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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.

4,330 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,330
Reviews: 2,038
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 225
Gots: 222 | 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
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Ratings: 4,330 | Reviews: 2,038 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ryrust5301
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pored from a 750oz bottle into a pint glass. Logo has an old jalopy with flames on the side.

Appearance - Pours a murky reddish color with a lovely clumpy three finger head crowning the top. So clumpy it looks like brain. After the head went down, huge white clumps cling to the side of the class. Still a thick patchy layer of head left on top of the beer all the way to the end

Smell - Lots of hops, somewhat of a spiciness to it. A faint malt is hidden somewhere in the back behind some citrus notes as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Crisp and hopy up front, but it blends nicely into a smooth creaminess before finishing slightly bitter on the back end. Hops relaxed a little bit, and it got hella creamy and malty as it warmed. Spicyness kinda kicks in on the aftertaste as well.

Drinkability - Beautiful combo of hops and malt. Not too much of each, just a great balance. I'm gonna sip on this one as long as I can.

ryrust5301, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of firkinhophead
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a small head that fades to a ring and a thin film of foam.

Aroma of spicy, floral hops, toasted malt, caramel, a bit of citrus in the nose, as well as some alcohol burn. Looking forward to this one.

Wow. Body is much thinner than I expected. Washes right over the tongue clean and bright. Hops are as promised in the nose, with some herbal tastes as well. Rye whiskey flavor is prominent, along with an oaky dryness. If I didn't know better, I might have said it was barrel-aged. Caramel and toffee flavors are more toasted than sweet.

Mouthfeel is superb for such a strong ale. The alcohol isn't exactly hidden, but it goes down smooth. Very little hop bitterness, but avoids cloying sweetness. Fairly low carbonation, but not at all dull on the tongue. Probably the best utilization of rye that I have tasted.

firkinhophead, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep, ruddy brown brew that's beautifully clear with a thick, foamy, tan head which lasts for a good minute or two. The lacing forms thick, lateral rings on the walls of the glass. Carbonation inside this beer is very sparse - occasional dribbles of bubbles will drift up lazily from the bottom of the glass, but by and large, it remains very placid.

Smell: A strong, heavy, pungent hop aroma - running the gamut from tart citrus peel to sappy pine - is the real star here. I always really enjoy the smell of rye beers for some reason, and this one is no different - it's earthy, and the bitterness imparted by the addition of the rye melds with the hop bitterness in unique ways. Very well-rounded.

Taste: The faintest hints of sweet, lightly toasted malted barley around the edges ... absolutely smothered in a delicious cacophony of bitter glory. Sharp piney resins, the dry, spiciness of the rye grain, and a floral, citrusy twinge in the finish all represent here. The alcohol is warming - no, no, it's hot - and leaves its mark in the back of my throat. The beer doesn't leave so much an aftertaste as an afterfeel, if you can imagine such a thing. As the beer warms, the flavors grow in intensity and complexity.

Mouthfeel: Like a pillow on my tongue. The bubbles are large, which lightens everything, but everything's connected so well and so smoothly, it's still creamy and rich.

Drinkability: Alarmingly good. The alcohol in this brew (8.00% abv) is borderline dangerous, but the bitterness of the rye keeps the tongue from detecting it at all - a 22 oz. bomber of this beer seems like the perfect amount given its alcohol content. On the other hand, my throat is still on fire from the bitter assault it just received, but like the man said, it really does hurt so good.

What a fantastic beer. $3.99 is cheap for a bomber of pretty much anything decent, and for a beer of this caliber it's pretty much outstanding - I was genuinely surprised at how inexpensive it was. That being said, this beer, more than most others, is not for the faint of heart. Not because it's incredibly alcoholic, or even just incredibly hoppy. But it was really, truly bitter.

CrellMoset, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of zdk9
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- This one is quite dark for an IPA, a dark brown with copper highlights. There's about a half finger of head and some pocadot lacing.

S- The smell is weaker than the taste, and I wish there was more. Some sweetness and slight citrus.

T- I like this taste. It's sweet and carmely and hoppy, but also kind of husky, and with some straw hints.

M- Syrupy and thick. Good.

D- I could go for this one again, if the smell was stronger I would appreciate it more, but overall quite enjoyable.

zdk9, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a bright, cranberry-amber with a huge, firm rocky beige head that was fully lasting throughout the course of the drink. Visible carbonation was light-medium.

S: a huge fresh citrus and grapefruit aroma as well light pine.

