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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.

6,831 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,831
Reviews: 2,229
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 246
Gots: 772 | 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: 6,831 | Reviews: 2,229 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MilesRaymond
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of leaddog
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle.

Appearance - Pours a clear amber/copper with two fingers of frothy white head.

Smell - Citrus hops, pine resin, caramel malts, tropical fruits.

Taste - Bold and bitter citrus hops along with pine resin, citrus peel, tropical fruits and biscuity caramel malts. Finishes with a clean bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight stickiness left on the roof of the mouth.

Overall - A beer that does not fail to amaze me, especially since it has been on my "want" list for quite some time. Excellent hop bitterness and flavour by the mouthful.

Photo of pburland23
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Beer pours a coppery amber with a faint head that quickly recedes and leaves a generous amount of lacing.

In my opinion, Racer 5 is one of the best smelling beers on the market. One whiff revels a cascade of piney and citrus hops aroma. It's the quintessential West Coast IPA aroma.

Taste is highlighted by an aggressive hops bitterness but is balanced out my the malt.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. For a beer topping out at 7.0%, Racer 5 is ridiculously drinkable. In my opinion, this one of the best IPAs available at the moment. It never fails to deliver.

Photo of Sox311
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great West Coast IPA, should have the reputation of Sculpin.

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear orange/amber color, solid whit head, good retention and lacing. Nose is absolutely huge, very piney. Taste is surprisingly malty for such a big IPA, along with some bready notes. mouthfeel has a high amount of texture, possibly due to being a bottle conditioned beer. A very nice, well balanced IPA. Flavor is well rounded, abv is just right, would definetly not mind having this again.

Photo of RobbDogg
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A cloudy amber/orange pour with an attractive but quickly dissipating head. A fresh scent of tangerine and lemon. A light and drinkable beer with a nice combination of tangerine (following the nose) and grapefruit. An excellent IPA which I will seek out again and hope to try on tap someday. Thanks Monty in AZ for this one.

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer before, and I LOVE the flavor profile. When standing at Total Wine & More, I tell customers asking for a "good IPA" that Racer 5 is a "good daily drinking IPA". It is also cheap. It has a big ABV for the price, and is one of the flavors you just can't get enough of. Sheryl doesn't like hoppy beers, but I LOVE them. The tasting notes said, "leaves you burping hops." I hope so! Nothing beats a good, hoppy beer. Funny story, our beer calendar (that features a different beer every day) is showing the Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA. That beer is in the fridge, too. I wasn't prepared to drink two bottles today, but since that is the beer on the calendar, I will consider that a sign! So look for another IPA coming up next. Please note that I have had the Firestone Walker IPA, and while it is a good offering, the Racer 5 is better. But I will let you decide as you read these reviews!

(Also, it bothers me I don't know where the name Racer 5 came from. I am sure with a little Google search, I could figure it out. But I like not knowing. Keeps things mysterious and interesting!)

In the Glass: I could smell this as I was pouring it. Good thing I am in the mood for some hops! In the glass, if you didn't know better, you would think it was a wheat beer. It looks like a Blue Moon sitting there.Very little lace to speak of, but a nice frothy white head. Excited to stick my nose in there.

Nose: Hops. That is all. Hops. Imagine an orange and a hop were hugging… they made babies and that is what this beer smells like. Not sure that makes sense, but the hop aroma is very citrus forward. It has a nice, fruity aroma that begs to be consumed. Fine. I will drink it!

Flavor: Those same hops that you were smelling, well now you are drinking them. It is not as much floral as you might expect from the aroma, but it provides a very nice filling flavor. The entire tongue is covered with flavor and the hops hit the front then rush to the back of the tongue for a nice drying flavor. The swallow is smooth, and the back of the throat is then covered in that same drying sensation that you got on the palate. You would never know this was 7% ABV. If I had a 6 pack, I would sit here and drink them all! This is a great IPA, and a good IPA for someone to try that isn't a fan of big hoppy beers. If someone likes pale ales, but wants to try an IPA, suggest this. It's a good introduction to the style.

