Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,516 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,516
Reviews: 2,061
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 244
Gots: 294 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002

A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,516 | Reviews: 2,061
Reviews by Callenak:
Photo of Callenak
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favs that I've waited a while to review…

Bear Republic is one of my favorite breweries. To me they make beers with great drinkability. I almost always have a Racer 5 in my fridge. That and Hop Rod are just staples in the beer diet.

Pours a rich, dark amber with a great, cream head that dissipates quickly to leave a nice lacing on the beer and glass.

Smell is spicy and hoppy. Rye beers seem to go great with hops and this is no exception. A bouquet of citrus and pine. A great malt presence to back it all up.

Taste…mmmm. This beer has it all. Loads of hoppy greatness, spiciness from the rye, malt backbone and alcohol to balance it all out. This is the beer that started me down the path of rye. Now I've had a collection of rye beers, homebrewed many rye beers, and even have a bottle of rye whiskey laying around. It will change how you look at beers. Bravo to Bear Republic. I love living in California.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JooJooEyeballs
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love this rye as well as Cane & Ebel.

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a almost creamy-like head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,the rye really comes thru in the aroma along with a dose of grapefruit these aromas melded very well together I already knew this was gonna be a hoppy brew before even tasting.Like a few of the others who reviewed this one the first few sips hit pretty hard with some bigtime bitterness but mellowed after awhile with that late rye touch making this very refreshing.Glad to get a chance to try this a very nice beer would love to have on tap again sometime.

Photo of ddean
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty, dark amber/red color. A pour from bottle to pint glass gives some intense bubbles on the side of the glass that dissipate over a couple of minutes and a thin but nice foam lacing. I would give a chance for the beer to warm up a bit so as to get a solid feel for its complex scent and flavor.

And what a sensory experience. The aroma was not as hoppy or citrusy or strong to me as others report for them, but some hops right up front, followed by a pleasant combination of roasted malt and brown sugar as the glass warmed up. Delicious taste, with sweet malt, dark cherries, a nice, balanced bite from the hops and rye. Mouthfeel is perfect, a smooth followup to the taste with a lingering, yummy hint of cherries, chocolate, and red grapefruit. (Interesting to me how reviewers will often report some similar flavors to one another, but in different orders.)

So in short, another excellent, dynamic, but well-balanced beer from The Republic of Bear. Definitely check it out if you are a fan of big but well-balanced beers.

Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This one is a beautiful cloudy brown in color and just clear enough to view the sediment floating around. The head was absolutely gorgeous! It foamed up quickly, lasted a while, and tried to leave a little lacing.

Smell – The lovely aroma of piney and floral hops are mixed with a bit of citrus and a hint of the promised rye. The fragrance is sharp yet balanced. Nicely done.

Taste – The balancing malt sticks its chest out just enough to balance. The complex hops from the nose come on wonderfully here, mixing with the subtle rye notes to form a symphony of flavors. This one does the almost impossible task of establishing a sharp, crisp, strong hop flavor then bringing it to the drinker’s lips balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel – Crisp and sharp yet refreshing and smooth. This nearly full-bodied rye-tinted IPA is a mouthful for sure.

Drinkability – When I partake of my occasional whisky indulgence, I usually go for straight Kentucky or Tennessee rye. This ale couples that wonderful flavor with a tremendous IPA offering. Hats off!

Update – Cvschaller brought an ’04 vintage over to my place for a pizza party. I really do love this ADIPA. It’s a unique and fully satisfying take on the style.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty bad ass bottle for a pretty bad ass beer. Pours a deep dark copper with magnificent rubaeous hues and a huge, fluffy, three finger beige head that never goes away. Seriously, when I finished the last sip in my glass there was still this little dollop of cream sitting in the bottom of the glass. Admittedly, I love rye beers and this is no exception. Nose is oat and bread malts with wonderful fruit esters, pine, and grapefruit. Mouthfeel is massages the tongue like the older girl who taught you how to kiss in high school. Through the wonderful physical sensation comes a hot rod load of hop bitterness, rye flavors, citrus fruit, and spice. Finishes thick and chewy. Good to the last drop like a cup of the old Maxwell House.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into glass.

A-A very deep red almost brownish color, holding it up to the light shows off the deep red color, has a solid head and leaves a solid lacing on the glass.

S-Floral hops with an almost caramel hint, with a cross of some dark rye bread.

T-Very hoppy at first almost biting, after that there is a bit of a rye flavor that almost smooths it out. Every other sip seems to go from biting to smooth. Very interesting, just that fact makes this one of my favorite brews.

M- Again it goes from biting to smooth and vice versa. I find it quite unique.

