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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.

4,381 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,381
Reviews: 2,039
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 231 | 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: 4,381 | Reviews: 2,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brewfan
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. 8% ABV.
Beautiful tan fluffy cotton head upon pouring. Head will reappear throughout the live of this beer with a little swirl. Dark reddish-mahogany color. Thick lace proceeded to cling to the glass like the mynocks to the the Millenium Falcon in the "cave" in Empire Strikes Back. Steady stream of bubbles rise to the surface the entire time I'm drinking this.
Hops upon very dominant upon opening, and continue to dominate the entire time, but make way for rye and grapefruit aromas. Very well balanced aroma.
Heavy mouthfeel stays with you well into the next sip. I actually think I may have a 1/8 inch layer of hops on my tongue by the end of my bottle. Mid level corbonation.
Glorious hoppiness on the tongue, but a well balanced malty sweetness is there as well. Bitter, but not too bitter. Hoppy, but not too hoppy. Sweet, but....well, you get the point. Very well balanced. Some pine and citrus thrown in to boot. Not for the beginning hop head. I wouldn't have liked this 3 years ago. But now is a different story.

Brewfan, May 21, 2005
Photo of GreenWBush
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reddish copper. Almost no head. Visible suspended hop-chunks create wicked glass-cling.

Dank aroma in a major way. Cherry Jell-o. A distinct rye twinge goes right to the nose. Gummy caramel malts underneath. Enticing.

Even in a year+ old bottle this beer remains very hop-forward. Rye malt takes a supporting role adding tartness to the strong bitterness.

Addictively dry, with lingering bitterness that makes you crave more. And more. And more. Refreshing until you start craving more in vein: I can't get this here.

I have never gotten hop burps off of beer that is not very, very fresh. Until now.

GreenWBush, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of Reidrover
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After a dissapointing beer i was looking to this to make my night.
Came in the brown glass bomber.
What a fantastic looking beer!..dark slightly murky amber with ruby accents..lovelly tan head..with gorgeous bubbles of foam..great lacing..a work of art!
Smell too is great..fresh and "piney" with dark alcohol undertones
Taste is exquisitlly balanced..who would have thought it? Sweet malts to start then massive hoppy grapefruit and pine flavour which is undercut by the sticky flavour of the rye..This is good the brewer has balanced the malts, hops AND rye to a tee!
Very good feeling on the palte..exciting to the taste buds.
For one so strong..very nice and drinkable..I shall buy many more tommorrow!

Reidrover, May 29, 2004
Photo of youngblood
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a ruby amber color. Very lively white head stacking up as I pour. Ended with a two finger head.
Smells strongly of hop oil, nice pine, bit of spice. Some nice biscuity malt in there also.
This has some exceptional flavor to it. Very nice spicy rye backbone, leaves a caramel like sweetness on the tongue. The strong citrus plays nicely with the spice. Feels very creamy and smooth on the tongue. I want to drink far more of these than I have. Overall, this is a heck of a beer.

youngblood, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of BMoney575
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 7-29-07

Pours a surprisingly dark red/ambers with a nice off-white head that leaves spider-web lacing on the glass.

The smell is clean, grassy hops, with just a hint of citrus and malt.

Taste is all big, fruity hops at first and then the perfect match of earthy, malty, and bitter to keep everything straight. Absolutely fantastic.

Mouthfeel is great, with a nice hoppy thickness.

Drinkability is terrifyingly good, at 8%.

Overall, not what I was expecting at all. Given the title and the abv, I was looking for a balls-to-the-wall double IPA. What I got was one of the cleanest, most well balanced, and most easy to drink IPAs I've ever had. Highly, highly, recommended.

BMoney575, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of DNICE555
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up at table and vine. So glad I only live 30 minutes away from the supermarket of beer.

A - Almost brown with reddish Tints. Bronze if you will.

S - Pine, Grapefruit, Loads of Hops, brown sugar.

T - Big boy hops, rye, fruit, and a decent malt backbone to balance things out.

M - Really nice texture and feel to this one. Well done.

D - So well balances, so smooth. This is a fantastic IPA. Bear needs to distribute to CT.

DNICE555, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of RedHaze
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/amber with a very thick and creamy two finger head that fades very slowly to a thick cap, and leaves tons of lace clinging to the sides of my glass. Looks impressive.

Smell; has a really nice spicy rye aroma that I really enjoy, piney and slightly citrusy hops with just a hint of sweet caramel.

