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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.

2,237 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,237
Hads: 7,163
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 301
Gots: 1,021 | 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: 2,237 | Hads: 7,163
Photo of AlvinStraight
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Killed the cask at Bierkraft for this one and it was well worth it. This is one of my favorite IPAs and I've never had the chance to find it on cask before. I'm not sure how to define the hoppiness/fruitiness of this one; it's not just big hops, but rather has a unique flavor that I haven't found anywhere else. Simply put it's excellent. The taste is delightful, but the color and smell are particular appealing to me.

If you like IPA's and hoppy beers, this one is worth finding.

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Photo of JayQue
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great IPA. Made a pilgrimage to "Half Time" in Poughkeepsie, NY and this was one of my trophies. Pours a hazy amber color with some "chunks" in it. Nice big white head and good lacing. This beer has a good, spicy/citrusy aroma to it. You would know this was going to be a memorable experience just by the smell. The taste is outstanding, citrusy, spicy and above all a nice bitter hops flavor. This is comparable to Hop Otten, Celebration Ale and any of the other good IPAs I have enjoyed.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, compared with Celebration Ale, but the taste is the deciding factor in making this a great beer.

I would consider this as high on the drinkability scale as 7.0 abv would allow. This is a very enjoyable IPA and I would look forward to having another if offered.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. The American IPA poured a hazy orange color. It produced a thick creamy head and had excellent head retention. (Most impressive head I have ever seen on a beer.) There was a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma was dominated by hops and citrus. When I say dominated by hops, I meant this aroma is HOPTASTIC! The taste of the IPA was like a slap in the face with a hop club. BAM! The front, middle and finish of the taste was all about hops. This is a hopheads dream come true. Somehow despite all of the hop bitterness, the smoothness of the beer was off the charts. Awesome beer, one of my new all time favorites!

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a cellar temperature 22oz bottle, split between two pint glasses. It has a translucent golden orange color, with a pretty head of pure white foam. It leaves some good lacing on the glass. The aroma is all hops, both citrusy and woodsy. As you would expect, the flavor is also dominated by the hop character. It starts out dry, then builds to sharp bitterness that lingers on after you swallow. You can detect some alcohol, especially in the finish and aftertaste. There are flavors that remind me of fruit and forests. This is as good as an IPA can get. It has a medium body and a higher-than-average amount of carbonation. It leaves a coating to your mouth that evaporates while you let the bitter flavors linger. This is an impressively drinkable IPA. There are hops everywhere, but I never grow tired of them. I wish I had more than this one bottle.

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Photo of Lakes
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My oh my I love Racer 5.

I have this frequently both from a 22oz bottle at Enoteca and on tap at Capone's.

Both from bottle and on tap it's appearance is exceptional. It's color is a bright vibrant golden orange that seems not content to sit in the glass. It's full frothy head beckons to be sipped.

Racer 5's aroma is room filling. It's a buoyant citrus full of grapefruit, tangerine with mild pine notes at the back.

The taste follows the aroma perfectly, filling the mouth with strong rich American hops. A bold grapefruit/citrus blast with bright spots of pine, orange peel and tangerine. The malt backs up the hops but doesn't take away anything. It's like a framework for the hops to rest on. Just wonderful

Mouthfeel is full and satisfying and it's drinkability has been tested and proven outstanding many MANY times.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful looking beer with a nice, frothy head on top of a transparent, pale-orange/brown colored body

S- Loads of fresh, citrus hops along with some creamy malt sweetness

T- Well balanced for an IPA. A strong grainy malt presence keeps a rush of hops in-check

M- Amazing mouthfeel. Full body and silky carbonation

D- Easy to quickly enjoy a 22oz bottle

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Photo of corey0212
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of my "go to" IPAs for a while, and it never disappoints!

Pours a clear, golden/orange color, with a tremendous rocky off-white head, which stays put! Leaves behind a ton of lacing. Smell is piney, with a good amount of sweet malt in the nose. Taste is beautifully balanced, the citrus & pine of the hops duke it out with the malty goodness. Nice bitter & slightly floral finish. Incredibly drinkable IPA, and in terms of what I have easy access to, quite possibly the best.

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Photo of Vansmack
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's 3:51 PM on Saturday March 15, 2008. Tonight I'll be going out to The Hobbit with Niki, Dylan, and Deb. Right now I'm watching the UCLA game. Here is the review:

Appearance: An amber color with perfect coloration all the way through. The head poured smoothely. Definitely an inviting beer.

Smell: Ahhh the smell of lovely hops. Dank/Resiny smell. Almost like walking up to a buddha plant and sniffing!

Taste: To me it tastes extremely hoppy. Tastes a little nutty at the aftertaste. The hops definitely shine through and give you a great euphoric feeling with every sip.

Mouthfeel: This beer is definitely smooth and easy to drink. After one sip, you just wanna keep on sipping!

Drinkability: What can I say... this is an amazing beer. Highly recommended!


