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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,589 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,589
Reviews: 2,198
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 209
Gots: 601 | 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: 6,589 | Reviews: 2,198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bosco7
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Light copper color with slight chill haze (which clears quickly). Very nice sticky head. Lacing like a Belgian.

S- Grapefruit rind,bubblegum, slight malty carmel notes, and biscuit.

T- Starts sweet with biscuity/ caramely flavors, some pepper, with a hint of vanilla, moves into a juicy citrus taste and ends with a clean bitterness.

M- Very silky, this is the best quality that this beer has (oats in the grain bill?). Perfectly carbonated.

D- I could drink a couple in a sitting.

It's smooth texture and pleasant hop character make this a very unique and tasty Pacific IPA. By far my favorite Bear Republic offering which is saying a lot.

bosco7, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of bodegajohn
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bodega March 26, 2007. The smell of delicious grapefruity goodness from the cascade hops hits you as soon as the pint reaches your nose. Pours a deep, cloudy orange with a thick full head. The flavor is a wonderful mix of citris overtones followed by the hop bite on the sides of the tongue that is pronounced yet doesn't linger. Highly drinkable, would be a great "session I.P.A.", which is probably an oxymoron, if not for the 7.0% ABV.

bodegajohn, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Father's Office in Santa Monica.

Poured a crystal clear burnt orange with a fluffy and semi-dense white head that had average retention. Taste was a ton of pine and citrus, but this IPA carried a very high bitterness too. Not at all on the balanced side for an IPA, but who cares, it tastes great. This beer goes down smooth and is way too easy to drink.


Bottles bought from BevMo with stamped date of 9.2.08 on them.
These are very citrusy, a nice hop bite, juicy taste to it.
Taste updated to 4.5.

MiScusi, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear republic. Racer 5. On tap o briens. Poured a nice dark golden hue with a nice fluffy head. Smell is citric hops. Taste is well balanced between the malt and the great citric hop bitterness. The hops dominate the aftertaste in a very pleasent way. For a hophead this a mild bitterness but perfect for a warm sunny day. This is a superior ipa.

sleazo, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of meatyard
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bit of a cloudy orangish, amber color. It has a nice and thick white head which dissapates fairly quickly leaving excellent lacing. The smell is not overly strong but is of citrus. The taste is citrus and a little pine with a slightly bitter back taste. The body feel is medium. Easy to drink and goes down quickly for me. This is a very fine example of a strong IPA. I wish it was easier to get here in eastern PA.

meatyard, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of MrBendo
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a medium head. Low head retention. Good lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine hops and caramel malt. Flavor is moderately sweet and bitter at the back end. Medium to full body. Slightly astringent. Another fine example of a west coast IPA.

MrBendo, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of jackorain
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 ounce bomber, cool label.

A-Nearly clear with a slight chill haze. Actually cleared up a little as it warmed but then got another punch of cloudiness from the bottle conditioning residue when I poured every last drop into my glass. Sort of a burnt orange color. one inch head hangs around for a good long time settling to a little less than a 1/2 inch that left nice rigns of lace downt the glass.

S- Citrus hops predomintly with some green and pine hops as well. toasty malts round out

T-This beer is really good. Verry hopy with green and citrus right up front. Thee is a nice toasty biscuit malt in the middle that gets pushed back by the hops. Bitterness stay with you for a good long time
M-Outstanding medium body, creamy, oily, perfect light carbonation
D-I could drink this until I was under the table without switching

Overall- one of the best IPAs I have had. I will have to go back and do a horizontal tasting with my other favs, but it may actually be the best for me.

jackorain, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

IPA is my favorite style along with Double IPA This tends to affect my scores. This one came from a 22 oz bottle. Love that label. Deep golden color tending toward amber with a rich and foamy off white head. Aroma of hops with citrus in the background. Nice feel in the mouth and a very fresh taste that makes this a pleasure to drink. Finish is hoppy, with just the correct bitterness. The alcohol is present but is again well balanced with the malts and hops. An excellent IPA, and for me is about as good as a beer can get. We have a lot of great IPA’s around here. I guess it is time for a blind tasting IPA party to sort out the very best.

rkuhnel, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of Alkey
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. bottle poured dark gold with some slow bubbles and a spongy white head that sticks to the glass. Smells of citrusy hops and taste much the same with some orange, tangerine flavors and a rather mellow sweet, bitter grapefruit. The feel is slightly watery at first and is followed by a bit of a dry bitterness that makes me want another sip. I find this IPA to be very easy to drink due to it not being as much of a bitter hop blast than some and it is also very thirst quenching.

