Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,056 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 2,056
Hads: 4,553
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 256
Gots: 303 | FT: 2
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: 2,056 | Hads: 4,553
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional IPA grapefruit highly hopped with edge of rye, which made it quite interesting. Amber. Very drinkable to the point of drop off. Hop burps citrus aroma. Malts for balance.Roast tea, bitter aftertaste.
Had this nearly three years later, it was in my basement for half a year or so, Very bitter with some rye, but did not like it as much. Still very drinkable. (371 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark iced tea color with a 1/2 beige head that fades to a film. Very little lacing.

S - Pine hops and slight malt aroma.

T - Bitter pine hops with slight malt taste.

M - Slightly flat. Coats the mouth.

D - Not too good. Hop dominates but tastes off. (265 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No head really with nice lacing on a brownish amber with slight golden hues. Aroma is a little light with caramel, citrus hops and candied orange. Flavor is actually pretty complex with both toasted and caramel malts, rye breads, orange peel, red apples, candied fruits, earthy hops and a mild pine presence. Medium body and moderate carbonation. I like the Fruitness which isn't too sweet with and excellent base malt and rye character. (437 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and poured with a thin off white head that has good head retention properties and never completely faded away. A medium amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are strong aromas of grapefruit and piney hops in the nose along with some notes of rye.
T: Flavors of piney hops really stand out in the taste and finish. There is a mild to moderate amount of bitterness that isn't overpowering due to a good balance between the malt and hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a medium amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is masked rather well so this beer is easy to drink. (640 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: 16-ounch glass pint glass with University of Chicago emblem.

A: Pours a very dark copper with a reddish tint. Nice creamy head. Large carbonation bubbles visible on the top of the beer, and a decent amount of carbonation flow inside of the brew after it was poured.

S: Sweet hop presence.

T: Strong rye taste a the beginning, fading into hops and a delicate sweetness. The rye returns in the aftertaste. The malt comes through as the beer lingers, but the hops provide the dominant sensation.

M: Carbonation and taste sting the tip of the tongue, but in a pleasant manner. Sits so well you don't want to swallow.

D: Perfect mouthfeel and great taste. This one is exceedingly drinkable. Can hardly wait for more in between each sip. (743 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber color; a serious beige head that leaves an abstract pattern of splashy lacing around the glass (looks like Matisse's cutout dancers)

Smell: Rich caramel malt aroma with loads of citrusy hops peeking through the background

Taste: Starts out with a nice caramel flavor that builds in a piney/citrus direction by mid-palate and after the swallow; at the very finish, the sour rye and tobacco flavors emerge and last forever; well-balanced ending with the flavorful malt

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A top flight DIPA with a nice sour rye kick to it (629 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

been meaning to get on this one for awhile. this is a monster beer. hands down one of the most hoppy and most complex rye beers ive had. it pours a deep indian brown color with just a bit of haze. looks pretty dense, with some light coming through, but not much. theres about a one inch off white head on it, but it recedes pretty quickly. the nose is very very hoppy. sticky sweet dank hops, oily and aggressive. theres also some spice from the rye, bready and pungent, as well as a darker sweeter malt profile than i expected when i bought it. the flavor is unreal. so much going on. at first sip its a hop trip, high alpha and mean, but that gets interrupted fairly quickly by a really distinct and different peppery rye flavor that comes out of nowhere and lasts the rest of the time. sweeter malt kicks up at the end, and the bitter aspect of the hops finally comes back. the finish is long and complex. this is a gem as far as flavor journey goes, more rye heavy than any ive had i think. mouthfeel is good, big and thick on the body, with enough carbonation to make it dangerously drinkable. there is some hop resin left in the mouth though that is a love it or hate it kind of thing. i think it makes the beer come across a bit heavy, but thats just me. this is a perfect cold weather beer, with all the necessary elements. high abv, big hop, lots of body, and stick to your guts malt. this is worth the hype for sure. (1,426 characters)

