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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.

6,766 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,766
Reviews: 2,221
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 229
Gots: 716 | FT: 9
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: 6,766 | Reviews: 2,221 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of briman
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden amber color, with some orange mixed in. Huge fluffy off white head, excellent retention, leaving tons of sticky lace.

Aroma has some toasted malt, but is mostly orange and tangerine citrus.

Flavor has enough malt to balance things out, but is dominated by the citrus hop notes. Finish has pretty standard grapefruit bitterness, which is moderate and lasts into the aftertaste.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Good balance. Almost a little bit on the chewy or oily side in terms of mouthfeel. Almost leaning towards being slightly full bodied...I wouldn't call it crisp, which I generally prefer in a basic IPA. Pretty much a good standard IPA, though. I don't know that anything makes it stand out against other examples....except it has a much bigger head and a lot more lace most I've tried. Certainly a session candidate.

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

It's 3:51 PM on Saturday March 15, 2008. Tonight I'll be going out to The Hobbit with Niki, Dylan, and Deb. Right now I'm watching the UCLA game. Here is the review:

Appearance: An amber color with perfect coloration all the way through. The head poured smoothely. Definitely an inviting beer.

Smell: Ahhh the smell of lovely hops. Dank/Resiny smell. Almost like walking up to a buddha plant and sniffing!

Taste: To me it tastes extremely hoppy. Tastes a little nutty at the aftertaste. The hops definitely shine through and give you a great euphoric feeling with every sip.

Mouthfeel: This beer is definitely smooth and easy to drink. After one sip, you just wanna keep on sipping!

Drinkability: What can I say... this is an amazing beer. Highly recommended!


Right now it's UCLA 28 Stanford 24 with 3:33 left in the first half.

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

A: Lighter amber body with an off white head... mellows out but lasts for a while... gives way to nice lacing on the glass.

S: Citrus and piney hops... classic western ipa scents... some sweet malts come through...

T: Nice interplay between citric and piney hops... as expected the beer takes on a grapefruit slant... slightly bitter and has a nice sweet malt base to keep things reasonable... nice crisp piney finish

M: Crisp. Represhing. Invigorating carbonation and bitterness.

D: Very, very solid... well balanced and hoppy enough to satisfy us hop heads but still accessible...

Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a thick white head that thins and stays.  Lacing is left on the glass.

The smell is of citrus and pine. Not overly strong, but certainly pleasant.

The taste is of citrus and pine.  A nice Pacific NW hop profile.  Cascade hops certainly not meager here, giving it a grapefruity taste, though there is also a piney bitterness as well.  The bitterness has plenty of sweet grain backing to tie things together and smooth it out.  Alcohol is well-hidden in sharpness, but adds a roundedness to it.  Balanced despite an assertive hop presence.  Finishes bitter with a peek of sweetness.

At first, I was going to say it's not quite full-bodied, but then I remembered this is an IPA, not a DIPA, which this almost reaches.  It is full-bodied enough, though, and quite chewy.  A long finish translates to a lingering aftertaste.

Smooth and complex, this is a great American IPA!

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

I had the opportunity to sample this beer in the past so I was pleased to see this brewery come to SC.
Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass.

A. Beautiful amber brew with moderate carbonation and decent head. Clear as glass once it settled down.

S. Piney hops with a decent malt presence. Not overpowering, but crisp orange lemon hops.

T. Great taste. Not an extreme IPA but very pleasing none the less. Hops are bitter but just a hint of the malt in the finish.

M. Very thin and clean in the finish. Carbonation just right.

D. Definitely an IPA for when you want more than one!! Very drinkable.

Photo of dsigmon
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an amber color with nice big frothy head that leaves a nice amount of lacing as it slowly fades

S: smell is mainly of sweet hops. slight smell of alcohol and oranges

T: nice bitter citrus up front with a nice alcohol warming in the back of the throat. as it warms the caramel and orange flavors come out.

M: quite carbonated but helps leave with a dryer finish. quite oily on the palate.

