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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.

2,238 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,238
Hads: 7,165
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 303
Gots: 1,027 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,238 | Hads: 7,165
Photo of cbutova
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled May 24, 2010, hopefully I can find a fresher one soon enough.

A- Orange amber with a off-white head that doesn't reach impressive heights. Dies down at a fairly quick to a cloud and ring that sustain themselves. Some big chunks float around in this one. Somehow my entire glass is coated with lace after a sub-par head.

S- If someone wanted to know what a hop smelled like, this is where they should go. A blast of that Cali citrus, almost sweet fruity hop right off the bat. A strong caramel backbone supports the hops. Great overall aroma strength.

T- Once again, you have to come back to this beer to experience the true staple of a modern IPA flavor. Opens with general earthy, pine hop flavor and finishes with a great citrus, fruity hop flavor unlike almost anything else. Caramel notes come in the beginning and bread hints support the finish. Pine becomes more and more prevalent as I sip onward but it only adds to the great balance. Some sweetness but it is just divine.

MF- Moderate body supports a very flavorful beer. The carbonation is fairly high and slightly stings the taste buds. Creamy. Fairly bitter, at a level that does not interfere with the great flavor.

DB- I have had this one several times before but I have never really sat down with it until now. This beer is in every store for a reason, it is a truly iconic IPA. One that will probably outlast 99% of the style during the inevitable test of time. This one joins the ranks of Weihenstephaner and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the true staples of beer.

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Photo of 1whiskey
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. Stunning honey-orange color that almost glows. Huge fluffy white head that leave chunks of clinging lace on the side of the glass. Now that's a pretty beer!

Marvelous nose. Very clean, sweet aroma. Extremely floral, perhaps rivaled only by NBB's Trippel. Would make a great perfume.

Big hoppy flavor hits your tongue right away. Almost immediatly afterwards, you notice a wonderful honey-sweet malt backdrop balancing everything out. Incredible. More floral esters are noticable as well. Some lingering bitterness remains on the palate, but this finishes pretty dry and clean. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Very soft and light mouthfeel. I would go so far as to call it poetic. This really is incredibly smooth for such a highly hopped brew. Ideal carbonation level.

I've been meaning to try this for a some time, and now I can't believe what I've been missing out on! This is perhaps more floral and less spicy than your traditional west coast IPA, but who cares? This is one outstanding beer. My hat's off to Bear Republic, I was truly blown away.

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Photo of sderenne
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Kegged 5/08/15 Tapped 5/23/15 Wow the aroma is amazing. Flavor is a buttery,citrusy , hoppy treat for your mouth. I had a 5 gallon keg of this last fall and it was good. This keg is exceptional. Bear republic is creating some amazing beers that may rival or beat their neighbors to the south Russian River.

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Photo of truknon
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a Bomber and poured into a Pint Glass.

The initial whiff hit me with strong fruity flavors, particularly Banana. After pouring the first glass it had an exceptional golden color and ridiculous foamy head. It actually stuck out over the top of the glass with beautiful Peaks and Points, reminiscent of a Mountain range. The creamy foam head actually never dissipates and the first sip is intense with the fore mentioned fruity flavors and ends on the bitter side. It is medium to full bodied and not to carbonated.

The overall drinkability is very smooth and not overpowering, which makes you want to have another glas!!. I highly recommend this IPA and it may just be the best I have had in a while. To the store...for more!!!

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Photo of ben68cat
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i was recomended to try this ipa ffrom a fellow that works at u-pick 6 on peach street erie,pa. he has never steered me wrong and sure was on the money with this one!it pours an orangeish amber color,nice half inch head on it,leaves a bit of lacing around the glass,and tastes of hops,and citrus.this beer is excellent deffinate top five india pale ales i have ever tasted.this has become a must have for me,though i have to travel 25 miles to get it definately worth the trip!

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Photo of rkhaze
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy golden peach color. Big dense and creamy off white head. Good retention and it left rings of sticky lace.
Smells of citrusy/perfumey hops. Earthy sweet malt, fruit (pears?)
and tea.
Excellent balance of flavors. The sweet malt, caramel and fruit backbone is balanced by a beautiful hop profile. Outstanding!
Medium bodied with a creamy rich mouthfeel and an outstanding level of carbonation.
Great balance and mouthfeel lead to unparalleled drinkability.
One of my favorite IPA's. Just a great effort by Bear Republic.

