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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.

4,402 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,402
Reviews: 2,040
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 234
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
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Ratings: 4,402 | Reviews: 2,040 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of william5586
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark brick red. I didn't pour it very fast but a huge 4 finger off white head crept up from my glass and it just would not quit. The head left tons of lace all over the glass.

S- Tons for piny grapefruit hops and just a hint of alcohol.

T & M- Bitter grapefruit hops and a bit of caramel malt that adds some balance. The finish of this beer is great and really stood out to me. There is just enough alcohol to warm the back of the tongue, the carbonation gives it some bite, and the rye adds some spice to the dry bitterness.

This a really great beer that I am going to have to keep stocked in my fridge.

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

A- Pours a very dark amber, it's nearly black on top. A finger of fizzy white head that vanishes rather quickly. A touch of thin veils of lacing remain on the glass as I drink it.

S- Damn, good hoppy profile to it, but not to be outdone is a slightly sweet and roasted malt background. Very intriguing to say the least.

T- Very similar to the smell although the malts really take a backseat here. Good amounts of citrusy and floral hops take over, simply demolishing my tongue with its bitterness. The rye does play a role here providing a bit of graininess to it. Very tasty.

M- Slightly carbonated, medium body. Very smooth.

D- Easily drinkable. The bomber was no problem to finish off. I still fail to see how this is an IPA. Why is it not considered a rye beer?

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

Appearance: pours a clear deep copper color with a thick 3" merangue-like head that lasts throughout the drink. Thick lacing also develops.

Smell: strong citrus and hop bitterness is easily detectable.

Taste: this beer covers it all, as a nice sweet malty backbone is kept in check with strong piney bitterness and fat orange slices. Hint of graininess and some brown sugar notes too.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish, with all flavors lingering on the tongue long into aftertaste. Slight dryness on the finish.

Drinkability: great drinkability, a must have for those who haven't had one yet.

Photo of velo343
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. A deep ruby/brown with a large, clingy beige head.

Aroma - Lots of piney hops, a decent maltiness with some spiciness.

Taste - Lots of bitterness from the hops and toasted malts, a distant taste of caramel. The rye can definitely be felt, lending a unique spiciness that really adds to the hops. The beer has a thick, malty feel.

This is a superb beer, well balanced between the hops, and malt. The balance of rye to barley malt is also fantastic, with nothing taking over the show. I'll certainly be drinking this one again.

Photo of beagle75
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium reddish-brown color with one finger of off-white foam head featuring an interesting assortment of variously-sized bubbles. Heavy lacing remains, leaving visible relief on the inside of the glass.

S: Pungent grapefruit citrus is featured prominently, becoming more floral over time. Caramel notes offer a darker side to the smell, also suggesting sweetness to come. No alcohol is detected in the smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with toffee and bready umami, accompanied by pine and dark citrus hop aromatics. Spicy, drying rye emerges to mark the transition into a middle that remains hops-laden. This beer finishes surprisingly mellow--bitter, but not destructively so. Acidity is pitch-perfect throughout, enhancing the overall experience. No alcohol is detected in the flavor.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and sticky on the palate, with low carbonation. Again, the acidity level could not be more appropriate and appealing.

D: Perhaps craft brewing's most famous rye beer, this is truly a delightful and robust DIPA that gets almost everything right. Even small details, like acidity, are executed in such a way as to make this beer more than the sum of its parts. While Bear Republic dabbles with other DIPA recipes (Racer X, for example) there is little point in trying to outshine this beer as it is when served from the bottle. In fact, this is one of those beers that seems to benefit from a little time spent in the bottle. Hop Rod was my draft selection during my sole visit to the company brewpub in Healdsburg and I found it to be be overly spicy--a sensory mix of capsaicin and volatile herbs--due either, or perhaps jointly, to the rye or the eye-watering freshness of the hops. Either way, the imbalance I experienced in the draft pour at the source does not typically carry through to the bottled brew reviewed here.

