Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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6,693 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,693
Reviews: 2,208
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 223
Gots: 654 | 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: 6,693 | Reviews: 2,208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Swedes21
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - beer poured with a good 2 finger white, foamy head.. Hazy ale colour you can see a LOT of carbonation present. The lacing and retention was pretty amazing as well.

Smell - fantastic smelling beer! Lot of smells come to life early , including the pine and hops. There are citrus nodes in there too. very well seperated!

taste - such a powerful beer, hops galore along with a solid pine taste. There is some sweetness to be found as well, overall very smooth with a flavour packed tasting.

mouthfeel - everything in the beer comes fwd more, found the aftertaste was around a lot longer and more overall bitterness.

drinkability - this is a beer for someone who likes powerful IPA's. If you've never had one, wouldnt recomend starting off with this beer. Wish i had more, looking fwd to the DIPA now!

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

Dull amber color with an off-white crown of foam and some light lace. The smell of hops is noticeable on the nose with a faint citrus aroma. Strong citrus flavors come through first dominated by a semi-sweet orange with a trace of grapefruit held in check by a malty backbone. A nice fresh, cleansing hoppy quality on the finish that's dry and snappy. Everything is blended to near perfection. For a relatively high ABV beer this one goes down easily and is delicious to boot. I could probably drink a handful of these before I knew what hit me, and I mean that as a nod to the beer and not my stupidity. At any rate, I highly recommend this one.

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

I like Bear Republic Brews even though I know a lot of people find them 'unique' versions of style
This pours a nice clear orange amber with a craggy white 2 finger head that melts to a wonderful lacing that follows the drink throughout the glass.
Aroma is slightly sweet hops with light fruit and maybe pine.
Taste is all hops to start with then a sweet grapefuit that leaves a dry aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is smoothly buttery or oily with tiny carbonation and light alcohol burn as you swallow.
Very nice west coast IPA....not as smooth (or mild) as Bridgeport IPA, but not meant to be.
I can drink several of these

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

This is the first keg I got for my new home draft system. It brings a tear to my eye every time I go to the wall and pull a pint...
Pours a bright golden-orange color, topped by a finger's worth of creamy white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma of grassy, sticky hops is exceedingly fresh - strange notes of cannabis and other plant material are a bit off-putting at first until you get used to them. Palate is balanced between floral hops and mildly sweet malt up front, then the full hop assault takes over. Bitter, grassy hops emerge mid-palate and basically erase any trace of malt. Finish is grassy, but not too bitter.
Mouthfeel is full and a bit sticky, with a coating of resin left all over the interior of my mouth. While this one goes down easy, it's also a rather heavy hitter, and a bit dangerous to have just flowing out of my living room wall. Oh well, that's the price you pay for greatness, I guess.

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

Poured into an over sized snifter.
Listening to: Phil Lesh and Friends 4.17.99
A: A golden body, with a slight haze sits under a white layer of foamy head. Thick drapes of lace line the glass. A head that thins out, but holds a foamy characteristic thought.

S: A bold, blast of hops. Notes of orange and alcohol come through. An aroma that does not have the diversity of many fruits, I am just finding orange. An aroma which does not jump out of the glass, but does balance nicely with the beer as a whole.

T/M: A great hop/malt balance, the front of this beer is a great hop explosion, the finish is a smooth malt kick. On the finish the malt is not over powered by the hop presence, which kicks back in on the lingering taste. I think this maybe the perfect hop profile in an IPA. I think just shy of perfect due to its lack of bitterness. This is a sweet hop profile, unlike many other IPAs.

D: A very good overall beer, blending all aromas, tastes and sweet hop, lingering sensations, this is an all around beer. Nice to have a bomber of this stuff, and at a good price, not bad.

