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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.

2,243 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,243
Hads: 7,209
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 310
Gots: 1,057 | 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: 2,243 | Hads: 7,209
Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark golden/light orange. Huge three-finger slightly off-white head that last a ridiculous amount of time in all it's glory. Literally looks like an ice cream float with the head. Lacing is above average as well.

S- Citrus, citrus, and more citrus. I love it.

T- Hellacious grapefruit. Citrus. Some pine. Hop profile is awesome..."Lingering bitterness"

M- Medium mouthfeel, perfect amount of carbonation for me.

D/O- What an awesome IPA! Would have no qualms with putting down a few of these given the opportunity. Racer 5...you my only friend.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, glowing golden orange body, with languous bubbles of fine carbonation. Head it creamy white, leaving amazing lacing. Great looking IPA.

Smell is also great, a beautiful tropical fruit hit - tastes of passionfruit, pineapple, menthol and pawpaw. It's not as overtly powerful as it could be, but it's very nice all the same.

Taste is a resinous bitter character, quite sharp, but clean and fresh, full of character. There's not a huge amount of complexity there, but it's tasty. Strong and robust hop bitterness that resonates through to the back palate. Mouthfeel is a little thin, surprisingly, but the sparkling character matches the hop bite nicely.

This is a pretty decent IPA - it doesn't knock my socks off, but it's solid, drinkable and enjoyable. At least it's a good example of the style.

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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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a 1 inch foamy white head that settles to a small cap. Nice tight rings of lace line the glass on the entire drink down. Smell is all about the hops: grassy, herbal, earthy, and some slight citrus zest. Taste is mainly of grassy and herbal hops with a malt backbone to support everything. There is a mild bitterness that lingers on the palate with each sip. This beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good IPA but it features a hop profile that I am not all that crazy about.

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Photo of plaid75
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed an off bottle on 4/26/11, came back to it again to give it a second chance.

A – Light gold body. White head with ok retention, but good lace.

S – Woody, leafy hop character. Light honey sweetness.

T – Soft malt into an orange and ginger middle. Herbal backend of thyme and rosemary. Great balance, but the end of the profiled is blemished by a dry dustiness.

M – Medium body with a lightly sweet finish.

O – Not a bad IPA. The dusty note on the backend keep this a solid point lower than where it could have been imho.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a nice gold color with small thin white head.

S: Nose was floral, citrus and well hopped

T: Taste followed the nose very well. No surprises. Lots of caramel malt, more malts than hops I thought, floral notes mainly with citrus notes.

M: Finished slightly bitter but smooth. The hops blast was late and good.

D: Good

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Photo of wl0307
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The most casual and unrelated-to-beer-like beer label I've ever seen this beer has... Got this bottle by courtesy of another BA based in NY City, Bultrey(Ben), and I couldn't find any best before date or anything like that on the bottle. It's supposed to last for a long time~~I reckon?

Appearance: served in a big tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours a slightly cloudy orange amber hue, coming with an extremely foamy, thick, off-white beer head which lasts quite well. Low carbonation detected.
Smell: extremely heavily hopped--profou...ndly perfumy and floral hops exploding right under my nose, along with aggressively fruity (sweet buttery lemon-cake, ripe peach+plum+apples) aroma...it's powerful yet not overpowering, as the deeply-sweet and grainy flavour of malts sustains well following the hop parade.
Taste: oily-hoppy and richly candyish-malty mouthfeel from the very beginning... a bittersweet nutty plus some grapefruit-zesty taste prevails right afterwards, underlined by a rounded, orange-peel oily flavour sitting firmly at the background, leaving a warmish mouthfeel of fruity hops and lingering but not overly strong bitterness. It's so satisfying and settled that almost no particular alcoholic touch is left behind. The balance b/w malts and hops is good, though for me the mouthfeel is a bit overly sweet.
Drinkability: absolutely an explosive and powerful American IPA for me--a delicious present from Bultrey!

