that has great retention and leaves globs of lacing. The beer is light amber, bordering on gold in color.

S - Sweet caramel malt, and heavy floral and piny hops make up the nose. You can tell it's going to be a hoppy brew.

M - A medium-bodied beer with a smooth feeling complemented by the right amount of carbonation.

T - The sweeter malt hits first followed by some citrus and then a nice amount of floral hops leaving a slightly bitter taste. Not as hoppy as I expected for a west coast IPA, but balanced very nicely.

Racer 5 has a great taste without being too bitter giving it a nice drink-ability. Definitely give this one a try.

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

Pours a nice slightly hazed light amber color with a large inch and a half slightly yellowed head. Nice retention and a bit of lacing.

The aroma is delicious. These west coast brewers really make IPA's that are up my alley! A nice bit of citrus on the nose with a nice touch of sweetness. Just really enticing.

The taste is quite nice. Again, nice citrus quality and a splash of pine with a honey like sweetness as well. A gentle bitterness, nice to have it present in an IPA, and nice that it's not obnoxious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Fine carbonation bubbles tickle the tongue, and help create a semi creamy brew.

Drinkability is fairly high. Just a really tasty brew, and with moderate alcohol it's definitely easy to consume. I'm kind of mad at myself for walking past this one for a little over a year now!

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

a: pour pitcher to pint forming a 1" light khaki head, good retention, the beer is a slightly hazy amber-copper color

s: very hoppy and dripping with tropical fruit juices and a fresh green pine resin, well supported by a moderately sweet, grainy caramel malt

m: carbonation on the low side of medium, medium body

t: moderately sweet caramel malt supporting structure for a heavy-handed dose of juicy and pulpy tropical fruit hops that permeate the entire experience, highly bitter with a grapefruit tartness in the finish

d: highly enjoyable

pitcher at Galaxy Hut, Arlington

Photo of Bounty628
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very hazy orange to amber color with a rather large amount of head upon pour that fades rather slowly. There is a nice amount of lacing along the glass from pour through to completion.

Upon pour, the nose is immediately greeted with a fresh citrus welcome that is highlighted by orange and grapefruit. Though freshness usually comes through more on taste, the smell that this beer gives off immediately leads the drinker down the path that the freshness of this beer is certainly what drives the quality of the offering.

The beer pours a medium body that is free from large amounts of carbonation. Once the head dissipates a bit, the body of the beer is very smooth and drinkable.

What really makes this IPA a true winner is what we all hope for in a beer, an amazing taste. The same hints of citrus that were present in the nose also come through in the taste in a big way up front but then quickly give way to a very spicy and hoppy complexity. Though the citrus emphasis is certainly present in the taste, as hoped for, the citrus merely complements the extensively hoppy flavor that truly is what will bring you back to this beer time and time again.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale is a well crafted west cost style IPA that is crafted brilliantly with the right amount hoppiness, which after all is what this beer is all about.

Photo of chiefydawg
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into huge mug to hold all 22 oz (one pour). Hazy orange with suspensions of different shapes and sizes, mostly towards bottom. Being bottle conditioned, this does not bother me a bit. The head is solid and thin-to-medium, with the larger bubbles in the middle piling up higher than the finer bubbles along the periphery. Thin but consistent lacing.

Smells of orange rind with a dry earthy must and mild spicy notes. Sweet yeast scent comes up when shaken and sloshed a bit. A fruity cereal like Fruity Pebbles really comes to mind, which I haven't had in decades (glad I came up with that). Alcohol finally more detectable towards the end.

Citrus-dominated taste has a tempered bitterness that is nicely countered by the well-infused malt. Exceptionally balanced as any West Coast IPA. Is less complexed and hop bombed than I had anticipated. The 7% keeps its heat more subtle until the very end, and would be more difficult to detect at all in a pint. There is an underlying woodiness in there that I've been trying to pinpoint for awhile.

Smooth, soft mouthfeel for an IPA. Medium body. Very drinkable, plush, velvety, and smooth. So well balanced and tempered. Prolly the most drinkable IPA ever. I don't care about criteria - this is a session beer!

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

The appearance was fairly clear light amber color and had a nice lacey head. I really enjoyed the clean hoppy smell. the fell is very smooth and followed by, The taste came on strong a bitter finish. This beer is defiantly an enjoyable beer for IPA lovers

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

Pours a clear orange/amber with a nice stark white fluffy head that leaves behind good lacing. Nose is pretty much all west coast hops with some slight hops. Taste follows with balls out west coast grapefruit and pine hop flavors. A subtle yet apparent malt presence here that provides a mild sweetness. Some small spice in here, but not much is noticed over the standard west coast hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is just on thick side here for a standard IPA as is the abv. drinkability is quite good. A very slammable IPA. Overall a very good brew, one of the better IPAs around, and one that Im sure would be a staple if it were locally available. Good Beer.

Photo of hwwty4
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22oz bottle into my Smokestack goblet (3 pours). This beer pours a cloudy amber orange with a big fluffy white head that leaves hints of lacing as the head recedes. The aroma is spot on for a West Coast IPA. Big citrus notes with orange and grapefruit with just a hint of its malt backbone. The taste is much the same with citrusy hops dominating every other flavor, even living a biting bitterness coating your mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated but still very resiney. This is a great IPA that I will definitely be seeking out again now that Bear Republic has found its way to Kansas liquor stores.

Photo of unHipHopHead
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: lighter orange, decent sized head with larger bubbles.

S: sweet citrus and floral notes with a underlying fresh cut grass.

