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.

4,282 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,282
Reviews: 2,034
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 216
Gots: 212 | 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: 4,282 | Reviews: 2,034 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Riccymon
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%

Received as a gift.. I've wanted to try Hop Rod Rye for some time, but as a malt-head, I've always found something else to spend my beer dollars on.

Pours from the bomber an orangey-amber color with an assertive three fingers of head. Some lacing remains long after the pour, and a small cap of head never completely recedes. Very good looking beer. As for the aroma, this might be the most IPA-smelling IPA I've had. Right after the pour, the head, straining at the edge of the glass, holds a piney bouquet. I notice increasing citrus as the beer warms, particularly grapefruit.

When the beer was colder, I smelled and tasted some rye spiciness, but it's definitely secondary to the hops. Particularly noticeable is lemon and grapefruit hoppiness, and I really can't pick up the rye after having sipped for half an hour. At first, I couldn't pick out much in the way of malt either, but there's a small pocket of sweetness I observe when initially taking each sip. Unexpectedly, I noticed more alcohol when the beer was colder than I did after it warmed up. Hop Rod Rye presents a bitter mouthfeel in that post-swallow, the bitterness coats the mouth and tongue. While sipping, however, the beer drinks rather smoothly.

Hop Rod Rye was tasty as far as hop bombs go, and it seems well crafted. Although the ABV is on the high side, I didn't find this to be a messy, thrown-together brew. If I was a hop head, I think I'd return to this one.

Riccymon, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Jan 2008. Courtesy of my brother, thanks!

Large light brown head. Moderate carbonation. Clear, medium brown color. Lots of grapefruit, resin and caramel in the aroma, maybe some rye. Lots of citrus and resin to start. A little more rye in the flavor but not as much as expected. Some spiciness, moderately sweet and caramel. Medium body, ethanol well hidden.

Well balanced, quite drinkable.

htomsirveaux, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of eclaycamp
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

eclaycamp, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of brewmudgeon
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

hop rod rye. 6 something a 4-pack at woodmans, also at that place in the nemisis city.

a 4.5 brownish amber, or ambery brown. not much head at first but good retention excellent lacework.

s 4-4.5 big grapefruit hops, bread, those candied citrus things you find in easter bread. it's liquid easter rye bread soaked in ruby red.
[note to self: buy fresh bottles and be sure the last one smelled lousy due to age.]

t 4-4.5 flavor is a little mellower than the nose suggests. there's a bit of bite up front but then the bottom sort of drops out. some grapefruit does manage to linger, and there's a rye essence that subtly pervades the whole deal. subsequent 4-packs convince me there's more to this than at first.

m 4.5-5 about medium body but with nice hop resinousness. the carbonation is soft, incredibly finely bubbled.

d 4.5 bought these with the intention of cellaring some, but i have doubts that aging would do them any good. the flavors are already well integrated and don't need more restraint, and a reduction of the aroma would certainly not help. basically, too good now to justify waiting.

brewmudgeon, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of glazeman
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is one of those beers that I've heard is good, and always see sitting on the shelves at the various beer stores around town, but that I have always walked by and thought, "Oh, I'll try that sometime soon" but keep passing up. Well that time has come...

A: pours a dark brown but fairly red when held up to the light. A vigorous pour yields a half finger light tan head that has sub-optimal retention but nice lacing.

S: Rye and nuts, but not a very aromatic beer.

T: As the name implies the rye really comes out in this beer and is quite good! For some reason it reminds me a lot of raison d'extra but without the big alcohol kick. Perhaps this is because this beer has flavors of plums/raisons in addition to the rye. There is a nice hop finish that balances out the sweetness that comes out up front.

M: Pretty good feel. Nice level of carbonation. Medium bodied.

D: Wonderfully drinkable. The alcohol in this beerl is hidden well, it's not overly sweet, and tastes great. I would love to have this more often...luckily it's easy to find.

glazeman, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev -23.6%

A - Pours a dark iced tea color with a 1/2 beige head that fades to a film. Very little lacing.

S - Pine hops and slight malt aroma.

T - Bitter pine hops with slight malt taste.

M - Slightly flat. Coats the mouth.

