1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,427 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,427
Reviews: 2,046
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 235
Gots: 243 | 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:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002

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: 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: 4,427 | Reviews: 2,046 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gavage
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Bonis
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - By the time this one got to me, the head was almost gone but a thin layer remained. Looks almost like a brown ale, a little hazy though. Leaves a good lacing, common for the style.

Smell - This one smells awesome. Some citrusy resiny hops. I'm getting a lot of caramel malts, not what I normally smell in an IPA. I don't smell rye, then again that's not a familiar smell to me.

Taste - Reminds me of the smell. A strong citrus hop presence, but well balanced by a rich caramel malty taste. This is amazingly tasty at 8%. I don't get much alcohol at all, but the flavors do explode in your mouth. It's a really great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel - This is a full flavor blast in your mouth, what's not to like about the way that feels? Pretty crisp on the back end and the flavors linger for a while, which I like.

Drink - Well, this is a freakin intesne brew, so I wouldn't suggest trying to handle more than 2 or 3 of these in a night. I prefer to drink one at a time myself. This beer is highly recommended.

Photo of raoulduke37
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
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 SurgeonGeneral
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
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 iDrinknewglarus
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
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
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

Photo of unionturf
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this after a trip to SC.

This brew pours dark amber and slightly cloudy. Smelly is of hops and malt and the taste matches, the head lingered forever it seemed. This is a hoppy brew that is backed with an excellent malt balance. An excellent ale that has me ready to drive back to SC to get another. :)

4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 3" dense, beige rocky head that overhung the rim of my glass by a good 1/2". Excellent retention and thick lace. Beer is a clear amber color close to looking like sap running out of a tree.

S - Big whiff of citrusy hops. A few pine needles. Touch of bready malt.

T - Citrus and pine lead the attack on the palate. The malts blend in a flawless manner with an outstanding long-lasting bitter finish. Bready malt. Tangy rye. Floral, almost cask-like hops in the finish.

M - Medium bodied mouthfeel. Low to mid level carbonation. Smooth and silky.

D - Very close to exceptional. Excellent flavorful beer. Dangerously easy to drink. I can't wait to trade / order some more. Very impressed.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a 22oz. bomber.

This beer pours an amber brown with a frothy off white head that laces beautifully with amazing retention. The smell is sweet and malty with plenty of hops swimming aound my nose. The taste hits you first with the hops, but then there is the rye malt taste that reminds you of some jewish bakery. There is also plently of malty sweetness in there to balance. The mouthfeel is thick and carbonated well. Overall, a great beer, too bad I had to get it via liquid solutions.

Photo of ffejherb
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber into imperial pint glass on 9/17/08.

A - Beautiful clear burgundy body with deep amber highlights and two fingers of dense, rocky beige head that retained exceptionally well and left thick swatches of lacing around the glass. Lots of carbonation bubbles jetted through the body.

S - Hops aren't as dominant as when I had this on tap, but there is still plenty of pine and citrus notes backed by a burnt caramel malt and an apparent rye presence. Some alcohol creeps into the mix as the liquid warmed up.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee notes segne into a wonderful hoppy flavor with hints of citrus rind, pine and grass paired with an underlying rye presence and a touch of alcohol. The rype really comes to the forefront in the finish.

M - Full bodied and creamy with lively carbonation providing ample tongue prickle. Warm alcohol presence. Finish is moderately bitter and a bit dry from the rye.

D - This is definitely one of my favorite beers of all time, and the one that got me into rye beers. The hops really build up as the liquid warmed up. This is simply an amazing beer!

Photo of MVassar
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous cascading bubbles, thick creamy light amber head, with intricate, persistent lacing. Dark raw honey/maple syrup color.

Assertive hops and pine in the nose, with a very slight hint of malt and caramel.

Plenty of hops, a lengthy grapefruit peel taste in the finish. Nicely balanced with malt and rye bread.

Very creamy and mouthfilling. Luxurious, with a nice bitter finish to keep you standing straight.

