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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,058 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,058
Hads: 4,575
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 262
Gots: 315 | 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: 4,575
Photo of ISmith87
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Sun Devil Liqours in Mesa, AZ. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a stout/porter glass.

A - 4.25 - Really dark for an ipa, thick film of bubbles that sticks around forever and leaves a nice lacing. Nice bottle with Bear Republic logo and a hot rod on it with flames.

S - 4.5 - Smell is nice citrusy/piney hops balanced by a somewhat sweet malt. Grapefruit, pineapple, bread, caramel.

T - 4.5 - Great tasting beer especially for the price (4.40/bomber). Nice citrusy hop taste (grapefruit, pineapple, mango), rye malt, and sweet malt flavors. Very complex and well balanced.

M - 4.5 - nice medium-light body, alcohol completely covered, some malt sweetness and hop bitterness sticks around in the aftertaste. A little bit of tongue numbing with the bitterness.

O - 4.5 - Great beer, amazing for the price. Same level as Red Rocket or Lagunita's Hop Stoopid. (880 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Extremely dark for an IPA, but Bear calls it an amber so I'll go with that. Not entirely brown, more a burgundy brown. Held to a light it resembles the color of wine. Up top is a fleeting IPA-like collection of foamy bubbles. Retention isn't impressive, but there's a nice lace and a ring of bubbles left behind.

Kind of a strange smell, with a party of citrus, rye and caramel all vying for attention.

The taste is strange as well, but it works. The brewers did a good job of providing just enough of each contrasting ingredient to keep the taste buds working. Orange peel, malted rye, caramel and even some vanilla just before the finish.

Mouthfeel is complex with a battle of sweet and bitter. It's very crisp in the swallow, leaving a faint burn as it hits your throat. A good composite of malt up front and hops following. The bitterness isn't lingering, leaving you ready for the next drink.

Overall, Bear Republic has done a good job with this. It's really easy to drink, has a truckload of flavor, and the alcohol is high, but not aggressive. Well done. (1,067 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Technically, rye is an accompaniment to this beer as its listed as an Imperial strength IPA brewed with 18 rye malt. That being said, the rye in this beer gives a deliciously spicy flair.

Poured from a 22 oz bomber, it was copper in color with tons of sediment floating. I checked the bottle and it indeed states "unfiltered." The lacing was long, leaving large froth all over the glass.

The smell was not all rye. Rather a delicious IPA nose of grapefruit and pine with the added bonus of the rye.

The taste was spicy and peppery from the rye. A bit bitter that eventually gave way to a bread like spice.

I was expecting a rye dominated beer but was pleasantly surprised to taste an IPA with a supporting role player in the rye. This led to a complex beer. Well done. (772 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz un-dated bottle poured into Teku:

A: deep amber/brown, brownish head with glistening lace
S: pine and resin dominated to me with sweet molasses in the mix
T: pretty bitter hop and resin kick in the front with a molasses sweetness. I find the aftertaste a bit unappealing with a dry pine. As far as a RYE Ipa it is good, I prefer the imperial and APAs a bit more
M: alcohol very well hidden, smooth

Overall a bit of a disappointment given the overall rating. Very bitter hop/pine malt with a fairly unappealing aftertaste. It is just okay, wouldn't seek it out again but would drink it again (597 characters)

Photo of macher0
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to goblet.

A: Dark amber color. 2-finger frothy head that slowly retreats to a frothy head. Very stable lacing.

S: Complex, but balanced. Hints of pineapple, pine, resin, and some grapefruit.

T: Hops. Bitter. Grass and resin. Pine lingering aftertaste. The booze is well hidden.

M: Full-bodies. Slightly harsh from the booze and hops. Moderate to high carbonation.