D-Can't really go for more than one of these in a night. I actually prefer to split a bomber with a friend. It doesn't show off the 8% abv at all, seems so much less than that.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rudy red/mahogany into an oversized wine glass. A light khaki,1 and 1/2 finger head recedes over the course of a minute to leave a thin retaining film. The lacing is sticky and thin and looks like ancient hieroglyphics.

S: Very intriguing. The combination between the hops and the rye malt produces a cranberry and fig smell that is supported by the expected citrus and floral aromas. Call me crazy, but in a way this smells like a Belgian quad with the figgy-sweetness. It has a unique aroma for an IPA, to be sure.

T: This is a really special meeting of hops, barley malt, and rye in my mouth. The cranberry and fig sweetness that I alluded to in the smell kicks off the flavor on the palate, followed by an exciting collision of the fresh hops and spicy rye malts. The finish is nice and bitter and awfully tasty. This is not your typical American IPA, but its ingenuity and creativity makes it a truly unique and great one.

M: This beer is a dancer; it's a soul's companion; you can feel it everywhere. But seriously, folks. This one really hits all the buttons of my palate. The carbonation is deliciously crisp, the barley and rye malts lend a good, full body, and the bittering hops donate a dry, bitter finish.

D: Would I have another? Yeeeaaash. If you couldn't tell, I really dig this beer. I'm not sure if it's the mood I'm in or what, but this is really striking the right chord with me right now. I read on the Great Lakes group that Bear Republic is moving into Michigan. If that is true, I would be one happy Beer Advocate.

Photo of brownbeer
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber colored with a tan head poured from a 22oz bomber.

S- Spicy nose, both from the hops and rye malt. Reminds me of a fresh Bigfoot in a lot of ways.

T- Pine resin, heavy, gourmet baked bread. A doughiness hits about mid palate before finishing dry and bitter

M- A bit of astringincy in the mouthfeel but not harsh. Becomes a bit heavier and more bitter as it warms.

D- A beer I will drink a couple of times per year(probably during cool weather) and really enjoy it.

A well structured beer that balances sweet, spicy, and bitter very well and progresses nicely. I could possibly see this one aging for a year or two.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

OK first of all I am not reviewing this as an IPA. Nothing about this beer is IPA as far as I'm concerned. That noted...we will proceed.

The beer is a beautiful clear rosewood color and has a nice thin, rust-tinted head that fades to a thin layer. It leaves fragments of lace. The spicy nase gives a boquet of alefruit and fresh orange. Very inviting. The taste is a simple but lovely swirling of big ale fruit esters, perfectly proportioned rye kick, crystal malt, and herbal hop all melding together for one very co-hesive brew. I might call this an "Imperial Amber".

Mouthfeel is alive with rye and carbonation. It is a little stingy but this helps accentuate much of the flavor profile (specifically hops, rye, esters) and does much to add drinkability to what would be an otherwise oppressive full body. As beer warms and carbonation dissapates it actually gets nice and creamy. Man this beer is a journey.

Photo of sgoodship
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Bear Republic brew. I loved the humorous copy about the sediment on the label. $4.99 at Binny's - great value.

A: Almost a very dark brown haziness on top that becomes a clearer dark amber at the bottom of the glass. Deep and interesting looking. Without vigorous pouring, it delivered a nice slightly off-white head that started clinging to the glass immediately. Awesome lacing throughout and a nice ring and thin head stayed the course.

S: Really big hops. Initially, it was a grassy, earthy hop but as it warmed, I got more of the grapefruit profile. There was also some caramel syrupy sweetness underlying the hops but it was not the dominant force. I think I could detect rye but the hops are so dominant that it was hard to pin-point it.

T: Good hearty taste. Pretty much as the smell. Generally, feels quite complex and deliberately hop focused. Rye ads a nice dry crispness and slight spicy bitterness to the palette along with the hop bite. Aftertaste is nice sour hop. As it warmed up, the combination of the caramel malt and the big hops was quite lovely.

M: Smooth, medium body mouthfeel with medium/low carbonation. As it warmed up, it was nice and round and thoroughly fulfilling.

D: Very drinkable. Downed it in record time. 8% ABV is hardly noticeable and therefore dangerous. Thoroughly enjoyed this. I think that this is one of my new go-to hop fixes. I love what the rye ads to the mix.

Don't know about style categorization but this has to be bordering on the DIPA. Higher ABV and a pretty deliberately aggressive hop.

Photo of JMD71
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy, deep cppery color. Rocky, textured head. Small head lingers. Vigorous carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet, malty aroma with notes of hop. Does not smell overly hoppy.

