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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,579 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5579
Reviews: 2157
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%

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: 5,579 | Reviews: 2,157 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Ezone024


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at gales in petaluma CA. pours a hazy orange color with a 1 finger head..lots of lacing as you go. smells of earthy grapefruit and slight booziness.

the taste is very full it really punches you in the face with your first sip. the maltiness isnt very distinguished but it hits the back of your throat right before the citrus hops take over.tastes like a wide variety of hops were used in making racer 5.

very good west coast IPA a little boozy though. can drink a few but not too many.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2010 20:20:24 | More by Ezone024
Photo of sheikyerbouti


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This used to be my favorite beer, but it is typically better on tap than in the bottle. copper orange color, earthy hop nose, medium bitterness with a moderate mouthfeel.

My favorite american IPA's include stone IPA, Great Divide Titan, Avery IPA and Racer 5. Though after having yesterday at Lord Hobo on tap and today in a bottle, I have to say, it doesn't compete with the aforementioned others anymore. Great Divide, Stone and Avery are very close to each other, and from now on, I will buy whichever is the cheapest out of the 3. Racer 5 lacks the complexity and mouthfeel it used to have. I have even travelled to the brewery itself 2x, and although it is still a very good beer, I can no longer call it great.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 21:58:43 | More by sheikyerbouti
Photo of centbeerfest


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at home

A: cloudy with a light caramel/pumpkin color. Short head and compact bubbles

S: hoppy but not overwhekming.

T: crisp with a bit on the heavy side of hops. sour finish with lingering bitterness

M: hearty and will stand on its own

D: Little unbalanced on the hoppy side. Serious beer that won't leave you underwhelmed. As good on the last sip as the first.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 04:13:09 | More by centbeerfest
Photo of harrymel


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle date: unk

A: Pours a copper ale with single finger of off white foam which remains for a good five minutes without falling. The beer is hazy. Sheeting lacing. Good looker, only better with clarity.

S: malt, pine, resin, citrus, grapefruit, rinds, honey. Huh, better than I had anticipated. Plenty going on here. Good nose.

T: Plenty sweet. Caramel malts, pine, resin and citrus hops on the profile. hints of cotton candy and bubble gum. I've had this beer many times, but have not taken the time to actually assess the profile. Much better than I recall.

M: Medium to heavy body for the style. Low carbonation. Dry finish. Would prefer a little lighter on the body. Otherwise, nice.

O: well crafted brew. Diamond in the rough for me. Always have this beer available, don't know why I've not been hooked to this before - likely due to no bottle date.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 11:53:24 | More by harrymel
Photo of dansmcd


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy orange in body, rich in sediment, no head, no lace.

S - Big hop hit of grass and pine.

T - Very hoppy but not the tropical fruit overload I expected. Some orange and passionfruit but not in excess by any means. Quite dry.

M - Oily and smooth, medium body, tangy and dry. Lingering hop bitterness.

O - Id heard fantastic reports of this so was a little bit disappointed. A solid IPA but I think are many better out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 00:07:42 | More by dansmcd
Photo of TangTKE402

New York

3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Rare Vos pint glass. Golden brown in color with a nice, 1-finger ecru head and a touch of lacing. Hazy without being opaque.

S: Dried pine needles and some fresh citrus rind. A malted barley undertone with a fresh hop aroma that lingers. It smells inviting.

T: A dry maltiness on the tongue with a rich middle and a hoppy swallow. A bone-dry aftertaste lingers. This beer is a bitter IPA with a strong malt backbone. Flavors of bread with pine nuts, grapefruit rind, dead pine needles, earth, leather, and a pine tar bitterness are the main flavors I taste. An interesting juxtaposition between bready malts and piney hops. Not always blended smoothly...

M: Thick and robust without being overpowering, this beer has a great mouthfeel until the arid swallow and resulting afterfeel suck all of the moisture out of your mouth. Some people may be looking for that, but I like my IPAs a little more consistent.

