1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,292 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,292
Reviews: 2,035
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 217
Gots: 214 | 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: 4,292 | Reviews: 2,035 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

02/07/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Red-amber pour with a nice thick and creamy white head. Adequate lacing.

Smell- A light smelling hoppy beer. At least with my nose it was. Fruity hops and a bit of malt. Nothing outstanding, but better than your normal IPA scent.

Taste- Decent amount of piney tastes as well as grapefruit flavored hops. Not a hop bomb, but enough to keep me interested.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation here.

Drinkability- Nicely well balanced beer. Was actually happy I didn't notice any rye as I despise rye with a passion. Tasty and well rounded. Would suggest to anyone who likes a good IPA.

GClarkage, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of Cylinsier
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with bits of particulate matter floating in it, presumably yeast, with a medium eggshell head with pretty good retention.

Smells of strong floral and bitter hops with hints of mild rye grain.

Tastes hoppy and bitter, with noticeable rye in the aftertaste. A bit of sweetness rounds out the profile.

Mouth is moderate with mild carbonation on the back of the tongue.

A very good and tasty rye-P-A. A must try for IPA fans.

Cylinsier, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of Buggabeer
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Nice dark red in color. Poured to a nice head which quickly went away as you drank it.

S. Nice hop floral sent with the presence of dough. Picking up some other sent however I do have a cold so i cannot figure it out.

T. Liking this quite a bit. It has a really nice finish to it not over powered by bitterness. That's a plus for me.

M. Nice carbonation but not over done.

D. Drink...may I have another and another...please.

Buggabeer, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of Hopheadjnr
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pilsner glass

A...Nice copper, slightly brown color. Did not produce much more than a 3/4" head but retained that height almost the entire beer. Some light lacing on the glass

S...Really nice earthy aroma with a little caramel

T...Malty right up front for me. There is a real nutty kind of dominant flavor with some caramel sweetness on the finish.

M...really nice body a bit heavier than I expected from looking at it.

O...I would have liked a little more hops presence in this beer since hop is in the name. That being said, it was very enjoyable. I really liked the nutty sweetness in this brew. Heavy alcohol (8%) was not noticable. Nicely balanced. I will buy again.

Hopheadjnr, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of cdkrenz
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Brown more than coppper with a head that would make any gal jelous. Quite mild in the visible carbonantion department. Find one and pour it.

S - Citrusy pine in the hop aroma area. Find one and smell it.

T - Dark, roasted... almost smokey flavor in this hop. A hint of tangerine begs for you to find one and taste it.

M - Very mild coarse feel in this specialty ale. It has a great texture. Very rare in this style and certainly a positive attribute. If I were you, I'd find one and feel it.

~ The drinkability of ths brew ranks high among other IPAs. Mainly due to the character in the texture. You best bet here is to find one and DRINK IT.

cdkrenz, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of kegger22
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark amber as it pours into a pint glass. Hardly any head the first time, so I poured the rest of the bomber aggressively and was rewarded with two fingers worth. The aroma was citrus, as expected in an IPA. The taste was a sweet grapefruit. Feel is good and drinkability is also good for an 8.0 ABV. The fly in the ointment was a very bitter aftertaste that clung to the back of the throat. If not for that, taste would rate 4.5. AleSmith still the flagship IPA for my money.

kegger22, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my SA Perfect Pint. Poured a hazy, reddish-copper with a dense, one inch off-white head that settles into a thin, fairly consistent cap. Broken sheets of lacing are revealed during the tasting and exhibit excellent retention. Nose starts off as sweet and malty with toffee notes, followed by a citrus hops presence that follows closely behind; a faint metallic quality also comes out towards the back. Taste follows nose - some piny hops in the mix and just a very light bitterness reveals itself at the back and the metallic quality disappers. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively carbonation and just the slightest viscosity and a little residual alcohol heat. This is a very tasty brew that has a big malt profile and falls a little closer to an IIPA than a standard IPA. Very tasty and complex, but not something I would drink more than one or two of in a sitting.

