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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.

6,837 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,837
Reviews: 2,231
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 249
Gots: 776 | 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: 6,837 | Reviews: 2,231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billybob
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy honey color with a off white one finger head with a hard pour and lots of lace. strong pine hop and bitter citrus aroma. big hop taste hits you right away, lots of biscuity malt, but its all about the hops from start to finish and lingering after taste. medium mouthfeel and excellent carbonation even after a hard pour. if you like india pale ale give it try.

Photo of 1759Girl
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 IPA is one of those beers which I have been drinking for so long that I have forgotten to ever review... Well, here goes one.
Appearence> honey, gold, lively. No head and teeny bit of lacing.
Smell> wheat, hops, berries
Taste>Characteristic of an American IPA. Starts sweet and innocent, punches hoppy goodness at you, smoothes a bit but leaves you with a resiny hang. Good balance of bitterness in the back and the slightest sweetness at the front.
Mouf> effervescent, not too crazy.
Drinkability> Its not my first choice for an american ipa, but its far from my last choice.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on draught at McGrady's Irish Pub in Charlottesville, VA.

Appearance: A thick, foamy head sits atop a gorgeous, slightly-hazy-but-largely-translucent orange amber body. Active carbonation drifts upward through the thick looking haze, and splatters of sticky, web-like lacing speckle the sides of the glass. Wonderful.

Aroma: There's some lightly toasted malt here, a very mellow caramel backbone. Now that that's out of the way ... let's talk about the hops. There's a lot of potent sharpness in the nose, no doubt from the Columbus, but there's also a lot of pleasant, lighter aromatics - citrus, ethereal herbal and floral notes. A very intense and oily nose.

Taste: The bitterness is pretty consistent throughout - it hits strong at first, and definitely rounds out each sip as well. The sweetness of the bready malt is more noticeable in the mouth than it was in the nose - although I wouldn't go so far as to call it "balanced" - and that's a good thing, or else this beer might be less drinkable than it is. As far as individual hop flavors, yeah, it's all there - pungent grapefruit and pineapple flavors are all wrapped up in the bitterness, as well as a few other earthy, woody notes. Alcohol is only faintly detectable.

Mouthfeel: One word. Perfect. An amazing feeling beer - it's silky smooth, finely carbonated, medium bodied. "Oily" is a word that comes to mind, but that has a lot of negative connotations, so, yeah, anyway, it's fantastic.

Drinkability: Pretty damn good. It's bitter, sure, but it's not just a hop bomb - it's sweet, lightly toasty, floral, fragrant, smooth, citrusy, etc. etc. etc. In essence, there's a lot of good stuff going on in this glass, and I could put away a few of these and enjoy every minute of it, no problem.

One of my favorite IPAs, this beer is absolutely rock solid. I just realized that I typed that I could put away a few of these, no problem, and although that's probably true, I would advise doing that on a full stomach, and not before you need to drive anywhere. Either way, this is a delicious beer. It's coarse and rough in taste, but smooth in the mouthfeel; it's sweet and dense in its foundation, but crisp, fruity, and floral in a big way up front; and it's typically pretty inexpensive. A sure bet.

Photo of ibrewaletx
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was a coppery golden hue with a head that fairly quickly disappeared. Good lacing.
The distinctive smell of pine and maybe some citrus stuck out in the beer. A very strong hop bite and after the initial bite, it seemed to smooth out in the mouth for a great overall taste.
This was very drinkable, but of course as any good IPA, it was tough to move on to a non hoppy non IPA following this - burned my taste buds a little!

Photo of weiserr
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into my free "Taste Victory" pint. Thanks, Julio's Liquors!

She's a fiery blonde with a 1/2" of froth resting comfortably above the haze. Retains slightly above average; lacing is minimal and spotty.

Talk about hoppy. Clean citrus smacks the senses while a breaded malt aroma holds its position in the background. Faint floral aromatics with a touch of alcohol coming through.

Bitter hops, tangerines, grapefruit, apricots and orange peel. The malt character is there, but it's overwhelmed by the hops. I'm impressed with the effort, but it could use some balance between the front and back ends. Slightly too alcoholic for my taste.

Mouth is dry; the bitterness has staying power. I wouldn't have minded a bit more texture, and not feeling somewhat parched despite consuming the entire offering.

I've drank Racer 5 on multiple occasions, just not in succession. I would probably score higher if it weren't for the alcohol feel. I don't mind the ABV at 7%; there are plenty of awesome brews much higher. The balance is a bit lacking for my palate, which is why I don't enjoy it more. That said, it is loaded with hops, and that's worth being thankful for.