O: For those interested in a complex, chalk-dry and bitter IPA, this is it. It's tasty, but oddly disjointed and disharmonious. I'd rarely pass one up, but there are more superior IPAs out there. I wish it tasted more like it smelled.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 00:12:55 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of MatthewWilde


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Lightly cloudy, very minimal internal carbonation, copper orange, tiny foamy head

S: Not incredibly fragrant, citrus fruits, hops, star fruit, all very light but simultaneously present

T: Light and delicious in flavor, definite citrus, pineapple, some green apple, perfect balance

M: Incredibly smooth, almost water-like in viscosity, easy to drink, refreshing, aftertaste is moderate, a bit lingering and drying however

O: A nice and smooth ipa, not incredibly flavorful and fragrant however, but refreshing all the same

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 04:00:23 | More by MatthewWilde
Photo of GuzzLah


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a clear, gold with a short white head and leaves a little lace. No bubbles.

S - pine, resinous, citrus hops. Soft pale malt. The yeast is neutral.

T - is like the aroma. Could be a palate wrecker with the hops they used, but they managed to make a potentially rough set of hops behave and play well together. The absence of caramel is appreciated in this brew.

M - low-medium body and carbonation. Medium bitterness for the style with a medium sustain and just enough sweetness to keep the bitterness in check.

O - this is a nice example of a restrained West Coast IPA. I'd be happy to drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 22:53:56 | More by GuzzLah
Photo of denver10


3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a firey orange golden with prickly white head and some lacing. Aroma is solid and enjoyable but not great and can get lost in the forest of great aromatic IPA aromas; juicy orange, its rind, doughy bread, and some grass. Flavor offers some nice sweet and juicy orange and its rind, some doughy bread, and a touch of some florals....so similar to aroma but a bit more filled out. A medium bodied, somewhat creamy, active mouthfeel. Overall, a very nice IPA. I dig it.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 00:57:49 | More by denver10
Photo of Jnashed


3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured in a simple pint glass. Date on bottle 10/30/13, so maybe a bit dated for an IPA but kept in a cool fridge.

A: cloudy pale orange. Moderate head and retention

S: biggie and citrus notes. Muted compared to others but maybe because of age on it. Still lots of orange rind and piney notes

T: yum.... Solid pine hop notes upfront with resin on the back end. Some fruit but not as fruity as many newer IPAs. Nice malt balance though.

M: nice full body and moderate carbonation.

O: Soild if not exceptional. Hits all the right notes of a good West coat IPA which of course it is.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 00:52:54 | More by Jnashed
Photo of watkins

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass:

A: Hazy orange-brown with hardly any head to speak of.

S: Smells sweet and malty with a muted hop scent.

T: Nice lemon-citrus notes, finished by a bitter hoppy bite, though not as floral as other IPAs can be.

M: Medium-bodied, great carbonation, for a heavier beer, sits on the tongue lighter than most despite its alcohol content.

D: This might be a once a month or two purchase for me, though I do love IPAs, I've definitely had fuller, more complex ones, namely Coast's HopArt here in Charleston, SC.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2008 04:57:21 | More by watkins
Photo of usmittymc


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Hazy golden oak pour with a rocky off-white head that reduces to a thick cap and leaves gobs and gobs of lacing.

S: Pepper, citrus. Very, very hoppy nose. I like.

T: Just as advertised by the nose, peppery, citrusy hops. Nice bready malt back balances things out nicely.

M: Moderate. A little bit of hop oil makes it a tad slick, but not in a bad way.

D: This is a great IPA to have around. I tend to prefer the bottle conditioned IPA's (2H Ale, Bridgeport, et al), so I will add a few more bottles of this to my beer cabinet. Actually, the similarities between Bell's 2 Hearted Ale and Racer 5 are striking, both even have numbers in their name...hmmmm

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 01:15:02 | More by usmittymc
Photo of beerbart


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a strong ale with a very citrusy smell and taste. it's sweet, but it's not.

How much sugar did you put on your grapefruit when you were a kid? A lot? Well, this is less than that.

It's bitter but it's not actively angry. It's piney, but it's not sticky.

It's good, but not a favorite.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 02:37:04 | More by beerbart
Photo of callmescraps


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lady friend picked this up at Whole Foods. She used it to barter for some cheese. Clever one that one.

