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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.

6,686 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,686
Reviews: 2,206
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 221
Gots: 645 | 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: 6,686 | Reviews: 2,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Overlord
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not as good as I expected.

Not the hoppiest IPA I've had ... by a wide margin, but the lack of those delicious hops hasn't been replaced by much. It has a fairly straightforward bitter with a bare splash of citrus flavor. In comparison to a DIPA, which usually will have more sweet fruit/malt flavors balancing out the hops, there isn't much else going on here. Mostly grapefruit, no real residual sweetness ... maybe a bit of orange/citrus.

Pours a not terribly attractive yellowish orange, but does have great carbonation and a long lasting head (started off four fingered, but quicly disippated to a more manageable finger length .. then lingered at half a finger for the entirety of the drink).

By no means a bad beer, it's just not my favorite IPA. The real problem is the price. For a few dollars more I can get union jack ipa or ruination, for a few dollars less I can get mission street, alaskan, or torpedo ipa, and for the same price I can get celebration ipa.

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

Bomber into a tulip glass:
Pours an attractive, golden gamboge-orange color; clear with an ample carbonation level that fuels a behemoth, cloudy, light tan head. Great retention & lacing make for quite the visual.

Aroma is packed with piney, resinous hops balanced perfectly with big, sweet caramel malts. Fruity citrus, mango, pineapple, and pear round out the mouthwatering scent.

This is one of the better tasting IPA's I've had. There's a big time hop note at the beginning, followed by a smooth, biscuity caramel malt backbone that (again) works wonders for the balance to this brew. Mouthfeel is crisp, bubby, and very refreshing with a poignantly bitter hop finish. Overall, this india pale ale is fantastically complex, and both hop-heads and malt-nuts alike will fall in love with it.

Sign of a truly pleasing beer? My girlfriend, who DESPISES hops (I'm working on that, trust me...), actually enjoyed this one.

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

On-tap at the Yard House in Brea during happy hour, on to the beer:

Orange in color withn a little paleness, it has a nice dense head on the top. Strong aroma of hops rise from the beer with the usual piney notes. The bitterness is not over the top. Very hoppy flavor. Notes of tropical fruit, grapefruit, and some esters. This beer has an excellent smoothness, which makes this a pleasure to drink despite the strength.

In comparison to the Hop Rod Rye, I prefer this one a little more (although I should point out I had this one on-tap, the Hop Rod came from a bomber). It doesn't have the dryness of that, but the flavor is a bit more tasty.

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

22oz. bottle

Cloudy, dark orange. Modest, off white head. Minimal lacing and legs.

Aroma was grapefruit and honey. Earthiness and grass in there as well.

Bitter more than sweet, with grapefruit and grass leading the way. Decent biscuity middle. Good balance, but tilted towards the hops. Honey and caramel in there as it warmed.

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Dry.

Very good, I enjoyed this one.

Photo of Bubba83
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Easily one of my favorite IPAs. I think it's because I'm attracted to the piney hops over the grapefruit/citrus.

A - About what you'd expect a top tier IPA to look like, fairly dark orange, a sticky pure white head with some craters and excellent lacing.

S - The smell is quite possibly the best part about this beer. It smells like a forest. The pine is overwhelming, definitely a clue of what is to come for the taste.

T - A bit grainy at first with some bready flavors, but quickly turns into the forest from the smell, with lots of piney hops hitting you and lingering through the finish. The great part about this is that you don't get an over the top bitterness at the very end like you do with a lot of other IPAs, I'm not quite sure if that's because of good malt balancing or the hop variety, though.

M - Nice mouthfeel... It's a bit dry on the tongue and will make your tongue feel coarse, but, isn't that what an IPA is supposed to do? The oilyness of the beer makes things feel nice as it is sliding down the ol' pipe.

D - Drinkability is good, this isn't a beer I'd want to session, but, for how extreme the piney hops are, the drinkability doesn't suffer as much as you might think. It's the beer I like to end my night with, especially after I've been drinking malt dominant beers and need that smack in the palate from some nice piney hops.

Overall, it's my favorite all around IPA, and I am lucky to be able to find fresh, affordable six packs in the bay area... Thank you Bear Republic, always consistent, amazing brews from you guys.

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

Recently had a Racer 5 at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth, ma. A nice IPA from Bear Republic Brewing from California. I definately expected a little more hoppy aroma than I got when I too my first wiff of the brew, but it did much better on taste. I nice strong american IPA mouth feel and great hop finish. May not be the best IPA I have ever had, but definately better than a lot that I have had in the past.

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

Into a pint glass, this is a slightly hazy copper color with a small head but nice lacing. Exceptionally nice aroma, with a big spicy, perfumy (almost cologne-like) hop presence. Malt underlies it, but hops dominate. Flavor is beautiful, with waves of bitterness and earthy hop flavor. Sweet malt is hidden underneath but makes for a nice balance. Lingering dry finish. Lots of carbonation, but a surprisingly not-heavy body.

Very nice IPA, very drinkable, despite the strength. Just as much a hop explosion as Dogfish Head's, but whereas theirs tend to be heavy beers to savor, this is one to be quaffed.