Jwale73, May 25, 2010
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: Pours a deep brown/mahogany with an amber hue, pours with a finger of thick head that is light tan and lingers nicely, pours slightly hazy
S: nice scent typical of rye ales, bread and a slight sweetness like molasses
T: interesting taste, maltiness but with something else underlying, kind of like whiskey but without the bite, smoked wood possibly, not sure, has a certain warmth to it
M: very little carbonation tingle, smooth beginning to the end, leaves a lingering aftertaste of the beer that stays on as a reminder
O: i enjoy the brew, nice warmth to it, smooth, great depth, great representation of the style

BigPlay1824, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of taylorhamrick
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a reddish color, deep amber, almost brown. And it looks perfectly clear, with a massive off-white head. It looks very sticky and stays around, though it leaves minimal lacing. I don't mind, it's a beautiful beer, though not American IPA look (possibly a bad classification, but there isn't really a good one). The smell is crisp and hoppy. Pungent smell, possibly some C-hops and very resinous high AA% hops in this beer. There's also a noticable sweetness underneath, with the spicy rye. The taste is really nice. There is a definite IPA hop taste, a bit fruity, very resinous, a tiny bit of citrus, not a huge kick of bitterness, which is nice, balanced with nice malt backbone. The rye is noticable, but I'd be interested in just a little bit more there. The alcohol is noticable, lends a bit of a burn. The beer clings to the mouth, leaving a feeling of hops after you swallow, which I prefer, but the alcohol kind of lightens it up, but not too badly. This one is kind of a chore, not for the flavor, but because of the 8% ABV. A good beer, definitely worth trying.

taylorhamrick, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of Lldeegan
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my New Belgium globe. Pours a dark brick color, great clarity. Has a nice off white head that sticks around and leaves nice lace, this beer looks like a Dubbel, but one whiff and you will not be mistaken, it is a beautifully smelling IPA. The nice pine and floral notes that Racer 5 has are a bit more subdued in this American IPA from Bear Republic, it has more of a malt presence. Once you taste it, wow it makes it's hop prescence known. The taste is the aroma times a hundred. At first the piney hops take over, but then blend beautifully with a malt character that creeps to the front of the palate as the hops bring their bitter to the sides. Some of the grapefruit I expected is on the backend as the brew leaves the palate with a crisp but lingering bitterness. This is a medium to full bodied beer with a bit of a slick oily mouthfeel. As I continue to drink it, that head still stays, making this a very nice beer to stare at up until the very last drop. The aesthetic enjoyment of this beer is right on pace with the taste. As the beer warms a bit the hops become toned down and the malt is more present, and as it unfolds, it remains a very complex beer. This beer is delicious enough to keep drinking, but I feel this is best suited as a single to be paired with a chicken or meat dinner, it will most certainly add to the sensory experience especially as it develops over the course of the meal. Perhaps grab the 22 oz. bomber and split it with someone over dinner, definitely a good choice for a BYOB spot.

Lldeegan, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of Fish113d
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a chilled 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a red-mahogany color with a nice billowy pinkish-tan head forming on top to about 2 fingers. Fairly hazy to look through...not too much light peering through.

A sweet, floral hops hits my nose. Lots of sugar on the aroma. A bit of a "funky" smell as well that is a bit sour, but I can't dispell what that may be.

Sipping reveals a big hops flavor that is both fairly bitter, but smooth, not too piney. Fairly bitter up front but sweetens up as it goes down with a bit of alcohol coming through. Interesting to say the least. Good floral aftertaste. Yum!

Very smooth ale. Unbelievable actually. Carbonation is so well balanced it's silly!

Great bottle of brew I picked up for $5.50...can't do much better than that. Wish I had 2 bottles!

Fish113d, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of Zadok
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep oak copper with a head that measured two fingers and was of the off-white variety and very nice and frothy. Lacing also stuck around for awhile.

Aroma is of hops and light malts.

Very smooth hoppy flavor with a very subtle earthy undertone. Each drink has a nice hop bite on completion.

Mouthfeel is relatively smooth with the aforementioned hop bite and low carbonation.

First experience with BR and definitely won't be the last, will be looking forward to trying the rest of what they have to offer. As far as this one goes, being a 1 pint 6 floz bottle at 8% probably makes for having one of these in a setting at a time. A very solid beer to say the least.

Zadok, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Gtreid
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber color. The pour produces almost two fingers of creamy head that retains extremely well and leaves sheets of lace.

A: Really nice sweet hoppy aroma. I get some citrus, mainly grapefruit and sweet orange, but I also get some big bready malts, maybe some honey, and alcohol.

T: Taste is pretty good, very malty IPA. Sweet malts, and the rye upfront and then the citrusy, and grassy hops make there presence felt at the back end. Finishes very bitter and dry.

M: Medium body, creamy. Good amount of carbonation gives it a little kick.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average, could have a couple of these bombers. Overall, this is one fine IPA. I really enjoy a good Rye and wish other brewers would pursue this ingredient. Very good. Skal.

Gtreid, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of brewcrew76
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep orange, maybe even mahogany, with a creamy 2 finger tan head that leaves thick clumps of lacing and foam all over the glass.

S - Citrus and piney hops along with spicy rye and sweet caramel.

T - Bitter piney hops along with spicy rye, sweet caramel; tries to balance it out but the hops and rye take over, followed by tropical fruit and a bitter finish.

