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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,068 Reviews
For Trade:
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,068 | Ratings: 4,645
Photo of salcedo
4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass
L: Dense amber.
Slightly cloudy.
Lots of stuff floating in there :-)
Rich, cream colored head
S: Caramelized sugar.
T: Sweet and malty at first, but they don't linger.
Finishes clean with a touch of pleasant bitterness.
Trying to learn what flavors rye adds to a beer, and I think the aftertaste of Hop Rod Rye is a good example.
F: In spite of the strong caramel smell and taste, this is a medium bodied beer.
Well carbonated.
O: I really like this beer. Some people may be put off by the floaties in the glass, but it tastes great. And what's more important, how it looks or how it tastes?

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Hop Rod Rye is a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye. Brewed in the style of an American Rye IPA, available as a year round release in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a billowing creamy frothed head of a maple cream color over a moderately hazy deep mahogany amber body with plenty of flecked sediment ranging from opaque to black in suspension. Retention is very good and lacing is light and streaked. 4.25

(Smell) Aromas of bready, tangy rye malt and biscuity caramel syrup up front with a lesser note of herbal, spicy and piney hops secondary. Potency is medium-high. 3.75

(Taste) Dense bready rye and caramel body sweetness up front, fairly clean tasting but the viscosity is certainly there. Lesser emphasis on resinous, piney and herbal hops, somewhat faded. Fairly tasty, although I think the bottle is a bit dated. The rye flavor and character is forward and well carried through. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is moderately syrupy, medium chewy and mildly dry. Carbonation is mellow, generating a mild frothiness and a soft crispness. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to hoppy bitter, although the impact of age on this bottle in particular has the sweetness taking the front stage. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no significant off characters. 4

(Overall) I was a bit disappointed to find following this review that this bottle was a good bit past its prime, but still very promising with lots of rye flavor, texture and a solid malt body. Paired with a substantial hop flavor and bitterness, this would be no doubt be a fantastic beer. Will re-review at the next opportunity as Bear Republic is not currently distributed to Georgia and I got this on an out-of-state trip recently. Check your dates people! 3.75

Bear Republic Brewing Co.'s
Hop Rod Rye Specialty Ale

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4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

GOD DAMN, this beer hits the spot every single time. Might be my favorite bomber to pick up on a whim, and it's 5 bucks. Achieves such a fine balance of malt and hops to the point where you can almost pick one or the other to focus on, but both are still respectfully present. Casual but classy; solid from start to finish with no fuss . This beer is marriage material.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from the 22 oa bomber in a pint glass. This sturdy ipa pours a copper brown with a firm white head that slowly dies down to a thin foam layer with fantastic lacing. Nose of heavy citrus hops, grapefruit, orange zest, lavish caramel malts, and spicy rye. Flavors are a full on hop and rye assault on all sides with caramel malts sweetening out the spice of the rye and the bitterness of the from the hops to culminate in a symposium of a bitter sweet monster. Bitter hop and spicy rye is calmed by thick caramel flavors on the aftertaste giving balance to this fine ale that finishes wet and bitter. Creamy mouth feel and moderate carbonation makes it highly drinkable with alcohol warmth coming in on the back, especially as it warms.

I am no hop head by any means, but this is most excellent and highly quaffable!


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Photo of Gajo74
4.86/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm in love with this great brew and need to get more ASAP! Pours a dark copper with a modest head and a small ring like lace that retains throughout. It seems that this one is unfiltered as you can see some sediment. No problem, as it does not affect it negatively. The aroma is malty sweet with hints of caramel, chocolate, syrup, toasted bread and a tiny bit of alcohol towards the end. The taste is a malt lover's dream. A firm malt backbone with toasty bread flavors and caramel. Yet, this sweetness is never at risk of being cloying. Make no mistake about it, this one is also a bit of a hop bomb. This is evident in the finish and aftertaste which is a perfect marriage of dry, bitter and sweet. There are also elements of spice coming from the rye. I like my IPAs to have a good balance between hops and malts and I'm so impressed by the perfect balance this one has achieved. What a feel! It is full bodied and chewy yet so drinkable. I just finished it and I'm sad because I wish I had more. Reminds me a lot of dogfish head IPA 90.

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Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid orange color with limited head that disappears quickly.

Smells of strong piney hops, bready malts, with a hint of alcohol.

Tastes of piney hops, rye, and caramel with a touch of alcohol. Fairly well balanced overall.

Moderate bodied and lightly carbonated. Fairly smooth, and easily drinkable.

Overall this is a very solid brew that I would buy again. It certainly lives up to its name as it is not weak in the hops or rye department by any means.

