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Racer 5 India Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

6,391 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,391
Reviews: 2,190
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 199
Gots: 538 | FT: 9
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Racer 5 India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,391 | Reviews: 2,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

brandoman63, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: Pours a light amber color with a decent head that dissipates quickly, but leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: Not as strong as expected, but citrusy and piney with some fruit as well.

T: A nice hoppy taste, but similar to the nose, not as hoppy as expected. A nice balance of hops and sweetness, very good.

M: Very light for an IPA with good carbonation

D:Extremely drinkable, especially compared to some heavier IPAs and DIPAs. Extreme hopheads might not find it to be their favorite, but an extremely enjoyable beer.

mdaschaf, May 13, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Frisco's the other day.

The beer pours a light peachy amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose includes the typical grapefruit lime aroma, with some sweet malt as well that is not overdone. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, with the beer having a nice balance of sweet malt and hops. There is good underlying bitterness to this IPA, but your palate is not overwhelmed by it. This IPA is medium bodied and the abv. is remarkably well hidden. So this beer is very drinkable for an IPA, and remains one of my fall back beers if I do not see anything else particularly of interest on a beer menu.

There are so many good IPA's on the market these days that I rarely order Racer V. Nevertheless, this remains one of the better IPA's on the market, and quality is refreshingly consistent. Unfortunately, after having it's stable mate, the Racer X, I just find it difficult to get too excited about Racer V any more. Still, this remains a good quality, solid IPA.

John_M, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 both smells and looks like a blend of pineapple, tangerine and papaya juice; it has yellow, orange and dark orange colours with a naturally cloudy complexion. Looking into the glass against the light reveals little visibility but plenty of bubbles. Its head is both bubbly and filmy - it looks like a coral reef with waves of lacing washed up against the glass.

As mentioned already, juicy notes of pineapple, tangerine and papaya stand out, but there are also lesser flavours of coconut, pine resin and tree bark. The malts - what little can be made out of them - are like honeyed-toasted biscuits, but their sweetness is no match for the bitter orange peel skin and apricot pits. It is also grassy, like an herbal tea laxative.

The best American IPAs have a candied-citrus taste and plenty of acidic citrus zest - that describes Racer 5 to a tee. This tastes like a fruit salad that combines under-ripe cantaloupe, lychee and papaya fruits, slices of mandarin and is topped with a lemon juice/white grapefruit vinaigrette and garnished with boiled, sweetened orange peel. Very fruity.

Candied, caramelized sweetness balances out a lot of the citric acidity, but doesn't cover up for the sugary, pineapple-tasting sweetness nor the trace of earthy, pungent, pine needle-like notes. This beer has such a resinous finish that no bready maltiness, no matter how supportive and noted it may be, conceals that fact. It's plenty refreshing as result.

I don't think the palm trees are as common when you get as north as Healdsburg, but this thing is tropical enough to serve with an umbrella garnish. That said, it is still a tremendously bitter beer and the combination of the two qualities makes this among the best of American IPAs, as good (and better than many) as any others produced in the Golden State.

biegaman, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle giving a simple nice cloudy dark orange body. Really good white head with some decent lacing.

Bouquet at first gives a weak bread smell, then to a simple faint grapefruit. Strangely it doesn't seem big on hops on the nose to me, as small as the smells on the nose are they are there and kind of make this quite pleasant.

Taste goes to a very straight forward simple citrus fruit orange. There is a really good oil of grapefruit and hops with this on the finish and mid palate taste, almost a rind chewing quality which is quite nice.

A very soild American IPA that I would have again.

smakawhat, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.5%

DrBier, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

rab53, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of plaid75
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Hurricane Grill, Syosset, New York.

Poured a suprisingly light copper hue with a one ginger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong peppery hop and grainy malt.

The taste was full blown pepper hops with a moderate earthy sweetness.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style considering the ABV.

Overall a superior IPA.

plaid75, May 17, 2012
Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

Arrived a light copper with no head, carbonation bubbles cling to the side of the glass. Nose is citrus and hop flowers. Taste is mildly sweet with grapefruit-citrus and floral hops. The bitterness from the hops is evident, but very well balanced and mild. Medium body and nicely carbonated. I could drink this beer for hours (as I have done in the past).

tdm168, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a clear, bright tangerine orange with a creamy 1 finger macro-bubbly head that was moderately lasting leaving a spotchy lacing. Visible carbonation was medium.

S: a huge sweet pink grapefruity aroma which was smooth and well rounded by nature.

T: sweet/bitter pungent grapefruit that was semi-dry with some dry floral. The hoppiness was very well rounded, grapefruity, and fresh, with a semi-dry floral finish with hints of lemon and sweet citrus, which was incredibly smooth and refined and not at all rough or coarse like others per style. What I really enjoyed was the balance between the bittering/flavor/aroma hopping. The beer had a great strong aroma to start things off. The palate was dominated by the sweet citrusy hop flavor that was very smooth with the bittering hops coming through in the finish, leaving a nice citrusy floral fade on the tongue.

M: medium fullness with a very dry pungent grapefruit and floral hopping and lacing coming through upon warming.