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

I bought this one for one of those special evenings when you're home alone, sipping a fine beverage and watching a good mafia movie in your pj's. Well that didn't happen. Instead, a friend of the wife came over, cracked open my bomber, took a sip and almost puked. I took this as a good sign since her idea of a good beer is a Blue Moon, so I proceeded to partake of my fine beverage so it wouldn't go to waste.

Needless to say, I was very hoppy with this one. The color was a beautiful copper color with a pure white head and several floaties in the bottom of the glass. The smell and taste were pure hops, but that's what we buy these for now isn't it? It was extremely smooth and drinkable for a hop bomb and will definately have to revisit this one again.

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

Had this 22oz bottle in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Eagerly waiting to drink my first Bear Republic brew. As luck would have it I was at the Union Brewhouse a few nights ago and had several on tap but wasn't in a reviewing situation. Blabber, blabber.. on to the review.

A: orangy, hazy copper with nice off whitehead and nice lacing throughout

S:orange marmalade, piney hops, citrus

T:pineapples, oranges, hoppy but not overly bitter by any means

M: smooth and creamy, sweet and slightly bitter at the same time. has a medium body

D: very drinkable. I find the 7% abv well hidden

My first journey to Bear Republic was fantastic. I must try other offerings

Photo of zeff80
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear orange color with flecks of red. It had a soapy, white, one-finger head that left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of floral, sweet hops, almost candy-like. It also had a malty aroma.

T - It tasted very sweet with a citrusy hop kick. It was well-balanced between the hops and malt.

M - This beer was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D- This is a very good IPA. I loved the smell and it was well-balanced, not overpowering.

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

Another great product from Bear Republic! Although I've had this beer several times on tap, I actually prefer the bottle. Both are excellent; however, I prefer this beer slightly warmer than the standard bar-serving temperature (about 44*F, instead of 40*F). I think it brings out a slightly maltier taste and also helps emphasize the hop flavor. Pours a nice copper color with a nice compact head. Aroma and flavor is mainly citrus, with pine notes in the background. Mouthfeel is regular - nothing notable or otherwise. I love drinking this beer with my spicy chicken gumbo.

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

Purchased at Stateline. Amber in color. Pours with some foam that settles quickly. Big hoppy smell & taste which is mostly citrus. A classic West Coast IPA. Mouthfeel is smooth and this is a very drinkable IPA. Cheers to Bear Republic for making an affordable and available excellent IPA. It is even better on tap than the bottle to boot.

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

22oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer filled the room with a very nice hop aroma. Citricy hops. That, along with the beautiful head and slight cloudyness of the beer made me real excited about the first sip. The taste is very complex. Very good. The bitterness lingers nicely. One thing I look for when tasting an IPA is the ballance between the Bitterness and Sweetness. The bitterness of this IPA does overpower the malt. The sweetness of the malt is subtle. But, since I'm a hop-head! This is just fine for me!

Photo of franksnbeans
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a sizeable head that looks great. Sticks and laces like the best of em. Smells of strong hops, grapefruit rind, citrus, a little dried fruit. Tastes delicious. Lots of hops complimented by citrus fruit and a little malt. Finishes dry and a little hop bitterness, fantastic. Feels medium in the mouth and extremely drinkable. Strong characteristics for a single IPA with perfect drinkability. Sessionable, you bet your sweet butt. Ill be coming back to this one many times.

Photo of goochpunch
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out a faded, clear copper with a thinnish head and loads of raised, bumpy lacing. Aroma up front is a hop assault of grapefruit peels and fresh mowed grass. A caramel malty backbone is there, but the hops are running this. Flavor starts off sweetish with toffee and fruity esters, accompanied by a Bear Republic house flavor. Hops come in with loads of pine resin, grapefruit, and aspirin. Finishes really bitter with that lingering aspirin flavor. Mouthfeel is a tad light compared to other IPAs, but, on the other hand, it helps the drinkability. Smooth carbonation.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a somewhat hazy burnt copper hue with a nice two finger fluffy white head that dies down to a thin layer. Stickiness is all over the place, just how I like 'em. Smell is a nice citrus burst, mostly orange and pineapple. Noticable caramel malt in the nose as well. Taste is a very crisp citrus hop with a hint of dirty pine hop as well. Midway there is a good biscuity malt balance. This one finishes somewhat dry and a bit creamy too. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Pretty solid west coast hop bomb of an IPA, glad this is easily available here in CNY.

Photo of rajendra82
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many thanks to BA TexIndy for this bomber of Racer 5 from our recent trade. The pour was clear pale, and the head atop was large and retained well, as is typically the case with IPAs. The smell was quite strongly hoppy for a single IPA. The alluring smell of grapefruit and apricot just begged me to take the first sip. As I did it, a spicy and generously bitter taste tingled my tongue as the ample carbonation amplified it. Following this was the malt, but it was not candy sweet like some other beers of this strength, but more caramelized, drippy, and soft. The aftertaste was salty and citric. The hop oils coated every part of the tongue after each swallow, leaving a long drawn out tingly aftertaste. Mouthfeel was medium full and quenching. One of the most pleasing beers to drink if you are ever drawn towards hops like I am. All I can say is the following:

I pledge allegiance to the checkered flag of Racer 5 and to the Bear Republic for which it stands, one brewer underdog, independent, with deliciousness and hops for all.

