Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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2,055 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,055
Hads: 4,541
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 253
Gots: 300 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,055 | Hads: 4,541
Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dull hazy brown, with a rich golden honey tint. Head is small, but thick and foamy. Lace is small and, well, lacy. Smell is fairly subtle. You can find the rye/grains and a kind of honey sweetness too. The yeast is also present. Theres a slight spiciness and fruitiness also. The taste is light and pleasant, and as this is my first rye beer, I do say that I like it. It's got a bit of eatrhy sweetness and grainy flavors too, with a bitterness definately from something other than hops. Mouthfeel is medium in body, but it is very low in carbonation. It would be great if it had just a tiny bit more carbonation. All in all, it's definately a good beer, that I would love to have again (702 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

18% Rye, 8.0% ABV, OG=1.074, 90 IBU.

Pours out to a beautiful deep garnet, forming a creamy tan head with superior retention and lacing. A recent bottle poured out silty, which is fine with me. Probably the boatload of hops and rye they put in here. The head remains at least 1/4" thick until the last drops. There are flittering pieces of hop leaves suspended in this gorgeous brew. Aroma is intensely hoppy with piney and citric notes galore...sweet and not too harsh, but definitely West-Coast. Mouthfeel is semi-smooth with a medium-dense body. Taste starts with a ton of citric, followed by piney hops with a distinctly woody note, followed by a sticky amber malt body, some grainy dryness (rye), a bit of grain husk towards the astringent and intensely hoppy and moderately-strong bitter finish. The finish is very earthy and woody with more notes of dry grain dust (biscuit malt?).

In a blind tasting, this would consistently be called a Barleywine/Old Ale. In fact, this tastes very similar to Kzoo Old Ale, Kzoo Batch 6000, Stone Old Gaurdian, Hog Heaven etc. Good brew, but I would much rather drink their Black Bear Stout:) (1,136 characters)

Photo of david23
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one you simply have to try if you haven't allready.Had a 20 oz draft. When served just a perfect frothy head with excellant retention. A beautiful ruby brown color. Aroma is all hops with a light piney aroma.Lots of hop flavor but balanced well as a roasted rye flavor is not hidden. Smooth and creamlike on the tongue with a carbonation level that is right on. Could probably have several of these but the higher A.B.V. would be tough to handle unless just staying at home. (482 characters)

Photo of travolta
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1Pt 6Oz. Bottle 8%ABV

Apperance: Ruby red, gets darker around the edges. The head on this brew is nice. It pours tight, with tiny bubbles. After it sits a second it opens up and the head becomes rocky. Very nice head. I'll judge retention later. The head is so thick it almost looks pliable, like playdo on top of your glass.

Nose: Wow, you could smell the hops as soon as you opened the bottle. When you tip your nose to the glass it's like grabbing a hand full of hops and sniffing them.. Maybe some mild berries. Some grapefruit as well.

Taste: And now the taste; maybe this is what it would be like if they made hop gum! I get some grapefruit in the middle. This has a burnt after taste, like roasted coffee. No alcohol taste at all. maybe a little roasted malt at the begining.

Notes: I enjoyed this very much. If you love hops, this is a must. You could sum it up by saying this has a "roasted hop" flavor. And about the lacing; the rings are nice and even, but thats about it. (989 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

.Pours a clear red brown brew.

Smell is sharp and pleasant cascade hops and a bit of malt and caramel.

Taste is malty with a rye grain flavor and a pleasant bitter finish. Cascade hops flavor is there but doesn't dominate all the other flavors. Has a kind of salted rye cracker flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is good.

A nice strong brew! Not for those who do not like a super hopped brew. A beer that will be added to my regular beer rotation. (448 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronze in color.

Resiny, spicy and fruity hops in the nose along with sweet and toasted malts and nuts.

Low carbonation. Tons of cinnamon, dark fruits and spices. Very creamy. Fantastic hop flavor.

I would like another.