M - Thick and creamy with a touch of chalkiness and a dry bitter lingering finish.

D - The rye adds a nice touch and along with the hops make this one pretty bold in the flavor.

brewcrew76, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of BaronRogue
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have a feeling that the beer was a little old when i got it, and not refrigerated, but i wanted to try it so here we are.

Poured from a bomber into my chalice. Deep clear red, brown-red. Strong head and nice lacing.

Smell was raisins, hops, and alcohol, in that order. Not great but maybe that's its age showing through.

Taste was hoppy and sweet, with a hint of rye and little backbone of malt. Quite tasty.

Felt really good in the mouth, nice and creamy.

Would love to try it on tap, as i feel like i missed out, but this is a great beer nonetheless.

BaronRogue, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of rye726
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a nice tan head. Nose has rye, caramel malts and citrus hops. Taste is again a blend of candy malts, bitter fruity hops with a hint of rye in the finish. Medium body i swell carbonated. Another good beer from Bear Republic. Nothing too special, but still good.

rye726, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of Smixam
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Sam Adams shaped glass.

A - dark amber color with a stark off-white long lasting single finger head. Clear for an unfiltered beer, with seriously heavy lacing.

S - Hop heavy as expected, but with strong fruity undertones. I've not a lot of experience with rye-style ales, but this seems to be consistent with the others in the category. Very nice note of citrus.

T - Strong pine and citrus hop throughout but with a distinct malt character that does actually work to balance the bitters - a little bit of nuttiness on the front side? I can't really tell for sure. Grapefruit towards the end adds to a dry finish.

M - This is an 8% beer, and while there's no sense of an alcohol burn, you can tell its there on the finish as it warms on its way down. Seems a bit 'thick' too - per the lacing on my glass, the flavors stick around a while. I can't pick up any impurities.

D - This is a strong beer, and not one I'd want to session. that said, I have no problem enjoying a bomber to myself every now and again. This is sure to become one of my stronger, special-occasion staples.

Smixam, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Anaz
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark red brown, with a full creamy head that leaves a lot of lacing on the way down.

S- Lots of spice and toasted malt, with a faint sourness underneath.

T-Rich, rye bread with dark fruit/dried fruit flavors. Prunes and dried tart cherries with caramel and touches of candied orange peel, delicious.

M- Full, creamy mouthfeel, with smooth carbonation.

D- Very drinkable despite the alcohol, but a a little rich, so I probably wouldn't knock back more than a bomber, or drink without sharing. Still, a great beer all around, and a knockout value for the price.

Anaz, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Overlord
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Delicious brew. Definitely hop, but they are more citrus and fruit in character than they are bitter. Pours a beautiful gold/amber with a nice head, and good mouthfeel.

I was stunned to see this had only 8% alcohol, as it drinks like a beer with half that ABV. Definitely worth picking up.

Overlord, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of znichols
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A dark red pour with a one finger egg shell head that dissipated very quickly. Lacing hung to the side of the glass for most of the session.

S - Bitter fruit and rustic spice. Very complex. Gives a good idea of what to expect in the flavor. Rich fall spicyness, juicy hops, and even a touch of booze are all present.

T - A beer of many layers, it begins with a general succulent hop flavor and then jumps to that iconic rye spice flavor as you swallow. The aftertaste is of black cherries, dark spice, sweet malt, and a touch of alcohol.

M - A superbly balanced mouthfeel. Not to heavy, but a little thicker than expected. The higher carbonation help even it out. Great mouthfeel on this beer.

O- A great offering from Bear Republic. These guys do the middle-of-the-road amber style ale with great precision and offer individualistic flavor profiles in each (red rocket, etc.). This one is very balanced with a great fruity hop flavor and spicy malt finish.

znichols, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of sophisticated
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm lucky enough to have gotten 2 bottles in recent trades so thanks to JosephLondon and Caresville!!

Definitely not familiar with rye, which is one reason I was eager to try this.

A) Awesome. Brownish-amber and cloudy (unfiltered) body with massive head - 3 fingers of massive super-foamy bubbles that lasted forever and left huge lace. Fantastic.

S) Upon opening the bottle citrus hops poured out. Sweet and fresh. Also some peppery spice I could feel in my throat just by smelling.

T) Wow! Delicious IPA with rye. A balance of sweet citrus, piney hops, bitter rye, and spice. The more I drank, the more the rye and spice stood out, giving it an unusual taste for an IPA.

MF) Pretty creamy, very soft from all the foam

D) Good! Attractive ale, nice smell, nice taste. Very well-balanced and tasty. I enjoyed the rye - it gave it another dimension than other IPAs which was different but good. It makes me curious to try more rye beers.

sophisticated, Feb 26, 2010
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,292 ratings.