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

bomber purchased at corporate foods, i mean whole foods, in Madison

appearance: hazy orange/peach, thick foamy white head with very impressive lacing, lots of sediment in the 2nd half of the bomber

smell: mmm hops...i can tell this is going to be good from my first smell...very floral hops, especially heavy on the citrus, nice pine scents as well

taste: very hoppy, just the way i like it. Nice fresh citrus hops balanced out by the piney taste. Its a taste bud explosion with very juicy and bitter hops...light malts help balance it out. alcohol well hidden

mouthfeel: juicy and bitter, clean finish

drinkability: no issue downing this bomber

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

props to IanSpindler for including this in a random trade a while back
A - slightly hazy golden, splenty of rising carbonation, one thumb of creamy white head retained nicely with plenty of sticky lacing
S - light citrus, fresh grass, bubble gum, mild biscuit, and buttery bread, well balanced aromas
T - gentle tropical citrus with some mellon, fresh floral and grassy hops, buttery biscuit malt support, this is definitely a treat
M - refreshingly carbonated and relatively light, super crisp up front, somewhat savoury with mild dry bitter finish, brightens up the palate without attacking it
O - this is incredibly tasty while being delicate and balanced, super sessionable, and all around outstanding brew

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

Slightly hazy orange with about 1/2 inch of head that diminishes quickly, but leaves a great sticky web of lacing.

Huge citrus hops in the nose and a slight floral-perfume smell. I caught a little apricot in there, too.

Pungent citrus hops... grapefruit and orange. The transition to the malt is flawless. It's a nice balance and the malt knows it's place and is very submissive to the bittering effect of the hops. Delicious.

Full body and crisp, clean carbonation. Very fresh tasting. The bitter finish is spot on.

Great drinkability. It's smooth, refreshing, and juicy. I could drink these all night.

This is a great example of a flat out quality IPA.

Photo of GRG1313
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a lovely clear orange amber with a short white head.

Asssertive nose of cooked pineapple and hints of grapefruit. Some lemon and lemon cream in the nose.

Great big mouth feel, with a medium/heavy body and an almost perfect balance.

Big flavors of bitter pineapple/grapefruit that gives way to gigantic strong but rich pine/pine resin flavors and character.

Finishes with sweet malt that quickly gives way to to strong pine resin finish. An extremely well balanced, flavorful Double IPA. Just great with all kinds of food.

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

22 oz. Bottle.

Pours to thick, rocky white head with lacing and clear dark gold color. Aroma is strong on citrusy hops backed up with sticky sweet malt aromas. Flavor is rather complex. Strangely the malt sweetness-mostly caramel and biscuit notes-leads with the hops coming in toward the finish to balance it out. It tastes like the brewer took care to let the malt come through. Mouthfeel is creamy and CO2 is just right. Overall, a complex, well made IPA with depth of character that sets it apart from the pack of American style IPAs.

This sampling was not as intense as some reviewers reported. Maybe the bottle is a bit old (but not over the hill)?

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

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a finger of frothy white head. Solid retention and leaves nice lacing.

S - Hop aromas dominate - mainly citrus with a floral, herbal quality as well. Subtle sweet maltiness in the background.

T - Nice, complex hop flavors, which hint at grapefruit and orange with some grassy, herbal flavors in there as well. Balanced with a slight caramel malt sweetness with a crisp, bitter finish. Has a nice, fairly strong bitterness, but retains its smoothness throughout.

M - Medium bodied with a resinous feel. Nice level of carbonation.

D - Full flavored, bitter, and well balanced. A very solid offering I will definitely have to try again.

Photo of nc41
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew just affirms the goodness of everything Bear Republic makes at a terrific price. This was my second bomber and if you like IPA's there is no way not to like this brew. Pours nice, looks great, holds a nice head, nice lacing, about what you expect from a quality IPA. The taste is really where it's at and this one is a smack of hops on the tongue, but also feels light and refreshing in the mouth. I wouldn't call this one fruity, but it's definitely not sticky and overly piny tasting either. A really solid IPA that is dangerously drinkable, and the 7% ABV is perfect for the style. I wish I could get it in 12 oz bottles instead of bombers, but I'd very easily buy this one again, and it would be case worthy if I could get it.