I hope I will be able to sell this soon. (272 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hop Rod Rye is a delightful beer with an inviting, rounded mouthfeel and a pleasant malty nose. But I can’t say as my palate is sufficiently attuned to the nuances of rye malt as to either explicitly identify it as such or even to enjoy it. Perhaps I just haven’t yet come to appreciate the style. But the rye content of Hop Rod makes only a modest contribution to the overall flavor profile, and I haven’t found any compelling value for it. Hop Rod may be the first rye beer I’ve ever knowingly consumed and I’ll be certain to make further overtures to the style in the future. But for now the style itself has shown me little of interest and the variation is too modest to justify the effort.

That said, I certainly enjoyed Hot Rod. It is clear with a warm chestnut color. It forms a good lumpy head of off-white suds and leaves behind a fair tailing of lace. The finish is crisp and culminates with a succinct pinch of bitterness. The aroma is dark and molasses-like, yet also strangely piney. The taste is relaxed if not compressed, and I’m wondering now if the bomber I drank was particularly fresh. The bottle indicates that this is a seasonal ale but it doesn’t say which season.

The flavor definitely takes a turn away from the taste of pure barley malt – it’s a little earthier or peaty. But the disparity is meager and I can’t say as I appreciated the merits of this distinction to any notable degree. I also didn’t grasp the muscle car potency of the hop infusion, which alleges to measure out at 90+ IBUs. Perhaps the rye took the edge off the hops. It was definitely hoppy, but not that hoppy.

One more thing – I felt virtually no effect from the alcohol. Strange. (1,703 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, no freshness dating. Pours very dark almond and cloudy. Hardy aroma of hops, rye, spice. Great creamy head, tiny bubbles. Major league lace. Hops, wonderful hops. Rye flavor present, but not over powering. This is the real deal , hop lovers rejoice! Great creamy mouthfeel. Hop burps and everything. Thanks Bear republic for this big, bold and lovely creation. (375 characters)

Photo of TinusTime
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darker shade of amber with a nice foamy light khaki head. Smell is of citrus hops with some earthy caramel undertones.. Taste is sharp hops at first followed by some malt with earthy fruity undertones. A bit hard to find the rye, but you can tell its in there adding a bit of grainyness to the beer. Hops blast in again and provide a healthy dose of bitterness and drying power. Nicely carbonated and very easy drinking. Alcohol is hidden well. Overall quite drinkable the ABV might catch up with you after a few, but a few of these would make getting caught fun. A very good beer

Thanks to RangerDanger7 for getting this bottle and others to me
cheers (664 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a big creamy beige head. Great retention and lace. Spicy/citrus hops in the nose. Sweet malt and the grainy rye show up as well.
Big citrus hop flavors upfront. Grainy malt, dark caramel sweetness and the earthy rye nuance in the middle. Finishes with a big piney hop bitterness and a touch of fruit/tea. I loved the malt profile of this beer. The hops were almost on the verge of being too overpowering.
Medium bodied with a rich, creamy smooth mouthfeel and good carbonation. Even though it seemed a smidge unbalanced, the great mouthfeel and outstanding job of hiding the alcohol made this
a very drinkable offering. (641 characters)

Photo of edchicma
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Repuiblic does it again! A super creamy head..murky brown eye candy! A definite lemon hop presence wafts the nostrils...continuing into the taste which is initially very hop intensive, but mellows toward the finish....which leaves you wanting more. If you realize that this brew is hop intensive and a sipper, then drinkability is fine...high abv further suggests "sipping". The mouthfeel was great...with a soft dryness throughout. (437 characters)

Photo of ark57
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is a caramel bronze color with a light tan head. The aroma is amazing. There is a lot of hops reminds me of noble hops though I doubt any are used and they is some pininess as well. The spicy rye and caramel is also in the nose. The smooth medium body goes down too easy. There is some caramel sweetness and some juicy hops. The pleasant bitter finish lingers. A very good rye ale that is spicy and grainy with a good resiny hoppiness. (438 characters)

Photo of krberg
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Copper with a dense off-white head.

Smells like dry-hopping. Some sweet malt smell there too. I am very much looking forward to this.

Flavor hops up front, followed by malt, followed by bittering hops. Great balance. I have never found a beer before where each of the big flavors simply end and another takes over. I can't find any subtleties however. If it sits in my mouth too long I find a god-awful bitterness that sits at the opening to my throat.