T: first sip is sweet citrus and honey that quickly is taken over by a punch of hops that finishes with a nice piney flavor. Overall a very refreshing taste that lingers quite well.

M: smooth and light and refreshing. a tiny bit oily, a good balance.

D: very drinkable brew, nice and light and refreshing... drinks like more of a pale ale than an ipa.

Photo of TeddyBG
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into Long Trail pint glass.

A: Cloudy orange with a good cream colored head that sticks around for awhile. Great lacing.

S: Citrus hops and can definitely pick up the malts as well. Good balance.

T: Citrusy hops. Cannot really pick up the malt, but this may be too cold. Good hop bit that lingers only just enough.

M: Certainly not watered down. Just right and no resiny aftertaste.

D: Good taste and no overwhelming aftertastes give this a thumbs up. The ABV probably makes this a beer that cannot be sessionable...though that 22 oz. went down pretty quickly. Another West Coast IPA that has won my heart and/or liver.

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

Six 12oz bottles purchased from Bauer Wines in Boston for $14. No freshness date found. Pours a nice cloudy gold. (Though a later bottle is more clear, at least by the end of it.) Strong hop aroma. Strong warming American hop flavour. A straight-forward west coast IPA - god bless em.

Photo of chuckd123
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Excellent IPA. Poured from a 12oz bottle, color is a dark, cloudy amber. Nice finger and a half head with good lacing.

Smell is very aromatic, kind of a floral, citrusy aroma. Malt is very faint, and flowery amoma is what you get first.

Taste is excellent - powerful, bold and very hoppy. Could pass for a double IPA easily, though alcohol is not overly present. Very complex, full flavor, not often seen outside of d-ipa's.

Mouthfeel is very good -- very light and smooth on the tongue, encourages you to drink more.

Drinkability -- excellent. Tastes much lighter and smoother than the dark cloudy appearance would suggest. I could get lost in several of these.

Some of my absolute favorite beers are double or imperial IPA's, and this is right up there in terms of flavor, hoppiness & taste.

Excellent, and worth a try (or several).

Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The label says bottle conditioned, & I clearly received the last bit of the bottle. My wife's pint glass looked vastly clearer than my murky cup o' beer. A full pour meant a nice head that went on & on & on & on. Smell is entirely made up of hyper-aggressive hops.

Taste is also hyper-aggressive hops & strangely familiar. My wife made the call: Hopslam! Racer 5 tastes eerily similar to Hopslam, & that's a good thing. No alcohol heat, & not much depth, but for a hophead like myself, that's OK. Hops piled on hops piled on hops, with just a touch of a hoppy aftertaste. Works for me.

Very drinkable with very mild carbonation. Refreshing. I'll try this one again, & that's two-for-two winner from this brewery for me. Time to delve into some more Bear Republic stuff.

Photo of loosey
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle... a vibrant gold with sudsy one inch head into a pint... really really clear... this thing laces like a foam wall inside my glass

i can smell this shit from where its sitting on the table, which is impressive.. but the extremely floral hop aroma drowns just about everything else out, there is something sweet lurking in there

overwhelming sensation of rolling around in hopbushes with your mouth open, you can taste the alcohol with some pine... a little off balance though.. the finish is lip smacking bitter... creamy, medium to heavy bodied, adequately carbonated...

sometimes when the aroma hop is so prevalent it reminds of my youthful days huffing potpourri scented air freshener while making bombs out of christmas balls, gasoline, and styrofoam to throw at the kids up the block while they lounged on the couch in their front lawn, which can be a detraction from enjoying the beer.. that aside this is obviously a well crafted beer and drinkable to a certain extent, id say more than 2 of these bombers might taint my palette beyond my comfort level for one evening

oh.. this will make your face hot

Photo of pinotboy007
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very nice cloudy amber with a frothy head that initially leaves dense lacing that subsides. Head re-emerges after a swirl. Obvious carbonation that settles over time.

S - Pine and orange juice.

T/M - Hops bust out and pound palate but quickly gives way to citrus, leather, and a touch of clove. The mouthfeel is damn fine with a splendid creaminess and soft carbonation perfect for today's hot weather.

D - Very. I'd serve this to friends with no mental reservation or purpose of evasion.

3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a generous gimme from Beereality...
12 oz. bottle into an Imperial Pint glass.

A short pout produced a creamy, butter colored 1 finger head. Beer pours a hazy, golden straw color. Spotty, dripping lace.

Smells of dusty, piney hops & citrus rind. Nothing special.

The taste is hop forward & a little unbalanced. Spicy & a little sharp on the front. Citrus backgrounds noted in the bitter, dry finish. Alcohol presence throughout.

Lighter bodied with ample carbonation. Crisp & tart with a manageable ABV.

It's taking a little while for me to appreciate IPA's. While not a preferred style, it wasn't too bad & I'm glad I had an opportunity to try it....

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

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

Appears a slightly hazy orange-amber with a one finger off-white head. A bit of particulate matter floating around in there but that may just be because of the moron at Binny's that put my bottle in the box upside down when I wasn't looking.

Aroma is west coast hops all the way. Nice and citrusy, a bit of pine, and a biscuity malt undertone.

Taste is more hops. A bit more piney than the aroma first suggests. The pine comes in first then I get a big kick of grapefruit-like citrus. Towards the finish there is a nice dose of sweet caramel and biscuity malt but that quickly gives in to the bitterness of the hops that coat the tongue in their oils and linger on.

Medium mouthfeel, good amount of carbonation.

Damn good IPA, just enough malt to keep it from being overly bitter, just where I like it. Good stuff.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,687 ratings.