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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.

4,284 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,284
Reviews: 2,034
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 216
Gots: 212 | 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
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Ratings: 4,284 | Reviews: 2,034 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gmcfarre
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

22oz bomber poured into Imperial Pint Glass
Poured @ 45 degrees

A - Dark copper brown with a massive 2 1/2 inch head that remains rocky and bulbous. Lacing is minimal.

S - Very dry and roasted malt scent that complements yet overpowers the floral hop essence of this brew. A breaded sweetness comes through as well.

T - Smooth blend of a dry roasted & bready malt with a nice hop balance. I was expecting more of a hop presence in this brew, but it seems the rye malt has taken over for the most part. A slight caramel taste is evident, along with the requisite hop bitterness.

M -Slight carbo tingle with a rapidly filling mouthfeel. Dry and cloying with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

D - A very different take on the IPA that deserves to be experienced at least once. The rye creates an intriguing flavor, but not one that I would desire everyday. 8%ABV takes its toll after an entire bomber.

gmcfarre, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of Treebs
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

On tap at Blue's BBQ in Mt. Prospect. Served in a shaker pint.

A: Pours a dark amber color, almost brown, with a frothy, light mocha colored head forming on the pour. The retention is wonderful and it leaves some sticky sheets of lace is follows down the glass.

S: Definite rye spice up front with a dried grain note from the rye as well. A touch of sweet malt and light grass sneaks in as well once the beer warms a bit.

T: Earthy rye with a little spice in the periphery. A little sweetness from the malts is also present. The hops are there with light citrus and grassy notes. The finish is slightly bitter, but definitely has some clean, pale malts.

M: Medium bodied, but leaning towards the fuller side of the spectrum. The carbonation is medium as well.

O: I would have like a touch more hops in there to balance out the sweetness of the malts and the spiciness of the rye, but overall it is a nicely crafted rye beer.

Treebs, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of rmaste6282
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

This is my first Rye IPA to review. Wow, it is dark amber, the head was thick and left heavy lacing on the glass. This beer smells citrusy and malty. The color is definately amber with lots of sediment floating around. I don't know if this is common or not. Taste is hoppy with a strong malt backbone, somewhat similar to a DFH 90 minute yet not as malty or strong. The finish is bitter and malty. Makes me think of a hoppy amber ale, but somewhat flowery. Carbonation is medium, not over the top. Good beer, would recommend to others. Enjoy!

rmaste6282, May 15, 2009
Photo of scruffwhor
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

Appearance- Would have been perfect if there was more bubbling. The brown sugar and rubgy hue are a nice, dark contrast to you typical IPA colors. I've always been parshel to the darker side of things. The lacing and head add to the whole look of this beer.

Smell- Grapefruit and a little sweet. Not bread in oven sweet, or biscuit sweet. More like maybe cinnamon buns without the cinnamon with a brown sugar syrup.

Taste- The darker side of the IPA seems to shine through on this release. The rye,malt, and hops combine to make a complex mix of flavors with each other. The dance nicely The Grapfruit is definetly muted to make way for some of the rye and malt.

Mouthfeel- The palate is definetly bitter. A little thicka dn heavy on the tongue for an IPA, but thats just fine by me.

scruffwhor, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Brez07
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Dark cherry red. Poured slowly due to the sediment at the bottom so didn't get much head. A swirl of the glass gets about 1/2 finger of head though

S: Nose is mostly consisting of bread. Crust, sweet bread and rye. Rye adds a subtle amount of spice to the mix. Almost get a buttered toast aroma (not diacetyl though). Not really any hop presence; a minor amount of citrus if anything

T: Subtly sweet. Hops lay a base for bread, yeast, peppery spice and rye. I detect a minimal amount of dark fruit as well. Very malty with a hop bitterness to balance things out

M: Medium bodied. Residual bitterness remains after each sip. Average amount of carbonation

D: Fairly malty IPA with a nice twist with the rye. Good change of pace beer. Will pick this up again

Brez07, May 02, 2011
Photo of silverblaze540
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

Appearance - It is a deep amber color, and is a bit cloudy. My pour produced a very small amount of head, which retained well. Carbonation actively bubbles and, when held up to the light, particles/sediment are visible. Looks very tasty.

Smell - Fairly piney, but not overpowering, sweetness and perfumey, which just a hint of maltiness.

Taste - Hops, hops, hops, but not extremely strong for this type of beer. A bit of a citrus taste. The taste balance is pretty good, as no taste is extremely overpowering. Seems to fit the IPA/Double IPA style without being overpoweringly bitter.

Mouth-feel - Medium build; carbonation seems perfect with a small amount of burn; alcohol taste is not strong, especially for 8%.