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Photo of jdhilt
2.96/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a three-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Fairly clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grassy/piney hoppy nose. Starts balanced with a hint of sweetness but the hops kick in and dominate, bitter grapefruit finish. Good IPA but I don't like the hops in-your-face which the brewer has done all too well. $4.55 for a 22 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an imperial fluted strange)

A-This beer has a deep golden copper body with the slightest hint of hazy and a creamy white marshmallow head that last and last. The carbonation is lots of tiny little bubbles.

S- The smell of citrus and orange hops has a faint pineapple and grass note. Underneath the juicy hops is a note of lightly sweet toasted malt that really rounds out the aroma.

T- This beer has a sweet creamy malt flavor with a hint of caramel that is quickly wiped of the palette by some big bold green hops. The hops have notes of pineapple with a faint grassy note and some floral hop notes. At the finish there is a faint cola note in the hops and then the hops hang onto every exhale not letting go of their grip.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture that makes it feel even more full. No astringency or alcohol noticed.

D- This is a good solid IPA with juicy hops and a good malt backbone. It’s hard to believe this is a 7% abv beer and it has a bit more sweetness than most IPAs. That changes the profile of the hops with is a nice twist.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium orange amber, light head and minimal lacing. Nice fresh sweet herbal hop and malt aroma. Citrus, hops, light malt. Grapefruit and light pine. Hop and citrus aftertaste. Moderate body. A pleasant, moderately intense IPA.

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Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A tumbler glass served at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA is an amber orange color, translucent with a small band of head that doesn't lace.

S: The aroma is chocked full of hops, bitter pine primarily. The oily aromas stand out above the malt backbone.

T: Sweet mamma jamma, this is hoppy. Pine is resinous, oily as it coats me mouth. Bitterness is sharp, peppery without the a spicy finish. Underneath the hops, the caramel malts are more than up to the task, balancing out the ale with a bready body. The hops din't stay silenced for long though, returning to leave a sharp flavor on the tongue.

M: A heavily hopped IPA that seems too strong at times. A little more balance never hurts anyone.

D: I limited myself to one glass. It seems a little to boozy to be enjoyed in multiple servings.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first reviewed this beer back on 11/7/2009 and gave it a horrendously low 2.78 score, with a very low 2.5 score for flavor. I think I was just not used to funky IPAs at the time, so I decided to give Racer 5 a second shot.

Review updated 4/22/2012. Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: light golden-orange hue with a touch of haze and a thick finger of frothy ivory foam. Good.

Smell: lightly funky aroma with some nice earthy/citrusy hops underneath. Not bad, although a bit lighter than I expected.

Taste: rich, malty flavor with a good earthy hop flavor complemented by a hint of citrus which is very well balanced. Kind of like a strong English IPA, maybe, with a bit more citrus. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a bodacious carbonation and a big ol' creaminess I just can't ignore. I like it a lot.

Overall: I am very glad I re-approached this beer. My opinion last time was "this will definitely be a beer I revisit when I've got another hundred or two beers under my belt". Well, I've had on the order of 900 beers since then and I find this beer quite good. This beer doesn't seem a quarter as funky as I made it out to be the first time I reviewed it, so either the recipe has changed or my palate has. I will go with my palate -- at this point, I would gladly quaff Racer 5 regularly.

(Original review)

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: color is light golden, heading towards straw; head is ivory in hue and two fingers in size. Nice.

Smell: pungent is a good word to use here; hops are very earthy and a little grassy and metallic. The aroma reminds me of day old grass clippings. Perhaps "pungent" is not right; this beer trends far closer to "funky".

Taste: a lot like the smell. I am not sure how I feel about the funkiness factor here. Maybe this earthy, decomposing-plant-matter funk is intentional, but it is starting to grate on me. Either my bottle has a problem or I am not sophisticated enough for this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an appropriate level of carbonation.

Drinkability: the funkiness is getting to be too much. I will definitely finish the bottle; who knows, it might start to grow on me. This will definitely be a beer I revisit when I've got another hundred or two beers under my belt.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

pours a cloudy golden color with a slight, quickly dissipating head.

grassy, hoppy aroma on the nose. not a huge hop bomb like I expected.

taste is, again, quite subdued. hops and malts are both there but aren't in your face huge. good citrus aftertaste with no alcohol present. higher side of medium bodied with low carbonation. decent drinkability.

overall, like other bear republic beers I've had, this one is lacking on that big kick of flavor. its balanced but the flavors just aren't intense. this isn't a favorite of mine.

