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Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,068 Reviews
For Trade:
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,068 | Ratings: 4,649
Photo of kj8525
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a bomber bottle ~3 months from bottling date. Poured a rich amber color with a foamy finger of white head.

Smell is floral, sweet, and rye.

Taste is floral, piney, and rye. I also pick up a very slight sweetness maybe citrus.

Overall, I like the beer. It's a pretty good representation for a Rye IPA.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: sort if a dirty orange, but translucent. Copious amount if head that maintains a decently thick layer on top while lacing the glass significantly
S: floral and slightly sweet, some rye noted
T: wonderfully smooth, caramel to toffee* sweetness atop a rye base that balance very nicely. There is a hint if dark fruit (date I think) that might be a result of the combination. There is a light orange-like sweetness (thinking orange-Creme) that I notice as well.
M: the carbonation doesn't attack the tongue, as the smoothness continues into the end feel. A rye-driven dryness increases from the start, but never grows too strong.
O: I have had before, but don't remember enjoying this much. Will have to go into heavier rotation.

* it's really annoying I had an impression on first taste that I was distracted before I wrote down. It didn't make itself as obvious to me after the first taste, but at the time I thought it perfectly described the taste to me.

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Photo of obrike
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely beautiful look in a pint glass. Dark copper color, ample, rocky head that lasts for the entire beer. Bits of lace clinging to the glass throughout.

Love the bitter hops, mixed with spice scent. A fantastic smelling IPA..., caramel malt, citrusy hops, maybe even some grape (doppelbockesque?)...so different than most IPAs out there. Fresh and clean...super smooth.

A very unique tasting beer, but one that suits me just fine. Definitely has the uber-hoppy taste of a DIPA, but the addition of the rye makes puts it in a class by itself. An interesting and delicious combination of dark fruits, spice, and bitter hops. Very thankful for the 4 packs...but would be so much happier if BR would release it in a 6 pack someday.

(update...March 2014...6 packs baby!!!)

I would love to drink these as my staple, but a bit too boozy for me to drink more than 2/3 per sitting. Still, a great price for such a great beer. Hard to believe this one's classified as an IPA...there's so much going on in it.

A homerun by Bear Republic for sure. A must try for any IPA lover...heck, a must try for anyone who just loves great beer.

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Photo of Copernicus
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams custom.

A: Pours a translucent dark amber/light golden brown. The head is khaki, rocky, and very sticky, like that of a root beer float. It leaves a loose-weave lace and shows great retention.

S: Divinely malty. It smells of caramel, honey, wheat bread, spice, and sticky dried fruits like fig and raisins. The playful hop aroma, on the spicier side, balances everything out nicely. There's definitely some sturdy spice from the rye.

T: Very pleasant beer. A bit weak in the front due to lack of a solid hop structure. The middle is all malt: crystal, amber, and the rye. It's a complex but not overpowering grain bill. The hops debut around the finish: spicy, resiny, and woodsy.

M: Medium body with vivid carbonation, but larger bubbles. Cobbled. No evidence of alcohol or astringency.

O: This is a fun, tasty, and very drinkable beer. Everyone plays nicely together. I would pair this with spicy roasted chicken, most likely Moroccan style. A smoked pork shoulder would go well too. For dessert: caramel and spice creme brulee, apple pie a la mode, or peach cobbler.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear amber color with a light brown head that laces the glass heavy
S-rye, grass, with an orange peel aroma that comes in there. The balance of all them makes you want to start.
T-good rye and malt mixed with a hop aftertaste that stays with you til the end
M-medium body and good carbonation
O-great beer that has a great taste that makes you want more

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Photo of Richard-Carla
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not a big rye IPA fan (despite loving IPAs and double IPAs), but was surprising re-introduced to the type by the surprisingly excellent Sierra Nevada Founders Rye IPA. So, at a visit to our local beer shop, I picked up the Bear Republic's entry into the Rye IPA field.