Edit: I can and I did. Just an outstanding IPA in a world being driven by DIPA's. Modus, Racer 5, = the best everyday IPA's out there. Sculpin is great but it's seasonal.

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

Thanks to BlueOkie for this one.

A rich gold hue with white one-finger head, laces astonishingly well. Looks like a good beer.

odors are relatively weak until it opens up a little. What does peak through is a sweet citrus character, perhaps oranges and a bit of pineapple. The hops aren't all that present in the nose. Juicy fruit chewing gum.

Taste is definitely grapefruit and pineapple along with piney hop characteristic. Both the smell and taste open up as it warms, drink this one slowly. The bitter hops subside with time and the juicyness dominates everything, even the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth until you swallow. bitterness attacks, but it eases up with the rise of the temperature.

A very nice IPA. Very easy to drink. You don't want to stop sipping. But it gets so much better when it warms, so serve at the proper temperature. Damn, i shouldn't have given the other half of the bomber to my girlfriend. I would like to get a case of this stuff, if it was distributed in Florida.

Photo of mtomlins
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Racer has a nice straw/hay color and pours to a white, cloudy (almost creamy) head. As the head falls, it leaves nice lacing on the glass. The beer is a bit hazy/cloudy, but as it is bottle conditioned, this is to be expected.

S: Racer has a big nose. Up front there is sweet fruit and citrus (oranges and a touch of grapefruit) with a touch of pine there as well.

T: Sweet malt and a blast of hops, bitter on the tongue but not overly. There is plenty of citrus and lots of juicy fruit. Racer finishes long and dry and begs another sample! Excellent balance and highly drinkable.

M: Full and round, smooth.

O: An awesome beer! A beautiful nose, sweet, fruity and a touch piney. It tastes fantastic, sweet and malty, hoppy, juicy, bitter and long. What impresses me the most is how balanced the beer is.

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

22 oz bomber bottle. Cloudly dull amber color. Off-white head, not nearly as rocky and fluffy as the XP Pale Ale. Moderate cascade hop presence. Nice citrus and floral notes. Not as juicy and resiny as the other one either, but still a nose full of fresh hop aromas.
Taste is tight, sharp and bitter. Very good IPA flavors. Bitterness is sharp and cuts through the palate. Leaves huge bitter hole on the tongue. Sweet malty undertone. Very gulpable. Easy to guzzle, and guzzle. Resounding hop burps. Cleansing. Very good IPA. I paired this with a grilled barbecue pork chop and horseradish cheddar covered broccoli. It did the job perfectly. Cut right through the tangy barbecue sauce and horseradish cheese. Highly recommended. I wish I had more of these Bear Republic beauties. It was pure pleasure to drink them the last 2 nights.

Photo of Silenus89
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

POured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A. Hazy gold in color with a nice one finger head that left lacing

S. Fruity hops smell with alittle malt to it

T. Pine and fruity hops finished with a malty sweetness

MF> Medium bodied with good carbonation

D. This has a good drink ability i need more, definitely!

Photo of oline73
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear golden amber color. There is a two finger off white head of which a layer remains.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate with some mild herbal notes. Some of the sweetness comes from the malt.

Taste: Citrus hop bitterness hits the tongue pretty hard initially. There is some sweet malt in the background. The flavor is a bit peppery and the finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and an appropriate level of carbonation. There isn't any dryness at all.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer. I really like the hop profile and will visit it again.

Photo of kylejohnson03
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz botle into an imperial pint glass. A hazy burnt orange pour, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smells are hoppy, pine, citrus, just a touch of orange peel.

Incredible hop flavor, with grapefruit and malts following close behind. The finish is very dry, not a touch of alcohol to be found. Without looking at the bottle, I would think this is a weaker IPA, maybe 5.0 ABV. Medium carbonation. Such a creamy texture, goes down smooth and rich.

All around, a great beer! Love the taste, texture, and the value. A reasonably priced bomber that I would put up against some higher priced IPAs that I have had.