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Photo of Bockrules
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a nice hazy, orange-gold with small flecks of yeast suspended throughout. Only a few bubbles rise to the dense, off-white, two-finger head. Head stays intact all the way down the glass. Leaves behind generous splotches of lacing.

S - Nice bouquet of floral aromas greet the nose upon opening the bottle floating a sweet caramel backbone. In the glass, the nose becomes more citrus with orange, pineapple and grapefruit notes.

T - Upfront, we have orange flavors and sweetness, almost like a wheat beer. The body is exceptionally well balanced with floral hops perfectly balanced by a firm Caramel backbone with hints of orange and mango on top of it all. Sticky orange flavor as the beer passes over the back of the tongue that intensifies into a lingering bitter-orange finish.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation to give the beer a nice creaminess that compliments it well.

This beer has been tempting me in my fridge ever since I picked it up a couple months ago in Phoenix with my wife on our anniversary. Faced with literally hundreds of beers I hadn't sampled before, I was forced to only bring 12 home with me. Glad I chose Racer 5. Hands down this is the best IPA I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Though not a hop-heads delight, this beer is incredibly smooth and balanced despite being very complex and having a rather high ABV of 7%. Hopefully I can find this beer in New Mexico as I would love to make it a staple in my fridge. It is beers like this that make obtaining, tasting and reviewing beers from around the world such an exciting and rewarding hobby.

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Photo of Jeebs
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours an orangish yellow with about 1.5 fingers of head that leaves nice lacing down the entire glass.

S: Smells of piney hops and citrus

T: I love the taste of this beer. Starts out with piney hops and a hint of citrus. There seems to also be some malt to balance it out. Finishes with a nice clean bitter bite.

M: Medium bodied with medium combination, smooth and crisp finish.

D: This is the best IPA I have had to date.

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Photo of Buggabeer
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a very good IPA! The color is a nice amber with a nice head which quickly diminishes leaving a beatiful lacing around the glass. The smell is awesome not over powered by hops as some others do. The taste is exceptional one of the best IPA's I've had. I wish I had another one however sadly I don't. This beer is truely worth getting.

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Photo of electrified
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange/copper in color, a little hazy. Nice head, some lacing. Smells of high-grade cannabis and grapefruit. Smells wonderfully hoppy. Full-bodied and smooth and somewhat creamy. Very nice. Taste is hops and more hops -- citrus and grapefruit -- and a malty, biscuity background, but hops dominate. Wonderful.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is amber, clear until the yeast poured into the glass (my bad). Carbonation is steady, head forms full and white, falls away leaving a diffuse head behind and some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is hop filled wonderment. I love sniffing this beer. There are some beers that I wouldn't care if I never took a drink, this is one of them. I would love to just smell this beer over and over again, but I digress.

Full bodied, hits all parts of the palate, high bitterness on the back end, the hop oils coat your tongue. There is not a dominant aftertaste, amazingly. Some sweetness on the front, one of the best American IPAs I've ever had.

Hop heads take notice, track this down, find it. The hop character is a nicely balanced mixture of pine and citrus. A great great beer.

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Photo of dmamiano
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautifull bronze pour with a slight haze leading to a frothy tan head and abundant lacing.

Nose is dominated by hops, sweet bready malts and floral essence.
Taste is very nice, big on the feel with a lot of legs. Perfect balance of malts and juicy resinioius hops.
Great beer.

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Photo of jchow79
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I could drink this all day long. WOW so balanced and delicious.

A: Golden orange hue with notable lacing.

S: The bouquet is fantastical! Its as if someone whacked me in the face with a grapefruit and flowers.

T: Delightfully citrusy! Very balanced approach to citrus and bitter.

M: Soft and silky on the tongue

D: I want to drink this all day long.