D - Not too good. Hop dominates but tastes off.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of PintOHops
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Glass - Tulip

A - About an amber/brown color with an extremely soapy 1-finger head, it dissipated damn fast as well. It left a nice splashy/spotted lacing.

S - Very pungent pine/grapefruit upfront, sap, it's got a fresh soil & earthy quality to it that reminds me of a Winter Warmer. A bit of toast & biscuit underneath the pungent hops, ah there it is, just a touch of a bready rye like quality in there.

T - Very herbal with tons of orange peel and pungent tree sap like flavors everywhere! It finishes with pine & more peel, fresh oily hop flavors, there's a nice bready quality that comes through but nothing that immediately puts my mind to rye bread. Bitterness isn't over the top & makes an appearance as a lingering burnt bitterness on the back of the tongue, and this beer definitely doesn't taste like 8% ABV!

M - Smooth & creamy, soft crispness. Around medium-full bodied.

D - Such a great IPA, fresh herbal hop flavors with somewhat mild bitterness. I could definitely quaff 2-3 pints with some spicy & tangy ribs! I look forward to having this one again, highly recommended. Cheers!

Be careful with this one, because even as my beer warmed it didn't even taste close to 8% ABV!

PintOHops, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of JosiahS
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Glass: Tulip

Color is a dark amber with a soapy, 1-finger head sitting atop. Lots of small splashes line the glass where beer once was.

This beer has an amazing resiny and herbal-like scent. Citrus fruit rind are also present. Beneath the hops, deep sugary, caramel malt is revealed.

Taste is approaching my opinion of a perfect IPA. It has a fresh or wet hop taste that can't be beat. Resiny and herbal hops along with the perfect amount of grapefruit and lemon rind bitterness. Malt is strong but so well-integrated that it's hard to distinguish one from another.

Mouthfeel is light and velvety with low to medium carbonation.

Drinkability is high. Such a fresh punch of hops with a lowered bitterness level always makes any IPA quaff-able. Excellent beer!

JosiahS, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

A -Pours dark amber into the glass with a good two fingers of head and excellent lacing.

S - Caramel like malts, hops, light citrus and piney notes.

T - Love the caramel malts mixed in with the nice bitter hops, really well balanced. Really coats the mouth and remains on the palate.

M - Creamy and consistent across the board

D - Incredibly drinkable, this is a beer I always find myself happy to come back to!

StoneBrewFanatic, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color with a large fluffy light brown head that slowly receded into a bubbly film that left ample rings of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Not particularly smelly. Light notes of hops, caramel malt and faint mint.
T: Citrus hops dominate. Notes of grapefruit, black pepper, earthy spices, passion fruit and tangerine rind. This brew is very spicy, presumably from the rye. Hops are bitter in a very pleasant way. Finish is sweet and fruity.
M: Juicy and soft. Carbonation is soft, body is medium and mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.
D: I love the spiciness in this beer. I need to seek out more beers brewed with rye. Pretty heavy for an IPA, borders if not crosses into the DIPA range. Great brewery, great beer.

scottfrie, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of koopa
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%

Had this one many times over the years but figured I'd review the sample I had on tap at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington NJ last Sunday.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany with a massive khaki crown that shows good retention and lace.

Smell: Loads of citrus and some faint pine notes from the hops plus plenty of rye goodness.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down pretty well despite the massive hopping and the 8% abv. Always a treat.

koopa, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of hopsbreath
2.65/5  rDev -37.4%

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.

hopsbreath, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of onemanarne
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Had this several times before within the last 2 years but mainly it was whilst discovering my palate for good beers and more specifically, the glory that is hops. Been regularly drinking Stone IPA/Ruination, GF West Coast, Hop Ottin, Torpedo for many months and now back to my "roots".

A- A gentle pour reveals a fairly dark, opaque, muddy amber with a nice 1 finger head - still hanging in there 2/3 of the way thru. I can see each sip in the nice lacing.

S- I can smell caramelly malts/maybe rye? Not sure. Also definitely detecting the hops.

T- Definitely bitter right off the bat followed by a balanced but strong taste of malts, a little rye, and a lot of really bitter hops. A little alcohol at the end, but not enough to prevent you from wanting another sip. Deliciously bitter and hoppy, with a very strong malt backbone. The rye is subtle yet makes this absolutely not your run of the mill every day IPA.