Photo of dsa7783
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second sample from Bear Republic, and I am continually impressed by their big, bold, flavorful, aggressive beers... their IPA is an excellent depiction of the style - full-bodied, aggressive, loaded with hops, bittersweet, with caramel and vanilla essences... clear, lucid amber and copper appearance with a strong aroma suggesting of caramel and hops... in terms of taste, the hops certainly do dominate this one... bursting with enormous, strong flavor, the hops really come through on this one, crisp, clean, and ultra-refreshing and thick... great taste that is very true-to-the-style and full of quality... smell is loaded with hops, citrus, lemon, and florals... flavor strongly complements the aroma and does a great job at making its full-flavored quality known... if you're looking for a true, authentic, full-bodied IPA, this is the one for you, great stuff from Bear Republic... great creamy, rich mouthfeel and good drinkability make this a great American brew... really good stuff, and definitely recommended...

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 nUgZ
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a 1 finger head and some suspended sediment floating around. Nice lacing.

S: Sweet floral and citrus hops along with some faint bread.

T: I taste the hops, but not really floral or citrus like the smell would lead you to believe. Very light malt flavor in the end. Nicely balanced and not overpowering. The alcohol is well hidden.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

O: Very impressive West Coast IPA. Hoppy enough for the hopheads to be happy, but smooth and balanced enough for anyone to enjoy. Well done Bear Republic!

Photo of bstave
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle (bottled 12-06-11) poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint glass.

A- Hazy golden with off-white two finger head and decent lacing. Right for the style.

S- Smell is pungent grapefruit, pine and Bazooka Joe bubble gum

T- Taste is big citrus and pine hops with that Bazooka Joe bubble gum. Hop forward, but balanced near the end. Good!

M- Medium body with medium carbonation. Prefer it to be a bit more viscous.

O- I have had this beer many times, even at the brewpub in Healdsburg. One of my favorite go to IPAs. However, the recent price hike at my local store may keep me from picking this up in the future. Looking forward to visiting the brewpub again though.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden with an orange hue; excellent lacing and a good head.

S: Lots of citrusy hops. For an IPA, lots of malt to intrigue what's coming to the palate.

T: Plenty of hops at the outset. A smooth, slightly caramel malt behind all the hops. A bready/biscuit flavor is there, but the hops certainly dominate.

M: Nice and creamy for an IPA. Goes down incredibly smooth.

D: Ask for another! This is one terrific IPA, and I can't wait to get out to CA to try more of Bear Republic's brews.

Photo of obrike
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 12 pack at Round Rock Specs for 15.99...very nice price.

Easily one of the better IPAs on the market. Bear Republic has two of my favorite beers out there, this along with Hop Rod.

Looks a bit cloudier than most IPAs I've had, but a nice spotty lacing that lasts through the entire glass.

Fantastic piney, citrusy scent, not overly sweet...exactly what a fresh IPA should smell like. Let's you know what you're in store for.

Yum...piney goodness in a glass. Not just pine though...grapefruit, maybe some lemon...malt balance is not as pronounced...and I like that!

Absolutely drinkable, and very affordable. At 7% abv, packs a nice punch, but not too strong, but still quite easy to go through a few in a sitting.

If you're an IPA fan and have not tried this, do yourself a favor and pick some up.

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

Got a sixer tonight while out of town for $7.69 in East Lansing, MI. :):)

Poured from a 12 oz bottle and looks like a perfect IPA. Great copper, rusty, amber color with a thin white-off white head.

This smells great!! Citrusy, sweet malt, grassy-very hoppy. One of the better smelling IPA's with a great balance of hops and malt.

The hops are very "West Coast" style forward. It's a bitter beer that is balanced nicely with a breaded malt upfront and finishes with a blast of hops and grapefruit. For some reason I get a lactose flavor with this. Not complaining and can't really explain it, but thought I would mention it.
Superb mouthfeel with a medium body and a great aftertate that is not too bitter but creamy.
You really can't detect the alcohol in this one and it's very drinkable. Bear Republic makes great beer, just wish they sold it in Indiana!

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,693 ratings.