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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: 220
Gots: 646 | 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 mshallah
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber pours med-light amber with a dense rocky head. Looks great. Smells like lemon iced tea and a piney fresh hop. Spicey hop flavor that's upfront, big and fresh. Malt flavor is big to match. A toasted marshmallow(golden not black) caramelization. Fruitiness sneaks through with canned peach and apricot. Is there rye in this beer because it has a very spicey flavor? Slight bourbon comes and goes late in the fading finish. Overall it's big, bIG, BIG. Aftertaste is excellent and keeps you going back for the next sip. Big and aggressive but still somehow balanced to make an exciting flavor and aroma profile. Easy to drink, huge IPA.

Photo of crayphish
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Racer 5 IPA poured a golden copper liquid with a thick fluffy head that lingered and left a fair amount of lacing. Smell is strong piney hops. Some citrus notes as well. Some sweet malts. Taste is all hops, and quite wonderful. The hops are piney with grapefruit tones. An awesome tasting IPA. The malt is almost nondescript due to the hop overload. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, with a bit of the piney resin leaving the hops on the palate. I found this to be one of the most drinkable IPA's that I have tried in a while. Outstanding!

Photo of Lothore
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden red hue with a huge head that seems like it would stay forever. The smell is sweet, hoppy, notes of pine and berries. The taste is very full, bitter bready, pine. Mouthfeel is very thick with quite a bit of carbonation. This beer seems drinkable enough for an IPA. The bitterness makes me just want to sip on it but all in all a good brew.

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

Serving - 22oz bottle in a nonic.

Appearance - Slightly cloudy amber with a foamy finger thick head that rings the glass as the beverage is consumed.

Smell - Citrus/troical fruity hops to the extreme with a slightly piney note.

Taste - Immediate pineapple taste with a delicious hoppy characteristic that is not overly brutal or bitter. The bitterness is remarkably downplayed and well balanced for a West Coast.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied, almost slightly creamy. No astringency at all, despite the 7.0 ABV.

Drinkability - West Coast IPA's have no right to be this drinkable.

Overall Bear Republic put together one of the best West Coast IPA's I have tried.

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

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.

Clear, bright copper coloration. Densely thick, rocky white head with tremendous retention. Walls of ringed lacing with good strength.

Juicy hop oils with a fragrant intensity; clean pine with a bright hint of tropical fruit. Creamy, toasted malt undertones.

Creamy, semi-sweet toasted malts; smooth, malted wheat and grains. With a warming alcohol, brings a pine-spiced intensity. Slick, rounded hop oils take over and provide a deep, lasting bitterness. An aftertaste of tropical fruit, resin, and a touch of heat.

Medium bodied; slick and smooth due to the careful balance of oily hops and creamy malts.

A beefed up IPA with wondeful flavors and body. One of my favorite Cali IPA's without a doubt.

Photo of acrawf6
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear golden orange amber with a frothy white head. nice lacing.

Smell. lots of citrus hops, lemons and grapefruit. also has a small grassy bit to it.

Taste. Hops are citrusy and bitter. I get more lemons and grapefruit, but i also get a little bitter orange, like orange peel. malts are present to give it a nice backbone, but i dont get too many distinct malty flavors. Aftertaste is bittering.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium and crisp. nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very nice ipa. A nice flavored ipa when i want a heavy citrusy hop craving.

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

A - Bright dark orange color. Bright white head, very rocky and sits nicely at a thick eighth inch. Strong lacing.

S - Very fragrant hops, part citrusy and part piney. A faint sweetness plays in the back with peppery spices.

T - Starts thin feeling, slightly oily, with a bitter sweetness. Hops come through very sweetly and seem to increase in bitterness as they finish off the taste.

M - Thin to medium consistency and low carbonation. Sort of a creamy mouthfeel.

D - VERY easy drinking beer. Not too much going on in the taste, its nonabrasive, creamy and simple. A simple tasting IPA, with strangely high alcohol (not detectable). It would have amazing sessionability if the alcohol weren't so high. I could see drinking 5 or 6 of these if that were the case.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Lagunitas shaker pint, Racer 5 is a clear copper with medium, oatmeal colored head that fades fairly quickly but leaves lots of very nice looking lace.

Aroma is moderate for a west coast IPA, resinous and earthy. I like to serve my IPAs on the colder side as far as ales go, which of course mutes the smell. As it warmed a bit, I picked up some lemony citrus, as well as alcohol.

The taste is much more of the hop smacker that I was hoping for, whew! Actually, the initial taste was a nice biscuit malt, but it immediately is overwhelmed by a ton of piny, spicy hops. I can't get enough of hops, at least aroma and flavor wise, and this one doesn't disappoint, but is in fact very satisfying in that regard. What's more, while the finish is satisfyingly bitter, it's not out of control, which ruins some of the hops bombs for me. Nice! The malt plays an ancillary role here, providing a nice touch of sweet bread. The only strike, is that it's a tad hot for only being a 7% west coast IPA, but it's not enough to upset a very enjoyable experience. It amplified as the brew warmed, but I like to drink my IPAs fridge cold, and only really let this warm to explore the aroma, so I won't really dock it much for that.