Taste: Malty flavor balanced by a hoppy middle. Finishes quite bitter on the palette because of the hop profile, but not overly so. Bitter finish does not linger...

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, Crisp finish after a smooth middle. Tastes clean.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Refreshing & smooth. Would need to be cautious with these due to the 8% ABV. I could drink a few..

Comment: This was a very good beer. I liked it all the way through the bomber. Nice example of the style....

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

The brewery describes it as a strong American IPA, not a Double IPA. You have to love the gray area within American styles. Very tiny bubbles are slow to rise but do form a sufficient head that drops stellar lacing on the glass after each sip. Deep brownish-amber color has a slight haze from the hops. Massive hop aroma of sweet citric peel, wild flowers, hint of grapefruit, pine and fresh mint. Lavish creamy smoothness from a deep-seated carbonation and a full body to boot. You'd swear the mouthfeel was massaging your taste buds. Both the spiciness of the rye and hops battle it out with a thick malt character. Hop bitterness never becomes excessively sharp and lays down a stodgy blanket of citric rind flavor. This beer is 7.5 percent ABV? Deceiving for sure. Spiciness of the rye peaks right in the middle, at the same time a heavy hand of caramel and bready malt sweetness flaunts its sturdy foundation. Finishes bittersweet, certainly more bitter, but it never clouds out the malt all the way.

Hop Rod Rye throws the gloves off and comes out swinging with flavor, certainly a snapshot of what American craft beer is about, and we love it.

Photo of Dmann
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a top notch brew from start to finnish. This is also my first Rye beer and hopefully not my last. It poured a great copper color with a frothy head that left quicky but it's lace stayed behind till till the last drop. The scent of grapefruit and hops were very up front and just made me want to drink this beer even more. The flavor was great with a generous dose of hops and a nice citrus-y sweetness. I also detected a peppery flavor once the beer warmed a bit, maybe due to the rye. This beer was a joy to drink and I will be picking up more soon.

Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear dark amber with a tone of sticky, foamy head that leaves really nice lacing down the glass.

Lots of grapefruit with a definite whiff of pine back there.

Quite high on the bitterness scale, even as it warms up. Really good citrus flavors with enough malt to balance everything out. I'm not entirely sure what the addition of rye contributes, but it all works very well together.

Nice, thick, and chewy.

I wouldn't call it a refresher for a hot day, but a great one to sit down and sip during a long conversation. If this was on tap, I doubt I'd go for anything else.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out of the bomber a deep brownish read color with a nice creamy head on top. Quite an interesting color for an I2PA. Unique. The nose on this one is upfront with lemon and grapefruit hopiness along with some caramel and grain, which I'm guessin is rye. A bit subdued.

The first swig is a bitter blast of grapefruity citrus hops along with a nice caramel malty backbone that works its magic to keep everything together. The rye imparts a unique flavor that ties in nicely. Finishes with a lingering hop biterness that will kick your palates ass...how many IBU's is this?

Mouthfeel is nice...medium body and smooth velvet creaminess. Drinkability is awesome here...the alcohol is well hidden and it tastes so damn good. Easy to gulp and a great treat for the hophead in all of us. My advice is to find it and try it!

Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice looking DIPA. A voluminous two finger off white head that went down to a lumpy mass. Laced the glass well. Body was a deep caramel. Mostly transparent but some floaters hanging around.

Aroma is citrus and a bit of pine. A light rye bread flavor works its way in there as well. Taste is balanced well between a good general hop flavor and the rye. Finishes dry like most rye beers but is complimented with some juicy hops. These two factors are probably why I like Rye Ales so much. They always seem to have the best of both worlds in them: dry but still juicy, hoppy but balanced with the rye. Hops have a touch of citrus and dry bitter resin flavors. Some good sweet malts in there as well. Very tasty and very well crafted.

Mouthfeel isn't exactly where I would like it. I would like to see it be a bit thicker. It does coat well though and the flavors linger for a while. A slight amount of carbonation makes this refreshing. Drinkability is pretty amazing with the nicely blended flavor profiles and the lighter feel.

Highly recommended...Gonna be picking up a couple more of these on my next trip.

Photo of NWer
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. 8% abv on the label.
It's about time I tried this beer. I've looked at it long enough and what a treat.
Dark murky brown a result of being unfiltered and loaded with hops - according to the label. Fine with me. A beauty to behold much more appealing than the highly filtered stuff.
Rye and hops. i've died and gone to heaven. Wonderful balance to be praised with words usually reserved for the most revered beers.
Outstanding effort.
If you haven't tried a rye beer and want to, this is the one.
Update 11/08/11 Reality check just to make sure I didn't get caught up in the moment. Revisited since my initial review and it's everything I remembered. The gold standard for the style in my opinion. So, why is this classified an American IPA when clearly it's a Rye beer? It even says so on their website.