T: a very nice balance of hops and malt with a smooth bitterness of citrus/grapefruit. There was some sweet malt and pine resin that combined with the dry crisp nature of the rye palate. On the finish and fade was a beautiful dry citrusy flower hopping, that was sweet and bitter. Overall incredibly balanced with the dry crisp rye complimenting the flowery hop finish with a well rounded hop bitterness and flavor that was not coarse like many other ipas.

M: medium-full with a nice viscous nature, slightly oily with almost no carbonation detected.

D: Amazing drinking ipa that was well balanced with a refined dry citrusy/grapefruit and flowery hopping that provided an smooth and even bitterness with a great finish.

beerthulhu, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of timbro81
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beware the massive head. Pours a ruby red/brown color with lots of carbonation and good lacing all the way down. Hops and rye dominate the nose. This was only mt second beer and I find that the rye seems to have a dusty/dirty grain smell. Not necessarily a turn off but something I'm not used to. Mouthfeel is slightly silky and light on the tongue. Hops dominate the aftertaste and diminish in less than a minute. The rye smell I described in the nose is not present in the taste. A pretty good beer.

timbro81, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of SaucyA
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep deeeep amber/brown. Light tan, one finger head. Dark for an IPA. Lacing.

S - Sweet molasses and perfumey hops.

T - Pretty much excellent. The rye really takes this IPA places. One of the better examples of reinterpreting a style. I'm reading it's a "strong" IPA, which is exactly what I'd consider it.

M - Med-Thick but highly carbonated. Jumped out of the bottle a little when I cracked it. Could be slightly thinner to help the drinkability.

D - If this was around my area, I'd definitely buy a lot more of this. It's a great brew that I'll most likely trade for/buy again... I'd really love to try this in a fresh keg.

SaucyA, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of ATPete
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

capped 22 oz bottle

The brew pours a deep magnificant red colour into a Flying Fish pint glass. The head is tan, very strong and very sticky with great lacing. Others have reported seeing lots of sediment, ive seen none so far, but yet it is the first pint. This beer smells wonderful! Lots of fresh hops and and alcohol...extremely pleasant. Taste...wow...this beer is great! The malts balance out with the hoppyness 100% which is very impressive. Its a bit tart with fresh citrus fruit notes. The rye is present but in no way alarming. I'm scared to say that this is definitely, without a doubt, one the best strong American IPA's that i've ever had! This is 8%? Really? Wow! Keep this one flowing please! The finish is medium length and very enjoyable.

Im shocked.
This beer was amazing.

(original date of review- 3/3/2008)

ATPete, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of kingjames1
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This looks promising...pours a beautiful, dark amber, with a nice head. Smells weaker than I expected, but then i have allergies so I won't hold that against it...all i can detect is that lovely, resiny hops aroma. Taste is incredible. A wonderfully balanced ipa. Pine resin, grapefruit, and a touch of spicey, rye bread. Wonderful! Yum. Perfect mouthfeel - thick, yet carbonated enough to make it exteremely enjoyable to drink. And very drinkable. This is a top shelf IPA. Too bad its just pricey enough to keep it from being a staple item on my refrigerator shelf...

kingjames1, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a large light tan head. Head has great retention with some spotty lace.

Aroma is beautiful. Hoppy with a grapefruity punch, backed by a hefty dose of rye.

Taste is equally as nice as the aroma. A hoppy burst with some citrus notes and a nice rye backbone. A perfect bittering bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. Moderately highly alcohol and bitter notes slow the drinking, but is definitely easy to consume.

Goliath, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby red with a firm creamy whipped tan head. Slight haze with some bubble raising in the middle. Lots of pungant citrusy hops win out over some sweet caramel and spicy rye aroma. Again, the hops are the major player, but the rye character is worthy of your attention. Both together create a wonderfully blend of citrus and spice that would please the most disearning hop head. Body may be a bit thin, but that my make this sort of a refreshing beer.

barleywinefiend, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of SirSaranac
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hmmmm... I had read a lot of reviews on this, so I was excited to finally pick up a bottle of this stuff.

A- Impressive looking IPA... mocha colored 2 finger head crowns a deep amber burgondy brew. Excellent lacing.. slight sediment. Very nice.

S- Hmmm... Was expecting more. The hops are fresh and slightly piney, but waaay weaker than I was expecting. Earthy malt... grains.. must be the rye? Rather weak indeed... at least compared to the beautiful appearance.

