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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,048 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4048
Reviews: 2021
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%

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: 4,048 | Reviews: 2,021 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: sort if a dirty orange, but translucent. Copious amount if head that maintains a decently thick layer on top while lacing the glass significantly
S: floral and slightly sweet, some rye noted
T: wonderfully smooth, caramel to toffee* sweetness atop a rye base that balance very nicely. There is a hint if dark fruit (date I think) that might be a result of the combination. There is a light orange-like sweetness (thinking orange-Creme) that I notice as well.
M: the carbonation doesn't attack the tongue, as the smoothness continues into the end feel. A rye-driven dryness increases from the start, but never grows too strong.
O: I have had before, but don't remember enjoying this much. Will have to go into heavier rotation.

* it's really annoying I had an impression on first taste that I was distracted before I wrote down. It didn't make itself as obvious to me after the first taste, but at the time I thought it perfectly described the taste to me.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2014 22:03:20 | More by cjgiant
Photo of TheBrewo


4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew was served on tap at One Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale, Michigan. It arrived in a generic nonic glass, showing a rich kettle-copper coloring. It boasted a one and a half finger tall head of creamy, ghostly white foam, showing decent retention. This faded into a single thick sheet of lacing left virtually covering all walls of the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be medium. The aroma boasted citric and grassy hops, dried lavender florals, metallic rye grit, pales, and ambers, softer cooked caramel sweetness, freshly pressed honey crisp apple juice, commercial cranberry juice, red grape skins, watermelon jolly ranchers, and bite of plastics and black pepper spiciness with warmth. Our first impression was that this was the single best depiction of rye graininess that we’ve ever tasted, with no mystery as to why it is such a classic, well-regarded beer. The taste opened with syrupy thick caramel grain that was quickly cut by biting rye wash, light smoky peatiness, cooked coffee malts, heavy buttery diacetyls, eucalyptus, cranberry flesh, black pepper, moss and musk, citric hop oils, and hibiscus. The middle came through with bitterness and seriousness of the grain, with rye and amber malts shining through a lingering background of heavy creamer, lactic sourness, strawberry and cranberry fruitiness, and black and herbal green tea leafiness. Washing through the end was a final blend of fusel booze, black pepper, phenolic plastics, the sheen of rye metallics, pale and cloying caramel malt, rose hips, and resinous piney, soapy, and citric hops. The aftertaste breathed of sea salt, lobster shell, Oreo cookies, gingerbread, buttery diacetyls, lemon cleaner, soapy and piney hops, gravel and dust, nutmeg, dried florals, and caramel syrups. The body was decidedly full, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip showed great slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with the mouth left fully coated and cooled. The belly, on the other hand, was warmed. On a swirl around the mouth the foaminess became huge, with slow and eventual puckering astringency to follow. The abv was appropriate, and while thick, you could really sip and glug this guy back with ease.

Overall, the best thing about this beer was the incredible showcasing of rye grain, with its unexpected smoke and hidden darkness to it in the taste. The grain is so prominent that you actually forget about everything else, especially the hops. That is not to say that the hoppy side is missing, because if you stop and think about it, they are as strong and forward as ever!! This just speaks to how deep and intoxicating the grain bill is here, as it really will take you by surprise if you let it. This is due, in part, to the rich and sweet fruity inclusions that meld so well with the grain bill. In evaluating the hops, they do show an excellent oiliness and variety across the spectrum of flavor, with great dimensionality. In the end, this guy may be a bit booze heavy for some, but it is an undeniable classic that we’ve ignored for far too long, and one of Bear Republic’s best.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2013 01:37:06 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice brownish red in color, has almost no head at the top, but left a great amount of lacing around the glass.

S: Up front lots of tropical fruit, on the tail end some floral notes from the hops some spicy rye and caramel as well.

T: A great taste right from the start, lots of hops and sweetness with a good backbone of rye to make it perfectly balanced.

M: Medium bodied, mild carbonation a nice sweet finish at the end.

O: I really loved this beer, perfectly balanced, I had this at the Stirling Hotel in NJ, great stuff all around.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2013 19:12:00 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of mtboozeaddict41


4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark amber with a bit of a burnt sugar appearence. Head is a finger and a half, nice white and frothy: beautiful.