Enormous hoppiness, very intense. Yet so well-balanced that it's a great pleasure to drink. A splendid beer.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

The brewery describes it as a strong American IPA, not a Double IPA. You have to love the gray area within American styles. Very tiny bubbles are slow to rise but do form a sufficient head that drops stellar lacing on the glass after each sip. Deep brownish-amber color has a slight haze from the hops. Massive hop aroma of sweet citric peel, wild flowers, hint of grapefruit, pine and fresh mint. Lavish creamy smoothness from a deep-seated carbonation and a full body to boot. You'd swear the mouthfeel was massaging your taste buds. Both the spiciness of the rye and hops battle it out with a thick malt character. Hop bitterness never becomes excessively sharp and lays down a stodgy blanket of citric rind flavor. This beer is 7.5 percent ABV? Deceiving for sure. Spiciness of the rye peaks right in the middle, at the same time a heavy hand of caramel and bready malt sweetness flaunts its sturdy foundation. Finishes bittersweet, certainly more bitter, but it never clouds out the malt all the way.

Hop Rod Rye throws the gloves off and comes out swinging with flavor, certainly a snapshot of what American craft beer is about, and we love it.

Photo of DDKennemore
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Dark head, off white

Smell- Sweet, very hoppy

Taste- Sweet, carmelly, finishes kinda bitter

Mouthfeel- bitter (but delicious) aftertaste

Overall- Very good bitter IPA, I let mine sit in the refrigerator for a few months before drinking it.

Photo of MMAJYK
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- The color is medium to dark brown with raddish hues. Head is clingy and sticky with 1" of foam.

S- The rye sticks out a lot with nice caramel syrupy malts and very prominent hop tones. Earthy but roasty too.

T- Very roasty and a tad oaky. Hops are bittering and in your face. Alcohol lies in the back. Well balance and just awesome!

M- Medium thickness and high carbonation.

D- High drinkabilty to me but non hopheads will not find it as appealing I think. But, who cares?

Overall- This beer really impressed me. I would definitely seek it out again and hope I run across it again soon. Thanks to hurleymanvw for sharing this one with me.

Photo of aqsprint
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber with 3 fingers of foam that lasted forever.

S- Usual suspects pine and citrus with a little spice.

T- Caramel malt, can really taste the rye, very good. Great balance, the hop bitterness goes well with the 18% rye.

M- Coats the tongue nicely but not too much

D- The balance, smoothness, and mouthfeel make this beer very drinkable.

Get this beer!

Photo of cannabanaceae
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up from central market $4.49.
A- Copperish to dark brown small head retention.
S-Smelled of citris, grapefruit and carbonation.
T-High alfa-acids, very hoppy yet balanced with the malt, rye adds that extra complexity, 8%abv. hidden well.
M-Bitter taste, a litte oily. Great aftertaste(hop bite)!
This beer I have always seen on the shelves and never picked it up because to be honest I dont like there advertising departments pictures on the bottles. I am glad I did this beer was nice and hoppy and a little different tasting with the addition of rye, would buy again. Dont judge a beer by its cover!

Photo of RandyV
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color, not a significant head but nice,sticky lacing in the glass. A really nice bouquet of flowery hops, malt and maybe some citrus peel.

The taste is of a nice combination of bitter hops with malt sweetness always having a presence. The rye spiciness fills the middle and really gives this beer a nice kick. It finishes slightly dry but again, the malt never leaves the scene. This is another stellar offering from Bear Republic.

Photo of eat
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque and dark brown in colour with a thin cover of cream-white head. Lots of nice sticky lacing.

Tons of citrus and pine. Grapefruit rind, tangerine, pineapple, bit of alcohol, sweet and roasty malt with a little chocolate in the background. Really nice smelling stuff.

Wow, this stuff is really flavourful and well-balanced. There don't seem to be too many beers around pairing this amount of biting, citrusy hops with such an appropriate level of malt .This is perfectly executed. Big grapefruit rind, resiny pine and tangy rye to start, with dark caramel, some roast and a little alcohol following up. A touch of cocoa powder and some pithy bitterness finish off with some drying and pine lingers on the palate.

Viscous, almost sticky medium body with a light-but-present carbonation.

This beer is the best of so many worlds. I love dark hoppy brews and I seem to love beers brewed with rye; I've also always considered a well-hidden 8% to be my favourite ABV. If I lived near a ready supply of Hop Rod Rye, my fridge would never be without it. Exceptional stuff.

Photo of Prostman81
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to say, the appearance of this beer really puts me off. I'm not one to really factor in appearance when reviewing beers; I'm a homebrewer and I'm guilty of some odd-looking beers from time to time myself. But this beer is just strange looking. It has a wierd mud-color to it. Not quite brown, not quite black, but also has some strange opaque translucence. No head at all, even after a vigorous poor.

Looks are deceiving, and aside from that, this is a terrific tasting beer. Wonderful blend of hops and malt. More robust body than your typical IPA, yet still retains the fresh, hop flavors and aromas you'd expect. Drinkability? This one has it in spades, and goes down scary smooth. The ABV can really whollop you, since you don't even notice that you've just pounded down two in a row.