Nice and creamy.

I have to bring it down in the drinkablity, because I can feel it killing my palette. Don't get me wrong, it is a very drinkable beer, however, after a couple I would have to leave this beer for another to cleanse and I would probably never return during that session.

I like this beer. I like this beer a lot, but only hopheads need apply. I am left wondering though: what contribution does the rye bring? I will definitely try Bear Republic's other offerings even if Red Rocket makes me think of a male dog's naughty bits. (1,009 characters)

Photo of dippy
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The deep Brownish/amber body of this brew is topped by a thick, slightly off-white head with lots of trace of lace on the glass.
The aroma is slightly sweet and citrusy (grapefruit) from the hops with a light maltiness in the background.
The hops are fragrent bitter and grapefruity with a slight sourness and you can taste a touch of rye which is fun.
Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing and slightly dry.
I think this beer is awesome. It is the type of brew I would want to replicate if I home brewed. Very Hoppy makes me Very Happy. (541 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.56/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amazing retention and lacing on top a deep amber body. Smells of fruity herbage and twang. Some chocolate. Taste has the malt body of arrogant bastard but with rye, as well as some fugglish and porterish notes. Light carbonation, dry finish, alcohol not perceptable. While no doubt well-made, it is overall a "whatever" beer for me. The boring yeast kills the chance at complexity, and nothing about it really makes me want to have another. (440 characters)

Photo of Suds
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clear mahogany color with a medium colored creamy head. The head is considerably sticky, and eventually retreats to a thin film. There’s an intense, strong hop aroma. The assertive hoppiness gets in the way of the other aromas, but underneath there’s a malty, grainy smell. It’s resinous, pine-like, peppery, sticky, medium bodied, and very bitter. The bitterness runs throughout the entire taste, and creeps from the back of your tongue to fill your entire mouth. I have trouble discerning the rye…there’s a bready, grain-like backbone, but it’s not as intense as a lot of rye beers. The finish is hoppy, peppery, and bitter. Alcohol can be sensed through warming, but is well hidden in the taste. This one’s aggressive, no-nonsense beer. It’s a lot of fun to drink, and I’d look for it again. (817 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Capital Ale House.

It's everything I remember. Fantastic lacing by the sticky white lace. Color is a vibrant copper. All sorts of hops wreck your nose, with an iced tea character at the end. Flavor is more of the same...all hops. I didn't note the toffee sweetness this time. Still very creamy smooth and very drinkable. ABV is again hidden on this bad boy. Excellent. (385 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at The Sidelines in Arcata, California.

This is one of my top five favorites, and to have it available on tap is a true blessing.

Arrives with a glistening, dense amber body with a viscous off-white head that deflates gradually and leaves some pretty patches of lace on the glass.

Smell is a rich flourish of pine needles, rain-wet dandelions, crusts of rye bread. A faint brown sugary malt presence drapes the underside of the nose.

Taste opens with a peppery burst of hops, followed by a sharper hop presence -- sourdough and rye distinct along the edges -- through the finish the brown sugary malts tilt in but the hearty bitterness takes the stage front and center.

Crisp, yet not overpowering carbonation. Coats my palate with full-bodied finesse.

As you can tell, I really do love it. (815 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a top notch brew from start to finnish. This is also my first Rye beer and hopefully not my last. It poured a great copper color with a frothy head that left quicky but it's lace stayed behind till till the last drop. The scent of grapefruit and hops were very up front and just made me want to drink this beer even more. The flavor was great with a generous dose of hops and a nice citrus-y sweetness. I also detected a peppery flavor once the beer warmed a bit, maybe due to the rye. This beer was a joy to drink and I will be picking up more soon. (558 characters)

Photo of WaltTrombone
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic does it again, with a tasty offering that is not the one-note hop monster one expects from other West Coast breweries. Rather, it's a complex, flavorful hop monster, bwah-hah-hah...