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Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely dark gold color; not much of a head; faint lacing.

Restrained floral hop aroma.

Classic, balanced tasting IPA, good bitterness, subdued floral, citrus, and pine notes. Decent maltiness behind it all.

Creamy mouthfeel with moderately low carbonation. Very nice. Highly drinkable.

This is a good one; falls short of the hop bomb category; not overtly bitter and has a fairly crisp finish. Really nice, mainstream example of a West Coast IPA.

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Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at the brewpub in Healdsburg.

Pours a clear dark golden color with pale yellow hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy white head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sheets of sporadic lacing behind.

Crisp citrus and earthy pine hop aroma with some subtle malt and hints of lemon, grapefruit and biscuit.

Lighter end of medium body with a clean crisp dry hop presence. Light malts provide a nice balanced backbone. Dry piny notes with lemon and grapefruit as well as some subtle biscuit and graham cracker malt. Sweet with a dry lingering finish.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler to pint glass on 3/21/11
*From notes

A: A good, somewhat cloudy 24k gold. It's got a nice 1.25 finger head, followed by high quality lacing.

S: Pine needles attack the nostrils. If I wasn't aware before, I am now: this is a west coast IPA all the way.

T: A good dose of breadiness hits first, but it's merely a formality as the sweet and citrusy hops overwhelm the palate from the mid to finish.

M: Pretty killer - this one feels like it belongs. Good weight and creaminess that tends to be found in the upper echelon of the style.

O: I've been meaning to review this one for a while, and what better way then a growler!

Bear Republic's Racer 5 is one of the top AIPA's for a reason, and is a cornerstone of the style. I have returned to this time and time again, and will continue to for years to come. This one borders pretty close to perfection.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a small head. Smell is of hops, some citrus. Taste is dominated by hops, some citrus and hints of malts, very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle from bleedingshrimp as part of 120/190 BIF. Thanks for the opportunity, been meaning to get to this one.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear golden amber brew. Pillowy head lasts nicely, with heavy but sporadic frothy lacing. Aroma is lightly lemony hops with an undercurrent of controlled sweetness. Taste is upfront a nicely balanced flavor of grains and citrus hops, which slowly gives way to allow the hops to gain center stage. Mouthfeel is smooth and clean, and drinkability is superb. One of the more controlled West Coast IPAs, I like it.

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Photo of beertunes
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a straight pint glass. Poured a lovely orange/yellow with a thin white head that left lots of sticky lacin

Crisp citrus hops greet the nose, and the flavors are very similar. I didn't find this IPA to be as good as BRs Hop Rod Rye.

The body was solid, which gave the hops something to cling to, a pleasant change from most thin west coast IPAs. A very drinkable beer, especially for an IPA, I recommend this beer, but find Hop Rod far superior.

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Photo of Derek
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back-to-back with the hop rod rye. The hop flavour in this one is over-the-top! You've gotta be a hop head to enjoy this!

A: Golden-bronze with a fluffy white head; only a little retention, but it leaves a nice lace.

S: Plenty of citrus & pine with a touch of floral hop aroma; a little toffee & candied fruit.

T: Plenty of pine & citrus hop flavour (the Columbus & Cascade provide a well-round hop flavour). Toffee & candy-floss/candied fruit; balanced with an assertive (but pleasant) bitterness. There's a slightly warm dryness to the finish, but the alcohol is really well hidden.

M: Slightly heavier than moderate body is pleasantly creamy & slightly acidic. Moderate carbonation.

D: Great drinkability (for the hop initiated).

Truly an all-round GREAT beer!

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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...

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Photo of puboflyons
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on February 26, 2015.

It pours a cloudy pale yellow with a quick white head but little lacing left behind as it fades.

The aroma has this sort of melted caramel or toffee feature along with muted grass and earth. Maybe pear.

Medium to above medium texture.

The taste is both caramel and juicy with a modest lingering hop finish. Balanced.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,243 ratings.