Right now it's UCLA 28 Stanford 24 with 3:33 left in the first half.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A winner of an IPA. This was one of the first IPA's my palate decided it liked. Drinking it now, I'm surprised I liked something this bitter and piney. The pour results in a orange body teeming with head. In fact, the head is a tad too robust for me. I like head on my beers, but on an IPA I want an inch or so, not 3 inches. The lacing is masterful, better than anything else I've witnessed recently. If it wasn't for the gushing head, the appearance would rate a 5. Nose is nice and balanced ... lots of caramel malt, and lots of grapefruit and pine. Almost exactly what I want out of an IPA. Taste starts piney, edges into grapefruit, and orange and finishes lemon and caramel. Mouth is massive, carbonation runs rampant, but in an orchestrated fashion, blitzing over the mouth in a mission to please. Mission accomplished.
Certainly a sessionable IPA. I'd be more than glad to do so if I found it in sixers or on tap.

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Photo of nickss
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale orangey yellow with what appears to be a tremendous amount of carbonation (lots and lots of bubbles). Super thick, rocky head... about 2" worth.... lots of lacing.

Wonderful aroma... tones of piney hops...prickly citrus scent... barely noticeable malt background... a definite yeasty touch to it as well.

Delicious! Lots of piney hops, yet not as much an affront to the palate as I thought it was going to be.... very subdued, while at the same time maintaining an aggressive attitude. Yeast becomes more noticeable as I work my way through the first glass, and I can only assume it will continue in this manner towards the bottom of the bottle. Not extraordinarily complex, yet still wonderful.

Wonderful thick mouthfeel... the carbonation becomes apparent in every sip, yet not in the manner I would have thought: it creates a mouthfilling experience while not being explosive on the tongue... it saves the bite from the hops for that. Very nice.... reminds me of a DIPA... I dig it.

Thick, yet not oppressively so. Hoppy, yet not overwhelmingly so. High abv, but not dangerously so. What a beer... I am extremely impressed.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple of bottles from Jason at Bruisin Ales in Asheville and cracked this one tonight...

Pours a cloudy hazy hoppy looking dull copper with a slowly forming off white head that fades to a small ring... Each swirl renews the head and gives me assurance that is fairly fresh...

Huge pungent citrusy hops blast my sense of smell with this... Big time hops all the way and they're pretty much all citrus....I can't wait to taste this...

Oh, yes... Its pure hoppy deliciousness...very very citrusy and juicy... This is a totally one dimensional hop bomb and that's just the way I like my IPAs...its all I can do to keep from chugging this down so that should tell you something about the taste and drinkability...

Without a doubt, one of the best IPAs that I've ever tried... I'd love to see Bear Republic in TN soon...

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Photo of praufs01
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cloudy amber with a nice creamy, pillow like tan head. This is one good looking brew.

Aroma - Sugar and pink grapefruit

Mouthfeel - Light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Fruity, grapefruit and orange zest, that rests on a nice malty base.

Overall - Wow! One of the best well balanced IPA's I've ever had.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a chilled bomber at fridge temperature into a tulip glass.

A-Slightly veiled apricot with a creamy eggshell head that settles rapidly with some decent attractive lacing.

S-Pungent, delicious perfumey citrus hops, with a whiff of malt.

T-Sweet malts balanced by floral and citrus hops with a nice drying hop twang on the back end. Remarkably well balanced in every way. This is one hell of a nice tasting brew, and could very well be the best tasting IPA I have ever had. I keep debating whether to give this a 4.5 or a 5 on the taste, but the 5 wins out due to the sheer balance of this beer. You must hand it to Bear to not to make the IBU's steal the show here.

M-Medium, but slightly chewy, well balanced carbonation and mouthfeel.

D-This is a very drinkable beer. Big flavor without the big ABV. My "go to" IPA, session brew, cooler filler. There are better IPA's out there, but none so drinkable as this.

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Photo of mempath
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance is just fine, nothing 'special' but nice, nearly clear golden. settles very fast, very little if no lacing

smell steps up the ante...a nice floral-herbal sense

taste etc places all the cards on the table...slam! not overly hoppy at all, but quite a punch with a continued herbal sense keeps the balance in tow. glad i have the big bottle to savor and further unravel the mystery. the expected grapefruit is more like a fresh, slightly grilled grapefruit. something a bit caramelized or something. i really love the unique malt-hop twang that is at once creamy sweet and tangy bitter.

the moderate ABV will keep this from being a deep session brew (as well as it richness)...quite drinkable, esp. for the hopsters...but one i'd rather savor over several hours (as i am doing now)

very recommended. i really scored on my brew hauls this past weekend. can't wait to try the rye hop rod from Bear Republic

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Photo of trappistlover
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is my favorite IPA. It has everything that I expect from an IPA without being "extreme'/ 'imperial'/ 'double": a nice fruity aroma which explodes with great hop flavor. In spite of the hoppiness, it maintains a nice malt balance. I love it!!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA has a thin, white head (wide-brim glass) and a hazy, yellow-orange appearance, with some lacing left behind. The aroma is of orange and citric acid, and taste is of piney hops, oranges, sugar, and sweet bread. The mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Racer 5 finishes mostly dry and highly drinkable. Although I think the hop bitterness could stand to be a tad bit harsher, I still love this, and I rate it outstanding.


