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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.

6,331 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,331
Reviews: 2,185
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 195
Gots: 521 | 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:
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: 6,331 | Reviews: 2,185 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meathookjones
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

22oz Bomber. Pours a golden orange color with pretty good clarity and a good-sized frothy white head that laces a bit. The aroma is strong pleasant one made of a citrus hops and lesser malty sweetness. There were notes of fruit as well as it warmed. The taste is mainly hoppy bitterness with a citrus flavor to it and a slight sweetness. Even though I didn’t taste much at all in the malt department this was a well-balanced beer. The aftertaste is a pleasant bitterness that lingers for a bit. No alcohol was detected anywhere in this brew but the effect were warming by the end of the bottle. It has medium body with good carbonation. I found this to be very drinkable, a good hop fix and went great with some spicy steak fajitas.

meathookjones, Jun 08, 2004
Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

22 oz Bomber. Pours a clear golden color with a white head. Light clean fresh hop aroma, nothing assertive. Flavor is big in both hop flavor and bitterness, yet lets the malt sweetness shine through. The malt seems to coat the mouth nicely. Hops linger to the end. I am liking this....

vladtheimpaler, Jun 08, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Pours a hazy gold and orange with a voluminous slightly off-white head that deposits chunks of lace to the pint.
Aroma has a citrus hop aroma as the dominat feature with tinges of pale malt and some bicuit/bread like features coming through.
Flavor is dominated by floral hops but their is just enough sweet malt and some biscuity freshness to cut it a bit and produce a somewhat balanced beer.
Mouthfeel is bitter throughout but again cut with just enough sweetness to not be totally lip puckering. Nice beer.
Drinkability is very good with the 22 oz. flowing smoothly.

CRJMellor, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%

Pours a slightly hazy golden peach color. Big dense and creamy off white head. Good retention and it left rings of sticky lace.
Smells of citrusy/perfumey hops. Earthy sweet malt, fruit (pears?)
and tea.
Excellent balance of flavors. The sweet malt, caramel and fruit backbone is balanced by a beautiful hop profile. Outstanding!
Medium bodied with a creamy rich mouthfeel and an outstanding level of carbonation.
Great balance and mouthfeel lead to unparalleled drinkability.
One of my favorite IPA's. Just a great effort by Bear Republic.

rkhaze, Jun 05, 2004
Photo of joecast
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

hazy, bright, orange/gold in color with minimal head. having only a 12oz. glass i had to pour the beer out a couple of times. while pouring the last bit out of the bottle (which was a bit warmer) a stable 1 finger head was able to form.

with a bit of a swirl of the glass, the aromas come through. similair to cascade (which is the only hop i can pick atm), but spicier. strong presence of pepper, and some apple.

first few sips give a fresh cut hop bitterness right at the start making the "well hopped" on the label a real understatement. as the temp comes up a bit, the contribution to flavor from the hops really shows well. any input from the malt must have been overshadowed by the hops, or they at least had me distracted. not so much in a bad way, as this is unashamedly a beer for hopheads. but at the same time it never seemed too overpowering or unbalanced.

a bit low in drinkablity only in that it would take a bit of work for me to get through more than one or two if my arm was twisted.

as my sister said "not as bad as stone old guardian". i thought the opposite.

joecast, May 26, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.5%

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades. The aroma is good. It has a very intense, but pleasant citrous hop scent that is enhanced with a nice pale malt aroma. The taste is good. It has a complex pale malt core with a wonderful bitter hop flavor. It refreshes and goes down easy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good IPA. It has a malty character and good hop additions; very well balanced.

WesWes, May 25, 2004
Photo of silenius
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%

This is one helluva nice beer. We just started getting this in Chicago as far as I know. I picked this up today at thelonegunman's shop.

I'm always up to trying out an American IPA and I'm glad I popped the top on this one.