D: enjoyable and not too hard to drink, high alcohol makes less sessionable

Photo of Hophead101
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

tasted on 3/7/08 while watching Night at the Museum. Wasn't in the fridge too long so i didn't have to let it warm up at all.

appearance: slight hazy orange brown color. great head from the pour - thick and foamy. dissipated quickly.

smell: sweet malty hop nose. nothing that makes the hair on your arm stand up - but pleasant smell. hints of orange citrus as well.

taste: good flavor. most of the hops are in the nose. soft flavor, a little citrus on the tongue, sweet malty taste. flavor glides across the entire mouth. a little lingering hop flavor on the roof of the mouth.

mouthfeel - soft and enjoying. drinkability is great. i could see having quite a number of these in one sitting.

another great product from bear republic.

Photo of alysmith4
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

All and all, this was an above average American IPA. Nice golden orangey hue, with a thick 2" head. Steady stream of carbonation from the bottom of the glass, as well as a lot of yeast residue in the bottle.

The smell was fresh and toasty.. slightly bitter, but I could definitely detect a fair amount of hops. The taste was a little on the bitter side for me. I expected more hoppiness than bitterness, but unfortunately this was the case.

A good beer, but honestly, I could not tell a bit of a difference between this and the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Worth trying however, when you can find it.

Photo of kcillini77
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Bear Republic beer. Picked up a 22 oz. bomber from Specs in Austin, Texas and brought back in my checked luggage.

Poured into my SA Boston Lager glass.

Nice, clear, golden color with a respectable head. Hoppy, resiny smell, just the way I like it.

Taste is piney up front, a little sweet honey and flowers on the swallow. Very nice.

A little harsh on the carbonation, but not too bad.

Very drinkable. A 22 oz. bomber is no problem at all to polish off.

Would buy regularly if it was available in my neck of the woods.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up around Christmastime as a reward for me getting through my first semester back to school. I never had a bad beer from Bear Republic and this has held true to that rule. However, those expection a hop explosion or wallop from this will be disappointed. This is more along the line of a Pale Ale along the lines of Sierra Nevada, but disregarding that, this is one of the better brews that I've had in a long time!

This poured a beautiful goldenrod with a thick head and the smell of west coast hops to it. There's lacing to this, but it's not anything to write home about. Once this hit my mouth, that's where the real strength of this beer came out. There's a very strong pine and resin base to this, with some lemon/citrus and buttery undertones to this. Unlike Sierra Nevada, this isn't floral and there's not resin here. It's thinner, lighter, and less metallic than Chico's hallmark of West Coast beers but nevertheless, this is very solid and enjoyable. There isn't much of an aftertaste here either, but the pine and metallic notes subtly linger!

The 7.00% ABV are about the closest that this beer will get to being an IPA. This isn't overpowering, but it's about as solid as this style gets and was quite a sight to behold as the tiny bubbles and clarity combined to form a near perfect image of what a beer should look like. Bear Republc's hit another homer with this beer, even though I still wish it was classified as a style more appropriate to it's taste. Nevertheless, like SN, Stone, and Anchor, this is another reason why I'm grateful for beers from the Golden State being available in this neck of the woods. My big bottle is nearly empty now and my soul is all the better for it. Long live Bear Republic!

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

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a sticky looking white head.

Smells great. Piney hops, wet bread, caramel and alcohol. Great combination. The hop aroma is very strong and welcoming.

Really nice piney hop flavor. Warming alcohol. Carmel and toffee malt flavors are there, but subdued by the over-the-top hops. Really nice. Lingering oily hop flavor and malty sweetness on the lips is really nice.

Full bodied, oily mouthfeel. Substantial.

I could get into real trouble with this beer because the taste begs me to have another. Just what I'd hoped for and one of the better AIPAs I've had. Ruination, DFH 60 and 90 Minute fans would like this.

Photo of saintwarrick
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a hazy gold with a big soapy white head that sticks all around the glass. Good looking IPA. Aroma is strong in the hop oils, some citrus and pine sap in there with a touch of brown sugar. Taste was a bit of a letdown. The hops are there and there's a bitter aftertaste but none of the flavors really jump out. There doesn't seem to be enough malt to offset what is essentially a hop concoction. Beer has a nice bitter aftertaste but it also slightly watery.

