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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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2,058 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,058
Hads: 4,577
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 262
Gots: 316 | 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:
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: 2,058 | Hads: 4,577
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)

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

The glass was this strange Imperial Pint/Pilsner hybrid. Tulip-ish like an Imperial, but tall like a Pilsner.

I had this as a last brew because I knew I wouldn't be able to taste anything else afterwards. The pour was copper red, and, right away, from arms length, I could smell the hops. The taste is an intense slap of that trademark west-coast hoppiness, with a malt sweetness that gives way to a dry hop aftertaste that lingers, with a bone-dry finish that feels as though the rye had come to lay the hopped wasteland of my tastebuds out to dry. Mouthfeel is rich, intense. I really could drink this all night regardless of the ABV, just worshipping at the altar of the hop. (681 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle pours out a clear, copper/red color with a thick beige head that retains well before fading into patchy sheet lacing. Aroma is a complexity of rye bread and westcoast hop notes of pine and sour citrus. Pears are noted in the background. Mouthfeel is thick and coating, as hops pour all over the palate. Taste is very highly hopped, but the rye and roasted grain flavors blend exceptionally well. This is really an extraordinary beverage! The rye bread flavor is a very hardy backbone for the orangerind and pine hop flavors that weave in and out, and all around this flavorful brew. Very chewy, and tastes like liquid food at times. Floral and fruity notes jump around the flavor profile as well. This is one of the finest ales I've sampled in quite some time. Complex and full of flavor, this is one kickass beer. A beautiful work of art that satisfies in all respects. Highly recommended! (903 characters)

Photo of longpondbeerman
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another trip to Half Time Beverages in Poughkeepsie and a whole new slew of beers to review. First the Hop Rod Rye, which poured a luscious deep and clear mahogony from the 22 oz. bomber, bearing (pardon the pun) a quintessential Healdsburg hot rod on the label. To top it off there was a thick pearl-white head that receded slowly into a lovely and sticky lace. The folks in Sonoma are not prevaricating--the hops are front and center in the aroma, but still balanced with an overlay of malts (is this the rye?). Yes, I think so, and perhaps that's the reason for the slight smoky tinge in the taste. Oh, the hops are still most evident, but the Bear Republic brewers manage to get in a coal or two somewhere in the process (though not as prevalent here as in the Red Rocket). The mouthfeel is creamy and bubbly. I like this stuff. (832 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bronze body with a sticky off-white head. Aroma is very hoppy, enough hops that I couldn't take notice of any rye at all. Sweat, wood, pencil fragments, floral. The taste initially consists of a medium caramel sweetness, fading malts. Hoppiness is huge, intense. Finish isheavily bitter, dry, very long, woody, piney. Creamy medium body. Powerful west-coast style to which you add peaks of originality and that's the result. Thanks John (436 characters)

Photo of jeffboo
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice spicy,hoppy beer from the West Coast. This one is a dark copper color with a nice tan foam. Very fresh hop aroma with a mix of both floral and citrus smells. Body is medium/full with a very spicy, complex flavor profile with toast,rye bread,smoke, and caramel malts rolling with the hop flavors. A very easy to drink hybrid IPA with lots of flavors to challenge the tastebuds. (388 characters)

Photo of hyuga
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured for me from the tap and filled nearly to the top without much head, which is something I don't like, but this one has good head retention so it's not so bad. A reddish mahogany beer with a whitish head. Lots of lace is left on the sides of the glass. The aroma features generous "west coast" hopping of a pine cone character and also more than a hint of citrus. Rye is noticeable along with the malt in the backbone. Smooth in the mouth, even a bit creamy. Maltiness at the very front of a rye grain character, followed very soon by a big piney hop bite, and then filled out with a big backbone of rye character. Hints of citrus all around. Bitterness comes out on top at the end for a crisp, dry finish. Excellent beer, my favorite from this brewery, although I actually prefer the bottled version of this one. Makes sense though, it is bottle conditioned, unless my memory is playing tricks. Highly recommended. (920 characters)

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

Very dark amber-brown apperance with a sweet smell. Smells sweet with the hops coming through. Feels amazing in your mouth with a malty smooth taste and unbelievable hops overpowering the tastebuds. Also taste spices and rye throughout the beer. Overall an amazing beer that I will likely have to try again soon. (312 characters)