Mouthfeel: It's smooth, low carbonation, and a nice drying finish. (The burp is nice, too. It brings those dry notes back to the center of the palate and leave you craving another drink.) I tried to swish this around in my mouth to get some more bubbles going, but it just opened up the flavor of the hops. I might even use the word creamy to explain what this feels like on my tongue.

Aftertaste: You might expect a lot of hops, but there isn't much going on here. What hops are there are weak, and the dryness that was created toward the end of the swallow is sticking around, but is fading fast. It's not a beer that I would drink for the aftertaste, and I bet would pair well with a nice salad or grilled chicken dish. Guess I will have to pair this with dinner now!

I am a big fan of this beer, and every time I drink it becomes more and more enjoyable. Funny, I hadn't checked into this beer on Untappd. Weird. I know I have had this beer since creating an Untappd account. Oh well, it has been tracked now! If you like a nice citrus forward IPA, this beer is for you!

Racer 5 - The bottle says: "Racer 5 is an aggressive styled India Pale Ale. Handmade from a brewery whose motto is "Bigger is Better". This golden, well-hopped ale demands your attention. Try the next generation of I.P.A. Racer 5… Go… Go…"

Photo of longpondbeerman
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bomber, this IPA poured a light sparkling gold topped off by a medium snow white head. The aroma of hops wafts potently up from the bubbles, and the grapefruit esters are prevelant as I bring the pint glass to the nose. The taste is tart and hoppy--very hoppy. The bitter grapefruit aroma dominates too in the taste, but there is a strong nutty current--this is nicely intricate, well-balanced, and with a substantial mouthfeel. Much like the Dogfish Head 60. I like. A lot.

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle with racing inspired Bear Republic labeling. I really dig this brewery's logo. Unique and eye candy. Poured into a standard American pint glass

A - golden colored amber or one could say copper, but this is a darker golden ale for me. Head wasn't as big as some ipa's I've had but it did have some fluff to it and settled into a nice ring of lace with pretty good stickiness.

S - solid aroma. Not as big on the hops as typical west coast style ipa's are, but the overall aroma has some hoppiness to it. Citrus, grapefruit, some pine and somewhat floral hop aromas. A caramel and lighter malt background makes this aroma pleasing to take in. The pine really takes control after a few whiffs but its soft and refreshing to the nose.

T - man, is this a good flavor or what? Pine to start things off with hints of citrus and grapefruit flowing over the mouth nicely. Some caramel malt holds everything in place and really keeps the bitterness in check. Sure, it has some awesome mouth puckering hops but the bitterness never really grabs you. I love a well balanced ipa that still get its big flavor across without busting balls. The hop spice and bitterness gets a bit more pronounced in the final stage and supports the semi dry finish. This flavor is so classic and simple yet done to perfection.

M - medium bodied and smooth texture. It may be a touch on the thin side for an ipa of this style, but surprisingly does an excellent job of providing a good texture and an even better job of coating the entire feel. This is one of the easiest going ipa's you'll ever have.

O - throughout this experience I was shocked at just how laid back and simple Bear Republic kept this though its so good I never became bored with its perfect balance and simple flavors. It has the hoppiness and bitterness to allow yourself to take in a real world class American ipa while letting you take big, flavorable drinks. I'd recommend this to anyone and this lets me automatically love Bear Republic. What a California gem this thing is. The highest of marks from me

Photo of hosehead83
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams "bubble" glass
Golden orange with a big rocky head
Aroma-Big, piney hops and citrus
Taste-Big initial onrush of piney hops and then juicy citrus. Well-balanced and very flavorful start to finish.
Overall, an excellent American IPA: Plenty of well-balanced hops and citrus, very drinkable and delicious.
Get Some!!!

Photo of KMani
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: Poured into my pint glass, this IPA pours a golden yellow with a white capped head. This brew is leaving excellent lacing, which is why it is deserving of a 4.5.

S: The aroma is classic IPA, but just is lacking the strength that I've come to appreciate in a West Coast IPA. The hops are leaning towards fruit and citrus notes, with very little pine.

