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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.

6,900 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,900
Reviews: 2,236
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 256
Gots: 809 | FT: 11
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: 6,900 | Reviews: 2,236
Photo of KBoudreau66
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P- pours a light copper color with a white head that leaves lacing

S- smells of piney hops, grapefruit, and malted undertones

T- can definitely taste the hops and citrus up front. Kind of flowery and earthy. Malts come into play nicely, a well balanced IPA.

M- medium- bodied, and carbonated

D- this is a really nice IPA. Very well balanced and it is reasonably priced and very drinkable. I could easily drink this beer any time during any season.

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint.

Pours a medium honey color with a moderate head that leaves plenty of lace. Tiny bit of murkiness adds to the character.

Aroma is fresh hops and big malt. Earthy piny hops and toffee with buttered rolls. Sweet candy sugar and doughnuts.

Taste is upfront hops, bright and floral. Citrus hops are not very big here but piny earthy and floral tones are huge. Malt is there as a supporting actor and could be bigger. It's a shame it's not more represented, as the malt flavors in his beer are delicious. Vanilla cake and caramel with a touch of oakiness. Creamy milk-like characters of the malt are intriguing and good.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, slick and oily the malt has body without a ton of flavor which is a shame.

Wow, this beer would be in my top five if the malt were bigger and balanced the huge hop hit more. Even more so, as the malt character that comes through is very good.

Photo of JoeBloe
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i had this from the cask at the blind tiger, and i had just recently gone thru of a sixpack of bottles - i gotta say i like the bottled racer 5 better - my bottle review would be similar to other posts here - i enjoy this beer - the cask version was extremely mellow -
lighter carbonation and not so much of a hop bite - drank it like water against blind tiger's 7 pepper chili -

Photo of callmescraps
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lady friend picked this up at Whole Foods. She used it to barter for some cheese. Clever one that one.

Appearance - Nice light copper-orangish color. A little hazy with a half inch of head sticking around. Laces nicely all the way down.

Smell - Very nice. I definitely get the grapefruit, and the citrus, although there is something almost astringent lingering. Nice hoppy character.

Taste - Pretty hoppy up front. Definitely some of that citrus and grapefruit. Cascadish I might say. Can actually taste some bread in there as well. It dries pretty harshly however on the finish. Almost feels like I just used mouthwash. It's a little harsh on the back end. Also, there seems to be another level where this one can't quite reach. I could ask for a little more complexity.

Mouthfeel - Pretty rich. Coating the tongue, and a tad syrupy. Nothing too unpleasant though, pretty hearty.

Drinkability - Pretty solid. I enjoy it, and could put back a couple. The booze is pretty well disguised.

Overall, this is a nice IPA. It's got some good floral hoppiness, and decent intensity. It's just lacking a back end, and that extra something that sets the great ones apart. Still, a very solid bev. I've always thought of it as a reliably good beer, and this has done nothing to dissuade that opinion.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single 12oz from Archer Liquors in Chicago, IL.

A: Pale yellowish amber with white head and good lacing on the glass.

S: smells like a certain type of hops that i can't pick out, citrus

T: Hoppy but in a more suble way than some other IPAs I've had recently, slight bitter finish...i wish the flavor was more intense

M: Coats the palate, nice and full bodied IPA

D: Pretty sessionable, alcohol is well hidden. I just wish there was more flavor...but the combination makes this very drinkable

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

A - clear, glowing orange, thin white ring with a few soap bubbles floating about, yet still leaves a sheet of lace down the glass.

S - fresh hops, light fruity sweetness, floral, I'd be hardpressed to call it grapefruit, leans towards orange w/ honey.

T - more of the traditional grapefruit flavour comes through, but it's still got that sweet-fruit flavour, malt character is virtually non-descript, seems to be providing some basic sweetness and a decent backbone, hops are quite strong, but don't have any bite, very smooth bitterness, aftertaste is lingering sweet hops and alcohol which blend quite nicely.

M - bit more body than some IPAs, but still no more than medium, very smooth and creamy, carbonation is medium and keeps it light, alcohol is evident, but quite mild

D - yeah, this is a damn good IPA, and slightly different from the norm.

Website says they are using Columbus and Cascade, but this tastes far sweeter and less dank than what I would expect from that combo. The bitterness isn't huge, and the malt bill is basic, but it's still very tasty and is one of the more interesting IPAs I've tasted.

Photo of mechamifune
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 oz bottle from sams in durham (the only place in the region that, to my knowledge, you can buy anything from bear republic.

upon pouring the beer had a relatively cloudy, thick appearance (noticeably more so that the founders double i had had the previous day). there was more of a malt undercurrent to the beer than i was expecting and a result the beer had more of a smooth taste than the crisper finish that i usually like in IPA's.

obvious bitter aftertaste and, due to the smoothness, easy to keep drinking. still, as a whole i was a little dissapointed, as i had fonder memories of this beer from my trip to southern california a few months earlier.

all in all still an anjoyable enough ipa, but there are a good many i would choose before it.