Overall - This is the best IPA I've tasted because the taste balance is good and the hops are not overpowering. It is bitter, but not to the extreme. There is still a strong hoppy taste, so I would probably not drink this beer that often, and I am not a huge fan of the hoppy aftertaste. If you like hoppy beers, however, you will probably like this beer.

silverblaze540, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of warriorsoul
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A deep, burnt amber color w/ a very creamy tan head. Beautiful lace clinging to the glass for the duration of this pint.
Hints of floral hop w/ a nice toasted malt and caramel flavor. I did not know the taste of rye in my beer until now....I like it.
The taste is very nice...more hops w/ a slight bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is well balanced and thick enough to be called a Double IPA. Alcohol presence is well hidden for this 8% offering.
This is not a very overpowering brew and I believe I could enjoy this beyond a couple of pints....oh yeah, would not be a problem.
A nice seasonal ale from Bear Republic.

warriorsoul, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of magictrokini
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Though the score does not reflect is, this may be possibly one of the best beers I've tried. Pour is dark brown, like iced tea. Aroma is similar to an IPA, with obvious rye odor. Flavor is like an Imperial IPA; very hoppy and bitter from the rye. Clean, crisp finish. Incredible beer

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of nickthegun12
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

picked up a bomber from north carolina while i was visiting there

the appearance is dark for a rye ale....ruby to brown in color

smells like all malt...maybe i got an old bottle or something....no date on the bottle

taste is creamy and smooth not malt overpowering like i expected...there might be a little chocolate in this one

the feel is smooth and creamy like previously stated....doesn't leave any lacing on glass

overall i really feel like i got an out of date bottle...but guess i'll never know until i run across it again

nickthegun12, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of coolparrot
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A: Great label (I'm a car buff). Very nice color with deep dark tones of brown & mahogany.

S: Rich malty yet hoppy nose with hint of rye.

T: Very smooth light brown head. lovely hints of rye combined with the malts and floral array of a well balance hop bill.

M: Good small, tight carbonation. Very long smooth finish with a robust hoppy ending.

O: overall great drinking beer. Nice combination of hops and rye. Not a common IPA style. Bear Republic does a great job with all their beers but this one stands out in front of their lineup of products. Cheers!

coolparrot, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of joeseppy
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Pour is a deep reddish copper hue with generous beige head.

Smell is muddled with biscuit, toasty caramel, piney hop and sweet malt. Not much in the way of fruit for me.

Taste has more tropical fruit coming through in the way of mangos and grapefruit rind. Malt pounds upfront, hop onslaughts the tongue with numbing sensations and rye pulls through for the finish. Tastes way better than it smells.

Medium body and velvety. Creamy as an Irish red ale. Hop has staying power much like an imperial.

Beside the aroma, a most pleasant quaff to spend time with. Priced on the higher end than others in class.

joeseppy, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of hreb
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

12 oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours positively dark, more amber than pale ale. Massive tan head accompanies a rich aroma with a good bit of rye in it, along with secondary notes of pine forest hops. Visible sediment left in bottle. Flavor is more classic rye-ale meets West coast IPA. Quite delicious.

hreb, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of mdale13
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A- Dark red/copper color with a thin white head. Head fades somewhat rapidly. Moderate lacing down the glass.

S- Hops, some malt presence. Very fresh, inviting smell.

T- Tastes like your standard IPA, lots of fresh bitter hops, a slight rye taste. I was hoping for more rye, but this is technically an IPA, not a rye beer.

M- Good amount of carbonation.

D- Pretty drinkable, but I dont think I would have more than 2 in a sitting.

Other- I have mixed feelings about this beer. Dont get me wrong, Its a great beer, and I enjoyed it, I was just hoping for more rye I guess.

mdale13, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A - Poured an amber-brown colour with a nice foamy white head.

S - A strong malt profile on the nose with some piney hops. Not as strong of a hop nose as I expected.

T - A nice hop presence, mostly earthy/pine with very subtle citrus. A nice spicy malt backbone. A very complex flavour profile for an IPA (I guess that's the rye!)

M - Medium body with some a bit of chewiness.

D - A very nice IPA with a unique flavour profile. Very enjoyable.

TheSevenDuffs, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of nathanho
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Chilled 22oz bomber pours a dark mahogany with a moderate tan head (weak pour?). Some suspended particulate matter. Second pour produces a beter constructed head and more copius particulates.

Smells of sugar and malt with piney hops, earth and grain.

Flavors of carbonation, alcohol, grain, malt and bitter hops; anise.

Don't know what to make of this one, am I too distracted? Maybe I need some corned beer...uh, beef, and sauerkraut!!! I can definitely taste the rye, I won't deny it.

Feels like a deli in my mouth...mmm. Could be the official beer of the Reuben.

I would enjoy this with a meal. I have this idea in my head that it needs to be a meal involving corned beer, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese...am I getting through?

nathanho, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of Rastacouere
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Bronze body with a sticky off-white head. Aroma is very hoppy, enough hops that I couldn't take notice of any rye at all. Sweat, wood, pencil fragments, floral. The taste initially consists of a medium caramel sweetness, fading malts. Hoppiness is huge, intense. Finish isheavily bitter, dry, very long, woody, piney. Creamy medium body. Powerful west-coast style to which you add peaks of originality and that's the result. Thanks John

Rastacouere, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of portia99
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

12oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a hazy brownish dark amber with reddish highlights. Not much head to speak of, just a broken layer of tan bubbles leaving a nice collar and a few islands of bubbles on the surface. Nice lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Spicy and richly malty...nice bready aromas in the center and some earthy hops. Grainy rye aroma is prominant. Not as much hoppiness as I expected, or much at all, for that matter.