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

Hazy red-amber with a three finger bubbly rocky head, well carbonated, and the head just lasts and lasts.
Very hoppy aroma, citrus and floral.
Hoppy (orange and grapefruit) and grainy taste, interesting. Almost a bran flavor note. Alcohol esters are noticable. Rye bread taste follows the upfront flavors after you swallow. Caramel, and toffee flavors.
A little rough edged, I couldn't drink it too often, but it's an interesting brew. (438 characters)

Photo of avylover
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep mahogony color with a nice healthy off white head and tons of yeast floating around in there. A smell reveals a hefty caramel maltiness with a strong hop presence in the background. Taste is fairly sweet for a beer named "Hop Rod." There are no doubt some bittering floral hops in there, but a sweet maltiness rules this ale. Great malts & great hops. My friend just mentioned "This is really good." He's right. Nice slick mouthfeel and immensley drinkable. This borderlines on the perfect strong session ale. (526 characters)

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

As with all the Bear Republic beer's I have had this one followed suit with an incredibly rocky, fluffy and thick head and rendered the appropriate full lacing on my glass from top to bottom. Nice deep mahogony color with plenty of particles of unfiltered hops and yeast. The nose was of firm and fresh hops and a hint of rye. Taste was great with the hop slam hitting you with all the usual suspects, pine, citrus and a grapefruit rind biting finish. Nice malt backbone to hold up to the hops . Awesome. (504 characters)

Photo of Realale
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Full clear deep mahogany brown. Extremely fine 1/2" beige head stays throughout the pint leaving excellent lacing. A truly beautiful beer.

Nose is leafy citric hop over slightly bready, slightly spicy malt. Bit of yeastiness, slight touch of clove add complexity.

Medium full in the mouth. Very nice base of bready malt. Excellent hop flavor and bitterness throughout, but maintains its balance well. Touch of chalkiness distracts a bit on the finish. Great length.

Stunning soft creamy bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. Bear Republic really, really nailed the mouthfeel on this one. Quite drinkable for an 8% brew. Highly recommended. (640 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this rare "Bear of a beer" in these parts via BA brother Boilermaker88 Cheers my friend..

Fresh "spring morning like grassy nose" with a little pine tree as well. Cherry/peach color with a huge lasting pale pink fluffy airy head... what retention.. stiff peaks. Big hoppy piney, chewy, grapefruit taste with a malty rye bread backbone. The finish really brings out the bready rye notes in the beer which helps to try and balence the brutal hop punishment on the tongue. Medium to fuller chewy coating mouthfeel. The next time I get to the west coast.... I will be seek these out with a vengance... my kind of beer. Makes a cornbeef special look like babyfood. A hop monster with unique craftmanship... (708 characters)

Photo of Stingray5
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber pours a beautiful dark ruby with a white head. Lots of fresh, fresh hops in the aroma. Thick mouthful with moderate carbonation is very pleasing. Taste is a balance of big hops and big malt. Hops, as in the aroma, are very fresh. While my first few sips were smooth, the hops began to take on a bit of a harsh quality. Not sure how much of this could be the rye, though. Only the drinkability suffers as a result. Finishes with long lasting hoppy goodness, but a little too dry. No indications taste-wise of the abv. (528 characters)

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

This BR brew pours out a dark reddish/ruddy, rusty brown colour with a nice tan/beige head of foam. The aromas are of sweet and roasted malts, citrus-y, piney hops and alcohol spinged spiciness. The taste lives up to the hype with a big, bolshy, excellent malty backbone for truckloads of hops to play upon. This brew has a lovely fresh cut hop finish, and an after-taste that will not only give you hop burps, but excellent, malty hop burps. The mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying or over the top and the drinkabiity is excellent for an ale of this size. 8%ABV, wow you could have fooled me. An interesting and excellent brew from BR (635 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge tan head, brown read body, great lace.
Mostly pine hop aroma.
Cannot tell what makes this a rye. Cannot taste any rye.
Medium body and long lasting elegant finish.
This beer's selling point seems to be its hops, not its rye.
Spicy maltiness that I imagine is attributable to the rye. An elegant light sweetness. (321 characters)

Photo of saskguy
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a beer.