Photo of DIM
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a cloudy straw yellow color with some amberish highlights. It was served to me with some thin white froth.

s: Aromas of fresh citrusy hops that were a little grassy and some tingly caramel sweetness.

t: The big citric hops wanted to shine, but there was just a little too much caramel sweetness. Very good overall though.

m: Prickly, oily body and active long lasting carbonation.

d: I wasn't in the mood for a DIPA and I think this borders on one. Just a little too sweet for my taste.

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

A bomber bottle bought for me by a friend at Jungle Jim's. Poured into a Sierra Nevada Hop Tulip glass.

A: Pours a nice copper color with a frothy off white head that is relatively small. The head settles down to a covering of bubbles but never completely goes away. Each swallow leaves a coat of lacing behind.

S: A hint of malt mixed with nice floral and citrus hop aromas.

T: Starts off showing off the nice malty backbone. Then the citrus hop flavors really give you a kick in the mouth all the way through the finish. A very nice balanced IPA that isn't trying to be a Double IPA like many others in the style seem to be these days.

M: The never ending head on this one gives it a nice creamy texture. The body is of medium thickness. Its enjoyable to roll around in the mouth.

D: The nice balance makes this one very drinkable. This is a great example of an IPA.

Photo of schroederm
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass:

Looks great, off-white head that lingers forever with spidery lacing over a light orange body. Smell is hoppy with a good amount of lemon. Great malty start, rounds out perfectly with the bitter. Some lemon comes through in the taste. Well carbonated.

Overall: Absolutely awesome IPA. Well balanced such that non-hopheads will enjoy it.

Photo of hophead247
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle..Pours a clear golden-orange color with a head greater than one inch which is very frothy and white. Aroma is very strong of bitter Columbus hops and very light notes of citrus but barely detectable. The beer has a very smooth flavor containing a great citrus and grass hops flavor which meshes well with the light sweet malty flavor. The beer leaves an awesome lacing on the glass and has great carbonation which really brings the aroma to the nose. After the flavor has been lingering in your mouth after a sip, it starts to taste a bit salty. Overall a fantastic IPA for the price and a very well balanced beer.

Photo of Amalak
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this off cask at Barcade in Brooklyn. It had a dark rust-red color to it. No bubbles (cask) and a nice foamy head. It also had a thick lace that covered the glass all the way around, all the way down.

It's a very bitter IPA. Has a lot of bite to it and is very thick on the palate. Excellent beer and well worth off the cask.

**Of note, I had out of a bottle a year later, and it was not quite as good as before...but still very nice. So I will keep the grade.

Photo of zerofear13
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very excited to see a few beers from Bear Republic at Community Beverage in Elmhurst. I rarely see Bear Republic's on the East Coast, let alone in little old Elmhurst. Brought this brew to beer tasting with a few friends. A first Bear Republic for all of us.

Just an amazing beer. Smells of citrus, cascade/centennial hops. Wonderful hoppy smell, but that fruit background isn't lost. The taste is wonderful. Delicious hop flavor without losing any of that citrus background. I think we were all shocked by it's amazing balance and bold flavors. I think the long-awaited taste of Bear Republic was well worth it, as that first sip proved how great of a beer they can make. This is one of those few brews that I think other breweries should follow as a model as a terrific example of the style.

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

Draft at Downtown Johnny Browns.

Poured hazy amber with an average frothy white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing.

Heavy sour citrus hoppy aroma.

Medium body with a slick texture.

Heavy bitter flavor with a medium smooth bitter finish of long duration.

A standout beer.

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

A- Beautiful looking beer with a nice, frothy head on top of a transparent, pale-orange/brown colored body

S- Loads of fresh, citrus hops along with some creamy malt sweetness

T- Well balanced for an IPA. A strong grainy malt presence keeps a rush of hops in-check

M- Amazing mouthfeel. Full body and silky carbonation

D- Easy to quickly enjoy a 22oz bottle

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

Poured this into a wine glass that I use for most of my beer tasting so I can get my nose in it and swirl it a little. I just finished a Three Floyds Alpha King so I could get a good comparison. The head was about medium, off white and seemed to quickly disappear. The color is on the golden side, as opposed to amber or otherwise. The smeill is grapefruit with some solid bitterness at the back. It tastes like it smells except the sweetness of the malt prevents that bittier aftertaste. This is one of the best IPA's I have tasted that has that malt on the back. A lot of IPA's (Harpoon, Decadent) over do that sweetness for my palette. I would buy this again, but this a once and a while beer. For the price I'm better off some of the better IPA six packs.

Photo of MillySox
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchase in 22oz bottle in a liquor store in Chicago. Not used to seeing too many CA beers in these parts. A dark golden IPA with a medium white head. Nothing to wrong with this IPA. On the flipside, nothing to distinguish itself.Smells of plenty of hops. A very balanced beer. Enough malty sweetness to match big hops and kick.