The beer is good. It looks great--incredible head, excellent appearance on the glass--and feels only slightly heavy in the mouth. It also tastes good, albeit a bit sweet for me. I wish that it was a bit hoppier and that the sweetness was toned down a bit. But, I do like it and wouldn't shy away from having another.

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Photo of ajzbedo73
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a bottle to a short stem tulip glass. Deep caramel color with two fingers of rocky head that was off white. Very easy on the eyes, can't wait to taste!

S: smell doesn't disappoint. Sweet toffee and the rye really comes through. The anticipation to taste grows!

T: finally! Nice sweet caramel on the lips and front of the tongue. As it rolls across my mouth I get the rye and hops at the end. Then...the rye lingers. Like a fresh slice of homemade rye bread. Amazing!

M: creamy and the right amount of carbonation. Invites another sip along with the taste and smell.

O: I've been on a good run of good beers, and it continues. This beer was terrific! What an amazing balance of sweet, rye, and hops. Really enjoyed this one. I highly recommend!

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Photo of BierJager89
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper/brown with a tan head.

S: Citrus peel, orange, pineapple, lemon, rye, grass and general floral notes in the nose.

T: The rye hits you hard up front, but very pleasantly, along side some nice citrus peel, orange and pineapple. A touch of malt, grass and alcohol. Quite well balanced.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Definitely recommended. The rye adds an interesting flavor.

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Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this a while back, just getting to putting up a review now.

Poured from a bomber.

Not your run of the mill IPA that's for sure. Spicy notes in the flavor and aroma compliment the hops profile. Quite easy to drink and real nice feel. Get this if you can find it fresh.

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Photo of bball208
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This smells like waffles, molasses, and biscuits.
Absolutely beautifully crafted. The sweetness of maple at the front of the mouth, the incredible balance of malt, booze, molasses, and bready biscuits all come together perfectly and caps off with a refreshing bitterness that makes you want to repeat the sweet and smoothness you get at the beginning. Highly drinkable. This beers aroma ends up melting right into the flavors as it warms up. Some rye ales have great aroma but tastes one dimensional. This one offers aroma and taste. Just a superb beer, have it at 55-60 degrees. Phenomenal.

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Photo of lochef81
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oh damn that's good!!! This is the first beer I've tried from Bear Republic but I've been on a rye kick lately so I thought I'd give this a taste. Glad I did. This offering pours a rich caramel brown with a very generous thick beige head that lasts throughout the pour. The aroma is malty and spicy. Definite rye notes, toffee, pepper, spice, floral citrus, and light coffee notes. This beer is chewy and coating in the mouth. The flavor is what really sets it apart. Rich and malty, spicy and bitter, sweet and deep. It hits all the right notes. If this is a kin to all of Bear Republic's offerings then I greatly look forward to a long and enjoyable relationship.

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

Poured bottle dated 9/17/13 into New Belguim globe

A-Pours amber with floaties and a fairly tall creamy beige one finger head. Great lacing.

S-Aroma is grapefruit, pine, and floral hops, caramel, and rye spice.

T-Taste is similar with light malt sweetness followed by a wave of high hop bitterness and some rye spice on the

M-Medium-full bodied, creamy and sticky, soft carbonation, bitter finish.

O-Great beer by bear republic must get some more and fresh

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Photo of BearslikeBeers
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold color with a small white head that laces up the side of the glass. The smell is nice, fresh, hoppy and almost a little starchy at the end. It smells very rich for lack of a better term. The beer is initially sweet and a little fruity up front, less carbonated than most IPAs, and then the real profile starts to set in. The rye is very rich and malty but the hops really define the aftertaste. Very dry and very bitter finish. A little flat and syrupy but a really nice balance of the rye and the hops definitely would purchase this one again.

