1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

6,834 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,834
Reviews: 2,231
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 246
Gots: 773 | FT: 10
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,834 | Reviews: 2,231 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
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
4.2/5  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
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
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
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
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
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
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
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
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
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of gmfessen
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass, beer is a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a pillowy, one finger, off-white head. The beer leaves a wall of lacing around the edge of the glass as the beer recedes. The smell is all hops, very west coast IPA. Citrusy like grapefruit, slightly piney. The taste starts like the smell, all citrusy hops, slightly sweet and finishes very bitter leaving the mouth dry and puckered. The alcohol is pretty well covered by the bitter finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. Drinkability suffers slightly due to the unbalanced finish. If they could maintain the excellent initial flavor throughout, they'd really have something. As it is, this beer is a good IPA, just not as good as it could be.

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

On tap at 99 Bottles in Santa Cruz. Poured into a pint glass. Light clear amber color with a tan head that recedes to a ring leaving some wispy lacing. Aroma is pretty much just citrus and pine. Hops galore. Flavor is piny with some neutral malt. Clean and herbal, high bitterness with no astringency. Nice prickly mouthfeel, crisp and dry. A solid drinkable IPA.

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

On tap at Frisco's the other day.

The beer pours a light peachy amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose includes the typical grapefruit lime aroma, with some sweet malt as well that is not overdone. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, with the beer having a nice balance of sweet malt and hops. There is good underlying bitterness to this IPA, but your palate is not overwhelmed by it. This IPA is medium bodied and the abv. is remarkably well hidden. So this beer is very drinkable for an IPA, and remains one of my fall back beers if I do not see anything else particularly of interest on a beer menu.

There are so many good IPA's on the market these days that I rarely order Racer V. Nevertheless, this remains one of the better IPA's on the market, and quality is refreshingly consistent. Unfortunately, after having it's stable mate, the Racer X, I just find it difficult to get too excited about Racer V any more. Still, this remains a good quality, solid IPA.

Photo of erikm25
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours very orange with a tinge of gold throughout and almost a very light lime sparkle. The head is huge, fluffy, and creamy with very decent long lasting lacing.

S: Lots of sharp pine, citrus, and lime aroma. The latter aroma, for some reason or another, popped out immediately. However, there was also a roasted malty sweetness that was apparent and added and interesting balance to the smell.

T: Huge citrus, grassy, and herbal hops blast. Very clean and complex tasting. Floral and grapefruit with the alcohol hidden in the backdrop. The taste is still very sweet and that balances nicely with a bready malt flavor.

M: Decent medium body and carbonation. Impressively rich and the hops bitter hits the tastebuds in every direction.

D: While this was not intensely aggressive it was still a great IPA and very drinkable. I still have other favorites but I would put this back into the rotation.

Photo of birchstick
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - orangeish, clear amber with a huge head that hangs out for a long time
S - huge hits of metallic pine...I could smell the hops a couple feet away from the glass. The pine dominates the nose, but I could also pick out a little bit of fruitiness and citrus as well.
T - This had a very interesting taste to it. Very sweet malts up front. A lot of grapefruity hops came next, which was followed by a somewhat metallic taste, as indicated in the nose, and finally a fruity and hoppy aftertaste...almost tastes like cheddar.
M - nice and full with a decent amount of carbonation
D - this is a very good IPA. It had a nice balance and I enjoyed the fruitiness of the hops in this.

Photo of trpng0bily
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
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
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
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
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
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
2.54/5  rDev -39.4%
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
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
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
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
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
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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...

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,834 ratings.