Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,406 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,406
Reviews: 2,040
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 234
Gots: 238 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,406 | Reviews: 2,040 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of uwmgdman
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a thick, clingy off-white head. The aroma is highly hoppy -- very citrusy, orange and grapefruit with some pine as well as some spicyness. The flavor is highly hoppy, citrus and pine with a firm hop bitterness. In the middle a bittersweet, spicy malt flavor emerges, and finishes with a strong, pleasant hoppy flavor and perfect touch of dryness. The carbonation is moderate and body medium-full. The 8% ABV is completely hidden, dangerously so in fact. Overall this is an excellent beer, tremendous aroma and flavor, and despite the massive amounts of hops it remains smooth.

Photo of beagle75
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium reddish-brown color with one finger of off-white foam head featuring an interesting assortment of variously-sized bubbles. Heavy lacing remains, leaving visible relief on the inside of the glass.

S: Pungent grapefruit citrus is featured prominently, becoming more floral over time. Caramel notes offer a darker side to the smell, also suggesting sweetness to come. No alcohol is detected in the smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with toffee and bready umami, accompanied by pine and dark citrus hop aromatics. Spicy, drying rye emerges to mark the transition into a middle that remains hops-laden. This beer finishes surprisingly mellow--bitter, but not destructively so. Acidity is pitch-perfect throughout, enhancing the overall experience. No alcohol is detected in the flavor.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and sticky on the palate, with low carbonation. Again, the acidity level could not be more appropriate and appealing.

D: Perhaps craft brewing's most famous rye beer, this is truly a delightful and robust DIPA that gets almost everything right. Even small details, like acidity, are executed in such a way as to make this beer more than the sum of its parts. While Bear Republic dabbles with other DIPA recipes (Racer X, for example) there is little point in trying to outshine this beer as it is when served from the bottle. In fact, this is one of those beers that seems to benefit from a little time spent in the bottle. Hop Rod was my draft selection during my sole visit to the company brewpub in Healdsburg and I found it to be be overly spicy--a sensory mix of capsaicin and volatile herbs--due either, or perhaps jointly, to the rye or the eye-watering freshness of the hops. Either way, the imbalance I experienced in the draft pour at the source does not typically carry through to the bottled brew reviewed here.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany color with two fingers of foamy head and webs of lacing.

The aroma is bready, citrusy, and slightly nutty. Subtle and very nice.

The flavor is a stellar blend of pine, citrus, and rye bread.

The body is medium and carbonation is low. Slick mouthfeel rather than sticky.

Overall this beer is a great example of its style, and one that stands out as being well crafted with no flaws. Will it knock your socks off? Probably not, but it will go perfect with some hamburgers and good conversation.

Photo of rembrant
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence is a cloudy amber/orange with a good frothy head about 1 finger and rather durable.

Aroma features some caramel and fruit in the nose with hints of grain or biscuit,and a whif of piney woods.

Taste leads with the citric hops mainly grapefruit. The maltside is lurking and leaves some flickers of sweetness. As it warms,it gets a little more diverse on the hop side and some rye/spice notes emerge with an overall increased flavor presence.

In short...tastes real nice.

Mouth is quite good for the type.
Drinkability? Yes, this is a category where drinkability is major. The Malt bill is busy mostly keeping the hops from going too bitter while letting them bring big flavors. Hop Rod is just a bit different from the mainstream IPA varints,which gives it a good niche.

Photo of Agold
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hop rod has a really nice amber garnet color with a half inch of off white head which has great staying power and leaves nice lacing all the way down the glass. Unfortunately there were little hop floaties in it, otherwise it was perfect. The citrus hops are very prominent and dominant in the nose with floral hops and a crisp biscuit maltyness filling out the nose. The taste is ofcitrus hops, with a bit of a bitter bite, but a definite caramel malt profile and spicy rye. Mouthfeel is great with good light carbonation and medium body.