T - Quite a bit of rye, medium-dark roasted malts, a touch of caramelly sweetness. A strong, but sorta in the background bitterness that sits underneath the other flavors, perhaps a touch on the harsh side, but still good. Quite bitter, but not much hop flavor in here, a bit of earthiness, but it is hard to distinguish whether this is from the hops or the rye and roasted malts.

M - Medium bodied, tending toward the heavy side. Feels a little thick on the tongue. Carbonation is just right...plenty there, but not too much - just enough to enhance the flavors and feel - just a bit tingly on the tongue. Bitterness pervades the entire mouth and lingers for a long time after the swallow.

D - Good tasting beer...not sure I can call this an IPA, but whatever. At 8%, a little high to be sessionable. Bitterness is a touch harsh for me, which also limits drinkability for me, but not too much. I would welcome a second serving of this one. I prefer the Racer 5, but this is another good offering from Bear Republic.

portia99, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of MarzenMan
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A - Very dark amber with a fairly small bubbled tannish head. Not much retention.

S - Piney hop aromas but not very floral. Malts start to come through more as it warms.

T - Piney and earthy hop aromas. Maybe the slightest citrus. Seem pretty dry and bitter. Very well balanced. The hops are forward but the malt also makes itself known. I like the struggle going on there. The mouthfeel is nice, a little thicker and creamier than a standard IPA.

D - Mmmmm good. Reminds me very much of a more malty Double Wide IPA. The bitterness may slow me down a bit but the alcohol doesn't show.

MarzenMan, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Appearance: Pours a deep amber with some dark brown and gold highlights. Head is white, dense, and fluffy. Drops to a chunky cap and bubbly loose collar in shorter order. Slight haze.

Smell: Citrus. Orange rind. Solid malt sweetness. Slightly overcooked and caramelized. Biscuit dough. Underlying rye spiciness. Vaguely floral with some damp resinous pine in the back. A nice overall balance. As it warms some more malt sweetness jumps out and the rye becomes a little more aggressive.

Taste: Citrus, undercooked biscuits. Grapefruit rind mixed with pine needles. Solid overall bitterness builds with each sip. Rye is pretty mellow to start, but gets a little more pronounced as the beer warms. Nice backing rye spiciness. Malts run sweet, but not overly so. Some caramel malt and caramelized sugars. Herbal and spicy. Big sweetness balanced by big bitter hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy medium body. Carbonation is moderate. Slightly dry.

Overall: Wait, Bear Republic can make an aggressively flavored yet balanced beer? Impossible!

Another drinkable beer from Bear Republic. Nice overall compliment of hop and malt flavors. Sweet and bitter and spicy. Hits everywhere it should and makes winter warmers cry. They wish they were this good.

Goblinmunkey7, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of Rumrunner
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

22oz bottle.
It pours a deep amber with tons of sediment. I decent head which disipates quickly and there is some great lacing. Like an archeological dig. Many layers. The scent is more citrus than rye. There is a malt carob smell as well.

A very citrus tang starts this ale off. The malt is there but the rye is very listless. I enjoy the flavor of this ale but calling it a rye ale is tough to accept.
Side note: When I tasted this ale at the San Diego real ale fest there was more of a rye flavor. Which I really enjoyed as something different. Out of the bottle it is a very good ale but not a great ale and not much rye.

It drinks well and is enjoyable for what this ale is. Just do not expect a real different flavor because the word "Rye" is in the name.

Rumrunner, Jul 28, 2003
Photo of GarrettMD
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A - Pours a dark brown, very dark for an IPA, darker than most browns. 1 finger creamy white head.

S - Smells mostly of citrus hops, not much else coming through.

T - Taste definitely doesn't have as much hops as expected. Malt comes through a lot. Caramel malts dominate, doesn't taste like what the color suggests, still tastes like a typical IPA malt-wise. Some rye comes through, but really not as much as I was expecting, still noticeable. The hops are mostly citrus staying constant the whole way through.

M - Medium bodied, drying finish with the same hop bitterness as the initial taste.

D - Good drinkability, Definitely a good beer that I will get again.

GarrettMD, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Poured a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer.

barleywinefiend, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of timbro81
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Beware the massive head. Pours a ruby red/brown color with lots of carbonation and good lacing all the way down. Hops and rye dominate the nose. This was only mt second beer and I find that the rye seems to have a dusty/dirty grain smell. Not necessarily a turn off but something I'm not used to. Mouthfeel is slightly silky and light on the tongue. Hops dominate the aftertaste and diminish in less than a minute. The rye smell I described in the nose is not present in the taste. A pretty good beer.

timbro81, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of THECPJ
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Reviewed from notes 1/23/2011

A; very mild, slight hint of rye, malts shine through, muted hop scents

Ap: orange-brown with a 1 finger off-white head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, thick, creamy

Af: spicey, rye, slight sourness (most likely because of the age), dry finish

O: might have been better if it were fresher


THECPJ, Jan 23, 2011
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,284 ratings.