The mouthfeel is on medium side, with a very nice creaminess, but it leaves a sticky coating hop oils.

This is a great beer, a quintessential example of the west coast style. Next time I drink this, I will be sucking them down and probably getting drunker then I should, rather then take to much time breaking it down, because it's very good and every sip just beckons another.

Photo of btcook007
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer scored #1 among 5 IPA's tasted. IPA's were rated as follows: Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (1); Port Brewing Wipeout IPA (2); Stone Ruination IPA (3); Samuel Smith's IPA (4); and Decadent Imperial IPA (5).

Samuel Smith's was the only English IPA in the tasting, and I intended to use it as a "baseline" against American IPA's. However, I found it much too malty and not hoppy to my tasting. I would suggest that it tastes like an IPA would have tasted at the end of the long English-India voyage for which it was designed. The American brews were all decidedly much hoppier and less maltier than the English standard.

I would also add that I am biased in favor of big hoppy flavor to my beers, and I am looking for less "balance" in an IPA.

The Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA was excellent.

A: It is a medium-coppery colored brew. Its head was one finger of white head which dissipated the 2nd quickest of the group.

S: It was well-balanced, with a pronounced hoppiness on the smell consisting of citrus and some lighter pine.

T: Very well balanced, with a wonderful sweet foretaste followed immediately by a pine citrus hop flavor. Fills the mouth with a nice, balanced pine and burnt flavor which melds nicely from the foretaste. A good amount of bitterness lingers on the aftertaste.

M: Nice effervescent mouthfeel from the foretaste, settles in nicely.

D: I could have this with anything!

Photo of Rudgers73
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bomber and into an American pint glass. The beer is a deep golden/light amber color. Chunky, frothy head and very active carbonation. It smells like sweet grapefruit, chlorophyll, and apples. The taste is pleasant. The hops aren't as explosive as the smell hinted at leaving a very smooth, yet dry mouthfeel. Dry and bitter up front with sweeter, more forgiving citrus in the middle followed by a very sharp bitter grassy taste at the very end. Smooth and rich flavor profile, not overly teeming with flavor keeping it light and refreshing. Slight alcohol heat after a few more drinks. Great example of an American IPA. Quite similar to Southern tier IPA.

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

22 oz. bottle

A: Copper, hazy red with thin sticky white head with good retention.

S: Grapefruit, citric hops, with malt and some tropical fruit, mango and papaya.

T: The tropical fruit shows its stuff, but also brings a more bracing pine bitterness, not overpowering, very balanced, especially for a West Coast IPA.

M: Creamy, full bodied, with almost a chewy bitterness.

D: Very good, a delicious example of the West Coast IPA style, its balanced character makes it a good anytime beer, the alcohol level does not show at all. Another great offering from the fellas at Bear Republic.

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

Appearance: Golden-amber, transparent with a long-lasting head.

Smell: Citric hops with a sweet, malty backbone - it's like a ripe grapefruit.

Taste: Slightly grainy and bready. Lots of hops, but they're by no means overpowering. They have a nice citrus quality, sharp but balanced, with a subdued but distinct sweetness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much perfect for the style. Medium-bodied, very crisp, fine bubbles, not at all harsh.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, but not exactly sessionable due to the fairly high ABV.

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

Pouring with a super massive over the top meringue like head, this reddish topaz brew shows lots of sediment and all the good stuff left in, relatively unusual for an IPA. This is a great beer; beautifully balanced piney and citric hops and huge malting make for an IPA with all the right elements to make this a very refreshing and very impressive brew. Careful metering of the ingredients result in an IPA that is properly and proportionally put together. Everlasting, never ending, and lip smacking sticky hop sensations last for minutes in the mouth and tongue. This is a brew made to a recipe that reflects integrity, ingenuity and restraint resulting in a beer that is well beyond the sum of its parts. Bravo!

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

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint, but is mostly of caramelized malt & citrus with a light background of hops.

T: The taste is excellently balanced with flavors of floral hops, citrus sweetness and caramel. The hops bitterness isn’t as strong as most IPA’s but it good enough without overpowering you. The malt character is on the thin side for the style. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, dry and very clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not filling at all, nice kick, good representation of style, this beer is certainly on the lighter side for an IPA, but it works very well. I could definitely stick with this beer for a full evening.

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

veddy veddy goood!!!

this is one yummy IPAl. i would love to put a pony keg of this in my fridgetater! poured from a bottle and was happy with all the usual...head, carbonation, lace, color, etc

if you like IPA, i highly recomend you search for this like your long lost pup! hell i would rather have a supply of these rather than any mangy k9!

suckem up and movem out!!!