S: Aroma is mostly of rye, toasted malt character comes through also. Scents of pine are noticeable.

T: rye overtones are quite penetrating. With rye comes the spice that is perfectly balanced with the element of toasted malts. Bold hops come through in the midpalate finishing off-dry. Quite fruity complementing berry and citrus. Oh, how lovely.

M: a lot of carbonation which would normally turn me off with this style but this beer drinks more like an IPA so its alright. Leaves alittle of an oily texture: medium bodied.

O: killer beer for the style. Even though it may be alittle hop heavy the rye-malt element dominates adding complexity and balance. beautiful beer!!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2013 21:57:12 | More by mtboozeaddict41
Photo of One2Remeber


4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kickbacks.
A: cloudy, deep amber body. Thick, creamy as nitro off-white head. Lacey and retention remains as initial pour.

S: prune type caramel notes. Spiciness and berry fruit fight for attention. Clean aroma, water is pronounced.

T/M: Heavy body with a lucious creamy texture. Hops really come out in resiny, herbal flavor, bitterness is kept in check. Spicy/chewy taste lingers. Explosion of rich caramel malt on the palate.

O: most impressive selection from Bear Republic as it is new to market. Complexity of an Arrogant Bastard, raisin notes of a boont amber ale, drinkibility and hop profile of a well built imperial red.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2013 21:18:06 | More by One2Remeber
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Clear, oily, sticky lacing, clearly this one is hopped to holy hell. Light beige head, dark amber in color. Aroma is loaded with hop juiciness, mainly pine and grass and some nice malt sweetness as well. Taste is very smooth, bitter throughout, some grapefruit and nice sweetness in the background on the back end. Insanely drinkable for a high abv, no alcohol anywhere in the tasting. This must be an expensive beer to make, it's clearly loaded up with malt and hops. Awesome.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2012 06:20:36 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of kylehay2004


4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No head really with nice lacing on a brownish amber with slight golden hues. Aroma is a little light with caramel, citrus hops and candied orange. Flavor is actually pretty complex with both toasted and caramel malts, rye breads, orange peel, red apples, candied fruits, earthy hops and a mild pine presence. Medium body and moderate carbonation. I like the Fruitness which isn't too sweet with and excellent base malt and rye character.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2012 00:33:59 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of socon67

New York

3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Amber pour with some red notes. Rusty foam is hearty. Slight carbonation.

S - Nice blend of herbs and fresh rye. Scent is like walking through a spice garden. It lingers.

T - Crisp spicy rye flavor with a nice malty base. This is a full bodied beer for sure, but balanced and hides its potency well.

M - Easy to have a couple and enjoy. For the style and ABV% it is surprisingly smooth.

O - Getting a fix of rye beers, and this one is just as enjoyable. Perfect change-up to all the IPA & APA's on the taps.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2012 23:05:46 | More by socon67
Photo of Treebs


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

On tap at Blue's BBQ in Mt. Prospect. Served in a shaker pint.

A: Pours a dark amber color, almost brown, with a frothy, light mocha colored head forming on the pour. The retention is wonderful and it leaves some sticky sheets of lace is follows down the glass.

S: Definite rye spice up front with a dried grain note from the rye as well. A touch of sweet malt and light grass sneaks in as well once the beer warms a bit.

T: Earthy rye with a little spice in the periphery. A little sweetness from the malts is also present. The hops are there with light citrus and grassy notes. The finish is slightly bitter, but definitely has some clean, pale malts.

M: Medium bodied, but leaning towards the fuller side of the spectrum. The carbonation is medium as well.

O: I would have like a touch more hops in there to balance out the sweetness of the malts and the spiciness of the rye, but overall it is a nicely crafted rye beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2012 19:15:54 | More by Treebs
Photo of captaincoffee


4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First stop on NoCal microbrew vacation in Jul 2011. Perhaps that tainted my perspective, but I truly enjoyed this beer. Reddish-amber color, zesty hoppy nose, solidly bitter without going completely over the top, full but dry (from the rye I suppose) mouthfeel, and lasting finish. Honestly made it difficult for me to order a different beer for my second round.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2012 12:11:40 | More by captaincoffee
Photo of wgfxkmf

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried for the first time on tap in a pint mixer glass. Poured with a nice two inch head tha quickly dissipated leaving tons of lacing on the glass that lasted until empty.