D: Overall great drinkability, even if your not a big hophead. Refreshing, huge citrusy hopping that was very smooth and bitter/sweet, citrusy and dry. Highly recommended.

beerthulhu, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Surly shaped pint glass. Poured clear and amber in color. It started with a very nice frothy white head that quickly started to leave chunks of lacing on the glass. The head had average retention but left excellent lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a very juicy hop presence to it with some grapefruit, pineapple, mango and a hint of pine coming through. Excellent hoppy aroma overall.

The taste also shows some of the juicy, tropical hoppy flavors. Some pineapple, grapefruit and a bit of peach all come out in the intense hoppiness. A moderate bitterness comes through in the finish. Beautiful hoppy flavor overall.

The mouthfeel is on a little below medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is very good, it had some great hoppy flavors to it and went down very smoothly. Excellent beer overall, and one of my personal favorites.

billab914, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Kelp
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Kelp, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

sendbeer, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of chinchill
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle served in a Highland Brewing pint glass.

A - clear (top of bottle) becoming hazy (bottom of bottle) golden with creamy white head that, as is typical for IPAs, has limited retention.

S - strong aroma of hops; fresh, piney/sprucy, floral and nicely complex. There's probably some roasted malt lurkering in the aroma too, but the hops just jump out.

T - Frankly, the strong piney hop aroma, while very pleasant, is a bit forbidding as it suggests an intensely bitter and piney taste. Such is not the case. This is a refreshing, easy-to-drink IPA that has modestly strong hop flavor together with a quite strong aroma. Moderately bitter grapefruit/pine finish and aftertaste.
Very nice!

M - good body and carbonation

O - an outstanding Amer. IPA, particularly suitable for those who prefer a strong aromatic contribution from hops more than a strong flavor or pronounced bitterness. Quite different than, but overall about on par with, the local Sweetwater IPA I had (for about the 20th time) earlier this week.

chinchill, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of Viggo
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden/orange, thick white head forms, lots of lacing, great retention, head lasts until the end. Smell is rad, pine and grapefruit up front, pineapple, toffee, citrus, superbly balanced. taste is grapefruit and pine, pineapple again, oranges, maybe some vanilla, nice and full flavoured. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth going down. Very clean bitterness in the finish, great balance. Excellent IPA.

Viggo, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update on June 30, 2004:

This is a lot better IPA than I rated previously. I bumped straight 4's to straight 4.5s. I've had this a couple times over the past few months and it has impressed every time. Great aroma. Juicy hop taste. Just a very high quality IPA.


Hazy golden with fine particles of matter in suspension. Nice bubbly and rocky white head. Piney/citrus aroma. I can taste a little sting of alcohol in this one. But it also has a really good bitterness. Nice malt backbone and good hop tones. Slight pine and citrus on the palate. Easy drinking brew. Good IPA.

Bighuge, Mar 27, 2002
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A really solid IPA, one of the first I can recall that started taking on the orange hue and do something that tasted different than the traditional and classic Cascade/Centennial/Chinook hopping.

Hop existence doesn't come right out initially, then you take that first sip, and bam, crisp, tangerine citrus zest, this is one of the classic beers that has a lot of similar influenced IPAs coming out in recent years.

I get some wildly inconsistent ones of these, probably because of the lack of bottle dating and large distribution footprint. When its on, its on. When its not, it lacks the hop vibrancy and takes on that vague woody bitterness.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -4.5%

dmorgan310, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of DrJay
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slighty hazy orange colour with a generous, fluffy head. Good retention and lacing. Toasted, malty aroma with mostly pine and some citrus hop character that is more on the orange side. Also just a bit spicy. Excellent balance with plenty of bitterness balanced by bready, biscuity malts. Hop flavour is strong pine, citrus, and spice, without being over the top. Sweetness backs off towards the end, which lets the resinous bitterness come forward, along with more orange hop flavour, and a bit of alcohol warming appear. Finishes off-dry. Body is a little on the heavy side, moderate carbonation. Bottle conditioning seems to contribute to the creamy smooth texture, which improves even more as it warms. Very nice...

DrJay, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brought over tonight by SAS while we were packing up a couple boxes for trade... my half from my New Belgium snifter.

3/4" head.. left good lacing.. hazy honey colored brew (I got the bottom half) ..

Aroma is C-hops all the way around.. it smells fresh... grapefruit .. slight but present pale malts.. with touches of yeasty fruitiness.

WOW! Flavor is big even for a CA IPA. Big grapefruit and Flintstone vitamin hops (only way I can describe it).. fruity and a little minerally at the same time. Nearly absurdly big hop flavors squash the pale malts that are present.. I am getting just enough sweetness to balance the big bitterness. Fairly thick mouthfeel for the style but the oily hoppiness lends to a pleasant slickness ... but I am definitely not complaining. Finish is a long fruity hoppiness.

Racer 5 would be a staple in my home if I had access... definitely verges on DIPA territory.. but still utterly fantastic... I could drink this until my palate was long blown.. but I would somehow try to find a way to slink one more in.

I've only had this brew one time before.. but I am truly thankful I had the chance to try it again.

JohnGalt1, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +19.3%

PEIhop, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

ShanePB, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

rolltide8425, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of harpus
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

harpus, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 09, 2012
Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,391 ratings.