Taste; the piney hops hit first followed by that rye spiciness that just really stands out. A nice grapefruit flavor mixes in with a nice caramel malty presence on the finish that's really pleasant. For a DIPA this beer is not overly bitter. This beer has a nice and chewy mouthfeel, but has a little more of a carbonation bite to it that I would have liked. This is a truely "outstanding" beer.

RedHaze, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of Duhast500
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a deep maroon amber with two to three fingers of light brownish head with some really thick lacing.

The smell is hoppy with some really nice floral feel. Is pretty sweet with the rye malt really present in the nose of this beer. One of the better smell beers I had in a while.

The taste is 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. Some good floral hops that seem to be just towards the end of the sip.

The feel is this beer is a light medium bodied beer. It is light on the pallet and goes down pretty well. Is a great pleaseant feel to this beer and it easy drinking.

Duhast500, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Oh man… I must hurry through this to taste it, the way this thing looks already has me way too excited. On the pour, the foam frothed, stormed, danced, and swelled to three fingers of creamy head that is a nice off-white color.

There is considerable lacing clinging with all its strength to the side of the glass as the head slowly descends. It’s down to about a finger now.

The body is deep amber with pumpkin skin highlights. It is easy to see the sediment from the hops used in the beer floating lazily among the strong pillars of carbonation zooming to the top.

Smell: This Hop Rod's tank is full on the little green cone essence. The bright citrusy twang is evident before my nose is even over the glass. Plenty of grapefruit, orange, and some lemon zest permeating from the glass. What really makes this baby rev is the sugary hints right behind the hops, it makes this beer smell smooth. How feel is accomplished in smell is beyond me, but the sugariness is a wonderful touch.

Taste: Incredibly rich flavors accompany the hop zing that explodes around the tongue. The rye for instance, is strong in the front of the drink that smoothes it out as the grapefruit and orange hops are kicking around. The malts are oh so subtle too, just a little of the caramel malt backs up the rye as the drink starts to finish.

And does this thing finish. It is long and deliberate. It feels like the hops are actually gaining strength slowly after the swallow. It is bitter and it is dry, but as someone that wanted a strong IPA, this is perfect.

Mouth feel: The dry finish crashes with the smoothness of the drink, creamy and definitely medium bodied. It just feels good man.

Overall: American IPA? Maybe American DIPA. The higher alcohol content and extreme dose of hops in the bottle make the case for this in a big way. Oh, and it is absolutely delicious.

Two Hearted was my favorite IPA, until I cracked this one open. The extreme hops and subtle feel of the rye and the caramel malt notes really push this one into a category all its own.

Find a way to try this beer if you love IPA’s.

Pintofbrown, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of NEhophead
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Foamy white head that has great retention, giving way to some strong lacing after letting it sit for about five or ten minutes. Dark auburn in color with shades of red.

A very strong hop aroma; piney, oily, and some citric aromas. There's also a mellow clove-like spiciness which I attributed to the rye.

A great juicy Double IPA! The flavors are grapefruit, lemon, and hop oils at first that give way to a burnt toffee aftertaste. The rye is almost nut-like and very warming. It balances out the over the top hop flavors well. A medium malty sweetness is also present that provides a great bitterness.

This is a big hop beer and it is thick on the palate. Any Double IPA with this much flavor though is expected to be a bit thick and heavy. At 8%abv this one goes down very smoothly.

A great beer for the style, especially if you're a hophead. This is one of the better Double IPA's out there and it's unique as well. This is something that should be sought after.

NEhophead, Sep 06, 2004
Photo of froggyfrog
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A Hop Rod bomber bottle sits perched on a printed cardboard coaster on my desk. I've heard the hype. I've seen the ratings. Now my very own bottle waits, perfectly timed by a kind and knowledgeable trader to be enjoyed at its peak of perfection. And...it's on!

Serving vessel: A burly glass snifter.
Serving temp: 50°F

First up for evaluation as always is the outward look. A moderate pour has produced a mountainous head, frothy with tenacious eggshell lace. The bowl is marbled with deep red and the dark purple of a two-day-old bruise. Jittery carbonation bubbles bounce to the surface like the juggling balls of some mad jester.

The smells coming off of this glass are breathtaking. The aroma is a whirlwind of malted milk, earthy/spicy citrus hops and hearty rye.

The taste is warm malt and dark rye with high bitterness and an exceptionally smooth finish. Alcohol is detectable but not dominant. The rye bread character coats the tongue while bitter hop acids linger like thousands of prickly needles. This beer stands out from the pack for its palate-exciting complexity in a style that can easily be overrun by monotonous hop flavors.

For mouthfeel, I like the way it travels; creamy texture with a dark bread twist and then, after you think it's gone, the hops pop up to bully the tongue.

