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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,330 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,330
Reviews: 2,038
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 222 | FT: 3
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:
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 added by: Quaffer 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 Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,330 | Reviews: 2,038 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of umtox
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very creative brew.

Appearance is a heavily textured deep amber and pours with minimal head.

The rye is definitely apparent in the smell.

Taste is an assault of hops on the plate very dry upfront with a developing sweetness near the end. The rye adds a lot of complexity.

Sits real heavy, even for an IPA. Consider this one of your courses in the dinner or enjoy without food.

umtox, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of RomanW70
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper amber with a thick tan head. Aroma is dominated by hops with a piney, earthy character. Flavor has some caramel malts, some spice from the rye, and some hoppy earthyness. Finish is fairly bitter. Medium carbonation and a relatively full mouthfeel.

RomanW70, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of GilGarp
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottled date appears to be 3/27/09.

Pours into my Sam Adams glass a dark coca-cola color with good clarity and thin off-white head.

Aroma is hoppy, even from a distance. Upon closer inspection it has a nice brown sugar smell mixed with piney hops.

Flavor is rich in both malts and hops. At first it's just sweet in a nice brown sugar and carmel kind of way. The rye must be contributing to the flavor in this way but I can only assume as I haven't had many rye beers. As I move it around in my mouth some, the strong bitterness from the west coast hops comes forward. There's lots of pine but it's all kept in check by the malts. It's a bit roasty at times and not entirely what I expected but it's good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and sweet with a smooth, low carbonation feel. Drinkability is good but it's not my favorite.

After having the Racer 5 several times, I expected this to be an amped up version but it's really quite different. It's enjoyable but not as good as the Racer. Possibly a better cool weather beer but tonight is not the night to find out.

GilGarp, May 28, 2009
Photo of trackstar1043
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clouded deep orange with a rocky tan head, incrediable lacing.

S - Bigger and fuller the Bear's Racer #5 IPA, stronger hops and sweeter malts to balance with the hops.

T - Strong bitter hops right for the start and starts to settle a bit with the sweet malts and carmels tones, then finishes with a lip smacking bitter kick.

M - Med bodied, high carbonation that adds to the extremely lively taste. Very refreshing.

D - Goes down easy and extremely enjoyable.

trackstar1043, May 05, 2008
Photo of Bierguy5
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 8% ABV. Cloudy, very dark brownish/copper, with some huby shades. Thick tan head. Great retention and lace. Look dark for an IPA.

This is bursting with citrusy and piney hop aroma. Toasty, caramel like maly is present in the nose as well. Fruity, mainly some tropical fruits.

Rich toffee like malt character. Very robust. Seems to fall into some woody flavors, then a blast of citrusy hops. Finishes with some peppery flavor.

Good body and carbonation. Well balanced. The rye addds a very unique character. Very nice.

Bierguy5, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of Squelch
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown, with a tan off white head that sticks around. Clear. Very nice.

Smell: Piney hops surrounded by malt sweetness. you can tell this is going to be good by the smell of it.

Taste: Slight sweetness, balanced by a slight hop flavor and bitterness. Very clean taste. Not too complex, but simplicity is the name of the game here. Excellent. Finishes with a resiny citrus hop flavor that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium light bodies. Tinge of carbination is evident.

Drinkability: Great beer. Will drink again

Squelch, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of erosier
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Thanks to tzanio for this one!

L: Pours a nice red-orange color with a small and short tan colored head that left a little lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of spicy rye, a big earthy/piney hop aroma, some caramelized malts mixed in and a hint of yeast at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, hints of caramelized malts, a big spicy rye mixed with earthy and piney hops really brings this one together. The rye mixes very well with the hops and it hides the abv so you wouldn't know if you didn't read the bottle how big of a beer it is.
M: Very crisp, sharp, a little heavier than it looks, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, this one was pretty easy to put down and the flavors were expertly mixed. I liked it a lot.

erosier, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Fenris244
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber, beautiful 2 finger off white sticky head, great retention, left a thick lace while drinking.