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

I once had this beer in the bottle-- it is not the same as having it on tap, that's for sure! I wasn't very impressed with the bottle serving, but on draught this beer was outstanding!

It was served to me in a pint glass, with a nice 3/4-1" of foam. It never really dissipated-- left a beautiful lace on the glass as I drank.

The taste was outstanding-- although I'm not a huge fan of Rye, I could taste it immediately in this beer. That broke through to a nice malt and hoppiness, and was very smooth going down. Definitely not a "session" beer-- I could only drink one.

A beer I will definitely revisit on tap again!

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

On tap at Bear Republic Brew Pub.

A: Light brown/ amberish color with a very nice thick head that left great lacing all the way down. Looking at this, my initial thought would not be an IPA but an Amber.

S: Citrus at first but then the rye comes along with a bit of caramel malt.

T: Hop kick on the first sip but then you get a rye spiciness, and a bit of caramel to finish. Awesome.

M: Thick and heavy on he tongue. Very good carbonation.

O: Absolutely awesome. I really like this beer. It is different from any IPA I have tried. This is one I look forward to order quite often.

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

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades. The aroma is great! It has a nice malty scent with an intense aroma of floral hops. The taste is great also. It has a rich and creamy dark malt flavor with a smooth bitter hop taste. The rye helps to mellow the hop flavor. It has a dry finish, but has good mouthfeel. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an awesome beer. I love the dark amber color and great hop characteristics. This is a good drinker.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed thick, 2 finger tan head. Quick dissipation that left behind a little lacing. The body a deep reddish brown with lots of floaters...from active yeasts I hope!

The hops attack the nose...piney and grassy. You can also detect some malts, sweet breads and undertones of citrus fruits. All of this is on a rye backbone that comes through better as the beer warms.

Waves of flavors come across your palate. First is an initial preview of the hops...bang! Bitterness hits the tongue. This gives was way to a sweet caramel, malty flavor that lasts for a few seconds before the second wave of hops hit again. This one lingers into the aftertaste. Nice balance...

Mouth feel is medium, oily and moderately carbonated.

Very drinkable...pretty darn hoppy, but not overpowering. Complex and refreshing!

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

Body is medium dark brown with a tan head. Poured to 3/4 inch of foam into a Duvel tulip. Leaves tons of lacing on the glass. Eventually dissipates to a ring of foam.

Sure smells of rye and piney hops. A little cocoa as well.

Tastes of dark rye bread, with a bit of charred malt and some cocoa notes and piney hops. Finishes dry and hoppy with a lingering bitterness.

Body is medium and carbonation is spritzy, a little creaminess in the mouthfeel but also some crisp carbonation makes it very refreshing to drink.

This is a delightful rye beer, very enjoyable to drink. A well balanced combination of rye malt and hops. Best rye beer I've had.

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

This beer pours a dark copper has a two finger head with good retention and some sticky lacing. The aroma is of floral hops with hints way in back of rye grain. The taste is loaded with hop bitterness from start to finish but if you let it warm up a bit you can taste the rye in the background. This beer is full bodied, oily, and quite smooth.

Reflection: Hop junkies should be happy with this one, it has a great kick to it and its still very drinkable!

Photo of Naes
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is dark amber to brown in color with reddish hues. It has a tall off-white frothy head. Retention and lacing is good.
The aroma is of hops and believe it or not, as the name implies rye is in the nose as well.
The flavor is bitter with hops and citrus, but has a definite malt character to balance things out. The rye is also present throughout the drink, but shows through best in the aftertaste. This is a nice and balanced DIPA.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.
The alcohol content is hidden quite well.

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

Great deep red color. Massive beige head and lace.

Smells like very fresh hops - mainly grapefruit and other citrus, with some grassy, parsleylike herbal and floral hops, too. Malt's there too, caramel and biscuit. Great smell.

Lots of fresh hop flavor. Sweet, toasty malt. Hop bitterness, especially after a second or two, but not overpowering. Well balanced, there's a nice transition from sweetness to a long finish - dry, less malty and more hop driven.