Photo of andyfrancis
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep red-amber. Not much head to speak of, the little bit looks nice.

Smells like a glass full of hops.

Taste of bitter hops up front followed by a slow rumble of alcohol and rye.

Pretty hot for 8%. Not that 8% is anything to scoff at. Still, the booze is not trying to hide.

Worth a try. Probably not for everyone.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Dark red, almost burgundy that is so dense you cannot see through. There is also a decently thick tan head.

S- A floral earthiness/pinyness from the Amarillo hops.

T- At the front, you taste the floral earthiness/pinyness of the Amarillo hops. This hop flavor is mostly bitter, with a hint of sweetness toward the end of the sip. There is also a hint of dark malts that provide some more sweet to counterbalance the bitter hoppiness. The aftertaste is the bitter pinyness from the hops.

M- Great full, round body that coats your entire mouth with flavor, which is typical of the brewery.

D- Wouldn't mind having a bottle or two, but it is a filling brew due to the medium ABV, full body, and robust hop flavor.

Photo of warnerry
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with 1-2 fingers of quickly dissipating head.

Smells tastes with a nice spiciness, followed by a huge aroma of grapefruit hops.

Taste has more malt than I was expecting, but in a good way. Still definitely hop forward; the spice from the rye is very nice.

Light/medium mouthfeel; finishes crisp and somewhat dry.

Overall, this is going down too fast. I think I may like Founders Red's Rye just a bit more, but this is an excellent beer.

Photo of sponberg
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's to great beer stores like Glenville Beverage, who have this on tap on a semi-regular basis. Pours a dark reddish-amber with a tight cream colored head that laces down the rest of the pint. Aroma of resiny, citrus rind hops over a backdrop of sweet fruity malt and a distinct rye bread fresh from the oven spiciness. Mmm...

This is almost two different beers in one pint: pour it straight from a fridge-temp growler and the bountiful hops grab the tongue and give it a good shakedown before the fruity, toasted-rye maltiness comes in to pick up the spare change and cufflinks - they're there, but the beer is decidedly hopcentric. But...

Let it warm up for a few minutes, to say 45 or 50 degrees. Then everything kicks into gear at the same time and the results are astounding. From the sip, aggressive hops still try to rough up the tongue but now the rye spicy-graininess is standing alongside, carrying a Thompson submachinegun of dry caramel and fruit maltiness and faint distant warming alcohol. It's all there in one sip. I just love this beer. Finishes with a distinctive "really good rye bread" aftertaste with trailing notes of citrus rind, the Kordite smoke of maltiness still present in the tastebuds. Just chewy enough. Far too drinkable.

Simply an outstanding brew - if this is your local, consider yourself lucky.

Photo of dill
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draught in a pint glass.
a - a nice, deep brown color with a tan head.
s - smells of hops with a hint of caramel.
t - lots of hops with a bit of the rye malts as well. a very bitter beer but well-balanced.
m - medium bodied. a bit creamy.
d - I really like this beer. I only had one pint of it and then moved on, but I look forward to ordering it again in the future.

Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a deep ruby reddish brown with a huge pillowy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel, piney floral hops and some melon and alcohol.

The flavor is rye, sweet caramel and melon with a sharp lingering bitter grassy hop finish. The alcohol is well-hidden, but it sneaks up on you. The mouthfeel is medium and kind of watery.

Overall, a nice IPA. It's definitely a hop monster, and the rye adds a nice touch. The caramel and fruits lend an almost barley wine touch to it.

Photo of generallee
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured into from a 1pt 6oz brown bottle into a tulip glass. There is no noticeable ABV or freshness date on the label.

Appearance: From the pour I got a deep ruby red body with some carbonation and a tall light beige head. The head is thick and long lasting which makes for some think clingy lace patterns on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has deep lemon pith and lemon oil like hops with a touch of resiny pine like hops too. I am also getting rye bready and lots of roasted/toasted malt.

Taste/Palate: There is a heavy concentrated hit of resiny pine and citrus hops backed up by a deep solid hit of dark roasted grain, caramelized malt, raison like dark fruit and toasted rye bread. The ABV is fairly well hidden but does add a touch of sweetness and warmth to the overall character which is intense. The finish is long and full of hop bitterness that very slowly fades off the tongue. Under this I also pick up some mellow sweet alcohol and a hint of an almond like toasted note. It has a very deep and complex finish.

Notes: This is absolutely crazy, deep and complexly concentrated beer. Be sure to take your time and sip this one slowly.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,516 ratings.