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

Rye grains in any other beer style doesn't work for me. But in an IPA, I think it adds character and an intense bittering. An otherwise, great IPA has been improved with some serious hopping and a rye grain flavor / astringency than any malt base cannot compete with. Sweet, of course, but quickly dominated with hop citrus, pine, grass, and dirty flavors. Rye contributes a deep molassas bitter-sweetness and a grain husk bittering. Perhaps too astringent to make it easy drinking. Otherwise malty sweet with a dark toasted grain flavor. Bitter til the end with a shadowing sweetness, muskiness, and earthiness. Very good beer. (628 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a dark amber color, mostly brown in specific lighting. The heas was nice looking and tan in color. The smell of the beer was more hoppy than anything else I could pick up on the nose. The taste of the beer was also quite hoppy, I was hoping to pick up on some more Rye than anything else but I continue to struggle with picking up the Rye in most beers. The aftertaste is bitter and yet sweet almost all at once. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty nice, well carbonated, stings the tongue a bit, leave a bitterness on the sides of the mouth. Overall this beer was pretty good. (603 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Hogtownharry: Poured a dark amber color ale with huge foamy off-white heat with great retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with good malt backbone is very interesting. Taste is a mix between semi-sweet caramel malt with some c-hops that provide a bitter finish. Rye is quite hard to distinguish and doesn’t seem to provide that much in the overall mix. Body is slightly above average and alcohol is well hidden. Very well done overall but definitely not a style (American strong ale) that really excite me. (525 characters)

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

Appearance: Murky reddish-amber - surprisingly dark for an IPA. The first pour provides 2 inches of frothy foam that lasts a respectably long amount of time.

Smell: Intensely hoppy; notes of pine and bready malts with a touch of citrus.

Taste: Extremely bitter and hoppy from the get-go; a subtle beer this is not. If you want balance, grab a Racer 5. The hops have a strong pine-like quality to them, typical of many of Northern California's best IPAs, but it's harnessed in an unusual way here. The rye provides a hint of spicy, gingerbread-like sweetness, creating a rounded flavor that a lot of bigger IPAs lack. The finish is oily and resiny, leaving a coating bitterness on the palate.

Mouth: Full-bodied and oily; this drinks almost like a stout.

Drinkability: Delicious but extremely potent. Not exactly a quaffable beer, but highly drinkable nonetheless. (867 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sanguineous antique bronze. Hop Rod Rye is chock full of fine particulates which create a lovely prism for the late afternoon sun slanting through my front window and cause the beer to explode with warm color. Perched atop the liquid is a creamystiff cap of pale tangerine that only an outrageously hoppy beer could produce. A perfect, rounded mesa of heavy cream awaits disruption, but not until I spend a few more moments enjoying the beautiful array of filagreed lace that sticks with impressive tenacity to the glass.

Hops, hops and more hops. And then some more. This is one of the most hop-dominant noses on any DIPA in existence. Too often beer of this style is balanced, as if balance is the Holy Grail of all beerdom. Well screw balance. It appears as if Bear Republic has given the most hopheaded among us what we crave. If the flavor follows the nose... we have a winner. Since brown sugary grapefruit and orange practically leap out of the glass, I feel pretty safe in saying that at least one, and probably multiple, of the 'C' hops are in use.

This is my kind of DIPA. I can't figure out why it continues to be classified as an IPA with such a high ABV and such a juggernaut of a hop load. There's plenty of sweet, toasted caramel flavor that does its best to keep the hops in line. Balance, shmalance. What kicks Hop Rod into orbit is the use of a not insignificant amount of rye malt that sets it apart from just about every DIPA that I've ever had.

As far as I'm concerned, rye is an underutilized grain in brewing. In the same way that it gives bourbon its spicy kick (except for Maker's Mark and a few others that use corn, barley and wheat instead of the usual corn, barley and rye), it gives this beer an exotic, piquant spiciness that is complemented by a citrusy thwack! from the hops and a sugary pine needle bite. A long, mouthcoating finish is borne of a full, chewy mouthfeel and nearly unnoticed carbonation.

I can't say enough good things about Bear Republic. Each and every beer is top-notch and is a marvel of the brewer's art. Hop Rod Rye is an intense, fantastically delicious DIPA and instantly leaps to within sight of the summit on my 'most favored beers of all-time' list. Wow! (2,226 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bomber of this during a trip to Austin, Texas a few months ago, and I'm feeling a bit masochistic in my beer craving tonight, so in the interests of serving that, and not letting this IPA get any older, bottoms up...