I'm a bit disappointed with this brew, I was hoping for a big-hop experience, but i though it paled in comparison to their Hop Rod and XP, both of which were superior. Not a bad brew you should turn down, but there are many better IPAs out there.

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

A big thanks to AndySR15 for the trade on this one!

Pours a hazy amber color with one finger of creamy white head that left sheets of lacing on the walls of my imperial pint glass. The smell of this beer hit me as I was pouring it. Big scents of citrus fruit and an earthy grassy scent that both equally vie for your attention. A slight bit of sweet malt is also trying to make itself known on the nose as well. The flavor profile is a duel battle between the sweet caramel malt and the citrus and pine flavor of the hops. Neither flavor dominates each other and this flavor profile is well crafted and well made. The mothfeel is a bit thin, but overall it is medium bodied with lower than average carbonation. The drink ability on this beer is impressive, and it leaves me wanting Bear Republic in Indiana.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange gold color with large bubbles of carbonation rising to the surface to support a ecru thin head. Leaves plenty of sticky gobs of lacing no doubt due to the hops.

Soft hints of grapefruit and flowers hit the nose. Doesn't smack you in the face like other IPAs.

Reserved hop bill compared to other American versions of the same style. Very balanced with bitter citrus and bready almost caramel like biscuits. Finishes with a sticky bitter aftertaste. Doesn't blow me away, but instead comes off as beautifully balanced. A welcome respite from the overly hopped versions I've grown too used to.

Mouthfeel comes off as smooth, but I'm reaching out for a slight amount more carbonation or perhaps finer carbonation. I'm nitpicking though. Drinkability is very high given the balance. No hint of the alcohol in the nose or taste. While this will not blow you away it won't offend either. Can serve as a great introduction to IPAs.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Almost clear (just a tad haze) orange amber. I then sloshed around the dregs and to my surprise a good viscous clump of yeasty goodness pours into my glass. I really love a good bottle-conditioned IPA! I suppose there are two sides to this debate, and i'm on the side that likes the yeasty dregs.

Head retention is stellar. After 15 minutes (was cooking dinner) i came back to see a consistant, though thin, head still remaining.

Aroma is mild at fridge temperature. Earthy floral hops. Dried leaves, hay, grapefruit, pear, melon there too. Got stronger after the 15 minute warming-up hiatus.

Decent carbonation and mouthfeel. A bit toned down compared to some other west coast ipa's. Not too strong with resin/sticky hops. Great balance!

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

This beer poured a hazy yellow/orange with a huge rocky head. The aroma is fresh and green - big hop nose. The taste is bitter and citrus like with a balancing sweetness. It is intense but not harsh. The mouthfeel is medium and a bit creamy. Overall, a great drinking IPA!

Photo of 1fastz28
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

man on man i've had some good beers past week. this one is no exception. pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a marginal head, and some decent lacing. the smell is darn good has a wonderful spicy and piney hop aroma. the taste is also very very good, its surprisingly smooth for a dIPA but has enough bitterness and alcohol warmness to make it unique. a real treat of a beer, glad to try it, and hope to have again.

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

22 oz bomber bottle.

Om yom yom. This is tasty stuff, and being in Northern California, I think it's fresher than average here, even off random super market shelves.

Foamy, citrusy, hoppy, lively, a cluster bomb of aromatic and taste explosions ripping from my nose to my lips to my tongue to my sinuses to my gullet. I'm full of Bear Republic beer shrapnel, critically wounded by depleted uranium nuclear hoppy goodness, and I'm McLovin it.

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

Bomber acquired in trade with Wasatch.

Pours a hazy amber with big fluffy cream colored head that lasts a while. Leaves a good amount of sticky bubbly lace. Impressive head for an IPA.

Nose is full and juicy, with plenty of earthy caramelly malt, brightened by grapefruit, peach, and pear fruitiness. A syrupy sugary sweet overtone rounds it all out.

Taste is lightly sweet, with biscuity grains and a good dose of lighter malts for an overall full taste. Not to be deceived, this IPA has plenty of hops, but they balance well with the overall body and flavor of the beer. Earthy resin cuts through the malt, along with citrusy fruit. A dry bitterness rises nicely at the finish.