Smells of heady malt, piney hops and yeast are present on a non overbearing nose. Just an inviting aroma.

Taste is outstanding, built on a strong rye malt backbone with a firm hoppy bitterness. Hops are clean and forward, but not overdone.

Leaves a clean bitterness on the palate and back of the throat. Complex but still refreshing. Very drinkable and yet interesting enough to ponder what went into its creation.

Overall an outstanding Rye that I will add to my regular list

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2012 21:38:12 | More by wgfxkmf
Photo of Murrhey


3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a 11oz tumbler at Playground in Santa Ana. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width off-white head, reddish brown color. Nice looking beer.

S- Dark malts and rye. Darker, warmer smell. Some bitter funk to it.

T- Warm and malty, finishes sweet with the rye nose assisting with the fullness of the flavor.

M- Fairly light bodied with a chewy wet texture and a bitter finish.

O- Very good beer. Better than the sum of its parts.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2012 02:32:40 | More by Murrhey
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured a ruby colour. Bright. Decent carbonation. Lot's of sticky rings of lace left over and film of retention.

S - Lot's of hop character and citrus with grapefruit. Some malty dark fruits with caramel and rich rye malt.

T - Rich malt, caramel and some grapefruit. Spicy rye was an interesting compliment to the citrus hop character, yet slightly overpowering.

M - Medium body, good carbonation and spicy rye in the finish with bitterness.

O/D - Couldn't have two of these but the character of the beer was quite good. Spciciness of the rye seemed a bit rich, but otherwise, a nice and strong hopped up rye beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2012 00:00:02 | More by tbeckett
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a pint glass at KnB Wine Cellars on March 21, 2012 in San Diego. Color was red with some hints of brown caramel, kind of like some heavy iced tea (with lots of iced tea mix). Cloudy, bubble white lacing. Nice look.

Smelled hops up front. Delicious. Sweet floral notes. Definitely got some rye. Caramel notes as well.

The taste wasn’t as much as the nose as I would have liked. It reminded me a bit of iced tea. Could definitely taste the rye, Some hips with a bitter finish that was left lingering on the tongue.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Bitter finish.

A pretty good beer. The only other rye I tried was the Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, but this was much better. Good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2012 07:00:29 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of perrymarcus


4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

pours a cloudy, deep amber / copper shade while yielding a frothy 1"+ of a light tan head that has no plans on going anywhere. lots of lacing.

relatively fragrant nose offers doses of citric hops, some bready / toasty malt, and rye.

flavor follows the nose pretty closely. leads with that citrus hoppy presence, quickly followed by rye and caramel malt. finishes with some bitter hoppiness. flavorful. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall rye beer is not one of my favorite styles but this one is very good. i wouldn't quite say world class, but a tasty beer nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2012 02:50:02 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of brown2cu


3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice crimson color with about a half finger of off white head. The only fault I'm finding is that there is no lacing.

S: the smell is complex. The first notes I detect are fruit related, and citrusy. However, the rye comes in and adds some spiciness that meshes well with the hops. There is also some caramel in there as well.

T: I don't know quite how to describe it. It changes constantly at first it was malt leaning with a pretty intense sweetness, however as it warms the hops and rye cut down on the sweetness. My only complaint is that in the whole panoply of flavors nothing really meshes completely.

M:l I was shocked to find out that this was an 8% beer. I could have sworn it was 6-6.5 tops. Its fairly heavy bodied with a mild carbonation.

O: Not bad an interesting beer to say the least.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 05:46:15 | More by brown2cu
Photo of jmarsh123


4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a one finger tan head.

A little bit of citrus hop smell, some caramel and a good rye spiciness. Smells very nice and balanced.

Starts off with some citrus hop character. Rounds out into a malty middle with a spicy/piney hop finish. Again well balanced flavors.

Mouthfeel and carb are good.