This beer pours a hazy dark copper brown with an abundance of foamy, frothy white head, that takes its sweet time going away. The smell is grapefruit citrus hops, and sweet caramel malt, with a bit of grainy spiciness. The taste is a wallop of citrus and pine hops, balanced by a decent sweet malt backbone. The grainy spiciness of the rye is quite evident, and a nice addition to the usual suspects. The carbonation is on the moderate side, and there is only a mild warming from the alcohol. This finishes off-dry, with a nice tangy bitterness from some leafy green hoppiness. Once my palate reset itself to Hops, Straight Ahead!, this became very drinkable. Would that i could have this as the base for a session... (943 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hop Rod Rye


So I have made it, here it is, my 400th beer review! Wow, thats alot of beer! I was deciding last week on what to have for this as I knew it was coming up. I wanted something good, but I am saving something real special for my 500th(always looking ahead), My decision was made easy when I fionally landed a bottle of Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye! I had been waiting forever to try this beer. It just seemed like something I had to go for, right up my alley so to speak, and I just knew I would eventually land one. So when it came time, I knew just where to turn, to the fire painted hot rod on the front of the bottle, which would bring me a whole lotta hops! So onto the beer....

A - Poured a very deep hazy burned amber. This thing literally looked like a burgundy, great great hue on this one. One of the biggest, thickest, gooiest, stickiest off white, tannish colored head I have ever seen in a beer. This thing was huge, an easy three plus talls with a ton, an absolute ton of residual side glass lace dripping down the side. It was completely obscured throughout the session. Great carbonation was visible leaching up from the bottom of the glass, almost immediatly and lasted to the bitter end. For appearence, absolutly perfect. I could not have made this look better, and thats the damn truth, Fives all around for the pour on this one.

S - Wow, just a deep citrus sweet hoppy aroma. Not overpowering, just luxiuosly rich smelling. A slight touch of alcohol in the aroma in the beginning. Such a complexity rarely found in the nig IPS's, usually they are just overloaded with hops to the point that its like grapefruit gone made. This was much more blended and refined. Had alot of amlt backing and that was evident even from the smell. Lots of orange peel, and tangerine, mixed with a nice caramel sweetness and a touch of some earthy grain, very nice indeed.

T - Awesome, just such a nice blend between the hops and the malts made this so damn pleasurable. Major flavors from the start were bitter grapefruit and orange, with some candied sugar. Balanced perfectly with a touch of caramel and a really nice grainy sort of ceral back. No weakness or watered down taste here, in fact, this has to be one of the most complex and finaely crafted IPA's I have ever tasted. It just seemed to have such depth and character. A ton of time had to go into getting this flavor right, as it was damn right. I relly could have drank this forever. As it warmed it lost some of the alchol punch and just seemed to get more blended together. Great dry finish and a long, I mean very long bitter lingering aftertaste. I could still taste this one like a full 5 minutes later, wow, damn fine tasting brew, for sure...

M - This was just remarkably smooth and consistent. Very sticky at first on the gums and teeth, but that soon passed. Great carbonation really let the flavors pop. It just danced around on the palate soo smoothly, very awesome feel. Light enough to be drnk consistently, but thick enough to be a sipper if you needed it.

D -Outstanding, one of the finest beers I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. I would stock the fridge, or buy a keg of this in a heartbeat. Just cannot say enough good things about it.

Overall I really do not know what elseI can say. I loved every second of this beer. Really just fantastic, and worthy of my 400th review, or my 1000th!! (3,408 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of dertbert.

A - Poured out a dark amber/burgandy color with a tan, creamy, two-finger head that left behind nice lacing.

S - It smelled of tons of hops and rye! There was a light maltiness detected, too.

T - It tasted bittersweet with the grassy hoppiness. It had an earthy quality and a touch of caramel malt.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - Another great offering from Bear Republic. (431 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a almost creamy-like head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,the rye really comes thru in the aroma along with a dose of grapefruit these aromas melded very well together I already knew this was gonna be a hoppy brew before even tasting.Like a few of the others who reviewed this one the first few sips hit pretty hard with some bigtime bitterness but mellowed after awhile with that late rye touch making this very refreshing.Glad to get a chance to try this a very nice beer would love to have on tap again sometime. (549 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber color with a good white head (pretty good lacing, too).

S: Very citrusy from the hops with some pine as well, you can smell the rye in this (well, I'm assuming that "different" smell was the rye, as this is the first rye beer I've had), and also some caramel.

T: Very hoppy at the beginning, but a very pleasant switch to caramel/sweet and then bitter on the finish. A very different taste from the rye, and I found this to be quite enjoyable.

M: Not too much carbonation and a nice medium-to-full body on the beer.