Alkey, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of bgraney
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber, bubbly, sudsy head. Leaves a moderate lacing, not quite a spider web but somewhat impressive.
Mild grapefruit aroma, you have to search deep for the malt background.
Not a hop monster but a dominant relaxed bitterness, smooth & citrusy.
Thin mouthfeel, not much after the initial hop hit. Some grapefruit aftertaste.
If one wanted to drink IPA's all night this would be a good one.

bgraney, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber brew with a moderate sized head that dissipated in a few minutes, intricate patterns of lacing form on the glass.

S - Pine and grapefruit flesh.

T - A bit of pine and peppery alcohol that mesh until the aftertaste where the pine shifts into a bitterness, the pepper alcohol stays throughout. The foretaste also has some grapefruit flesh.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and refreshing.

D - Pretty good. I wouldn't say this is fantastic, but it is undoubtedly a solid IPA from Bear Republic.

mrasskicktastic, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of kernalklink
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow- the aromas alone were enough for a perfect score. Strong pushy citrus hop presence throughout, but very complex. What a tasty hop filled IPA! Almost perfect balance with the slightly spicy malt, nice body and sweetness. A little oily on the finish, but what else can you expect. Hops are strong, but no annoying burning aftertaste, your palate will be safe and satisfied. Extra smooth going down and the light ABV and masterful blending makes this one a very sessionable IPA.

kernalklink, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of stephendr
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle- color of hazy amber , with a medium lacy white head - nose of tar , resin , great hopps , grapefruit , and slightly malty – taste of tar , resin , great hopps , and grapefruit , and slightly sour/ bitter - body creamy butt resiny, and mildly carbonated– aftertaste of resin , tar , hopps

stephendr, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of bringonthehops
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: 2" dense head. Racer 5 is caramel colored, with a hint of hazy orange. The head left substantial lacing down the glass as the beer was consumed.

Smell: Hello hoppery!! Nice orange and grapefruit notes weave their way through the waves of hops that pervade the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied. A bit resinous.

Taste: Immediately, the hops are bracingly bitter (they do soften out a bit as the beer warms). The hops quickly step aside to reveal a resinous mid-pallate that is predominated by hops. It's really hard to find any element of sweetness in this beer. Grapefruit rind predominates a finish that lasts more than 30 seconds, with hints of the 7.0% ABV providing sturdy support. Racer 5 is surely one of my favorite IPA's. It's full and bold enough to shine above many Double IPA's I've had, and at 7.0% it doesn't hit you quite as hard.

Drinkability: I could easily drink 3 or 4 of these in an evening...but I'd probably pay for it the next day. This is not a light beer, and probably wouldn't be the best choice for a session beer, no matter how badly you want it to be. Besides not being a wimpy IPA, this beer is entirely drinkable!

bringonthehops, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of jtell
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a thick frothy head that sticks around pretty well and leaves plenty of lacing. Smells of piney hops with a nice solid malt background. Nothing mind blowing but smells great. Taste is near perfect I think. Perfect hop and malt balance. Mouthfeel is creamy and refreshing. Drinkability is awesome. Hops dont overpower, alchohol is masked and it keeps flowing. This is one of my favorite beers. Probably one of the beers that I buy most often. I am a fan of all the Bear Republic beers I have had so far and this is no exception.

jtell, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of dedrinker
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This here IPA is one good west coast example - good malt body, but not too sweet or sticky to get in the way of the dominant hop profile - lots of sweet, fresh sticky green hops here. It's halfway to being a double IPA, or these days "west coast" style about sums it up. Back east here we don't always get regular fresh supplies of hoppy west coast goodness, but when we do, we must keep drinking it over and over until it gets fully impressed on our minds. Only then can we return to defensively enjoying our "well-balanced" east coast beers.

dedrinker, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of Tyrawlings
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber in color with orange hues around the edges of the glass. Off white head pours two fingers thick and dissapates into a soft blanket of micro bubbles that covers the top of the pour. Nice lacing.

S: Juicy citrus hops and pine resin. Biscuty with a strong malt presence. Slight waft of earthy undertones.

T: First sip reveals grapefruit and mango. Fresh citric and pine hops give off an immediate but pleasant bitter bite. A rich caramel malt pushes through and is followed by a slick butter like aftertaste in the nose. Finishes very clean and refreshing.

M: Oily from hop resin but very smooth and clean. Medium carbonation. Clean dry finish.

D: A perfect example of the West Coast IPA: Full of flavor and impeccably balanced. Wickedly clean and refreshing. A true session beer for the hop lover!

Tyrawlings, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

got this bottle in a recent trade with BigLove. thanks travis!

pours a nice amber colour with a huge, rocky, dense white head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of clumpy lace around the glass.

aroma is nice. orange and grapefruit. nice bready malt. hint of roast too. almost makes me think of a slice of whole wheat toast. hint of alcohol.

taste is great. tons of malt. hint of alcohol. nice moderate bitterness level. grapefruit and orange. slightly floral. bit of caramel. the hint of roast from the aroma is here too, strengthening the malt presence.

mouthfeel is great. carbonation level is on the low side, but i enjoy this. good body without being heavy.

drinkability is excellent. you'd never guess this one is 7%. delicious and very well balanced. fantastic.

grub, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of Talisker
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The quintessential West Coast IPA. Absolute benchmark for the style, and a pleasure to drink to boot.

