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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.

6,769 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,769
Reviews: 2,222
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 231
Gots: 718 | 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:
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: 6,769 | Reviews: 2,222 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trpng0bily
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden honey, approaching orange, with a short white head and moderate lacing. There is ample yeast, tiny specks, suspended in the beer, imparting a regal thickness to the brew. It looks like what I would imagine to be nectar of the gods.

Piny hops, but with a distinctive sweetness that seems to be of the hops, not malt. Also a hint of citrus.

First and foremost bitter, crisp, outdoorsy hops that stick around for a good minute after a swallow. There is a breadiness to this beer, along with a slightly dry finish that goes nicely with the hop bitterness.

For an almost hop monster, this is quite drinkable. It stays crisp, with barely a trace of the syrupiness that bothers me in a lot of hoppy brews.

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

Served in a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours apricot-orange, hazy, with a one finger head that quickly dissipates, a little lacing as the beer is consumed.

S: Caramel/malt aroma is very noteworthy and dovetails into an American citrus hop smell. The caramel/sweeet bread aroma is a nice contrast to the very hoppy flavor...

T: hops throughout; bitterness underlines the entire experience, with a resiny, piney, only slight citrus flavor presence that finishes into a sweet bitterness. As the beer warms up there is an interesting and difficult to describe aftertaste, something like a sweet floral resin flavor that is actually very good and unique.

M: lightly carbonated, slightly sticky, firm to above average body.

D: Lots and lots of flavor in this, which almost becomes overwhelming by the end of the beer, but a very enjoyable IPA.

Photo of etenbus
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge white head and lots of lacing.

Aroma is a hops bomb. Lots of pine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, etc. I said this may be the hoppiest beer I've ever had (I live in Missouri, not on the west coast!)

I thought the taste was rather balanced. There's a smoothness and creaminess in the follow through that counteracts the hop bitterness. Apricots, pears, citrus--they all shine through here.

Mouthfeel is not astringent like some hop bomb IPAs. I like that. It is rounded and balanced.

Bring on Racer 5. Glad they finally started importing it to this Anheuser-Busch controlled state.

Photo of waltonc
2.48/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not much to say for this beer. It's a typical West Coast IPA drowned in hops. All the usual notes - pine, citrus, some sweetness. Good carbonation. Nice looking beer. I probably won't have another one for a couple years. Not nearly enough flavor balance. Give me a Dogfish 90 minute. Or a Pliny.

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

Pours glowing amber from 22 oz bottle. Enormous, creamy, delicious head grows with time. The taste is fantastic -- for lack of better descriptors, it tastes like a west coast Two Hearted Ale. Mouthfeel is smooth, a little sticky, and lingering. I would gladly drink this regularly, and probably will. Great new (to STL) IPA for the rotation.

Photo of Slynger
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 comes in lightly hazed, golden tangerine in color, with a creamy lid of ivory.

Nice nose of grapefruit and pineapple along with fresh, grassy and piney hops.

Great taste with excellent balance. Perfect amount of caramel sweetness to meld with juicy fruit hops from above, while the grass and pine come in with a solid, fresh bitterness. Medium-full body with a light, slick, buttery smoothness and tingly-fuzzy carbonation.

Very nice IPA from Bear Republic. Very glad these babies started coming in six packs in my region.

Photo of GJ40
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle purchased at Bev Mo in Redwood City while in SF on business.

A - Golden with some haze and a huge off white head. Good retention and nice lacing.

S - Nice floral hops. Just what I'd expect.

T - Floral and citrusy flavor that you can taste before your lips get wet. Some sweetness mixed in but it doesn't detract from the hops. Nice malt support without trying to take the lead. This IPA has a pretty complex flavor.

M - On the thick side for an IPA. Good carbonation. No complaints here.

D - This beer was very enjoyable and easy to drink. I liked it more and more as it went on.

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.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,769 ratings.