Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

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2,226 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,226
Hads: 7,102
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 286
Gots: 955 | 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:
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,226 | Hads: 7,102
Photo of crossovert
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a 6 pack, not sure of the freshness on this one.

Pours into my American pint glass with a golden yellow, pliny-like, west coast all the way. THe head is white, tight, and foamy and rises above the brim ever so slightly. It takes a while to recede leaving behind some decent lacing.

Smells a bit Sierra Neavada like, with heavy lemon citrus and some herbally, spicy hops along with some pine and a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste is hoppy and sharply bitter, with more of a grapefruit citrus tinge along with grassy, herbal, piney hops. The malts are more prevalent in this one compared to other west coast IPAs I have had.

Overall it is a decent IPA, I was expecting more, but it is not bad. (710 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnished amber colour with off-white head, moderate upon pouring, good retention. Lace is very good indeed. Thick, curtainy, like a funeral veil. Slow bead; yeah looks pretty good.

Smell is citric. Very hoppy with slight resinous notes. Lemon, lime, slight woodiness and a hint of wax. Slight malty undercurrent. Raisiny edge to the malt. Quite nice, but not mind-blowing as an IPA.

Taste is quite nice. Malty for the most part with raisiny edges and an apricot tinge, cake-batter sweetness and then hop notes come in midway. Citric and quite tangy, without a lot of complex hop flavour but provides a nice floral finish that hangs around pleasantly. Again pretty good but could use more hop flavour.

Nice and filling mouthfeel, good texture atop a nice body. Suits the style and the flavour well.

A good solid IPA. It isn't blowing my mind, but there's lots of nice West Coast hop character and a good balance struck for nice easy drinking. (954 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, pint glass at The Iron Mule

A: Amber coloring, some lacing, but little head.

S: Crisp, bitter tones.

T: Ahhh the IPA. Not my favorite kind of beer, but I like the direction this was going with the bitterness.

M: Wonderful.

O: Second time having Racer 5, both were enjoyable. (291 characters)

Photo of OldYoda
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, hazy golden amber with a small head that rapidly disappears leaving some nice residual lacing.

Smell is subdued with an overlay of hops and a whiff of malty sweetness.

Taste is initially hops with a nice dry finish and a good balancing sweetness.

Mouthfeel is clean and dry.

Drinkability is fine - several of these is no problem. For a hophead, this is a very nice effort from Bear Republic. Bravo!! (420 characters)

Photo of watkins
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (535 characters)

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from the tap at Sunset in Allston, Ma. Presented to me in tulip glass the beer was a slightly dark golden/yellow color with one finger of frothy white head and little to no lcaing throughout the sample. No other outright signs of carbonation were to be seen.

The nose only has a suprisingly subtle hop bill to it. The aroma is more earthy and slightly floral. Hints of hoppy citrus come through but overall rather tame.

The taste features a hop profile that is bigger in the nose, but still rather subdued for the style. Some associated bitterness but far from a stinging hop bomb. A rather hearty malt balance lends to a slightly sweet taste in the finish with some slightly floral flavors. Overall the taste is well balanced, a characteristic not shown by most beers of the style. Rather mild in body and hop character as well.

Medium body and crisp to the finish.

This beer is certainly enjoyable and certainly very drinkable, but it pales in comparison to others of the style. The beer's balance is quite good. I would have like some more assertive hop character and bitterness with this one. A good beer on the whole, but not high among my favorites for the style (1,184 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear orangish, copper color. The pour produced one full finger of white sand that left some great spidery lace.

A: Big citrus, with orange, pineapple, and sweet mango. Pine resin and sugary caramel malt are also prominate.

T: Just like the nose would suggest. Big citrus and pine resin. The beer finishes bitter and super dry, just like an ipa should.

M: Medium to full body, good amount of carbonation. But a bit too creamy for the style.

D and overall impression: drinkability is just ok for me. I think it's a little to thick on the palate to be sessionalable, but the flavor is definately there. Overall this is a good beer but I'm not as high on it as some other ba's. Skal. (730 characters)

Photo of oggg
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of brewdoc75
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to pint glass. Bottled on 12/12/08.

A: Golden yellow in color. Quite light appearing. Crisp, bubbly white head atop.

S: Not a lot initially, but after it warms up I get a strong grapefruit aroma. Kind of one dimensional, but solid. I do get some faint sweetness from the malts as well.

T: Hoppy bitterness assaults the tongue initially. Once again, the grapefruit component really shines here. For those who like a grapefruity IPA, this is a great example. I do get some other citrus flavors as well, with a hint of tangerine and even some orange. The bitterness is long lasting and reaches to the next drink. The malts are not really there in this beer however. I am longing for a bit more balancing sweetness.

M: Crisp, light, and clean.

D: A pretty solid IPA. Not the best I've had and definitely not a bad one. I tried this after the Hop Rod Rye, which really overshadows this beer. It is worth a try, but there are some others I would drink on a daily basis before this one. (993 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber brew with a moderate sized head that dissipated in a few minutes, intricate patterns of lacing form on the glass.