3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A strong pour generates an inch and a half of rocky light tan head with solid retention. Body is a hazy straw orange that leans almost twords amber. A quarter inch of wavy lace is left behind. You really pick up the nose on the pour with soft creamy hop notes that have an almost chewy character to them. Maybe a bit of sweet sap also. The first thing that grabs me about this beer is the drinkability of it, it is odd to notice so soon on the palate. A balance of dandilion like hops mixed with a nutty mineral zest that stays on the mouthfeel. This is a dry woodsy IPA with almost no sweetness, which is must how the style should be. Alchol is right on at 7%. Clean and refreshing while being longly bitter. A super IPA that really hits the tongue.

Photo of Matty1918
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber.

Poured a golden honey color with a white head. A descent amount of lacing. They head seemed to dissapear to quickly.

A good hops aroma...slight citrus and a slight floral.

A descent tasting IPA. The hops is not overpowering but still leaves that yummy hoppy aftertaste. A good balanced IPA.

A good tasting IPA in my book. I'll buy thin again.

Photo of FACSman
2.34/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark honey color with a decent head, slight haze. Head was quick to dissapate.

S - Rather astringent smell with little hop flower detecable.

T - Like an overhopped pale ale, not a very good IPA. No complexity to the hop character, just unpleasant bitterness.

M - Thin for an IPA, light carbonation.

D - I didn't want to finish my 22 oz. bottle.

I was really looking forward to this beer as I have heard many good things about the brewery. I was very disappointed.

Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this at a local beer festival, so my notes were minimal. I've tried to reconstruct as much as I can remember...

(No notes on the appearance or smell, so I've simply rated them as average.)

This had a light yeasty taste with tons of hops in the aftertaste. It was more of a pine flavor rather than citrus hops, and the texture was great. The bitterness was almost overpowering - a hophead's dream - making this a decent sipping IPA, but could be difficult for the average enthusiast to enjoy. (I personally enjoyed it quite well.)

Photo of sholland119
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottled into a Stone Levitation glass (hey, why not?)

A-Pours a hazy orange with a thin creamy head. Nice lacing.

S-A very nice grapefruit hoppiness with a little piney hops behind and a little malt.

T-Nice hoppiness throughout. Lots of grapefruit and piney notes up front, some maltiness in the middle and a very nice dry, moderately bitter finish.

M-Very smooth. Nicely carbonated.

D-A very nice "session" IPA. Very easy drinking and light with moderate ABV.

I love BR beers. While I prefer the Hop Rod Rye, this is also a very good straight IPA. Very easy drinking and balanced.


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

12oz bottle into a Stone IPA flute.

Pours a hazy gold with a finger of creamy brite-white head that retains nicely across the surface and leaves some good lacing behind. The aroma is quite hoppy with fresh grapefruit notes, piney esters, light malt, and a touch of alcohol behind it.

The taste is a assertive piney hop bitterness mixed with a splash of grapefruit citrus that only seems to become more pronounced as it warms. This is nicely balanced by a backbone of sweet bready malt that helps temper all the bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an oily texture and easy feel to it.

A very solid West Coast IPA. It has a very pronounced hoppiness to it but the citrus element and malt really help keep things in check and make this one hugely sessionable affair.

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: pours a hazy burnt orange color, a few carbonation bubbles rising inside. The head formed a creamy 1 finger thick and retained nicely and clung to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Floral and citrus hops, very enticing.

Taste: The hops almost seemed to attack my tastebuds from the beginning. Nice combination of piney and citrus hops with the citrus getting stronger throughout. There was a nice bready maltiness that remained in the background but balanced nicely. The finish was all hops, mainly citrus, and lingered for a while.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, fairly smooth. The carbonation was more lively than the appearance let on, and balanced out well.

Overall: If you like big hoppy IPAs you'll love this one. Highly recommended.

Photo of riversider76
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden,with a thin white head.Excellent retention,and lacing. Aroma is piney hops,and sweet fruits. Body is medium with some carbonation.Taste is really somthing! Sweet up front,with a grapefruit finish. Without a dobut, one of the best IPA's out there.

Photo of eberkman
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous honey-hued amber poured out of a 12-oz bottle resplendent with Bear Republic's trademark D.C.-comic-style lettering. Produces a firm, sticky head that barely reduces, leaving ample lacing in the glass when swirled. You get a bit of yeast when you pour the last few drops. A crapload of yeast coating the bottom of the bottle. How am I going to clean this one out as I save bottles for our next homebrew batch?

Big Cascade hop aroma -- pretty much a grapefruit party with some piney and floral notes as well. A slight sweetness to the smell reveals some malt presence, previewing the potential for a complex, well-balanced beer.