T- The hops and malt blend very well... almost more like an English IPA... yet still holding onto enough hop bite to distinguish itself as a true AmIPA... Light Caramel does at as a nice touch in the aftertaste. 8% abv... really? Could've fooled me... hides this badge rather well. Very smooth an well balanced.

M- Light Med mouth... Slight hop bite, and end verrrry creamy... that's my favorite part... quite creamy.

D- I could definitely drink these, and a lot of them... quite tasty, and the 8% abv is really well hidden. However, if I was REALLY in the mood for a hop fix, I'd have to look to another brew.

SirSaranac, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of TheBCrew
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass with a big cascading head from a heavy pour. Three finger of rocky off-white head slowly dissipates leaving a good amount of sticky lacing. Gorgeous ruby red color. Intense west coast lemony hop aroma, hint of caramel in the back of the nose. Taste is initially citrusy followed by a slick caramel finish. Well balanced. Medium bodied for great drinkability - I wouldn't guess that this was an 8% beer if I didn't know it - delicious!

TheBCrew, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of halfP1NT
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy brown with swirls, huge white head, amazing retention! Head was so thick like cool whip, I scooped it up with my finger. Sticks around til the end.

Smells grainy, earthy, rye, lots of hops, reminds me of the smell of new carpet (I know, weird).

Tastes like pungent rye & grains, lots of hops! Nicely balanced, complex, smooth.

Thick, complex mouthfeel, a big beer! 8% abv is well hidden, very drinkable, but not too quickly!

halfP1NT, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of dill
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draught in a pint glass.
a - a nice, deep brown color with a tan head.
s - smells of hops with a hint of caramel.
t - lots of hops with a bit of the rye malts as well. a very bitter beer but well-balanced.
m - medium bodied. a bit creamy.
d - I really like this beer. I only had one pint of it and then moved on, but I look forward to ordering it again in the future.

dill, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of bassmantin
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick semi-transparent red color with a moderate-sized fine clumpy tan head. I'm enjoying the appearance on this one.

Smell is very malty with some hops in the background. I was expecting something similar to the Founder's Red's Rye, but this one is much different. The hops are distinct and hit toward the middle of the taste. Not bad, pretty pleasant. The aftertaste is a bit sticky and sweet but not bad overall.

A good beer with decent hop character. Good but not great.

bassmantin, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of throwitallaway
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Smallish head. Red/brown color. Smells nice and hoppy with notes of pine and citrus, but with a decent malt backbone. Taste is malty, but not in a sweet caramel way, more grain-like. Some nice hop bitterness as well. I think the rye flavor mixes in with the malt and makes it taste pretty interesting. Medium mouthfeel. Not something I would go out of my way to drink, but still good.

throwitallaway, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint, 6 FL OZ bottle purchased for $4.99 from Gary's in Madison...
The two previous beers that I've sampled from Bear Republic were amazing, so I was expecting really great things from this one...
For an IPA, this sample poured a deep, dark, brown, ruby-red, crimson-colored hue with an enormous foamy head that soon dissipated, but left an impressive amount of lacing around the glass...
Strong, powerful hop aroma pervading this one... Literally bursting with fresh, bitter hops in the nose, along with pine, and grapefruit...
Taste strongly paid homage to the aroma, with a strong suggestion of freshly-picked hops, grapefruit, rye, coriander, citrus, honey, vanilla, caramel, lemons, pines, yeast, and bittersweet florals...
The 18% injection of rye into this beer is certainly evident in the taste, as this makes itself out to be a smooth, clean IPA full of intricate, delicate flavors...
Another winner from Bear Republic - I just wish I could get my hands on more of their brews in my area...
Crisp, clear, mouthfeel with a slight bitterness present...
Easily drinkable without any detection of the 8% ABV...

dsa7783, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of jph424
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Brown with hints of red

S - Hops, caramel, smells delicious

T - sweetness up front, can definitely taste the rye, strong floral hoppy bitterness on the finish. Bigtime malt backbone to support it.

M - Terrificly thick

D - Very tasty brew. 1 bomber would probably be my limit though as the ABV and powerful flavor would probably be too much to have a few.

jph424, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of sholland119
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber into a pint glass.

A-Pours a rich, deep amber with a fine creamy head and nice lacing.

S- nicely balanced with lots of malt and a citrusy grapefruit nose. A good indicator of things to come.

T-Delicious and interesting all the way through. Citrus and piney hops balanced with a nice grainy rye bite all the way through. Bitter at the end but not overwhelming.

M-nice. moderate carbonation with a rather light mouthfeel. the hops don't linger on the tongue. I like that taste but don't mind that this beer does not have it.