Great beer, replaces Racer 5 as my favorite offering from Bear Republic. My only small gripe is I wish it wasn't so damn potent, so I could enjoy a few more of these.

Photo of matjack85
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a cola like color in the glass, but was red when held to light. The head was over 3 fingers high and was frothy off white in color and never completely disappeared the entire time I drank it. In fact there was still a bit of foam left in the glass even after I was finished, and it left a lot of lace all the way down the sides.

Huge grapefruit citrus and piney hops nose. The 18% rye content is noticeable as well. For an 8% abv beer, the alcohol is well hidden.

That huge hops smell isn't there for nothing. This is an immensely hoppy and bitter brew, not for the novice beer drinker. Loaded with hops, rye, citrus flavor, and spice - then a splash of malt all wrapped up in one beer. Delicious!

For all the bitterness, this beer maintains a silky smooth mouthfeel.
I can't get over the creamy velvety texture of this beer while at the same time imparting a kick-ass bitterness. An excellent IPA.

Photo of mmmdonuts12000
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is delicious, beautiful and pretty drinkable. I miss being able to get in on draft when I lived in San Francisco. Personally, I like this a lot more than Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA and Red Rocket Ale.

A - Beautiful deep amber color which was surprisingly clear for an unfiltered beer. Nice head and lacing that would be perfect with more retention (I know that I'm splitting hairs on this point).

S - Gorgeous hop presence and very promising malt and caramel aromas.

T - This beer delivers on every bit of flavor hinted at by the aroma. I really don't know how better to put it. Exceptional finish' as well.

M - I love the fullness and richness of this beer. The somewhat mellow carbonation accentuates this perfectly.

D - This beer is delicious, but it is slightly heavy and the 8% APV could definitely sneak up on you. Personally speaking, I think that this is the perfect beer to have with a meal.

Photo of eclaycamp
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber. Pours a rich copper that reminds me of a new penny. Color aside, the head on this beer is quite impressive, huge and billowing with tons of lace that absolutely sticks to the sides of the glass. Aroma is fantastic, though a bit light. I get lots of pine with some notes of bread, most likely from the rye. Really love the depth that the rye adds to the taste, lending incredible balance to the beer. Caramel and bread up front, followed by a very enjoyable finish of light grapefruit. Little to no alcohol character, which is surprising given the ABV. This beer is pretty incredible.

Photo of mtbdonn
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 bottle from Beers of Europe, England and poured to a tulip.
A-The color is a deep maroon amber with two to three fingers of light brownish head with some really thick lacing.
A-Hoppy with some really nice floral scent, pretty sweet with the rye malt really presence in the nose; one of the better smell beers I had in a while.
T-Definite hints or rye malt at first, almost all rye malt with a small bitterness at the end of this first sip. The rye malt flavor continues to show it’s self on further sipping, with some good floral hops that seem to increase towards the end.
M-The feel is this beer is a light medium bodied beer. It is light on the pallet and goes down pretty well.
O-A great pleaseant feel to this beer and easy drinking.

Photo of JayS2629
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, dark amber with a thick white head that fades slowly and leaves big rings of lace.

The aroma is of orange, tangerine, and pine resin with rustic, spicy, rye bread. Some floral notes.

Freshly baked bread, caramel and spicy rye build a backbone that is filled with a bouquet of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and peach. Accented with strong pine resin. Delicious.

Smooth, creamy with a grainy edge that finishes dry. Very balanced.

Awesome beer.

Photo of rand
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz bomber to pint glass

Pours a dark amber, clear, with a slight chilled-haze. It forms a frothy head that leaves reams of sticky lacing. You can immediately notice big wafts of fresh pine carried by a bready, malty-sweet backdrop. The flavors have more depth than the nose, as the noted pine scent is met with layers of citrus. Lemon, orange zest, a little grapefruit. Quite bitter as well. The added rye provides an undertone which reminds of honey-sweet bread crust. Malts give plenty of support and make for bready flavors and mouthfeel. Chewy but not sticky. There's a slight alcohol punch near the end of the sip but it doesn't linger, leaving a bitter-sweet aftertaste.

Hop Rod Rye is a hopbomb, no doubt, but layered, complex and delicious. Candy-sweet notes became more prominent as the beer warmed and made the bitter tones extremely palatable. It was truly hard to stop drinking this.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,427 ratings.