Creamy and somewhat heavy mouthfeel, not cloying, excellent. Reasonably drinkable, but the maltinness and alcohol content are limiting factors.

Great beer.

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

This beer pours reddish mahogany color with a smooth creamy off white head that leaves a great lace. The smell is mostly a hops, mostly piney, grassy hops with a touch of malt coming through. The flavor is extremely well balanced for such a high abv. Taste starts out with big piney hops and the hops continue through the beer, mingling with a nice malt backbone and just a hint of breadiness. Medium to full body, lower carbonation, nice creamy silky feel to it with a slightly sticky finish. Despite the high ABV this is one of the best IPA's that I've had in a while and could sit with it all night.

Photo of homebrew311
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just picked up a fresh 4-pack.

A: pours a deep red/orange with decent clarity. Thin white head which leaves good amount of lacing. Good retention.

S: piney aromatics up front followed by a big spiciness from the rye. Notes of caramel come into play as well.

T: things start off sweet with the caramel malty character comes through first. This is quickly met by a bold hop profile that is paired very well with rye. The finish is bold and bitter. Everything is very well balanced with big time flavors.

MF: the carbonation is a bit high but it goes nicely with the bitterness. Medium body.

O: The 8% is hardly detectable in this Rye IPA. Excellent beer.

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

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Deep Caramel with orange lights, half inch of creamy foam after medium pour. Great Citrus and fresh hops in the nose. Rye bread, orange rind and fresh hops on the palate. Seriously round with some decent alcohol heat. Surprisingly drinkable for it's high ABV. Hard to believe it's not really a DIPA.

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

Served from bottle into new Sam Adams glass.

Excellent deep mahogany color. Deep reddish brown that looks great when held up to a light. Nice head that had pretty good retention. Great lacing.

Tons of hops in the nose. Much more than I initially expected. Almost smells like a completely straightforward west coast IPA with its citrusy notes. There's definitely a little something extra in there that makes in in its own category.

If you taste it before it warms up (I'm guilty -- I couldn't wait) you really get a great hop flavor, but not a whole lot of depth. The rye flavor really doesn't come out until you let it open up a little. Once it does, it moves into an absolutely great taste. You gotta love hops for this one, but its definitely not a gimmick IPA -- the rye adds a great balance.

Extremely smooth and delicious. I could easily drink a couple of these, and if it wasn't for the 8%, I'd be thrilled to drink more than just a couple.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a medium copper color, clear with one finger of off-white head. Good retention and lace.

S: Good peach/mango aromas, both bright and deep. Quite good.

T: Sweet grapefruit and a hint of leather up front. Thin rye sweetness in the middle with some resiny pine on the finish. Tiny bit of spicy alcohol pokes through. As the beer warms, the sweet middle changes to more of a biscuity quality that persists further into the finish, but still yields to the pine at the end. I do like this.

M: Light/medium mouthfeel with good creaminess and a little oil on the finish. Creaminess grows as the beer warms.

O: Really nice and enjoyable beer, goes down very smooth for 8%. The hops are persistent but without overkill. I liked this a lot and I'm glad there's more at the store (special shipment to Iowa). Did I mention that I really like this?

Photo of raoulduke37
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful reddish-brown mahogany color with an off-white head that retains and laces far better than anything I've ever seen. Plenty of sediment floating around the bottle - mmm unfiltered goodness. Smells of citrus and freshly cut wood. Taste is hoppy and sweet - seductive as it warms up - just keeps getting better with every sip. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with plenty of foam. This is a truly excellent beer - a nice departure from the traditional light, overtly hop-ridden IPA's - like the cute hippie girl rather than the fake blonde.

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

A: RIch amber-brown with a long lasting tan head... lots of lacing.. good carbonation

S: Pungent grapefruit hops and hints of piney aromas as well... rich malt base.. it definitely takes on the grainy/rye character the name would suggest... complex and delicate

T: The complexity in the nose is a great indicator... the malty grain/rye comes through throughout... it is not to be outdone by the piney and citric hops which are in the beginning and the finish... well crafted balance that gives your flavor after flavor... good strong hop finish that doesn't overpower

M: Medium bodied... plays in the mouth courtesy of the carbonation and the hops... crisp. refreshing

D: This one is up there amongst the best... had no problem going for a second serving...