Solid fairly complex and incredibly well balanced beer. Neither the hops, malt or rye are overdone, yet all make a nice presence.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2011 23:02:50 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of rangerred


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

On tap.

Appearance is a clear ruby read. There is a thick light tan head that hangs around for a long time.

I get a nutty smell from this one along with some caramel. There is a sharp piny/citrusy hop aroma.

This beer definitely hits hard with the hops. They dominate the flavor up front but there is a wonderful spicy maltiness that comes though to balance things out.

Overall this is an awesome beer and one that I would never guess is 8% abv. It is extremely balanced. Wish it was available where I live.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2011 18:33:17 | More by rangerred
Photo of jsprain1


4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours much darker than I expected. Reddish-brown with a thin head to it.
S- Some of the hoppy rye ales I've had haven't worked because they work against each other instead of with each other. This was a nice combination though. I got a bit more rye on the nose, really got a fair amount of a spicy tangy quality. There's a bit of a piney hop aroma as well.
T- I'm quite pleased that the hops didn't overwhelm the rye character. I muted pine flavor is definitely there but it works in tandem with the rye. Fairly well balanced.
M- Sticky, low on the carbonation. Substantive body. Hides the alcohol well.
O- A good effort that I enjoyed quite much. I wouldn't necessarily put it in the very upper levels of beerdom, but it is still definitely worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2011 23:04:56 | More by jsprain1
Photo of lurpy1


4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Reno's West in Lansing, poured into a tulip glass.

Maybe it was the light, maybe I'm not that used to ryes, but pours a shocking red/brown with a thick off-white head. Beatiful.

Smell is hop, spice, but a little bit muted. Maybe the bar environment is not the best venue for smelling.

On taste the spice, malt, and especially the hop backbone, really come out. Definitely for the hop aficianado. Duh.

Has a pretty smooth mouthfeel, slightly frothy, medium carbonation.

Heck of a good beer, with aroma being the only place this is anything less than stellar.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2011 13:16:40 | More by lurpy1
Photo of iadler


4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Big Star.

A- A translucent copper with a two finger head that leaves some sheets of lacing.

S- Citrus hops with grapefruit and orange zest, pine, floral hops, peppery spice and bready malt.

T- A nice balance of citrus, pine and floral hops with a bready malt finish as well as some peppery spice.

M- Medium carbonation and body. A bit sticky mouthfeel that finishes dry.

O- A good offering that is basically a more hoppy rye beer. Not my favorite rye beer, but another good year-round brew from Bear Republic.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2011 22:42:01 | More by iadler
Photo of JayS2629


4.43/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2011 14:05:25 | More by JayS2629
Photo of cbarrett4


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a stunning surprise. Pours with a deep red/brown hue, good foam and excellent retention, nice lace.

Smells of IPA: pine, citrus, malts, and a little spice. The flavors are nice with pine and citrus up front, framed by the rye and lightly roasted malt. Very complex palate. Texture is nicely balanced with alcohol, bitterness, acids, all in sync.

Definitely a big boy, but not over the top as some IPAs can be. The rye adds a lot. I couldn't pound these one after another, but it is nice to sip and enjoy one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2011 22:30:37 | More by cbarrett4
Photo of omnigrits


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Highball.

A. Dark brown with a decent off-white head that fades but still leaves good lace.

S. Plenty of hops, a little rye spiciness, and unless I'm mistaken a slightly meaty aroma.

T. Superbly spicy and bitter, but with a background sweetness that cuts through the hops and the rye. Fantastic bitter finish.

M. Full bodied, dry.

O. Whoever built this beer knew what they were doing. Comparing to style guidelines it's up there with the best. On a personal level it's absolutely one of my favourites.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 22:58:00 | More by omnigrits
Photo of dgilks


3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear mahogany colour with a creamy light tan head. Great lacing.

Spicy rye teams up with some caramel and fruity hops.

Sweet malt with a touch of spicy rye, light toffee and floral hops. It’s okay but lacking something.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A decent beer but I’m not digging it. It lacks depth and clarity. The hops and the malt create something a bit muddy. Prefer it in the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2011 03:32:03 | More by dgilks
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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,048 ratings.