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Photo of Isrealite
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best I.P.A.s, and one of the best overall beers I have ever had! This one is as hopped up as Rob Ford at a crack house during one of his drunken stupors. Much like the Toronto Mayor, this one will knock you down if you are not careful! The look and the smell are just as intoxicating as the brew itself. I would like to proclaim that it possesses the perfect I.P.A. aroma! I love the racer theme bottle and pretty much everything about this beer...except for the price unfortunately. It is definitely worth ten dollars for a six pack, but just as much as steak dinner is worth the price, it is not practical to have all of time. This is worthy of being called the steak dinner of beers, and I would highly X 5 recommend it.

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Photo of haroldp
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has an ugly label. But don't be fooled, it hides a really fantastic beer. Yum. Smells great, tastes better.

Two hundred and fifty characters eh? Ok, um, dark amber, sort of like, beerish, color. Tastes like IPA. Great burp taste too. Do not discount that.

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Photo of soultrain
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into an Ommegang Chalice.

A-Opaque golden-orange with great "straight line" carbonation. Some chunks of hop/yeast goodness present. 1" white merangue foam on top, excellent lacing: by the finish sides of glass are coated all the way down with thick ropes of lace. Mmmmm.
S-This beer smells fantastic. Citrus/Grapefruit hop lovers dream come true= My dream come true, too.
T-This is my idea of a great California IPA, an orchard of citrus, some pine, some grass, malts there in a hop supporting role, but mostly beautiful let-me-appreciate-this-moment citrus hops. Did I mention citrus? The bitterness in this IPA just rules, and I could make some uneducated guesses to which high I.B.U. west coast hops were involved in making this awsome IPA (Columbus and Cascade?), but no, I think i'd really rather enjoy this beer....sometimes writing a review is more fun that drinking the beer, but with this Bear Republic Gem, that is not the case. This beer is one on the reasons I entered "American IPA" in my profile; it's better than looking at "apparently, none," right? Right. This beer finishes semi-sweet/semi dry, and if that's a peculiar statement, so's the fact that 7% alcohol is nowhere to be found. Christ, I want more...
M-Good mouthfeel. Smooth light/medium body.
D-An IPA lover's wet dream.

CRUX: AWSOME WEST COAST IPA. As Stone Ruination has become impossible to find around here, this has taken it's place in my DBF where it's ALWAYS at hand, and my world is all the richer... With this and their masterpiece "Hop Rod Rye" in their portfolio, Bear Republic is indeed a WORLD CLASS BREWERY. REALLY, REALLY GOOD STUFF: I wish my voice was loud enough to sing their praises. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The vibrant orange color mixed with the unfiltered haziness looks like a lava lamp from a distance. This one poured a big thick head that leaves large webs of lace. The smell of fresh grapefruit and fresh melons,and floral accents. Bright citrus fruit and hoppy sting on the palate. The mouthfeel is lacking some malt-backbone for you traditional types. But if your a true hop head this over the top assault of hops is just for you! I also like that the abv. is not to high. very drinkable at 7%.abv. The fruit and hops aftertaste last for a long time. What a great find!

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Photo of mondegreen
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz into an Allagash Tulip. Bottled on 10/18/10.

Pours an attractive golden orange. A frothy one finger head falls into the beer, leaving sticky lacing in its place.

Aroma is fantastic. Bright citrus hops erupt from the golden liquid, mingling with a barely present alcohol element.

Taste is among the best American IPAs I've had. A sharp bitter bite gives way to juicy, juicy hops. The bitterness gives way to a slight sweetness before morphing back into a slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a classic west coast citrus bomb.

Mouth is pretty much perfect, and I could drink this one all day. Easily A top 5 American IPA, in the same league with Sculpin, 2 Hearted, and other highly heralded IPAs.

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Photo of biggred1
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to BA kylehayworth for this gem.

Clear, light copper with a pillowy white head that leaves sticky sheets of lace on the glass. Candied grapefruit, pine sap and sugar cookie in the nose, this beer smells really good. Racer 5 has what I really like in an IPA, tons of fruity hop flavor and a subtle but strong malty backbone. I am not sure of the hop bill but I think it must contain Centennial, Cascade and other C-hops it is magnificent. Medium bodied and hop oily with soft carbonation. Racer 5 is a nearly perfect IPA for my tastes. World Class.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer as part of a flight of samples at the Healdsburg, California restaurant. From tap and in 3oz sample glasses.

