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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,398 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,398
Reviews: 2,039
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 235
Gots: 235 | 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:
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,398 | Reviews: 2,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopsbreath
2.65/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. This is my third one in the past week, not because I particularly like it, but because I'm stuck with the four-pack I picked up.

The dark murky mahogany body has a lot of large particulate in suspension with a two finger crown of tan head sitting on top. Spotty lacing shows up throughout the drink.

Smell is the best part but seems like a big hoppy barleywine rather than an IPA. Big tropical fruits would dominate the nose were it not for the heavy malts intertwined throughout.

Tastes similar to a barleywine like I expected. Cloyingly sweet malt base has quite a bit of metallic bitter hops in conjunction. The spice I associate with rye is not really there. Why add the rye if its not going to star here? Not my favorite.

Mouthfeel is thick, syrupy, and sticky. Personal preference alert, but I prefer IPA's to have a thinner body.

Drinkability is on the low end. Big, heavy, and metallic just don't do it for me.

Like I said at the beginning of my review, I bought a whole 4-pack of this stuff and am now trying to drink through it although its taking over a week. This is not on my "must try list" but I do recommend, if you do try it, to simply by a single to determine for yourself if you like it.

Photo of stckhndlr
2.68/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Nice dark amber color but there was no head and very sad lacing.

S- Has alot of hops. strong hop smell but there is a hint of what to me smells like kalamata olives. don't get me wrong I like kalamatas but not in my beer.

T- This is like dating a really hot chick that later tells you later that she has turrets. Starts off great but goes down hill fast. great flavor up front with a hint of citrus blueberries. but the aftertaste is horrible. kinda like when you throw up in your mouth and then swallow. has that stomach acid taste.

M- feels great. has a spicy bite with a creamy feel.

D- Drinking it is fine, as long as you keep drinking it. It when you stop that it goes bad.

Photo of Maudite
2.7/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Maybe I missed something, especially after reading other reviews in comparison with my notes, but, after two tries with the same results, I am just unimpressed.

A- This pours a fine looking AIPA: Creamy, thick sticky head with tremendous doily lacing. Body is a deep, ruby copper, a few shades darker than typical. Good looking beer.

S- The nose as well is great, but probably the only part of the beer that I could say is well constructed, or even remotely balanced. The large amount of hops blended well with the rye malt creating a nose laden with pine, citrus, woody-floral, astringent, minty. I'd buy this for an air freshener rather than a beverage.

T- I was excited to try this, because every other rye beer I've had has been exceptional. The hops were too aggressive on the pallet, in that they come across as unbalanced and conflicting. I wanted to taste the smooth almost minty/oaky quality that rye can lend, but all I got was a flavor I can only equate to tree sap. The hops were not very citric as the nose let on, and the bitterness was just over bearing. I had to force my way through this beer. I normally love hoppy beers, when balanced properly (Deschutes Fresh Hop ale being a good example of great balance). As it got more to room temperature the flavors balanced better, and I appreciated the fact that they stayed in my mouth for around 5 minutes after a swallow. With some tweaking of the hop bill this could be a world class beer, but I was left confused and disappointed.

M- Like I said, the hops do alot of things to your mouth. Some good, some not as pleasant. All in all I'd say that the feeling your mouth gets from this beer is enjoyable, disregarding the flavor.

D- I'd like to try it again and see if perhaps a third time is the charm, but I cannot recommend this beer.

Photo of incubuscience
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of jmilo64
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of dwitt24
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of KISSFR33K
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of livewire78
2.75/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Been looking forward to trying this one for a long time and thanks go out to sdawson for making it happen.

Brown and boring is how I'd describe it. No vibrant colors. Not opaque but bordering on it to a degree. Looks like a brown ale without the pretty brown head. Meh.

Average is the smell here. No overpowering hop aroma, no distinct malt presence, nothing great at all. A little faint spice (from the rye?) on the end but again, meh.

Since I consider myself an IPA guy, this one is below the average for the ones that I've had so hence, the score. The citrusy hops are muted, the malt just seems lazy, and the two in combination don't add up to anything spectacular. The only bright spot is the rye, which adds a spicy finish with sort of a peppery flavor. I wouldn't say it tasted bad, but it's not good. Sorta below average. Not even a meh. More like a blah.