Appearance - Nice light copper-orangish color. A little hazy with a half inch of head sticking around. Laces nicely all the way down.

Smell - Very nice. I definitely get the grapefruit, and the citrus, although there is something almost astringent lingering. Nice hoppy character.

Taste - Pretty hoppy up front. Definitely some of that citrus and grapefruit. Cascadish I might say. Can actually taste some bread in there as well. It dries pretty harshly however on the finish. Almost feels like I just used mouthwash. It's a little harsh on the back end. Also, there seems to be another level where this one can't quite reach. I could ask for a little more complexity.

Mouthfeel - Pretty rich. Coating the tongue, and a tad syrupy. Nothing too unpleasant though, pretty hearty.

Drinkability - Pretty solid. I enjoy it, and could put back a couple. The booze is pretty well disguised.

Overall, this is a nice IPA. It's got some good floral hoppiness, and decent intensity. It's just lacking a back end, and that extra something that sets the great ones apart. Still, a very solid bev. I've always thought of it as a reliably good beer, and this has done nothing to dissuade that opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 01:59:15 | More by callmescraps
Photo of twbrewer


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a amber/orange color with very little head but has lots of bubbles.Good lacing.

S-Sweet sticky caramel malts mixed with sweet citrus hops.A hint of vanilla and maybe a maple syrup aroma.

T-The taste is exactly like the smell,almost too sweet.

M-Lighter than expected.Upfront it is almost prickly yet smooth.It does have a slightly bitter and dry finish.

D-This was not what I expected for an IPA.I could get hooked on these but bet that supply will be limited in my area.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 06:26:31 | More by twbrewer
Photo of Brad007


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden-copper color with floaties (?) and a thick head that fades down, leaving lacing.

Aroma is full of floral hops and biscuity malt in the nose. Standard for the style.

Taste is full of floral hop bitterness upfront with a strong alcohol warmth and not much else showing up in the middle. Bready, biscuity flavors do make an appearance though.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hops and malt and alcohol warmth. I'm not sure what the floaties are but they don't seem to affect the taste much as I can tell.

Not bad but it would probably be better fresh. Again, it's a case of me not reading the bottling date before buying. Still a decent IPA though.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 22:34:49 | More by Brad007
Photo of jjanega08


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a very nice amber color with a nice thick creamy three finger head that's got great retention and awesome sticky lacing.
S= not as impressive as the look. A little weak. Some grassy hops come through as well as some citrus.
T= a little weaker than expected also. Just more hops I suppose. Some grass and mild citrus hops. Nothing bitter extreme or offensive about it. Decent but for an ipa I think it should bite back a little more.
M= very nice creamy and a little dry in the finish.
D= great. This beer wasn't what I expected it to be but its still very nice. I think its somewhat mild and tame but still very good and ill likely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 04:46:54 | More by jjanega08


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: Average-size head, fizzy, white in color with decent retention. The body is a clear golden yellow. Average lacing.

S: Respectable malt presence of hay/straw. The hops are a mixture of Columbus and Cascade and provide a heavy dose of grapefruit, orange rind, flowers and, odd as it may sound, I picked up on a wild onion grass aroma. There is a pleasant earthy yeast character to add to the aroma's complexity.

T: The alcohol is almost completely masked, but not quite. Very subtle tropical fruit suggestions of honeydew melon, guava and passion fruit. Lightly acidic and leaning towards the bitter end.

M: The Racer 5 is light in body and on the thin side. The alcohol comes through more than one would expect from a 7% brew (and particularly so on the finish). A fizzy carbonation adds some structure to the mouthfeel. Finishes bitter.

D: A go-to/fall-back kind of IPA for me. While it will never offend, it certainly won't excite either.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2010 02:13:32 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Bright light orange pour. One finger of bubbly white foam. Decent retention. Nice rings of lacing.

Citric hop aroma that is very perfume-y. Not a whole lot to the nose aside from that.

Hop flavor touches both citrus and pine, with the pine being more prominent in the finish. Malt flavor is somewhat bready and sweet.