A-yellow body with a nice foamy white head

S-citrus hop smell in the front

T-piney, citrus rind and some nice sweet malt in the front before the hops onslaught


D-The definative American IPA. Just a well crafted beer and great on tap when you can find it.

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Photo of ocmpoma
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep orange-gold into my pilsner glass. Settled down with a couple of millimeters of foam which faded out. The beer leaves some great lacing.

The nose is strong. Extremely complex, with lots of citrus and tang and hops, and even some mustiness, all mixing together -- it's a great aroma, one of the best I've experienced in an IPA. And the taste delivers what is promised by the nose: a very rich, very complex and lasting flavor. The bitterness is not only balanced, but enhanced by the complexity of the flavors. There's lemon and candied orange and I get some mint and spices... it's a wonderfully rich taste that's hard to describe fully -- knocks me out with each swig.

The mouthfeel is just a bit thin for such a great, complex beer, but it's so delicious I could drink a sixer if I wasn't careful. An absolutely outstanding beer, one of my favorites.

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Photo of CA_brewster
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Poured a slightly hazy golden, copper color with a small white head. Very thin lacing. Unfiltered with quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. Hoppy aroma that tickles the nose and smells delicious. Citrusy, mostly grapefruit. A little resiny and has a slight malt sweetness to the smell as well. Smells nice, no doubt. On to taste, this is a real hop bomb IPA. A strong malt backbone fueling the 7% abv but the hops really dominate this brew. Bitter, but once the palate adjusts there is a bouquet of hoppy flavor packed into this beer. Fruity, grapefruity and some pine. A delicious IPA! but a definite hop head's brew. Light carbonation, bitter but very smooth, some resin in the aftertaste. Bottom line, I love this beer. As far as I'm concerned, It's a damn masterpiece!

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Photo of mattmuck11
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to pint glass.

A - Less head than I would imagined would be present. Color is a rich golden orange with heavy presence of carbonation and yeast from bottle conditioning. Overall striking and beautiful.

S - bright citrus nose, with strong grapefruit notes and slight earthy pine.

T/M - Strong hop character at first with lasting bitterness to the end of the swallow and then some. Citrus hops give way to a malty background that provides a perfect balance making this beer easy to drink and smooth for such a brilliant IPA.

O - One of my favorite IPAs so far. So smooth and drinkable for how brilliant the hop character is. Highly recommended brew.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard, straight sided pint glass.

A - 4.75 - Pours a nice, golden-orange juice color. Forms a good, solid finger of bright white ivory head. Medium head potential, strong head retention. Nice, thick solid rings of lacing left behind on the walls of the glass.
S - 4.5 - Pine, grapefruit rind, hops, earthiness, bitterness and a rain water freshness.
T - 4.75 - Lightly sweet grapefruit rind upfront which develops into a bitter, hoppy and piney finish. Definitely a bitter biased, west-coast IPA.
F - 5 - Nice oily, creamy quality to the body of this brew. Goes down quite smoothly.
O - 5 - Drinks easy like a session beer but packs a punch with the ABV. Refreshes and quenches your thirst like water, making this both a good standalone sipping beer or a great food pairing beer as well. Racer 5 is an unquestionably awesome representation of the standard american west-coast IPA style, and I HIGHLY recommend it to fans of the more bitter and not so sweet IPAs, you will not regret the purchase!

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is my golden standard for IPAs. Now that a store a few blocks from me has started carrying it, it's finally time for a review.

Poured from a bomber into my Swarthmore College pint glass.

A: A very nice amber, more orange than yellow. A big, foamy off white head that retains and leaves big league lacing. I like my IPAs hazy, and this one is too clear for me, but very attractive nonetheless.

S: Hops, naturally, rule the day. A big hit of pine (my dad: "It smells like a Christmas tree"), with a good deal of grapefruit citrus. Definitely gets my mouth watering.

T: Bitter, sweet and delicious. The hops come at you with pineapple, grapefruit, pine and floral notes. A little bit of bready malt in the middle. The finish is bitter, dry and looong.

M: Sticky and dry. Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: As I said, this is probably my favorite easily attainable IPA. A fixture in my fridge that I can (and do) drink all night.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,238 ratings.