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Photo of Mike_Moe
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Medium brown color, brown head.
Aroma: Strong malty, spicy, hoppy smell.
Flavor: Malty, spicy, hoppy flavor. Smooth full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: A malty spicy full bodied beer. This brew is somewhat hoppy, similar to some light to medium IPAs but with a full body. Although the beer boast an ABV of 8%, a strong alcohol taste or smell permeate through the beer.

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Photo of silverblaze540
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - It is a deep amber color, and is a bit cloudy. My pour produced a very small amount of head, which retained well. Carbonation actively bubbles and, when held up to the light, particles/sediment are visible. Looks very tasty.

Smell - Fairly piney, but not overpowering, sweetness and perfumey, which just a hint of maltiness.

Taste - Hops, hops, hops, but not extremely strong for this type of beer. A bit of a citrus taste. The taste balance is pretty good, as no taste is extremely overpowering. Seems to fit the IPA/Double IPA style without being overpoweringly bitter.

Mouth-feel - Medium build; carbonation seems perfect with a small amount of burn; alcohol taste is not strong, especially for 8%.

Overall - This is the best IPA I've tasted because the taste balance is good and the hops are not overpowering. It is bitter, but not to the extreme. There is still a strong hoppy taste, so I would probably not drink this beer that often, and I am not a huge fan of the hoppy aftertaste. If you like hoppy beers, however, you will probably like this beer.

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Photo of dexterk1
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a good head and left good lacing.
Odor is a little sweet. A little bit of caramel and malt perhaps some citrus as well.
Taste starts well and gets better. Begins with hops and pine. Continues with some malt and toffee notes and finishes a little sweet with more pine, citrus and mild grapefruit flavors.
Rye does come through and helps bring a nice bonus to the taste of this beer.
Mouthfeel is pretty smooth with relatively light carbonation.
Overall, an excellent rye IPA that stands out from many. Good odor and taste with very little alcohol coming through. Definitely high on my list!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a copper color with a one finger of foamy tan colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a nice level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big of a nice rye bread and hoppy smell. The hops are mainly of a pine nature but also consist of a good showing of a grapefruit smell. Along with these aromas are some lighter notes of a caramel sweetness as well as some grassy like aromas.

Taste – The taste begins much sweeter then the nose would have let on with lots of caramel and toffee flavor as well as some fruit flavors of a more tangerine nature. Right from the start there is also a bready taste with hints of rye mixed within. While the rye if very light upfront it grows in strength as the flavor advances with it becoming more potent at the end. Hops are present from the start as well. They begin largely of a light pine and grassy nature at first, but are later replaced by a grapefruit hop flavor. The grapefruit really takes control of the hop profile toward the end, and when mixed with the strengthen rye favor as well as the sweeter flavors that remain strong to the end, one if left with a satisfying, grapefruity sweet rye bread flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is average as well. Both are fine for the blend of hoppiness, sweetness, and rye all while keeping it a rather easy drinking beer overall.

Overall – A quite tasty and sweeter rye IPA. It had a wonderful blend of tastes and a very easy drinking feel which mare this one a very flavorful and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle no date.

Appearance: Hazy deep red, one finger head with solid staying power and lacing.

Aroma/Flavor : Nice pungent fruity hop and rye aroma. Flavor follows with some mild apparent bitterness, and more rye spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a drying finish.

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Photo of ZoomanCru
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

App: Pours a beautiful, deep reddish brown with a very nice head. Okay retention and some lacing left behind. Sort of hazy with hop particle sedimentation.
Smell: Lots of citrus in the nose with definite malty overtones. Aroma of blood orange. Minor alcoholic twinge, but not over powering.
Taste: Very nice roasted rye kick. Rye really compliments alcoholic twinge. Good rye spice.
Mouth: Medium bodied with fairly average carbonation that suits the style perfectly. Little but of alcohol volatility in the swallow.

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Photo of ac22rush
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear mahogany with a superb frothy head

The nose consists of pine, grapefruit rind, sap and mild rye spiciness a hint of sage as well?