Photo of hero27
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
7.0% abv

Hazy golden-orange..particles of yeast (some rather large) seem at home floating about. Bold floral hop aroma that demands attention. Orange & lemon flavors thrown in the mix as well. The grainy malt flavor actually has much more staying power than I remember this beer having. It's been over two years since I've had had a Racer 5, and I gotta say, I think I should be drinking this more often..just wish I could find the damn thing within 1000 miles. A beer deserving of it's many accolades.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So freaking psyched to finally get ahold of this one....

A - Poured a deep orange amber, great two inch head formed on top and left a ton of lace down the glass once it finally decided to let go. Nice carbonation, great overall look, just like an IPA should.

S - Huge citrus hops, and a ton of pine. Some sticky sweet notes as well. Very fresh taste, lots of resiny aromas. Really great smell.

T - Perfect. Just a phenomonal fresh, sticky, resin hoppy bomb of delight. Such a sticky pine fresh taste, lots of fresh cut grass and orange peel. Some light sugar, but a bomb al the way.

M - Super smooth and very very sticky. A bit thick. Very nice carbonation, could put this down all night long with ease.

D - Damn near perfect. Not strong enough to be a sipper, a little heavy though to throw down a ton, but otherwise just about perfect. I would love to try this one on tap, seems like it would be perfect.

Overall this totally lived up to my expectations. It was just great. I would love to have this again and again. I am glad I have a couple more bottles. Just a damn fine IPA if I have ever had one.

Photo of letsgopens
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Map Room in Chicago, this IPA pours a golden orange with a thick white head that leaves some nice lace.

Primarily citrus and hops in the aroma. Fairly typical for many IPAs. Some malt and a hint of cherry.

The flavor is crisp and clean with lots of good hops and some orange and lemon. A hint of pine and spice as well. The hops linger well.

Moderately high carbonation makes for a crisp, clean finish. Refreshing and fruity. Well balanced and a nice summer IPA.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange amber color with a big loose head that resists fading. Good lacing generated. The smell is big too...orange citrus, pine and grapefruit. Very sweet smelling. Full bodied, the mouth feel is adequately carbonated, smooth and creamy. It complements the full fruity hop flavor and is balanced nicely by a solid malt character. This is a really good drinker. Well done.

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

22oz brown bomber -> pint
no date

Pours a clear orange with a modest sized thick white head that deposits thicks chunks of lace. Carbonation appears medium. Slight haze appears toward the end of the bomber.

Nose: Caramel, pineapple, light toffee, orange rind

Medium-full bodied with good balance. Slightly sweet and thick malt presence up front. Intense bitterness the rest of the way with some good earthy fruity hop flavor. The bigness of the malts and hops give a damn pleasing balance.

Overall a really good ipa, bottle conditioned to boot. Bitterness dries out the mouth so keep a glass of water handy.

Photo of CharlieMopps
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A transparent, golden-orange hue topped by two fingers of thick, white head. The density of the head left a considerable amount of lace along the sides of the glass.

S: A piney and citrus-tinged hop profile in the nose. A bit of spiciness in the background as well.

T: From front to back, a very smooth IPA with great hop characteristics that never kill the palate. Easy transition throughout, into a finish that goes out like a lamb, leaving a light hoppiness on the back of the tongue. I admire the subtlety of this IPA, very enjoyable.

M: Crisp and slightly velvety texture, carbonation is at an acceptable level.

D: Expecting more of a hop bomb, I was surprised by the calm nature of this IPA, and would gladly have more. Bringing out the lighter side of this style makes for a great take on a style that can be overly bitter. Nicely done.

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

Poured from a 650ml bottle with no dating info into a pint glass at proper temp. It was a hazy orange color with modest visible carb. It had a small head that settled to a constant, broken film. Good lacing. The aroma was strong floral hops, some pine. Really had a good smell to it. The taste was solid. Good bite of hops with a great malty backing. Very well balanced. No overly bitter finish. Great creamy mouthfeel with good carb. Overall, an outstanding beer that will see some more time in my fridge. Glad that Bear Republic is finally in Texas. Highly recommend. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

Photo of trevorwideman
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. Bought at City Beer in San Francisco.

Murky orange, almost opaque and verging on brown, 1/2 inch head that recede and leaves a large amout of lacing. Medium carbonation. Aroma of floral and citrus hops with vanilla and a bit of butterscotch. Slight cellarlike mustiness that's pretty unique. Pretty subtle and subdued though.

Taste is lovely but less hoppy than I imagined. Hops are licoricelike and a bit piney and floral, but there's a very healthy balance of malty sweetness that has some nice vanilla and cakelike sweetness. Lemon peel bitterness rounds it off. Medium body and medium carbonation. This is a drinkable and balanced IPA, and a really lovely sipper for a chilly SF evening.

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 6,686 ratings.