T: The flavor is excellent for an IPA and hops are pronounced. What sets this apart is it's malty sweetness that comes from the pale malt. A good balance is key with this brew.

MF: With the amount of pale malt, I was expecting a little more body in this brew, but it is just on the hairy edge of a 4.5.

D: At 7%, and with it's incredible balance, this brew is definitely a good drinking IPA.

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

Oh ya. Last night I found that one of the local liquor stores had this stuff in all the time along with other Bear Republic Brews...

A: Woah, Dark Orangish Red Color, very Hazy with very little light that pulled thru. I could not see my fingers thru the glass after my initial pour although it did lighten up as it settled. Solid one finger head fairly thick with sticky lace.

S: Grassy, sweet citrus notes. Floral notes as well with a very slight "dirt" smell.

T: Delicious!!! Hoppy Grapefruity yummyness. Hops are certainly present without being overbearing, more balanced then many west coast IPA's. Very good, taste seemed more profound at the colder tempetures. As it 'warmed up' it was still good but i got more out of it cold.

M: Medium body, slightly "chewy" pretty wet on the finish but smooth. The bite from the hops was felt on the side of my tongue and back of palate Nice finish.

D: Very High for an IPA, I could have had a couple more easy. Very smooth not too bitter and not too dry which allowed for a very refreshing IPA.

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

Can't believe I never reviewed this one. Picked it up so I can cross this one off the list.

Pours a light amber color. Slightly hazy but mostly clear. Nice sticky IPA type head created by the hops. Very nice lacing.

Aroma of citrus and pine hops. Typical California IPA aroma. Wish there was a bit more but not bad.

Taste is excellent. Hoppy but well balances for the style. Hops are the front runner with a pine/grapefruit taste dominant. Slight malt flavor rounds it out.

Mouthfeel is slightly on the thin side but not bad. Great carb.

Overall i love this beer and it's one I try to pick up every once in a while. Might pick up a keg to have on tap since I see it around alot.

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

On Cask @ The Grey Lodge

Look: Amber orange, clear, with thick head and excellent lacing

Smell: Citrus and pine - very floral!

Taste: Up Front: Sweet malt, citrus. particularly orange
Finish: Apricot, tropical fruit, and nice malt backbone

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a creamy and smooth body

Drinkability: Malty, fruity, and not too hoppy. Very easy to drink

Overall Impression: This is an excellent IPA from California! This beer should go over well with Newbeez that do not have an aversion to hops.

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

Poured from a cellar-temperature bottle into two standard pint glasses. Beery is a crystal clear honey-amber color with a quickly dissipating off-white head that leaves plenty of lace. Smell is of hops, with some citrusy grapefruit and woodsy notes. The flavor is very hoppy, with the woodsy hop flavor dominating but other less identifiable notes present as well. There is a hint of malt at the end, but little to no sweetness - this is a dry beer. The ABV is high, but this brew doesn't taste strongly of alcohol - just a hint of heat indicates the strength. The carbonation really carries the hop flavor through my mouth, and the hop bitterness lingers long after I've swallowed due to the way it coats your mouth. This beer feels good in the mouth, with an appropriate amount of body, and plenty of carbonation. This is truly a great IPA, very drinkable.

Photo of Casey10
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really liked this one picked up a bottle while in Mass. last week. So glad I did.

A bright orange color with slight lacing on the glass small one finger of foam.

S - Some pine orange citrus.

T - Really nice tart orange citrus not overwhelming really nice.

M - Similar to taste mouth is tart lingering a bit in the feel.

D - Definately will get another have to get a racer x next time I am down in MA as Bear republic is not distributed in Maine.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with thick fluffy white heading. Lot's of particulates floating in this brew. Lacing is in full force and stays till the bitter end.

Smell is more fruitier than I would have imagined a decent hoppy aroma is with hint's of biscuit and toasted malt.

Taste well the nose deceived me it is very bitter a floral tasting. Hoppy oiliness coats the entire mouth then kind of gives you a fruity punch to the palate.Until the aftertaste the hops really work overtime on the palate.