It had a red-amber body, with a lumpy tan head. No flames or pinstripes were seen. The aroma was grapefruit, malt, and rye. A 5-speed taste tranny, with grapefruit, chocolate, caramel, rye, and pepper smoothly shifting the gears. The mouthfeel was thin and smooth, with small, light carbonation. Nice lace sheeting, too. It finished up the 1/4 mile with grapefruit, lemon peel, cardboard, and leather (rich Corinthian?) Great mileage/drinkability from this well-balanced brew. 0% financing available from your local beer store... (728 characters)

Photo of jonnylieberman
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out perfect from a 22 ounce bottle. 2 inches or more of head that just sat there, enticing me. Darkest orange and a little brown in appearence.

Smells of hops and rye. A little plum, too.

Lovely taste. To me, a perfect of example of a California beer. Explosive, monumental, bigger, better. Hops are all over the place. In the nose, the mouth the finish. Intensley aromatic. Perfect malty backbone with the rye only adding to the dried fruit aspects. High in gavity (and alcohol -- 8.0%) there is flavor to spare. Like all great beers, Hop Rod gets more intersting with each passing sip.

Mouthfeel is just about everything you could want. Plump, full, without being too syrupy. Yums!

I could drink a keg of this by myself. Don't believe me? Let's bet, come on, try me. (788 characters)

Photo of kmcnair
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bomber.

Fills my glass with a nice deep amber/red color with a thick offwhite/tan head. Head lingers around for a bit and then gets topped off. Leaves a bit of lacing in the glass as I drink it.

Smell is rich of malts with a light floral finish and notes of citrus.

Flavor is complex and the hops attack instantly. Its both creamy and spicy at the same time. Hoppy and bitter just like the name suggests. The rye is in there, and is most noticable in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, malty caramel coats as it goes down.

All in all, this is a rock solid brew. (602 characters)

Photo of pio
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

deep amber liquid with a foamy cream/tan head, gently poured it's about a finger but dense and unyeilding. medium activity with slow rising little bubbles. complete sheeting lace with a head that is along for the whole (fast) ride. only a bit hazy if poured well.
on the nose the hops, rye and malt balance well but the toasted rye scent is just outstanding and alluring. the hops scent here is a bit understated but seems a good counterpiece to the rye and malt. dark citrus hints as does a rarely discernable earthier hop note. no alcohol detected.
as i suspected alot more hops used in bittering and flavoring than the scent lets on. the start is toasty and malty with a touch of sweetness and the rye takes off and all those hops come into play helping make a somewhat sour and earthy middle then a citric presentation abides with the rye. it really puckers and dries up with a bitter woody and toasted rye finish. the rye is the main player here and is notable throughout the whole ride, maybe that's why they have the word rye in big letters on the bottle.warming alcohol in the belly but hidden in the flavor.
a medium crisp effervescance and a medium to heavy body that leaves just a bit of a powdery feeling if you will.
the first time i had this i knew i had to go get another and the second was the same way. very tasty, drinkable and special brew. (1,363 characters)

Photo of lampkins
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of my favorite ales of the last year and a half. I love rye ales and they are few and far between so I almost wet myelf when I saw this at the store.

The beer poured a copper red which gave a descent head. The aroma reminds me of strong IPA. The beer packed a powerful hoppy punch that finished off with a characteristic smooth rye zip as it went down my throat. The malt taste is like eating a rye toast.

I have tried this beer right out of the fridge and have let it warm a bit and it is great either way. This is one of my favorites and I can't get enough of this brew. (596 characters)

Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Start your engines! Hop Rod Rye was served from a 22 oz. bomber. In a pint glass, the beer was a wonderous and brilliant ruby-orange, with a creamy tan head that left sticky and thick lacing. The "in your face" nose had a firm and grainy malt profile, with a super-charged volatile hop bouquet I imagined distorting the air above the glass. The taste reflected the nose, starting with a robust dry nutty roasted malt backbone wrapped up in a superbly monstrous bitter finish that got the blood pumping. A touch a sweetness at the end rounded out this finely tuned package, and left me captivated and completely satisfied. The full and muscular body matched the full flavor spot on. Considering the mega-hopped up flavor, this beer drank suprisingly well. I am very happy to find Hop Rod Rye making a home in Portland. Put your bets on this one, its a winner! (858 characters)

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,055 ratings.