D-dangerously drinkable. 8% ABV but does not feel that heavy.

My favorite rye IPA, from a small pool of choices but...

The rye gives a nice contrast and balance to the hoppiness. BR makes great beers and with the exception of the Racer X, this is my favorite.


sholland119, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of callmemickey
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: RIch amber-brown with a long lasting tan head... lots of lacing.. good carbonation

S: Pungent grapefruit hops and hints of piney aromas as well... rich malt base.. it definitely takes on the grainy/rye character the name would suggest... complex and delicate

T: The complexity in the nose is a great indicator... the malty grain/rye comes through throughout... it is not to be outdone by the piney and citric hops which are in the beginning and the finish... well crafted balance that gives your flavor after flavor... good strong hop finish that doesn't overpower

M: Medium bodied... plays in the mouth courtesy of the carbonation and the hops... crisp. refreshing

D: This one is up there amongst the best... had no problem going for a second serving...

callmemickey, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of kkipple
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

220z bomber. Just arrived in SC!

A gorgeous fat 3 finger head leaves lots of lacing as it perishes, settling to cover a rich bourbon-amber brew with a few centimeters of dense, thick foam.

The glass explodes with big wet hop aroma. Lots of pine and bitter citrus invite you to taste the sharp, malty brew beneath. Unsubtle hints of booze and a little rough 'round the edges, that'd be the rye. Smells intense, 'cause it is.

Q. How do you awaken a hophead who is passed out?

A. Wave a goblet of Hop Rod Rye under their nose.

The huge hop flavor carries on into your mouth on a small sip, a larger one simply coats the palate with oliy, bitter hops. Lots of American hops here - Cascade for sure, with a residual sugar-kissed bitterness that awakens the senses. Despite the hop and rye (which is quite noticeable), this is almost decently balanced with some hefty malt richness. That said, it's an extremely bitter, bracing beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy and hot, wet and boasts a sharp lingering bitterness that will make your toes curl.

Hop Rod is quite drinkable, despite the bitter factor, and is worlds better for the rye - it imbues the beer with life and character and saves it from being another ho-hum American DIPA. Hop Rod Rye has character to spare and is highly recommended. Now that it's landed, every craft beer geek in South Carolina should try this gem.

kkipple, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of Blueye80
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured great. It had a huge head the lasted quiet a bit
and the lacing was just as awesome. It had a very nice hoppy aroma that I couldn't wait to try. I just wish it tasted as good as it looked and smelled. It was just a tad too bitter for me. It is not a beer that I would want to have more than just one. Overall
it was a decent drink.

Blueye80, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of dadonabike
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App. It poured a lovely red/brown w/ a good amount of small bubbles forming a lasting light tan head. The lacing lasted all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Sml. Delicious! Rich! It has a heavy malt smell with pleasant rye/wheat bread notes. There are hints of caramel and honey, spice, and breakfast cereal in there. This mixes w/ the incredibly fragrant hop aromas. We found citrus (grapefruit), mint, and cinnamon. (My kids help with the smelling phase.)

Taste Wow! There is a lot going on in that bottle, a lot of good stuff. First I though of the sprouted grain breads that you can buy in health food stores, especially the ones with dried fruit. There is a big malt base that's followed by a rye sourness. Then the hops hit with bitter and herbs and pine. A great balance, it all works together. I don't feel that any one thing overpowers, but I like sour. The after taste stays with you, and you want more.

MF. This beer has a thickness and weight and the carbonation seems just right. The after taste is quite dry considering the malty feel.

Drinkability- Huge tastes, I will be going back for more.

This went well with our pasta and sauce. Then after with two stinky artesian goat cheeses form VT and English wheat biscuits, also paired nicely with an organic sharp cheddar from Nieghborly farm.

dadonabike, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of MMAJYK
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- The color is medium to dark brown with raddish hues. Head is clingy and sticky with 1" of foam.

S- The rye sticks out a lot with nice caramel syrupy malts and very prominent hop tones. Earthy but roasty too.

T- Very roasty and a tad oaky. Hops are bittering and in your face. Alcohol lies in the back. Well balance and just awesome!

M- Medium thickness and high carbonation.

D- High drinkabilty to me but non hopheads will not find it as appealing I think. But, who cares?

Overall- This beer really impressed me. I would definitely seek it out again and hope I run across it again soon. Thanks to hurleymanvw for sharing this one with me.

MMAJYK, Mar 11, 2008
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,330 ratings.