Mouthfeel is nice and full. Carbonation level is right where I like it to be. Slick but not oily. Pretty good.

If this was the only craft at the bar, I'd have another one. But... I wouldn't seek this out again and that's too bad because for the most part I really like Bear Republic. I won't hold it against the brewery, but there are much better IPA's out there. Meh.

Photo of skyisland
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of nharres
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of gromis
2.8/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one had a beautiful head when I poured it. Easily 3 or 4 fingers of a nice light brown foam.

Pours a nice, dark, cloudy amber color. This one isn't filtered (yay!).

The taste begins with a malt flavor that is dominated by hops. The malt fades away, but the hops lingers for quite a while.

Beings that I am not a big fan of hops, this scored low on the drinkability factor for me. I would gladly try this beer again, but wouldn't have more than one at a time, probably.

Photo of HayesdaHophead
2.85/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't have a lot to say about this beer. The rye character just didn't come through for a beer that brags on the label to have 18% rye in the grain bill.

Nice color and drinkable, but maybe I got an old bottle. It didn't seem to be super hoppy or have a distinct rye character. The bottle art is misleading. Not a bad beer, just not something I would buy again.

The label also seems to have another marketing error. It states the sediment might be there in the bottle due to a "truck-load of hops". It has been my experience that hops settle out pretty well in brewing and it is just yeast sediment in a bottle. Kind of shook my faith in Bear Republic to see that statement.

Photo of pants678
2.9/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It's a dark but clear brown, I couldn't get much of a head on the pour.

Little citric with grainy earth tones, rye of course.

Not so bitter, I'd have to call it a notched-down IPA. Carbonation isn't so aggressive, same goes for the hops. Seemed to be a one note brew here. Maybe I'm just not that into rye, it is sorta floral and sorta spicy but I'm not picking up much sweetness. Hop Rod's not offensive, but it's not terribly interesting either.

Photo of Dijeriduster
2.95/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Disclaimer, I did get this on sale - a sign it could be an old sample. Still its high alcohol, high hops soooo

A - Dark brown ambery colour pour heavy with fairly prominent head. That faded fairly quickly to a little bit of a surface cover.

S - Very hoppy with caramel/malty flavors coming thru. More bitter than citrus smelling...

T - Very diff with the rye, seems strong here vs other rye ipa's. starts off with caramel malt tones quickly succumbing to the massive hop profile. Rye hits in the middle with a strange spiciness you won't find in any non-rye beer. Finish is a little sweet and syrupy.

M - Pretty good, but it does straddle the too sweet / syrupy zone a little too close for me. Has a slightly creamy feel overall.

D - Not that great actually. Again I might have a bunk sample but this isn't the first time I've had the beer. Frankly its too sweet on the malts for me - vs other local "strange IPA's" beers with an emphasis on the hop profile. Comparing this to Nelson from Alpine (another rye ipa) isn't even a competition. This is a good beer to compare to others, but its not a regular in my cellar....

Photo of ultralarry2006
2.95/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light brown two finger head poured from 22 oz.'er. Deeper than normal copper for an IPA, more copper than orange, and there was the expected haze. Very nice lacing. Aroma -citrus, and diacetyl malt. Taste - the citrus hops, of course and slight diacetyl, somewhat less than aroma had me expecting, which is good because I rather dislike the diacetyl taste, instead the malt had a small somewhat doughy taste upfront, which I suspect is due to the rye, but then diacetyl aftertaste made unusally bitter by the citrusy hops. The mouth was fairly smooth owing to the hops, and somewhat more carbonated than I expect or want for an IPA, leaving a slightly thick, and bitter coating. Diacetyl usaully ruins a brew for me and this is the case here- Hop Rod was an okay ride- but one I think will let pass me by when hitchhiking the HopHead Highway.

Photo of robgage
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of kegmans
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of RandyJ
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of Mangstarr
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of aranton
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of rpstevens
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of Anino531
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,398 ratings.