O: I'm not a huge fan of the ales that are dominated by resin and pines and my rating shows that. The appearance of this ale is outstanding, but I found the taste and mouth feel to be too harsh and over whelming. (590 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
3.64/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber, almost red with little to no head to speak of, leaves solid lacing. Aroma of toasted rye with faint floral hops. Malt and rye hit the tongue first followed by moderate hop bitterness. Medium body with good carbonation, finishes slightly off dry with some lingering hop bitterness. Overall a good, not great IPA. It's more of a rye beer than a true IPA. I expected more hops. (389 characters)

Photo of icehawk
3.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle Appearance: Dark reddish/brown with creamy off-white head Aroma: Sweet malts, dark fruit Taste: Pleasant bitterness Palate: Medium body, with lively mouthfeel. Warm alcohol mid-palate through finish. Drying finish. Overall: Very tasty complex beer. Bitterness is very present, but not unpleasant. (358 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I looked at Barnes and Noble, but I just couldn't find the newest issue of Hop Rod Magazine... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-khaki foam. The nose comprises pine sap, grapefruit zest, rye spice, and a touch of lightly-toasted biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine coming through a tad sharper. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a solid, tasty rye-ish IPA, good times despite the relative lack of balance in favor of the hops. (589 characters)

Photo of soju6
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber color with a solid off-white head that fades to some lacing.

s: Aroma of citrus and pine with some malt sweetness and grainy.

t: Taste of hops, some caramel sweetness, grain, mostly rye and a bit of spice in the background. Solid bitterness and a lingering hop finish.

f: Medium body, hoppy but not overly so. pretty well balanced as the 8% ABV is very well hidden.

O: Enjoyable beer for the style. (428 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber gold with off white head, slightly hazy

Aroma: grapefruit And other citrus aroma, a spiciness note from the eye, slightly darker melanoidin aroma than a normal American IPA

Taste: citrusy and with a bitter finish, but noticeably toned down than regular American IPAs; definite graininess and spiciness from rue additions and more malty character than normal American IPAs, comparatively less bitter finish than other American IPAs

Mouthfeel: slightly grainy, medium bodied, medium-low carbonation,

Overall Impression: Spicy, grainy, and citrusy with a medium bitter finish. Darker and maltier than most American IPAs but the rye also adds a certain spicy quality that using crystal or Munich malt does not. Refreshing but not as much on a hot summer day as a normal IPA. this is much better suited for fall drinking. Overall, delicious and worth drinking again. (884 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass. Dark, amber, hazy color with finger width foamy head that dissipates after 3 drinks. Slight lacing on glass. A very malty smell with hints of pine and caramel. Very malty up front tastes with a nicely balanced hop bitterness at the end. Can taste pine and caramel. Excellent beer!! Definitely one of my favorites!! (341 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep clear mahogany with a big pillowy light tan head. The head has great retention and leaves sticky lacing. The aroma has a nice blend of caramel sweetness, pine hops and a little peppery spice. The taste is a close mirror of the smell but with just a little bit more depth in all the characteristics. It has a nice weight to the body and an nice bite from the hops and rye on the finish. A nice full flavored beer. (426 characters)

Photo of Jekyll
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

American IPA or DIPA or rye IPA?!?! Who the hell knows? So judgement based primarily on not pinning it down to a specific style. Great spicy bitterness from the rye and amazing hop presence throughout. Not much balance so I can see why many would not identify it in the DIPA category as a strong malt backbone is required by some to qualify as a good IPA. I can't pin down the style and can easily identify it as all the 3 I mentioned as well as dare I say an American strong ale to boot. Good solid beer my only qualm and it is a small one is I tried this in a 22oz bomber and the mouthfeel and flavor seemed to dissipate on the last 1/2 of the bomber. Not sure if this is available in 12oz bottles but if so I would like to re-visit it in that format. Nonetheless no matter the "identity" of this beer it is a very satisfying experience. Couldn't taste the alcohol at all but after finishing it and typing this up it is slightly sneaking up on me. Excellent job Bear Republic! (978 characters)

Photo of Samp01
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cloudy rusty brown with a large long lasting tan head with very good lacing throughout. Aroma and Taste of floral earthy pine hops, sweet caramel malt, rye flavor with some fruity notes. A medium body on the palate, smooth with good carbonation. Finishes with a combination of sweet caramel malt, floral pine hops for balance with a bit of lingering rye flavor. A very good, flavorful and enjoyable brew. (417 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml bomber into a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces very little head and what foam there is drops immediately to a collar. Not much lacing, either. The brew is dark reddish, amber, nearly walnut in color and pretty clear.

S-The brew has a nice, spicy, herbal, pine note with some citrusy (orange and lemon) sweetness. There is also a healthy pale malt base here with notes of bread dough. Alcohol is well-concealed.

T-The taste is also quite spicy with the hops and rye giving nice doses of pine, herbs, mint, and orange spice. Bitterness is high, but it fits well with the flavors and style. The beer is well-balanced for such a hop and rye-forward brew, and there is a decent malt base here.