Reviewing here a pint glass from the tap, but I've had Racer 5 in all forms - 22oz bombers, 12oz bottles, on tap at the brewpub, hand pump at the brewpub, and even on nitro at the brewpub.

Color is a rich orange, some pleasant haze. Head can be a little meager, but that's the only knock.

Smell is the most beautiful in the world - pure American citrusy hops, with a bit of pine in the mix. Orange, grapefruit.

Enough malt in the taste so that it's not one-dimensional, but not enough to distract from the juicy American hops. This is a hoppy beer, but not a particularly bitter one.

However, in this sample (and others in late '06/early '07) I've picked up an faint, almost acrid bitterness on the finish. Doesn't quite seem to fit, but some might find it a nice complement to the citrus profile.

Mouthfeel full but not sticky, ideal for the style.

What are you waiting for? Racer 5 defines the style.

Talisker, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a moving company completely destroyed 40% of my meager belongings this afternoon, I dare say I could use a beer!

Appearance: Pours a light amber-copper color with a massive khaki-colored head and abundant lacing.

Smell: Rich, intensified floral-citrus aroma with a veritable basket of juicy fruits (grapefruit, oranges, pineapple). Lighter traces of pine and honey.

Taste: Honey and toffee sweetness progresses into a fruity, citrusy combination of apricots and oranges (and to a lesser extent, grapefruits). Again, there's pine and even some breadiness and mint roaming around the taste. However, the grapefruit and pine flavors really come to live and amplify on the assetively bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body that is at times chewy and oily.

Drinkability: In all honesty, this reminds me of Avery's Maharaja with the Racer 5 being just a bit more drinkable.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of dherling
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a slightly orangey honey gold color with a HUGE foamy off white head. The nose offered grapefruit, spice, yeast, green hops. The taste is mostly yeast to me, backed by malt, then with lots of oily hop resin bringing up the rear. Has a slightly crisp mouthfeel and is pretty drinkable, hiding the 7% very well.

dherling, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of ruinationation
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light shade of amber with orange hues. Thin head that doesn't last.

Big hop smell right away with some floral notes and citrus. A damn good smelling beer.

Great hope bite that I was expecting from the smell. With a pine and citrus finish. This is a nicely made IPA to me.

Quality consistency, not to thick. Hop head here so I could drink this anytime a beer is called for.

ruinationation, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 India Pale Ale pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. It has a nice, hoppy aroma that is somewhat floral. The taste is definitely dominated by hops, once again of a somewhat floral nature. The flavor really falls somewhere between a typical ipa and a double ipa. The malt is definitely in the background, but does a nice job of balancing this beer. An enjoyable beer.

Drew966, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of mobud
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into pint glass from growler.

A- This beer is light copper in color and is a little cloudy. Light head with active carbonation.

S- Boy, do I love hops! The hop explosion waiting for me is beyond explaining here. Sweetness and floral notes from the hops grab from the start.

T- Not the overwelming hop bomb I felt I had. It is big on hops, but also has a nice malt undertone that helps to level the floral goodness left by the hops.

M- The best part about the hops remains and there does not seem to be any bitter aftertaste.

D- I have had a lot of HopBombs and this is one of the best. Some leave too much resin and no sweetness to balance out the beer. This one is great and would have it again and again.

mobud, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of dickroop
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stopped in at RFD in DC, and saw this among the 30 on the tap list. Had to try it, SO glad I did. I know I'm an incorrigible hophead, and my ratings reflect my preference. But hey, there's no accounting for tastes...

This was served in a tumbler with almost no head. The color was unusually light, a sandy-colored yellow, not quite clear. But AHHHH, the smell... the nose on this brew was indeed exceptional, one of the richest outpourings of floral, citrus hops that I have ever smelled. Right up there w/ DFH at the brewery. I drank, I moaned, I loved it.

The flavors were hops, hops, and more hops. Some hints of grassiness and some smells and flavors that remind you that the hop plant is related to the hemp plant. Rich, aromatic, yummy. Enough malt to balance it (if you're a hophead), but not enough to distract from the main attraction. The mouthfeel was medium-light, the finish was clean and bitter and flavorful, the beer was not just drinkable, it was gulpable, inhalable, guzzlable. I Coulda woulda shoulda got another one, BUT I as in a 30-tap establishment and I felt the need to sample more of their offerings. But I will look for this again, in bottle, on tap, whereever, whenever. Recommended, for sure.

dickroop, Jan 28, 2007
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,589 ratings.