Has a great head that sticks around, with a dark rich colour, and a nice hoppy aroma.

The taste starts off with a large floral attack and finishes with an wonderful bitterness.

I could drink gallons of this stuff even with the high abv. (263 characters)

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

This is my first taste of a Bear Republic Ale. I will be trying more. The head was marvelously thick almost merienge. Looking thru the glass the ale is a dark amber not quite pristinely clear. The aroma has a great hop floral boquet. A good hop sweetness a the begining of the mouthful and a good hop bite on the swallow. (321 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not knowing what to expect from a rye beer I found this one to be quite a tasty surprise. It pours a clear dark brown color with some ruby hues mixed in. The ivory head quickly dissolved to a ring around the surface leaving a good amount of lace behind. A hoppy aroma of citrus, pine and pepper hovers over the beer.

Each sip is medium bodied and packed with flavor. Hops dominate with grapefruit and pine, but there's a nice caramel malt hidden in the background that balances everything out. It finishes bitter leaving a hoppy flavor behind.

This beer is moderately drinkable and full of flavor. Hopheads will find it tasty and Maltmen will appreciate the balanced flavor. (680 characters)

Photo of xgrigorix
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twenty two ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Dark auburn colour, with fast moving lines of carbonation. Dense off white head retains very weel, leaving lace behind as it slowly settles.

Bright grapefruit loaded hop aromas invite a sip.

A great bif IPA, with a sour rye twang that takes it someplace very tasty. Loads of sweetness, & a hoppy finish loaded with pine & grapefruit. Medium bodied, farily brisk carbonation. Highly unique, and quite delicious. (460 characters)

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

Deep dark brown amber topped in a large coating of off-white head. Huge nose filled with hops. There are floral and citrus aromas as well as some spices in there. There is a little bit of malt sweetness that is detectable as well.

You start off with a blend of citrus and floral flavors that is pretty intense, but not overpowering. It gets a touch of sweetness to balance. It then gets a little toasty, but it doesn't seem to have as much rye character as others. It is all about the hops here. The body is pretty full, and it is smooth all the way down. The 8% is hidden extremely well. It is easy to drink, and even though it is on the thicker side, it doesn't seem like it after a pint. This is a marvelous brew. (721 characters)

Photo of taez555
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a white head with a dark amber/brown body.

The nose was very inviting. Dark citrus hops. I serious in your face grapefruit peel citrus attack. Any hint of malt is completely overshadowed by this ambrosial smell of hops. It’s quite breathtaking.

The beer was medium bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. A serious citrus hop punch sits atop the malt. Tight cascade/centennial hop taste. Wood, citrus, black pepper, pine needles, sharp sharp sharp citrus peel. A perfect balance of caramel malt against the hops. What’s really interesting is the how you can actually taste the rye malt in this beer and how it’s matches the hops so well. Basically you wouldn’t notice it unless you tasted for it. You’d just assume whoever made the beer did an amazing job with the hops.

Overall just another great beer from Bear Republic, even if it does taste an awful lot like Sierra Nevada Celebration. (944 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This one is a beautiful cloudy brown in color and just clear enough to view the sediment floating around. The head was absolutely gorgeous! It foamed up quickly, lasted a while, and tried to leave a little lacing.

Smell – The lovely aroma of piney and floral hops are mixed with a bit of citrus and a hint of the promised rye. The fragrance is sharp yet balanced. Nicely done.

Taste – The balancing malt sticks its chest out just enough to balance. The complex hops from the nose come on wonderfully here, mixing with the subtle rye notes to form a symphony of flavors. This one does the almost impossible task of establishing a sharp, crisp, strong hop flavor then bringing it to the drinker’s lips balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel – Crisp and sharp yet refreshing and smooth. This nearly full-bodied rye-tinted IPA is a mouthful for sure.

Drinkability – When I partake of my occasional whisky indulgence, I usually go for straight Kentucky or Tennessee rye. This ale couples that wonderful flavor with a tremendous IPA offering. Hats off!

Update – Cvschaller brought an ’04 vintage over to my place for a pizza party. I really do love this ADIPA. It’s a unique and fully satisfying take on the style. (1,237 characters)

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,058 ratings.