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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6,694 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,694
Reviews: 2,209
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 223
Gots: 655 | 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: 6,694 | Reviews: 2,209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange copper in color. Poured with very little head. Light trails of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a walk in piney forest with grapefruit aromas behind the pine. Tastes rich and full, something you want a real mouthful of, not just a sip. Good balance between sweetness of the barley and the astringency of the hops. Alcohol is well disguised. I’m sorry I only bought one, this is a very drinkable beer.

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

Appearance- Gold in color with a brilliant dense, white, rocky head.

Aroma- Huge hop bouquet of Citrus, and pine, with a hint of raisins.

Taste- Huge hop bitterness in the front, followed by a maginficently dry alchol finish. The hops lingered with a chewy piney, citrusy taste. the hops seemed to clinge to my tongue like a small child clings to it's mommy. Some cotton candy like sweetness managed to work it's way thru to the front of my palate despite the fireworks of hops in my mouth. Slight grainy phenol present. Devoid of any yeasty taste despite this being an unfiltered offering.

Moutfeel- nicely balanced malt backbone that lends to a medium to full bodied moutheel, complimented with some rich, dank chewey nuggets of hops.

Drinkability- Despite it's alcohol content this beer is remarkably easy to drink. I enjoyed it very much, and would gladly consume another any time after noon.

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

1 pint 6 oz tall dark brown bottle with a racer checkered flag on the label with red and yellow print, pewter cap.
Transparent copper golden body with lots of carbonation. Large white rocky head of full range of bubbles. Great retention and clumpy lace.
Smooth buttery hop scent, slightly spiked with almost no malts.
Harsh yet very smooth hop flavor. Hay and grain. Delicios long lasting harsh hop resin aftertaste.
Medium full body good coating and slick.
Great drinkability. Smooth, harsh, delicious.


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

Poured a clear orange/amber color, solid whit head, good retention and lacing. Nose is absolutely huge, very piney. Taste is surprisingly malty for such a big IPA, along with some bready notes. mouthfeel has a high amount of texture, possibly due to being a bottle conditioned beer. A very nice, well balanced IPA. Flavor is well rounded, abv is just right, would definetly not mind having this again.

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

I've been drinking this beer for years now and it's always been a favorite of mine. It's really a classic west coast IPA in my opinion. The body is full yet also light enough to be quaffable. The bittering is just right with a piney aroma and citrus flavor. It's good to know that this beer is so widely available on the west coast because its a quick choice for easy drinking. A great standby beer. It always kicks up a good fluffy head and goes down real easy. Bear Republic is one of the best breweries in northern California and Racer 5 is a good reason why.

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Orange peel, pine sap, grapefruit, peachy.

Looks: Copper/amber in colour. Tight head, but poor head retention. The head was a dull white. Some good lace. It was a bit foggy.

Taste: Pine, grapefruit, orange peel... hmm familiar? There was some tangerine in there too. Honey, caramel, maple sugar (the malty flavours were there, but not dominant). The bitterness was not overly aggressive, but did build up. Oily, resiny... I think I can taste the lupulin glands.

Mouthfeel: Lots of small bubbles. Creamy & smooth. Medium, but on the heavier side of medium bodied.

Overall, this was a really tastey Beer, and a great example of a North West Pacific I.P.A.

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

22 oz bomber for $2.99 at the local BevMo. Light orange with a sudsy head. Thick sticky lacing as I work my way down. Lots of hops in the smell. Piney and citrusy mainly. Fantastic flavor. Grapefruit, orange, peppery with some malt sweetness. Smooth creamy mouthfeel. I could drink this one all night. This is my favorite IPA and I pick this up often. A definate winner imo!

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

On draught at 69 Taps in Akron. The beer is a dark golden amber color with a medium thin light beige head with good retention. Patches of lace. The nose is floral hops, with touches of sweet malt and pine. Medium body with a floral, hoppy character balanced by a fair amount of sweet caramel malt. Touches of citrus here and there too. The finish lightly dry, and is moderately hoppy initially, then offset by sweet malt. Overall this is a well-balanced and enjoyable IPA.

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

Pours a clear, sparkly, bright -- nay, luminous amber with a pristine, sticky white head that leaves thick lacing on the glass. Very pretty beer. Pure American hop nose of grapefruit, pine sap and perhaps some chili oil. Malt influence on the nose is subdued -- just a hint of sweet nuts to provide a bit of a base for the hops. On the palate, bracing, fruity bitterness first off, then some big carbonation makes itself known. The mid-palate smooths out a bit to showcase the malts, although things remain wayyy off balance toward the hop side. This is a great American IPA -- brash and harsh and chock full of hops, with fairly little nuance, but the beauty of the hops is, in this case, enough. Excellent.

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

This is really a good beer that I had to bring back from the northeast US. Immediately upon opening, I detected a strong, hoppy citrus (mostly oranges) and floral aroma. Poured to a slightly hazy orange yellow color with an off-white head that lingered well and left good lacing. Aroma maintained itself well through the drink, and was joined by a whiff of alcohol late. Mouthfeel was tangy and bitter, and the flavor picked up the citrus hops of the nose, and blended them slightly with a touch of malt.

