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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.

4,321 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,321
Reviews: 2,037
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: 4,321 | Reviews: 2,037 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of keithmurray
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Rich copper colour, tan frothy head which lingers

smell - pine, caramel, grapefruit, citrus

taste - hops, citrus, grapefruit, rye kicks in during the backend

mouthfeel - good carbonation, bitter upfront and on the backend, slightly sweet, medium bodied beverage

drinkability - I think this 22oz bottle will be enough for tonight

keithmurray, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of silentjay
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours darker than expected, a hazy ruby color, that produces a finger and a half khaki colored head that retains and laces well.

lots of citrus hops, flowers, and obviously some lightly toasted rye bread.

some peppery spice, rye toast, and a bit of sweet caramel are added to the intense hops that provide lots of bitter citrus and some mint leaf and herbs.

goes into the mouth light bodied and flat, but carbonation quickly livens up on the tongue and goes down prickly which accentuates the spiciness of this beer. a tad bit of resin is left on the palate while some sweetness and spiciness lingers on and on.

drinkability is amazing, before I know it the glass is almost gone. the spicy hops work well with the inherent spicy quality of the rye to make some unique and tasty qualities that go down well. no hint of the alcohol content. well done.

silentjay, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brownish-orange in color, minimal head, cloudy, moderate carbonation

Smell: big rye, small citrus hops and malt

Taste: big dose of rye throughout, caramel malt, and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start wither a big bitter middle that never gets overly bitter except for the aftertaste

Drinkability: A very nice and bitter IPA. The rye is very much present and nicely done. I like this one. A sipper that I will have again, but only once per sitting.

tigg924, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of btorsdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta love this label-very cool, gotta love this beer-VERY GOOD
Deeep Red in color,sweet looking,moderate lifed head.
Smelled wondeful,fruity, flowery, malty
tasted like smell but much more subdued in hop appearance,rye tasted nice and well balanced, somewhat boozy but in a good way, NICE!!!!
heavy and thick with a pronounced bitterness,got to love it!
goes down good but will fill ya up! Good to switch up with a Pils when drinking a few of these.Recomended!

btorsdog, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of Offa
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good, fairly complex beer that I have now had cask conditioned, in which form I like it better as usual.

Deep red amber, very clear and bright, with a small off-white head soon thinning to wispy top and foamy ring, leaving some nice, rich, even, foamy lace.

Aroma is grapefruit with candied citrus peel, very flowery, with some bread underneath. It's good, but a bit too one-dimensionally citrusy-grapefruity.

The taste is much better, more complex, balanced, and well-rounded. It has grapefruit, but also spicey candied citrus rind, rye bread element is light but very clearly noticeable, especially in the finish and aftertaste,, along with light winey fruitiness. The bitterness is spicy and just dominates the finish and aftertaste, lingering but with the other elements and character. It is fairly easy to drink but not extremely drinkable, reasonably light but a bit still too heavy and spicey to be truly easy to drink. The complexity and subtle notes really come through more from the cask, but the aroma from just smelling it is more subdued and not truly indicative of what is to come in actually drinking it.

Offa, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of Kinsman
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second Review: After my first review last week (see below), I wanted to try this again, but buying it from a different store to see if I could get a fresher bottle.

Appearance is about the same, but the aroma and taste have definitely been improved. I've found the ink used for their bottling date to be rather hard to read, but still I can see this one, a 12 oz bottle, was bottled on June 28, 2010. At two months, the hops are still plenty fresh. The rye still provides a slightly stronger malt presence than most all-barley malt IPA's but it compliments the hops well. Overall a very enjoyable beer thats even better when the hops are still noticeable.

Poured from 22oz bomber into glass

Dark amber body with red highlights capped by a super sticky light-ivory colored head. Light bubbles quickly work their way up along the walls of the glass as they feed into the head.

Moderate malt presence in the aroma, with the rye certainly contributing to this but also a solid caramel malt note. A slightly floral hop character starts to make its way through but was not as strong as I expected.

As with the aroma, the taste came across as more malty than expected. Caramel malts came through strong as well as a good bit of bread-like flavors. Where are the hops though? There is a nice bitterness but not nearly as floral or citrusy as the typical west coast IPA.

Mouthfeel was a bit on the heavy side but very smooth.

Overall a very drinkable beer that I absolutely enjoyed, especially the rye character. However, the hop character did not seem to match that of an IPA. It improved as the beer warmed, but at no point did the beer seem like an IPA.