D: Excellent. Well, it's not exactly an easy drinking beer, but it's really tasty, so you will want to drink more of it. (656 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy dark bronze under a one-inch thick off - white head which leaves good lace. Pine and grapefruity hop aroma. Bitter and mildly rye spiced with some caramel and faint toffee. Solid. (201 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a reddish-browh body with a pillowy beige head and excellent, long-lasting lacing.

Smell: A truly gorgeous aroma of toasted caramel and sweet brown sugar. Full, gorgeous notes of pine and grapefruit. There's rye in the scent, too, but I expected more. Still, if someone can beat that aroma I'll give them a shiny new quarter.

Taste: Big, rich caramel (and brown sugar) sweetness marked by heavy hop accents of grapefruit and pine and the apparent taste of rye. Also, a little bit of vanilla in there as well. Tangy rye-ish, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Excellent texture and carbonation.

Drinkability: An expertly crafted, wonderful beer. Marvelous!

Shiny new quarter. Seriously. (725 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 oline73
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky reddish dark amber color with a finger of off white head. The head fades to a layer covering the top of the pour with some really nice lacing.

Smell: Full of wonderful citrusy hops with a sweet malt background. I can definitely smell the spice from the rye.

Taste: Hops are the dominant flavor here, but there is plenty of malt sweetness and rye to keep things interesting. Some mildly sweet bready malt along with the bitterness. The finish is full of rye spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy, tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really nice rye beer. The hops, malt and rye work together very well. I'll definitely have it again at some point. (763 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! This beer really knocked me out. Love at first sip! It pours a rich mahogany colored body topped by a densely creamy bone white head that holds quite well. The head eventually drops, but keeps a good collar and light surface covering - as well as leaving some excellent lace. There are some suspended particles of yeast & hop, but it's only slightly hazy beyond that. The aroma offers a light fruitiness, a gently sweet maltiness, and some sweetly citrusy/lightly piney hops. The body is full, oily, and quite creamy as it warms in the mouth, supported by a moderate and very fine carbonation from bottle conditioning. But the flavor is what really caught my attention! Richly malty with a toffee-ish sweetness, boldy fruity, lightly spicy, and well-infused with bold hop flavor and a firm, but balanced, bracing bitterness. It's quite unique. Although there's only a small percentage used, I guess it's the rye that really helps to give it its distinct character. There's certainly some caramel malt going on, but it also has a spicy edge to it. It finishes dry with a short burst of malt sweetness up-front, and then a long lasting mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. A really flavorful and complex beer that pulls no punches and has exceptional drinkability. Absolutely worth seeking out. (1,298 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a huge poofy head of light tan head. After several minutes, I'm able to get a little more beer into the glass and it eventually settles down into a downright beautiufl creamy retention that left some awesome spirals of thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is absolutely rich with a nice blend of roasted rye malts, some caramel sweetness, citrus notes, and piney hops.

The taste is initially sweet up front with a mix of roasted rye and caramel malts but then gives way to resinous hop bitterness that sticks and lingers on the palette before a final wash of sweetness comes in. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very nice smooth and creamy feel.

I must say that the balance between the rye and piney hops in this beer is almost damn near perfect and is what really makes this great. As for drinkability, I was hard pressed to remember that this thing was 8% at the rate that the 22oz bottle disappeared. This is definitely a top rate beer and one you should seek out. (1,054 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass

A: Big frothy 1.5 finger head that fades dark brown reddish hazy color

N: Nose has lots of noble hops and maybe a touch of sweet malts but not much to it

T: Taste starts with some darker malts and rye taste, it has a strange tangy sour-like flavor that's not really sour probably from the rye, a good hop character dominates the taste with a high spicy hop taste and bitterness and maybe a touch of smoked malts, there is also an interesting juicy fruity center like peach or something similar

M: Mouth is very frothy and medium thickness

F: Finish is pretty dry and has a really strong bitter hop character with more spicey hops and a little alcohol on the finish,

Final Thoughts: with the strong rye and hop character it's tough to drink but has a great taste, this is a great change from a typical DIPA (844 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is hoppy and very fruity with a little bit of carmelized malt. The citrus sweetness and floral hops are very complimentary.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a good, strong hops burst, some citrus sweetness, some dry rye breadiness and a good hearty malt character. The after-taste is heavy with hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easy with no hint of the ABV, despite the description on the label (“alcohol burnin’ monster ale”), very good representation of style. I took out the bomber rather quickly. I was a little hesitant because I’ve have both good and bad experiences with beer that have the word “rye” in their names. This beer was certainly a good experience. (995 characters)

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,056 ratings.