S - Pine and grapefruit flesh.

T - A bit of pine and peppery alcohol that mesh until the aftertaste where the pine shifts into a bitterness, the pepper alcohol stays throughout. The foretaste also has some grapefruit flesh.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and refreshing.

D - Pretty good. I wouldn't say this is fantastic, but it is undoubtedly a solid IPA from Bear Republic. (513 characters)

Photo of Jesse13713
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a very light amber. A chunky lacing. Slightly cloudy with yeast floating around in it.

Smell - A slightly hoppy smelling IPA. A light lemon smell with hints of ginger lingering in the background.

Taste - A very smooth honey tasting IPA. Hints of pink grapefruit and ginger. Slight bitters with slight citrus hints as well.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Very tart and bitter. Hoppy and fresh with hints of yeast. (430 characters)

Photo of fox227
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours medium pale, not really pale, and not amber either. The head is slight, and doesn't retain for long.

S: Do I detect cotton candy? I smell a nice bouquet of flowers, and some sweetness.

T: The hop bitterness is nice, with a lot of the West Coast trademarks abounding: pine sap, citrus, bubblegum (!) but this beer tastes strangely hot for a 7%. For example, I recently had a Port Mongo (8.5%) and the alcohol levels were far better hidden than here. This beer is also rather biscuit forward, which I feel pairs better in the sweeter English style, rather than in the hoppy West Coast style.

M: Very hoppy, pretty dry.

O: This beer is somewhat of a surprise: a highly regarded hoppy IPA, and bottle conditioned to boot (I like that), but the have had quite a bit better as well. (800 characters)

Photo of pwoody11
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from notes:

Poured golden orange with a frothy off-white head.

Aroma was dominated by hops. Spices, pineapple, and grapefruit joined in nicely.

Taste was also mostly hoppy. Citrus and pine flavors combined with honey and apricot.

This was a pretty good IPA. Not quite as good as it's rated IMO, but hey, everyones taste is different. Recommend others give it a try. (369 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A "full pour" at the brewery.

Appearance - A little bit hazy/opaque. Not much head. Good (but not great) lace. Surprisingly pale.

Smell - Big hop hit! Orange peel.

Taste - Hoppy (obviously). Citrus. Tart. Clean.

Mouth - Wow! Tingly.

Overall - A bit much for me. I wouldn't call it balanced. This ale is so crisp it reminded me of Listerine. (348 characters)

Photo of spoony
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (with a code of some kind...I couldn't tell what it meant) into a globe glass.

A-This is a decent looking brew with a nice copper, orange golden color. There are some minor bubbles visible, but not much in the way of head; a thin white, slightly shiny head devolves quickly. A touch of lace is left behind.

S-The smell is a balanced mixture of buttery, toasted malts and fruity, lightly dank hops. The hops are sweet and orange flavored, but a little underwhelming. A slight hoppy oiliness comes out as the beer warms up to room temperature.

T-The taste, like the smell, is uh (read: uninspiring), balanced and there is more malt here than I would've expected. The hops are citrusy rather than pine-oily-dank, but there is a mild, peppery, spice in the finish. The flavors are a touch coarse.

M-The feel is creamy for the style with mild, fine carbonation and a medium body.

O-This brew hits the meh button for me. It wasn't unpleasant, but I expect an IPA with 7% ABV to provide a little more flavor firepower than this. Perhaps my bottle was old, but I felt like the hops had faded, almost into oblivion, and the result was a so-so brew that did not measure up to other examples of the style. (1,222 characters)

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellowish orange, with a quickly receding head, and leaves little spots of lace. The smell is grapefruity pine from the hops, with a subtle hint of musty groudcover, kind of like fresh mushrooms. The taste is, interestingly, strong with peanut flavor. There is a brief hint of syrupy sweet hops right before the peanut kicks in. The flavor melts into a blend of all these tastes, with a slightly astringent bitter taste. The beer feels both dry and lightly syrupy on the tongue. An interesting beer to be certain. (526 characters)

Photo of jjboesen
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My tasting followed an Avery IPA - and the prerequisite cleaning of the palate; so this reveiw should be considered in that light.

The head is about 1 inch and dissipates quickly; there is some lacing that does evaporate over time. The nose did contain some banana ester following a 10 minute temperature acclimation. (It was served rather cold - another factor to consider.) There was a noticable hint of orange as well and this was followed by a hearty hop aftertaste, one that lingers upon the tongue.

All in all, a fine IPA. Though my particular pint was a little less overwhelming than anticipated, I have had superb brews from this Left Coast craft brewer. Perhaps, I just need to drink some more ....? (710 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, orange brown in color

Smell: citrus hops, pine hops, and brown sugar

Taste: floral hops, slight pine hops, bread, and caramel malt

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, sweetish start with a moderately bitter middle and end

Drinkability: I could have a couple of these. A decent IPA that is very true to style. (358 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Citrus hop aroma, hints of orange and pineapple. Pithy and aggressive. Just a slight hint of sweet malt.