I really wanted to give this beer a better review, but the aroma and taste did not match the style for me. Hopefully this was just an old bottle with faded hops, and I'll make sure to give this beer another try with fresher hops.

Kinsman, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of philbertk
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Hop Rod Rye Seasonal Ale--2005 22 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. 90 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Rye Ale--Imperial. Foamy lacy head. Clear bright amber red color. Mild hop earthy nut rye front. Rich dry sweet earthy rye malt crisp odd tasty mild roasted nut caramel body. Tart mild hot rye spice mild hop end. Big Rye! Sampled 1/6/2006.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Hop Rod Rye Specialty Ale--2007 22 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. 90+IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) IPA--Imperial Rye. Foamy lacy head. Clear dark bright ruby red color. Tangy Rye hop floral front. Thin crisp dry sweet tangy mild toasted Rye spice mild citrus earthy body. Hot hop spice clean tart too dry end. Sampled 6/10/2007.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Hop Rod Rye Specialty Ale--2009 12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. 100+IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) IPA--Imperial Rye. No sediment. Thin lacy white head. Clear rich dark amber color. Floral hop rye spice malt ester front. Crisp dry sweet toasted caramel rye tangy spicy body. Rich clean dry hop spice end. Crisp clean rich Hoppy Rye IPA. Sampled 7/15/2009. 4-Pack $7.99.

philbertk, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of vkv822
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a very attractive amber red, with a fair amount of light tan head.
The nose is primarily of hops, giving resiny pine and grapefruit citrus notes. There are also sweet caramel malt notes as well. The rye does make an appearance, though it blends in quite well. This could be a good or bad thing depending on preference, as I would like to see the rye more pronounced, but am thankful it is not over-bearing.
The taste is much along the lines of the aroma, with the caramel malts and pine and lightly citric hops upfront and rye following up and becoming quite a bit more present than in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation, that is very active and but not distracting.
I really enjoyed the blend of sweet malts, rye spice and pine hops that this beer offers, the use of rye really does make this a unique and memorable IPA.

vkv822, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to two fingers of light tan head. This beer is copper colored. The aroma is fresh citrus. The taste is citrus, primarily grapefruit, with a bitter aftertaste in which I can taste the rye. This is a very refreshing beer. This is only the second "rye" IPA that I have tried and they have both been excellent. I like this version better than the typical west coast IPA.

buschbeer, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer very early in my BA days and by my estimate, haven't had it in about 2-2.5 years. This review is way overdue.

Pouring a deep reddish brown with a dense light brown head with spectacular retention and excellent lacing, this is a beautiful beer. The nose is excellent as well. This has some of the characteristics I don't like my IPAs to have - a noticeable caramel and sugary sweetness, but the flavors around this really make it work. A prominent rye spiciness and a pronounced pine hop character are in harmony with the moderate sweetness that also has some brown sugar and toffee. However, the hops really do dominate, and this smells excellent.

The palate opens with a blend of caramel-like flavors - brown sugar, toffee and caramel - but not cloying on the palate. Along with it is a rather strong pine and candied grapefruit hop character with moderate bitterness and plenty of flavor. The rye comes in on the mid-palate with a pronounced spiciness that lingers into the finish. Moderately drying on the finish, this beer has a wonderful blend of toffee, rye and pine hops. The mouthfeel is quite sublime with a medium-light body and a soft carbonation, a level which really accentuates the good qualities of this beer. Excellent stuff, I'd drink a lot of this - if only I could find a bottled on date. Despite the moderately high ABV, this goes down very easily, and I will pick this up on a more regular basis.

DefenCorps, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of wvsabbath
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden brown, tan, and all kinds of cool unfiltered stuff floating around

Smell - oranges, pine, hops, grapefruit, and some malt

Taste - The orange / grapefruit hits you first, then the piney hops, some mild alcohol warmth and a bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel - Its so balanced, doesnt destroy the palette, yet you defintly know your drinking a ipa. Nice fruit kick with the hops, a real pleasure for the tounge.