Edit: I'm increasing my rating for this one. It grew on me qu

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Photo of bassboneman
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into glass
Immediate scent of piney alcohol - mmmmmm...
Definite finish is on the sweet side - very strong - but endearing hoppy quality as well.
Carbonation is right on point!
Love this bear beer :o)

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Photo of breadwinner
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was one of those beers that was an absolute eye-opener for me. I didn't know you could make beers like this. Big pops of pine marry with brown sugar sweetness and rye spice underneath. It's an ingenius blend that, even after all these years, still never fails to mesmerize.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish amber color, much darker than I expected. Nice low head diminishes rather quickly while leaving sticky off-white lace.

The aroma is faint. Mostly getting dank hops and syrupy sweetness.

Taste is earthy hops and dark caramel sweetness. No flavor stands out, but the combination offers quite a punch. The alcohol is well hidden.

This is full-bodied and smooth - my favorite part. Very little carbonation at play here.

Someone seriously mis-classified this beer as an IPA. It's far more like the American Strong Ales that I've had than any IPA. I would rate it more highly along those lines, but it's not my preferred style and probably not something I would buy again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at AJ's in Henrietta, NY. Bottled on date of 12/5/13, so it's a little bit old. Should have checked the date.

Pours a tawny amber brown, with a half inch white head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like caramel, rye, and a bit of pine. The hop aroma seems diminished.

At this age, this is still a somewhat decent rye ale, but it's not an IPA anymore. There's some slight hoppy pine bitterness, but it's mild. There's the spicy, grainy rye flavor I would expect, with some caramel and molasses. The malt flavor is at the forefront here, at this age, but it's not that interesting.

This one has a bready mouthfeel, with a lower amount of carbonation. It's kind of drinkable, I guess?

I'm disappointed. If I get a newer bottle, I'll re-review this.

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Photo of bricksandivey
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Delicious rye beer for those who worship at the house of rye beers. Enjoyed this in draft 16 oz pour in standard pint glass at The Craft Bar Destin, Fl. Dark Amber colored color with very nice head leading to nice lacing sip after sip. Caramel, earthiness leading to wonderful rye notes. A beer worth seeking out for sure. Pick this one up on your next trip to your local craft beer shop or pub.

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Photo of JimmyCaprese
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - Dark red, clear, very inviting. Nice head and wonderful head retention.
S- Can smell the rye but also a berry smell with overtones of chocolate. Great smell
T- Really smooth, very complex with a lot going on. Berry and hint of licorice comes out. A bit bitter on the finish but ok.
F- Good feel, substantial for a dark red beer, almost like a stout. A bit on the heavy side and a bit too much carbonation.
O - I really like this beer in all aspects, but I don't usually have more than one or two at a time because it is bold.

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Photo of mac31
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Initial thought: sweet and hoppy. Amber, slight smoky, deep rich maltiness. Roasty notes. Hints of caramel. Floral hoppiness. Resinous and dankiness from the hops counteract some of the sweetness. I'm really digging the soft bitterness from early addition hops. For how sweet the beer starts out it finishes somewhat dry possibly because of the rye in the grist. Some nice subtle spiciness is detected in the finish combined with some cereal grain finish. Nice beer, a little sweet for me. Medium body w/ perfect carbonation allows all the flavors to shine and lends very well to the drinkability of this brew. If your going BR, give me a Red Rocket Ale or Racer 5 please. Good brew non-the-less.

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Photo of Brewhemoth
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

From a bomber into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark amber with a thick, creamy, off-white, head. Really nice head retention and excellent lacing. No visible activity.
S: A caramel sweetness and piney hops followed by a heavy, earthy, rye spice.
T: Resiny hops upfront and rye spice followed by light roastiness. A nce long lasting bitterness. A medium level of carbonation.
M: Nice and full for and IPA, goes down very smoothly. Coats the mouth well, and hides the alcohol very nicely - hits you harder down the line than you think.

Overall: An extremely tasty RPA, one of the better, if not the best, one I have had.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

330ml bottle served in a mug like glass.

A: Pours a dark and cloudy amber color forming a big, creamy, thin bubbled beige head. Great retention forming tons of spotty and lingering lacings in the glass

S: Strong notes of caramel, sweet malts and hops. Very citrus hops profile. Strong notes of citrus fruits too (grapefruit). Earthy yeasts

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Sweet caramel malts, toffee, rye, some roastiness. Notes of grapefruit very well combined with quite citrus hops. Earthy yeasts

M: Heavy, creamy and full bodied. Medium carbonation. Caramel, rye and citrus hops in the aftertaste

O: Great drinkability. Impressive how good can be a rye IPA

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Photo of hreb
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of BeerBeast
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another fantastic IPA entry from Bear Republic, one of my favorite California breweries. Nice frothy head, highly enticing aroma, and an excellent rye-dominated flavor. A big mouthful, to be sure, but an easy-to-drink 8%. Very nicely done, Hop Rod takes its well-earned place next to Racer 5, Big Bear & Café Racer!