Pine, candied lemon peel, I think I smell the rye but that could be my imagination.

Harsh bitterness up front, lemon and almost a grape fruit flavor, the bitterness lingers well into the finish, malty finish good sweetness on the finish too, on another note I would never expect this to be an 8% abv beer the alcohol is very well masked by the flavors.

Light in body, almost thin, the carbonation is nice a little light though.

Very drinkable, super flavorful smooth beer, to bad it only comes in 4 packs

Fenris244, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this a while back, just getting to putting up a review now.

Poured from a bomber.

Not your run of the mill IPA that's for sure. Spicy notes in the flavor and aroma compliment the hops profile. Quite easy to drink and real nice feel. Get this if you can find it fresh.

papat444, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Rudgers73
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into a Guinness pint glass the beer yields a huge 3 finger head that has that IPA type of resilience. The beer has a really attractive ruby color that is created with the existence of rye in the grain bill. The nose is very clean with piny hops with a slight grapefruit character. A bit soapy and grainy. The taste is very bold. There is an instantaneous burst of bitter american hops that dominate most of the sip. In the back are lingering notes of hearty, toasted grains. The alcohol is completely masked by the concoction of hops used in this bomb of an IPA.

This is one of those beers that makes it well known that America has a real handle on the craft beer trade.

Rudgers73, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of Pegasus
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear deep copper, with a large white head, profuse broken lace.

Aroma: Spicy rye notes, quite pronounced grapefruit and pine hops.

Taste: Opens with spicy rye notes, soon followed by grapefruit and pine tar hops, and a solid malt presence. Finishes with a lingering pine tar hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, very full, soft.

Drinkability/notes: Quite excellent, interesting variation on the style.

Pegasus, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown in color with a 2 finger foamy beige/tan head that lasted a while and left great lacing and a creamy ring around the top of the glass; the lacing didn't move unless a sip of beer flowed over it.

Smells of big hops up front, with piney hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, sweet malt, orange peel, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, grass, hay, apple and some wheat; very pungent hop aroma that was surprising to me nice since I was expecting rye.

Tastes of piney hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, sweet malt, orange peel, coriander, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, cinnamon, grass, hay, tart apple, flowers, rye, spices and what seems like syrup towards the end; really hoppy overall with the rye coating the tongue after the other flavors wash away. This is a different kind of IPA and I like it and its light spicy approach.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth, with very light to no carbonation, a medium body and a snappy tart finish that screams of the rye. There are hints of alcohol, but they are so mild that it's not a distraction.

Very tasty and quite drinkable, especially for IPA fans who like a mix of malt and other ingredients like rye with their hops. This is no ordinary IPA and should be enjoyed for the specialty beer that it is. A definite recommendation.

CHickman, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of TheDeuce
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye....

Appearance-dark brown to black, decent hazy head foams up, active carbonation gushes through the glass, it's ok.

Smell-bready as expected, a whoosh of alcohol and plenty of hops. Lots of aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel-hops hit with a flourish, piney taste, bready character to the beer, not really tasting anything that distinct that would make me realize it's a rye, but still a great tasting beer.

Drinkability-I had no trouble finishing mine, strong beer but definitely drinkable.

Overall-once again, I couldn't really determine that it was rye based on the taste alone, but still, this is a great beer from a brewer that I've really come to respect.

TheDeuce, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of HopGoblin
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber in color, nice tan head with no apparent lacing. Smell of this is a bit funky at first but seems to improve as the beer breathes. The beer has aromas of malt, alcohol, citrus fruit and sugar. The taste is extremely dry with a really nice hop punch. Nice grapefruit character from this beer, as well as a nice caramel flavor from the rye malt. Nice long, dry, tart finish. Definately a tasty, unique brew from Bear Republic.