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

Glad I bought this again. The 1st bomber I had did not taste good at all. At only $6 a bomber I figured why not? Nice amber color with a one finger head. Smelled mostly grapefruit which was fine with me. Very balanced brew but you can certainly taste and smell the hops throughout. Left a nice lacing on the glass. I liked it alot and will be buying again. Recommended.

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

Poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Slightly hazy golden color with a 1 finger white head. Sticky lacing all the way down.

Smell. Grapefruit, piney hops, malts and apricots. Really good nose on this one.

Taste. Mmm! A delicious blend of citrus, hops and malts. The taste is almost sweet and then turns to a not-too-bitter finish of resiny hops. There is a tinge of alcohol that creeps in there too. Delicious.

A solid beer in the mouthfeel category. Full, slick and oily with a refreshing, but not overwhelming amount of carbonation.

Drinkability. A drinkable offering for sure. It goes down smooth and is a delightful IPA. Perhaps the best American IPA I've had to date. Next time I'll pick up a six pack.

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy brown with a very small white head.

S: I like this smell alot. It has the floral hops that I'm smelling more and more. But also, it has some of that hop bitterness I Love. Maybe a bit of honey as well.

T: At first it's hop sweetness/ honey flavor. Then the hop acid sits on your tongue, but it's not overkill. I like this alot!

M: An easy drinker but has a touch of bite on your tongue.

D: A very very nice IPA, very drinkable. I could drink 3 or 4 of these for sure!

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

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy honey with a thick, foamy head. Lacing rings the glass and remains throughout.
Smell - Lots of grapefruit and citrus.
Taste - Grapefruit and floral hops that linger before a crisp, slightly bitter finish.
Mouthfeel - Smooth, medium-bodied and very well-carbonated. The carbonation scrubs and cleans without distracting.
Drinkability - Surprisingly easy to drink. I could drink this throughout the evening without wanting a change of pace.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great IPA, reviewed from notes, original had 1/16 at the Headkeeper in Greensburg.

Pour is a weak point, a rather plain red with small head and little lacing. Improved slightly on second go to finish out the bomber.

Smells not your usual overpowering hop scent with an IPA, very nice.

Tastes..smooth is the first word that comes to mind. This is definitely closer to two hearted than a beat you over the head with hops brew.

Mouth is med bodied and low/med carbonation. Very good as it helps the overwhelming smoothness.

This is great stuff and one of my favorite "regular" IPAs.

Photo of cschepers
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle poured into a large stein.

A - Pours a clear orangey-honey color. Fluffy white head that sticks around for a bit. Very nice lacing that sticks around throughout the whole bottle.

S - Piney/cedary hops. Orange & grapefruit peel. A bit of honey sweet malt sneaks through.

T - Bit hit of grapefruit & cedar up front... mostly cedar, but it doesn't dominate like some IPAs. There is lots of caramelly sweet malt that really balances things out nicely. Relatively dry finish considering all the malt in this one. Cedar & grapefruit peel really hangs around in the finish, but not puckeringly so.

M - Fairly thick for an IPA, and thinly carbonated. Thought there might be more carbonation for the amount of head on the beer. I suspect the lack of carbonation might be part of the reason it doesn't taste quite as hop crazy as some IPAs.

D - Seems pretty good for and IPA. I can't really handle a lot of the heavily hopped beers, but this one is very well balanced. The alcohol is well-hidden, so even at only 7% it might sneak up on you. Like the balance in this one.

Nice IPA, good price too. Got this one for $6 I think? Not bad at all, worth a try at the least.

Photo of farrago
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Semi-foggy amber orange color, few visible bubbles, thick appearance with a dense foam which does not want to call it a night any time soon. Sweet nose of white pit fruit and orange to lemon citrus, feels juicy, dewy flower petals, beeswax, manages to stay sweet given its hoppiness, not the longest finish, tactfully concise. Medium-bodied, noticeably foamy as you start to sip, grapefruit, orange citrus upfront, less floral but perhaps more piney and waxy. The hoppiness bolder here in the mouth, brings a mild astringency to the finish. Tries to achieve a lot, at both ends of the sweet/dry spectrum, and mostly pulls it off.

Photo of Onenote81
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a recent trade with tzanio, thanks!

Pours a cloudy burnt orange color with virtually little to no head present. Just a thin sheet rests on top, but this leaves nice lacing rings surprisingly. Smells wonderful as my nose is filled with scents of grapefruit, lemon, grassy hops, floral tones - Mmmmm.

Nice crips hop bitterness right off the bat, but not overly so. Doesn't leave the bitter aftertaste that turns some away. Nice grapefruit-like flavor as well. Some slight caramel flavor hangs in there, but is very subtle. I really like this beer. This is one of my new favorite IPAs.


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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,900 ratings.