Mouth is light-medium bodied excellent carbonation. Finishes oily and with a heavy sting on the tongue from the hops.

Drink is solid. Not to crazy hoppy like some other IPA's but certainly has a nice kick for a hophead. Easy to enjoy a few of these.

Photo of mbusster88
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear orange color with white head. Some carbonation on the glass but not a ton. Head is small bubbles and rather thin.

S: Grapefruit, tangerine, some mango like notes as well. Good hop characters in the nose, very citrus but also some floral notes.

T/M: Well the taste is just like the nose, fantastic. Great consistent fruit notes that really show well. Great amount of hop profile really well done. Easy on the palate, very cleansing but not overly bitter.

D: Loved this beer, I have had it many times and I keep on coming back to it when I want an affordable and consistently good IPA.

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

This is one of my favorite IPA's a definite go to when I want a good IPA and don't want to risk trying something new. Has just the right amount of hoppyness to give it a kick without being overpowering. Very Smooth and easy to drink would never guess it was packing 7% alcohol. It also looks spectacular I poured it in to a pint glass and it has a spectacular orangish hue with a fluffy orange tinged head that lasted all the way till it was gone.

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

A: pours a copper/orange color with a small amount of white head. Leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass.

S: A lot of hops. get tones of citrus and fruit. very sweet.

T: Matches the smell perfectly. Really sweet, hoppy fruit flavor.Not too bit with but very flavorful.

M: very sweet and finishes dry.

D: Really enjoyed this beer. Passed this beer up one time before and really glad i went with this at dinner tonight. Will definitely be getting this again very soon.

Photo of berley31
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a nice, large, frothy white head that hung around for a while before dissipating to 1/2-finger or so. Nice lacing on the glass. Body is mostly clear with a little haze and some particles floating around, and a orange color.

S: Pleasant aroma of heavy hops, some pine, and a lot of orange citrus.

T: Awesome flavor here. The citrus (orange) bursts through at the beginning, with some pine in there as well, and a very hoppy, bitter finish. Still manages to be smooth, however.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy, with average carbonation.

D: This is an excellent IPA... very flavorful and hoppy, but still quite easy to drink.

Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: When I poured this one from a bottle to a pint glass, it had a deep amber hue and a cloudy consistency. Also, it had bits of sediment floating around. There was a decent-sized head and good lacing.

S: Had a strong aroma of hops, citrus and bit of malt. Not overpowering, but certainly noteworthy.

T: This one had quite a complex taste, though it was dominated by hops. There was a faint taste of citrus (orange?) and a hint of malt to balance things out.

M: Vibrant carbonation level and a smooth finish. This is definitely a full-bodied beer.

D: If you like IPAs, this is one for you. It goes down very easy and has a lively personality.

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

From the bottle at family Christmas gathering.

A beer from the bottle almost as good as from the tap? Does not happen very often but this may be an exception to the rule!

A-Slightly hazy, turbid golden tinged copper with a thick off-white head that reduces to a thinner head and leaves copious lace!

S-Tangerine and orange scented hops with a backing floral boquet! Sweet biscuity malt backing.

T-Hop smack in the face of spicy citrus, tangerine/orange. Support of sweet biscuit malt backs thing up. A nice honor to the hops...with a pleasant drying bitterness and a honey-like sweetness in the finish.

M-Medium body with nice lingering flavours.

D-Wow! Racer 5 out of the bottle ROCKS! I am impressed with the hop pop and smooth biscuity sweetness. A surprising amount of flavour for a beer that has been left in the bottle for months. A bomber of this was easy to finish off.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to newtonty for letting me snag this 12 ouncer while watching the Bengals game.

Pours a cloudy, rusty brown with a white, attractive head. Nice lacing on the walls of my glass.

Smells of sweet grapefruit and other citrus.

Like the nose, the predominant flavor is moderately bitter grapefruit. Bitter through the middle and end of the drink. Nice and hop forward with just the right amount of malts to keep things in check.

Medium bodied and medium to full flavored beer. Very drinkable and worth trying!

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,831 ratings.