This all led to a finish which was bitter, dry, long, slightly warming and very good.

I just wish Bear Rep. would come to Atlanta.

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

A-Pours a nearly transparent rusty amber with big thick foamy white head. Head eventually dwindles to 1 finger and leaves behind plenty of lacing in the glass. Lots of bottle conditioned yeast is at the bottom of the bottle-when that is poured in it adds lots of flaky yeast sediment and more of a translucent haze.

S- Before I even completely removed the cap a big whiff of citrus, mostly grapefruit, and piny hops hits the nose. This smell is a powerful smack in the face of hop aromas and great! The slightest bit of caramel malt also pops through at the end of the nose.

T-Surprisingly much milder than the smell. Lots of citrus hop flavor upfront with virtually no malt backbone (though I know it has to be there). The piny cascade hops really come out for the finish and are very refreshing-citrus hops take a backseat to these. What lingers is a light-to moderate bitterness and a big dose of refreshing piny hops. Hints of caramel malt sweetness too.

M-Low carbonation and oily body. Very smooth and creamy. Great.

D- Despite the near absence of balance this is a very good IPA. I love the bottle conditioning and the overall smoothness of the body. Not really the best tasting IPA I have had...but it's still very good; and probably in my top 5. Great West Coast IPA.

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

Thanks to shaebs99 for this 22 oz bottle.

A: Crystal clear golden under a pretty impressive white head. A great looking beer indeed.

S: Nice citrusy hops. Zesty grapefruit and oranges with a hint of lemon. Excellent candy-ish type character to it. Some piney elements as well. Just a really great hop aroma.

T: Good balance. Great citrus fruitiness up front ends in a very surprising bitter finish that one may not quite have expected given the up front citrus character. Bitterness preceeded slightly by an earthy hop taste.

M/D: Light on the palate and just a little watery. Carbonation is a tad high but that doesn't spoil the experience at all. This is definately something that I could down many pints of given the chance.

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

Serving from a 22 oz. bomber, decanted into a standard pint glass.

A vigorous pour produces a deep orange/amber colored brew of amazing clarity. A two fingered head tops the glass, which leaves sticky sheets of lacing all the way down.

Nose hit me while I was pouring. It's a huge piney/resiny hop note, with grapefruit rinds and maybe some dry grass. Wow .. this is just the nose.

The taste echoes the nose, in that hops predominate, as should be in an IPA. This one is balanced, with a caramel malt backbone that is easily detected at the back of the palate. The malts are just enough to give balance, and are not cloying. Mouthfeel I would describe as medium, not at all heavy, which adds to the refreshing nature of this quaffable brew. Finish is dry, and the overall experience leaves you wanting more, MORE!

This is a very well done IPA. It's not 'over the top' in any way, and is smooth and easy drinking. The 7% ABV is not noticeable, which makes this even more enjoyable. Well done, Bear Republic! Highly recommended!

Na Zdravje!

Photo of bboven
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best IPA I've ever had in every respect.

Slightly cloudy honey color with a bit of particulate floating about. The head is a finger thick even now; it lasts and leaves thick sticky lacing.

Great hop citrusy hop aroma with a tiny bit of sweetness from the malt.

Almost indescribable taste. The malt carries the hop flavor with a great smoothness. The hops are sweet all the way to the end where there's a tiny, tiny bitter note at the end. Beautiful.

Smooth mouthfeel, that's the best way to say it. Such low carbonation that you'd think it was from a cask. That's a good thing. Actually, it's a wonderful thing.

I bought one bottle of this on my honeymoon in August, so it may have been even better when the hops were fresher. I will buy and trade for this beer every chance I get.

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

this burnt orange color with an off white head and a sprinkling of what looked like cinnamon " bits" was quite the spectacle. the head was absolutely stunning ,we actually gobbled it up with spoons and the lacing was equally impressive.
Taste and smell were of citrus and pine hops with a malt sweetness and bitter hop finish.
mouthfeel was slick and oily.
drinkability was very good and although the abv is present it's masked well enough to have more than a couple per sitting.
if you like hops this will be a great selection. Definitely worth the time and money!

Photo of ttu94
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from HotterThanHell. After spending the week in Bavaria this beer is a shock to the system. No subtlety here, this is an AIPA and nothing else. Pours a cloudy orange with a good creamy white head. Has a very strong citrus hop smell (that I like). Taste is that of an AIPA but incredibly smooth. Very malty with a citrus hop kick. Not too bitter in the end but very enjoyable. The 7% ABV is a little noticable aftter finishing a whole bomber.

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

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - somewhat hazy, golden color with a white head that left plenty of lace.

S - citrus hop aroma.

T - very tasty IPA. Strong citrus hop flavor with a malt balanced middle and a bitter hop finish.

M - medium body & medium carbonation.

D - easy to drink, as abv is hidden well.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear republic- Racer 5

Big thanx to Bradford for this 1!