M- Creamy, but not super heavy.

D- Too high. I remember having a 22 oz. bomber of this before a couple of other 7%+ IPA's (quite some time ago) and receiving a buzz that was more than necessary. Anywho.

I remember thinking of my last few sips as juicy. This beer is delicious. Gonna be my go-to alternative IPA from now on now that I've remembered about it. Glad I have 3 more!

onemanarne, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance: Poured into a mug is a dark amber a little on the clear side but has mohagany hues around the edges. On top is a crown of thick off white head that is about two fingers thick. The head rentention is good. Upon thining out a nice display of lacing.

Aroma: Heavy grapefruit notes with underlying piney notes. Carmael malts present themselves in a subtle yet bold way.

Taste: This one has quite the creamy mouthfeel. A caramel sweetness gives it a sticky coating on the pallate. Nice citrus notes with pineyness rounding it out.

Notes: A tasty offering from Bear Republic. For this review I raise my glass to a very wonderful friend it's her birthday June 22nd. Cheers to you Happy Birthday Tigger.

horshack7, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of jonziefle
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance: Poured a clear brown amber. Visible carbonation. 2.5 finger light khaki foamy head with very good body/retention. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Strong citrus and pine hops, with a syrupy sweetness. Grapefruit dominates almost everything, with hints of straight hop pellets. No malts in the nose.

Taste: Bitter hop taste, but heavily mixed in with darker caramel malts. Hops have bite, but not the fresh flavor of the nose. The rye malts give it a kick as well. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. Long linger.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Tingly to start, with moderate carbonation, and a bit of an alcohol bite to finish.

Drinkability: A very interesting IPA, with the rye malts. Very fresh hoppy nose, with a more balanced taste. The rye gives it an interesting kick, unlike the hops which usually fuel this style. Hops in the taste or more subdued than I would like, but aren't overly harsh like others. A good one to try.

Buy Again? Yes.

jonziefle, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of garuda
4.4/5  rDev +4%

A - Mostly clear copper with a one inch off-white head that has good retention and lacing down the glass.

S - Not as strong as I had hoped, but has floral hop goodness backed up by a bit of caramel malt sweetness and some notable dryness from the rye and alcohol.

T - Sweet caramel malt backbone, perfectly balanced by floral hops and a mild rye spiciness, and a touch of grapefruit peel in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, perfect medium carbonation level creates a light creamy consistency across the palate with a dry finish and little lingering bitterness.

D - Solid IPA, well balanced all around with no one element overpowering the other. Watch the 8% abv, it caught up to me quick.

garuda, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
3.85/5  rDev -9%

at prime bar. glass was chilled, waited for it to warm up.

pour was dark brown and black, very thick in appearance and a creamy head with heavy lacing.

scents were faint, not sure if the temp of the beer affected this, however i let it warm and not much changed. mainly floral and citrus with hints of spice.

i usually have this from the bottle. on tap, i was getting lots of earthy resin hop flavors. an intense bitterness between the hops and the rye.

very full bodied, a bit heavy over all. but all in a good way. mild to moderate carbonation.

this was good, but not something i would want many of. i far prefer this out of a bottle.

hooliganlife, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a very cloudy amber, almost brown, with a one and a half finger light cream colored head. Sediement floating in the middle of the beer. Nice lacing, though. Very strange for an IPA, though I'd assume that would be the rye

S- beautiful piney goodness with a slight backbone of warm citusy hops. Not too overpowering...gotta love it.

T- so bitter, yet so wonderful. Huge bursts of pine with the aftertaste of some light citrus. The first sip is a little overwhelming, but then it just turns into this sheer awesomeness of hops.

M- good feel. Its what I consider the perfect feel for an IPA...that happy medium being having a solid body without being too thick or too thin. Love it.

D- I don't know about this. Its a good gateway beer for novice hopheads, but could be considered a little weak for someone more experienced. I'm somewhere in the middle, so I really like it. Did I enjoy it more than Racer 5? I'm gonna have to buy more of it to think about that one.

bigfnjoe, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of therube
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%

Pours dark amber with a solid head and good lacing. Not spectacular looking but problem-free.