Drinkable? Yeah. Good for an AIPA. Not a session beer by any stretch but a really nice treat.

RedwoodGeorge: Thanks for the hook-up!

froggyfrog, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of korndog
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Flute with a nice tan head. Gorgeous clear cherry/mahogany with a fairly long lasting blanket of foam. Lacing stayed high on the glass throughout the tasting. Nose hits you long before you pour, and is all the pine and citrusy goodness you would expect. Now prepared for the taste that I have come to love. Immediate blast of Tomahawk/Columbus hops with a nicely balanced maltiness and the harsh reality of a rye finish. This beer is so damn good. It's my current favorite AIPA, and it's always available where I live. I like to take some time between pours of this beer, since it does get in your face a bit. A bomber once a week is good enough for me.

korndog, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of DaggerEyes
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22 oz into my trusty pint glass.

Poured with a rowdy 3 finger foamy head that had me diving to the class slurping in order to prevent spillage. After settling slightly the head fell down to a rocky craggy foam of two fingers. What a great great looking head. Sticky as hell lace has been left all over the upper regions of the glass where the head once was. The color was an opaque and deep mahogony.

What a nose. So wonderfully balanced sweet sugary malts, smells like candied fruit mingle with bitter citrusy hops. Very fragrent. some slight floral or honey smells creep in. Also some ever so slight buttery notes.

The rye is really present in the mouth spicey with the bitter cirtus flavors of the hops...It's not too much though as a subtle sweet carmel-esque backbone balances it out. This is an extremely active beer with an incredible mouthfeel. Medium to full body with a good amount of carbonation and a fairly clean, though bitter thick and bold finish...this beer really gives your mouth a work out.

A very drinkable beer. Wonderful to kick back and enjoy on it's own. Bitter as all hell. A very very unique American IPA.

DaggerEyes, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of GordonQuid
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Dark copper with just a a reddish tinge. Rocky one inch head dissapates to a creamy wisp with ample lace.

Smells of amber malts and cascade hops. Appetizing and inviting smell of freshness.

Taste is exceptionally smooth malts and hops blended to perfection and a nice crisp dry finish from the rye.

This stuff is smooth and highly drinkable.

GordonQuid, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of OneLowChevy
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I originally bought this beer mainly to keep the bottle on my shelf but when i popped it open and tasted it i was blown away by how good it was. I was told i should try this one out if i like beers that are hoppy. Since ive tried it ive have had it several times and buy it just about every time i walk into Bevmo.

OneLowChevy, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of bisonkron
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - dark amber color, nice carbonation, poured with 3 fingers of foam that stuck until the last drop.

S - very hoppy as I had expected. great smell, not too over powering.

T - great balance of hops and malts, a truly smooth IPA. a bit of a sour rye after taste. and some citrus notes

M - crisp, fizzy, light. very pleasing.

D - amazing drinkability for 8% ABV. I will definitely put this on the list to buy again.

bisonkron, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of watchnerd
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Om yom yom, this is a delicious beer. Almost an IPA, yet not, the normal west coast IPA hops being balanced out by an intriguing creaminess on the finish. Is it because of the rye? Special malts?Or secret Bear Republic elves? Dunno, but this brew is good, and unique. The only downside is that, like the Stone Ruination, the taste experience is intense enough that you need to give your palate a rest afterwards. And the drinkability takes a hit due to the high-ish ABV.

Bear Republic might be one of the most under-rated breweries with the widest range of good beers: Racer 5, Racer X, and Black Bear are all good to amazing beers. Now I can add Hop Rod Rye to the list of greats.

watchnerd, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of khiasmus
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber into my glass with as much head as you could ever want, depending entirely upon the pour. Laces perfectly on the sides of the glass with a sticky spiderweb. This beer could not be more beautiful.
A deep malt backbone is evident, with absurd hopping that is balanced between resiny pine and a bit of citrus, but is clearly of a few hop varieties. Alcohol is also evident in the nose.
Initially sweet malt, a fine, balanced flavor, finishing in intense hops and a bit of alcohol. There are hints of fruitiness and a bit of honey-sweetness. Astounding.
Silky-smooth with medium carbonation and intense bitterness bringing an astringency, as well as a hint of warming in the finish.
This beer is extremely drinkable, especially for the alcohol content and intensity of the flavor. This has become my go-to beer when I want a hop fix. Highly recommended.

khiasmus, May 23, 2008
Photo of advill88
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden reddish amber color with a big frothy white head.

Smell is of strong piney hops, with hints of citrus and a light honey sweetness.