HopGoblin, Aug 31, 2005
Photo of Nugganooch
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz to pint glass
*Notes from 08/14/11

A: Hop Rod Rye pours a dark amber color with some lighter caramel tones around the edges. First pour was nearly headless but second did offer up a nice 1 finger froth of khaki tan foam. Nice drapes of lace too.

S: Sticky pine sap and citrus aromas up front. With a bit of a sour dough biscuit that follows.

T: Tangy citrus fruits. Pine resins. Almost lemony. Medium bitterness throughout. Caramel nuttiness. Rye brings a bit of raisiny spice to the mix. Nice dry crisp finish on it. Really well rounded and very tasty.

M: Very creamy, light, smooth body with a bit of a sticky mouthcoat. Dry finish & somewhat of a bitter pucker effect.

D: A really well balanced brew with great texture and drinkability.

I think Bear Republic makes some fantastic beers and this is no exception. A hoppy amber that offers up something pleasantly different with just enough Rye in the grist.

Nugganooch, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of BrownNut
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - 4.0 - I was expecting red for some reason, but it came out more on the brown side of amber. Crystal clear. Oily cream colored head that dissipates slowly.

S - 4.0 - Malty sweet and rich honey, pungent hops. Distinct.

T - 4.0 - Can't quite put my finger on the main taste in the body... fairly sweet malt (but not too sweet), very rich. Very manageable bitterness level. To the degree I notice spicy rye, it's only subtly, on the exhale with the aftertaste.

M - 4.25 - Medium heavy body, unexpectedly. Somewhat viscous. Very nice.

O - 4.0 - Enjoyable and different. I like the richness of it - so flavorful. But still not too overtaxing.

BrownNut, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of bosco7
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark...very dark (not even close to pale). Thick creamy head. Quality lacing.

Cascade/Centennial aroma; grapefruit, orange, and pine. Not much malt coming through in the nose.

Hop bomb upfront; grapefruit and pine needles. Other flavors include: tobacco, plum, molasses, and roasted malt (not really IPAesque). Finishes pretty bitter and lasts.

Chalky mouthfeel with some carbonation bite.

I don't really consider this beer to be an IPA of any kind. There are a lot of flavors going on here that would be better suited if it were placed in the American Strong Ale style. That said, this is an interesting beer that will surely appeal to IPA enthusiasts.

bosco7, May 09, 2007
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber split between two pint glasses.

Pretty chestnut color, with a damn amazing tan head. Thick and rocky, lacing everywhere as it fades. Yes some would say that the head gets between them and their beer. The hell with those people. This is something to behold.

Big malty backbone to this IPA. Caramel and earthy malt, with big piney and earthy hop balance. This is nice.

The taste is great balance between nice sweet and caramel malt, and some piney hop flavor. Finsh is good and bitter and leaves you wanting more.

I'm not sure what rye smells and tastes like, but this has some unique characteristics to it.

Good mouthfeel, medium body and very fulfilling. Would I drink another...would I? Why not??

ZimZamZoom, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich red/mahogany color, with a very puffy off white had with great retention and lacing. Good looking beer here.

S - Good amount of grapefruit in the nose, a bit of resin and pine, some bready malt, and just a perfect amount of rye that reminds you of a very light, rye bread.

T - Starts off a bit sweet, a touch of lemon and citrus before fading into a good amount of bitter, piney hops. Again, there's a good rye bread backbone that's a bit faint but balances out the brew nicely. Another bit of sweetness on the finish.

M - Sticky mouthfeel, but overall very smooth. Alcohol is hidden nicely here.

Overall - Very solid IPA. It wasn't outstanding, but it was just a very well constructed beer.

BeerBuckeye, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of nhindian
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A - Pours a dark caramel with a touch of red, almost like a deep ruby. Builds a finger of a creamy head with a few minutes worth of retention. Multiple levels of lacing around the glass.