Medium bodied. Fairly light carbonation, not very active on the tongue. Very, very drinkable. An approachable West Coast IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 18:44:31 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of Khazadum


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber on my latest incursion into a Chicago Binny's. Was looking for a new IPA to try and heard good things about Bear Republic. Why not try it? Poured many times into my brandy snifter.

The pour leaves a beautiful amount of head that does not leave much lacing as it dissipates. The body is a stereotypical amber color, and when held to the light it matchs commerical apple juice. Not bad, but not the best.

The nose on this is quite enjoyable. It foreshadows a delicious brew. The spicy bitterness of the hops comes through in the very first breath. A slight citrus note is balancing the bitterness. Perhaps, grapefruit in nature.

Flavor Profile
The bouquet was not lying for this beverage. The liquid sloshes around and releases the fruity flavors upon my tongue. They quickly change over into the bitterness of the hops which seems to linger into the finish. The end isn't anything to be ashamed of. It hits the bitter portions of my tongue and seems to hug the sides of it while leaving the rest clean. For a 7% beer, this definitely doesn't show up at all. Not even in the last pours of the bottle do I find a hint of alcohol. This is not to say that it needs it, but it was unusual to not find it.

Oral Sensations
AS IPAs go, I don't expect them to be syrup and I don't expect them to be bottled water. However, this one tends to lead more towards a watery texture than what I've become accustomed to. I think this actually benefits the beer rather than hinders it. As its texture isn't any thicker, it leaves a possibly cleaner finish. I put it somewhere just below some German Pilsner's I've had.

For the price that I paid for this brew, there is no doubt in my mind. Buy it! Now! It is delicious, affordable, and comes in a great size. I will definitely be purchasing this beer again, if not for its solid offering to the IPA style than for its price tag.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 07:35:21 | More by Khazadum
Photo of tone77


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a small head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is dominated by hops, some citrus and hints of malts, very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 15:19:20 | More by tone77
Photo of oggg


3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a gorgeous brown yellow, with a tempting dense tan head. The nose is a little lacking. I get malt and alcohol and a little bit of hop aroma. The hop taste is also underwhelming. Lots of nice malt and a fair amount of alcohol. The hops are complex with a little citrus and little something else. I could not find a freshness date, so I definitely need to try this again, maybe on tap.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2004 18:25:04 | More by oggg
Photo of loosey

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle... a vibrant gold with sudsy one inch head into a pint... really really clear... this thing laces like a foam wall inside my glass

i can smell this shit from where its sitting on the table, which is impressive.. but the extremely floral hop aroma drowns just about everything else out, there is something sweet lurking in there

overwhelming sensation of rolling around in hopbushes with your mouth open, you can taste the alcohol with some pine... a little off balance though.. the finish is lip smacking bitter... creamy, medium to heavy bodied, adequately carbonated...

sometimes when the aroma hop is so prevalent it reminds of my youthful days huffing potpourri scented air freshener while making bombs out of christmas balls, gasoline, and styrofoam to throw at the kids up the block while they lounged on the couch in their front lawn, which can be a detraction from enjoying the beer.. that aside this is obviously a well crafted beer and drinkable to a certain extent, id say more than 2 of these bombers might taint my palette beyond my comfort level for one evening

oh.. this will make your face hot

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 03:02:54 | More by loosey
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Racer 5 India Pale Ale....

Appearance-Brown pour, orange as well, nice head that settles perfectly.

Smell-smokey sweetness, oily hop aroma, heavy alcohol.

Taste/Mouthfeel-alcohol, slight burn, really hoppy, some juicyness,. Decent taste.

Drinkability-heavy alcohol but it tastes good and is fairly balanced.

Overall-This is a good IPA, I'm not sure it's as knock your socks off as many feel but I can't deny that it's a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 01:12:05 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of JamesS


3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent mid-copper color with some good head and lacing, even if it goes away fairly fast. Nice scent, very hoppy with some nice citrus American hops, and enough malt to keep it from being too "un-sweet." Good taste, mostly hops, with some malt thickness if not some malt taste. Goes down well.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 20:30:08 | More by JamesS
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,579 ratings.