Great IPA with a great malty presence which I wouldn't mistake for balance. But this goes down really nice and is a great IPA.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a big red hue. Nice off-white head that leaves a ring around the edges with some big puddles of foam.

Smells of sweet caramel with a slight tang that comes from the rye. Fresh orange citrus hops. A lot of candied fruit like melon and mild oranges. A very juicy bubblegum. There is a large amount of subdued citrus hops.

Tastes sweet and malty with a lot of mild fruity bitterness. Dew melon. Again, very juicy with an amazing pine/orange-citrus hop profile. The hops really stick out in the aftertaste. The bitterness is nowhere to be found until you swallow. Then it hits you but like a ninja it drops in. It has a very mellow mellow, fruity and dry finish.
For the amount of hops and bitterness it leaves it goes down pretty quickly. I served it in the mid 40s and as I drank the hop definition became intense.

Photo of ztaylor1
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- dark amber/brown with a beautiful off white head. Brilliantly hazy.

Smell- hops galore. Citrus rind, a hint of pine, and some very faint spicy malt.

Taste- fantasticly hoppy and sweet. Bright flowery and citrusy notes with a spiciness that I'm assuming is from the rye. Nice and bready.

Mouthfeel- medium to thin body. Notthing too extravagant, but just right for the style.

Drinkability- fantastic finish leaves me longing for more!

Photo of sbauer
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A: Dark amber-red and brown. Light lacing.

S: Great fresh hop aroma. Floral citrus, dark cherry, bread.

T: Fresh hops immediately with well-balanced cherry and caramel malts. Rye spice mid-palate with a great long bitter hop finish.

M: Medium-full bodied. Good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and delicious super-hopped rye IPA. Amazing rye flavors balanced with strong hops.

Photo of Hamsteroceros
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

A- Deep, deep reddish amber color that I wish more IPAs could pull off. Decent head that left moderate lacing.

S- Everything I love about West Coast IPAs is here: grapefruit/citrus, zesty, piney. The rye cuts in nicely as well.

T- Just incredible. Bitter then sweet, bold yet balanced. The malt sneaks in late more as the beer warms. That tangy rye bite I was hoping for balances the rest really, really nicely.

M- In general, I find the major drawback to a good IPA is a lingering astringent/acidic "stripping" in the mouth. It seems like the better a beer tastes, the more pronounced this effect. With all the huge flavors in Hop Rod Rye, I was expecting that here but NO! This beer is so clean and smooth on the finish.

D- I am thrilled that this is a year-round release. I will have many, many more of these.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at the Chowder House in Point Arena, Ca for $3.00 served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown/cherry hue with an insane head that sticks around for a while, leaving a thick coat of lace in my glass from start to finish.

S: Roasted grain, sweet chocolate malt, earthy moss, and burnt biscuits. Solid but wish there was a greater hop presence (I was drinking Eel River IPA just before this one and there is no comparison in hoppiness).

T: Similar to the nose in every aspect except that the hop presence is much more prevalent - resinous moss and earthy flavors. The rye is very noticeable as well. Finishes and ends with oily hoppy goodness like a proper IPA should.

M: Medium-bodied but on its way to being full-bodied, very clean and dry, the carbonation is perfect for the style and there is a major lingering oily bitterness
from the hops.

D: A very drinkable IPA, but the heaviness of it gets to me after a couple. Not one I would post up on all night, but good for a couple no doubt.

Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a perfect pint, one plus fingers head, walnut coloring.

s- spicyness right off the bat from the rye, lots of earthy bitter hops, slightly tart edge that i've come to find from that rye once again.

t- spicy, peppery, lots of earthy hops, rye is here big time and tasty, ample bitterness.

m- medium, slick, coating.

d- good, i'd be able to knock back a couple of these, very flavorful, this is a good beer to try if you're looking to see what rye can taste like in a beer.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the more unusually good beers I've had. Pours a hazy brown color with a small one finger head which dissipates quickly. A little lacing.

Interesting mix or aromas. Hops, malt, yeast, caramel, brown sugar, rye.