Drinkabilty - Wow, what a great beer, this is not only a top 5 ipa for me, its simply one of the best beers ive drank. I always keep a 4-pack on hand. I enjoy this beer weekly, as you should too The only thing possible to improve is on the smell. It could use some more pine/hop smell but honestly, it doesnt meen anything soon as you take a drink.

wvsabbath, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of deereless
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The color of a weak coffee, the first beer of this 22 oz. bomber is crystal clear though I see some sediment on the bottom of the bottle, there's a thin layer of thick head - 3.75, S: Significant hop aromas, very dry and crisp, some spiciness as well - 4.00, T: Strong hop bite, lots of pine and a touch of grapefruit rind, extremely dry, a good deal of spice on the palate as well as a hint of sweetness - 4.25, M: 4.00, D: A very drinkable IPA, enjoyable all around and one I'd happily drink again - 4.00

deereless, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep coppery amber color with a huge, very thick, creamy, and frothy head. Amazing retention that finally settles into a thick creamy layer of lace.

S - Sweet toasted caramel malt with some lightly burnt sugar. Pretty strong hop aroma with a fair amount of pine and some grapefruit. Some earthy and grassy aroma as well. Rye is present but not really strong.

T - Fairly bitter tasting with a strong hop taste. There isn't a whole lot of fruity hop taste rather more pine, earthy, and some floral and grassy taste. Rye is present and has a bit of a spicy and bready flavor. As the beer warms a bit more citrus comes out (slightly more orange than grapefruit) also the hop bitterness balances out a bit more. Toasted caramel malt provides a nice background and comes out a bit stronger after warming. Some brown sugar taste also present. Fairly spicy overall.

M - On the lighter side of medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Pretty smooth and a bit of a slick feel.

D - Much easier to drink as it warms up. To start it was a bit too bitter and hoppy for me and not quite balanced. Pretty drinkable overall though.

Notes: Bottled 05/10/10. Pretty good and interesting IPA. Spicy flavors come out pretty well. Also the fruity hop flavors are more hidden and just come out in a more subtle way and act as undertones. Enjoyable beer to drink, but probably not one to start someone out with if they are new to IPAs.

FreshHawk, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Bonis
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - By the time this one got to me, the head was almost gone but a thin layer remained. Looks almost like a brown ale, a little hazy though. Leaves a good lacing, common for the style.

Smell - This one smells awesome. Some citrusy resiny hops. I'm getting a lot of caramel malts, not what I normally smell in an IPA. I don't smell rye, then again that's not a familiar smell to me.

Taste - Reminds me of the smell. A strong citrus hop presence, but well balanced by a rich caramel malty taste. This is amazingly tasty at 8%. I don't get much alcohol at all, but the flavors do explode in your mouth. It's a really great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel - This is a full flavor blast in your mouth, what's not to like about the way that feels? Pretty crisp on the back end and the flavors linger for a while, which I like.

Drink - Well, this is a freakin intesne brew, so I wouldn't suggest trying to handle more than 2 or 3 of these in a night. I prefer to drink one at a time myself. This beer is highly recommended.

Bonis, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of otersen73
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Beautiful amber-copper colored body with a semi-thick head. Great lacing.

Nutty and earthy aromatics poke through in the front with subtle pine notes in the background.

Exquisite malt explosion in the front that's overwhelmed with a hop dominance through the middle and finishes with a high hop hang on the back.

Mouthfeel is exquisite with a chewy feel. Although, I wish carbonation was a little less prominent.

Drinkability is great....thank God they only sell it in four packs; I'm glad I'm only limited to four.:-)

otersen73, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of beergod1
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a St. Bernadus Goblet. Poured a deep amber color with an off white head and left a good lacing. Excellent aroma of piney hops with undercurrent of malt and rye. Sweet Malt flavor dominated by the hop presence, with a crisp Rye fade. Excellent mouthfeel. I loved this beer.

beergod1, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of beerdrifter
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper pour with nice caramel-colored head and great lacing. Big fruity nose with hints of caramel and pine. The rye is there in the nose, but somewhat subdued. It definitely emerges more in the taste. Great spicy, bitter, hoppy bite that's very complex with hints of orange, grapefruit, and of course rye. This is definitely the best interpretation of a rye PA that I've had. The alcohol is well hidden which makes it highly drinkable. Thick, chewy, bitter, but smooth and creamy mouthfeel. A classic beer from one of my favorite breweries.

beerdrifter, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown color with amber highlights. This beer has a monster head that cakes the glass with lacing.

S: A bouquet of hops, bread, malt.

T: This is a seriously tasty beverage. I am not normally a fan of a hoppy "balanced" beer, but this is just fabulous. The hops are present, but integrated beautifully into a bready, brown beer with a solid malt backbone.