Strong grapefruit and piney hop flavors up front with some rye and a light malty sweetness at the back end to even it out a bit. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied and almost chewy with an incredible creamy smoothness to it.

Absolutely fantastic IPA, especially when you let it warm enough to be able to taste the light counterbalance that the rye malt provides to the slam of hops. One of my new favorites.

advill88, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of rkuhnel
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. Pours are very rich amber with a nice big tan head that lasted a long time and left great lacking. About as beautiful as you can get. Hops smack you in nose. Hint of fruit. Rye subtle. What a nose! I love it. What sets this apart is great balance. I am an IPA fan, and this ranks with the very best. I would put it on a par with Arrogant Bastard amd Moylans Hopsicle. And it is close enough to me in Northern California that I can almost claim it as a "local’ beer. This is a real winner.

rkuhnel, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of stonermouse
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a very pretty amber, with a touch of red and a touch of haze. Exactly what I hoped for and expected.

The aroma here is moderately strong, but nice. A little sweetness comes through, with some grassyness. It reminds me a bit of a coastal marsh in the summer.

Flavor is complex. The first thing I noticed was the roasted aftertaste- not because it was dominant, but because it was suprising. The malts are as spicy as I had hoped, and the hops are both citrusy and grassy. The roastiness gives this a Black IPA feel, but the biting rye and the crisp, clean hops really dominate. Great flavor all around.

Mouthfeel is solid for the flavors. It's a little sticky, but the roasted flavor and stickiness blend well at the back end.

Drinkability is immeasurable. This beer is an all-occasions, anytime-type brew, and is just mild enough in ABVs to have a few. If it was a little more affordable, this would be a superb 12-pack purchase for company.

stonermouse, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This ale poured with an impressively creamy off white head that lingered for almost as long as the beer was in my glass. The beer was deep dark copper in color and only slightly hazy. A wonderful amount of lacing remained in the glass.

Aroma was spicy, sweet and subtly floral. Very nice. I think you get a sense for the higher hop content by the strength of the floral notes and the spicy character of the aroma.

Taste is very nicely balanced and this beer carries a BIG flavor. Quite nice.
Again, I notice a peppery/spicy flavor happening behind the malt goodness and the hop bitterness. Also some great fruit qualities to the sweetness provided by the malt. Definitely a little plum or pear. Also some nice grapefruit flavors that I have to assume come from the higher hop content.

I am really enjoying the subtle spiciness of this brew.

Mouth feel was quite big but also refreshing as it was creamy in texture. I also notice that the combination of the spiciness and carbonation cause a flutter on your tongue as you enjoy this beer.

Really good! I saw this in a local store where I am vacationing and figured it was a good one to try after coming home from the beach. I am happy to have another bomber at home in my fridge. Looking forward to enjoying that one and more that I will definitely pick up.

Reagan1984, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of GoldHorde
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm finding out that the more I drink beers labeled "IPA" or "Double IPA" that it will cause me to shift and jostle my top ten list of beers to try and make room for it. This "HOP ROD RYE Specialty Ale" was my first BEAR REPUBLIC experience and the CA location made me automatically knock off critical bias points. EVEN STILL, it fizzed and finessed its way into my top ten. The last Belgian style ale has now been knocked off my top ten list - now leaving only inhabitiants of porters, IPA's and stouts. HOT ROD RYE ALE has a very nice cap pop aroma of hops - though less than my other IPA's on the list. I felt the aroma predicted "hop-slap" was missing in the flavor but the aftertaste lingered appreciably. A nice beer - if I were to rate it - I would say this is a perfect introductory IPA for the novice beer style drinker.

GoldHorde, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a dark copper color with a nice creamy head. Laced nicely down the glass as I drank it. The sweet maltiness hits me at first then followed by the bitter dry hops. Awesome hoppiness flavor in this one. Very smooth for a 8% beer. Will be buying this one again when looking for a hoppy treat.

billab914, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of dasenebler
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber, Hop Rod Rye pours a beautiful deep ruby-copper, with one of the best heads I've seen on an IPA. Craggy, creamy and thick, with epic retention. Chunky sheets of lacing. I don't see how this beer could look any better.

Juicy hop aromas mix with spicy rye notes and pine to form a nice nose.

Flavor is big, piney, and spicy. Pretty rich and malty, with a burnt caramel character. Hops and bitterness outweigh this though. Rye adds an earthy, bready component, making this beer complex and about more than just hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth, with low carbonation. Resinous and slick. This is deliciously drinkable, even at eight percent abv.

Can't say enough good things about this beer. Well done, Bear Republic.

dasenebler, Jan 22, 2010
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,381 ratings.