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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.

6,902 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,902
Reviews: 2,236
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 257
Gots: 812 | 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
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Ratings: 6,902 | Reviews: 2,236
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...

Photo of philipquarles
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
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
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
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
4.82/5  rDev +15%
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
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
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
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,902 ratings.