M: Nice feel. 8% alcohol is noticeable, but not harsh.

D: One bomber was plenty. I've always liked this beer, and I plan on drinking it again.

Huhzubendah, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of BillHaverchuck
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark amber color, almost a hazy brown

S - grainy and breadlike aroma mixed with citrus hops

T - caramel flavor followed by a rye grapefruity taste

M - nice body and carbonation

D - very drinkable, very balanced flavoring masks the taste of alcohol

This is a great bomber, very hoppy yet balanced by the rye malt.

BillHaverchuck, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of oc0dyc
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two to Two and a half fingers thick head

S - VERY hoppy - smells just like an IPA

T - Strong hops in the taste as well (the name doesn't lie!). Reminiscent of Diamond Knot's Industrial IPA. Slight metallic aftertaste

M - Well carbonated, crisp, stings the tongue slightly

D - A great beer no doubt. Would be hard to have more than a couple due to the strong taste, but delicious!

oc0dyc, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Amber color with a head that leaves a nice lacing

S-Mixture of powerful hop aromas and breadlike malts. Smelling some rye.

T-Excellent hop flavors blended with doughy malts and some unique spice notes. Rye really makes this guy a special brew.

M-Fuller bodied. Taste sticks around thankfully. Yum.

D-Good drinkability especially for the 8% alcohol. Had some bombers and a few four packs. The four pack is perfect.

VelvetExtract, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep amber, almost brown, with a darker than normal tan head. You can't see much light through this beer.

S: Spicey and floral. Hops.

T: First taste is of caramel. The second taste is hops, and then spicey. The spicey taste sticks with you after each swallow.

D: A very smooth IPA. Perhaps more malt than I like, but at 80IBUs that makes sence. This drinks almost like a black IPA. Very good though. I will likey purchase this beer again down the road!

cbak999, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of scottyb88
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Judging it as an IPA with Rye malt. No bottle date, aroma and taste may have been subdued.

A- pours a dark reddish brown color with plenty of lacing and a nice off white head

S-mild citrus and a nice caramel maltiness with a slightly smokey background

T-a really nice toasted nut flavor up front, some smokiness in the middle, and a bite of hops at the end; it's not overly bitter, nor is it overly malty...very unique and delicious. hints of rye whiskey are in there, but it's not overpowering and not nearly as smokey as some whiskies

M-really full and creamy; great carbonation level; it reminds me of Sierra Nevada quality; aftertaste is really nice with hardly any bitter bite and some nuttiness

D-not quite sure of the bottle date on this beer so I might be missing out on more hop character; it's a great beer that is not overdone by the rye, but adds a subtle smoky character and a great deep color

scottyb88, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of cooncat
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single from Save-On in Mentor, OH. for $2.00/12 oz. bottle.

Poured into my S.A. glass at fridge temps, had to do a fairly hard pour to raise about a 1/2 inch beige head. The beer is a deep bronze/copper in color. Head dissapates rather quickly to a very thin cap, but some nice lacing developes as the beer is quaffed.

Hops up front in the nose, mostly citrus in nature. A bit of carmel makes it through the hops.

The taste is similar to the nose; hops are up front, with caramel in the background. The use of rye seems to add a bit of spice to the flavor, not usually found in other IPAs/DIPAs. Despite the 8% abv, no hint of alcohol is detected .. perhaps just a little warming in the tummy. Mouthfeel is medium, with moderate carbonation helping here. (definitely not 'bitey' by being over-carbonated) Drinkability is better than expected, as this doesn't feel like an 8% ABV beer. It goes down very smooth, so I could see quaffing more than one of these in a session easily.

I've always enjoyed Bear Republic brews, and feel that they consistently put out a good product. Hop Rod Rye is another good example of a solid brew. Recommended!

Na Zdravje!

cooncat, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Mavajo
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby-brown color with a billowing cream head - absolutely gushes up the glass. Good retention and great sticky lacing.

Aroma is of hops and bready malts, with perhaps a hint of rye - though that could just be power of suggestion. While the nose was good, the taste was phenomenal. What a wonderful flavor profile here - you've got a great malt backbone with the rye bringing a nice smoothness, and then the hops cutting through it all. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is superb as well. Medium to full bodied with creamy smoothness.

This is a tremendous beer. I wish Bear Republic distributed here.

Mavajo, Aug 07, 2010
Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 4,321 ratings.