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a nice dark reddish copper color with one and a half finger off-white head. Particulate matter floating around but that's probably just because the douchebag at Binny's decided to put the bottle in my box upside down when I wasn't looking.

Aroma is big grapefruity hops, some pine, and a nice spicy rye tone.

Flavor is also based around the grapefruity hops. Piney hops are also present. Some caramel and biscuity malt then it finishes nice and bitter along with a spicy rye flavor.

Mouthfeel is oh so creamy and smooth. Medium, almost light body that makes it very drinkable. Carbonation level is outstanding.

I can't believe this stuff is only $4.99 a bomber. Amazing stuff - better than some that are double the price. Next time I'm in Illinois I am definitely going to pick up some more.

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

Serving temp: 50F Seving Glass: Pint Glass

Aroma: Hoppy for sure, with notes of citrus- grapefruit most prevalent. Some sweetness in there too and just a touch of earthiness that may or may not be the rye.

Appearance: A deep, slightly cloudy crimson brew with a gorgeously rocky tan head and excellent lacing.

Taste: The hops are there and come out in full force. The citrus is there, but balcned well by sweet tastes of caramel & malt, and, what's this? There *is* rye in my beer. I'm convinced the earthy smell I picked up on is in fact the rye and the unique taste it brings to this brew. Like someone put a few drops of pumpernickel essence in here. Fantastic interplay between the hops & grains goes on for a while.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with modest carbonation & a silky feel to it.

Drinkability: A very entertaining brew. Enough to keep me busy for a while with one. Damn tasty & goes down real smooth. This one's a winner.

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

Picked up a bomber in NY and shared with a couple friends.

Appearance is a dark brown body with a good sized head. HRR has a smell filled with rye, bread, some mango or other fruit too. Taking a sip from my pint glass and I am hit with some malts and hops, first off. From there, there is a sweetness from citrus and maybe some caramel. More malt and some bitterness also hits the palate. MF is med-heavy. Alcohol content on this one can easily sneak up on you, it is well hidden.

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

A: Really dark ruby red mixed with brown... let's just call it burgundy. Lots of particles in suspension. Tan head that laces like few beers can. My glass is a lacy mess. Absolutely gorgeous.

S: Immediate west coast hops. Smells like cascade: grapefruit, orange, lemon citrus fruits. Pretty large malt backbone to boot. Smells bready and slightly spicy (like rye bread go figure). Very inviting.

T: Tastes even better than it smells. It is really well balanced. Both bitter and sweet from the truckloads of malt and hops used. It tastes malty and sweet all the way through, then you swallow and then comes the hop bite and the dryness of the alcohol to persuade you to take another sip. The rye is a very nice touch that brings a light spiciness to the palate. A nice change in pace from your standard IPA. Alcohol is nowhere is sight. Probably the most complex malt I've ever tasted in an IPA.

M: Heavy mouthfeel with light carbonation. Feels sticky and nourishing. I've had lighter imperial stouts to say the least.

Damn, this beer hit the spot. Flawless execution of a rye IPA. I was at first skeptical of the high ratings of this beer, but this brew sure can back it up. Highly worth checking out.

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

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams glass. Pours a deep amber with tightly bubbled 3/4 inch head. This beer is beautiful to watch as rivulets of lacing cascade down after each sip. Caramel aroma with citrus hops. Very well balanced malt profile hides the 8% alcohol nicely with fantastic pine/citrus hop blend. Really like the way this dances lightly on the front of the tongue but finished off rather thick. Overall I'm a big fan of this beer and Bear Republic. At 8%, I'm not sure why this isn't considered an Imperial IPA. Maybe the most impressive aspect of this beer is the price - a world class Imperial IPA at $4.99 a bomber!

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,402 ratings.