Flavor follows the aroma. Tasty mix of hops and sweet malt; good hop bitter finish.

Very drinkable. Highly recommend.

Photo of jmerloni
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown-maroon. Maybe the only beer I've ever seen that's actually maroon. Haha. Surprisingly dark for a rye beer. Medium sticky head with nice uneven lacing.

S - Fresh. West coast IPA hops. Fuckin' awesome. Malt there too.

T - Hops, rye, orange zest. Delicious. Sooo fresh tasting. I'm amazed.

M - Medium bodied. Perfect carbonation. Dry as ever.

D - Drinkable. Oh man. Delicious. Definitely more of an IPA than a rye beer though. So fresh. I can't get over the freshness of the beers that Bear Republic puts out. They and Green Flash really have a rivalry going in that area and it's great for beer. Bear Republic's beers are as young a beer as you'll ever try. Everything put into it wasn't harvested too long ago.

Photo of Chincino
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer for the first time the other day and I really enjoyed it.

It poured to be a dark amber color/mahogany color. It smelled slightly of citrus and you could definitely smell rye as well. Slight bitterness, smooth.

The alcohol was well-hidden in this beer and I could drink more than one in a sitting. Great beer!

Photo of jtk
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark amber. Smallish head that disappeared rather quickly.

S: I could smell the hops big time. Chocolate smell, too.

T: Big malt and hops together. Not super complex, but real tasty . Bitter finish. Sort of a hopped up stout, but the stout aspect was a little thin.

MF: Good, medium body with medium carbonation.

D: Smooth but bitter ending. Fairly easy to drink, especially considering the ABV. A good one to pick up here and there. Curious how it tastes on tap. I think I was definitely getting some bottle type of tastes that may have not been true to its real taste.

Photo of Chaney
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into my gigantic Dogfish Head snifter.

A: The liquid itself (as it was coming out of the bottle) was a dark, almost burnt brown color, but when the glass collected it, it turned into a ruby red delight, with about a 3-4 finger beige head the quickly melded into a sudsy foam.

S: Hop, citrusy bitterness for sure, but the rye added a tinge of licorice to the hop bomb. A bit of candy sweetness came through nicely.

T: Whenever I took a generous drink and held it, I actually got some chocolate notes. Oh, and there's bitter hoppiness.... almost the sort of astringent bitterness I commonly find in a wet-hopped brew. As the marketing-speak on the bottle suggested, there was some sediment in the bottom due to lack of filtering.

M: Profound and gargantuan amount of bitter hops used in this puppy. However, carbonation aided tremendously in slicing and dicing the hops down the size. My glass looked like it went through a car wash without rinsing afterwards.

D: Uhhh... the bitterness stung, so for my tastes, I found this a bit overbearing. However, the brew as a whole was outstanding and definitely deserves its place among the big dog IPAs on the market. Bear Republic doesn't make a bad beer.

Photo of HopHeadMerlin
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a Bottle into standard pint glass

A - Nice rich brown color & creme colored head.

S - Hops, Carmel, & slight rye & sweet malt.

T - Bready, Nice Hop factor. Rye is more prevalent during taste & a good sweetness at the end.

M - Feels great..A bit creamy & good bitterness & hop presence.

D - Great Beer! Alcohol is well hidden at it's 8% abv. Can drink several. Great all around beer.


Serving type: bottle

Photo of dwilson01
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body comes out to a hazy maple sugar brown color topped by a splotchy tan to mocha creamy looking head. Nice fingers of lace are left at the dissipation.

The smell is very hop forward with not much underlying malt contribution. Orange peel, some spices like coriander and cinnamon come in to play a bit. Small amounts of bready grain type scents come out but it's subtle.

The flavors are mingling quite well for me, a citrus hop flavor comes through in the forefront. This is mixed in with a spicier hop flavor that is not super bitter but is just delicious. The malts come out to play in the flavor as well reminding me of a sweet honey pumpernickel rye bread.