Smooth medium-thick body for an IPA. Great characteristic stickiness and oily mouthfeel.

A very tasty version of an IPA, attractive, aromatic, and satisfying. Differentiated among other IPAs by it's light but strong malt profile, slow hop ascension on the palate, and full body. I would drink more of this if I had more to drink. Overall a great beer.

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

On tap at McGrady's in Bethlehem. Nice seeing this on tap here and Big Bear at the Ho down the street.

A: Translucent, hazy golden amber/orange color with a moderate white head with nice lacing and retention.
S: As expected, citursy (grapefruit), slightly floral, hoppy aroma with malt background present.
T: Very smooth, crisp citrus grapefruit flavor hits first. Slightly sweet but balanced with malt and then the longer it is in the mouth the more the hops dig in. Not overwhelming bitter but hops are very assertive. Very balanced smooth tasting.
M: Full bodied with very smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation combined with hop bitterness provides a mouthful.
D: Very flavorful, easy drinking, balanced IPA. Right up there with Two Hearted and Blind Pig for me.

Photo of jdhilt
2.95/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a three-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Fairly clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grassy/piney hoppy nose. Starts balanced with a hint of sweetness but the hops kick in and dominate, bitter grapefruit finish. Good IPA but I don't like the hops in-your-face which the brewer has done all too well. $4.55 for a 22 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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

Bottle. Rich, hoppy/resiny aroma. Clear orange/amber color with thick, long lasting white head. Lots of fine bubbles coming un from bottom of glass even after several minutes. Very hoppy, resiny flavor with a nice malt backbone balanced by plenty of hop bitterness. Medium/light carbonation. Medium body with somewhat sticky finish. Nicely lingering aftertaste of hop flavor and bitterness. Excellent beer.

Photo of GotHood
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottled poured into 16 oz pint glass

A: Poured a golden orange with 2 finger off white head that left behind a thick lacing.

S: Citrus hops up front, strong grapefruit smell with piney undertones, and sweet caramel malt in the background.

T: Up front strong hop flavor with sweet citrusy grapefruit dominating. Piney hops flavor comes out more as the beer warms. Caramel malt comes through, but the hops are the dominant flavor.

M: Medium body with good carbonation for an ipa. Very creamy, bitter hop oil lingers, but is not a bad thing.

D: Very solid ipa, definitely something I could enjoy for the night.

Photo of Proteus93
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A light gold / somewhat murky straw colour... a good, bubbly, insanely sticky head. Quite nice.

S: Somewhat sharp grapefruit/pine blend in the aroma, along with some citrus peel. Crisp and clean.

T: Pretty aggressive... huge, full hops explosion. Maybe a little overwhelming, and a bit unbalanced to my palate. Lots of the grapefruit taste, almost like it came complete with the peel. A bit of the taste that I have only been able to compare to 'eating a joint.'

M: A pretty full body, maybe a little sticky/tacky towards the finish.

D: This is perhaps a case where it's 'bigger is not necessarily better' for me. It could be a case of needing to be in the mood for the hops assault, but this is one I think I may hesitate on in the future. I really enjoyed their stout, though, so it hasn't thrown me off the brewery.

Photo of dsa7783
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second sample from Bear Republic, and I am continually impressed by their big, bold, flavorful, aggressive beers... their IPA is an excellent depiction of the style - full-bodied, aggressive, loaded with hops, bittersweet, with caramel and vanilla essences... clear, lucid amber and copper appearance with a strong aroma suggesting of caramel and hops... in terms of taste, the hops certainly do dominate this one... bursting with enormous, strong flavor, the hops really come through on this one, crisp, clean, and ultra-refreshing and thick... great taste that is very true-to-the-style and full of quality... smell is loaded with hops, citrus, lemon, and florals... flavor strongly complements the aroma and does a great job at making its full-flavored quality known... if you're looking for a true, authentic, full-bodied IPA, this is the one for you, great stuff from Bear Republic... great creamy, rich mouthfeel and good drinkability make this a great American brew... really good stuff, and definitely recommended...

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,766 ratings.