The taste is something to behold -- a big sweet honeystung malt up front giving way to ample citrusy (read = grapefruit. I'm detecting no lemon, lime, orange, tangerine or pomelo here. This is some serious grapefruity goodness) hops and a strong bitterness in the finish that seems to live on for an eternity (or at least until the next sip). Honestly, this is a HUGE beer for a standard American IPA. Almost encroaching on DIPA territory, but not quite.

Mouthfeel is slightly slick but with a tingly fizz on the top of the tongue. Not heavy, but certainly has its presence.

Interesting enough to session -- as much as any other West Coast IPA. Which means give me a couple before I move over to something else. Because, let's face it. You don't drink an IPA all night. In any event, it reminds me a little of Stone with its level of balance.

Better than I hoped for -- I'd like to have more of these. Think of it as a big glass of ruby-red grapefruit juice that'll give you a nice buzz. Which is a wonderful thing.

Photo of bloberglawp
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Finnman for sending this on a recent trade!

Pours a wonderfull orange, huge foamy white head that sticks around, nice!

Aroma of amarillo, cascade and Kent Golding hops, a solid malt aroma also present. But mostly hop oriented.

Flavor is a wonderfully well blanaced USA IPA. Hop biterness is firm yet invinting. Malt backbone suits the hop profile very well.


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

A: Poured a clear, bright tangerine orange with a creamy 1 finger macro-bubbly head that was moderately lasting leaving a spotchy lacing. Visible carbonation was medium.

S: a huge sweet pink grapefruity aroma which was smooth and well rounded by nature.

T: sweet/bitter pungent grapefruit that was semi-dry with some dry floral. The hoppiness was very well rounded, grapefruity, and fresh, with a semi-dry floral finish with hints of lemon and sweet citrus, which was incredibly smooth and refined and not at all rough or coarse like others per style. What I really enjoyed was the balance between the bittering/flavor/aroma hopping. The beer had a great strong aroma to start things off. The palate was dominated by the sweet citrusy hop flavor that was very smooth with the bittering hops coming through in the finish, leaving a nice citrusy floral fade on the tongue.

M: medium fullness with a very dry pungent grapefruit and floral hopping and lacing coming through upon warming.

D: Overall great drinkability, even if your not a big hophead. Refreshing, huge citrusy hopping that was very smooth and bitter/sweet, citrusy and dry. Highly recommended.

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

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego

Pours a glowing, hazy, pale orange color with a dense and compact white head with decent lacing. Light spicy orange aroma. Tasty with spices, orange & other citrus, and a mild bitter hop aftertaste. Light- to medium-bodied and smooth with light carbonation. A light, enjoyable, and very drinkable IPA.

Photo of jeremy13586
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just had this for lunch at Frisco Grill in Columbia, MD. It was my first Bear Republic beer and I'm happy that I got it. It poured a slightly hazy dark orange color, with about a half inch of head that decided not to stick around for too long. Very spicey and fruity in the nose. when I took the first sip, the spiciness was almost overwhelming. The spiciness evolved into a simple bitter and finished nice and sweet. The beer was very crisp and sharp on the tounge. I could see myself having a couple of these before switching to something else. It was a very nice change of pace, though.

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

This is an awesome IPA!!! As all of Bear Republics' beers they are beatiful when poured even gently it produces a fantastic head, thet lingers and leaves a sticky lace around the glass. 5 is generously hopped, but very drinkable for such a big beer. The aroma is great, flavor is right on, looks great, there is little to flaw here just a great IPA.

Photo of brandoneast
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this 22ox bottle in a liquor store across from the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resorts in Lake Tahoe, CA.

Great orange hazy/straw color - with great head retention and tight bubbles. Smell of spicy hops and balance of sweet malt, simple balance. Expected flavor for an AIPA soft hops upfront and rounded mouthfeel. Hops linger but not for long. I could almost drink this all night, a first for me from Bear Republic - I was very excited about finding this on my trip.

Photo of Lupe
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a frothy white head. Awesome retention and sheets of lace cling to the sides of the glass. Visually appealing to say the least.

Clean and fresh citrus hop aroma with a toasted maltiness lying in the background. Grapefruit, lemon, and orange really shine.

Big juicy citrus kicks things off. Nice slap of hop bitterness. Grapefruit, orange, and lemon all come through. Hops are balanced well by the toasted grain and biscuity maltiness. Alcohol barely shows up at all. Flavors meld very well and the beer is nicely balanced. Very smooth flavors. Finishes with lingering hop bitterness and lemon zest.

Medium-full bodied, smooth, and a little creamy. Not too crisp, but not heavy either. Great drinkability - could definitely stick with this one for a while. Possibly my new favorite IPA.

Photo of briman
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
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
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,837 ratings.