M-The feel is moderate to heavy with low carbonation that sits gently on the palate.

O-This is a tasty brew, and perhaps my favorite from Bear Republic. The hops and rye are the highlights of this show, but they are balanced by a nice base and the flavors, while aggressive, are not out-of-whack or ridiculously showy. I really enjoyed how the spice notes and the citrus notes played together. (1,102 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Darker amber reddish color with a thick head with good retention and leaving strong laces.
Delicious predominant citric aroma of passion fruit.
Strong hoppy flavor but also quite malty. Notes of slightly toasted malts, rye, grapefruits, caramel, wood and piney. Hints of resin and flowers. Dry and long lasting bitter aftertaste.
Full body with low carbonation, you see nowhere the 8% ABV.
Interesting beer, different from what I had tasted so far. You can really taste the rye here differentiating from other IPAs. I did like this one. (536 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. No freshness date, but whatever.

Pours a deep reddish amber color complete with about two fingers worth of an off-white head. Head retention is surprisingly decent, whittling down to a ring complete with semi large bubbles. Lacing is prevalent, although far more in the manner in resembling granite and sugar-soaked drops than anything else. Very dirty looking, actually, almost to the point of being oily. However, I find this personally appealing and as a result makes this more intriguing looking.

This bottle may be a bit old, as the hops in particular are showing signs of breaking apart, but there's still an astonishing varieties of flavor in this thing. There's an initial piney dankness that leads to grapefruit and blood oranges, and then other fruity notes such as cherries and apricots. Peppery, and well as spicy from the rye itself, which smells cracked and vibrant in midst of the hoppy dankness and toasted bready malts. Honey, as well as dried red maple leaves come in. Slightly boozy, although very well covered up by all of these phenols piled on top. Really good stuff - prickly and firm, yet warm and well balanced.

The flavor follows the same schematics as the aroma, but, to my surprise, everything is far more well integrated and even more subtle overall. There's an initial juicy bready, spiced rye character which melds into a massive citrus peel and pine profile that is herbaceous and zesty at the same time. Peppercorn, caramel, nutty flavors, and cereal pleasantries round up the explosion of hops and spice at first. Another thing that heightens the drinking experience is the clean, creamy, near chewy feel of the beer that approaches perfection. Not syrupy by any means, and not too heavy on the palate (or gut), this drinks like an everyday ale despite the intensity of flavors. The aftertaste is only slightly astringent, but otherwise everything goes down like a charm. Alcohol is marvelously hidden, with no bite to speak of. Silky, and ridiculously easy to drink.

I can't believe I passed so many chances to try this until now. While Racer 5 is my personal favorite, this may be, objectively speaking, the best thing I've had from these guys. None of these flavors conflict with each other, and the rye provides a spicy, rustic flavor that is a breath of fresh air for the style. Extremely well crafted, and world class in the realm of hoppy rye beers. I'd love to have this on tap or fresh one of these days. This is a charm to drink any day of the year on any occasion. Absolutely recommended! (2,585 characters)

Photo of MickeyD
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One and a half finger width foam, dark brown in color with lots of bubble from carbonation.

Definite floral and pine notes

Spicy hop bite with a slight caramel notes

When aerated in the mouth more caramel malt comes out but fairly thin.

Good beer but more of an IPA than a hybrid hoppy/rye. I would have loved to taste more spicy/caramel rye and malt. If you want more malt taste serve very cold from freezer. I was surprised with the rye. I expected more spice. Maybe if they would have aged in oak or something? According to the bottle they used 18% rye so I don’t know. I’m not a brewer. (598 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into becker pint glass; deep amber with a thin, tight white head that stays. Smells of crackery malts, spicy rye malt and slight piney hops. I'm excited to smell the rye in the forefront; even though it's an IPA, I'm really getting into rye beers lately. Taste is deliciously subdued; this isn't a hop bomb, but it has a nice hoppy flavor at first, melding into rye flavors and then finishing into smooth, caramelized malts with a bitter hop pinch at the very end of the aftertaste. Alcohol is well-hidden for 8%; drinkable and delicious. (545 characters)

Photo of GoblueMS
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sitting in a hotel room in Breaux Bridge, LA after consuming copious amounts of seafood tonight, I pulled a bottle out of my cooler that dutifully accompanies me on my business trips. Mind you this is not my first rodeo with Hop Rod Rye (more on that later). But this is an excellent product.