The beer pours a really solid deep golden with yeasty bits afloat. The head is like a bubble bath with great big bubbles floating two fingers thick. As I drink the beer I get great big spiderweb lacing down the glass.

The smell is a bit more on the sweet side than other West coast IPAs I've had. Many W coast IPAs are just like grapefruit juice to me. This is more floral and sweet.

Taste is very balanced between hops and malt. Nice big hops with a solid core of malt to back it up. Not over the top. Just plain good! Hop burps are tasty, too.

Mouthfeel is creamy and the beer leaves a bitter taste in the back of my throat. Good.

This is a really drinkable beer and I would definitely reach for another after the first is done.

silenius, May 25, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%

For my medal round (higher site honour) I was fortunate to pick a masterpiece. A terrific American IPA of yummy refreshing grapefruity lemon citrus and high hops, little bitterness. Like Marsela Mamma in a fussy mood. Greatly drinkable. balanced aftertaste.
Had on tap very fresh 8.5 years later and this classic with juicy orange this time worked just fine, long finish, lacey.

Sammy, May 23, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%

The beer poured crystal clear light amber golden. The head was white and very compact and lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was muted hops and slight caramel. Hop aroma was low and there was also present a fruity and spicy aroma.

The flavor was malty and sweet yet well balanced with hop bitterness. The hop bitterness and flavor increase while the maltiness fades leading to a complexity in the flavor.

The finish was slightly sweet then trailed off to dry with a slight hop bitterness which increased into the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium full.

Great beer!

22 ounce bottle. (I think I have had this beer awhile and the hop aroma has faded somewhat.)

GCBrewingCo, May 22, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%

Appearance: Pours a clear, pale copper with fine, active carbonation. Puffy, rocky, quickly fading slightly off-white head. The lacing is oddly thin for a 7% IPA.

Smell: Good morning! Booming pine resin right off the bat with a wonderful bright citrus fruit scent throughout. Dense and sweet pineapple notes dominate.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Not what I expected. The hops are huge and delicious up front, but the flavor trails off badly mid-pallate. The majority of the flavor is a rather unpleasant grainy, slightly soapy tang. Moreover, the mouthfeel is fairly thin and "dead"; there's none of the pillowy, chewy feel that the hop oil in a big IPA usually provides, and the carbonation doesn't add much. The finish is piney and bitter with a slightly spicy aftertaste.

Drinkability: For a 7% brew, it's very thin, but the weak middle flavor would me me think twice about drinking too many.

This beer is something of a legend here in NorCal, and I was very much looking forward to a controlled, objective tasting, rather than the usual drunken Healdsburg post-wine tasting pallate cleanse. Sadly, not impressed. Bought this 22 at a Napa gourmet mart, so it should have been fresh; glass should have been clean. This might have been the victim of some soap residue, but the beer seems the most likely culprit. Not awful, but not interesting--Stone Ruination blows its door off.

WetCoaster, May 21, 2004
Photo of Dmann
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%

This was a great beer for sure. It poured a amber color with a big cloud like white head that left tons of lace down the glass. The smell was very bready but at the same time the citrus notes from the hops crept in as well. The taste was alot smoother than I was expecting, with a nice creamy mouthfeel, great malt presence and a nice biting but not too bitter hoppiness. This a very tame west cost IPA IMO but a very sessionable one nonetheless.

Dmann, May 11, 2004
Photo of Stubbie1
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%

Golden color with a thick white head. Little to no lace. Citrus and pine come across the nose. The flavor is thick chewy and creamy, citrus and malt come strong. Very smooth and creamy in the mouth. Drinkability is way way good. Another IPA that can be enjoyed all night, any night.

Stubbie1, May 10, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

Bomber bottle. No freshness dating. Pours nice auburn, with some golden hues, white,tiny bubble head and leaves alot of intricate lacing. Hoppy, hoppy nose. Large malty backbone, biscuity. Grapefruit, pine, grainy hops carry the weight here. Pac. NW jolt of HOPS is what were talkin' here. Big and bold IPA. High quality creation, seek-drink-enjoy.