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Photo of TheBeerSipper
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - A wonderful mahogany look with a tan head about a finger thick.

Smell - a very rich curious smell that builds anticipation to what you are about to taste.

Taste - If you are expecting a normal taste here - you will be surprised my friends. The taste is similar to its rich bourbon esque smell. Though the taste is slightly less strong and flavorful than the smell, it is still very tasty.

Mouthfeel - The feel is very similar to the taste.

Overall - This is a very good, unique brew that differs greatly from your typical ale.

Until Next Time

The Beer Sipper

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Photo of slym
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of this while buying a six of Weihenstephaner's Hefeweissbeir, to have something a little different, and because I am trying all the RyePAs I can.

This is a damn good beer! As I cracked it open, I can smell the fruityness coming off the bottle. On the pour, the nose is pineapple, citrus, and pine. Nice bit of head (giggity) that lingered longer than most, with light lacing. The taste is fruity, not at all as bitter as some IPAs I have had, and has nice malt sweetness and rye spicyness. It's not too carbonated, but nicely fizzy.

Total "hops & pineapple" burps, as I just found out as I write this review! *L*

A really fine version of this type of IPA. Totally earns its ranking, and I am not the biggest fan of the style. Easily will I recommend and buy this again!

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

pours well into my glass, a deep dark amber. The head is creamy off-white like the foam you may see in a latte. It has a bold scent of rye ale and alcohol. The scent really hits you as does that initial swig. That 18% rye content does a number on the flavor. Excellent craft ale from northern California once again.
Overall this particular brew earns a 4 and a quarter.

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Photo of JohnnyJam
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with no code date visible into a pint glass and got one finger on head. This bottle says 8% ABV.

A: Pours a reddish, dark amber color with one finger of head that dissipates at a moderate rate to leave a covering on the top of my glass and a fairly thick ring of head around the glass. lots of nice lacing from top to bottom.

S: The first thing I smell is white pepper and then some sweet caramel and brown sugar. the smell of grass and a little pine is also present.

T: It is sweet but spicy. The hops have a resin taste but they come off spicy probably from the rye. I have to say the taste of ruby grapefruit is also present.

O: Did I mention that this beer is 8% ABV? The alcohol is really well hidden. This is a medium-bodied and more than medium-carbonated beer. It goes down smooth and easy but it that high alcohol content can creep up. It's a really nice beer: easy to drink, complex and tasty.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.86/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: color is a clear ruby, there are lots of bubbles within the beer, which pours a thick, bouncy head that has superb retention.

Smell: aroma is very hoppy, with powerful notes of grapefruit and pine. Rye pepperiness lingers there as well.

Taste: citrus hops burst forward, followed by pine and rye spiciness, as well as malty burned sugar that beautifully balances the faint, hoppy bitterness.

Mouthful: body is on the lighter side of medium, not crisp but not creamy either, but moisture from the thick head lingers on the back of the tongue on the way down.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Westville Pub Asheville. Served in a Highland pint glass.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Quick stab of rye along with some brown sugary sweetness.

T- Starts out kind of tasting like a barleywine with its sweet malt character and mild hop bitterness. But then the drinkability makes for a much smoother drink and clearly more of a straight up IPA with a pronounced malt sweetness which is actually a bit surprising since most of the rye IPAs I've had have been more spicy with the rye than sweet. Great hop burps.

M- Surprisingly tame considering the flavor. Very smooth with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- An excellent rye beer that's hoppy but doesn't overdo it. Balanced I guess would be the right word but there's enough intensity of flavor that it excites the taste buds all the way to the last sip.

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Photo of curasowa
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Mahogany color with suspended sediment and one finger of tan head that fades slowly with thick lacing.

Aroma: A great blend of malt; Caramel, definitely rye, some light roasted notes, husk, faint cocoa and some earthy hops.

Taste: Creamy, slightly chewy mouthfeel, toasted, bready malt, spicy rye, bitterness starts appearing midway through and builds to become quite bitter on the finish. The bitterness is pretty earthy. Finish is lingering with a fair amount of dark chocolate.

The Rest: Really good; complex yet drinkable.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Mostly clear dark copper color with a rocky, two-finger, khaki head. Rings of sticky lacing. Good head retention.

S - Pungent aroma of west coast hops, caramel malts, and black peppercorn.

T - Much earthier than the nose would indicate. Caramel malt forward with dank and herbal hops in the mid-palate. A bit of lemon/lime sweetness throughout. Rye makes itself know heavily in the finish, with spicy bready kick and even a hint of caraway seed (or maybe it's just my imagination) Complex and tasty.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied, with soft carbonation. Seems like it could use more of both given the flavor profile. Finishes with a nice coating; more wet than dry.

O - I love rye ales, and this one is one of the best. A few flaws in the mouth feel, but the flavor makes up for it.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,068 ratings.