S - Smell is fresh grapefruit all of the way. I don't think I've had a beer that had this amount of grapefruit citrus in the nose. Very floral as well with some spicy rye and bread notes. Interesting and unique.

T - Taste is actually much more balanced than the nose. There are ample amounts of the rye and malts that add a nice chewiness to this beer. The hops emerge at the end of the beer with a vengeance though, and it's quite spicy and bitter. In fact, this beer is very damn bitter that grabs on tight with a grip that doesn't let go. Finish is long and bitter as hell.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Creamy smooth but with a hip bite that helps stagger the feel.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The flavors are great and refreshing, but the bitterness is just a bit much. For me personally, if there were a way to keep the smell and flavor but turn down the bitter a few notches, this would be a regular in my fridge.

nhindian, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass

Pours a beautiful dark copper with a fluffy head that never totally disappears. Aroma is Grapefruit, Pine and some sweet and caramel malt in the background. Taste hits with the citrus and pine and lingers long after each sip. There's a bit of bite from the rye somewhere in the middle. Medium body lots of lacing. Nice IPA.

johnnnniee, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of natelocc787
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I appreciated the uniqueness of the rye in this Imperial IPA. Pours dark like a Brown ale/IPA hybrid. Smells of rye, scotch, grapefruit, lemon, and grassy pine. Rye is very noticeable in the taste and brings a dark, spicey quality to a good Double IPA. The appearance and smell was very nice and it's unusual to get these kinds of aromas from a beer this dark. Mouthfeel was close to perfect. Silky, chewy, heavy and nectary with nice tiny-bubble carbonation to make it feel creamy. Even though I found this beer a real treat it was one to be savored.

natelocc787, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of draheim
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear, deep ruby amber w/ a 2-finger sudsy beige head, ample sticky lacing, minimal visible carb.

Aroma is fruity, malty, caramelly, a little spicy. Herbal hops and chewy malt converge.

Taste is biscuity, spicy rye malt and sharp bitter hops. The dry crackery malt is center stage here, framed by herbal and fruity hops. Some caramel and toffee notes as well.

Mouthfeel is crisp and bright, hops give a nice bite on the finish.

Overall this is a good showcase of rye malt with an IPA twist, maybe not an everyday go-to beer but still a solid product.

draheim, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of cleverbeername
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle, 55*, bordeaux glass

a two finger head, very nice looking off white/brown color. Lace is long lasting and attractive. beer is a deep amber brown.

s nice hop up front, fresh and inviting

T like an ipa brown ale almost, rye is evident and hops are strong throughout. great balance and depth, but muscular

M coats nice, mid-full bodied

D i would endulge in more than one. its a complete package and a home run for any rye fans. i love rye bread, whiskey, and beer, and this is probably my favorite in the beer category so far.

cleverbeername, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of suspect
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Ithaca Excelsior Tulip. No freshness date, this bottle was approximately 3 months in my cellar before I got to it.

A: Really nice looking crystal clear deep amber color. Aggressive pour leads to a monumental 3 finger head that stuck around most of the drink. Lacing filled out the glass and stuck throughout as well. Really beautiful beer, one of the prettiest I've seen. Add that to a beautiful glass and it's quite the combo.

S: Full of hops. Citrusy hops to be exact followed very closely by rye and then the malty backbone solidifies this beer as a great one. The age probably stole some of the potency here but it was still really nice.

T: Wonderful hop-forward beer that punches you first with grapefruit hops, then follows closely with the spice of the rye. Then comes the sweetness and then again with the rye! It's an interesting back and forth of rye and malt and hop again.

M: Medium body, thick, sweet mouth coating. Spicy notes and the 8% ABV create a nice warm feeling that lasts for quite a while.

O: A delicious IPA with rye notes. I'm not a huge fan of rye beers and I know that this is technically not a rye, rather an IPA but it has wonderful rye spice that adds to the delicious IPA that lies underneath.

suspect, Jun 30, 2011
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,330 ratings.