Not surprising hop forward flavor in the west coast style. Not much flavor from the malt. Hop flavors include citrus with subtle hints of grass and mint. Bitter finish. The flavor is just not that complex or interesting.

Not abuntantly carbonated but that was probably because of a day in a growler. Medium bodied.

No doubt a well made beer that perhaps did not show its best to this drinker. Just not enough complexity to excite. (677 characters)

Photo of mechamifune
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 oz bottle from sams in durham (the only place in the region that, to my knowledge, you can buy anything from bear republic.

upon pouring the beer had a relatively cloudy, thick appearance (noticeably more so that the founders double i had had the previous day). there was more of a malt undercurrent to the beer than i was expecting and a result the beer had more of a smooth taste than the crisper finish that i usually like in IPA's.

obvious bitter aftertaste and, due to the smoothness, easy to keep drinking. still, as a whole i was a little dissapointed, as i had fonder memories of this beer from my trip to southern california a few months earlier.

all in all still an anjoyable enough ipa, but there are a good many i would choose before it. (765 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent IPA, but not something I would want to drink alot of. The hops kind of have that crushed aspirin flavor. Good in small doses, but not refreshing, which is a quality I tend to look for in an IPA.

The beer pours to a clear golden blonde color with a wispy white head that recedes fairly quickly. Carbonation is good. Lacing is alright as well.

The smell is good. Lots of grapefruity hops. Not much else. Sweet and malty. The taste is syrupy and grapefruity with a big crushed aspirin amarillo flavor. Doesn't seem to be too bitter, just very sweet and citric. Would probably be bitter with a little less malt (and thus a lower ABV). This formula seems to do well for them, however. Whatever.

The body is fairly light, but it has a sticky, syrupy hop flavor that dries out somethin' fierce. Not something I'll be drinking again, unless it's just a small sample. (884 characters)

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 22 oz bottle into standard pint glass

A- Pours a clear golden orange with a little bit of an amber tint. A big frothy head stays quite well and leaves a nice bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A nice bit of pine with some citrus fruit in there. A nice malty backbone helps balance off the nose.

T- A bit of grapefruit, some pine and a little bit of sweetness from the malt. Hops are somewhat subdued in this one. I was expecting more of a west coast hop bomb. Not bad nonetheless.

M- Medium bodied brew that has a bit of a smoothness to it. There is hardly any bite on the tongue meaning not too much bitterness.

D- This is a pretty easy drinking IPA. It is not bad but there is nothing that really distinguishes it from other IPA's. (760 characters)

Photo of donniecuffs
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

UPDATE 11/23/11: Had this on tap again lately, and it was a more pleasant experience, with 2 notable points since last time: 1. the head retention and lacing was much better; 2. much more citrus midpalate (yet a thin'ish finish).

This review was for a 22oz bottle poured into an American pint glass, but I have also had it on tap, with varying results. As such, my big knock on this beer is inconsistency.

A: Orange/amber, with a thin head that dissipated quickly and laced spottily.

S: Very subtle citrus on the nose with an earthy/pine undertone. (The pint I had on tap was much more pronounced in citrus diversity.)

T: Ditto the aroma. Very lacking in citrus flavor, with earthy/woodiness dominating. Too much so for an ipa. Hoppy bitterness doesn't enter the equation until the dry aftertaste hits you. (Again, this was better on tap as well.)

M: Creamy, like most of the BR offerings, yet lightly drinkable.

D: Light to throw a few back, but needs more flavor. Again, the big knock on this beer is inconsistency. (1,024 characters)

Photo of Greggy
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a 1/2 finger sticky off white head with some clinging lace. The body is light orange/honey colored with ample yeasties holding still in suspension.

S- Good bits of pineapple, grapefruit, a bit of green apple skins, also slightly herbaceous.

T- Starts out with a very balanced malt and hopiness with notes of pine, some breadiness, alcohol is felt prior to the finish. The finish has a bit of dry maltiness but a lingering bit of anise which is kind of odd.

M- The body is big but the carbonation feels a bit low.

D- Overall, a decent IPA. I wouldn't likely have again. (583 characters)

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint.

Pours a medium honey color with a moderate head that leaves plenty of lace. Tiny bit of murkiness adds to the character.

Aroma is fresh hops and big malt. Earthy piny hops and toffee with buttered rolls. Sweet candy sugar and doughnuts.

Taste is upfront hops, bright and floral. Citrus hops are not very big here but piny earthy and floral tones are huge. Malt is there as a supporting actor and could be bigger. It's a shame it's not more represented, as the malt flavors in his beer are delicious. Vanilla cake and caramel with a touch of oakiness. Creamy milk-like characters of the malt are intriguing and good.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, slick and oily the malt has body without a ton of flavor which is a shame.

Wow, this beer would be in my top five if the malt were bigger and balanced the huge hop hit more. Even more so, as the malt character that comes through is very good. (927 characters)

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,226 ratings.