Billolick, May 05, 2004
Photo of david23
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

This is a hop lover's dream. Pours a light golden amber with an off white head that disapates to a thin layer but leaves a nice thin lacing as you enjoy. Hops is what this is all about.A lttle to cloudy for my taste. Initially just a wonderful wake up call to your taste buds and then settles down to a maltly feel but not for long. Get ready for a hop explosion that just continues and finishes with a dry hop flavor that just begs you to have another to quench your thirst.This is just a great example of an American IPA that has raised the bar of what can be done. A definite keeper. Bittering is a little heavy but i love that. Not for the uninitiated.

david23, May 02, 2004
Photo of garthwaite
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%

Pours a golden amber with a white creamy head. Smell is pine & gentle hops. Initially I taste rich, rich malts - but not to worry loads of cascade & columbus pour in soon after to balance this bad boy out very nicely. The mouthfeel is nifty - slick & buttery. Well balanced & highly drinkable.

garthwaite, May 01, 2004
Photo of elmocoso
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%


Big creamy head - 2 fingers that fall, leaving a sticky high water mark of lacing and creating a bulbous crannied head.

The head feels like whip cream on thelip - nice green nose, hoppy - fo course.

Mmmm-mmm, a sweet maltyness. Nose candy, and mouth candy. Like sucking on a malty-hop lolly-pop. Quite drinkable.

elmocoso, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of goindownsouth
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

Many thanks to garthwaite for allowing me the chance to try this fantastic IPA.

Am amazing dark golden colour out of the bottle, I cannot remember a brew that offered such a heady and rocky head, at that. The aroma was just the kind of amazingly hoppy herbalicious backbone that I enjoy so much. The flavor is smooth and crisp, with notes of faint citrus, but make no mistake about it, this one is all about the hops. A fantastic IPA and, if I may say so, one of if not the best I have had in some time.

Zum wohl!

goindownsouth, Apr 24, 2004
Photo of GreenCard
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%

Appearance: low to no head, amber, good clarity

Aroma: passion fruit and pine needles, caramel, devil's food cake, hint of roast and an even smaller hint of diacetyl

Flavor: up-front lime peel bitterness concedes to a mellow caramelly malt flavor, green and grassy hop flavor, nicely layered hop profile, finishes pretty dry with a long-lingering limey bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, gentle carbonation, smooth, some warmth

Overall Impression: Quite balanced. Better than I thought it would be (wasn't impressed with Hop Rod Rye... the only other Bear Republic beer I've tried). This is an IPA's IPA. Very recommendable!

22 oz. bomber delivered by LBB and tasted by myself and BelgianBeers.

GreenCard, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

From a 22oz bomber.

Pours a hazy orange copper with a thick orangey-white head. Persistent lace. Smell is big citrus and floral hops. More sweet smelling than bitter.

Taste is fruity and citrusy. Nice malt backbone to lets the lupulins shine. Hoppy bitterness but lots of more complex flavors in there too. Dandelion and daisy flavors if you can believe it. Grapefuity citrus and a slow assertive lingering hop bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied and rounded hop profile. Very drinkable IPA and refreshingly complex. A good bet for sure.

ViveLaChouffe, Apr 15, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%

Slightly hazed tangerine-amber. Since the label says that the beer is bottle conditioned and that 'yeast is good', I imagine that my last few pours will cloud things up nicely. The head is the color of rich cream and is a little frothy, yet stiff. I anticipated a lot of lace and am not disappointed. The cap falls slowly and unevenly, leaving thick sheets and chunks of lace all over the glass. A superb look.

The nose is as wonderful as I'd hoped: big, juicy, citrusy hops running rampant. There's a second variety in there as well, something that gives a slightly more pungeant, earthy aroma. A quick check of the Bear Republic website tells me that Cascade and Columbus hops are in use. Cascade have the upper hand in the aroma; I hope the same is true on the palate.