Smells like an IPA but you can smell the rye and alcohol, not bad smelling

Very hoppy nose, sweet and complex, with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is balanced and smooth

Drinkable, but slightly too corrosive to drink more than one

therube, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Tahoeman1971
5/5  rDev +18.2%

This very may well be the best beer I have ever had. I love the Racer 5 from Bear Republic and this extends the impressive ability of the brewery. The beer has the perfect balance between hops and mellow fruit character. It pours a beautiful color with a nice 2 inch head that laces for the entirety of the consumption. This is exactly what American micro brewing is about.

Tahoeman1971, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of mdaschaf
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass

A: Pours a deep maroon/mahogany color with a nice off white head. There is thick patchy lacing down the side of the glass.

S: A really nice combination of hops and citrus along with malt and thick caramel aroma.

T: Like the nose, a great combination of hops and malt, with the citrus upfront and then the malt with notes of the caramel and rye to balance it out.

M/D: Medium bodied beer with good carbonation. Overall I really enjoyed this beer, there is no evidence of the 8% abv at all, and drinking this one could get dangerous fast. I look forward to getting it again.

mdaschaf, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of airohead2001
3.68/5  rDev -13%

A - great looking beer - deep amber, copper in color with a one finger head and excellent lacing.

S - piney and citrus hops dominate with the smallest hint of alcohol

T - a good beer, but certainly not one of the best IPAs I've had. Bitter hops upfront as well as in the finish. The citrus aromas that dominate the smell seem absent in the taste. IMO, this brew could use a bit more malt to balance out the bite of the bitter hops. I've seen this bottle for months at the liquor store, so maybe some of the taste has faded...

M - perfect mouthfeel for an ipa: not too thin, not too chewy, just the right amount of carbonation.

D - this is certainly a drinkable beer, limited only by the persistent bitterness of the hops upfront as well as in the finish. Even so, I would certainly enjoy this beer again for $4.99 a bomber, but it would be better if there was a bit more of a malt backbone.

airohead2001, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of missingsense
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

A: Pours a deep, deep amber with a nice sticky head. Very good lacing.

S: An amazing floral hoppiness with a bit of grapefruit, raisins, and caramel. Very smooth and enticing aroma that evolves as the beer warms to include some piney hops and bready malts. I can't wait to taste it, but just smelling it makes me happy.

T: I must admit, the term "rye" turned me off just a little (only because I'm not a big rye bread fan), but I wanted to try it because I like their Racer 5 so much... and I'm very glad I did. Sweet, spicy, and bready notes collide to create a well-rounded brew with an exceptionally smooth lingering hop flavor. A perfect hint of bitterness finishes things off, but the bread-like malts stop it just short of being overwhelming.

M: Very thick, which is well appreciated for the style. When I drink a full flavored ale, I want each sip to fill my mouth and be a new experience, and this beer does just that.

D: The 8% is hidden oh-so-well. Just about perfect, as the flavor makes me want to enjoy it slowly to take it all in. Not a session beer, but it doesn't need to be.

missingsense, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of malloyca
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured a 2 inch thick head, which was foamy and lingered for a while. Plenty of lacing on the side of the glass. Clear, amber-orange in color. Hop Rod has aromas of toffee, baking spices and roasted malts that blend nicely with the pungent, hoppy smell. There is a creamy mouthfeel, some sweetness (even a faint hint of black cherries), and then strong, malty flavors and mouth-drying hops and grapefruit. Overall a delicious and well-balanced beer.

malloyca, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A: poured a caramel brown with yellow highlights and a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing.

S: nice piney hop aromas up front with hints of citrus zest, caramel and malts that don't over power the nose. After a couple whiffs I did pick up a little rye bready scent.

T: the citrus grapefruit bitterness and piney hops punch the palate first with caramel accents and very faint bready rye notes. The grapefruit really ties in nice to intesify the bitterness.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation and has a nice hoppy piney bite on the finish.

D: pretty damn good IPA from bear republic. The rye is pretty faint in the flavor but still does justice as an IPA. I'm glad I have access to it on a daily basis

Gobzilla, Jun 02, 2010
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,282 ratings.