The appearance of this poured into a glass is caramel colored with excellent lacing down the glass, with a half inch head remaining. Smell is of muted hops with a hint of rye. Taste is outstanding (though in the last 8 years of having this on hand I have had to drain pour a few bottles, probably due to them having been abused in the distribution pipeline. They were spoiled.). I first tasted HRR at a brewfest in Portland in 2005, and it was love at first taste! There is little way to say how good this iteration of a rye IPA is. It is chewy, complex, simple, quenching, enticing, and of course most satisfying all at the same time. Overall I would say that this is a world class brew, and one that anyone who is a hophead should choose.

I won't go into the detail that so many patrons of BA render (not that there is anything wrong with that!), but this is one of the finest IPAs in my mind to ever hit the market. Try one and agree!

If you like a rye style IPA, this one should be on your list. I have it brought in from adjacent states to MS when ever possible. Excellent brew, and now this bottle is gone! Cheers! (1,417 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to a snifter, no clear freshness/bottled on date

Pours a very dark gold, almost red. A finger of foam has dissipated quickly to a half finger, with very mild carbonation, moderate lacing. Yeast chunks when held up to the light make me question it's age

Smells of spice pine and citrus hops. Very strong caramel malts come though the back, perhaps even more strongly than the hops. Very reminiscent of a barley wine

Taste of spicy hops, and like the nose lots of pine and citrus. Also like the nose, a very strong caramel malt coming through at the back. A bit of alcohol here, but mostly spicy hop/caramel meld stick out

Feel is a nice medium body, nice spicy bite. Alcohol well concealed, pretty drinkable

Overall this stuff isn't bad. Given to me blind I'd guess it was a barley wine, lots of malts and caramel. If that sounds good to you definitely worth checking out (882 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date that i could find

look is a dark cloudy copper, with tons of sediment throughout . smell is lots of sweet malt and floral hops. taste is sweet and toasty malts, generous amount of leafy floral hops, with a peppery kick of rye. feel is slightly slick.

Solid Rye pa (290 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a Lagunitas wide mouth glass. no bottling date.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a very light head. Very mild hoppy smell with a hint of rye, but not much to go by. was expecting more from the nose. taste is a tad hoppy, with a good balance of malts. its nothing spectacular but quite alright. good feel...medium bodied with light carbonation. easy to down this one and the 8% isnt detectable.

overall its a solid beer, but nothing worldclass in my eyes. it'd most certainly be better fresh, got this at a local store but with no bottling date im not sure how fresh it is. would like to try this on tap. (622 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a 16 oz nonic glass.

Appearance - Body is mostly dark brown with edges of maple syrup that makes it look like iced tea color. Foam is almost a full finger, barely-toasted marshmallow color. Head dissipates after a minute or two, lacing is pretty spotty, almost nonexistent.

Smell - Aroma is a mix of bready richness from the rye, with notes of caramel and malt. There is just a hint of hoppiness. Very promising.

Taste - Rye bread with a kick from the hops, and well balanced with malty semi-sweetness. Finish is pleasant with some lingering bitterness. I would like a little more bite, but I do like the fact that you can really taste the rye base.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with a nice amount of carbonation to support the chewiness of the beer.

Overall - A tasty beer, but there are other rye beers and other IPAs that I'd pick off the shelf before this one. Very drinkable for the slightly higher ABV. (945 characters)

Photo of bambam2517
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bomber poured into an Imperial pint glass, served at 50F.

A - Caramel brown body, no head but a really strong lace ring that is extremely long-lived. The carbonation in this one is a little more present than in other AIPAs I've had, I'm liking it.

S - Fresh malt with a rye sourness on top and an undercurrent of sweetness.

T - Surprised me, its a hop hammer at first! Puckering hops lead into the rye and malt character, and it does have some sweetness balancing it out as well. Some honey, also juniper. A lot to take in.

M - A real wild ride, high level of complexity in the mouthfeel. Starts off fresh and wet, then picks up with bitterness and just as it peaks it slides off with a sweet counterpoint. Finishes with a slightly herbal aftertaste, and it really sneaks that 8% ABV past you.

O - Hell of a fun beer! I like an occasional rye-heavy offering, and this one is near the top of the ryes for me. (920 characters)

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