I enjoy the flavor quite a bit, but the Columbus hops are too prominent. While they don't completely overshadow the citrusy goodness of the Cascade, they do change the flavor profile just enough to keep me from loving it. Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' is all Columbus hops and I learned from drinking that beer that it's not a hop that thrills me. There's a fair amount of sweetish pale malt that's not intrusive, but it is noticeable. The finish is long and increasingly hoppy and the body/mouthfeel is full and buttery smooth.

Racer 5 is somewhere between an IPA and a DIPA in terms of flavor, body and ABV. While I do have some quibble about the choice of hops, the quality of this beer is not to be doubted. A little heavier with the Cascade and a little lighter with the Columbus and this would easily be one of my favorite IPAs. Now, if they would only bottle Racer X.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 10, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%

Aroma: I’m getting a collection of hop smells. It’s almost overwhelming, and it’s a bit worrying, seems like this will cause my head to implode. Some minor fruit smells, mainly apple.
Appearance: Great looking beer, a hazy golden orange. Two finger head settled down to about a half finger of thick, fluffy, creamy white head that left tidemarks and impressive lace.
Flavor: There is enough malt to bring all the hops back to somewhere in the area of balance, but as the beer warmed, the hops really picked up and came close to a hop burn. A touch of sweet malt poked though to give a nice overall taste. The hops seem to be noble, Hallertauer perhaps.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, a thick fluid that triggered a chew.
Overall Impression: A very drinkable big brew. Quite easy on the eyes, it’s a beautiful beer. The noble hops kinda threw me, I’m used to more of American cascade, but different is good.

HardTarget, Apr 09, 2004
Photo of edchicma
4.4/5  rDev +5%

Wham! What great hops! Smell was extremely hoppy with a nice pine essence. Coppery appearance with a great head and outstanding lacing. Taste was fantastic.Extreme hop presence with a great bitterness....but smooth.. a great combination! Mouthfeel was rich, with some creamy quality that I was not expecting...great! Strong on the abv, but not overwhelming....could drink a couple but then...This is my second Bear Republic offering and certainly not my last....their brews are at the top of my list.

edchicma, Apr 08, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

Reddish-Peach. Lovely color. The head is creamy and dense and stays aloft for a long while.

Fresh, crisp, juicy and clean aroma. Lots of butterscotch in the nose with lemon, other citrus notes and pine.

Rich and floral throughout. Heavily bitter. Orange, lemon and other citrus notes combined with a whole lot of floral and pine qualities all demolishing the caramel from the malt. The caramel that is their is lovely.

This is a highly hopped IPA. Not excessive and very drinkable. I definately am getting my alpha acid fix here as well.

A great beer to start off the night. Now I need to clean my palate with some cream havarti cheese and ge ready for De Dolle Oerbier Reserva 02.

Crosling, Apr 08, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours a hazy copper colored brew.

Smell is malt and hops that tickle your nose. The hops are a mellow citrus smelling variety.

Taste is a well-balanced ale with the hops and malt just about perfectly balanced against one another. The hops give this a dry astringent after taste.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A very drinkable brew. The label on this reminds me of "Speed Racer." Go Speed Racer Go!

Zorro, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%

Bright dark gold color with tiny brown flecks caught in suspension. Nice head, pale in color and lasts about 45 seconds or so. Sheet-like lacing. Bright orange citrus aroma, little else. Mouthfeel is just shy of medium. Hops assert early, juicy and chewy in the American style, and backed by aromatic essence. Straight-up orange rind is the biggest imression here. The malt backbone just doesn't punch through much, but the hops have enough depth to give some interest and a complexity of sorts on the bittering side. Clean finish, but definitely pithy. Well-done beer for a hop mood, but how many IPAs tread the same road?

Source: Liquid Solutions

ADR, Mar 24, 2004
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,331 ratings.