The mouthfeel is awesome, I love the rye malt addition which gives it a small amount of dryness in the rear. But it's also full bodied just like the flavor. Great brew all around I highly recommend snagging one if you're into IPA's and want something a bit new.

Photo of chicagoabbot
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz chug into a large snifter. Color is almost like a barley wine, a deep dark amber. Head is not massive, but is fluffy and plenty. Aroma is fantastic, it has a big hoppy nose like an IPA but with that wonderful rye sharpness. Taste is bitter and sharp...if this wasn't such an incredible beer, I would be tempted to say the hops overbalance the malt, this beer is hoppier than most IPAs and as hoppy as many DIPAs. Alcohol hidden very well. Bear Republic has a big time winner here.

Photo of chrisgn
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- deep, hazy amber color, Small head with good lacing.

S- Mostly a sweet and bready aroma with a little hop and rye in the nose.

T- This is an unbelievably balanced big beer. It is sweet and bitter at the same time. There is sweet and roasty malts up front and then spicy rye and hops on the back end. What a great flavor!

M- good body, low carbonation. Flavor envelops the palate.


Photo of EgadBananas
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark copper, with a creamy finger of light tan head that laces wonderfully.

Smell is wonderfully floral and piny hops. Slight malt sweetness comes through along with a bit of breadyness.

Rye and intense hop bitterness, accompanied by a good amount of caramel and malts sweetness.

Smooth, creamy, medium in body with lower carbonation.

Great drinkability. One of my stand-by favorites, always.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, unknown date.

Pours brown/red/copper with a one finger tan head that holds a light cap and leaves a good amount of spotty lacing.

Aroma is features a nice dose of that signature rye malt smell, bready, some caramel, some citrus and pine, good strength.

Flavor starts with resinous hops, some citrus and pine and a whole lotta spicy rye malt along with caramel and dark bread. Some Amber Ale-like qualities. Moderate sweetness, fair bitterness, although it doesn't feel even close to 90 IBU.

Mouthfeel is medium to almost full, somewhat creamy, medium carbonation.

Love the rye malt in this one, one of the better rye beers I've had but was a little disappointed in the level of hopiness, but this may be an older bottle... Still, very glad to get a chance to try this!

Oh, and I have to wonder about the style classification here. This doesn't belong in Rye Beer? Really!?

Photo of Jeriba
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured at almost-room-temperature into a nonic pint.

A - Rich medium brown/mahagony. Thick cream-colored foam that leaves lots of lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Very hop-forward, with lots of rye grain and some dark malt. some alcohol smell with bourbon-vanilla notes.

T - Dark bread grains and toasted malt, with a very nice bitter hop balance. More of that bourbon-vanilla flavor, but not overpoweringly boozy.

M - Bubbly and full, neither overly crisp nor oily and heavy.

D - The bomber is just right for an evening sipper, or to share with a friend. Will definitely pick this one up again.

Photo of mikeborglum
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured 22 oz. bottle in pint glass:
Deep mahogany color; hoppy haze and nice frothy head with good retention. Big hop aroma with all the typcial citric, wildflower and pine smells - very complex with the added rye. Awesome hoppy flavor and great creamy smoothness - it really does massage the tounge! A carmely maltness comes out as it warms up...I love it! No breakdown in the finish, just a fantastic brew!

Photo of spinrsx
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky brown colour with a very large frothy beige head. I can't make out much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer and there is some terrific lacing. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - hops, malts, caramel, oranges

Taste & Mouth - wow.. first sip and I'm in love.. this beer is really good. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with an amazing creaminess and the perfect level of carbonation. The most dominant flavours are sweet and sour citrus mixed with malts and lots of hops. There is also a dark fruit flavour, perhaps plums or cherries. Other flavours include caramel, chocolate, and rye. The beer finishes with a bitter sweet caramel hop aftertaste.

Drink - This one is pretty far up there on my list of favorite beers; it is very tasty and highly drinkable. I'll seek this one out again and stock up on it for sure.

Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,406 ratings.