Photo of Atlas1
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into one of my DFH tulip pint glasses. The Racer 5 delivers a brightly colored orange/amber body with a full-bodied, off-white head. Sticky lace remnants cling to the sides of the glass as the beer recedes, and the foamy head soon dies down, leaving thick, clumpy foam globules in the middle of the beer. I like what I see so far. The nose on this beer is bold and hoppy, with strong grapefruit and pine scents being the most recognizable. Also apparent are some malty cut-grass scents, and other resiny citrus smells. The taste is tart and tangy up front, with a nice malt balance in the middle, and a pleasant hop bitterness in the finish that lingers for a while. More pine than citrus in the overall taste, with some light fruity esters permeating throughout. Mouthfeel is sturdy. A nice, strong IPA here. Even modest fans of hops might find a few things to enjoy here, and devout hopheads should definitely seek this out as yet another addition to the repertoire. Bold and refreshing, but unoffensive. An all-season beer, in my opinion.

Photo of Redwood21
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: great look to it has a nice amber look with a great white head that lasts until the beer is 100% gone very quality look,
S: once again the nice hop aroma, nothing too strong. sorry i cant elaborate on tis but very good nothing special
T: very solid. i got a 22ozer at the bar. it tasted very nice, with some hops and a slight fruit citrus taste but nothing overwhelming. it was less bitter and more light than i expected but was extremely drinkable because of this. is was very enjoyable

Photo of RJLarse
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap the Elk Public House in Spokane. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a rich gold color and is hazy. Smallish foamy white head. Resilient rings of lace on the glass.

There is a mild aroma. Fresh and piney.

Sweet citrus flavor with a mild bitter finish. Juniper and pink grape fruit flavors. Bit of sweet bread flavor underneath. Not your typical hopped up IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth light and mildly carbonated.

This is a very drinkable IPA. Not overly bitter. I'd have this one again.

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

Poured from a 220oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A golden color with an orange hue as well. Large thick white head forms on top.

S: Your standard IPA aromas; piney hops, light citrus, pale malts.

T: Delicious hops dominate the palate. The hops are not bitter, but instead very flavorful and tasty. There is a small fruit middle, but not as dominate as a lot of other IPA's. The aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Lots of hop oils in there as well.

D: A very drinkable IPA due to the great flavor of the hops. Not a lot of bitterness in this brew so it goes down east. A classic IPA in my book, one of the best out there.

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

lighter in color than i expected, this was a hazy bright apricot with thick off-white lacing. looks enticing. as soon as i cracked the bomber the sweet malt notes jumped out at me. tropical and citrus fruit notes were also present, along with some fresh bread dough. overall a wonderful bouqet. taste is a wonderfully balanced interplay between the sweet malts and the significant hop bitterness. not a soapy or rough bitterness either, instead it is cleansing in character. again, the balance of this beer is phenomenal. medium in body with a lively, creamy mouthfeel. nice long finish. the alcohol in this is not discernable. i normally score lower in drinkability for beers above 6.5% abv but i can't for this one. a must try beer.
update: have had this many times since it's release in 6ers and it hasn't been as impressive as in the bomber format. hops have seemed faded in both aroma and taste, leading it to be a bit on the sweetish side and overall not quite as impressive. Have even started seeing some particulates.

Photo of Atron67
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-has a nice copper color with massive head, that stuck around forever and left huge lacing
S- has a big hop smell piney, a little malt but mainly hops
T- has a great big hop burst flavor, malty, very smooth and tasteful
M- medium/light body with a crisp carbonation flows very well over the ton
D- high, could drink a ton if i wanted

Photo of jeffjfindley
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very cloudy orange color, with a very substantial head that goes the extra mile. Smell is lively west coast IPA all the way, pine & citrus. Taste is typical, nothing out of the ordinary. Big, cloying nugget hops dominate. Mouthfeel is rich and sticky. Not in love with this one. It's well-executed and all, but pales (sorry) in comparison to offerings from some other west coast micros. I loved the Hop Rod, but found this rather one-dimensional and not terribly interesting.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice orange-ish hue, and a white head. Hops in the aroma, somewhat smell like pine. A nice malt that leaves a sweet presence, pine like hops, and a nice dry finish. A very tasty beer, I wish this would be a bit easier to get around here. I think that it would a regular staple beer for me.

Photo of frazbri
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA poured clear copper with a strong, bright white head. Aroma had a strong pine punch with a little floral accent. Flavor is strongly bitter, especially out front, with a touch of citrus and sweetness. Body was medium high in carbonation and thickness and a little dry in the finish.

This is a west coast IPA. It's a not so subtle, highly hopped beer that may scare the uninitiated, but is a good choice for the hop-heads.

Photo of Damian
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank on-tap at The Mission Bar & Grille, Boston, MA

Poured a clear, copperish-amber with a small, foamy, white head that faded to a lasting ring of lace.

The aroma was fragrantly hoppy, yet well balanced. Flowery, aromatic hops were met by ripe tropical fruits, citrus and some candy-like sweetness.

The taste however was punchy, one-dimensional and completely unbalanced. Intense cascade hops and hop oils took over from the very start and never let up. The hoppiness was grapefruit-like, piney and resiny. Just when I thought things could not get anymore intense, the hops crescendoed into the puckeringly bitter and slightly dry finish.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and rather sticky.

All in all, this was a hop monster, pure and simple. While the 7% ABV was rather well hidden, I found my tolerance for the lack of balance and overwhelming bitterness waning from the very start. I really had a difficult time finishing this one. Definitely a beer to be enjoyed only by a true hop head.

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