The taste is where this beer goes from great to outstanding. Strong hop character up front with grapefruit, and pine giving way to the spicy rye and caramel backbone. Hops and malt are perfectly balanced as the beer finishes off spicy and bitter with just a touch of alcohol. The beer is perfectly carbonated and teases your tongue to have another sip.

Overall this beer has so much character definitely a beer thats willing to show off its strong rye base and keep you wanting more I could easily enjoy two of these back to back. This beer is a must try and definitely a new favorite of mine. Cheers!

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a copper brown with a healthy crisp white head. Nice lacing and head retention.

S - Heavy malts, caramel, raisins, baked bread.

T - Robust malty full bodied malty flavor, bready, crackers, rye, dry mouth feel, nice balance of hops.

O - This is a meal on wheels - big rich flavors. This is a must try.

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Photo of McStagger
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased on the cheap from Bevmo. Whoops! It has a date of 8/6/13. This one's gonna be faded...kinda like me after tonight's over.

A: Fairly dark red, but still mostly translucent. Finger of tawny head. Moderate lacing. Minimal retention.

S: Some hop essence is going on here. Pine and citrus. Fairly non descript. Malt is showing with big brown sugars and toffee.

T: Lost most of the floral and citric edge. Still bitter in the back end, but mostly shots of non descript grain and some mild floral bitterness/malt sweetness.

M: Nice body. This one is fairly light and still mostly maintains its dryness.

O: I'm underwhelmed. Need to try this one fresh. Will come back to edit this review when I see a fresher bottle date.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10-3-13 - about 7 weeks since then; not fresh, but not exactly old.

As the last few rain drops of the Southern California "Storm of 2013" drop (and reach about 1/4 total inches) Raul finds himself sippin' on a Hop Rod Rye. Raul ain't never been into hot rods or floozies with cherry's tattooed on them, but even if he was, he still wouldn't go "vrooom!" for Hop Rod Rye. Getting on the older side, yes, but it ain't exactly Barbara Walters old. Still, Raul finds this sucker a bit more malty and syrupy than hoppy and, uhh, "rye-y."

Yes, my children. Like all fly honeys, I wish I could have gotten it at its peak of freshness; but at the end of the day, when you get a lil taste, you know what you are dealing with.

Not bad. Just right down the middle. Yep!

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Photo of beergoot
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Billowy white head sits atop a cinnamon red body; spidery strands of foam coat the glass as it's emptied. Heady whiffs of spicy, malty, pine and citrus aromas. Big malt sweetness infused with a rye spiciness; sweet caramel; toasted grains; a well-balanced hop bitterness and alcohol heat add to the overall tasting experience. Medium-heavy body; chewy.

A very intimpressive, very enjoyable rye ale. Deeply complex, revealing taste surprises with every sip. The rye stands out from beginning to end, complimenting and not overwhelming the other great aspects of this brew. Definitely malt and grain forward but with plenty of other outstanding sensory components that makes this beer stand above most others.

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Photo of BeerWizard
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second sampling of this. I had a bomber of it previously and was disappointed, mostly because I was wanting more of an imperial marzen, but I’m finding this is actually closer to that than I'd previously experienced...just with tons of hoppiness. Pours a rusty brown with some cloud to it – I love how Bear Republic’s IPA and now this have some cloud. I’d like to try more of their stuff but those two are all I’ve found in CO. Decent head that breaks down in a couple minutes and laces the glass. Smells hoppy and sweet, with citrus and pineapple to it. The flavor is where the rye comes in, giving it some heartier grain and malt, cherry and light spice, along with the hop bitters. Has a medium mouthfeel, leaning heavy, and the alcohol is present but not offensive, especially for being as up there as it is. Works well with the flavors. Overall, really glad I tried this again. I think the first time I was so affronted by the hops that I couldn’t get past it to enjoy the rye aspects, but this time around, definitely enjoying the combo. Will definitely get this again.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,068 ratings.