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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Light golden amber color, very clear, 2 finger off white head upon a slightly vigorous pour.

S: A bouquet of fruity, floral, and citrusy hops burst forward. Getting whiffs of sweet applesauce. Smells really good.

T: Same fruity/floral hop flavors up front with a good amount of malt to balance it all out. Slight bitter twang on the end.

M: Slightly creamy, medium bodied, somewhat light on the carbonation, extremely drinkable.

O: For a standard IPA, it doesn't get much better than this. Perfectly balanced and hoppy in all the right ways. This is the kind of IPA that you keep coming back to.

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Photo of kernalklink
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow- the aromas alone were enough for a perfect score. Strong pushy citrus hop presence throughout, but very complex. What a tasty hop filled IPA! Almost perfect balance with the slightly spicy malt, nice body and sweetness. A little oily on the finish, but what else can you expect. Hops are strong, but no annoying burning aftertaste, your palate will be safe and satisfied. Extra smooth going down and the light ABV and masterful blending makes this one a very sessionable IPA.

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Photo of granger10
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Upon opening a strong fruity, floral aroma emerges. Noticeable across the room. Intense alpha acid sting follows the fruitiness. It's like an intense hop garden. I'm sure there's malt and yeast there but the hoppy smell is amazing. Pours a hazy orangish color with a large off white sticky head. Head maintains well. Good lacing. Taste is strong bitter at first but soon subsides into a complexity which is quite nice. Lots of herbal character and piney grapefruit hops in the middle. A touch of sweet fruit rides the entire wave. Almost apple like, maybe grapes too. A touch of toffee, some banana. It's complex but straighforward at the same time. Hops control. Bitterness never relents its hold at the top. Depth though is outstanding. Finish is long and dry and bitter. Just all around enjoyable. This is how an IPA should taste like.

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Photo of Floyd12
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap poured into a pint glass.

A- A moderately hazy amber color with a thick foamy and creamy head of about two fingers. The head lingered for most of the beer and left fantastic lasing all over the glass.

S- Very hoppy with a slight malt. Citrusy underones with an earthy grainy smell as well.

T- Strong hard hop taste with a little bit of bitterness but not over the top. Again slightly citrusy but the hops take control without going overboard.

M- Very crisp and refreshing with a long dry hoppy finish.

O- This is one of my new favorite beers. I love this but have only seen this at White Horse in Boston. This needs to expand on the east coast.

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Photo of tyanow
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am addicted to Racer 5. I recently called Bear Republic to arrange for some kegs and I told the lady who works there about my addiction. She replied, "I hear that a lot".

Lighter than expected orangish yellow with a nice puff head that lingers and laces.

Overwhelming (in a good way) citrus hop aroma. Distinctly grapefruit and a slight pine note. The taste is a lot more hop than malt but both are very apparent. The word that always comes to mind is fresh.

It is crisper than you'd imagine a 7% beer to be.

This is a bold beer but remarkably drinkable.

I am not a huge hophead - or should I say I wasn't before Racer 5. In my mind this is right up there with Pliny.

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Photo of Dieseljaxx
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic rarely disappoints. They are one of the most consistent breweries going and definitely have an appreciation for hoppy beers. This beer has a wonderful color, smells delicious and the taste meets those expectations. This is a tasty IPA that provides that crisp hoppiness you get with a good IPA but doesn't overwhelm the palate. This beer is very drinkable and should be consumed often.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a tulip glass:
Pours an attractive, golden gamboge-orange color; clear with an ample carbonation level that fuels a behemoth, cloudy, light tan head. Great retention & lacing make for quite the visual.

Aroma is packed with piney, resinous hops balanced perfectly with big, sweet caramel malts. Fruity citrus, mango, pineapple, and pear round out the mouthwatering scent.

This is one of the better tasting IPA's I've had. There's a big time hop note at the beginning, followed by a smooth, biscuity caramel malt backbone that (again) works wonders for the balance to this brew. Mouthfeel is crisp, bubby, and very refreshing with a poignantly bitter hop finish. Overall, this india pale ale is fantastically complex, and both hop-heads and malt-nuts alike will fall in love with it.

Sign of a truly pleasing beer? My girlfriend, who DESPISES hops (I'm working on that, trust me...), actually enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L:Brownish orange color with a thick white full head that sticks around.
S:I pick up a hint of candied apricots mixed in with brown sugar sweet malt
T:Resiny sticky hops that are very floral immediately. At the end there is an awesome candy sweetness.
M: Fills my mouth with full fat bubbles.
D:Another great example of a great IPA baby.

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Photo of jamiesessions
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear amber pour contrasts with a nice tan head that almost looks like it could be used in an advertisement for beer. Citrus hops make me very excited to drink. Tastes as great as it smells. Hops are present, and not overpowering, but most certainly present enough to let you know that you are drinking an IPA, and a damn good one at that. I want to keep drinking this all day, and very well could. It's a perfect combo of taste and smooth feeling. This is one of the best beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting and i cannot wait to do it again

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,237 ratings.