A- Light copper with a big thick heavy lacing head.
S- Pungent grapefruit hops with a hint of caramel malt.
T- Mildly bitter grapefruit with a solid malt backbone .
M- Creamy and sweet with a mild hop bite. Oily green hop flavor in the end. Alc is completely masked!

Overall- A session IPA without a doubt. I polished off a bomber in 10 minutes.

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

Picked up a bomber in May from Sprouts for $3.59. Had one at a recent tailgate and was reminded how wonderful this beer is. Looking forward to the review!

Beer poured a golden amber color with a well-sustained white head. Nose is of wonderful floral hops that allude to what is about to happen next. Taste is slightly malty to start but those malts are quickly overrun by a blast of those northwest grapefruity hops. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and glides very nicely across the palate. Overall drinkability is near perfect. This is an excellent example of the west coast ipa style which is one of the best values out there given the cost.

Photo of pwoods
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. Bomber from Dilly Deli poured into a pint. No dating.

A: Pour a light cooper with millions of tiny bubbles. Off white 1 finger head. Good retention and patchy lacing.

S: Piney floral hops. Hops are bursting out of the bottle as soon as I open it and get stronger as I pour. Really looking forward to this. Getting some nice citrus grapefruit.

T/M: Great bitter bite. Man that's good. Packs quite a punch. Grapefruit pops in here and there. Tastes awesome. Malts present themselves enough to save your tongue. Adds a nice sweetness in the back. Medium body and carbonation. Great bitterness hangs out after a very dry finish.

D: Brilliant taste and smooth body make it easy to drink. Much cheaper than I expected, too, adding to it's appeal. I'll be getting this regularly.

Photo of ManofWax
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Given the positive reviews on BA, I was pretty disappointed in this beer. I love Hop Rod Rye, so I thought I'd check out this other Bear Republic Brew.

A: A reddish gold with a buttermilk-colored head, about 2mm thick. Nice complementary colors.

S: Smelled of vegetables initially, before giving way to a portentious suggary quality.

T: I did not taste nearly as much hops in this brew as I expected. It was malt through and through. Hints of corriander (said my tasting mates) and fruits, but just too sweet. Not nearly bitter enough.

M: Goes down smooth as can be. Medium body, could stand to be more carbonated.

D: I can't think of too many situations in which I would want to drink this. Overall, a middling experience. Perhaps I had a bad batch.

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

22oz bomber poured into nonic pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a cloudy deep gold with a fluffy whitish head with a two inch cap that fades down to a ring and leaves sticky lacing down the glass. Not too much carbonation working in the glass.

S: Pretty darned sweet aroma here, I can just feel the hops in this, sticky sweet and sugary grapefruit dominates, sort of feel that there are oranges or tangerines or citrus fruits of that matter but with a candied aroma if that makes any sense. This one smells almost like a DIPA, very rich in this sense.

T/MF: Hops go to work right away on the tongue as soon as the beer is sipped. Very bready upfront, but after a bit the beer begins to take on an almost sweet fruit flavor. Oranges and grapefruits are present but subdued behind a nice floral character that balances the beer on both sides. Bits of pine and nut come in and out and the beer finishes with a dry and bitter fruit finish. Pretty silky in the mouth otherwise

D: This one is really fun to drink, a brew that is on the lighter side of medium and not too boozy either in heat or in effect (if you know what I mean). Bomber is the perfect size for this one and would try this again in the future. Can't wait to try the Racer X whenever that might be.

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

on tap @ Yardhouse in San Diego, CA

A- clear bronzed straw, 1 finger white head with great retent

S- fresh citrus and loads of hops

T- hoppy IPA with a malt backbone, typical west coast, mellow, citrus, grassy, caramel

M- medium body, light hop abuse that lingers through after

D- totally drinkable and tasty IPA, must try, well brewed

Photo of henrysunset
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very excellent appearance ont his big bottled beer pored into a fancy pants glass.

A big poufy head of of white sits atop an absolutely clear golden hued beer with visible carbonation.

smells of floral cascade hops (I think) with notable sweetness and a poignant freshness.

very tasty. aftertaste is fresh and hoppy, initial flavor is a little tart, bitter and again, hoppy. really enjoyable big hoppy beer.

a little thin since it's very alcoholic, but not an unpleasent at all. Balance masks the alcohol. Incredibly drinkable and enjoyable. Would be dangerous on tap.

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

Fresh, strong American-style hops reveal themselves through citric and resinous aromas. And underlying sweet malt background is rich and dense.

Medium-full straw color. Slight haze. Great head.

Crisp hop oils in the attack – very fresh and bright. A rich, tasty maltiness develops just briefly before being lost to a sea of hop bitterness. Quite nice. Faint raspberry tones come and go. Snappy grassiness near the finish. One of the tastiest heads I’ve ever come across – it’s so creamy… like meringue. Finishes very dry.

Medium body, spicy carbonation, and oily tartness hold the mouth together.

Overall: pretty cool. Racer 5 is most certainly an acceptable & worthy AIPA. It’s on the stronger/hoppier side of the IPA spectrum. I like that it’s on yeast.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,694 ratings.